On Wednesday, Nov. 4, someone asked me if I was going to talk or write about the presidential election. I said, “Well, I imagine it will take a while for us to know the outcome and then when we do, I would encourage people to practice John Wesley’s three simple rules, which I’ve talked about before – ‘Do no harm. Do good. Stay in love with God.'” I would remind people, I said, that as followers of Jesus our primary loyalty is to him, his teachings, and his saving power in our lives, rather than to a government or politician. I’m grateful for the freedoms we enjoy in our country, I said, including the ability to vote and to have every vote counted. That’s all I would say, I said, along with a prayer for peace in people’s hearts and in our land.

I might take time to remember my baptism and encourage others to do that, too. In our baptism we are made one in Christ and make a promise to resist evil, injustice and oppression and to put our trust in Jesus. This Sunday, Nov. 8, as part of our series on “Words of Hope,” I’ll be talking about “Baptism” and what it means for us in these uncertain times.

This Sunday, we continue with our recorded worship at 9:45 a.m. on St. Mark’s Facebook, YouTube UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley and right here on the website, at In addition, we begin outdoor worship on the west patio at 9 a.m. for the 40 people who have registered. On Sunday evening, Nov. 8, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to register for outdoor worship on Nov. 15. On Monday morning, you can also visit this website. In the middle of the main homepage, you’ll see the “Latest Update” button, and the link will be there. If the service is full, call the office (297-2062) to be put on the waiting list. We are including several from the waiting list for the Nov. 8 service.

Be sure to mark your calendar now and come to church for the Advent Caravan from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22. You can bring your Anchored in Hope 2020 stewardship commitment card. You can also get an Advent Box for yourself and your family, pick up Advent study books and drop off food for the ICS food bank. You can do one or more of those things.

Advent begins Nov. 29 and is the season of preparation before Christmas. You can sign up now for this year’s Advent study, “Incarnation,” by going to the “Latest Update” page.

Again, I remind you in these days to “Do no harm. Do good. Stay in love with God.” All day, every day, pray your way into that.


P.S. In worship this Sunday, Nov. 8, we will recognize veterans in honor of Veterans Day, which is Wednesday, Nov. 11.