St. Mark’s Rainbow Fellowship is a group for individuals who identify as LGBTQ and Christian. The group meets for fellowship, support and sharing the joys and concerns of living in these challenging days. Anyone (regardless of age) who identifies as LGBTQ is welcome. The group meets on the third Sunday of the month at 8:30 a.m. in the church Library. Please contact Melinda Sims, coordinator, or call the office (297-2062) if you would like more information. Better yet, if this group is for you – please join us anytime.
We currently offer three ongoing adult classes at 9:45 and one at 11:15. You can find more details on our Classes page.
Spiritual Growth Opportunities
Adult Spiritual Growth opportunities are designed to inspire and deepen your faith journey. Whether you are just beginning your journey, or wish to expand your current knowledge of the Bible, you’ll find a variety of opportunities to grow your faith. St. Mark’s offers many short-term classes throughout the year. (Short-term classes generally last for four, six or eight weeks.) Some are offered on Sunday mornings, others during the week. Some are daytime classes, others meet in the evening. Learn more about the current list of classes.
The St. Mark’s Animal Ministry Team is made up of enthusiastic animal lovers who are dedicated to activities that support and preserve the human/animal connection. While many of their activities center around pets, their caring concern extends to wildlife issues, as well. The team’s activities and events include an annual Pet Memorial Service (in the spring) and a Blessing of the Animals Service (in the fall). The team encourages the congregation to consider including something for hungry pets when bringing other items for the local food bank. Educational items are periodically placed in the church’s newsletter. Donations of funds and/or service are made by the team to local shelters and rescue groups when resources are available. The Animal Ministry Team accepts financial contributions, particularly a as a way of remembering someone’s pet and/or acknowledging a loss.
Church and Society
United Methodists and St. Mark’s continue in a long tradition of social justice. Starting with Genesis, God commanded humanity to care for creation. In the Old Testament prophets there is reproach for the poor care Israel was providing the underprivileged and unequal distribution of wealth. As Christians we have the example of Jesus who ate with and advocated for the marginalized in society.
Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, was committed to improving the conditions for poor people, slaves and prisoners. This continues through the United Methodist Social Principles, the official stance of the United Methodist Church on social issues. In addition, through resolutions enacted by the legislative body of the church, concrete actions are provided to bring the Social Principles to fruition.
At St. Mark’s the Church and Society Committee works to educate the congregation about the Social Principles as well as implement them locally. The committee works closely with the Missions Committee, because improving the conditions for the marginalized requires both short term acts of mercy as well as long term advocacy for social justice.
The Family Ministries Committee provides members and friends of St. Mark’s with enjoyable events and activities throughout the year which bring families together and encourage entertainment and fellowship for adult and children. See the sidebar on the right for a listing of the current year’s scheduled activities.
Handy Hands Ministry
The Handy Hands Ministry at St. Mark’s consists of volunteers from our congregation that provide simple household repairs for others in the congregation who cannot otherwise perform the task. All individuals who attend St. Mark’s may volunteer to be part of this ministry, or request service. The types of services provided are determined by the skills of the volunteers and the complexity of the problems. Those who don’t have the necessary skills or physical ability for specific tasks can request help, i.e. senior citizens, singles, persons with physical limitations, homebound individuals, those recovering from surgery/illness, etc. However, this ministry is not for emergency requests.
Although HeartWorks meets as a group once a month at the church, participants can also contribute their time and efforts from home. HeartWorks members sew duffle bags for children taken into protective custody. Colorful fabric bags, complete with a pocket and a small stuffed animal, are a much more compassionate receptacle for a child’s quickly-packed belongings than the trash bags that were previously used to transport their items. Even people who don’t sew can participate by cutting out fabric and preparing the “kits” to be sewn.
Kairos Prison Ministry is a multi-denominational outreach of Christians all over the world. Through the years, St. Mark’s has served on Kairos weekends and the weekly Bible studies that happen at the prison after the weekend retreat, hosted by Kairos volunteers. Everyone in the prison, including the warden and the correctional officers, receive cookies during a weekend. Cookies are a tangible symbol of the love that the team feels for those who are incarcerated, and those whose responsibility it is to manage them. Jesus pulls no punches when he talks about the brotherhood of all people ― and the love that he shows all of His creation. So, our slogan is “Listen, listen, love, love.” It is the job of others to judge these men; our job is to share God’s unconditional love… no strings attached. It moves many inmates to rethink their lives and their relationships with Jesus. We Kairos volunteers merely facilitate that process and keep ourselves out of the way! Kairos Prison Ministry is not just a “cookie thing.” We covet the PRAYERS of the entire St. Mark’s community, as this weekend is mostly about the power of the Holy Spirit moving to soften hardened hearts. So, although we need cookies and money to move this weekend, prayer is the most important factor. In Matthew, we’re all called upon to visit people in prison; most of us don’t have a way to do that. Kairos is that way.
The Mark-a-ritas are a group of women who believe it’s important to have girlfriends at church, too! They organized themselves to provide a fellowship opportunity for women in “that mid-life stage.” Their children (if they had any) are no longer young, and yet most of the women are still working and not available for the weekday activities of retirees’ groups. However, there are no specific age requirements, and new participants are always welcome! The Mark-a-ritas meet monthly and take turns planning the activities. Whether an event is strictly social or includes a study or service project, you can count on the fact that plenty of conversation and laughter will be included.
A men’s group that meets on the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays of the month for breakfast and fellowship at 7:30 a.m. at Coco’s (7250 N. Oracle Road). Breakfast is served from the menu and the meetings are over by 9:00 a.m.
This group of retirees gets together once a month for lunch, dining at a variety of restaurants in the Tucson area throughout the year. Both couples and individuals are welcome to attend. Watch the Sunday bulletin announcements or the Messenger for monthly locations and the deadline date for reservations.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Volunteers knit or crochet shawls for those in hospitals, care facilities, etc. Shawls are also presented at the time of baptism. The group typically meets at the church on the last Saturday of the month. Shawls may be created from home, once the individual has received appropriate instructions.
Ties That Bind Ministry
Ties That Bind is our prayer quilt ministry. We promote prayer through the use of handmade, lap sized quilts which are blessed by members of our congregation and others as they tie knots in the threads while saying prayers for someone in need of prayer. The prayer quilts are a gift of love, prayer, and our belief in God and his power to comfort, strengthen and heal. Ties that Bind is different than St. Mark’s other quilting and prayer shawl ministries and is an addition to the unique ways we can bless those in need of our prayers through our Congregational Care Ministries. We meet the first and third Mondays each month to sew. Donations of cotton fabric and monetary gifts are greatly appreciated.
The St. Mark’s Quilters meet on Thursday mornings to plan patterns, cut fabric and quilt, as well as to enjoy conversation while they work. Quilts we make are donated to different services in the Tucson area. To raise funds for batting and supplies, people bring quilts to us they wish to have hand quilted and a group of our ladies do that for a fee. Donations of fabric, batting, and monetary gifts are greatly appreciated.