January 2024

Markings Newsletter

Volume: 79   |    Issue: 01

From Rev. Quentisha Davis Wiles, MSW, ASW, MDIV, Senior Pastor​

Happy New Year, Saint Mark’s Community!

God is GREAT and is doing great things in and through us. We are truly blessed and endowed with the gift of love and an amazing community to share our journey. 2024 is our year to Cultivate the Harvest! What Harvest you ask? God’s people near and far-the churched and unchurched. We are called into the faithful community to bring God’s “kingdom to earth as it is in Heaven.” What that means in plain terms is this, we care for each other, lend a voice to the voiceless, empower the perceived helpless and inspire hope in hopeless situations. Our work is to extend ourselves and the community to impact the world around us. And it starts with us!

Saint Mark’s is embarking on a mission to “grow a thriving, inclusive and diverse congregation that engages the broader community with compassionate acts.” The first step necessary to grow is to ensure we have proper food for our spiritual diets. This requires us to be connected to a circle or group committed to growing in faith and sharing the journey. We are called to be a missional church-that means we all serve-and use our gifts to impact the quality of life and overall mission of the church. So, my first order of business is to ensure we are all connected to a ministry that nurtures and cares for us, strengthens and equips us to do compassionate acts in our personal lives and the greater community. Are you connected? If not, it’s time to get connected.

This year we will unveil Saint Mark’s 2024-2027 Strategic Plan which offers new and exciting ministries underway. I invite us to journey with us joyfully and expectantly into the New Year as we go boldly into our destiny-following the leading, guiding & directing of the Holy Spirit.

May we remember the prophet Jeremiah and the community he was called to when God reminded him to understand the times and consider how to be in community during trying times. Jeremiah 29:7 “…And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” (NLT)

Ready or Not, 2024, here we come~

May God bless and keep you.

Pastor Quentisha

New Classes Starting at Saint Mark's!

New Members Class

There will be a New Members Class on February 17th 9:30 am-1 pm in E-26. The sign-up sheet is in the Narthex

Lenten Study

Lent is early this year! There will be two Lenten Study classes,

  • Online: Mondays 2/19 & 3/18 at 6:30 pm
  • In-Person: Thursdays 2/22 & 3/21 at 11 am in E-25.

The Lenten Study for Monday is People of the Passion by Cathy Randell. Thursday study is Mosaic: When God Uses All the Pieces by Shane Stanford. The sign up sheet is in the Narthex.

Lay Leader Report for 2023

Submitted by Christopher Harris, Lay Leader

I am not sure if you are like me in saying “Wow” another year has gone bye-bye so fast. As we look back on 2023 much has happened and taken place in the community of Saint Mark’s. It was a busy year for ministry and planning for the community’s future. It was a year in which much has changed, much is happening, and much more to come in the new year.

As part of our “Hope for Harvest Campaign” we as a community made a commitment to a new Vision, Mission, Core values, and Guiding principles as the pillars of how we will move forward with ministries as an organization for the foreseeable future. These are not just words on a piece of paper, but how we see ourselves moving forward to a brighter future in the 21st century as a church community.

As in past years, it has truly been extraordinary time for our community. We paid off the mortgage for the Education Building making us debt free. The Website has been refreshed and updated for easier usage and providing timely information. The branding initiatives have provided a new look and feel for all our communications whether in print or electronic form. Our logo has been refreshed and updated.

There has been refreshing of the Fireside Room in the Education Building with new paint and carpeting. The lobby, stairwell, and two bathrooms in the Sanctuary Building have or are in the process of being updated with painting with completion anticipated in the coming weeks. With many other projects on the horizon to happen in the coming year.

The Community of Saint Mark’s continues to be blessed by the leadership, ministries, and vision of Pastor Quentisha. Also, I want to take a moment to thank all those in leadership who have served on our various Leadership Teams. Your dedication to the ministries of the Saint Mark’s is truly appreciated and does not go without notice. Without your countless hours of dedication to this community much would not happen. It is each of you and your tireless efforts that make this community a blessing to all who encounter its ministries and service.

The ministry, mission, and purpose of this community has never been clearer and brighter. I am very humbled and proud to say that the Saint Mark’s Community continues to be strong in its commitment to serving our Lord. This community continues to graciously share their Gifts, Talents, Wisdom, and Time. We continue to strive to be that beacon of hope and grace to the wider community and world.

As we begin 2024 and start the process of “Cultivating the Harvest” with the implementation of our new strategic plan. The blessings will continue to flow. I must say that it was truly exciting to see eleven new members join the community a few weeks ago. I look forward to seeing them grow in their faith and commitment to our mission: Growing a thriving, inclusive, and diverse congregation that engages the broader community with compassionate acts.

There is much happening in the Saint Mark’s Community. The coming year will be one full of Faith, Hope, Growth, Anticipation, and Blessings as we continue our spiritual journeys individually and collectively as a community. Looking forward to taking the walk with each of you as we find our ways on this journey.

Continued Blessing to the Saint Marks Community and each of you!

Staff Transition

Irene Celedon, our Church Administrator of seven years, will have her last day at Saint Mark’s Wednesday, January 3rd. She and her family are moving for her husband’s reassignment. We are grateful for her years of service to our community and wish her and her family all the best on their new adventure!

Marketing and Communications team member, Amelia Romero, has been hired as the new Administrator. Amelia spent the past two years working as the Operations Coordinator and Executive Assistant for a non-profit at the US/Mexico border. She has been a leader in the rebranding initiative, including redesigning the website, re:Mark’s, Markings, bulletin and worship slides. You can reach her at aromero@stmarksumc.com. Let’s welcome Amelia to this new role.

Farewell from Irene Celedon

Dear Saint Mark’s family,

After seven incredible years, it’s bittersweet to bid farewell to this amazing congregation on January 3. I am grateful for the memories, friendships, and professional growth that I’ve experienced here. I want to express my deepest appreciation to each one of you for the support, collaboration, and shared moments that have enriched my time and life at Saint Mark’s. As I embark on a new chapter, I carry with me the valuable lessons and experiences shared within these walls. Thank you for being a part of this journey. Wishing you all continued success and looking forward to staying in touch.

Best regards,


Belated Christmas Brunch

Sandy Allen will be hosting a belated Christmas brunch on January 21st, in MacMurdo Hall, after the Worship Service. If you would like to help, call Sandy Allen (number in the directory), otherwise come to the brunch and have a good time!

Music Ministry

Does music transform you? Join Saint Mark’s music ministry. Use your passion and God-given gift to bring Love, Light, and Transformation to our world. Everyone is welcome. Choir practice is Thursday’s at 6:30 pm & Sundays at 8:30 am

Rainbow Alliance

Hello, This is Richard Fox, and I am the new chair of the Rainbow Alliance Committee. It is my hope that our group will be both active and effective in our outreach efforts. Happy New Year.

United Women in Faith - Special Mission Recognition Pin Awarded

The purpose of United Women in Faith, formerly United Methodist Women, is to improve the lives of women, children and youth. The Special Mission Recognition Pin is an opportunity for United Women in Faith units to honor a special recipient who has distinguished themselves in advancing the purpose of UWF and have also dedicated much time and effort to service.

Our UWF unit was pleased to present a Mission Recognition Pin to Nancy Landrum and Colleen Brinkmann.

Nancy dedicates her time and service in many ways. As UWF vice president she arranges for our monthly speakers. She loves to cook and was the head chef and lunch coordinator for the CA-NV UWF Annual Conference held at Saint Mark’s in October. The children at Saint Mark’s have been blessed with her willingness to help out at events held on their behalf such as Vacation Bible School. Nancy for years has been a volunteer at the Front Street Animal Shelter. She saw a need for pet beds, so she was instrumental in having UWF make pet beds for the dog and cats as a service project.

Colleen, too, is dedicated to service and gives of her time and talent to Saint Mark’s.

For Vacation Bible School, she listened to our ideas and created the publicity announcement, flyer, and t-shirt design we needed. It was catchy and colorful and drew kids to the event which is what we had hoped for.

At the time we needed her talent, she was in the midst of leading Saint Mark’s in a project to develop brand recognition that will create awareness of who we are and what we do. It would have been easy and understandable for her to say no to taking on another project but that’s not her. She has spent countless hours working with dozens of people to create Our Vision, Our Mission, Our Core Values, and Our Guiding Principals.

I think the words SERVE THE LORD have been with Nancy and Colleen all their lives.

Thank you both so much!

Margie Shunk, UWF President

Sacramento Habitat for Humanity “Build for Unity”

Saint Mark’s is again forming a team to work on the annual “Build for Unity” project, which started in Sacramento and is now alive in many US cities and some other countries. We will join with members of other faith groups to demonstrate interfaith cooperation, love and compassion in a world sorely broken and in need of redemption. Our team will work on a home for a deserving family in Oak Park on Saturday, Feb. 10th and Saint Mark’s will provide a cash donation of $1000 for materials. Thank you for your long time support of Sacramento Habitat. Our team (10) is currently full. We might be able to add one more person though—let us know if you are interested. John and Miriam McCormack

Sac ACT Annual Event - Home is Sacred

“Home is Sacred” is the theme of Sacramento Area Congregations Together 2024 fundraiser.

Sunday March 3, 2024 4-5:30 pm

  • Place: Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento
  • 2425 Sierra Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95825
  • Tickets: $25 per person
  • Includes hors d’oeuvres (Halal, kosher & vegan options)

Join us as we honor Rabbi Mona Alfi, Congregation B’nai Israel and Shireen Miles of Trinty Cathedral for their exceptional response, care and commitment during the migrant arrival crisis.

New Prayer Requests

Rev. Quentisha Davis Wiles

Jean Fado

Khady Bannister

Margo Perry for

health and healing

Richard Burns and Bob Jacobs

Marie Smith

Doreen Hinshaw

Crystal Grant

Saint Mark’s 2024 Leadership-the fulfillment of our Vision, Mission, and Direction and for God’s love, mercy, and grace to abound in the lives of our entire community, in Jesus’ name

Prayers for world peace

Food Closet/Food Basket Update

Thank you to everyone for making the holiday season special for all our guests. The appreciation expressed by those who received either food baskets or gift cards to WinCo, the week before Christmas, was heartfelt and made the extra cost and effort worth it. 25 meals and almost $1,000 in gift cards (all donated by Saint Mark’s saints!) were distributed to over 50 households. Since this special distribution, guests have continued to express how much the food helped them celebrate and have a special meal with family.

Since Christmas, the Food Closet has continued to serve an average of 60 families a week, feeding approximately 250 family members. We continue to need donations of both food and money. On average, costs have increased by 30% over the past year. Your continued support is necessary for the Food Closet to maintain the level of giving we have been able to provide to our guests over the past years. Please give what you can to help our food insecure neighbors. Gifts of money and food items will be greatly accepted.


Saint Mark’s Mercy Pedalers Sleeping Bag, Tent & Tarp Drive Update

January through April, we will need items such as disposable rain ponchos, used or new sweatpants and sweatshirts, used or new men’s jeans in all sizes, and men’s and women’s new socks.

The Big 5 discount coupon has expired. Thank you to all who used it to buy supplies.

As of 1/3/24

  • Sleeping Bags: 11, Received: 52, Distributed: 41
  • Tents: 2, Received: 33, Distributed: 31
  • Tarps: 6, Received: 32, Distributed: 26

We are very grateful for all the donations of food and miscellaneous items we distribute weekly. Unhoused neighbors in Arden-Arcade know they can get emergency clothing and supplies every Wednesday morning. They recognize the car magnets with our logo, and are always happy to see us. Thank you for the interest and support we receive from Saint Mark’s family and friends. Blessings, Jan

Holding in Prayer

Wayne Turner

Pam and Chris Waldrep for health and healing

Luci Schwartz

Mary Ann Gile

Dick and Jan Dell

Lori and Dick Bishop

Sarah Holst for healing

Robert Grieve for health, healing, and decisions

Sharon Grieve

Johanna Brownell

Ann Parsons

Lois Adamek

Paul Blankenship

Charlotte Gardner

Lucy Jeffries

Peggy Smith

Olivia Jones

To be added to the Prayer List please contact Amelia Romero at 916.483.7848

January Financial Update

Special Offering: $30.00

Contributions: $62,890.94

Annual Budget: $683,193

Monthly Requirement: $56,933

Received through 11-5 to 12-14

General: $57,385.34

Designated: $5.505.60

Total Income YTD through November


Total Expenses YTD through November