May 2024

Markings Newsletter

Volume: 83   |    Issue: 05

Growing in Grace and Living Our Faith

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

Greetings Saint Mark’s Community,

Grace and peace to you from our loving and merciful God. I write to you today with a message of encouragement – to grow and to live out our faith in meaningful ways.

As believers, we are called to a life of ongoing transformation. Christian life is a dynamic journey of satisfaction continually being conformed to the image of Christ. Apostle Paul exhorts us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). This means deepening our relationship with God, studying our bible, allowing the Holy Spirit to rid our hearts and minds of unloving patterns while cultivating the fruit of the Spirit.

Growth in grace must translate into how we live out our faith. Apostle James reminds us that “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17). Our salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone. True faith will inevitably bear fruit in our actions. We are called to be “doers of the word, not hearers only” (James 1:22). This means loving our neighbor, caring for the poor and marginalized, pursuing justice, thus being salt and light in a dark world.

Beloved Community, let us heed this call to grow in grace and live out our faith, drawing near to God, studying His word and surrendering our lives to His transforming power. Let us demonstrate the reality of our faith through lives of compassion, service, and obedience, bringing glory to God and being living witnesses to the transformative power of the gospel.

This month, we will explore the impact of God’s labor of Love in the life of early believers and on the world. I invite us all to consider our own labor of love and what God will bring forth in us as we we journey toward lives filled with love and grace.

I look forward to seeing you all for the upcoming series. Please invite someone who might be impacted by this word of life.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and give you peace.


Pastor Quentisha Davis Wiles, Senior Pastor

Staff Updates – Ginny Romero

It is with great sadness, but with understanding, that I share with you that Robert told Staff Parish Relations that he is resigning from his Music Ministry position here at Saint Mark’s as of June 23.

Robert started as organist/accompanist at Saint Mark’s in November of 2016. He brought with him tremendous organist skills, and has grown so much in the 8 years he has been here. We have been inspired, energized, and loved the music he has provided, along with the other gifts he has brought with him.

During the tumultuousness of the past few years, he and his Music Ministry have been a Godsend.

I know we all wish him well, and will want to thank him for all of the beautiful music he has played as part of his Ministry in the Worship Services, and many other events here at church. Staff Parish will be presenting him with a monetary farewell gift of gratitude on June 23. If you would like to contribute to that, please designate it for Robert’s farewell gift.

Please include Robert and his wife Paula in your prayers, along with the Staff Parish Relations Committee as we endeavor to find someone to lead the Saint Mark’s Music Ministry. Martti Eckert is the point person from SPRC where resume’s and questions can be sent. He is working with an initial team of two other SPRC members. Martti can be contacted at:

Minister of Music Search

With Robert’s impending departure in June, Saint Mark’s Staff Perish Relations Committee (SPRC) is searching for his replacement. The Minister of Music will lead all aspects of the church’s music-related ministry, including selecting music to be played during worship services, playing the pipe organ and piano at services and other events, leading the choir and instrumental groups, and coordinating volunteer and outside groups’ participation. If you are interested in applying for this essential role within the congregation or know someone else who may be interested, please contact Martti Eckert at SPRC is accepting resumes through Friday, May 24.

Upcoming Summer Challenge - Read a chapter a day, hosted by Rev. Motoe Yamada Foor

We’re thrilled to invite you to embark on a transformative journey with the Read a Chapter a Day challenge! Reading the Bible is one of the essential spiritual practices of disciples.

Join the Summer challenge to read a chapter of Acts a day, starting the day after Memorial Day, May 27, concluding on Independence Day, July 4.

This challenge is an opportunity for us to grow together in faith, wisdom, and community. We had 1000+ people join the Lenten Challenge and I hope you will join us and invite others!!!

If you’re already a part of our Lenten Challenge newsletter, there’s nothing more you need to do. You’re all set and will automatically receive emails with scriptures. If you would like to sign up, use the link below.

New Volunteer Opportunity! Loaves & Fishes

Saint Mark’s has started a team at Loaves and Fishes to make a difference in the lives of the hungry. We are looking for volunteers who can commit to just 3 hours a month to help out. We will be volunteering the 4th Wednesdays of the month, starting May 22nd.

Food preparers are needed from 7 AM to 10 AM, and servers are needed from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. We will be doing both prepping and serving so if you prefer one time, we can add you to that team. If you are able to lend a hand, please reach out to Allen Riker at 916.873.3779 or email him at

Let’s embody the spirit of Matthew 25 verse 35: “For I was hungry and you gave me food.” May our efforts at Loaves and Fishes be blessed by God.

Deepest Sympathy for the Passing of Joyce Estes

Our beloved sister in Christ, Joyce Estes, passed away Saturday, April 20th. Joyce’s devotion to her family, church family, and broader community was an inspiration. Only recently did she pass the baton of leadership at Family Promise, a non-profit that prevents and ends homelessness for families with children and helps them achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response. Joyce brought laughter to everything she participated in. She made serving fun and collected a core group of people to join in service with her. She will be deeply missed here at Saint Mark’s by many and leaves behind big shoes to fill.

A longtime memorial service coordinator, Joyce had many opinions on how her memorial service would be planned. Her service will be on Saturday, June 1, at 1 pm here at Saint Mark’s, with a reception to follow immediately afterward in MacMurdo Hall.

Equipping, Educating, Informing & Engaging

A Conversation with Iola Halligan - Written by Chris Harris

I had the pleasure a few Sundays ago to have a conversation with our very own Iola Halligan. If you have not met or had the pleasure to be in conversation or her company, I sincerely encourage you to seek her out when you have the opportunity. She is the embodiment of what it means to be a Servant Leader. She finds empowerment in being concerned and encouraging of others in their faith walks, planning and organizing various ministries that have touched each of us anytime we participate in an activity on the Saint Marks Campus. I have known this infectious passion within her all the years I have known her and have been able to call her a friend.

How long have you been a Methodist and how long have you been a part of the St. Marks Community?

My journey with Methodism began in 1950 while I was attending Dakota Wesleyan University in South Dakota. Senator George McGovern was my history teacher while attending school there. This was the beginning of my commitment to service. My college was all about commitment and service to others, and it has stayed with me all these years. I was a part of the Methodist Student Movement while attending school. I started attending St. Marks in December 2004, so I have been around 19 years.

Why have you stayed dedicated to the Church all these years?

The emphasis that was instilled in me while I was in college and my family upbringing have been the main reasons. My parents and family have always been very active in church. My mother was a Sunday school teacher. I married a preacher. Worked as a Church Secretary in Portland, Oregon at a Methodist Church. Growing up we only missed going to church a handful of times. So it has always just been a part of my life. 

What ministries have you enjoyed being an active part of over the years?

I joined United Women in Faith (UWF) formally (UMW) in 1955 and have enjoyed all the activities and opportunities it has provided me over the years. I have enjoyed teaching Sunday School, Church Camps, Vacation Bible School. Recently it has been my mission to make sure that all folks who cannot make it to church physically anymore (shut-in’s) get a regular phone call to let them know that we still care and are thinking about them. Communication is very important to people, and it has been my ministry to make sure that we keep in touch the best way possible.

What is your definition of what it means to Serve?

It all really boils down to “commitment”. You must commit yourself to do the best that you can do. Sometimes your service may be longer than you may want or think but committing yourself to that project or ministry for the betterment of the community. Be that example for others to get involved in service to others.

What has been the most meaningful Ministry you have participated in thus far in your life in the Church? Why?

There have been two I have gotten real fulfillment. Helping plan and coordinate the Memorial Receptions for 14 years and calling on Shut-ins in our community. Each ministry has provided me the opportunity to be in service and support to others in their time of need. These ministries have let people know that they are not forgotten. It’s an opportunity to learn about people and to stay in touch with them as they deal with life. Planning for Memorial Receptions is a very important and appreciated service for all those families experiencing the loss of a loved one. It has truly been a humbling ministry for me over the years.

What sage wisdom do you have for people looking to share their gifts with the Saint Marks Community?

Don’t be shy and let the leadership know what you are capable of doing or interested. Don’t be afraid to step up and participate no matter how big or small the contribution is to the life of the church. Don’t be afraid to try and try again if you have too. Attend District and Conference trainings. Be willing to do what is needed and willing to learn and explore new opportunities. Things don’t always have to be done the same way. Just step-up. Your gifts and graces will be a blessing for all in the community.

Final Thoughts:

I again want to take a moment to say a great thank you to Iola for her time. Your commitment and your service are a true testament of what we should all be striving for on our faith journeys. Be willing to step-up and say yes to the empowerment and ministry to others. There are many things that happen behind the scenes by individuals to order the life of the church on Sunday mornings and community of Saint Marks during the rest of the time that we don’t always see. As Iola said we must be willing to step-up, take a chance to experience something new, and just be committed to sharing your gifts and graces for the betterment of the Saint Marks Community. Continued Blessing to each and everyone of you.

An Interfaith View of Women's Groups

At the Tuesday, May 13, gathering of Saint Mark’s United Women in Faith members of the Jewish and Islamic faiths will be welcomed to share key concepts that guide the women’s groups in their local congregations. Ms. Xi Aryail Ox of the AS-Sabur Masjid and Lani Fuzessery with Lindie Henderson of B’nai Israel will discuss the work of the women’s groups in their congregations. Refreshments will be served at 9:45 AM to begin the gathering in MacMurdo Hall. Newcomers are always welcome.

Nature Walk at Ancil Hoffman Park

June 8, 9 AM – 12 Noon UWF is hosting a Nature Walk at Ancil Hoffman Park followed by a picnic lunch. Everyone is invited especially those with children. The walk will be led by Saint Mark’s member, Mary Maret. Mary recently retired as a Biologist for the American River Parkway. She has a Master’s Degree in Botany. It will be a walk you won’t want to miss!

We will meet at the Maret’s home and walk over to the park. You can also park at Ancil Hoffman (fee of $8.00 per car). Bring a picnic lunch & drink or snack to enjoy after the walk. RSVP is encouraged so we won’t leave without you. Contact Margie Shunk at or 916 771-3204 to RSVP and to get Mary’s address.

United Women in Faith May Circle Happenings & You’re Invited!

For more info contact the Circle Leader listed

New Prayer Requests

Friends and family upon the passing of beloved Joyce Estes

Arcadio “Snooky” Santiago

Erica Williams

Xavia Ortiz

Dejohn, Innes and John Davis

Billy Garner

Holding in Prayer

Jessie and Deborah Wiles

Erster Koker

Heinrich & Gladys Lugert

Joe Eckardt

Santana Santiago and family for the loss of their

son Daniel James Santiago

Iola Halligan

Jim Bulls

Daniel Isaac Asprer

Rachel Arambulo

Cath Fenimore-Brown

Rebecca Fain

Kathy Johnson

Kathy Atkins

Cathe Chatterton

Nicola Biasi

Deanna McKnight

John Miller

Danielle Ortiz

Debbie Wiles

Robin Ware

Brenda Zipners

Pastor Linda Kelly

Khady Bannister

Crystal Grant

Richard Burns and Bob Jacobs

Millie Loutensock

Wayne Turner

Pam and Chris Waldrep

Luci Schwartz

Mary Ann Gile

Robert Grieve

Ann Parsons

Paul Blankenship

Charlotte Gardner

Lucy Jeffries

Olivia Jones

Prayers for world peace

Weekly Financial Update 4-8 to 4-14

Special Offering: $50

Total Contributions: $14,117.83

  • General: $13,937.83
  • Designated: $180

March Monthly Financial Totals

Total Income YTD through March = $169,306.28

Total Expenses YTD through March = $157,811.88

2024 Annual Budget: $704,231

Monthly Requirement: $58,686

Mercy Pedalers Monthly Update

Sleeping bags

  • received: 55
  • Distributed: 51
  • Remaining: 4


  • Received: 36
  • Distributed: 35
  • Remaining:1


  • Received: 34
  • Distributed: 34
  • Remaining: 0