April 2024

Markings Newsletter

Volume: 82   |    Issue: 04

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

Joyous Greetings, Saint Mark’s Community,

We have something to be excited about. Now in the season of Pentecost, we are invited to embrace the activity of God’s Spirit in our personal lives. Some of you might be wondering, “What does that mean?” Well, I am glad you asked.

Acts 2:1-4 (ESV) reads, “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” This period marked a turning point in their faith. Jesus was no longer physically with them, and they were distraught. The interesting thing here is how they chose to proceed in faith seeking confirmation, affirmation and help from God through prayer and partnership. What can we learn from their traumatic experience and seemingly desperate plea to God?

So, hearing about Jesus is wonderful, but it’s not enough. Learning about how God’s spirit moved through Christ and his disciples is altogether different. The learning process is designed to inform, education, equip, inspire, and propel us to seek an intimate relationship with the Spirit and facilitate Christian witness.

When you think about God’s Spirit, what comes to mind? What do you imagine when you think about the presence of God? Are you open to an encounter with God’s spirit or are you skeptical?

Wherever you are I want you to know God loves you. I also want you to know, you are the only one who can take the next step on your faith journey to explore and answer these questions.

There is something significant about being together in prayer to seek God for help. So, I invite you to a collective prayer on Mondays at 7:00 PM at your home. Set aside time to pray and seek God with love, devotion, and expectation.

I pray God ignites your heart and gives you a desire to grow in your faith through a personal encounter with God.

May God bless and keep you,

Pastor Quentisha Davis Wiles, Senior Pastor

Missionary in Residence - Barbara Eychaner, Historian

In February 1988, the Saint Mark’s Mission Commission reported inquiring about a pen pal relationship with a United Methodist minister in South Africa. In September of that year, application was made to the Board of Conference Mission Strategy for special funding to bring a minister and family to be in residence at Saint Mark’s for three months. The purpose was to educate our congregation about apartheid; we would provide transportation, food and housing (with lay leader Ira Haberle). The residency would also allow the family respite from their lives in South Africa under apartheid. Saint Mark’s also expressed hope that the ministry would be shared with our ecumenical community as well as the district and conference.

The budget for this undertaking was just under twenty thousand dollars. In addition to grant money, a special offering was taken. How would we know if this project had been successful? The congregation would be more aware of the difficulties in South Africa and have empathy for blacks living under apartheid.

Rev. Lungisa Nyangane and family arrived in San Francisco on January 5, 1989. A welcoming reception was held after services on January 8. Although the minutes from mission commission meeting report little about the events, the historic record contains letters scheduling events and expressing thanks for involvement. For example, a letter was sent to KVIE requesting complimentary tickets to a presentation by Daniel Woods, author of Cry Freedom, and an audience with the author. A letter of appreciation was sent to the circulation director of the Sacramento Bee for providing delivery to the family. Pastor Don Fado and Rev. Nyangane both registered for the Earl Lectures in Berkeley. Rev. Nyangane also attended the Clergy Cluster in February.

A farewell potluck was held on April 2, before the family’s return to South Africa. After that several more letters of appreciation appear. Fred Bachen spent time showing the Nyangane family the ins and out of Senior Gleaners. Rev. Nyangane wrote to Mona Dyer to thank her for sending Sunday school material — and requesting more. Methodist Hospital received a letter in appreciation for the care given to Rev. Nyangane’s wife during an illness. The final letter in the record was to the General Board of Global Ministries with a check for $1000 to be used by Rev. Nyangane to help establish a daycare facility in their hometown.

What an amazing way to grow a thriving, inclusive and diverse community!

Exciting Sunday School News!

Calling all young people, Kindergarten through 5th grade! Beginning in April, kids will join the beginning of worship and leave after the Passing of the Peace. This gives them the opportunity to have a worship experience AND connect with the congregation. Children can either meet their teachers in their classroom and walk over to the Sanctuary with them or begin in the Sanctuary with their family. “We are excited about spending this special and sacred time with each of you,” expressed Boni Fields and Margie Shunk, Sunday School Coordinators.

Save the Date! Vacation Bible School 2024

“I am Wonderfully Made”

July 15 – 19

9:00 AM – 12 Noon

Ages 5 -15

Older Teens and Adults are encouraged to volunteer to help with this fun filled week.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Margie Shunk: margieshunk76@gmail.com 916.771.3204

Race Relations in the United Methodist Church

Please join UWF April 9 to hear Los Rios District Superintendent Rev. Shinya Goto share a message about race relations over the years in the United Methodist Church.

Light refreshments will be served at 9:45 AM. The program will begin at 10 AM, lasting an hour, including a Q&A at the end.

New Prayer Requests

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

The “Loaves & Fishes” Parable: One Generation’s Impact Multiplies into Four

“Mom, we gotta do this,” said 12-year-old Wendy to her mother, Jane Henderson, after hearing her grandparents speak of volunteering at Loaves & Fishes, a ministry to serve the unhoused, in 1988. The grandparents were none other than beloved members of Saint Mark’s, Dorothy and Ray Miller. One Saturday a month the Millers – and soon little Wendy and Jane, would join up with others from Saint Mark’s and Elk Grove United Methodist Churches to prepare hot casseroles in the commercial grade kitchen at Loaves & Fishes. The next month’s Saturday the group would serve the meals. And so, this rhythm continued for years.

Typically, 13 volunteers would arrive as early as 8:00 AM, prepare 25-30 large aluminum pans of Taco Casserole, and serve it with bread, vegetables, and dessert. Funds to purchase spices and the dessert were donated by church members.

“Serving at the front lines of needs was certainly an eye-opener for me. It touched me deeply, and led me to continue my passion to help food insecure neighbors,” said Jane who manages Saint Mark’s Food Closet Ministry.

Now, the fourth generation – Wendy’s two young daughters, carry forward their passion to serve those facing food insecurity. With Grandma Jane and their mother Wendy, they provide nutritious, shelf-stable foods to those in need through our Food Closet Ministry.

The seeds planted by Dorothy and Ray have multiplied, exemplifying the message of the loaves and fishes’ parable.

What seeds can you plant today? What seeds have you planted that have multiplied to bring faith to life? Where is God calling you to serve? Pause. Listen. Be silent. The answer will emerge.

Interested in helping organize a group to serve at Loaves & Fishes or our Food Closet? Contact the Church Office at: 916.483.7848.

To Our Wonderful Church Family,

Your prayers, cards, phone calls and support over this past year have helped Dick and me with his struggle with cancer. We have been so very blessed. There are no words to express our gratitude. Thank you for being there for us.

Blessings, Jan Dell and Family



Holding in Prayer

Millie Loutensock

Wayne Turner

Pam and Chris Waldrep for health and healing

Luci Schwartz

Mary Ann Gile

Robert Grieve for health, healing, and decisions

Sharon Grieve

Ann Parsons

Paul Blankenship

Charlotte Gardner

Lucy Jeffries

Olivia Jones

Prayers for world peace

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *