Many have been asking how they can best support the families who are victims of the fires in Northern California, specifically Sonoma County/Santa Rosa. A list of needed supplies was published on October 12. Since that date, the centers in the area have been inundated with supplies and are now encouraging people to donate funds for the on-going needs to recover and rebuild.
For many years, St. Mark’s has been a champion voice for Social Justice. As the political climate has been churning around refugees and deportation, St. Mark’s leadership began to consider how to best be supportive. At our March 2017 Church Council meeting, a group of individuals expressed interest in exploring what it would mean to become a Sanctuary Congregation.
St. Marks has adopted homelessness as its main focus. It advocates for affordable clean and safe housing and just mortgage and rental practices and provides temporary or permanent housing and material aid (water and sanitation facilities) for local, national and global communities in need. It supports the work of the following programs to achieve adequate housing for all, as well as other organizations and initiatives combating homelessness.
As a progressive church, St. Marks seeks to eliminate distrust, cultural and religious bias and the resulting conflict, violence and war, while building global understanding and cooperation locally and globally among faith groups and establishing common ground between races, cultures and faith traditions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and other religions. Supports the work of the following organizations:
Responsible for initiating and maintaining contact with our missionary and UM-Volunteers in Mssion work in Honduras, Congo, Angola, Bolivia, and many other developing countries and supporting this work through gifts of money, material aid as well as provision of Sunday School curriculum materials. St. Mark’s United Methodist Church has a long history of supporting mission work throughout the world. Bill and Esther Finster came from St. Mark’s and were missionaries in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) from 1960-1985. They introduced to us the Chimonyos, who live in Zimbabwe.
Advocates and works for justice, quality of life and sensible use of sustainable resources (energy, food, water, clean air) for all people and for peace throughout the world, first by being informed and engaging as many persons as possible in critical study of the world’s great economic, environmental, cultural and political issues and formulating plans to inspire and support action whenever our faith calls us to address these issues. Recognizes that policies that deplete resources and environmental policy, are a threat to both health and peace.
Supports the formation and growth of new United Methodist Churches in the Sacramento region. Represents St. Marks United Methodist Church on the S.U.M.U. Board. Contact: Cynthia Lawrence, St. Mark’s Representative, (916) 481-3592.
Works to alleviate hunger in the local community, nationally and around the world, with gifts and education to overcome poverty, malnutrition and waterborne diseases and to advocate for just, sustainable food and agricultural policies that lead to local self sufficiency in food production. The task force supports the following below programs. Contact: Cynthia Lawrence, (916) 481-3592.
Members: Jane Henderson, Fred Stallcop, Cecilia Stallcop.
St. Marks works with local emergency response organizations to be prepared for adequate and coordinated responses to natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, fires or pandemic disease outbreaks, through coordination with other churches, first responders and other relief organizations.