The newsletter for St. Mark's UMC in Murfreesboro, TN
"The Messenger"  Online Newsletter
November 6, 2018
From the Pastor

This Sunday in worship, we conclude our "We Promise" series that has examined how United Methodists vow to faithfully support the ministries of the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. We will focus on our commitment to prayer.

As part of the worship experience, I'll be inviting people to stand and briefly share something for which they're thankful. If you'd rather not stand, you can write down your brief statement of gratitude and I will read it for you. Please limit your comments to a short sentence or two.

It's hard to believe that the season of Advent begins on Sunday, December 2. The term "Advent" is a version of the Latin word that means "coming" and this season of the church is focused on preparing our minds and hearts for the many ways that Christ comes. 

During the season of Advent, our worship experiences will be grounded in viewing the Christmas story through the lens of the Serenity Prayer. Believed to have been written for a sermon by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in as early as 1934, the Serenity Prayer was brought to the attention of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1941 and has been a part of Twelve Step recovery programs ever since. 

I pray that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you're not sick or out of town, I hope to see you on Sunday.

It is a privilege to serve as one of your clergy.

The SAGES Ministry Team will not meet in December for a regular session.

The Senior Serenity Program and Luncheon will be held on Saturday, December 8. The day begins at 11:00 A.M. with a brief worship service and Christmas Communion in the sanctuary. We will then move to the Banquet Room for a wonderful lunch at 11:30 A.M. Finally, Santa will appear to cheer up everyone. All persons of our shut-in and caring list are invited along with their families. They are all guests of the SAGES. All Sages at St. Mark’s and friends are invited. The meal is $12. Please sign up in the church office. Look for the book!

Christmas at Beersheba is December 11. The church bus will leave at 8:30 A.M. The cost to ride the bus and the meal is a total of $23. Please sign up in the church office. You will enjoy Hor D’Oeuvres, a Christmas meal, special Christmas music, and a spirit-filled worship service. If you have never been for this Christmas adventure, you’re invited to come along.

The Minerva Harrell Sunday School Class will host dinner for the residents of the Fisher House on December 13.

The Alzheimer’s/Dementia Support Group will meet Thursday, December 20, 1:30 P.M. in Room 506.

The SAGES are meeting this week planning for a great year in 2019. One of those activities will include a trip to Kentucky – to The Ark and Shaker Village. Please consult this newsletter for all the wonderful SAGES activities. Please keep an eye on the SAGES bulletin Board in the Narthex for publicity of all our events.
Youth News  

We had a blast learning about our journeys as Christians at Fall Retreat a couple of weekends ago! Cedar Crest Camp was a great host as we did various rope courses, team-building activities, football, cards, and worship.

We will not have youth this Sunday evening due to the Thanksgiving holiday (Sunday school will be held that morning). We look forward to seeing everyone the next Sunday evening on December 2nd.

Don’t forget about the Merry Mission Marketplace on Wednesday evening, November 28th! The youth will have their own booth full of crafty type items and will be helping others vendors during the event, so there’s plenty of opportunity to help that evening. Come support the youth group during this important fundraiser!

We will have several events upcoming in the next few months, so stay tuned for updates!
Family, Food, Fellowship, Faith, and Fun for the whole Family!
Wednesday Night Together offers a full menu of
delicious food, warm table fellowship, and
fun and formative weekly classes, groups and events for all ages!

5:15 - 6:00 p.m. Church Family Dinner
Reservations due by 12:00 p.m. Monday
$6.00/Adult, $2.00/Children and MTSU Students, $20.00/Family Max

Tuesday, November 20th
Thanksgiving Dinner 5:15 p.m.
Menu: Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, Squash Casserole, Green Beans, Gravy, Cranberry Salad, Pumpkin Pie.

Thanksgiving Worship 6:00 – 7:15 p.m.
After the meal, you are invited to worship through worship and prayer stations in the Rec. Center. These stations will invite worshippers of all ages to offer thanksgiving to God through creative expression and interactive experiences as they travel through the stations on their own or as a family.
The worship stations will be available from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Then, we will all gather together to celebrate Holy Communion at 7:00 p.m.
(concluding by 7:15 p.m.)

CLICK HERE  to view the schedule of Mid-Week
Holiday Celebrations Coming Up!
Please Return Pledge Cards
If you have not yet returned your 2019 pledge card (your estimate of giving for the coming year), please consider doing so as soon as possible. Receiving your estimate of giving helps make it possible for us to budget, plan and provide adequate resources for our ministries.

My hope is that your financial commitment will be an important step in your faith. Generosity is a personal act of worship where we express our gratitude to God for what God has done, is doing, and will do for us. 
You may mail your pledge card to the office or bring it to church on Sunday and place it in the offering plate.
SAVE THE DATE – Merry Mission Marketplace
Wednesday, November 28, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Help your Christmas dollars give twice – once to purchase a lovely gift,
and again to support a local mission or ministry!   
Lots of new vendors and new gifts to purchase!  
Bring your friends! CLICK HERE to see a full list of Vendors
Advent Prayer Calendars and Devotional Guides Available
Advent, the beginning of the Church Year, is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas, as well as the return of Christ at the second coming. Advent is a version of the Latin word meaning "coming."  Advent is observed the four weeks prior to Christmas, which this year are December 2, 9, 16 and 23.

One way we prepare our hearts for Advent is through focused devotion and prayer.  Free Advent Prayer Calendars and Devotional Guides will be available Sunday, December 2nd. Special guides for children and families will be provided at the Welcome Center.
"Angels of Advent"
Playshop for Children
and their Families

Sunday, December 2, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
St. Mark’s UMC Narthex
CLICK HERE for more Information!
St. Mark's Food Drive
One Can, Two Can! Who Can? You Can!

St. Mark’s UMC 2018 Food Drive  
Final Day to Bring Food: Tuesday, November 20 th

JAM Session 5 th /6 th  Grade Food Packing Event
Wednesday, Nov. 21st , 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
St. Mark's Narthex/Banquet Hall
Lunch Following - Bring $$ for Lunch!

Siblings welcome with parents.
All participants and volunteers please RSVP to  

"For I was hungry, and you gave me food..."  ~ Matthew 25:35
St. Mark's Gift Bag Ministry 
Provides Christmas for 200+ Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Graders from Reeves Rogers Elementary School.

Choose a Gift Bag and WRITE YOUR NAME next to that bag's #. Follow the directions inside and fill it with new, small, age-appropriate gift items. Return your Gift Bag to the table by Sunday, December 16th.

NEED MORE INFORMATION? - Contact Rev. Martha Touchton (615) 893-3455. Sponsored by the Children's Ministries Team
“Christ the Savior Is Born”
4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Worship 
Especially for Families with Young Children
(Volunteers Needed!)

The Children’s Ministries Team offers a 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve worship service especially for families with young children which includes music, readings, drama and prayers led by our children and their families. Children who are willing to share their talents through singing, playing an instrument, reading or leading a prayer are invited to volunteer to Rev. Touchton. Families are also invited to volunteer to serve as greeters, ushers and communion servers.
In Other News...
Thank You Note - We received a thank you note from Rutherford County Schools fine arts program for hosting their Learning Clinic. READ IT HERE.

Caregivers Afternoon Out - Advent Lutheran Church is host a day out for caregivers of children with disabilities on Saturday, December 1 from 1 - 5 p.m. Please see the flyer HERE for more information.

View Our Current  Prayer List

See Our Full  Event Calendar

Missed a Sermon?  Click  HERE  to go to our sermons media page
St. Mark's UMC | (615) 893-3455 |