The newsletter for St. Mark's UMC in Murfreesboro, TN
"The Messenger"  Online Newsletter
October 10, 2018
From the Pastor

My friend and colleague Jacob Armstrong once shared that he and a group of pastors were discussing some of the issues facing the 21 st  century church. He acknowledged that the tone of the conversation was critical and cynical and that this group of clergy felt expertly qualified to point out all the faults of the people of God. 

As they were engaged in this cynical conversation, someone said something unthinkable and they said it to my friend, Jacob: "your wife is ugly." Number one, this guy had never met Jacob's wife. Number two, Jacob's wife is beautiful. Number three, here in the south, those types of insults often result in a throw-down. 

When Jacob didn't immediately respond, the guy said it again. Jacob looked around the room hoping to draw some type of cue from the others as to how to respond but the other people were just as confused as Jacob. 

Fortunately, the guy who made the comment didn't let the awkwardness linger long. "Isn't this what we essentially say to Jesus when we talk about the church the way we've been doing?" Suddenly, the rest of the group got his point.

The Bible refers to the church as Jesus' bride. For Jesus, the church is a thing of beauty but this group of pastors had been talking about how ugly she was. 

When you think about the Church universal and our church in particular, what's the tenor of your thoughts? Do you view the church in the way that a groom gazes at his bride? In the way that you give and serve and lead in the church, do your actions reflect your love for God and the Church as Christ's bride?

There are ugly aspects of every church and I'm not asking you to deny those realities. What I am asking you to do is to join me in shining light on the church's beauty and to do all that you can to make the church the beautiful bride of Christ that God intends.

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

The Alzheimer’s/Dementia Support Group will meet at 1:30 P.M. on Thursday, October 25 in Room 1203.

Any SAGES wishing to play in the St. Mark’s Golf Tournament can sign up in the church office. That will be at the Old Fort Park on October 13 at 7:30 AM.

The SAGES Ministry team will meet at 9:30 A.M. on Monday, October 15 in Rooms 503-505.

The SAGES will enjoy a cookout and program on Friday, October 19 in the St. Mark’s Banquet Room. Everyone is invited to the festivities at 11:00 A.M. Steak, Chicken, and Hamburgers will be grilled and ready for you. There will also be baked potatoes. These will all be served at noon. All SAGES are asked to bring side dishes to trim out the main course. This should be a good time for all. There is no cost for the meal. Ross Moore, humorist, musician, and entertainer will be the program.

Many other activities are planned for the rest of the year including a trip to Bell Buckle for lunch and visitation of the Southern Charms Boutique, our Senior Serenity Luncheon for Shut-ins and Families on December 8, and Christmas at Beersheba on December 11. Please keep an eye and ear on the newsletter and public announcements for more details.
Youth News  

Welcome back from Fall Break! Hopefully everyone had a good, relaxing break from school last week. It was great seeing so many people back this past Sunday, and we had a blast during our Game Night!

We will be on a relatively normal schedule for the next few weeks.

Sunday night youth will be at the normal time (5:00-7:15 pm) the next two weeks. Don’t forget that Sunday, October 28th is St. Mark’s Fall Festival. There will not be Sunday night youth on that day.

We are going to Cedar Crest this year for Fall Retreat, November 9th-11th! The weekend will be filled with activities like a high-ropes course, campfires, plenty of free time, fellowship, and learning about Christianity. We will leave Friday evening and return Sunday afternoon. The cost for the retreat is $110, and sign-up sheets with more details will be available this week back by the Youth Center. This is always one of our best events of the year where we grow closer together as a group, establish lasting relationships, and deepen our faith while having a good time. We hope everyone is able to come! As always, if there are any issues with paying for the trip, please let one of the leaders know - scholarships are available.
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

6:00 – 7:15 p.m. WEDNESDAY NIGHT PRAISE for Children
6:15 – 7:15 p.m. CLASSES AND GROUPS for youth and adults
New Adult Classes Coming in October:
Oaks Keep Growing – led by Brian Seadorf
Stories of Invention and Technology – led by Dr. Jim Hutchinson
Camino Pilgrimage – Rev. Mary Dicken
Pickle Ball – led by Meg Van Patten and Patti Daws 
CLICK HERE  to view the current 2018 WNT BROCHURE
General Conference Listening Session
The Tennessee Conference delegation will host multiple Listening Sessions this Fall  to hear from you  as they prepare to attend the Special Session of General Conference in St. Louis on February 23-26, 2019.

Please note: this is NOT a presentation, but rather an opportunity for YOU to express your opinions and concerns as well as to pray with delegation members.

The Listening Session in the Stones River District will be Sunday, October 14, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Manchester First UMC.
Read more about it HERE
MTSU Blue Raiders present St. Mark’s Day!
Join your St. Mark’s FAMILY
for FUN and FOOTBALL!!!
Saturday, October 20th
Game Time: 2:00 pm 
Reserved seats $8.00 each
payable to St. Mark’s UMC

What your ticket includes: 
  • Reserved seats grouped together in the Family Fun Zone. Come early to enjoy free bounce houses, balloon artists, sponsor giveaways and much more 
  • See St. Mark's United Methodist on the giant Blue Tube
  • Children 12 & under participate in the halftime High-Five Tunnel in front of 25,000 fans! 

Purchase your Tickets in the Narthex on Sundays or Wednesdays
Or through the Church Office Monday – Friday until Wednesday, October 10
Friends and Family are welcome!

CLICK HERE to print a Ticket Reservation Form
Save the Date!

Sunday, October 28,
3:30 – 6:30 p.m.
at Reeves Rogers
Elementary School

We are excited about St. Mark’s Fall Festival!
- New Games, Activities and Inflatables!
- Prize Drawings every 15 minutes!
- Petting Zoo, Demolition Deck, & Emergency Vehicles!
Bring your Friends and Family to this Fun Neighborhood Mission!
$5 Tickets on Sale October 7 – 24!
Support Our Mission - READ MORE
JAM Session 5th/6th Graders
to Browns Farm Corn Maze
Friday, October 19th
Depart from St. Mark's 6:00 p.m., Return at 9:00 p.m. Cost: $10.00/Person for Corn Maze, Bonfire, & S'Mores. All 5 th /6 th Graders and Friends are Welcome!

Paid Reservations Due Wednesday, Oct. 17th. All Participants Must Have a Parent Permission Form , which is available for download here ! Wear clothes/shoes that can get Wet and Dirty! Bring a Light Jacket and a Flashlight! 
Read to Succeed Needs Volunteer Tutors!
Read to Succeed is in need of volunteers one-on-one tutors for adult literacy, as well as small group ESL teachers. Training and all materials are provided. Required tutor training sessions will be held Tuesdays, October 23 rd & 30 th from 5:30-8:30 p.m. (both nights are required).  Interested should call Read to Succeed for more info: 615-738-7323.
Family Photos Needed in DEEP BLUE!
During the coming two months in Deep Blue Sunday School, we will be exploring stories about biblical families from both the Old and New Testaments. As we hear these stories, we will be reminded that biblical families came in many different configurations, just as families do today, and that all families face challenges about how to live together in love and peace.

To help us focus on the theme of family, all St. Mark's Deep Blue families are invited to submit a family picture for display on a "Family Blessings" bulletin board in the children's hallway. Please bring your family photo to St. Mark's (4x6 or 5x7 please!) or email an electronic photo to Rev. Touchton at by Sunday, October 14th.
Church Directory Time!
It is time for a new St. Mark's Church Directory. Please make an appointment to have your picture taken at one of the sign-up locations at the church on Sundays, or you can find the Sign-Up Link HERE or on the Featured Events Calendar on our church’s website at . Every family photographed for the directory will receive a copy of the directory and an 8x10 portrait at no cost. You will also have the opportunity to purchase additional portraits at the time of photography.
In Other News...
Thank You Note - I am not sure I can find the words to express how much gratitude I feel for the generosity St. Mark’s has shown to Reeves Rogers!!! We feel so loved and cared for as a school by the church!!! The supplies for our hygiene kits are such a blessing. We have so many children who do not get their basic needs met at home and St. Mark’s is helping us meet those needs. Also, I want to extend a huge thank you to St. Mark’s for donating and DELIVERING two large metal cabinets. We intend to use these to store clothing and other items families cannot purchase with government assistance.   We feel your love and support everywhere!!!!  - Riki Webb

Children’s Coin Offering - Sunday, October 14 th , for One Goal Sports

Bedding Needed - Please consider donating to the church for our Way of Hope monthly hosting any throws, twin, full and/or queen size blankets - twin sheets are helpful too. There have been times a lady new to the program will arrive to stay overnight at St Mark's and not have any bedding. If we can have a few blankets on hand it is very helpful and can be a real blessing to the women and children of The Way of Hope. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Golf Tournament  - The St. Mark's Golf Tournament has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 13 th at 7:30 a.m. at Old Fort Golf Course.

St. Mark's Charge Conference  will be held on Sunday, November 18 th at 7:00 p.m. during our regular Church Council meeting time.

View Our Current  Prayer List

Mission Team News and Stats are HERE

See Our Full  Event Calendar

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