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

Several years ago, I read a memoir entitled "A Simple Act of Gratitude" by John Kralik. He was an attorney whose life was unraveling. In a moment of desperation, he went on a walk and was struck by the possibility that maybe, despite everything wrong in his life, he could still find things for which to be grateful.

Inspired by a beautiful but simple note that someone had written him, he decided to try writing one handwritten note a day to express gratitude to someone for something. Despite the economy collapsing during his daily expressions of gratitude, his whole life and his entire outlook on it turned around.

As we move toward Thanksgiving Day, I wonder if you'd consider joining me in writing one handwritten note a day to someone expressing gratitude to them or for them. Maybe it's the barista that makes your latte or the neighbor who picks up pet droppings when her dog visits your yard. Maybe it's the usher who always greets you with a smile at church or the teacher who made the biggest impact on your life as a child.

I'd love to hear about who you are writing and how focusing and extending gratitude changes your life in the coming month. Send me an email to or pull out your phone and shoot a short video describing how it's affecting you. Post it to our Facebook page; post it on your Facebook page. 

May God grant us the grace to be grateful and may God do great things through our gratitude.

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


SAGES have a full month of activities planned for November.

SAGES will leave the church at 8:00 A.M. on Wednesday, November 7 to go for breakfast at the Midway Diner in Deason, Tennessee, near the Shelbyville Airport. Breakfast will be Dutch treat. Cost for the bus ride is $5.00. The bus capacity is 15. After that we will load cars.

The Alzheimer’s/Dementia Support Group will meet at 1:30 P.M. on Thursday, November 15 in Room 1203. . 

Thanks for everyone who participated in the Mustang Mash Fall Festival which was held at Reeves Rogers School. It was a very successful event. Thanks to Rev. Touchton for providing some reserved parking right at the school for our older adults. 

The next meeting of the SAGES Ministry Team is November 19 at 9:30 in Room 503-505. Note this change due to the holiday closing off the church office.

Remember, too, that SAGES will leave at 10:00 on Friday, November 16 to have lunch in Bell Buckle and visit the Southern Charms Boutiques and tour the town. Cost for the bus is $5.00. 

Many other activities are planned for the rest of the year including 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  

Thank you to Sean Gilliland for leading our programming this past Sunday! He introduced us to some fun games (life-size foosball anyone?) and led a powerful discussion on our jobs as role models to others.

This coming weekend is our annual Fall Retreat! We are heading to Cedar Crest this year where we will be talking about our journeys as Christians. This will be a weekend filled with fun activities, free time, campfires, and the opportunity to grow as individuals and as a group. There are still spots open for anyone who hasn’t signed up yet - just let one of the adult leaders know if you’re interested. We will leave St. Mark’s at 6:00pm on Friday (let us know if you can’t make that departure time) and return on Sunday around 3:00pm. The cost is $110. As always, if there are any issues with paying for the trip, please let one of the leaders know - scholarships are available. We will not have youth that Sunday evening.

Besides Fall Retreat, we have Wednesday Night Together the next couple of weeks, with programming starting at 6:15pm. We also will start getting ready for the Merry Mission Marketplace on November 28th, where we will be hosting our own booth as well as volunteering to help other booths as we have done in the past.
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 November:
Christmas Make-N-Take Gifts – led by Kris Whitt
Pickle Ball – led by Meg Van Patten and Patti Daws

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 current 2018 WNT BROCHURE
Project Transformation Interns Needed
Project Transformation Tennessee is now accepting applications for 2019 summer internships. Project Transformation Tennessee launched in 2012 to address three unique challenges: meeting the academic, physical, and social-emotional needs of children, providing meaningful ways for college-age young adults to explore ministry opportunities and develop leaders in the church/world, and revitalizing churches in underserved communities.

Competitive applicants will be dynamic young adults who desire to serve God and neighbor, believe in laughter, dancing, and life beyond comfort zones, get excited about new people and experiences, are willing to sit with the unknown, want to harness their skills to make an impact, and have hope for a better world. 

Applicants must have completed one year of college or be at least 19 years old before the internship begins. Applicants must also have the legal right to work in the United States. 

For more information, please visit:
St. Mark’s Children Learning about Membership Vows
St. Mark’s Children Learning about the Membership Vows of
Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Service, and Witness

Each of the coming weeks, the Elementary children will have a special emphasis on one of the vows through their “Deep Blue” experience, Sundays, 9:45 – 10:45 a.m.

10/28 – Presence Sunday: All present in Sunday School get a Donut!
 11/4 – Service Sunday : Bring a canned good for the Food Drive!
11/11 – Gifts Sunday: Make “Soup Mix in a Jar” for families in need!
11/18 – Witness Sunday: Invite a Friend to Sunday school!
11/25 – Prayers Sunday: Receive a Free Advent Prayer Calendar!
St. Mark’s UMC 2018 Food Drive
November 4 – 20. Canned, dry, non-perishable foods collected in the Narthex bins. All donations will assist the hungry in the Murfreesboro area via the St. Mark's Food Bank.See the FLYER HERE .

Sponsored by St. Mark's 5th/6th Grade JAM Session
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
November’s Children’s Coin Offering supports St. Mark’s Food Bank
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!
Church Directory Time!
It is time for a new St. Mark's Church Directory. Please make an appointment to have your picture taken with the church office, 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.
Fall Festival Thank You Notes
Thanks to everyone who helped with Fall Festival in any way! Read more, including a special thank you note from a Reeves Rogers teacher HERE .
In Other News...
College Bible Study - St. Mark's has a new college Bible study that meets every Sunday at 9:45 a.m. in RM 1212. Read all about it HERE .

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

See Our Full  Event Calendar

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