The newsletter for St. Mark's UMC in Murfreesboro, TN
"The Messenger"  Online Newsletter

September 11, 2018
From the Pastor
Rev. Tommy Ward
Several years ago, I attended a conference in which leadership guru John C. Maxwell was speaking. He referenced a book that he had received from his administrative assistant at the time. The title of the book was intriguing, "The Greatest Story Ever Told," and he could not wait to read it. But when he opened the book, he was shocked to discover that all of the pages were blank. He did find a note from the assistant who had given him the book: "John, your life is before you. Fill these pages with the good thoughts of your faith as well as the good deeds that are expressions of your faith. Write a great story with your life."
Over the last several weeks in worship and in our Christian education, we have been studying the New Testament letter of James. One of the recurring themes of this letter is that we are to be doers of God's word and not just hearers only. If you were given a book like John Maxwell was, what would your pages reveal? What would people know about your life and your faith (what you have heard and what you have done) just by what you had written on each page?
We continue our journey through James this Sunday by focusing on James 3:1-12. Our words can be helpful or they can be hurtful. There is therefore value in choosing our words carefully. If we're going to be the kind of people who choose and use words carefully and wisely, we have to first cultivate an inner life that sees every person as someone created in the image of God. Please plan to be present in worship on Sunday as we wrestle with taming our tongues.
It is a privilege to serve God as one of your clergy.


If you want to reserve a niche in the Columbarium, please check at the church office for the proper paperwork. Thanks to our Columbarium Committee whose members are Bob Richardson, Mary Leigh Beers and Josh Brown. The beautiful statue in memory of Mary Huhta is now in place next to the Columbarium.

The SAGES Ministry Team will meet Wednesday, September 12 at 9:30 AM. in Room 504. Note this change from the second Monday to the second Wednesday of the month.

The Dementia/Alzheimer's Support group will meet in Room 1203 on September 27 at 1:30 P.M.

Adventures in Learning began Monday September 10 and is being held again this year at First United Methodist Church, Murfreesboro. AIL continues on the mornings of September 17 and 24. This year there are thirteen classes to choose from. 

SAGES will provide the meal for the Fisher House on September 13.

The Senior Adult Conference sponsored by the Older Adult Ministry Team of the Tennessee Conference will be held again this year at St. Mark's on Tuesday, September 18. Go to and you will be able to register for the conference. Guests are staff and students from Martin College who will share about their outreach to the church and community. The registration fee includes lunch.

Our Sermon Series continues this week.  We will explore the book of James in worship and Christian Education. The author of James is believed to be the brother of Jesus. It doesn't take much to believe that James may have been asked throughout his life, "Why can't you be more like your brother Jesus?" James wasn't always a disciple of his brother; in fact, scripture tells us that Jesus' family thought that he was "out of his mind." But once James became a disciple of Jesus, he wanted to be more like his brother, and he desires the same for us. Being a disciple requires hearing and doing the will of God. Join us Sundays in worship at 8:30 and 11:00 and in Christian Education at 9:45 as we explore discipleship lessons from James!
Youth News 

With Fall upon us, we have lots going on in the youth ministry at St. Mark's!

We now have our very own Gaga Ball Court to use, which will help us build community and get those competitive juices flowing! Many thanks to Fred Daniel and Sean Gilliland for helping build the court.

The next two Sundays will have normal evening youth from 5:00 to 7:15pm. Our very own Rev. Tommy Ward will be leading our discussion time on September 23rd for a "Tommy Talk" session, so be sure to be there for that evening!

We also have Wednesday Night Together programming, which starts at 6:15pm in the Youth Center.

We are working on planning a camping trip for October to give everyone a chance to enjoy the outdoors and grow closer as a group. We will announce more details as the plans firm up!

Look for an announcement on details for our annual Fall Retreat! While the dates are not officially set, it will be in the beginning of November. We are working on finalizing those details. Fall Retreat is perennially a favorite trip for everyone, so we encourage all to attend!

We hope to see all of you at the various events we have coming up! This is an exciting time for our youth programming, and we are striving to have a wide-range of activities for youth to participate in that build our relationships with each other and with God. We are blessed with the amount of support given to our ministry, and we look forward to the many events coming up!  

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
CLICK HERE to view the current 2018 WNT BROCHURE

Wednesday Night Praise (W.N.P.) is back! What is Wednesday Night Praise? This fall at 
Wednesday  Night  Together (W.N.T.), children will participate in a rotation of creative activities including singing, instruments, creative movement, Bible lessons, arts and crafts, and more... all designed to help our young people grow in their faith through creative expression. Children four years old through sixth grade travel with their age group through a rotation of children's activities on  Wednesday  evenings from 6:00-7:15 p.m. Please note that the children's program begins fifteen minutes earlier than adult W.N.T. programs. Register your children today! 
Bible Sunday, September 23rd

Bring your Personal or Family Bible 

Sunday, September 23rd will be a special day as we celebrate the gift of God's Word and lift up our learners and teachers!
During Christian education, 9:45 - 10:45 a.m., preschool and elementary children will enjoy activities to help them get to know their Bible better; all attending will receive a special gift.   Worship will include a time of blessing for our Christian education teachers and leaders, for our Bibles, and for all who seek to learn God's Word. 
Get Connected to God and Others  through Adult Christian Education

St. Mark's Adult Christian Education classes provide opportunities to meet friends, explore Scripture, raise questions, share insights, express needs, pray, serve, and connect with others travelling the journey of Christian discipleship.   All classes are open to newcomers!   To learn more about St. Mark's Adult Christian education, CLICK HERE to see a detailed brochure, or contact Adult Ministries Coordinator Brian Seadorf or Rev. Martha Touchton.
In Other News...

Thank You Note - Dear St. Mark's, On behalf of Rutherford County Habitat for Humanity and the future homeowner, I would like to thank St. Mark's for volunteering on August 24th.  We greatly appreciate all of your hard work on the build that day.  Thank you for always supporting the Habitat Mission - Sincerely, Megan.
Golf Tournament  - The St. Mark's Golf Tournament has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 13th at Noon at Old Fort Golf Course.

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

View Our Current Prayer List

Mission Team Report 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 |