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

August 14, 2018
From the Pastor
Rev. Tommy Ward
On Sunday, as part of the "Marks of a Great Congregation" sermon series, I spoke on the subject of generosity. As a followup to that worship emphasis, the Finance Committee would like for you to know where we stand financially at this point of the fiscal year. You'll find that update immediately below my remarks. You'll also notice that, going forward, the Finance Committee will provide more frequent updates as to where are in our budget vs. actual giving. 
This Sunday, we conclude our "Marks of a Great Congregation" series. The sermon title is "A Great Church is a Reliable Witness". The following Sunday, we begin a new series on the book of James, entitled "Be Like Your Brother." Many scholars believe that the writer of James is Jesus' brother. Can't you imagine James growing up and hearing, "Why can't you be more like your brother?" 
You'll find more information about the sermon series and accompanying small group emphasis in this and future newsletters.
It is a privilege to serve God as one of your clergy.

Rev. Tommy Ward
Senior Pastor
Finance Committee Update

Thank you all for your generous gifts for this year! St. Mark's truly appreciates your giving, but we also wanted to bring to your attention a concern that we have. We are currently $148,962 behind our annual budget for 2018. Our current money received is $672,606 but our current budget needs are $821,568. While the church staff has been able to operate proficiently with the budget shortfall, it has put our church in a very weak financial position going into the last 5 months of the year. St. Mark's has done an excellent job of being a fiscally conservative church and we want to make sure everyone understands that while we do have this budget shortfall, the church is still financially stable. But with our current decrease in giving, we will potentially have to make drastic cuts in our budget for 2019.

John Wesley once preached a sermon about stewardship and laid out 3 simple rules for United Methodists to follow. "1) Earn All You Can 2) Save All You Can 3) Give All You Can." What a powerful message that we should take to heart as a congregation! The finance team wanted to make our congregation aware of our current financial position, so that together we can continue to spread Christ's love through our prayers, our gifts, our presence, our service and our witness!

God Bless,
The Finance Committee

If you want to reserve a niche in the Columbarium please check at the church office for the proper paper work. Thanks to our Columbarium Committee whose members are Bob Richardson, Mary Leigh Beers and Josh Brown. The 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.

Last Friday the SAGES had a wonderful trip to the Civil War remembrance at Button Willow in Whitwell, Tennessee.

Thirteen members of the Sages are at the Festival of Wisdom and Grace at Lake Junaluska, NC, this week.

The Dementia/Alzheimer's Support group will met in RM 1203 on August 23 and again on September 27 at 1:30 P.M.

For SAGES who would like to attend the UMM meeting it will be Saturday, September 8 at 7:30 A.M. There is breakfast and a special program by a representative from the General Church who will talk about scouting.

Adventures in Learning will be held again this year at First United Methodist Church, Murfreesboro, on the mornings of September 10, 17, 24. This year there are thirteen classes to choose from. Registration blanks are in the church office. Please register as soon as possible.

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 your will be able to register for the conference. The registration fee includes lunch.

Starting August 26, 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 

We had a great summer packed with all sorts of events! It's evident that we have a vibrant, excited, and special youth group, and we are looking forward to carrying that momentum forward into the fall season!
We will have normal Sunday evening youth, 5:00-7:15 pm, for the next couple of weeks (no youth on Labor Day weekend, September 2nd). We are discussing Adam Hamilton's "Making Sense of the Bible," providing everyone a chance to discuss how to best use this important book.
The adult leadership team will host a parents' meeting this coming Sunday, August 19th at 4:00pm in the Youth Center. We will discuss upcoming plans for the fall, including Fall Retreat ideas, other events we are planning, and areas where we could use help. This will also be an opportunity for us to answer any questions parents may have regarding the ministry. We hope to see you all there!
Be on the lookout for several fun events we will be doing over the next few months!  

Join the fun as we kick off
Wednesday Night Together 2018-2019  with

Wednesday at Wesley

We will have our meal as well as options for service, prayer and fellowship as well as a worship on the MTSU Campus. Begins at 5:00 p.m. at the Wesley Foundation on Wednesday, August 29, 2018.

St. Mark's Fall Hygiene Supplies Drive for Reeves Rogers

Please donate these items for students' basic hygiene needs: Baby Wipes, Dry Shampoo, Spray Deodorant, Elastic Ponytail Holders, Toothbrush & Toothpaste, Children's Underwear and Socks.   Bring Your Donations to St. Mark's UMC Collection Center in the Narthex By Sunday, August 26th

Mentor a Child at Reeves Rogers

A new school year is upon us providing an opportunity for you to be a special friend (mentor) to a Reeves Rogers student.   The goal of our mentoring program is to provide friendship and be a support person in the life of a child.    You meet with your student as your schedule allows. To volunteer or receive more information, contact Mary Jane Henry (615-631-1902) Peggy Jackson (615-890-4605) or Margie Jennings (615-890-2221).

Deep Blue Christian Education Classes

St. Mark's UMC Children's Ministries
Deep Blue Christian Education Classes
Sundays, 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.

Family Promise 
of Rutherford County 

On Tuesday, August 21, at 6:30 p.m. Jeanna Beck of Family Promise will discuss how congregations in  Rutherford County are exploring networking together to provide, on a rotating basis, overnight accommodations and meals for children and families experiencing homelessness.  The meeting will be held at St. Mark's UMC at 1267 N. Rutherford Blvd. in Murfreesboro.  Please come to this important meeting to hear about ways we can get involved. Like us on Facebook @FPORC.
Be Like Your Brother

Being a disciple requires hearing and doing the will of God.  Join us August 26-October 21 as we explore these scriptures in worship and Adult Christian education, seeking to hear and do the will of God together. 

Adult/Youth Teacher Luncheon
Featuring Dr. Bill Mullins on the Book of James
Sunday, August 19th, 12:15 - 1:30 p.m.
St. Mark's Banquet Hall

St. Mark's Volunteer Day

St. Mark's 
Habitat for Humanity 
Work Day

August 24, 2018, 6 Frank Street, Smyrna, TN 37167.  Please park across the street at the Smyrna Library.  8:00 am - 3:30/4:00.

-   Wear closed-toed shoes
-   Dress for the weather as we work rain or shine
-   Bring a drink and lunch

 WAIVER FORM  will have to be signed - please bring it with you.

Read more about it  HERE.
St. Mark's to Host Free 

The way we parent our children moment-to-moment, day-to-day has a huge impact on a child's future behavior and health. Despite this fact, very few parents receive training for the most important job they will ever have-being a parent. The Family Center works alongside parents to build connection and empathy with their children. Parents learn about the developmental stages of their child, strategies for modifying behavior, and how to connect with their child in a deeper way. Who benefits from attending a parenting group? Everyone!

Positive Parenting uses education, skill building, and personal insights to help moms, dads, or other family caregivers be the best parents possible! The Family Center is excited to partner with St. Mark's United Methodist to offer an 8-week Positive Parenting Program. Parents also have an opportunity to bring their children during this time. While the parents learn new skills, our wonderful children's coaches work with the children to build their knowledge on a variety of topics like emotions and safety.

We invite you to join us or invite someone you know! The program will begin, Thursday, September 6th. Registration link will open on August 16th. To register, visit or call 615-890-4673 (Murfreesboro) or 615-333-2644 (Nashville).
In Other News...

View Our Current Prayer List

See Our Full Event Calendar

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St. Mark's UMC | (615) 893-3455 |