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

July 3, 2018
A Message from Buddy Howell...

The Staff-Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) recently met with our new senior pastor, Rev. Tommy Ward.  We welcomed Tommy and extended our full support as he makes the transition to St. Mark's.  We also entered into a written covenant to express our mutual commitment to serve Christ and establish guidelines for our working relationship.  On behalf of the entire St. Mark's family, the SPRC made the following commitments:
  • GRACE - Recognizing the pastor is human and will sometimes make mistakes, we will embody grace. 
  • PERSONAL FAITH & LEADERSHIP - We will embody servant leadership, always looking to the best interest of the ministry of the Church instead of personal preferences.  We will be regular in our worship attendance, give generously financially, and purse deep personal discipleship. 
  • PERSONAL SUPPORT - Advocacy for our pastor to intentionally balance vocational and personal health including a regular day off and vacation. 
  • LEADERSHIP SUPPORT - We will respect the office of the pastor and support the pastor's ministry. 
  • OPEN COMMUNICATIONS - We will deal directly and honestly with one another while maintaining the highest level of confidentiality. 
  • CONFLICT RESOLUTION - Conflict is inevitable and is not a sign of failure.  We will manage conflict in healthy ways.  We will not deal with anonymous complaints.  Individuals in conflict will speak directly with one another. 
  • EQUIPPING OPPORTUNITIES - We will work with the pastor to provide opportunities for ongoing formation beyond vacation time.
The mission of the SPRC is to maintain effective, positive relationships between our staff and the congregation of our church.  We welcome your feedback and will respond in accordance with the guidelines listed above.


Buddy Howell, Chair
Staff-Parish Relations Committee

Our Columbarium is now in place. The Columbarium will be consecrated on Sunday, July 8 immediately following morning worship.
The first Service of Inurnment in the Columbarium will be for Dr. George Beers on Saturday, July 21 at 10:00 A.M. If you want to reserve a niche please check at the church office for the proper paper work...

Youth News 

It's been a busy summer thus far with lots of exciting youth events! The high school returned from their mission trip to Chicago a couple weeks ago, wrapping up an amazing week of perspectives, service, and fun! We also had a blast helping with VBS last week! Finally, we had a solid group do some hiking this past Saturday at Rock Island.

Our next big event is the Middle School Mission Trip to Atlanta, with the group leaving on Sunday, July 8th. We will still have youth on that Sunday - this will be a laid-back evening with plenty of games, food, and fellowship. Come on out!

On Wednesday, July 11th, we will have a high school dinner and discussion evening. Look for details coming soon on where we will eat. This will be another great chance for getting to know everyone and have some deep discussions on life and anything that is on your mind.

Other events this month include Nashville Shores on Sunday, July 15th, Project Transformation on Monday, July 16th (take advantage of volunteering to help your community!), laser tag on Wednesday, July 18th, and an Explore Knoxville day on Friday, July 20th. Sign ups for these events are on the bulletin board.

Summer Sizzler, a smaller version of Warmth in Winter held in Beersheba Springs, is July 27th-29th. This is a favorite for many of our youth who have been before, consisting of a weekend filled with worship, games, fellowship, and good food. It would be great to bring a large group from St. Mark's to experience this, so sign up or talk to an adult leader if interested!

Finally, Youth Week is the week of July 30th! We will start with an Ocoee rafting trip on that Monday, followed by lots of fun events throughout the week and culminating with our End of Summer School's a Bummer party on Sunday, August 5th. A letter with information for each day has been sent out, so check that mailbox!
July Worship Schedule

Mark your calendars - we will have one combined worship service at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday during July. 

All Christian Education classes will be in session beginning July 8th, 9:15-10:15 a.m.
Learn about Sound & Media Ministries!

We need YOU - The sound/media team is seeking new folks to help out on Sunday mornings. This team works behind the scenes to ensure that all can see and hear in the sanctuary, so that we can worship together. No prior experience required (really!), just a willing heart.  Come learn more about this ministry at a training this Sunday (July 8), immediately following the 10:30 a.m. worship service. Questions? Contact Tommy Walker ( or Rev. Mary Dicken (
St. Mark's VBS was AWESOME!   

"Rolling Rover Rampage:
Experience the Ride of a Lifetime with God"

When you pass through the waters,  I will be with you. - Isaiah 43:2

We had a great week at the Rolling River Rampage!  We experienced the ride of a lifetime with God and learned that God is always with us!  We discovered that life with God is an adventure full of wonder and surprise, and that we can trust God to be with us through anything!

Read More About VBS HERE
VBS Wrap-up Video

St. Mark's UMC Family Rafting Trip!

Rolling River Rampage Continues! Saturday, July 28th, Hiawassee Outfitters,
155 Ellis Creek Road, Reliance, TN 37369. For Children ages 5 and up and their families. MORE INFO HERE or contact
St. Mark's Storytelling Tree

Wednesdays, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
July 11th, 18th, & 25th

Sunday, July 8  Children's Coin Offering

This month's Children's Coin Offering will benefit children and their families who are victims of domestic violence in our community and are ministered to by our local Domestic Violence Program and Sexual Assault Services
In Other News...

New Group Forming at St. Mark's! - A new class for twenty-somethings who have completed college is now forming at St. Mark's! All are invited to enjoy home-made ice cream at the home of Rev. Martha and Butler Touchton Saturday, July 21st, 7:00 p.m. Please RSVP to if you plan to attend the gathering.

Children Enjoy "All in One Bible Fun" in July - For the month of July, all children will be walking in the footsteps of Jesus and studying stories during his time on Earth. They will learn about Jesus' time in the synagogue, fishing for people by the Galilean sea, and the true meaning of friendship as he heals a paralyzed man. Come join us for Sunday School at 9:15 a.m. for the month of July and become immersed in Jesus' love and teachings!

Women's Painting Party 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 17th led by Caroline Bartlett at the home of Nancy Phillips.  We will paint sunflowers using acrylic paints. Bring your own surface to paint - canvas, wood, whatever! And bring your swimsuit and towel to enjoy a dip in the pool while your artwork dries. You are welcome to bring a snack or drink to share. Limit 12 persons. RSVP to Rev. Touchton at

Thank You Note - Thank you St. Mark's for 1000 cards, 1000 hugs, 100,000 prayers, 100 meals and visits during Rachel's illness and subsequent passing.  THANK YOU!  Thank you choir for the visit and singing to Rachel. Thank you SAGES for the visits and cross that Rachel carried to eternity with her. Without faith and this church family my family and I would not have made it. THANK YOU!  - Paul Givens

View Our Current Prayer List

Mission Team Report and Stats 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 |