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

July 17, 2018
From the Pastor
Rev. Tommy Ward

In the children's sermon on Sunday, Nancy Phillips mentioned baseball, reminding me of this Baseball Prayer adaptation:
Almighty God, we sometimes regard you as the "Mighty Umpire" in the game of life. We your people are not always sure what uniforms we should wear. Sometimes we may be "Angels" in spirit; sometimes we are "Giants" in pride; sometimes we are "Dodgers" of responsibility and sometimes we are "Tigers" in ambition. When it comes to faith, we find ourselves in the minor leagues. When it comes to good works, we are not even sure of the ground rules.
We are thankful for your mercy when we find ourselves in foul territory, for your forgiveness when we commit errors, and for your uplifting spirit when we find ourselves in a slump, and for the final victory that is ours in Christ Jesus. Amen.

I'm so grateful to be part of the St. Mark's team and look forward to the seasons ahead.
Rev. Tommy Ward
Senior Pastor

The St. Mark's Columbarium has now been dedicated.  And the first two services of inurnment will be held this weekend.  The first Service of Inurnment in the Columbarium will be for Dr. George Beers on Saturday, July 21 at 10:00 A.M. The next service for Judy McClaran will be on Sunday, July 22, at 2:00 P.M. Everyone is invited to both of these services ...

Youth News 

Our middle schoolers returned from their mission trip to Atlanta this past Friday - they had a blast serving that community and learning about some of the culture of that city! The future is bright with this group of young kids!
This Friday is our Explore Knoxville Trip! We will meet at the church at 7:30 and depart for Knoxville on the bus. Cost is $15, and we will return that evening. This will be a fun day exploring a neat city and seeing some of the activities it has to offer!
We will have youth group at our regular time this coming Sunday from 5:00-7:15 - we hope to see everyone there for some fun and fellowship as the summer winds down. The following Wednesday evening (July 25th), we will have another "Meet At" event, where we meet somewhere for an activity. Look for an announcement this week on what this event will be.
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! The deadline to sign up will be Friday, July 20th.
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.
Positive Parenting Program

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. 

The program will begin, Thursday, September 6th. Registration link will open on August 16th.

We invite you to join us or invite someone you know! For more information on programs, becoming a donor, volunteering, or registering please call 615-890-4673 or visit
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
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!

Thank you, St. Mark's! A person doesn't realize how many people care about them until they are sick. The support I've gotten from my church family - the cards , calls, visits and especially the prayers have been so comforting and uplifting. Thank you so much. I look forward to returning to Murfreesboro on July 20th and returning to church soon after.  Love to all,  Karen Warren.

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