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

February 27, 2018
Dr. Craig Goff
From the Pastor

We began our observation of the Season of Lent here at St. Mark's with an Ash Wednesday service on February 14th. Since it was also Valentine's Day we were invited to "give our hearts to Jesus." Rev. Touchton preached a great sermon on that theme. Our friends from the MTSU Wesley Foundation also helped lead and participate in the service. The ashes we used to mark our foreheads were made from palms our children waved during our Palm Sunday worship service last year. During the service, two artists from the Wesley Foundation produced paintings for us with paint mixed with the ashes. The paintings will be on display as you enter our sanctuary through Easter Sunday.

Lent is sometimes known as a somber and solemn time, but it can also be an occasion to joyfully prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with our hearts and minds renewed. I read recently that an early English word for "Lent" can mean "lengthen." Lent comes at a time when the hours or daytime are 'lengthening', as spring approaches and so it is a time when we too can 'lengthen' spiritually as we stretch out and grow in the Spirit.

However you choose to observe Lent, I pray that it is a meaningful time for you as you follow Jesus. Scripture offers us a variety of ways our spiritual 'lengthening' can become a reality. I hope you will make your attendance at worship a priority in your life so that you and others can be blessed and experience God's grace that comes as we offer ourselves to God collectively. Please pray for me as I pray for you to experience 'lengthening' that enables us to give our hearts to Jesus and grow to be the people God has for us to be!
Happy Lent!

Feb. 18 The Uncertainty  of Faith
Feb. 25 The Uncertainty  of Forgiveness
Mar. 4 The Uncertainty  of Worry
Mar. 11 The Uncertainty  of Mortality
Mar. 18 The Uncertainty of Surrender
Mar. 25 The Uncertainty of Obedience

You are invited to engage life's uncertainties with courage and faith.

Thanks to everyone who supported the Hymn Sing and Luncheon last Friday. We all had a good time. Thanks to Rev. Mary Dicken for providing the piano accompaniment. Also thanks to Lucy Cochran, our Church Librarian, for her sharing about our library. Her stories and references were wonderful.
Please remember that the UMM will be meet here on Saturday, March 3, at 7:30 for a free breakfast and a good program.

Family, Food, Fellowship, Faith, and Fun for the whole Family!
Wednesday Night Together offers a full menu of delicious food, warm table fellowship, and wonderful classes and groups 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
CLICK HERE to view the current 2018 WNT BROCHURE
Youth News 

The senior high mission trip this summer will be in Chicago for some inner city community outreach and service, along with some fun excursions in this iconic city! We still have some spots open for this exciting opportunity to help others, learn about a different culture, and grow in faith. The cost is $400 per person, with scholarships available. Talk to Tyler Neale or any of the adult volunteers if interested! For the middle school mission trip, we are finalizing details and will announce those soon!

We are working to set up a hiking day during Spring Break! This will be a fun event to get out and enjoy great weather and nature while building relationships within the youth group! All ability levels are welcome (we won't be climbing any mountains), so stay tuned for further details!

If you haven't been to Fusion Youth on Sunday nights in while, we would like to invite you to join us for the food, fun, and fellowship as we mix some new programming and outreach efforts into the mix!  We are currently learning about discovering and embracing our Identity in the vision of Jesus Christ. This Sunday we will be doing some mission work in our own neighborhood, fulfilling the commandment Jesus gave us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves while also giving the group the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the community. We hope to see you there!
24 Hours That Changed the World

During Lent, you and your family are invited to deepen your Christian faith and discipleship through experiencing one of the best studies available about the events of Jesus' final days, 24 Hours That Changed the World, based on the Gospel of Mark.    Adult, Youth and Elementary Christian education classes will participate in this seven-week study series Sundays, February 18th - E aster Sunday, April 1st, 9:45 - 10:45 a.m..
Also, Lori Reynolds is teaching this same study Sundays, 4:00 - 5:15 p.m. February 11 - March 25, in Room 506.  Anyone is welcome, including teachers who would like to experience the study prior to teaching it on Sunday mornings!    

CLICK HERE for the full schedule and lesson list.
St. Mark's Grades 3 - 6 to Attend "Be Retreat"

St. Mark's children in Grades 3 - 6 are invited to register now for a special Spiritual Life Retreat!   We'll join other 3rd through 6th graders from across the Tennessee Conference Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11, 2018 at Beersheba Springs Assembly.  The BE Retreat will be led by middle and high school youth of the NEXT GEN Conference Council on Youth Ministry (including Madison Beckman, Helen Grace Daniel and Georgia Touchton from St. Mark's!), and will welcome children from across the Tennessee Conference.  For more information about the retreat, click here.

Rev. Martha Touchton and several parents are attending the BE Retreat with St. Mark's children and providing transportation to/from Beersheba. The total retreat cost is $65/person; a $25 scholarship will be provided for each St. Mark's participant, making the cost per child $40. To register your child, make check payable to St. Mark's and turn it in to Rev. Touchton by Friday, March 2nd.
Join the Movement

Thank you for your contributions to T he LOVE Movement  Offering collected at the Tennessee Conference Next Gen event, "Warmth in Winter," February 9-11 at Opryland Hotel, in memory of Adam Love.   St. Mark's offering totaled $4000.

St. Mark's has received several notes of thank for our contributions to The LOVE Movement.  CLICK HERE to read some of them.
Cedar Crest Camp Day 

Cedar Crest Camp Day Is Sunday, March 18th.  Cedar Crest Camp is a beautiful place for children and youth to experience God and meet new friends while having an exciting camping experience in a caring environment! Read about the camp and our summer schedule HERE.
St. Mark's Preschool Fall 2018 Registration

St. Mark's members have the opportunity to register for Preschool on Tuesday, March 6 from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.  Check the preschool link on the church website for specific information regarding ages and classes offered, or call Sherrie Gilliam, preschool director, at (615) 895-1803.
St. Mark's VBS is going to be AWESOME!   

Save the Date!
June 24 - 28, 2018

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

The St. Mark's Basketball Team  won the Team Sportsmanship Award for the 2017-2018 season!

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 |