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

February 21, 2017
Dr. Craig Goff
From the Pastor

We recently received a letter from the director of Way of Hope thanking us for our contributions and participation for 2016.

The Way of Hope provided nightly shelter and food for 393 women and children in the 2016 calendar year.  They also led bible studies, provided transportation to jobs, doctor's appointments, job interviews, schools as well as many other services.

At St. Mark's we have provided meals and shelter once a month for the past three years and have provided meals for almost four years. I once heard a young child describe a Christmas he spent sleeping on the floor of one of the Way of Hope's host congregations as "the best Christmas ever."  You are making a difference in how our neighbors see God and the church. On Sunday February 5th we received $1004.00 for the Way of Hope through our communion offering.  I can't begin to tell you how grateful I feel to be part of a congregation so committed to bringing the light of Jesus Christ into the world!

Keep shining!



The SAGES outing to the Frist Center was a very meaningful time.  We saw art from a very colorful Buddhist Collection, items from students from all across Tennessee, an exhibition by another group of Young Tennesseans, and a technological marvel using several large screens and  music venues...

Thank you for all who supported the Decades Dance!  It was a great benefit for the youth mission fund!  We may have to do it again!  

CLICK HERE to see some photos from the event.

Wednesday Night Together

Wednesday Night Together continues this week. Dinner cost is $6.00/adult, $2.00/children 10 and under and MTSU students, $20.00/families (up to 6 people).   CLICK HERE to see our weekly menus.  Be sure to make your meal reservation by noon on Monday.

NEW STUDIES/ONGOING CLASSES meet Wednesdays from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m.   CLICK HERE for the new W.N.T. brochure.

NEW!  THE ICING ON THE CAKE Led by Lucy Cochran, Room 503/505. February 22nd.  Come watch easy cake decorating techniques that can be used to create a variety of Spring themed cakes including a ruffle cake, a floral cake and even a Bridal shower cake - plus so much more!
Youth News
We are now taking registrations for the Middle School Mission Trip.  The dates are July 9 - 14th and the cost is $250 per person.  See the full information HERE   
Our Chili Cook off is scheduled for March 5th which is a fundraiser for both our summer mission trips.  Check out the sign up sheet on the bulletin board for places to work and items to bring. 
Parents - we need your help! -  Our dinner listing is empty after February 26th.  Would you be willing to fill a date to prevent pizza overload?  Contact Beth to add your name to the list!
Church Wide Lenten Study

Renegade Gospel Video
Renegade Gospel Video

As we undertake the Lenten series Renegade Gospel, everyone - children, youth, and adults - is challenged to read through the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and make a special offering to the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Simple calendars to guide your daily reading and giving, along with giving boxes, will be available starting February 26. You can make this challenge even easier with a daily reminder email that includes that day's scripture reading and giving challenge! To receive the daily Lenten email, you must opt-in to that email list by clicking HERE - even if you already receive the St. Mark's e-newsletter. (Be sure to check the box marked "2017 Lent Reading Program".) Everyone who completes the challenge will receive a special Bible recognition pin. Take on the Gospel Reading Challenge this Lent!
All adults following the Lenten Gospel reading challenge are invited to participate in a Wednesday Night Together class, "Four Gospels, One Jesus" led by Rev. Martha Touchton (6:15-7:15 p.m. March 8, 15, 22, and April 5). Each evening will begin with a brief overview of one of the Gospels followed by group discussion around the daily readings.
Give the Gift of Flowers

Did you know the beautiful flowers in the chancel area each Sunday are gifts from church members? If you would like to sponsor flowers in recognition of a special occasion, in honor of a loved one, or in memory of someone, sign up for one (or more) of the open dates! The Flower Calendar is posted outside the kitchen and banquet room. Flowers are sponsored for $25 (which helps cover the expense of purchasing the flowers our volunteers arrange each week), and you are invited to take the flowers home with you after the 11:00am worship service. To sign up, add your information to the Flower Calendar or call the church office at (615) 893-3455.
Begin this Lenten season with intention on Ash Wednesday, March 1. St. Mark's is teaming up with the MTSU Wesley Foundation for a special worship service at St. Mark's. Join us for a meal at 5:15pm (reservations required) followed by worship in the sanctuary at 6:15pm. Together, let's worship our God who makes beautiful things out of the dust and out of us.

In Other News...

Chili Cook Off - 
Our annual Chili Cook off will be held on March 5th in the banquet hall.  We hope you will enter and then come out and enjoy eating chili!  Prizes will be awarded in various categories.  Drinks will be furnished and there will be hot dogs and homemade desserts ready for you to purchase.  The cost of tickets is only $5.00 for all you can taste!  

Stewardship Summary - CLICK HERE to view our latest Stewardship Report.

St. Mark's Women's Retreat 2017 - Last Call for registration! Friday/Saturday, March 3-4, 2017! This year, St. Mark's Women's Retreat will be joining with the Tennessee Conference Women's Retreat, led by Rachel Armstrong. Read More About the Retreat and download a registration form HERE.

Youth InternThe youth ministry is looking for a summer intern. The time commitment is mid May through early August. If you are interested please contact Beth for a job description and application.

"Created by God" -  St. Mark's UMC is offering the outstanding Bible-based sexuality education seminar, "Created by God," for 5th and 6th grade boys and girls and their parents. Read about it HERE.

St. Mark's Children invited to BE - Belong, Believe, Become! All St. Mark's 3rd - 6th graders are invited to join with others from across Middle Tennessee for a special retreat led by the high school and middle school youth.Transportation will be provided by St. Mark's.  Read More HERE.

Spring Break at Redbird St. Mark's will be taking a group of adults and youth to Red Bird during the week of Spring Break to work on the modular house #2.  If all goes as planned, we will be working on sealing and painting the exterior of the home.  We leave on Monday, March 27th  and will return on Friday, March 31st.  The cost is only $80.  You can get more information HERE .  Contact Beth for more details or with questions.  

"All Things New" by Kelly Minter New Thursday morning women's Bible study. MORE INFO

Renegade Gospel Study Books Available For Purchase   -  During the Lenten season, March 5 - Easter Sunday, April 16, Sunday school classes will be participating in the church wide study, Renegade Gospel: The Rebel Jesus by Mike Slaughter.    Books are available for purchase for $5 through Adult Sunday school classes.  If you would like to purchase a book but are not a part of a Sunday school class, please turn in your order and payment to Charlene Parkinson or Martha Touchton by 2/19/17. 

Recipes are needed!  For her confirmation project, Anna Henry would like to compile some simple, easy-to-make recipes into a collection to include in the St. Mark's Begin Again Boxes.  We need your submissions!  Each box includes one large covered skillet, a mixing bowl, cookie sheet, bread pan, and a muffin pan, along with a colander and other utensils, so recipes need to be kept very simple to align with the supplies in the box.  Also, they need to be affordable recipes that contain ingredients that are inexpensive.  Get creative!  We all have that simple, delicious, go-to recipe that would be the perfect one to share, so have it ready to bring to the narthex no later than Sunday, March 22.  An announcement will be coming soon in worship with all the details.  Stay tuned! 

SAVE THE DATE for VBS - Sunday through Thursday, June 25 - 29, 2017.  MORE INFO HERE .

Softball Signups - Sign up now for ladies' and men's softball.  See the bulletin board outside the Banquet Room.

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