Ken and Jan’s story

 “We both grew up down the street from Graceland.  We lived in the Memphis, Tenn., area all our lives – until we packed up and moved to Murfreesboro to be near our children and grandchildren. We visited St. Mark’s for a few months, slipping in the back of the sanctuary at the start of worship to check things out. It didn’t take long to know it was where God wanted us to be.

We could tell there was caring going on at St. Mark’s – for one another and for others. It wasn’t insular. We thought, ‘People are serious about outreach in the community.’ There were so many ways to serve. And, there’s no pressure to serve, just an invitation and you can decide for yourself… (laughing) except maybe when Dorothy said, “If the wife goes to read to kids at Project Transformation, then the husband goes to read at Project Transformation.”

We were especially glad to see young families in the church. The church where we first met in Memphis in 1969 was the largest United Methodist church in the area at the time, but it is now closed. The congregation we worshiped with before we moved was shrinking. Children and youth are the future of the church. We wanted to be in a church that was reaching them.

We even had people in our neighborhood reach out to our own grandchildren. The three of them were walking with us when we met neighbors we did not yet know, but who gave our littlest grandchild a handmade wooden car with St. Mark’s on the side of it! We soon made more connections with people we saw in our neighborhood and at St. Mark’s. Being a part of a church in the community where we live was important to us.

We feel we found where God wanted us to be. We try to invite and welcome others to St. Mark’s the way we were.  We hope more people visit St. Mark’s and find their church home here.”