A Lifelong Journey

Where are you in your lifelong journey of faith? Whether you feel a bit stuck, are just beginning your trip, or want to find new ways to nurture your continued growth, let St. Mark’s help guide you through six areas of discipleship that are part of how we Welcome, Grow, and Serve. 

Personal Growth Resources

To GROW in our knowledge and grace, we open our lives to Jesus and seek to follow his example in our actions, attitudes, and responses to others.
Opening our lives to Jesus can take many forms, including through the resources below.

Weekly inspiration: The Wired Word

St. Mark’s subscribes to The Wired Word, a weekly email devotional that some class leaders and participants use for discussions and personal study. Topics are wide-ranging and directly relate scriptures to timely news stories in an inspiring way.

If you’d like to be added to the emailing list, please email Jennifer Cloud-Buckner (grow@stmarkscarmel.org)

Daily Devotionals 

These resources combine scripture and prayer. 
  • The Upper Room, a bi-monthly booklet of daily meditations. Available in the church entrance and the GROW Connection Tables. 
  • Pray-as-you-go.org – a meditative time of music and contemplation (6-12 minutes) on that day’s scripture reading.
  • d365.org  short, simple 5-step devotionals that take less than 3 minutes to pause, listen, think, pray, and go. 
  • Lectio365 – an app that helps P.R.A.Y. (Pause, Rejoice, Ask, Yield) daily, available for iPhone and Android. 

Rest and Refresh

  • Try a daily examen routine, an evening time of gratitude, reflection, and hope for the next day. 
  • Try praying the ACTS way: 
    • Adoration of God’s character
    • Confession (repentance, remembering Christ’s nature)
    • Thanksgiving (gratitude to God for blessings)
    • Supplication (asking and petitioning for yourself and others)
  • Take a screen-free sabbath for 24 hours. Turn off all devices to open your heart and mind to God’s spirit and to relationship with those around you.

Other Resources 

If you need other resources for personal Bible study, prayer, and spiritual practices that help you rest and refresh in God’s presence, email Jennifer at grow@stmarkscarmel.org.

7-Week Group Study Available in January 2023

Foundations for a Lifelong Journey 

Postponed to January-February 2023 | 6:00-7:15 PM

Led by Pastor Karla Elliott | Books $15

Growth as a disciple begins with a good foundation. As we practice many different ways to Welcome, Grow, and Serve at St. Mark’s, Foundations by Phil Maynard brings insight on how to pray, begin reading the Bible, live in authentic relationships, have a devotional time, use the resources God has provided, discern our call to serve, and share our faith. This study is good for those who are brand new to St. Mark’s, brand new to the Christian faith, and those who are seeking spiritual renewal and growth in discipleship.

 Discipleship Survey  

Through the Indiana Conference of the UMC (INUMC), we are offering a discipleship survey for you to examine where you feel you are in your Life of Worship, Life of Hospitality, being Open to Jesus and Obeying Jesus, Life of Service, and Life of Generosity. You will receive a personalized report about your level of spiritual growth for each dimension, possible next steps, and suggested resources for personal development. Your results are anonymous to the church.

Survey Background Information

Learn more about the survey from the INUMC website. 

Take the Real Discipleship Survey

1) Click on “Use your Church’s Access Code.” 2) Enter INDIANAJOY in the code box. 3) Select “Carmel St Marks UMC (North Central District)” and enter your name, email, and a password of your choice.  

Video Tutorial about the Survey

View a tutorial from the conference about how to take the survey.

Get a Personalized Report

When you enter your own name and email on the survey, you will receive a personalized report of your own spiritual growth assessment, next steps, and resources for personal development.

If you have any questions or want to connect with any other groups, please don’t hesitate to contact Jennifer Cloud-Buckner (grow@stmarkscarmel.org), Adult Discipleship Coordinator.