Merry Christmas family and friends! Thank you for dropping by for an update on us. You are one of the reasons we have so much to be thankful for this year.
Jax (4) and Crew (2 and a half), our active and whip-smart little men, are full of energy and antics; they provide a character lesson a minute and pride themselves in being the protectors of little sister, Luxeigh, who turned one in September. Starrla and I are having the time of our lives!
Our church family, Metro East Baptist Church, has lived a year on mission as we’ve actively engaged our community and greater region with the gospel, evidenced in the salvations and growing number of committed believers on mission together. We participated in an ongoing work in the Philippines and helped launch a church plant, Bridge Church, in the Kansas City area. I’m honored to be their Pastor.
I am looking forward already to what’s to come in 2018 and ask you to pray with me for our family and church as we take ground to advance the gospel in the Midwest and around the world. Please connect with us through social media or drop us a line so that we may stay in touch.
Grace and Peace,
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, Friends!
I hope your Christmas season was warm and filled with people you love. After experiencing several years of rapid change (completing doctorate, baby #1, move to Wichita, new pastorate, new house, baby #2, etc. etc.), I reflect on 2016 as a year of stability and growth.
First, through serving Metro East Baptist Church as Senior Pastor, I wish you could see all that I see on a daily basis. I love how God is at work in individuals’ lives and also as a whole as we are reaching this region of Wichita and seeing so many families join us, proven in the additional space we’re making for all the babies! If you live in the area or are stopping through, please spend a Sunday with us and see all that God is doing here.
Speaking of babies, Starrla and I added one more to our family this year—Luxeigh Elise. She’s a great sleeper, such a doll, and the boys adore her. Christmas was particularly special this year with 3 kids, ages 3 and under. Our days are packed full with ministry, family, and fun, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am full of anticipation for the coming year, in our family and at Metro East Baptist Church. Please connect with us through social media or drop us a line so that we may stay in touch. I pray that 2017 provides you many opportunities to seek Him and that His favor will be upon you and your family.
Grace and Peace,
I hope you are finding true joy this season as you look to the birth of Christ, the Savior of the world.
For a quick update on us:
Starrla and I are going on our 2nd year at Metro East Baptist Church in Wichita, Kansas, where I’m serving as Senior Pastor. In many ways, it has been a ‘coming home’ experience, not in just the warm embrace from the church family but in returning to the Midwest where I have childhood roots. The church has seen a number of new young families this past year as well as a great increase in baptisms, and through some remarkable volunteers, a growing staff team and outreach events, we’re reaching people for Christ. I couldn’t be more fulfilled in doing exactly what I’ve been called and equipped to do. I also completed a personal goal of running a marathon with a good friend this year in Toronto, Canada.
In April, we welcomed our 2nd child, Crewson, to our family, joining his brother, Jaxton, in the 90-95th percentile for height and weight. Crew (almost 9 months) and Jax (26 months) as well as Lincoln (our bird dog) are inseparable friends and keep us laughing. We soon after moved into our new home in a quaint French country neighborhood in Andover, close to some of the best schools in the state and a mile from the church.
Starrla is still the National Senior Director, Programs, for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, where she is able to work from home and travels some. She also started and leads the Mothers of Preschoolers ministry and women's ministries at Metro East.
Thank you for checking in with us, and if you did not receive our Christmas card, make sure we have your updated information so we can stay in touch. Here are some faith-building resources for you. I would love to hear from you!
Merry Christmas Friends!
We celebrate the birth of the long-awaited Savior and the blessings of 2014.
First of all, our family has expanded… by several hundred. In August, I accepted the call to Pastor Metro East Baptist Church in Wichita, Kansas. The dynamic congregation is uniquely positioned to reach the 600k+ people of the metroplex and entire central Midwest region. The church is a dream come true after so many years of ministry equipping and education. Metro East has a mission heart, a talented staff, new facilities, over 14 acres on Interstate 35 and plenty of room to grow. God is truly up to something great at the church as we've experienced new families joining and many baptisms in these first months. As well, starting in January, Starrla and a team of ladies from Metro East launch Renew, a monthly young mom’s group and outreach.
Starrla continues as National Senior Director, Programs for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. This coming year MADD will celebrate its 35th anniversary and continues to lead the nation in the fight to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime, and prevent underage drinking.
Our son, Jaxton, is 14 months old and a man on the move. He loves to read books, watch airplanes, chase his dog (Lincoln), and wrestle with Dad. He’s quite the chatterbox, and his favorite ‘words’ are “Mama,” “Dada,” “I believe,” “There it is!” and “Uh-oh.” Starrla is due with baby #2 in April, which we are proud to say will be a baby BROTHER for Jax!
Thanks for stopping by; we hope you’ll leave us a note and let us know what is new with you and your family. And if you’re traveling through the Midwest, let us know and we welcome you to spend a Sunday with us.
When I was in my mid-teens, I started to articulate a calling to be a pastor, something I sensed from childhood. To be obedient in my faith, I knew I must preach the gospel and lead a local church. In some ways, it is similar to Peter’s experience with Christ--build his church and feed his sheep. That simple, to obey Jesus and his biblical mandate meant I must pastor. Like Timothy and Titus, I started young and since then, my journey has been a passionate drive to live out my belief, share the gospel, equip for the calling, and be qualified in character and training to serve and lead his body for the glory of God.
This morning, I preached in view of a call at Metro East Baptist Church. Over the past week, Starrla and I have had the opportunity to share meals and answer questions with much of the congregation, who have warmly embraced us and welcomed us "home." This evening, the members voted and with pure joy I accepted the gracious invitation to be Metro East's Senior Pastor.
Starrla and I are elated and see God's great potential for the church, located in one of Kansas' fastest growing suburbs, with thousands of unchurched people in close proximity, and some 650,000 people in the greater Wichita area. Metro East, planted just over 20 years ago, is poised and ready to move into the future on mission, and we are grateful to be part of the next chapter.
I appreciate your prayers through my journey to equip and find the church God would have me serve. And I covet your prayers as I take up the mantle of leadership.
A faith-building resource for you.
I want to share with you a sermon I preached last Sunday at Blue Valley Baptist Church right here in Kansas City. Like our bodies need food, sustenance, our souls require the bread of life, Jesus. We often try to satisfy this need in a variety of other ways, but all the desires and appetites only point to our true need for the real satisfying nourishment of Jesus himself. You are going to experience the bread of life as the fundamental sustenance necessary for your spirit. Like food itself, you need him.
I've had a tremendous start to the year, preaching in a variety of churches across the south and midwest and anticipate a strong spring. Continue to pray for us as we look for the church where God would have me serve as Pastor and for Sundays full of preaching opportunities for the remainder of the spring and early summer.
Grace and peace,
Mark Penick, Ph.D.
We hope this finds you among family, friends, and warmth this Christmas season as you look with anticipation to the new year. 2013 held several highly anticipated milestones that remind us God has us right where we are supposed to be.
Jaxton Edward Penick was born October 21 at 12:38pm, weighing in at 7lb. 15oz. and 20 inches long; he is now 10 weeks and in the 97th percentile for his height and weight. Jax is a champ and has stolen our hearts, as well as the affection of anyone who sees his big gummy grin.
We were overwhelmed with the kindness of so many in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri who hosted and attended baby showers in anticipation of Jax's arrival. And many thanks to so many who have reached out to welcome him as well!
Lincoln has fully embraced his role as big brother, often sitting next to a sleeping Jax for long periods of time. We enjoy Kansas City and take full advantage of the vast running trail system; this year we ran almost 2,000 miles collectively. Coincidentally, Jax is an early riser and loves to be bounced!
After the New Year, Starrla is returning to Mothers Against Drunk Driving as National Senior Director, Programs, learning the new balance of motherhood and leading in an organization that is making tremendous strides in legislation, education, advocacy, and victim services to positively impact society; she loves what she does and leads a very talented team that develops and manages their national programs.
Mark graduated December 20 with a Ph.D. from Dallas Baptist University. This year, he traveled across 37 states and Canada to do in-depth interviews for his qualitative phenomenological dissertation and as a result has been invited to consult and do contract work over the next months with I am Second. After serving at churches for over 10 years while simultaneously completing a Master of Divinity and doctoral studies, 2013 has been a sabbatical season providing Mark with the opportunity to complete his doctorate by writing his dissertation and also preach and speak across the south and midwest. In 2014, we anticipate God's next assignment for Mark as Senior Pastor. We invite you to pray with us as we seek the church where God would have us serve.
Please continue to stay in touch and let us know if your contact information has changed. We regularly post updates and current pictures of Jax on twitter and facebook. Know that we love you and are deeply grateful for you.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Mark & Starrla