Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Welcome to my new blog. I recently moved from Orlando, Florida where I was the pastor of University Presbyterian Church to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where I am now pastor of Village Seven Presbyterian Church. It is a dramatic change, to say the least. While the two churches are part of the same denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America, they are different in size, style, and age. Yet, they share the same rich theology and heritage, as well as a passion to see God's grace proclaimed to their cities and the world.

I titled my blog "A View from 6000 Feet" because a) I am bad at thinking of titles, and b)my home in Orlando sits at a stunning 75 feet above sea level. Our new home is at 6316 feet, which is nearly has high as Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi. The picture at the top of my blog was taken from Palmer Park, which is at the end of our cul-de-sac (then up about 200 feet). It shows downtown Colorado Springs with Pikes Peak (14,110 feet) in the background.

Living at high altitude offers a different perspective. On the one hand, you can see a long way. You are up above it all and can see things that those down at low altitude cannot. On the other hand, the air is thinner. So, some of my comments may reflect oxygen deprivation.

Colorado Springs is a beautiful place to live. Every morning, I see the sun shining on Pikes Peak and am held captive by its beauty. I have only been here for three weeks, but I can't imagine ever getting tired of it. We can walk out our door and go for a hike in Palmer Park (pictured above). In 10 minutes, we can be in the Garden of the Gods. In less than 20 minutes, we can be up in Cheyenne CaƱon. When the snow falls, the ski slopes are only 2 hours away. It is an amazing place.


karin said...

With temperatures in the upper 90s, it's tough not to be jealous of your backyard. But we'll see who's laughing come winter! buwaa ha ha ha ha (j/k)

Looks like you're getting nice and settled. Glad to see you blogging!

Rob said...

Mark, it is great to have you here at V7PC and Colorado Springs. Your sermons the past two Sunday's have been refreshing and God is definitely beginning to use you to breathe new life.

We are looking forward to getting to know you, Tricia, and your daughters. By the way, we happen to have an Anna Kathryn in our family, too.

Rob Bushway

Jill said...

Great to see your blog! I just asked Mike the other day if we had an update from you guys. SO, this is nice. Great to see you are settling in and enjoying the sights. It is really beautiful there! Jason and I went to Garden of Gods a couple of years ago and it was spectacular!

Lindsey said...

We miss you SO much here in the office. I am glad things are going well in Colorado but I have to admit that I am still a bit envious that they have you and we don't. God is doing good things here at UPC. We have Vision Awareness on Sunday and it is gonna be really good. Mike is doing an awesome job!! Thanks for blogging so us UPC'ers can keep up with your happenings.

Kim said...

As you did when I came back from CO with stories and pictures of spectacular sights - I read your blog covering my ears the whole time. lalalala I can't hear you lalalala ;} CO withdrawal

Truly - So glad you all are settling in so well and enjoying it out there. We miss you all very very much. Look forward to seeing you all one day when we moveisit out there. (I can wish, can't I?)

ruthie said...

I found your new blog all by myself! Miracle of miracles! We miss you and just remember we are going to be having some rockin' fun on vision sunday-but not quite as much fun I'm sure as your going away party! Give your better half a big hug for me!

Joan Stephens said...


Thanks for blogging. We've been thinking about you lots and praying that all is well.

Lou and I just got back from a super week in Banff and Jasper National Parks.

Kevin Allen said...

Wow! High Altitude and High Tech!! - We weren't warned about all this - so should we all blogging - or will we get blogged down?!! That was bad. Welcome Mark, we are loving working here with you. Please remember this nice blog when it comes to end of year reviews!!

The Williams Family said...

Hi, Mark and the Bates family! I just stumbled onto your blog by finding your the link on your previous blog page! I must say that I am envious of your new locale, but I also still miss seeing you all each week. As much as I am happy for your new position, I still have some sad feelings in my heart...we miss you guys! Much love to you all as always, Becky Williams

Barry McNair said...

i just wanted to make a suggestion on continuing your annual ski trip, except you should now bring a group of Men to Florida to waterski in January. Just a thought, it should be warm enough.