Monday, May 22, 2017

BRO

BRO collects new and gently used toys, Legos (sets are not necessary), stuffed animals, dolls, books, games, puzzles, art kit items, infant & toddler toys to distribute to around 5,500 St. Louis children at Christmas. Especially needed are toys for children 6 to 10 and small “stocking stuffer” items. Items may be placed in the BRO gray collection container.

St. Mark members were very generous to BRO in 2016. They donated items valued at approximately $4,300.00. This does not include the monetary donation from Deacons and PW. We especially want to thank all those who knitted, crocheted & sewed all the cute hats, baby items, blankets & scarves. They are adorable.

Around 400 new moms received layette sets from BRO in 2016. They are so thankful for the generosity of everyone. St. Mark members donated $900.00 worth of baby items for last year & donated 319 items at a value of $1,194.00 to be used for layette sets in 2017. For further information, contact S. Boeker  or L. Grothe.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Worship Prayer May 21

PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  Loving and Beloved God, in the resurrection of Christ you have overcome the powers of this world and shown your saving love for all people.  As Christ has loved us, may we remain in his love, growing in love for one another; through Christ your Incarnate Love, to whom with you and the Spirit, one holy God, be honor and praise, now and forever.  Amen

  
CALL TO WORSHIP
Blessed be the name of God.
Life bursts forth in the beauty of creation; life erupts from the darkness of despair.
Hope abounds in the promises given; joy springs forth and sadness ends.
Strength is found to face every tomorrow; God’s wholeness brings healing to all.
The world and all that is in it glows with the glory of God.

   PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Merciful God, you call us to love our neighbor and to seek justice.  But in this busy and complicated world we are pulled in so many directions that it is easy to lose sight of your way.  Forgive us when we neglect the needs of others.  Empower us to live out your way of justice and new life. 

   SCRIPTURE                                                                                                                     Exodus 3:1-15, p. 50


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Daily Prayer for May 20

SATURDAY

God is love, and those who abide in love, abide in God, and God abides in them.

Deuteronomy 32:34-41 (42) 43; Romans 15:1-13; Luke 9:1-17

Eternal God, we praise you for your mighty love given in Christ's sacrifice on the cross, and the new life we have received by his resurrection. We thank you for the presence of Christ in our weakness and suffering, the ministry of Word and Sacrament, all who work to help and heal, sacrifices made for our benefit, opportunities for our generous giving. God of grace let our concern for others reflect Christ's self-giving love, not only in our prayers, but also in our practice. We pray for those subjected to tyranny and oppression, wounded and injured people, those who face death, those who may be our enemies. Eternal God, your love is stronger than death, and your passion more fierce than the grave. We rejoice in the lives of those whom you have drawn into your eternal embrace. Keep us in joyful communion with them until we join the saints of every people and nation, gathered before your throne in ceaseless praise. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(Opening sentences, prayers, and blessings are from the Book of Common Worship. Readings are from the daily lectionary in Daily Prayer. Both are published by Westminster/John Knox Press.)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Montreat Youth Conference is coming

THANK YOU!!MONTREAT YOUTH CONFERENCE June 3-10 the youth are headed to Montreat Youth Conference. This year’s theme is ‘A Missing Peace.’ I am eager to see what we learn and how the youth not only absorb it, but are transformed by it! The youth will be presenting their trip later this summer. There is much more to be shared, you will not want to miss it!!

A HUGE THANK YOU to all who participated, donated, and helped make our Trip to Montreat happen! It is truly a transformative experience for our students and on behalf of Pastor Susan and myself, we are so privileged to have the opportunity to see the transformation that happens over the weeklong trip! THANK YOU!!

Click here for photos from 2015 Montreat Retreat

Monday, May 15, 2017

Deacon Reach Out and In

Flood Clean Up 2017
Let’s talk about mission/outreach. From the Mission Study Report, four significant values emerged:  traditional, friendly, CARING, and active. Our faith calls us to be known by our actions as well as our convictions, serving both our own congregation and the larger community. That’s where the deacons can help.

Many of the deacon committees provide opportunity to help others – here are just a few: Golf Tournament benefitting Circle of Concern, Caregiving Committee (“We Care” meals and more), ABC Sale for charitable monetary donations

In addition, Pastor Susan and our Mission Committee continue to provide “hands on” opportunities like the mission trip to Perryville to help after the tornado or helping with the latest Meramec River floods.

 But all these opportunities need one very important element: YOU! As leaders in the church, deacons provide opportunities for you to get involved and reach out. We NEED YOU to work with us to reach both inside and outside our church walls to our sisters and brothers in Christ. So ask a deacon or look for these types of opportunities and come along to share God’s love with others. While you fill the needs of others, the Holy Spirit will fill your spirit with goodwill and love. It’s a win win!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Worship Prayers for May 14

PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  Living God, we come this day with praise and thanksgiving.  May this time of worship empower us to embody your good news.  May we always abide in you, and you in us.  May we respond to the power of your word, and the promises of your love.  May we be so filled with your Spirit that we can't help but proclaim your goodness.  Amen.


CALL TO WORSHIP
We come to this place where God pours out love on us.
         We join our voices in praise, as we come to worship God.
We gather with these people, those who seek to follow Jesus.
         We gather so we might walk the paths of discipleship.
We open our hearts to gifts of the Spirit.
         We will tell of God's love to all who will listen.


   PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Gracious God, your love is poured out on all peoples.  We have been slow to receive it for ourselves.  We complicate your love with rules, worries, and doubts.  We have been slow to live out your love - our actions have not matched our words; our hearts have not matched your message.  Help us to hear your call and feel your transformative power.  May your Spirit fill us with courage to proclaim the good news of your love.  Strengthen our resolve and guide our actions, that we may truly bear good fruit.



   SCRIPTURES                                                                      Luke 24:36-48, p. 91 and Acts 3:12-19, p. 121

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Daily Prayer for May 13

SATURDAY

God is love, and those who abide in love, abide in God, and God abides in them.
Jeremiah 31:23-25; Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 7:18-28 (29-30) 31-35

Eternal God, we praise you for your mighty love given in Christ's sacrifice on the cross, and the new life we have received by his resurrection. We thank you for the presence of Christ in our weakness and suffering, the ministry of Word and Sacrament, all who work to help and heal, sacrifices made for our benefit, opportunities for our generous giving. God of grace let our concern for others reflect Christ's self-giving love, not only in our prayers, but also in our practice. We pray for those subjected to tyranny and oppression, wounded and injured people, those who face death, those who may be our enemies. Eternal God, your love is stronger than death, and your passion more fierce than the grave. We rejoice in the lives of those whom you have drawn into your eternal embrace. Keep us in joyful communion with them until we join the saints of every people and nation, gathered before your throne in ceaseless praise. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Opening sentences, prayers, and blessings are from the Book of Common Worship. Readings are from the daily lectionary in Daily Prayer. Both are published by Westminster/John Knox Press.)

Friday, May 12, 2017

VBS is Coming!

VBS PREPARATION DINNER DATES 5:30 P.M. 
May 10 is being re-scheduled
June 14 Pulled Pork 
June 28 Hamburgers/Hot Dogs 

Join your St. Mark family as the Children’s Ministries Committee prepares for VBS. This may entail painting, cutting, assembling crafts, ironing decals, etc. All dinners are casual with the main course provided. Please bring a side dish. (A free-will offering is collected to offset the expense of the main course.) BE A SUPER HERO FOR VBS 2017

SAVE THE DATE VBS 2017—JULY 17-21
Calling all Adult Heroes and Junior Side Kicks to help during the week
Questions??? Liz Oglesby or Ellen Hynes

Monday, May 8, 2017

Music Notes

The 2016-1017 Choir Season is coming to a close as summer approaches. I am very thankful to
everyone in our chancel choir and our bell choirs for their service, plus those who have shared their talents with their individual instruments or voices. While it may look “easy” in the congregation, most of our music requires weeks of preparation. While some choir members come as they are available, others are at rehearsal and in worship without fail, every week. Without the commitment of our choir members, and bell choir members, there would be no choirs at St. Mark. Directors cannot do it alone! Thank you one and all!

We also need to thank our Children Choir Director, Lisa Marsh for her faithful and cheerful service the last 17 years! That is right, I said 17! Lisa has brought her enthusiasm and understanding to the children of this church as she directed them in biannual musicals. While this was a joy for her, there was also sacrifice involved because when her family wanted her to go off for a weekend or event, she would have to say “No” I need to work with the children. After these many years of service, Lisa has decided to retire this year after the Spring Musical. Thank you Lisa, you have earned a well-deserved rest!

And let’s not forget the Children’s Choir and Chancel Choir Accompanist, Judy Young! She makes my job so much easier with her steadfast accompanying. Judy has also “stepped up” to help me during service by playing on hymns with the bells, or the Doxology while I was on the other side of the sanctuary, and filling in as a substitute director or organist while I took a vacation day. She has also quietly done “ clean-up” duty after Cantatas and Easter to get the choir loft back to normal. She is one of the “Angels” of the church.

Please be aware of and appreciative of all these people. I am old enough now to say things like this: one of the biggest mistakes I have seen people make in relationships, organizations, churches, or businesses is to NOT appreciate and support what they have while they have it! Grab one of these people and say “Thanks!”

Serving God the Best I Can . . . Marsha

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Worship prayers for May 7


PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  Almighty God, our risen Lord was made known to the disciples in the breaking of bread.  You opened the meaning of the Scriptures to the disciples on the road to Emmaus.  You set their hearts ablaze.  Open the eyes of our hearts that we may recognize Christ’s presence, kindle our hearts as we hear your word proclaimed, so that we may with his disciples cry, “The Lord has risen, indeed!”  Amen.

  

CALL TO WORSHIP
Where the broken are made whole, where life is stronger than death:
         there the stone has been rolled away.
Where strangers become friends, where hope is stronger than despair:
         there we find Jesus walking.
Where the anxious find serenity, where love is stronger than hate:
         There, Jesus is opening our eyes.
Alleluia!  Christ is risen!
         Alleluia!  Christ is with us!


   PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Living God, you come to us, offering new life, yet we do not see the miracles you set before us.  You come to us, proclaiming never ending love, yet we do not recognize you.  You come to us, piercing our darkness with hope, yet we overlook your presence.  Forgive us, we pray, our hearts are slow to see and honor you.  Do not leave us, but stay with us.  Awaken us to your presence.  Walk with us, so we can become companions to the lost.  Welcome us, so we can include the helpless and the homeless.  Love us, so we can share that love with everyone we meet as we follow Jesus Christ, our risen Lord.


   SCRIPTURE                                                                                                                     Luke 24:13-35, p. 90