Friday, November 17, 2017

Library Corner

Books on both the Reformation and Thanksgiving are on display for November.
Click here for more information

Martin Luther: a man who changed the world by Paul L. Maier is a biography written for the middle grades but has good information for adults. Martin’s life story sparkles with color, adventure and high drama. Most of us know his name and that he started the Reformation, but what kind of man was he? This book is a simple story of the man. Also on display is A Compend of Luther’s Theology edited by Hugh T. Kerr an in depth study of Luther’s theology.

Thanksgiving Tales: true stories of the holiday in America edited by Brian D. Jaffe. 48 writers share their individual stories and memories of earlier Thanksgiving celebrations. – Adult

Thank You for Thanksgiving by Dandi Daley Mackall tells about Thanksgiving through the eyes of the youngest child who is trying to think of something he is thankful for to add to the Thanksgiving prayer. – Children

 Thanksgiving at Our House by P.K. Hallinan describes what happens during Thanksgiving Day in P.K.’s house. The story ends with “I’m grateful for blessings that just never end. But mostly I’m thankful for all of my friends.” – Children

These books and more are on display on the book carts outside the Adult Library.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Third Wednesday and Midweek

November 15   5:30 Potluck Dinner (Gleason Hall)
                         6-7 500 years in 50 minutes---The Reformation with Pastor Dave
December 20   5:30 Potluck Dinner (Gleason Hall)
                          6-7 "Incarnation:  Grasping God with Us"

Midweek Children's Fellowship
Join us on Wednesday evenings from 6:45-7:30 PM for Children's Fellowship (Fellowship Hall).  We are studying the Old Testament with the Holy Moly series, a mission project and of course games and a snack.

Children's Choir Rehearsal 6:15 in Music Room (Downstairs)

Middle School Fellowship (Downstairs) 6-7:30 with Bible Study at 6:45 PM

Adult Music Rehearsals
Celebration Ringers 5 PM Sanctuary
Chancel Bells 6 PM Sanctuary
Chancel Choir 7 PM Music Room (Downstairs) 7:45 Cantata Rehearsal

Call the Church office for more information.  636-394-2233

Monday, November 13, 2017

Music Notes

Hopefully, you have noticed and appreciated the wide variety of music the Chancel Choir has worked
hard to prepare for you each Sunday. In order not to become a stagnant or narrow church, it is important to know and understand the whole Bible and how God relates to us through it. Expressing faith musically in a wide variety of styles and texts encourages us to think about our faith in different and nuanced ways.

The choir grows in their musical skills, and everyone grows in faith. The Chancel and Celebration Ringers are also hard at work. The Celebration Ringers is an entry level Bell Choir, while the Chancel Choir is better for more experienced and confident ringers. They will start playing in worship the end of October.

Flute players: I might try to get a group together in mid-November. I am thinking we might rehearse around 5:30 PM on Wednesdays for a couple of weeks. Let me know if you are interested.

We would love to have more singers join us (especially men!). We are in need of tenors for our Chancel Choir. I am considering looking to hire a tenor to support the men’s section on a per service, per rehearsal basis. If you know someone qualified (past experience in choir or voice lessons, good sight -reading skills, strong voice but not necessarily a soloist), please pass the information to them to contact me.

Serving God the Best I Can.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Worship Prayer for Nov. 5

CENTERING PRAYER - Thank you for waking me up this morning; each day is a gift from you. Let your Word be at work within me today that I may be faithful to you and every breath be a prayer of gratitude.  Amen.


CALL TO WORSHIP - Psalm 107:1-2
O give thanks to the Lord, who is good.
        God’s steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so:
        God’s steadfast love endures forever!
Let us worship the Lord!

Lord God, only you are holy.  Yet we imagine that we are righteous, excusing our own faults while pointing out those of others.  We are quick to lay burdens upon our neighbors but slow to help with their own.  We take credit and give blame.  In spite of the grace you have shown to us, we are slow to show mercy.  Forgive us, O God, and wash us clean, that we may serve you with joy and thanksgiving.  We continue to pray in Jesus’ name.  (Silent Confession)

† AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – Westminster Confession Shorter Catechism Question One
Question One:        What is our chief end?
Answer:                  Our chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy God forever.

   SCRIPTURE                                                                                        Matthew 23:1-12

Click here for Pastor Dave's sermon "Renewed: Talent"

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Daily Prayer for Nov. 11


Come, let us sing to the Lord; let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Ezra 6:1-22; Revelation 17:1-14; Matthew 14:22-36

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation. You have given us the light of day that we might see your wonders in all we say and do; you give us the gentle darkness of the night that we might rest from our burdens and be refreshed in body and spirit. How great is your love, Lord God, how wide is your mercy! Never let us board up the narrow gate that leads to life with rules or doctrines that you dismiss; but give us a Spirit to welcome all people with affection, so that your church may never exclude secret friends of yours, who are included in the love of Jesus Christ, who came to save us all. Almighty God, by the love of Jesus Christ you draw people to faith, and welcome them into the church family. May we show your joy by embracing new brothers and sisters, who with us believe and with us will work to serve you. Keep us close together in your Spirit, breaking bread in faith and love, one with Jesus Christ our Lord and Master. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

(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.)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

World War I, St. Louis Women, and BRO

When we at St. Mark think about BRO, we think of the women like Shirley Boeker and Louise Grothe and all the others who for decades have helped collect, sort, and distribute toys to children in need across our area. The organization’s origin and history though, does not start with spreading holiday cheer to children.

Years ago, I stumbled upon a reference to The Board of Religious Organizations of St. Louis while working at the Old Courthouse downtown. I knew that many organizations used space in the former courthouse during the 1930s but was still surprised to learn that BRO occupied two different rooms for their toy storage and workshop. I didn’t know the organization was that old and so did some further research on when and why they began.

During World War I women from religious organizations (Protestant, Jewish, and Catholic) formed a woman’s committee of the Missouri Council of National Defense to combine their efforts and help in winning the war. They organized a war savings campaign and sold approximately 1 million dollars in war saving stamps. Most of these were sold from the “Little White House” they set up near the main post office downtown. The women established Red Cross units in many houses of worship. They also raised funds for French and Belgian orphans and participated in the “sewing of the comforts committee”.

After the armistice was signed, the women wondered what would become of their active and successful organization. At a preliminary meeting to discuss their future, more than 500 women gathered. Eleven religious bodies, Protestant, Jewish, and also the Ethical Society, were included. The Board of Religious Organizations was created and their purpose as a social service organization was outlined in their constitution.

“The aim of this association shall be to stimulate the activities of the various religious organizations and their members, to coordinate their work and to unify their efforts in behalf of a better city and the community welfare. The association shall stand solely for the spirit of service and cooperation. Creed and doctrine shall play no part in its management or its work.”

They organized themselves into denominational units that were represented in different departments of work. In the early years after the war their focus was on Americanization, child welfare, community service, family welfare, institutions, protection and delinquency, publication, social hygiene, and social legislation.

“Americanization” was a term that became popular after the war. The women of the Board of Religious Organizations enrolled in training courses so they could teach English in their own homes to immigrant women and help them in other capacities. It is interesting to note that even in 1924 their efforts were acknowledged in a social services journal that stated, “The contacts that have been made have proved helpful not only to the foreign women and their families, but to the many benighted Americans who had no idea of the problems which our immigrants face or the conditions under which they are living.”

These women recognized that millions of dollars were invested in church and religious buildings that were used just a few times a week. They advocated for greater use of these buildings for various social service programs. The Board was aware that their efforts might conflict with the pastor or other “leading members of a church” but they told their members to continue working to secure use of church buildings, for their programs were essential. During the early years of the Board of Religious Organization, the women realized that some of their programs needed to be more active than others and so they prioritized their work. One of their most important early committees dealt with social legislation. They had great success in working on behalf of child welfare measures and the public schools of St. Louis.

In 1924 the Board of Religious Organization acknowledged the importance of a trained and paid staff in enlisting and training volunteers for social service. They knew they had much work to accomplish before their organization’s programs were fully successful, but they had confidence that they would continue to strengthen their efforts to do all possible for the betterment of the St. Louis community.

Mangold, George B. “The Board of Religious Organizations of St. Louis: A Co-operative Venture of Women’s Groups in Social Service” in The Journal of Social Forces, Vol. 2., No. 3 (Mar., 1924), pp.422-424
Stevens, Walter Barlow. Centennial History of Missouri, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 1921.
“Thirty-Fifth Anniversary Celebration of the St. Louis Ethical Society” The Standard, volume 8, number 3, 1921, pages 85-86.

Written and Prepared by Julie Northrip in recognition of BRO's many years of service. Click here for some of the ways St. Mark Presbyterian has contributed to BRO.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Christmas Boutique and Angel Street Cafe'

Christmas Boutique and Angel Street Café
Christmas Decorations and Ornaments - Handmade Holiday Items - Children’s Items - Jewelry Hand Painted Folk Art Items - Floral Arrangements - Personalized Items - Cookbooks & Many More Unique Gift Ideas. Also Wonderful Hand-made Items and Fresh Baked Delicacies by the Women in our church.

Tuesday, November 14 from 10:30 to 7:30 and Wednesday, November 15 from 10:00 to 2:00.

Don’t forget to join us for lunch or dinner at the Angel Street Café featuring St. Mark’s Famous Chicken Salad, Homemade Soups, Salads and Heavenly Desserts.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Deacon's Doings

Let’s Have A Christmas Tea! All for a Very Good Cause! 

In December, the Deacons at St. Mark Presbyterian will again sponsor a fundraiser for the sole purpose of donating to Lydia’s House. The St. Mark Christmas Tea will be held at 601 Claymont Dr. Ballwin, MO on December 2 from 2:30 – 4:00 PM in the Narthex. Tickets will be sold after services on November 11-12, and we anticipate selling out. (Any remaining tickets will be sold at the Boutique on November 14-15.) Tickets are $25.00 per person.

For quite a few years it was a Holiday House Tour that then evolved into a Christmas Tabletop Tourand Tea. This year, the fundraiser was renamed St. Mark Christmas Tea. It is the third annual Tea, and the Narthex will be transformed into a beautiful winter and holiday season showcase! It’s a sight to behold!

In St. Louis, Lydia's House works in faith to end domestic violence by being a place of healing and a voice of hope for abused women and their children. Did you know on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States? During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men: 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. Learn more at

At St. Mark Presbyterian, this fundraiser has grown to be a multigenerational outreach to our congregation and our community. Deacons may organize the event, but the participation of other ministries makes it happen. Presbyterian Women offer their talents in developing very tasty savories, and Choir women have joined in the sweets area! St. Mark Youth continues to serve all guests with great courtesy dressed in those “fun to see” Christmas clothing! And as Katie Sternhagen stated, they are learning how to “wait tables!”

How are funds raised for Lydia’s House? Any items remaining from the PW Holiday Boutique can be purchased at the Christmas Tea. Then, the Silent Auction provides the best fundraising opportunity. Donations are gathered, and tickets to the event are sold. The event features local high school vocal entertainment performing while tea is served; a speaker at each Tea shares her thoughts about the season; and this year, Lydia’s House chaplain will come again and speak for a few moments about their goals.

Questions? Contact D. Cloud or call the church office 636-394-2233

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Worship Prayers Oct. 29

CENTERING PRAYER - “O most holy Christ, draw me, weak as I am, after Yourself, for if You do not draw us we cannot follow You.  Strengthen my spirit, that it may be willing.  If the flesh is weak, let Your grace precede us; come between and follow, for without we cannot go for Your sake to cruel death.  Give me a fearless heart, a right faith, a firm hope, a perfect love, that for Your sake I may lay down my life with patience and joy. Amen.”
(words from prison by Czech reformer Jan Hus, before being burned at the stake July 6, 1415)

Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
         In you, we come home—to rest, to wrestle, to love, to be loved.  We dwell in you.
Before the mountains were born, before you delivered the whole world, from everlasting past to everlasting future, you are God.
         In you, we are home—we dream, we flourish, we fade, we rejoice.  We dwell in you.
Come, let us worship the Lord.

SCRIPTURE                                                                                                                          Ephesians 4:1-6
We resist being your prisoners, O Christ: we have not always led lives worthy of our calling, but have, all too often, sought to go our own way, and so we have fractured your Church when we seek to reform it.  Hear us as we own and confess our self-importance and severity, our impatience, our shunning of one another in conceit, and our reluctance to be bound by unity or peace. Silence

We resist oneness, O Spirit: we too often struggle against the fervent hope you express in continually calling us, and so we have fractured your Church when we seek to reform it.  Hear us as we own and confess our refusal to share our Savior, our insistence on a tailor-made faith, and our fantasy that baptism is our experience rather than your gift. Silence

We resist giving ourselves to you, God of all: we too often see you only in ourselves rather than above us and everyone, working through us and everyone, present in us and everyone, and so we have fractured your Church when we seek to reform it.  Hear us as we own and confess our selfish insistence at exclusivityand our rejection of your glorious family. Silence

Triune God, forgive our resistance, break down our divisions, and scatter our fears.  Make us truly one, even as you are one.  Hear as we continue to pray in Jesus’ name. (Silent Confession)


   PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE AND THE LORD’S PRAYER                                               
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen.
[Prayer requests may be given to one of the pastors before the service.]

† AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – The Heidelberg Catechism
Q.    1. What is your only comfort, in life and in death?

A.    That I belong--body and soul, in life and in death--not to myself but to my faithful Savior,      Jesus Christ, who at the cost of his own blood has fully paid for all my sins and has             completely freed me from the dominion of the devil; that he protects me so well that            without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that            everything must fit his purpose for my salvation.  Therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also      assures me of eternal life, and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on     to live for him.

   SCRIPTURE                                                                                                                       Matthew 22:34-46

For Pastor Dave's sermon "Renewed: Time", click here if video doesn't appear.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Daily Prayer November 4


Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Lamentations 5:1-22; Revelation 7:(4-8) 9-17; Matthew 13:31-35

God, our creator, you have given us work to do and call us to use our talents for the good of all. Guide us as we work, and teach us to live in the Spirit who made us your sons and daughters, in the love that made us sisters and brothers. Remember, O God, your church. Unite it in the truth of your Word and empower it in ministry to the world. Remember the world of nations. By your Spirit renew the face of the earth; let peace and justice prevail. Remember our family and friends. Bless them and watch over them; be gracious to them and give them peace. Remember the sick and the suffering, the aged and the dying. Encourage them and give them hope. Rejoicing in the communion of saints, we remember with thanksgiving all your faithful servants, whom you have called from this life. We are grateful that for them death is no more, nor is there sorrow, crying, or pain, for the former things have passed away. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

Go forth into the world, rejoicing in 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.)