Thursday, January 31, 2013

From Jill and David Boyd

Hello, St. Mark Friends! David and I were asked to submit an article for our seminary newsletter about what it's like to attend seminary together. We took a humorous approach (hard to believe, huh?!!?) and thought you might like to read it.

The Truth About Attending Seminary With Your Spouse...

Before coming to seminary, our CPM identified one of our goals as “stay married!” We thought they were joking, but we soon learned there was wisdom in this statement. So here it is -- the good, the bad, and the ugly of attending seminary with your spouse…

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

O Lord, Our Heavenly Father

O Lord, Our Heavenly Father,

We pray to thee that you will help us lay aside all of our differences,
And to see everyone equally,
To help us see that our sins are wrongdoings
Against you and against your love.

Try to help us see that we can change our ways
And to accept your love.

We thank thee Lord for the everlasting love you give to us
And we thank you for our guidance.

I pray to thee, O Lord, that you will forgive our acts of violence towards you
And each other because we are blind people and will forever need your guidance.

In Jesus Christ we pray,


The above prayer is from a book of prayers written by the 1984 Junior High Sunday School Class at St. Mark Presbyterian Church.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Junior High Prayer, 1984

This prayer is from a book prepared by the Junior High Sunday School Class:

Dear Lord

Thank you for helping me this past week by giving me patience and understanding.

This week, could you also help other people who don't have much?  I'm sure they would appreciate it.

Sometimes we don't realize that it's you helping us.

Please make us realize that.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

BBJ Continues to Serve Job Seekers

Last fall, Businesspersons Between Jobs (BBJ) celebrated its 40th anniversary of assisting those in our community who are in job transition.

BBJ provides tools, resources and support required to assist its members in their search for employment.

Over the last year, attendance at weekly meetings continued to decline as the recession eased. Early in 2012, attendance averaged from 40 to 50 while later in the year attendance averaged about 25 to 35 members.

Meanwhile members of the BBJ LinkedIn group continue to grow and we are currently reaching 2,026 persons via this important social media platform. The BBJ group shares resources and ideas through LinkedIn and helps members connect with others on LinkedIn.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dear God

From (1984 Youth) Book of Thoughts and Prayers
Dear God,
Forgive me for all the sins I have done this past week.
Thank you for letting me be close to my family and friends.
Send my prayers to all people who are poor and 
Can't get enough of the basic needs.
In Jesus Christ we pray,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Book of Thoughts and Prayers

This booklet is the result of a unit of study based on Prayer.  The class became aware of the many types of Prayer:  Adoration, Thanksgiving, Confession, Intercession, Petition, Commitment.

Through personal examination and different interviews with various age levels they found that there was no set time for prayer; that prayer was a personal communication with God in which they (or anyone) can share their thoughts with God--God is a friend and one can talk with Him about anything; God's word is our guiding hand through life  Prayer is a way of "keeping in touch with God."

the study began with a look at the Lord's Prayer--A true model prayer given by Christ to his Disciples--if looked at closely, we find the 10 Commandments have been turned into Prayer.

Some members of the class have written a prayer for the booklet.  
St. Mark Presbyterian Junior High Sunday School Class March, 1984.  None of the prayers written by the class have the identity of the authors.

Jesus Christ,
We pray for your forgiveness, for we have sinned many times over.
We thank you for letting us see the good through you.
Please forgive others so they can see that You are the One they need faith in.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Reform School

Baptism: You are a child of God!    

Baptism was practiced long before Jesus waded into the Jordan River with John the Baptist in the first century.  In the 6th century B.C.E. - the period of the Exile or Diaspora of the Jews - proselyte (non-Jewish) baptisms were offered to entire families coming to Judaism, or to children of those adults who had already converted to Judaism. Both circumcision and baptism were signs of the Covenant between God and God’s people.

            The word ‘baptism’ is from the Greek baptisein meaning to immerse or dip. Water used in baptism and other religious rituals has always been linked to purification, to new life and life itself.  Baptism in the Christian faith signifies a new beginning; a birth; death and resurrection.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Preschool Teacher Anniversaries

At our annual Christmas Program in the sanctuary, we celebrated two long-tenured teacher anniversaries; Connie Linden and Lisa Turnquist.  Both have been teaching Claymont Preschool at St. Mark children for 15 years.  In the Fall of 2012 we honored Peggy Noonan for 15 years, and in May of last year, Jennifer Wipke, also for 15 years.  We are blessed with teachers who really care about our children, are loving and talented, experienced teachers. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Book Club

 Presbyterian Women sponsors a Book Club that meets once a month (usually the 4th Wednesday at 9:30 AM).  We read fiction, non-fiction, young adult, classics, historical, humorous, memoirs---all sorts of books (I have not been able to convince anyone to read science fiction or post-apocalyptic, though)  For example we have read The Book Thief, 19th Wife, The Good Earth, Tender Bar, Whistling Season, Winter's Bone, Moonflower in 2009-2010.
 We have also read Shanghai Girls, The Help, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Finding Nouf, Half-broken Horses, Cutting for Stone.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Now that the mad rush is over. . .

Now that the mad rush is over,
O centre of stillness and peace:
now that the needles are falling from the tree,
we thank you that you are still God-with-us.
As we face the year ahead,
help us to accept the difficult parts of our lives;
help us to make the changes we must make;
bring us to new places of openness and love
toward you and the people around us;
help us to overcome the fears which keep us from fullness of life.
As the frigid days of January and February draw near,
help us to keep warm places alive within us,
where in secret the bulbs of springtime tulips are nurtured.
As we face the year ahead, we thank you for one another
and for your grace in Jesus Christ.
Help us individually and as a congregation
to be signs of your compassion,
hope, joy, and unity in this world,
your love in Jesus our Christ.
Ruth C. Duck (from The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Is "Flash Prayer" Part of Your Prayer Life?

The beauty of this Sunset led to a Flash Prayer.
At our St. Mark small group meeting last week, we focused on the basics of prayer including how to pray and when to pray. 

The lesson included the ACTS prayer guide which includes: 

A = adoration

C = confessions 
T = thanksgiving 
S = supplication 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Is Christmas EVER over?

Creche from Holy Land, Christmas Eve
We celebrated Epiphany this morning.  The Worship Committee met after worship, and all the Christmas decorations for which we are responsible have been carefully taken down and packed away for storage.  The pieces of the small creche made from Holy Land wood have been wrapped and are now resting in their small box until Advent returns.  Our houses look somewhat stark and barren after being filled with greenery and twinkling lights for the last 6 weeks or so.  Neighborhoods are dark again in the long winter evening.  Many have resolved to get back on diets after enjoying less than healthy but oh so tasty treats. So, it would appear to be official - it's a wrap on Christmas 2012.

But Christmas is so much more than bright lights, decorations, social gatherings, and carol singing.  Christmas is the spirit that lives in each and everyone of us that makes us remember those in our community, our nation and our world who don't have access to the bounties we enjoy.  It is the spirit that makes us want to reach out and lend a helping hand to those in need.  When we help an elderly neighbor clear an icy porch or sidewalk, we are sharing the Christmas spirit.  When we support the Circle of Concern, we share the Christmas spirit with our less fortunate neighbors.  When we purchase Free Trade items offered by the Missions Committee, we share the Christmas spirit with those in Third World countries who are struggling to achieve a higher standard of living for themselves.

 As good old Ebeneezer Scrooge says at the end of A Christmas Carol: "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."  So, I wish each and everyone who follows this site a blessed Christmas - today, tomorrow, next week, next month and each day of 2013!

Twelve Days of Christmas

I am always a little irritated when people sing the "Twelve Days of Christmas" BEFORE Christmas.  No, the 12 Days of Christmas are between Dec. 25 and Jan. 6.  Don't get me started on people who remove all of their Christmas decorations on Jan. 1.

Recently Barb D. shared with us at Small Group the following information While Snopes disagrees with the history behind it, I still like the symbolic tie-in.  After all no one knows for sure:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Exercise Classes at St. Mark

If you have made a resolution to get fit, we have several exercise classes at St. Mark to help you.  Plus, see Victoria's posting last week for another suggestion.
 This is the Chair Exercise group which meets weekly on Wednesday mornings---please check the calendar for details.  Click here  This group uses a video presentation to guide them through the stretch and balance exercises.