Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Jill and David Boyd

Thank you David Boyd for sharing your sermon from the weekend of June29-30.
An audio file for this can be found on our web-site: 

Almighty God,
You speak to your people from burning bushes, from whirlwinds, and from silence;
Speak to each of us today in a voice that we recognize,
so we may understand your call to us through your word,
And as we hear and understand, gives us hearts to follow; living lives filled with the love and compassion.
We pray this in the name of Christ Jesus.  Amen.
Luke 9:51-62
51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; 53but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. 54When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’* 55But he turned and rebuked them. 56Then* they went on to another village.
Would-Be Followers of Jesus
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ 58And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’ 59To another he said, ‘Follow me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ 60But Jesus* said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ 61Another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’ 62Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’

            At this point in the gospel according to Luke, Jesus knows where he is going and he is clearly determined to get there.  Jesus has “set his face to go to Jerusalem,” and nothing apparently is going to get in his way.  Rather than choosing a route to Jerusalem that would take him and his disciples through friendly territory, Jesus chooses the most direct route to Jerusalem by traveling through Samaria.  And, not surprisingly, the Samaritan’s historic hostility towards Jews quickly surfaces as they refuse to receive him and his followers, leaving them without shelter.  Angered by the insult, James and John ask Jesus if they can exact vengence on the Samaritans.  But as we might expect, Jesus rejects their appeals for a violent retribution against the Samarians and simply moves on to the next village.

Monday, July 29, 2013

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

The Post-Dispatch recently ran an article on one of my favorite people, Fred Rogers and the role his show played in a children's ministry called "Mister Roger's Neighborhood". Click on the link below to read the article.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Circle of Concern Back to School Supply Drive

'Circle of Concern Back-to-School Supply Drive'
When:  August 3rd
Where:  Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church or at the following ''drop boxes'' 
Great Southern Bank, 11688 Manchester, Des Peres;
The Insurance Store, 1415 Elbridge Payne, Suite 230, Chesterfield;
CTA, 1625 Larkin Williams, Fenton; and
Circle of Concern, 112 St Louis Ave, Valley Park

Requested Items:
Backpacks                                    Highlighters                                
Colored Pencils                           Pocket Folders (with brads)
Crayons                                        Pencil Boxes/Pouches
Glue Sticks                                  Wide Rule Filler Paper
Fiskar Scissors                            Wide or Thin Line Markers
Post-it Notes (3x3)                   Pens (blue, black, red ink)
Ruler                                            NEW 2” Three-ring Binders
#2 Pencils                                   Composition Books (Wide and College)
Dry Erase Markers                   Spiral Notebooks (Wide and College)

Special Request Items:  Middle School/High School
Large, Sturdy Backpacks        College Rule Filler Paper
Solar Scientific Calculators    Index Cards
Wal-Mart and Target Gift Cards

There are "school bus" boxes in the Narthex for your donations.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Two Salads from Taste the Best Cookbook

This summer we are featuring some recipes from St. Mark Presbyterian Cookbook, Taste the Best, created in 1987 to celebrate our 25th Anniversary.
 Over 25 years ago, Mary Beth prepared this bean/cauliflower salad for Vacation Church School luncheon.

Monday, July 15, 2013

How Great Thou Art

“What hymn always makes you think of your parents or grandparents?”

Whenever I hear or sing the hymn “How Great Thou Art” I am transcended back to the summer of 1965.  I was 17 years old and camping with my family in Rocky Mountain National Park.  After breakfast on our first day in the park, we decided to explore the terrain behind our tent.  We climbed the slope to discover that we were on the top of a ridge with a majestic panorama of a glacial valley below us.  We were quiet in its beauty.  Then a family member – I don’t remember who – suggested that we sing “How Great Thou Art”.  So we did.  In that sacred moment I recall the elation and humbleness of being united together with my mother, my father, my four siblings, and my God.

Victoria Sherman

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Emergency Tubs

At our Emergency Preparation Meeting, we were reminded to have tubs with emergency supplies to have at home.  Several years ago I wrote a blog about our tub of supplies (Click Here)
As I said in my blog, our Emergency bins get used a lot since we take them in our van as we travel.  I try to have protein (tuna, soup, nuts), oatmeal, fruit, beverages (V-8, apple juice) in addition to the gallon of water we travel with.  Our last trip even had me digging out some apple sauce and chicken soup when I wasn't feeling well.

Here is what FEMA recommends for a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Blessed Be the Tie that Binds

 Phil Keim said "Blessed Be the Tie that Binds"  was his mother's favorite hymn and has become one of his favorites, too.  For me, I am taken back 50 years to a play in high school:  Our Town.  I had never sung the hymn until this play. (Yes, I am in the photo above) Singing it three times nightly, it became a favorite of mine, too.

1 Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love;
the fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above. 
2 Before our Father's throne
we pour our ardent prayers;
our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
our comforts and our cares.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Louisville Worktrip

 Ryan, Susan and the youth shared their Louisville work trip experiences with the congregation at St. Mark Presbyterian.  Click here for the audio presentation which accompanied thse photos.
 The group started at Churchill Downs where they witnessed the "Backside" through Christ Chapel.  Click here for the video about this mission.  Below is Ryan's report on the Work Trip.

High School Mission Trip
Louisville, Kentucky
June 2-7 2013
Beginning in August 2012, our youth and families began serving the needs of others in the local community, every 1st weekend of the month.  Every 1st Sunday at St Mark, we also celebrate the Lord’s Supper. We come to worship, hungry and thirsty, hoping to get a taste of the kingdom of God.  We hear of God’s love and Grace through Word, song, prayer and by gathering together as a community.  And we especially look forward to the times, where we can join together at the Lord’s Table.  It is at this table that we are nourished by Christ.  Here, our hearts, minds and bodies are renewed by the Holy Spirit, which sends us from our seats at the table to love and serve God and neighbors. Christ’s Table is not limited to the confines of our churches; this boundless Love, Grace & Community of our Trinitarian God extends out into the world.

On June 2, 10 high school youth, Pastor Susan and I worshipped and celebrated the joyful feast of the Lord’s Supper with our St Mark church family before embarking on our summer mission trip to Louisville, Kentucky, where we witnessed the active and transformative work of Christ.

While in Louisville, we were blessed to serve at Churchill Downs & Christ Chapel, Wayside Christian Mission, Berrytown YMCA, Dare to Care Food Bank and Applepatch Community.

 At Churchill Downs, we did some clean up work on the grounds, toured the horse barns, worshipped at Christ Chapel, where our youth preached the sermon and following the service, we enjoyed a fellowship meal with the Christ Chapel church family. 

On our second day of service, we were blessed with the opportunity to lead activities and games at the Annual Backside Workers Picnic.  Our youth even took part in the Latin dancing.

Once again, we witnessed the Spirit of God on the move! It was the Spirit of God that drew us together in community with the Backside workers at Churchill.  The love of God transformed boundaries of language, culture and status, as we ate, played and danced in celebration with our brothers and sisters.  Throughout our service in Louisville, we were given a glimpse of the kingdom of God, as we were guests at these joyful celebrations, where all were welcome.  And we were blessed with the opportunity to serve.