Friday, August 30, 2013

Midweek Begins

And it will begin with a bang!  We will have great food and fellowship beginning at 5:30 PM (Click here for menu and sign ups).  We will have youth groups, choir and handbell rehearsals as we have in the past (Click here for the schedule).  This year we will also have a worship service beginning from 6:30-7:00 followed by weekly classes and lectures.


SEPT 4 "Partnering For a Stronger, Safer Community" – Ballwin Police Dept.
 presented by Officer Sarah Case, Ballwin Police Dept.

SEPT 11 "Here Comes the Affordable Care Act, Blast-Off Date
Oct 2013, Are You Aware of the Facts?" presented by Joe Coleman, Joseph Financial

SEPT 18 "Home Health Care:  Acronyms & Payment of – Which
Programs Can Help You and Your Love Ones When the
Need Arises" presented by Josephine Spicer, Algonguin Nurses Home Health Care

SEPT 25 "Navigating as the Sandwich Generation" presented by Jeannie Krause-Taylor,
Pathways for Aging

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ruling Elders Trained for Pastoral Commissions

 Several of us from St. Mark went to the Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery meeting to attend the commissioning of one of our members:  Jerie Lukefahr.  Five elders were commissioned from Webster Groves, Steelville, St. Mark, Hillsboro and Boeff Presbyterian Churches.  After 3 years of study, training, and service they are now available to be Lay Pastors.  In the program for the meeting:
Meet the Elders who have completed the Commissioned ruling Elder training program and are now ready for a call.  They will discuss the Sacraments and share about therir experience of the training program.  Everyone is invited to attend.  Churches who may be considering a CRE are encouraged to attend to meet the eligible Elders.  We also encourage members from the Elders' home churches to attend.

Monday, August 26, 2013

From Chants, to Psalter, to Hymns , and more

Medieval church music

The span of history between the end of the Roman Empire, and the beginning of the Renaissance (1450) did not leave much in the way of written records, including church history.  Church music in this period would have been mostly ‘plainchant’ in style: one melody line.  Later, two or more lines were combined together and sung in large cathedrals.

            Parishioners in the medieval era were spectators rather than active participants. Most could not read and would not have had access to Scripture even if they had been literate.  The songs sung in worship were still mostly psalms. Over time, written chants developed, sung mostly by choirs of men rather than by worshippers themselves.  Pope Gregory is attributed with the origin of the chant but some suggest that his name was simply used to gain acceptance of that style of song throughout the Holy Roman Empire.

            As the Gregorian chants continued to evolve, they were accompanied by an organist, in part because they had become more and more complicated to sing.  The introduction of the organ was notable. During the first thousand years of the Christian church, instruments had been rejected by religious leadership due to their association with pagan worship[1].

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Self-Storage Sermon

Luke 12: 13-21
Jill Boyd
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me." 14 But he said to him, "Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?" 15 
And he said to them, "Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions." 16 Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, 'What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?' 18 Then he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' 20 But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."
Relax, eat, drink, and be merry!  I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me right now!  This has been a very busy summer, and I sometimes find myself fantasizing about the good life, which for me at this time of year includes spending time with my family at Lake Michigan doing, well…eating, drinking, relaxing, and being merry!  When I first read this passage, I understood the rich fool’s desire to enjoy some of the fruits of his labor.  I assumed he had worked hard for it, and I know a little bit about what hard work is like. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Controversial Hymn

While looking for another article on line, I ran across this news item about a hymn that was supposed to be in our new hymnal.  Click here if you want to read the entire article.

Basically, the hymnal committee, according to the article wanted to change one phrase: "The original lyrics say that “on that cross, as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.” The Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song wanted to substitute the words, “the love of God was magnified.”

This reminded me of a time in our Level Green Presbyterian Church when we never sang any hymns that were "too bloodly" or violent.  I had never paid much attention to lyrics until then.  Actually one of my favorite hymns as a child was "Onward Christian Soldier"---I especially loved the "marching into war" because our hymn leaders let us march.

So, at first when I read about this hymn I thought it was "the wrath of God" that the committee objected to, but, no, it was the word "satisfied".  First, that word implies contentment or satisfaction which I don't associate with God very often.  Second, I just like the imagery of "the love of God" over "the wrath of God."  John 3: 16 tells us: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  That just doesn't sound like a wrathful God being satisfied that his son died on the cross.  Third, I don't even know what that means:  Jesus died on the cross and God was happy?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Scripture Cake

In the St. Mark Presbyterian cookbook, Taste the Best, 25 Years, is a recipe which may take a little work.  First, you need a King James version of the Bible.
Second, you need to read the directions carefully.  For example, 1 c. Judges 5:25 mentions 3 ingredients: water, milk, butter.  (see below) You need to just use the LAST one.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Here I Am Lord

"I send my messenger. . .who will prepare your way before you." Mark 1:2

Reading Mark 1: 1-13, I was reminded of both the simplicity and complexity of our life on earth.  Simple when we understand God sent Jesus for each of us to change our lives.  Complex when we realize that we are called to translate our faith into support for our family, friends and those we can reach.  This translation is different for each of us, but just as we were taught, we must teach others.  Reflecting on my role as a teacher, I found some new words to an old hymn.  May they provide insight and guidance for all of us
Here I Am, Lord (new verses for teachers)
Here I am Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling me this day.
I will teach, Lord, if you lead me;
I will hold your children in my heart.

Friday, August 9, 2013

ABC Sale Recipes

The ABC Sale at St. Mark Presbyterian has an army of workers who price, sort, sell, clean-up, but we also have a kitchen staff who prepares lunch and breakfast.  Marie Holt agreed to share several of those recipes.  She doesn't know where she got the casserole recipe, but credits J. Keeler with the slaw one. The chicken wraps sounds like it is Marie's. :-)  Thanks to everyone who made this year's ABC Sale a success.  Left-over items and the money are all donated to local charities.

4 chicken breasts
8 oz cream cheese
10 flour tortillas
1 medium onion chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
8 oz salsa
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar
thin sliced green onions
sliced black olives

Cook and chop chicken in food processor. Mix with cream cheese 
and onion. Spread mixture on tortillas and roll up. Put in a 13x9 
sprayed casserole dish. Combine milk, soup, and salsa and pour over top
of tortillas. Sprinkle with cheddar. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 
30 minutes and uncovered for 10 minutes. Garnish with onions and 


small amount of salt
generous amount of celery seed
Mix all ingredients and add Marzetti Cole Slaw Dressing until 
thoroughly moistened. Make ahead of serving time so seasonings mix 

I don't really have a recipe. It's chicken chopped in a food processor, finely chopped celery, small amount of finely chopped onion, salt and curry to taste, and mayo to moisten and bind. Lettuce and chicken mixture on soft tortilla rolled up. CHICKEN BREAST! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Taste the Best: Pastoral Family Recipes

Bob and Mary Jo Lucas with Rosella Gleason
Pictured above are our organizing pastor, Bob Lucas with his wife Mary Jo, talking with Rosella Gleason whose husband was our longest serving pastor (Howard Gleason).  Rosella was (and is) a wonderful cook, baking our communion bread and hosting a brunch each year for the church officers in their home.  Here are two recipes from those brunches:  Cheese Blintzes and Sausage Egg Casserole (one of our family's favorites as you can see)