Sunday, August 31, 2014

Worship August 24

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP:  God of light and truth, you are beyond our grasp or conceiving.  Before the brightness of your presence the angels veil their faces.  With lowly reverence and adoring love we acclaim your glory and sing your praise, for you have shown us your truth and love in Jesus Christ our Savior.  Amen.
CALL TO WORSHIP (Adapted from Psalm 145:1-3)
Leader:      We will exalt our God and King;
People:      We will praise God's name for ever and ever;
Leader:      Great is the Lord and worthy of praise;
People:      So we have gathered to worship our God.
Leader:      Indeed, we shall worship our God.
O God, your prophets proclaimed the call to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with you.  Your beloved child came proclaiming your reign of justice and peace.  We look at our country still struggling with racism and prejudice; we look at the widening gap between rich and poor.  As we struggle to love your world and its people as you do, help us to perform signs of hope amidst people under siege.  Help us to love one another, in Christ’s name.  Amen
To listen to Dan and Linda Anderson-Little's sermon "got water?", Click here
For more on their ministry, click here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Request for Supplies for Ferguson Families

Items needed for distribution in Ferguson have been divided by faith/denomination. Each denomination has been requested by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Team to bring items which Ferguson families need.  Drop off at Pastor Susan's Office at St. Mark or at Washington AME Zion Church – St. Louis and Christ the King UCC – Florissant.  

The Presbyterians and Episcopalians have been asked to bring:

• feminine products
• diapers – all sizes

• baby wipes

Monday, August 25, 2014

Living Waters

Dan and Linda Anderson-Little visited St. Mark Presbyterian last weekend, to preach but also to
announce the formation of a new church in South St. Louis County called "Living Waters".

"Living Waters" is a joint project of the PCUSA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  This may seem an odd pairing, but the PCUSA has a new mission called 1001 New Worshipping Communities (Click here) which has some interesting concepts in new church development like one affiliated with Cross Fit gyms: these are not necessarily brick and mortar churches being formed.

Saturday night, Dan said he and Linda would be spending time at "the wells" which are clubs, coffee shops and bars, today.  They will be there to listen.  They chose the name "Living Waters" because that is what Jesus has for people thirsty for healing and happiness.  They will be seeking out those who are spiritual but not religious hoping to make disciples of Jesus Christ who will make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Prior to this ministry Dan was, for 14 years, the pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in University City.  He is a sixth generation Presbyterian pastor and a fourth generation church planter.  For more on Dan, click here.

Linda was the pastor of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Clayton, prior to this ministry.  Linda also served congregations in Kansas City (another St. Mark's) and Detroit.  For more on Linda and her beliefs, click here.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Worship August 17

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP:  Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost; to show kindness and not seek to find fault in one another, to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
CALL TO WORSHIP (Adapted from Psalm 8:1-2)
Leader:      O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

People:      You have set Your glory above the heavens.

Leader:      From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise.

People:      From our lips Your praise will come forth.

Leader:      Let us worship our majestic God. 
Lord, over the centuries You have called to the human race in so many different ways.  You have shown us Yourself in the wonder of Your creation.  You have sent Your Son to show us Your face and to call us into relationship with You.  But we have often turned away from Him and tried to fill the void in our lives with other things.  Instead of following Him, we turn to gods of our own making to help us fix what is wrong in us.  Forgive us for not opening our lives to Your Son and help us open our hearts to receive Him in new ways.  AMEN.

For the August 17, sermon, click here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

#TBT: Sunday School

 The 1975 St. Mark Presbyterian Sunday School Program had 2 Sunday School Superintendents:  R. McCoy and E. Hynes.  Yes, the same E. Hynes who is currently in charge of Children's Ministries!  These photos and the 2 below were for the church pictorial directory.
E. Phillips with the 2nd grade class in 1975
S. Faber with the 2 Year Old class in 1975

 The next 2 were taken in 1980 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Sunday Schools.
E. Hynes leading a group into the sanctuary.
S. Drake and C. Rose, 1980

C. Calkins 1986 4th grade Sunday School
 These photos were all made in 1986.  Some of the students are E. Tenpas, G. Crites, E. Sine, M. Horsfall, T. Dressel, S. Sherman.  If you can identify any others, please comment below, put a note in the Historian's mailbox or contact J. Morgan.
C. Baldwin 6th Grade Sunday School 1986
6th Grade Sunday School 1986
 Please call the church office or contact E. Hynes if you would like to help or become a part of St. Mark Sunday School history.

Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

PW Knocks Your Socks Off!

All St. Mark women and friends are invited for Brunch on Saturday, September 6  at 10:00 a.m. in Gleason Hall.

The Presbyterian Women’s Board is once again hosting the Annual Brunch to launch the new program year. Plan now to be our guests for a morning of fellowship, delicious food, entertainment and reflection. This is always a time to catch up with friends and make new ones. 

You don’t want to miss The Monkettes and their memorable music. As always, we guarantee smiles and a few laughs along the way. PW Board members will begin calling St. Mark women August 25. Be ready to make your reservation then or call the Church office to add your name to the guest list.

Remember, PW Knocks Your Socks Off!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Who is your Stretcher-Bearer?

Last Saturday, we shared a small group study of The Way by Adam Hamilton in which he discusses  and suggests that church friendships are like the friends of the paralytic who tore off the roof of a building to seek Jesus's help for a friend.  Mark 2: 5-1 Hamilton leaves us questioning who our stretcher-bearers are and whose stretcher-bearers we can be?

Small groups, circles, Bible study groups and Sunday School Classes often develop into close friendships which can help in a person's time of need; contact the church office (636-394-2233) or go to our web-site if adult groups like these  are something you would like to participate in or want more information on.

But, we have several other groups for you to help with or be helped by:

Stephen's Ministry  will soon be holding training classes if you feel God is calling you to help others walk through life's challenges.  For more information contact J. Steward, D. Hames or the church office.

Caregiving Committee is looking for people who would be willing to occasionally provide a "We Care" meal to those with on-going health issues.  Please contact S. Weir or the church office if this is a way you can help.

Click here for more information on these and other  missions of caring.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Worship from August 10

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP:  Gracious God, we come seeking your presence in
St. Mark Presbyterian Church
worship.  Through our songs of praise we seek you; by our words of prayer we reach out to you. Grant that we may hear your voice and not merely echoes of our own.  Fill us with your Spirit; bless us by your grace; surround us with your love, now and always.  Amen
CALL TO WORSHIP (adapted from Psalm 85:8-13)
Leader:   Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for God will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to God in their hearts.
People:   Surely God’s salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that God’s glory may dwell in our land.
Leader:   Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
People:   Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.  The LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
All:           Righteousness will go before God, and will make a path for God’s steps.
When we feel as though we have lost faith in ourselves, only then do we begin to recognize the little faith we have put in Christ Jesus.  O God, we forget you when life is smooth and calm, but we urgently cry out for your help when the rough patches make us fear for our lives and turbulence threatens to send us out of control.  We find that we usually rely more on our fear instincts than on our faith.  In Your mercy, Lord, speak to our lives so as to bring peace to our chaos, patience to our anxiety, forgiveness to our anger, patience to our frustration and trust to our doubts.  With your grace, let us take the first step to become people of faith rather than fear.  Amen.
 For August 10th's sermon, click here.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Way: the healing ministry

Our small group at St. Mark Presbyterian is reading Adam Hamilton's The Way. The chapter we discussed this past month "The Healing Ministry" resonated with those of us in a small group.

Mark 2:1-5New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic

And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house.Immediately[a] many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”

As Adam Hamilton pointed out on pages 61-62, it was not the paralytic's faith but the faith of his friends:
"It's interesting to note that it wasn't the man's faith that got Jesus' attention.  In fact, the man on the stretcher never said a word.  We don't know if he had any faith.  But his friends---who carried him, hoisted him onto the roof, tore the roof open, and lowered him to Jesus---they had faith.  Because of THEIR faith, Jesus healed the man.
. . . .we all need stretcher-bearers.. . Who are the people who would pick you up, tear off the roof and lower you to Jesus?  We all need friends like that, whose faith is strong even when ours is weak, who are friends not just in word but in deed.  These friendships don't just happen; you have to invest in them.  Often the way this happens is through small groups in local churches. . . Who are your-stretcher bearers?  Whose stretcher-bearer are you?"
This led to us wondering, what about all of the people at church who don't have a small group, circle or Sunday School class?  How can we help them?  Who do they turn to? Comments are welcome---follow up will appear on Monday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

CPR/AED Training

St. Mark Presbyterian Church
St. Mark Presbyterian Deacons have arranged for St. Luke's Hospital to provide a CPR/AED training class on Tuesday August 19, beginning at 9:00 am.

The Claymont Preschool teachers will all be attending and we hope many members of our congregation will also find this a convenient time.  It is a 4 hour training and will cover infant through adult training.

Questions, or let us know you will be there, call L. Dauve at the Preschool number (636-386-5437)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Worship August 3

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP:  Gracious God, we thank you for the support and love that we find in community with you and with each other. Center our hearts, minds, bodies and souls upon your love in this worship celebration, so that our love will flourish for you. Amen       
CALL TO WORSHIP (adapted from Psalm 17:1-7, 15)
Leader:      Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.  From you let my vindication come; let your eyes see the right.

People:      If you try my heart, if you visit me by night, if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me; my mouth does not transgress.

Leader:      As for what others do, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent. My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.

People:      I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me, hear my words.  Wondrously show your steadfast love, O savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.

All:             As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.
O Lord, our God, You know the kind of people we are, and You know from where we come to this sanctuary.  You know the emptiness that follows us here and our longing to be whole. Also, You know our faults, failures and transgressions; You know us as clearly as face to face.  Be merciful, O God, and let Your grace cover our needs.  Forgive our foolish ways.  Heal the wounds we have sustained.  God, who is the Bread of life, have mercy on us.  Amen
For Sean Butler's sermon "Faith Struggles", Click here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Chair Exercise Challenge

Can you sit down?  Can you stand up?  Sounds pretty simple doesn't it?  Well, you are challenged to come to chair exercise and see if you can make it through the whole class.  It's not as easy as it sounds.  You only do what you're comfortable with and it's a whole lot of fun.  Come and join us on Wednesday mornings at 10:30 AM downstairs in Rooms 17-19.  Meet me and Ole Sam and discover how good you can feel.

H. Heyde

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Gardens

Genesis 2: 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

At St. Mark Presbyterian, we are very fortunate to have beautiful gardens most of the year thanks to the bequests and legacy of many members.

 Although the beautiful planting in the front are appreciated by everyone in the neighborhood, too. We, also, have a courtyard which members and staff enjoy:  the fountain, patio tables with umbrellas and a cross made from stones gathered in the Holy Land by members many years ago.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Worship July 27

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP: Jesus, Good Shepherd of the sheep, by whom the lost are sought and guided into the fold: feed us and we shall be satisfied, heal us and we shall be whole, and lead us that we may be with you, and with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen.                                                                
CALL TO WORSHIP (adapted from Psalm 89:1-2)
Leader:      We will sing of the Lord's great love forever;
People:      With our mouths we will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
Leader:      We will declare that your love stands firm forever,
People:      And we will worship you with our whole hearts.
Leader:      Holy God, Maker of all
People:      Have mercy on us.
Leader:      Jesus Christ, Servant of the poor
People:      Have mercy on us.
Leader:      Holy Spirit, Breath of life
People:      Have mercy on us.
Let us in silence confess our faults and admit our frailty.
Leader:      Before God, with the people of God, I confess to my brokenness: to the way I wound my life, the lives of others, and the life of the world.
People:      May God forgive you, Christ renew you, and the Spirit enable you to grow in love.
Leader:      Amen.
People:      Before God, with the people of God, we confess to our brokenness: to the ways we wound our lives, the lives of others, and the life of the world.
Leader:      May God forgive you, Christ review you, and the Spirit enable you to grow in love.
People:      Amen.

For the sermon "Hiding in Plain Sight", click here.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Thin Places

A few days ago, V. Sherman posted on Facebook "Just about to load the car to go to the sand dunes at a place that I think of as a 'thin place'. "  

She also included a link to an article about "thin places" from the New York times (Click here).  The first time I had heard of "thin places" was when Kim Skilling gave a series at St. Mark Presbyterian's Midweek on Celtic influences on Christianity called " Beneath the Celtic Cross of Jesus" where she talked of Iona (one of the "thin places" mentioned in the article).   I always thought there was maybe a list of "thin places"---it never occurred to me that they could be personal and maybe not be places recognized by the spiritual community as being "thin".  Reading the article and V's comment about the sand dunes, it didn't take me long to realize where my "thin place" is.

I had just said last weekend, I must visit Shaw's Garden (Missouri Botanical Garden) several times a year to feel restored.  When friends post on Facebook that they are there, I feel a tugging in my heart.  I always thought it was because I grew up near there:  it was where my family including grandparents went every Sunday after church.  Even when we moved to North County, I found myself drawn there.  Just this year, I posted on Facebook a photo of nothing special at the Garden, but commented, "I am in Heaven."  I even told my daughter, "If your dad and I renew our vows at 50 years, this is where I want the ceremony."  

I am very fortunate that my "thin place" is close and not several hundred miles away like V's is. Where is your "thin place", where you feel Heaven is close to earth, where you feel your soul soaring, where you feel complete, restored, alive?