Sunday, November 30, 2014

Worship from Nov. 23

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP:  Touch us, O God, through the ministry of melody,
Sean Butler, Parish Associate
through the sounds and senses of song, through the wordless wonder which fills our souls with heaven, through the spirit which teases our feet to dance and causes our hearts to overflow, that we might be absorbed in the mystery and magic of music, and that in this moment of oneness our lives will be bonded to each other and to you.  Amen
CALL TO WORSHIP (from Psalm 100)
Leader:        Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
People:       Worship the Lord with gladness; come into God’s presence with singing.  Know that          the Lord is God.
Leader:        It is God that made us, and we are God’s; we are God’s people, and the sheep of God’s pasture.
People:       Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving, and God’s courts with praise.  Give thanks to God, bless God’s name.
All:               For the Lord is good; God’s steadfast love endures forever, and God’s faithfulness to all generations. Amen.
Holy God, we confess that we have not lived in true thankfulness.  We have honored you with our words, but we have denied you with our actions.  We have not pursued the way of Christ, who took the form of a servant, but have acted with selfish ambition to have ourselves at the head of the table.  We have put our interests before all others and have not regarded them or you in humility. 
Forgive us our selfish arrogance, awaken our hearts to sincere thanksgiving, and enable us to will and to work for the good harvest of your kingdom, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

For Sean's Sermon "It's About Jesus", Click here.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Farewell Sean!

Sean Butler has been the Parish Associate at St. Mark for 7 years. His main responsibility has been the care and visitation of the home-bound and those in assisted living facilities.  His caring ministry extended to several groups at St. Mark including the Caregiving Committee and the Go-getters. He was there to provide support, comfort and to carve the occasional pumpkin!

With degrees from William Jewell, Yale and Duke he was ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in June 1991 and has served churches in North Carolina and Indiana before returning to Missouri and St. Louis to be near family.  He began at St. Mark in 2007.
Sunday Nov. 23

Saturday Nov. 22
Sean has been married to his college sweetheart, Paula George, M.D. for 22 years and they have three daughters.  We wish Sean and all of the Butlers the best as he moves on to pastor the congregation at Florissant Presbyterian Church.  We will miss you, your warmth, your sense of humor, your guidance.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Feast

 St. Mark Presbyterian hosts a Thanksgiving Feast the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  This year 250 members were served after the 10:30 AM worship service.  Cost?  Canned goods for Circle of Concern, our local food pantry.  This event also provides food which is delivered to our shut-ins, elderly and ill.  We also took this opportunity to thank our Parrish Associate Sean Butler who will be pastoring a church in Florissant.

Food Bags for Circle of Concern

Packing Food to be Delivered

Thank you Pastor Sean for your caring ministry.

An opportunity to thank our servicemen

Happy Thanksgiving from St. Mark Presbyterian Church!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Weekend December 6-7 Events

  •  The 6th Annual St. Mark House Tour benefitting Lydia's House will be December 6.  Brunch tickets are $7 and Tour tickets are $10.  They can be purchased after worship services or contact the church office (636-394-2233).  If you would like to work or donate cookies, contact Kathleen M-S.

This year's tour includes a 50 year old train display, homemade quilts and of course traditional decorations in every room of the houses visited.
  • Parents' Day Out will be December 7 from 1-4 for children ages 3 through 4th grade.  The cost is $20 for the first child, $10 for each additional child. Activities will include an Advent craft, snacks and a Christmas classic movie.  Take the afternoon to get some shopping done or catch up at home.  Register by November 30 with Katie Sternhagen:
  • Jingle Mingle, sponsored by the Fellowship Committee will also be December 7  with appetizers beginning at 5:30 PM.  Instead of a full meal, we will have appetizers and dessert in the Narthex around our beautiful Christmas Tree.  Enjoy friends and fellowship!  Please bring an appetizer or a dessert to share.  Contact the church office or Sally Shepherd for more information.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Drop, Cover, Hold

Last month on October 16, the Nation took part in the 2014 Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill. This drill had 25,766,915 participants of which 234,660 of these participants where from 124 Faith Based Organization. Four of the 124 where from Missouri. The ShakeOut was an opportunity to practice how to protect ourselves during earthquakes. Federal, state, and local emergency management experts and other official preparedness organizations all agree that "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" is the appropriate action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes. The following are general guidelines for most situations. Depending on where you are (in bed, driving, in a theater, etc.), you might take other actions.
  • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

The main point is to not try to move but to immediately protect yourself as best as possible where you are. Earthquakes occur without any warning and may be so violent that you cannot run or crawl; you therefore will most likely be knocked to the ground where you happen to be. You will never know if the initial jolt will turn out to be start of the big one. You should Drop, Cover, and Hold On immediately! 

Look around you now, before an earthquake. Identify safe places such as under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall in your home, office or school so that when the shaking starts you can respond quickly. An immediate response to move to the safe place can save lives. And that safe place should be within a few steps to avoid injury from flying debris. To learn more please contact St Mark Emergency Preparedness Shelter Director Bob Lienemeann or the church office 636-394-2233.

For more information

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Worship from November 16

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP:  Touch us, O God, through the ministry of melody, through the sounds and senses of song, through the wordless wonder which fills our souls with heaven, through the spirit which teases our feet to dance and causes our hearts to overflow, that we might be absorbed in the mystery and magic of music, and that in this moment of oneness our lives will be bonded to each other and to you.  Amen                                                              
CALL TO WORSHIP (adapted from 1 Chronicles 16:8-10)
Leader:      Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
People:      We will make known God's deeds among the peoples.
Leader:      Sing, sing praises to Him, speak of all God's wonders.
People:      We will glory in God's name.  We will seek the Lord and our hearts will be glad.
Leader:      We will come before God's presence with thanksgiving and praise.
What can we say to express our gratitude for all that You have done for us.  You have called us from darkness into light and bestowed upon us the rank of "Child of God", the highest in the universe next to you.  You have opened the gates of Heaven, giving us access day and night and You have called us friend, urging us to come and spend time with You.  In spite of the fact that we are the most undeserving creatures on Your earth, You have done all of this for us, through your Son Jesus.  So, it is in His name that we have gathered to sing Your and His praise, to thank you for all that You have done for us and to offer ourselves for what You will do in and through us.  In Jesus name we pray, AMEN.

For the sermon on Nov. 16, click here.

Friday, November 21, 2014

New Logo

Greg Nuckolls, our fellow church member and professionally, a graphic designer, has created a new
 logo (emblem, symbol, trademark) that will say 'St. Mark' in picture form. He was requested to do this volunteer work by the church leadership as St. Mark builds upon its 50 year history. 

The logo will always contain the image of the cross although the written words attached, i.e. address, website, and/or PC(USA), may vary. The design is especially beautiful in its multi-color version.

Greg's design statement explains the meanings embedded in this new look:

"When I was asked to develop the new logo for our church, one of the first things I did was look at all of the elements that make St. Mark recognizable. Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful parts of our physical church building is our stained glass piece in the sanctuary showing the glowing sun emanating from the cross. This image was the basis of St. Mark’s previous logo, and has been a part of the church for many years. The rising sun is one of the most beautiful things to be seen on earth. It brings with it the promise of a new day, a new beginning, and new life. It is this hope and this new beginning that we capture within the new logo."
The logo has also been developed for use both within and outside of the church. Inside, the line below the church name is a reminder of our beautifully redeveloped website, Outside of the church, it reminds those interested in who and where we are in Ballwin Missouri as members of the PC(USA). 
Our new identity is a vibrant, modern emblem for who we are as a church and a reminder that we are always looking forward to the future following the light of Christ."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Giving Thanks Dinner

The  Giving Thanks Dinner will be held on Sunday, November 23 at 12:00 noon. This is a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner that our St Mark family shares together celebrating our many blessings. We have many members whose families are out of town or do not have anyone to celebrate Thanksgiving with. Meals are delivered to our homebound members and any left overs are delivered to our local firefighters and police.

Signups will begin on November 2 or call the church office 636-394-2233. Please bring canned goods for Circle Of Concern.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Worship November 9

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP:  Lord, I have come to this place to know You more fully.  I open my heart to You and ask You to speak to me.  Show me Your face and help me see
myself as You see me.  May I then allow You to shape me into the person You long for me to be.  I pray this in Your holy name, Amen
Leader:        How can we repay the Lord for all of His goodness to us?
People:       We will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.
All:               We will fulfill our vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people.
Leader:        Let us open our hearts and worship our God.

Lord, You have provided for us in so many wonderful ways.  One of Your greatest gifts to us is the gift of each other.  You created us to live in relationship with others, but because of sin we have been alienated, not only from You, but from our brothers and sisters.  When You called Your church into being, You gave us the vehicle to break down the walls that we have built around us, so that we can know Your love as we experience it in our life together as part of Your church.  Please help us break down the barriers that keep us from experiencing Your love through each other and thank You for giving us this way to have a glimpse of Your great gift.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
 For the sermon on November 9, click here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

#TBT Holiday House Tour at St. Mark

Mrs. Claus and Elf, 2013
St. Mark Presbyterian has sponsored the Holiday House Tour for several years to benefit Lydia's House, a home for abused women and children.  Here is glance back at House Tours in the past.

Click here for photos of the 2010 House Tour and here for the 2011 House Tour.  For photos of the 2012 and 2013 House Tours, click here.

Be sure to save the date for this year's House Tour!

Saturday, December 6th
TOUR: 11 am to 3 pm, $10 per person
BRUNCH: 10 am to 11:30 am, $7 per person

The first 100 people to purchase tickets receive the annual Christmas Door Ornament! 

Tickets must be purchased in advance, so please
call Kathleen Maas-Stokes or the Church office 636-394-2233

If you have any photos from the House Tour earlier than 2010, please contact the Church Historian, Jaclyn Morgan, or place them in her mailbox.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Operation Christmas Child


It’s time to start collecting items for Operation Christmas Child! The St. Mark congregation has been most generous with donations for this shoebox ministry and we hope to collect even more this year. Since 1993 over 113 million children in 150 countries have received shoebox gifts. The simple gift of a shoebox can have a profound impact on a hurting child.

The children of St. Mark are busy decorating boxes, making crafts, and collecting toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and other fun items. They have set up a table display and a collection barrel in the narthex for your donations. Suggestions are listed below. If you would like to participate in this project, but are unable to shop for items, we would welcome donations to cover the cost of transporting the boxes. $7 covers the cost of transporting a box anywhere in the world! You can make checks out to St. Mark and note that it’s for OCC. (a collection box is on the table)

Please donate items by November 12 as the children will finish packing boxes that night and get ready to deliver them to the drop-off location during National Collection Week (November 17-24.) If you’d like more information about OCC, visit If you have questions about St. Mark’s participation in the project, please contact Julie Northrip.

TOYS: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls, toy cars, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
NON-LIQUID HYGIENE ITEMS: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.
ACCESSORIES: t-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.
CANDY: Only hard candy – lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, candy canes, peppermints, Nerds, Smartees, etc. Tootsie rolls are okay, but no other chocolate candy. Gummy bears are okay, but not fruit snacks. (If it says “fruit” on the label, it is rejected by customs.)
DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

Click here to see Julie and Ingamarie on Fox News packing a box.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Worship from Nov. 2, 2014

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP: Holy, timeless God, we gather to feel the touch of your presence, to remember your faithfulness, and to celebrate your call to us to be part of the community of saints; women, men, young people, from the past, alive now, those yet to come.  Guide us with your gracious love, that we may be a people who live what we believe. Amen
CALL TO WORSHIP (adapted from Psalm 90:1-2)
Leader:      Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
People:      Before the mountains were born,
Leader:      Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
People:      Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
Leader:      Let us worship our God. 


ALL:          Lord, we come before You to confess our sins.  They are many and unique and because of them, we come in fear.  We are afraid that You will reject us, or even worse, that You will give us the punishment we deserve for the way we have offended You and hurt the people that You love.  We come to beg Your forgiveness.

Leader:      Hear the words that God says to us, "O my people, do not come in fear.  As you come to Me remember how much I love you and long to heal you from the damage of sin in your life.  Know that you are forgiven and loved and know that I love you more than you can imagine and do not let fear keep you away from me.

ALL:          Thank You for loving us, for Your gifts to us and for Your forgiveness.  Help us release our distorted view of You that keeps us away from living in Your love.

Leader:      Hear the words of God, "You are Forgiven."
For the sermon on November 2, click here.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Military Caregiving

We currently have two young men serving our country in Afghanistan.  The Caregiving Committee at St. Mark Presbyterian sent the word out to church leaders for help in caring for them and their families. If you would like to send a card, call the church office for addresses.  Our church has sent cards from the congregation and the Deacons, cookies from the Youth and Children's Ministries, meals and gift cards from Fellowship Committee, care packages from 2 Presbyterian Women's Circles and prayers---lots of prayers.

Click here for some suggestions on how to help, how to pray and what to say to the families here. Please add your prayers for the two St. Mark families.

From Military Families Pray:

A Prayer for Families

Father, may the families of our military personnel—their spouses, children, and parents—cast all their cares and burdens upon You. Instead of being worried or filled with anxiety, may they pray about everything that concerns them and everything that concerns their soldiers’ life and deployment. As You promised, then cause Your peace, which surpasses all understanding, to guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Grant all our military troops this same peace, and let them feel the love we have for them even though we are far apart.
1 Peter 5:7, Amplified; Philippians 4:6-7

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Christmas Boutique and Angel Street Cafe

 Handmade Holiday Items and Jams and Jellies
Christmas Decorations and Ornaments
Children's Items and Hand Painted Folk Art
Jewelry and Personalized Items
Floral Arrangements and Cookbooks and Baked Goods

Tuesday November 11 (10:30-7:30) and Wednesday November 12 (10:00-2:00).  In addition to shopping, don't forget to join us for lunch or dinner at the Angel Street Cafe featuring St. Mark Presbyterian's Famous Chicken Salad, Homemade Soups and Heavenly Desserts.