Sunday, January 31, 2016

Can we fix it? Yes we can!

Isaiah 58:12

Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
   you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
   the restorer of streets to live in.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all that you have given us, and provide us each the strength to use our skills to do your work here on Earth.  Amen.

Worship Prayers from January 24, 2016

PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  Just as we see your wisdom and glory in nature around us, O God, may we hear your Word for us during this time of worship.  May the Holy Spirit who inspired the ancient poets and prophets continue to call out to us today.  May our lives reflect the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as we strive to follow as his faithful disciples.  Amen.

CALL TO WORSHIP - based on Isaiah 43:16-21

Thus says God, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters,

who brings out great Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and utterly defeats them:

“Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.

I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

the wild animals will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches;

for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,

the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise.”

This same God leads us still,

providing for us on the journey, showing us new things.

Let us lift our praise as we worship our God.


Loving God, from the very beginning of your story with us, you have called your people to journey from the familiar to the new.  From Abraham to the founders of our own country, they set out in hope, not completely sure where they were going, but completely confident that you would provide for them.  We confess that we prefer security and stability over challenge and change.  By your grace, give us trusting spirits and hopeful hearts, so that when you do call us to step out in faith, we can respond with joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Circle Of Concern Golf Tournamant

When:  Monday, May 9, 2016

Where:  The Country Club at the Legends, Eureka, Missouri 63025

Why: Reducing hunger and poverty in West St. Louis County.

Sponsor Packages Available:
"Go Orange" Lunch Sponsor - $2,000 gets you one free foursome
Diamond Beverage Cart Sponsor - $1,500
Gold Par 3 Sponsor - $500
Silver Putting Sponsor - $250
Bronze Hole Sponsor - $100

Hole in One prize of $10,000 plus three other Hole in One prizes
Longest Drive, Closest to the pin, Putting Contests
Auction and Lottery Merchandise
Dinner Buffet

Click Here for additional information and the tournament web page

NEEDED:  Sponsors, Donations and Volunteers

Cost to play:  $125 individual and $500 per team of four

Stay tuned as more blog entries will provide information on this rewarding charity event in the weeks and months to come.  All proceeds go to Circle Of Concern Food Pantry. 

Click here to go to the 
Circle of Concern Web Page

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Come to me...and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Spring is nature's time for renewal...why not make it a time for spiritual renewal as well? Pack a bag and join us for our annual Women's Retreat, which will be held Feb. 19-20 at Lavender Springs Spa in Columbia, Illinois.

This year's retreat will include quiet meditation and a time to reconnect with the beauty of God's world, as well as games, a "Little Dresses for Africa" mission project, worship time and, of course, food! With inspiration from Pastor Susan Hayes, we will rest, renew, revive and REJOICE!

Registration is $90 and includes meals and a double occupancy room (a limited number of single rooms are available for $105). Register in the Narthex by Feb. 8. For more information contact Mary Beth Powell or Linda Smith.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Show your St. Mark style!

Get the shirt that everyone’s talking about! 
St. Mark t-shirts are now available for purchase. 
Represent St. Mark at school, soccer games and running errands, and help spread a simple message: "Love God, Love People." These cute shirts are available in children’s and adult sizes. Shirts may be purchased in the Narthex for $15 ($18 for XXL). Proceeds benefit St. Mark and our Youth Ministries.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Worship Prayers from January 17, 2016

PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  With you, O God, we find our refuge.  In the shelter of your compassion, we are made whole. In the abundance of your grace, we are fed.  In the midst of your living waters, we are filled to the brim. In your presence, we find out common life in this community of faith.  Remind us again that the hour of your reign has come near.  Call us anew to be your disciples.  Fill us with your hope.  Amen.


Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens.

         Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Your righteousness is higher than the mountains.

         Your justice is deeper than the sea.

We adore you, God of majesty and awe.

         Give us voice to praise!


Gracious God, your mercy is an unexpected miracle.  You intend that we live fully, yet we are reluctant to open our hands to receive your abundance.  We prefer to do things for ourselves, and to trust that we know what is best.  Pursuing our own desires, we have turned from you, and still we wonder why we feel so empty.  Forgive our unwillingness to receive your miracles of grace.  Help us to believe and follow.  Fill us again with the wine of new life. May your grace spill over into our lives, that we may experience the abundant life in Christ and share it with others.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Introducing the Harvey Girls

Introducing the Harvey Girls… The first major female work force in America... 

Join us in a celebration of the Harvey Girls, 
 the first major female work force in America, 
during our annual Presbyterian Women Winter's Tea Wednesday, Jan. 27. Bring a friend and learn more about the young women who civilized the American West one cup of coffee at a time. 

Tea times will be offered at 1 and 6:30 p.m. in Rooms 304/305. This year's event will feature selections from the Fred Harvey menu. Stop by the PW table in the Narthex and try to decipher the "Harvey cup code."

Note that this event is open to men as well, so join us as we raise a cup of tea in honor of the Harvey Girls!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Worship Prayers for January 10, 2016

Tyrey Creek, Jefferson County, Missouri

PRAYER IN PREPARTION:  O Holy God, your voice called out over the deep and darkness and brought forth light.  Your voice called out over the waters and brought forth life.  Your voice called out over this earth and brought forth our very beings. Your voice continues to call out in our universe and bring new hope and new life.  Help us to hear your voice above in the midst of turbulent waters and tests of fire.  May we hear, listen, and respond to your voice in our lives and in our world. Amen.
God spoke through the prophet, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.”
         God calls us by name, we belong to God.
“When you pass through the waters.”
         God will be with us.
“When you pass through the rivers.”
         God will be with us.
“When you walk through the fire.”
         God is our Savior, we are precious in God’s sight.
God of deliverance and redemption, your voice shakes the wilderness and thunders over the waters.  So too, it shakes us, and thunders through our souls.  In your presence we know without doubt how we have wandered from your way, forgotten our baptism, resisted the power of your spirit, perpetuated systems of injustice.  Have mercy on us, O God.  Forgive our sins.  Speak to us once more.  For your word brings order to chaos, and life to death. Speak to us again, that we may live.  Amen.
For Pastor Jim's sermon "Baptized in Water", click here.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Portable Fireplaces: Tips for Staying Cozy and Safe

From:  FEMA Individual Community E-Brief, Jan 14, 2016

Portable fuel-burning fireplaces have become a popular way for people to heat their homes during winter months. However, if not used properly, these devices can be dangerous and pose a serious fire hazard.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), half of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February. Learn how to “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires.” Before you snuggle up to a portable fireplace, keep these NFPA safety tips in mind:

·       Make sure the fireplace has an Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL) listing. This ensures the product has been tested for safety;

·       Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely; 

·       Keep the area where you're using the fireplace well ventilated;

·       Do not use the fireplace in sleeping areas; and

·       Light the fireplace using a utility lighter or long match.

As with all heating equipment, space is important! Create a “safe zone” around the device by keeping children, pets, and anything that can burn at least three feet away.

To find out more information and protection tips on portable fireplaces, go to the NFPA website. 
Matthew 13:50   and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Youth Events 2016

Youth Group meets on Sundays from 11:30-1:00 and Bible Study is on Wednesdays from 6-7:30p.m., unless otherwise noted.

Jan 15-16 Confirmation Retreat at Mound Ridge
Jan 18th MISSION (details to follow)
Jan 24th Pizza, PJ’s & Movie “The Lorax” bring $5 or 5 canned foods
Jan 27th Feasting on the Word
Jan 31st Incredible Pizza Company $10 12-3p.m

TRIVIA NIGHT 2015! Mark your calendars for March 5th. Doors open at 6 p.m. Trivia from 7-10 p.m. at St. Mark. Reserve your table BEFORE February 21st, $160 for a table of 8, or $20 per person. After that, the price increases to $200 for a table of 8, or $25 per person. BYOB. Raffle, 50/50, and “Dead or Alive” will be available as well as beautiful baskets to be auctioned off. Prizes will be awarded to the top two teams and the best Kentucky Derby themed table. If you are interested in donating an item for a basket, contact Stacey Caplinger. To register an individual, or a table of 8, contact Christy Brewer or call the church office. Proceeds benefit Youth Ministries Missions both local and national.

Now is the time to register for our Mission Trip! Students having finished 8th grade through graduated Senior are eligible to participate! We are headed to Charleston, SC June 3-11. $200 deposit DUE FEBRUARY 28th! Scholarships available.

Did you know that 25% of St. Louis’s homeless population is employed? We are helping The Bridge by collecting deodorant. Please bring in Travel Size or aerosol for both men and women, and put it in the box in the Narthex on the Youth Table labeled “The Bridge.” The youth will be delivering what we collect at the end of January.

St. Mark T-shirts will be here starting January 10th. Support Youth Ministries AND St. Mark by buying one! Children’s and Adult sizes available. $15, 2XL $18. What better way to show off how much you love your church?? You could wear it to Go-Getters, on a Mission project, or any outing in our community! Find them in the Narthex!

Click here for more about our Youth Ministry.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Adult Programs 2016

We have many new Adult Programs lined up for 2016:  Midweek, Red Tent, Sunday School---see below for a summary

Please join us Wednesday evenings at 6:15 in Fellowship Hall following dinner. (5:15) 


  • Jan 13 Mindfulness as Spiritual Practice
  • Jan 20 ‘Blue Zone’ wellness lifestyle
  • Jan 27 Spirituality Centers
  • Feb 3 Spirituality Centers

Red Tent:
In ancient times the Red Tent was a safe and sacred space where women gathered to experience, share, celebrate and mourn the rhythms of life of a woman.

Today, our Red Tent gathering is a safe and sacred space for all who gather.
Join us in Fellowship Hall 10:00-11:00am as we study “Girlfriends: Exploring Women’s Relationships in the Bible” by Barbara Essex

  • Thursday, January 14:  Sarah and Hagar; Gen 16:1-16, 21:-21“…okay, I know what you are thinking…Sarah and Hagar friends? They are locked in a triangle of power, sex, and baby mama drama. Let’s see what we can learn from these two strong women and their situation…”
  • Thursday, February 11:  Shiphrah and Puah; Exodus 1:8-22
  • Thursday, March 10:  Jephthah’s Daughter and her Companions; Judges 11:34-40
  • Thursday, April 14:  Ruth and Naomi; Ruth 1:16-18
  • Thursday, May 12:  Lois and Eunice; 2 Timothy 1:5-7
Adult Spiritual Formation Sundays
  • Beginning Bible Class 9:15 am:  ‘God is in the Manger’ by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Fellowship Hall led by Bruce Cranston
  • Discussion Class 8:30am discussion of ethical, moral, scientific, historical and religious topics. Room 304-305 shared leadership
  • New Testament Class 9:15 am:  ‘Acts of the Apostle’s’ study. Room 102 led by Doug Reed and Cliff Schoep NEW IN 2016!
  • ‘Feasting on the Word’ lectionary study. Fellowship Hall led by Pastor Susan
Click here for all of our Adult Programs at St. Mark Presbyterian

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Prayers from December 27 and January 3

December 27, 2015

Prayer of Preparation: O Holy God, you have touched the earth with your unconditional love. Touch us, we pray – touch our hearts and minds and souls. Let us not just suppose you to be in our company, but let us seek you out until we find you and rejoice in your presence. Renew in us the faith of Mary, the love of Jesus, and the joy of all the saints; that all the earth may sing your praise evermore. Amen.
Call to Worship
When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone.
            When the kings and princes are home, when shepherds are back with their flock.
The work of Christmas begins.
            We begin the work to find the lost, to heal the broken, to share with the hungry.
We begin the work to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations.
            We begin the work to share God’s peace with all people.

Prayer of Confession
Loving God, your gifts to us are extraordinary and abundant.  And yet we remember this Christmas season that your wonder does not arrive wrapped in shiny paper, heaped under Christmas trees, but was delivered to us bundled in swaddling clothes, found lying in a manger.  Your greatest gift to us, O God, is Emmanuel, God-With-Us.  Yet in the excitement of this season, it is all too easy to forget that you are here.  Forgive us, O God.  Help us to know you are with us and in us.  Help us to know your holy presence.  Help us to serve you wholly and completely.  Amen.
January 3, 2016

PRAYER OF PREPARATION: God, you placed a star in the sky to draw wise folk to the place of Christ’s nativity.  There you revealed the mystery of your eternal purpose for all humanity: God made flesh, born of Mary, opening to all the world the promise you made to Abraham and Sarah.  Empower your church to be as the light of the star, that we may draw the world to the glory of Christ, our Lord, through whom we pray.  Amen                                                                                         
Arise, shine; for your light has come.
         The glory of the Lord has risen upon us.
Come, worship the Lord of glory.
         Proclaim God’s praise among the nations.

  Merciful God, you have given light to the world in Jesus Christ, but we have preferred to live in darkness.  Your justice protects the weak and the distressed, yet we seek the shelter of privilege and power.  Your righteousness redeems the poor and the needy, yet we seek the status of wealth and possessions.  Your peace upholds the oppressed and the defenseless, yet we seek the security of weapons and retribution.  Forgive us our sins, and lead us to true repentance, that we may trust you in all things;  through Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen
For the sermons, Click here