Saturday, April 30, 2016


The 12th Annual Circle Of Concern Charity Golf Tournament on Monday, May 9 at The Legends in Eureka has been sold out.  144 golfers have signed up to play – chances are the most golfers that have ever played in this tournament.  Please visit the St Mark web page for information on the tournament.  You can still support this event by purchasing one of the five Sponsor Packages.  If you Sponsor a Hole for $100 you will get your name on a sign placed on one of the 18 Holes.  Your assistance with sponsorships, donations, and being a volunteer to help during the event is still welcomed and being accepted.

Proverbs 16:3  Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Word from Pastor Jim

A Word from the Pastor

“Our church is more than a building. It is a group of loving caring people who want to hear God’s Word [and] together feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and clothe the needy.”

“[This church] is a place where [my family] feels welcomed and loved and where we could give back and help others.”

“The church is a place that brings people together as friends and family to pray. We can all work together for one common cause [helping others].”

These comments are excerpts from a few of the Statements of Faith written by this year’s Confirmation Class.

On Pentecost Sunday (May 15th – be sure to wear red to worship), we will welcome eight new members to our congregation when the confirmands renew their baptismal vows and become full church members.

Over the past few months, our Confirmation Class, led by our Director of Youth Ministries, has been learning about what it means to be a church member. They have learned how to experience God through worship, the sacraments, and service to one another and the world around us. They have also been thinking about what it means to be devoted to the church’s teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.

Every believer can be part of the church as organism; we are all part of the Spiritual Body of Christ. But through making the public commitment of membership, one becomes part of the church as organization.

Church membership is not like being a member in a social club. Most organization members are consumers; the organization exists to serve them. Church is a completely different community – membership means ministry and service. It means going from being a consumer to becoming a provider of God’s love and care to others.

One of the prime benefits of church membership is that one has the power to help to shape the ministry of this congregation. A church member is able to take a full and active role in the leadership of the church. Together we are better able to make full use of all of our gifts in identifying the places where our passions connect with needs of others in our congregation and our community.
On May 1, St. Mark will welcome 10 new members.   Each one of them has made the same commitment to becoming a provider of God’s love and care to others through our church.

In the coming weeks, I invite you to welcome the 2016 Confirmation Class and get to know our new adult members. As you do so, take a moment to consider the ways in which all of us can add our voice to St. Mark’s mission of ministry and service through learning and fellowship, and the breaking of bread and prayers.

Grace and peace,
Rev. Jim Poinsett

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spring Cleaning

It's April and time for Spring Cleaning! On Saturday, April 30, from 9-12, we will once again meet to "Renew and Refresh" St. Mark Presbyterian. Plans are to clean baseboards, walls and corners. All supplies will be furnished. Bring your rubber gloves, buckets and step ladders. We had 30 volunteers last time and accomplished so much. So please join us, many hands make little work and we have fun doing it at the same time.

Colossians 3:23English Standard Version (ESV)

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

All Church Worship Mound Ridge Retreat Center

April 23 and 24, many travelled to Mound Ridge Retreat Center in Cook's Station, MO to celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up the grounds on Saturday and worshipping on Sunday.  Worship Sunday was conducted at the Meramec River with two baptisms!  Food, fun, fellowship and worship in a beautiful setting.
Evening Worship

Cleaning up the Hummingbird Garden
Some spent the night and others came down on Sunday morning to attend worship at the Meramec River.

SAVE the DATE to join the fun next year…SECOND ANNUAL ALL-CHURCH EARTHDAY RETREAT April 21-23, 2017.

John 3:5-8New International Version (NIV)

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[a] gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[b] must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Monday, April 25, 2016

Scripture from Worship April 23, 24

Psalm 148New Living Translation (NLT)

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens!
    Praise him from the skies!
Praise him, all his angels!
    Praise him, all the armies of heaven!
Praise him, sun and moon!
    Praise him, all you twinkling stars!
Praise him, skies above!
    Praise him, vapors high above the clouds!
Let every created thing give praise to the Lord,
    for he issued his command, and they came into being.
He set them in place forever and ever.
    His decree will never be revoked.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you creatures of the ocean depths,
fire and hail, snow and clouds,
    wind and weather that obey him,
mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all livestock,
    small scurrying animals and birds,
11 kings of the earth and all people,
    rulers and judges of the earth,
12 young men and young women,
    old men and children.
13 Let them all praise the name of the Lord.
    For his name is very great;
    his glory towers over the earth and heaven!
14 He has made his people strong,
    honoring his faithful ones—
    the people of Israel who are close to him.

Praise the Lord!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Worship Prayers April 17

PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  Living God, whose promise is the gift of life, renew the breath of your Spirit with us that we may find your presence in our hearts and your courage in our lives.  Bring us to the place of your intention where the future comes alive with hope in the Risen Christ.  Amen. 
We gather in the presence of God.
         Where people have their tears wiped away.
We gather with the people of God.
         Worshipping the One who provides what we need, not just what we want.
Let us sing continually of God’s wisdom, and power, and love.
         God leads us to the place where mercy and grace fills our lives. 
Living God, we hear your call; we know your voice; we follow your paths.  Your presence fills our lives – all that you do declares your love for us.  Yet news of anger, hatred, and anguish blare at us.  Shouts of hurt and pain harden our hearts.  When trouble comes, we wonder where you are; we even wonder who you are.  Forgive us, O God.  How quickly we forget that you are always with us.  We have known that we will have struggles and hard times.  Help us to place our lives in your care, to trust in your comfort and guidance.  Heal us again and lead us in the paths of righteousness.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

112 and Counting

What is that!!  That is the number of golfers who have committed to play in the Circle Of Concern Charity Golf Tournament on May 9th at The Legends.  Last year we had 68.  Registrations are still being accepted and you can register the day of the tournament too; we will find you a team to play on.  St Mark golfers - and I know there is more, here is your chance to support one of the numerous missions supported by St Mark Ministries.  Show your support and play!

Please pray for good weather...

Romans 8:28   "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."

Friday, April 22, 2016

Save the Date for VBS

Click here, for more information.

VBS 2016 – July 11-15
9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon

Calling all children, youth and adults for an exciting week at St. Mark Surf Shack. Be sure to let your neighbors and friends know that all are welcome to attend.

We are ready to surf our way through biblical growth and fellowship.

Catch the Wave of God’s Amazing Love.

Mark 12:31‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

New International Version (NIV)  

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Join the Conversation!

Wednesday, May 18; 6:00-8:00 pm St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 601 Claymont Dr.  Ballwin MO.

Rev. Dr. Leah Gunning-Francis will present her important work on the history and current status of race relations in our community and nation.

Dr. Leah Gunning Francis is the Associate Dean of Contextual Education at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. In June 2016, Dr. Gunning Francis will begin serving as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Gunning Francis is the author of the newly released book Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community (Chalice Press, 2015). She interviewed more than two dozen clergy and young activists who were actively involved in the movement for racial justice in Ferguson and beyond.  For more on Dr. Gunning-Francis, click here

Ferguson and Faith is a collection of stories of courage and hope. Dr. Gunning Francis gleaned from these stories seeds of possibilities that, if nurtured, could serve us well into the future. These are the stories that were rarely imaged on television, yet they are integral to the fight for justice in Ferguson and resonate with the struggle for human dignity around the country.

Her interviews with leaders of faith communities and the newly emerging civil rights movement are unexpected and inspiring!

Bring your friends and neighbors to hear this provocative and renowned voice of justice and peace.
Book is available in church office for $15.00.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Stephen Ministers

During difficult times, people often feel very alone.  They may have no one to talk to who will really listen.  Stephen Ministers give them a listening ear---someone they can talk to about things they wouldn't discuss with anyone else.  If you would like a Stephen Minister, contact B. Nuzum or the church office 636-394-2233.

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Worship Prayers April 10

PRAYER IN PREPARATION: Almighty God, you have gathered your people to sing your praises eternally.  Join our song with all of heaven as we worship you and proclaim the reign of your kingdom.  Amen.  
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
         Worship the Lord with gladness; come into God’ presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God.  It is God that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
         Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.
         Give thanks to God, bless his name.
For the Lord is good; God’s kingdom endures forever.       
         And God’s faithfulness endures throughout the generations.

Merciful God, hear our prayer as we confess our shortcomings.  We proclaim your reign in our lives, yet our hearts are hardened to the needs of others.  We proclaim your light that outshines all darkness, yet we are trapped by despair and doubt.  We proclaim to be made in your image, yet we find comfort in the familiarity of self-doubt and insecurity.  We proclaim our mission to live out the gospel message, yet we often lack the courage to speak the truth in love.  Forgive us, O God.  Embolden us to live our lives with intentionality and purpose; encourage us to live into our full potential as Christ’s disciples.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Discernment, In Search of our next Senior Pastor

St Mark PCUSA conducted two 'Congregational Conversations' within the past couple of weeks.  The Mission Study Team led over 120 church members in a vibrant discussion on the church's 'Values'.  Two surveys, one on 'Identity' will be available this Sunday/Monday, with the second survey on 'Spirituality' approximately two weeks after.  A hard copy of both of these survey's will be available through the church office.  When formed, an analysis of this information will be used by the Pastor Search Committee.

Ephesians 5:10    And try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

Scripture April 16

Acts 9:36-43New International Version (NIV)

36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”
39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.

New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Red Tent: Naomi and Ruth

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 at St. Mark Presbyterian is a safe and sacred space for all who gather.

Join us in Fellowship Hall 9:30-10:30 am as we study Girlfriends: Exploring Women’s Relationships in the Bible by Barbara Essex.  Today's topic will be Ruth and Naomi

Ruth 1:16-18New International Version (NIV)

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

You Only Die Once---Bodacious living in the Present

Tonight April 13 will be Part III of Gary Ferbet's series on "You Only Die Once" in Fellowship Hall at 6:15 at St. Mark Presbyterian Church.

Part I was about funeral planning and planning the final stage of life.  See Gary or the church office if you'd like copies of the hand-outs.

Part II was about saying good-bye.  The good-bye process is normal.   Reminiscing about life is a gift and can be part of a faith journey ritual to impart family values.  Often bringing cherished items will prompt stories and memories. When talking, remember to sit at eye level, refrain from giving advice.  Long silences and touch can be healing.

Part III will be "Bodacious Living in the Present".  For more information, click here.

Gary suggested we read Marge Jenkins book You Only Die Once for more on this topic (click here to order the book from Amazon or to read more about it.).

Monday, April 11, 2016

Foreign Missions: Peru

The Presbyterian Hunger Program(PHP) addresses International Hunger Concerns. Joining Hands(JH) is their initiative that mobilizes people in focused campaigns to tackle systemic causes of hunger both overseas and in the United States. Three issue table groups were recently formed: food and land, trade justice or resource extraction, and climate. We invite you all to join our global efforts to fight injustices that create and maintain systems of poverty. The Food and Land Joining Hands partners working on Food and Land Issues are seeing dramatic shifts in farming and agriculture from the privatization of seeds to massive land. The Trade Justice purports that current trade agreements are not transparent and provide more power to corporations than to sovereign nations. The climate table addresses impact of climate change on environmental degradation and people.

The goals of the JH issue tables are to educate ourselves on global issues, connect with people impacted by these issues, and network to address these issues and take action. Each table will engage in monthly activities ranging from calls, webinars, conversations about books or documentaries related to our work, etc.

The next Joining Hand’s Resource Extractives and Climate/Environment call is on Wednesday, April 13, 2:00 PM. The topic is “MINING IN PERU AND CONNECTIONS WITH MISSOURI” with the following agenda:

The Rev. Jed Koball will present the perspective from Peru. He is the Mission Co-Worker and Companionship Facilitator for the Joining Hands Peru Partnership. He will provide the Mining Policies and Impact of Mining in La Oroya and other places.
Jed Koball speaking at St. Mark Presbyterian

Panelists provide connections between Missouri and Peru:

Mrs. Leslie Warden: former resident of Herculaneum, MO was involved in the lawsuit vs. EPA regarding changing ambient air standards.

Dr. Lisa Martino Taylor: Assoc. Professor of Sociology, Meramac Community College will demonstrate the connection between the Herculaneum advocacy and La Oriya.

Dr. Fernando Serrano: Professor at St. Louis University School of Public Health. He performed the first independent health study in La Oroya which demonstrated the human health contamination from mining. 

Dr. Clarice Hutchens: Pfizer; will explore the possibilities of bio-remediating contaminated soil in La Oroya so crops and livestock may flourish once again.

Please contact Clarice, if you can join us. We hope you will bring your presence, knowledge, and wisdom to the table! Save the Dates:
May 28—Mark Hare, Mission Co-worker in Haiti will present at Saturday evening worship followed by a personal presentation and potluck. Mark works with Jenny in areas of health, agriculture, and reforestation.
July 9-17th--Mission Delegation to Nicaragua

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Worship Prayers from April 3

PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  Almighty God, we rejoice in the gift of new life made possible through Jesus’ resurrection.  You are the strength of those who believe and the hope of those who live in fear. For you no door is locked.  Draw us beyond our doubts and into the presence of the risen Christ, that we may know the blessings of his peace within us and the breadth of his Spirit upon us. Amen.
We gather in the name of the risen Lord.
         In us, among us, the peace of Jesus.
We gather as sisters and brothers of the resurrected one.
         In us, among us, the presence of Jesus.
We gather to share our faith and to worship God.
         In us, among us, God’s light and love.
We gather to proclaim the good news of Easter.
         Christ is risen! Alleluia!
Living God, when our spirit is filled with Easter joy and happiness, we are tempted by complacency and indifference.  We have been blind to your vision of a renewed world and deaf to your call of discipleship.  We confess our temptation to rush past Easter, moving on to the next task, diminishing the power of your love, which raised Christ from the dead. Forgive us, O God.  Draw us beyond our doubts, until we see the risen Christ and touch his wounds where they bleed in others.