Wednesday, August 31, 2016

God of…Abraham…three traditions…ONE GOD

God of…Abraham…three traditions…ONE GOD
Saturday, September 17 from 9-11 am
MaysaAlbarcha, Father Michael BrunnerandHarveySchneider
(Breakfast at 8 AM call 636-394-2233 for reservations)

My name is Maysa Albarcha. I was born in Chesterfield and live down the street from St. Mark Church. I am married and have four children. Interior design is my passion but public speaking has become my life. I have run the Islamic speakers bureau for 12 years in St. Louis. I have provided informative lectures on Islam and tours of the mosque on Weidman for 1000's of people in the St. Louis area. I have also done sensitivity/cultural training for the FBI and law enforcement in several states. I serve as a board member at the mosque on Weidman Road. My goal is to make the city I love a place of tolerance and understanding for people of various faiths and cultures.

Fr. Michael Brunner O.S.B. is the pastor of St. Anselm Parish at Saint Louis Abbey, and teaches Moral Theology (Social Teaching of the Church), the Church and the Poor, and Comparative Religions at St. Louis Priory School, where he was formerly Headmaster. Father Michael grew up in Rochester, NY and was active in Civil Rights causes in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. He graduated from Howard University in Washington DC with a B.A. in Sociology, and converted to Islam, which he studied and practiced for 20 years, being involved with the Islamic Center in Washington. Fr. Michael’s first career was in the hospitality industry, managing hotels in New York, Baltimore, Washington and Miami. Studying the Sufi tradition led to a conversion experience which brought him back to the Church. After working as a Coordinator of Religious Education at a multicultural parish in suburban Washington, Fr. Michael discerned a vocation which brought him to become a Benedictine monk at St. Louis Abbey. He earned an MA with honors in Theology from Aquinas Institute of Theology and was ordained in 2005, the year he became Priory Headmaster. In that capacity he expanded relationships and programs with a lay Benedictine movement in Chile and established relationships and exchanges with several schools in China and Taiwan. He was appointed pastor of Saint Anselm in 2012. His spiritual story is featured in the book Touched by God: Ten Monastic Journeys.

Harvey Schneider has long been active in the St. Louis Jewish and Interfaith communities. He retired as an attorney two years ago after 55 years of active legal practice. He is a past president of Shaare Emeth Congregation (the largest Jewish congregation in St. Louis). In addition, he previously served as president of the Central Agency for Jewish Education and the Interfaith Partnership. He also served on the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Town & Country for 26 years (including 3 years as Chairman of the Commission). Currently he serves on the Boards of the Interfaith Partnership, the American Jewish Committee and the NCCJ, as well as being an honorary director of Shaare Emeth Congregation. Mr. Schneider resides in Town & Country with his wife, Leanne, and is the father of three adult children and grandfather of four grandchildren.

Celebrating the beliefs and traditions of Islam, Judaism, Christianity.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Daily Prayer Aug. 30

Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, we press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
Job 12:1; 13:3-17, 21-27; Acts 12:1-17; John 8:33-47

Holy God, your Son came into the world to free us all from sin and death. Breathe upon us with the power of your Spirit, that we may be raised to new life in Christ, and serve you in holiness and righteousness all our days. By your power, great God, our Lord healed the sick and gave new hope to the hopeless. Though we cannot command or possess your power, we pray for those who want to be healed. Mend their wounds, soothe fevered brows, and make broken people whole again. Help us to welcome every healing as a sign that, though death is against us, you are for us, and have promised renewed and risen life in Jesus Christ. O God, we pray for the church in the whole world. Sanctify her life, renew her worship, give power to her witnessing, and restore her unity. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Opening sentences, prayers, and blessings are from the Book of Common Worship. Readings are from the daily lectionary in Daily Prayer. Both are published by Westminster/John Knox Press.)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Deacon's Doings

Here’s another perspective on being a deacon from V. Chabot:

I was asked to consider being an elder a few years ago but when I thought about my personality and skill set, I knew I could better serve as a Deacon.

We joined St. Mark 22 years ago after moving here from MI. Initially, I volunteered in the nursery, taught Sunday school and attended mid-week with our children. I also served on the Christian Education committee. That was about all I could handle while working and having small children. 

Fast forward to 2015 when our kids were grown up and I had more free time so it was a natural time to answer the calling. I had been working at the ABC sale each year in the toy room so I decided to take on the tri-chair position under the Deacons. I have met so many great people through this role. Even though I am a long time member of St. Mark, I can now put names with many more faces of people in our church. The best part of the ABC sale is that our profits help serve those in need. I have also delivered flowers, worked at the blood drives and helped make and deliver food for our members who need a warm meal. I also serve on the Membership and Evangelism Committee where it is my job to organize the greeter schedule.

Being a Deacon has been very gratifying and has made me step out of my comfort zone and grow as a person of God.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Worship Prayers from August 21

PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  Gracious God, we turn to you, confident that you will answer our cries and prayers.  We come before you, believing that you will not permit evil and despair to have the last word.  We come in the name of Jesus Christ, in whom you have made known your great love for all the world.  Grant us the power of your Holy Spirit.  Illuminate our hearts and minds and souls that we might sing your praises and declare your needs among the peoples.  Amen. 
CALL TO WORSHIP                                                                                                                                          
Let us praise God who is our strength in times of trouble.
         Sing and speak of God's great deeds to all the people.
God will not let us be put to shame, nor will God let our enemies triumph over us.
         The Lord listens to the cries of the people.  God is swift to answer those who call.
God is strong and sure to save us.
         Let us praise God who is our strength in times of trouble. 
   PRAYER OF CONFESSION                                                                                                                             
   Merciful God, you are our stronghold in times of trouble and we rejoice in your deliverance, which we experience through Jesus.  Yet we still shrink from the storms in our lives.  We hide from the challenges of bold discipleship.  When the winds of change begin to blow, we want to turn around and head back to the past's safe harbor.  When sin's waves crash over the side, we try to wrap ourselves in the cloak of pride thinking we will not get wet.  Forgive us, O God.  Lift us out of sin into the arms of your mercy, help us to walk with you in faith, humility and love.

For the sermon "Do not be afraid", click here.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Lifetouch has added two additional Photography Session  dates:  September 28 and 29

Photography Session Dates & Times are:
Sept. 28 2:00 PM to 8:50 PM

Sept. 29 2:00 PM to 8:50 PM

Sept. 30 2:00 PM to 8:50 PM

Oct. 1      10:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Click here to sign up.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

St. Mark Youth at Triennium

 In the early morning of July 19, eight St. Mark students gathered with 32 other students and seven adult chaperones or Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery to embark on the journey to Presbyterian Youth Triennium (PYT). With a theme of GO! the students were engaged with how God calls us to Go and see, Go and do, and Go and make disciples. Worshipping with 5000 of our closest Presbyterian friends, wrestling with scripture, and fun recreation events on the quad made for a transformational week for our students! They returned July 23, with a deeper understanding of who God is calling them to be, and strengthened friendships and fellowship in Christ. If you ask one of the students who went, they will tell you “I gotta go!”

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Daily Prayer August 24


The sacrifice acceptable to God is a humble spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Job 6:1; 7:1-21; Acts 10:1-16; John 7:1-13

Eternal God, you draw near to us in Christ and make yourself our guest. Amid the cares of our daily lives, make us attentive to your voice and alert to your presence, that we may treasure your word above all else. O God, you are infinite, eternal and unchangeable, glorious in holiness, full of love and compassion, abundant in grace and truth. Your works everywhere praise you, and your glory is revealed in Jesus Christ our Savior. Therefore we praise you, blessed and holy Trinity, one God, forever and ever. Eternal God, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts, to direct and rule us according to your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us from all error, and to lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God through him.

(Opening sentences, prayers, and blessings are from the Book of Common Worship. Readings are from the daily lectionary in Daily Prayer. Both are published by Westminster/John Knox Press.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Children’s Ministries Upcoming Events

August 26 6 PM 
Dinner and Float Decorating Evening:  Families, youth and children are welcome to join us for dinner, float decorating and water play (weather permitting). Please bring a covered dish to accompany brats and hot dogs. It is our kick-off evening for Saint’s Fellowship. We hope you are able to join us for this evening of fellowship with your church family. 
August 27 8:30 AM
Wildwood Founder’s Day Parade We meet at 8:30am the next morning behind Wildwood Schnucks to line up  for the parade.
August 28 10:30 AM
Bible Sunday : All children entering 3rd Grade receive a Bible on August 28, 2016. Please notify the Children’s Ministries Committee if you are new to the community and wish to have your child receive a Bible.

Mark your calendars for the following activities:
September 10
Pet Blessing, Bluebird Park
September 12 5-9
Fundraising Night at McAlister’s Deli, September 12, 5:00-9:00pm. Join the Children’s Ministries Team and enjoy take out or eat in at McAlister’s. This is our fundraiser supports Operation Christmas Child and offsets the cost of mailing the shoeboxes.
September 25
Crop Walk  for Hunger Eden Seminary; registration 12:30 pm; walk 1:30 pm
October 2 
Apple Picking
October 9
Fall Festival at St. Mark Presbyterian

Monday, August 22, 2016

Daily prayer for August 22

If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Job 4:1; 5:1-11, 17-21, 26-27; Acts 9:19b-31; John 6:52-59

New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us the desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord. God of all times and places, in Jesus Christ, lifted up on the cross, you opened for us the path to eternal life. Grant that we, being born again of water and the Spirit, may joyfully serve you in newness of life and faithfully walk in your holy ways. God of all joy, fill our souls to overflowing with the fullness of your grace. Lord, remind us of your triumph over the tragedy of the cross, and your victory for us over the powers of sin and death, so that we may reflect your glory as disciples of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

With God's help and love may your lives be blessed and your labors fruitful as you offer yourselves gladly in the service of our common Lord.

(Opening sentences, prayers, and blessings are from the Book of Common Worship. Readings are from the daily lectionary in Daily Prayer. Both are published by Westminster/John Knox Press.)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Worship Prayers August 14

PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  All around us, O God, creation proclaims your glory and praises your name.  We come to you knowing that those who receive your wisdom and know your truth live securely and at peace.  Speak to us now, God of wisdom and truth.  Inspire us with your word that we may know your teachings.  Pour out your thoughts that we may walk in your ways and live in your love.  Speak clearly to our hearts that we may proclaim Christ as our wisdom and our way.  Amen.
CALL TO WORSHIP                                                                                                                                          
Our help is from God, who made heaven and earth.
         We rejoice in God's love and faithfulness.  Blessed by God, whose word is true.
We are called to this place, together in community and love.
         We are called to this body, which is Christ's presence on earth.
We are called into the kingdom of God.
         We are here, seeking what is good and perfect, that we may be transformed and renewed.
   PRAYER OF CONFESSION                                                                                                                             
   Wise and knowing God, you see our hearts profoundly.  And yet, we are often unable or unwilling to hear your truth and go where you lead.  We asked for you to come and save us, but when you came it was not what we expected or wanted.  We asked for you to lead us, but your leading was not always where we wanted to go.  We confess that it is much easier to say we follow Jesus than to do it.  We accept the ways of the world rather than the strange way of the cross.  Forgive us, O God.  Teach us to live in your truth and help us to walk in your love.

Click here for the sermon "Who do you say I am?"

Friday, August 19, 2016

Daily Prayer for August 19


You, O Lord, are full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger, and rich in kindness.

Job 2:1-13; Acts 9:1-9; John 6:27-40

God our creator, you made all things in your wisdom, and in your love you save us. We pray for the whole creation. Overthrow evil powers, right what is wrong, feed and satisfy those who thirst for justice, so that all your children may freely enjoy the earth you have made, and joyfully sing your praises. Take all our doubts and uncertainties, O God, and fill us with such faith that we may be confident of your love and loyal in the service of him who died and yet lives for us, Jesus Christ the Lord. Merciful God, you bear the pain of the world. Look with compassion on those who are sick; cheer them by your word, and bring healing as a sign of your grace. God of comfort, stand with those who sorrow; that they may be sure that neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come, shall separate them from your love. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

As God's own, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, and patience, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, and crown all these things with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Little Dresses to Haiti and Operation Christmas Child

This year 50 dresses have been delivered to
CONVOY of HOPE to be distributed in Haiti and 75 dresses have been given to Operation Christmas Child for their shoebox distribution worldwide. So far St. Mark Presbyterian has donated 304 dresses.

There are kits and instructions available in the Narthex. If you can help in this ministry by sewing dresses or by donations of KING SIZE pillowcases, double fold bias tape (.25” wide”) or money to purchase those items (please mark donation for LITTLE DRESSES and leave in PW box or give to M. Powell or S. Naylor) it would be greatly appreciated.

Savers Thrift Shop donates their unsold pillow-cases to us for this project. Please support them.
Questions, call S. Naylor.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Blood Drive

Our third drive of the year will be held on Sunday, August 21 from 9 AM to 1 PM in Gleason Hall.
The need is great for your donation.

If you want to save time and not sit in that little room for what feels like hours visit: to do the pre-reading and answer the donation questions from the comfort of your own home. The catch is you have to do it the morning of the drive.

This is a great opportunity for us to help save lives. Each unit can help 3 people. We out did our 20 units from last time. We did 30. Let's see if we can get more this time.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pictorial Directory

Our church is in the process of producing a new pictorial directory for 2017. We would love to have everyone included. There is no cost to have your photograph taken. For participating, you will receive a complimentary 8x10 portrait and pictorial directory. You may schedule your photography session online at or call the church office for more information (636-394-2233).

Photography Session Dates & Times are:
Aug. 16-19 2:00 PM - 8:50 PM
Aug. 20 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sept. 30 2:00 PM - 8:50 PM
Oct. 1 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Worship Prayers for August 7

PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  On this day of worship, we call upon you, O God.  We gather with neighbors and strangers to hear your hope and to hear our own invitation to work for the good of all.  In this place of praise and prayer, may we receive that grace, which is as old as creation, yet as fresh as each new morning.  Amen.
CALL TO WORSHIP                                                                                                                                          
Give thanks to the Lord, and call upon God's name.
         We will sing God's praises, telling all the good things the Lord has done.
Rejoice in God's holy name, delight in seeking the Lord.
         We seek God's strength, we seek God's presence always.
Remember the wonderful things God has done, remember God's faithful love.
         God's name be praised! 
   THE CONFESSION                                                                                                                                            
   O Holy God, you know us better than we know ourselves.  You know the ways we scheme and manipulate for our own advantage.  You are aware of how often our deeds fail to match the faith we claim.  Help us to face ourselves with honesty.  We yearn for the treasure of your kingdom.  Give us the will and courage to change our ways.  Forgive us, save us, Holy God, that our lives may demonstrate your kingdom.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Daily Prayer for August 13

The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Judges 16:1-14; Acts 7:30-43; John 5:1-18

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation. In the beginning you separated light from darkness and placed all your works in our hands. You have given us the light of day that we might see your wonders in all we say and do; you give us the gentle darkness of the night that we might rest from our burdens and be refreshed in body and spirit. How great is your love, how wide is your mercy! Never let us board up the narrow gate that leads to life with rules or doctrines that you dismiss; but give us a Spirit to welcome all people with affection, so that your church may never exclude secret friends of yours, who are included in the love of Jesus Christ, who came to save us all. Keep us close together in your Spirit, breaking bread in faith and love, one with Jesus Christ our Lord and Master. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

(Opening sentences, prayers, and blessings are from the Book of Common Worship. Readings are from the daily lectionary in Daily Prayer. Both are published by Westminster/John Knox Press.)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Marsha Medley, Music Director

The Session has named Marsha Medley as the new Music Director at St. Mark beginning on August 1. She has been the Organist since 2012, coming to St. Mark from Ivy Chapel UCC in Chesterfield, and will continue as Organist in her new role. Marsha replaces Bud Clark who left St. Mark in July.

Marsha is trained as a classical pianist but has worked as a professional organist for over 30 years. Self-taught on the organ, she first started playing at the “big” Mass in the Catholic Church of her childhood at age 13. She has directed vocal choirs and bell choirs and conducted church orchestras for more than 20 years. Marsha is a published composer and arranger and has taught piano privately for many years.

“Music and congregational singing is such an important part of a meaningful, spirit-filled wor-ship experience,” Medley said. “I see the potential for everyone to become more involved in the music ministry here, being part of the choir, bells, or even just making a joyful noise to the Lord in pews.”

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Rally Sunday

 On August 14, the Fellowship Committee along with Children's Ministries are celebrating Rally Day. 
Although summer isn't quite over, this will be a celebration of new beginnings at St. Mark.  We return to our regular worship schedule:  Saturday 5:00PM  Sunday 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM

The Sunday church school schedule begins with backpacks being blessed at 10:30.

Join us in Gleason Hall following the 10:30 service for a BBQ. We will serve hot dogs, brats, hamburgers and ice cream! Please bring a salad or side dish to share. Meat, plates & utensils, drinks, and ice cream will be furnished. A free will offering will be collected to alleviate expenses.

In order to have some idea on how much food to purchase, please sign up in the narthex by the coffee table. All are welcome. Questions, call Sally Shepherd.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Educational Events for the Fall

Sunday, August 14 Rally Day!
  • *worship schedule resumes
  • *backpack blessing at 10:30
  • *Sunday school kick-off for all ages *hot dogs and ice cream!!!!!!

Sunday, August 28 Bible Sunday

Saturday, September 17
  • 8 am Men’s Fellowship Hosts Breakfast
  • 9—11 am “God of Abraham” - Judaism, Christianity and Islam
  • Interfaith Panel Discussion

Sunday, September 25 All Church Crop Walk for Hunger Eden Seminary; registration 12:30 pm; walk 1:30 pm

Sunday, October 2 All Church Apple Picking

Sunday, October 9 Annual Fall Festival

Wednesday, October 12
Family Educational Event 7-8:30 pm
‘Bullying’ speaker TBA

Saturday, November 19 9-11 am Adult Education Presentation

Wednesdays, November 30- December 21
6:15-7 pm
Advent Worship
(light supper served 5:30 pm)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Daily Prayer for August 9


If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Judges 13:1-15; Acts 5:27-42; John 3:22-36

Merciful God, in Christ you make all things new. Transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives make known your heavenly glory. Eternal God, we praise you for your mighty love given in Christ's sacrifice on the cross, and the new life we have received by his resurrection. We thank you for the presence of Christ in our weakness and suffering, the ministry of Word and Sacrament, all who work to help and heal, sacrifices made for our benefit, opportunities for our generous giving. God of grace, let our concern for others reflect Christ's self-giving love, not only in our prayers, but also in our practice. We pray for those subjected to tyranny and oppression, wounded and injured people, those who face death, those who may be our enemies. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(Opening sentences, prayers, and blessings are from the Book of Common Worship. Readings are from the daily lectionary in Daily Prayer. Both are published by Westminster/John Knox Press.)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Save the Date: PW Brunch

I love August! I’ve always loved August. My calendar year will always be August to July. August means It’s back-to-school-time. What’s more fun than a trip to get new school supplies? (Could have lived without the saddle oxfords K-12.) Then there were new bulletin boards to put up and first day activities about the Social Studies Spectrum. But then I retired. August was not a time of excitement. I must admit I had a couple of bad years. Then I met the Women’s Fall Brunch for St. Mark Presbyterian ladies! So now I again anticipate back-to-school-time. That means it’s time to move planning for the St. Mark Presbyterian Women’s Fall Brunch to the front burner!

This is an event that is low key, low-stress and most of all fun for everyone involved. The PW Board hosts the Fall Brunch to say thank you in advance for all the time, energy and effort that our St. Mark women will devote to PW activities this coming year. The event has a simple (almost routine), seemingly successful format. It is always surprising to me how it comes together. Once a theme has been selected at the spring board meeting, thinking hats appear. We could…or we could even…. So now ladies,

Don’t wait for pigs to fly! (See Proverbs 6:4)

Please join us as we celebrate the start of a new PW year
at the annual Fall Brunch on Saturday, September 10
at 10:00 a.m. in Gleason Hall.

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. Miss Piggy et al. will star in this year’s “musical experience.”. As always, we guarantee smiles and a few laughs along the way. PW Board members will begin calling St. Mark women later in August. Be ready to make your reservation then or call the Church office to add your name to the guest list. If you have any questions, give me a call.

Remember, start the new year with lots of hogs and kisses and St. Mark PW!
Godspeed my friends,
Mary Beth Powell

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Worship Prayers for July 31

PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  O God, you have set before us a great hope that your kingdom will come on earth, and have taught us to pray for its coming:  Make us ready to thank you for the signs of its dawning, and to pray and work for the perfect day when your will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen
 CALL TO WORSHIP                                                                                                                      
Jesus said “Go and make disciples of ALL nations”
         Going is not busy work.
Going is not escape.
         Going is not running away.
Going is enabled by God’s counsel, authority given to Jesus and shared with US, Jesus’ disciples.
         Going is risky.
We are human.  This means our Going is not perfect, or always carefully choreographed
and sometimes there is failure, sin or a roadblock.
         Go is a command.  Go is a directive.
To Go with God is to embark on a ‘worthy adventure.’ So…let’s get Going! 
   THE CONFESSION                                                                                                                  
I was at the mall shopping for Egyptian Cotton sheets when an old man whispered…
         I have no bed
I was at an appliance store comparing ratings on a new subzero slate refrigerator when an African woman wept…
         I have no food
I hired a decorator to remodel my kitchen and to add more glass front cabinets when an Afghan child sobbed…
         I have no cup
I dreamed of building a getaway place, a cabin by the water, a country place…across the water came the cry…
         I have no country
I bought a new car for my daughter’s sweet sixteen when an orphan of war murmured…
         I have no loved ones
May God forgive us when our ears won’t hear and our eyes won’t see the sounds and sights of suffering around us…Amen

Click here to listen to the Youth Sunday Word Interpreted.