Friday, September 30, 2016

Youth Reaching Out and Reaching In

  • Tech Help!

Does having a Smart Phone make you feel less than smart?
Is that tablet you have terrifying? Look no further than our own youth! 

Mark your calendars for  November 13 at 9:30 a.m. PLEASE Sign up in the Narthex with your “technical difficulty” and the students will help you trouble shoot! Can’t make that day? Look for additional Tech Help Days in the future!

  • Senior High Mound Ridge Retreat October 14-16

The Senior Highs are invited to take a closer look at the story of Zacchaeus in the Gospel of Luke in the middle of our wonderful Mound Ridge Camp. 

Cost is $95, which covers all the meals and lodging for two nights. REGISTRATION DUE OCTOBER 1.

As always, scholarships are available, and if you have additional questions, contact Katie Sternhagen.

  • All Youth Lock-In November 11

Join us as we continue our Super Hero theme.

Who are the Heroes of the Bible and just how similar are we to them?

7p.m-7a.m. Cost is $10 per person. We will also be continuing our Mission Project for Capes4Kids! Grades 6-12 Welcome! Students are welcome to bring a friend!

 REGISTRATION DUE NOVEMBER 1! Contact Katie Sternhagen for additional information! (636) 394-2233 ext. 114

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Daily Prayer Sept. 29

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.

Hosea 4:1-10; Acts 21:27-36; Luke 6:1-11

Eternal God, Author of our life and End of our pilgrimage: Guide us by your Word and Spirit amid all perils and temptations, that we may not wander from your way, nor stumble in the darkness; but may finish our course in safety, and come to our eternal rest in you. Eternal God, your hand shaped our lives by grace and your hand rescued us from sin by love. May your hand guide us through this day, shielding us from all evil, strengthening us to do justice and love. Enable us, O God, to do all things as unto you; that small things may be filled with greatness, and great things may be crowned with humility. O God, whom we cannot love unless we love our neighbors, remove hate and prejudice from us and from all people, so that your children may be reconciled with those we fear, resent, or threaten; and live together in your peace. (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.)

A week's worth of Daily Prayers can be found on the Welcome Table in the Narthex

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Outing. . . not for Women Only

2016 Presbyterian Women’s
Fall Outing to White Haven
Thursday, October 27 9:00 a.m.

While Salmon Giddings and Elijah Lovejoy were establishing Presbyterian churches in the St. Louis area, a young woman...Julia Dent... was growing up on her family’s farm, White Haven in St. Louis County. Plan now to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service as the fall outing takes us to the U.S. Grant Historical Site. Our own Julie Northrip, Site Chief Interpreter, will make sure our trip is memorable.

Further information will be available in the Bulletin and at the PW table in the Narthex.
This event is NOT for women only!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

On-Line Giving at St. Mark

If you have utilized automatic payment from your bank’s checking account directly to St Mark, you
know this to be a convenient option for your stewardship giving.

In addition, early in 2016, St Mark implemented On-Line Giving as another convenient option for donations. You can use the electronic funds transfer (EFT) from your bank’s checking or savings account or use a credit or debit card to make one-time or recurring contributions through our website at

It is easy. Click here or  go to our website, click on Giving in the header and click on On-Line Donation in the drop-down menu. A new screen will appear. Click on the GIVE NOW button and the DONATE NOW ST MARK PRESBYTERIAN  

CHURCH screen will appear. Please fill in the requested information. When finished, click on the GIVE NOW button at the bottom of the page. Your transaction is complete.

“For it is in GIVING that we RECEIVE.”

Monday, September 26, 2016

BRO Toy Drive

Every year at Christmas, BRO (Board of Religious Organizations) distributes new and reconditioned toys to needy children in the St. Louis area. During the month of September, Presbyterian Women will be collecting new and reconditioned dolls and toys and monetary contributions. $5 will buy a toy or a soft doll for a child to hug this Christmas. Dark skinned dolls are preferred. Donations will be accepted in the Narthex throughout the month of September. In addition, new and gently used dolls, games, toys and books can be placed in the BRO collection box at any time. Especially needed are toys for boys ages 3 and 4 and soft bodied dolls for children under age 3.

PLEASE MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO BRO. For further information, contact S. Boeker or L. Grothe.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Worship Prayers for September 18

PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  O Holy God, who spoke to Moses from the burning bush, speak to us now in song and prayer, and in the reading and proclaiming of your word.  Move in our lives, change our minds, soften our hearts, direct our feet, that we may follow you more faithfully.  Amen.

CALL TO WORSHIP                                                                                                                                          
Behold, we stand on holy ground.
         O give thanks to the Lord.
The strength and power of God's love meets us here in this time and place.
         We sing praises to God and tell of God's wonderful deeds.
Let the hearts of those who seek God rejoice.
         Let us praise God's holy name, and seek God's face always.

   PRAYER OF CONFESSION                                                                                                                             
Living God, you call us to lives that are different, lives that make a difference.  Yet we have difficulty realizing your call, preferring the safety of obscurity.  Your love for us can never be doubted, but our family and friends are often  unsure of our affection.  Your justice burns within us, but our frozen hearts cannot feel its touch.  Your word calls us to lives of denial and service, but we cannot keep from looking out for ourselves.  O God, forgive us.  Quicken our spirits:  to hear your call to trust; to hear your challenge of service; to hear your invitation to faithfulness.  Strengthen us for the journey as we follow Jesus Christ toward faith, hope, and love.


SCRIPTURE READING                                                                                                 Exodus 3:1-15, p. 50

Friday, September 23, 2016


St. Mark Presbyterian Youth's programmatic theme this year is Superheroes.We will be making capes as an ongoing mission project that the students will be working on periodically throughout the year. Yesterday we measured and cut over 20 capes, using a template from the organization Capes4Kids. Capes4kids was started by a Methodist Church plant in Dallas called Union Coffee.

Throughout the year, we will be looking at who are the “superheroes” of the Bible? What attributes do they have? How many of the same attributes do we have? How has God equipped us to be superheroes? How can we be superheroes in our own communities? We will look at people like Abraham, Jacob, Ruth, Jonah, Paul, Silas, Zacchaeus.

The capes will be donated to Children’s Hospital and Cardinal Glennon to distribute as they see fit.

We would gladly take donations of material, thread, Velcro, or cash to help support our mission.  If anyone feels called to use their gifts of sewing, that would be awesome too!  Contact Katie if you can help (636) 394-2233 ext. 114

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Daily Prayer September 22


I appeal to you, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Esther 7:1-10; Acts 19:11-20; Luke 4:14-30

Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven that he might rule over all things as Lord. Keep the church in the unity of the Spirit and in the bond of peace; bring all creation to worship at his feet, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Clothe us with the power promised from on high, and send us forth to the ends of the earth as heralds of repentance and witnesses of Jesus Christ, firstborn from the dead. Merciful God, strengthen us in prayer that we may lift up the brokenness of this world for your healing, and share in the saving love of Jesus Christ. We pray for those in positions of authority over others, the lonely and forgotten, children without families or homes, agents of caring and relief. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

May God in endless mercy bring the whole church, the living and departed, to a joyful resurrection in the fulfillment of the eternal kingdom.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fall Festival

Sunday, October 9 11:30-2:30

St. Mark’s Fabulous Fall Festival Fellowship & Fun for the Entire Family!! — All are welcome 

Hot Dog/Brat Lunch served in Great Hall (free will offering)

Live Caricature Art
Live Blue Grass Band
Face Painting
Balloon Artist
Pumpkin Decorating
Carnival Games
Pony Rides
Cake Walk
Snow Cones
Cotton Candy

Free Fun for Everyone!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Season of Peace

“A Season of Peace” begins in September and completes October 1/2, World Communion Sunday. The Peace and Global Witness Offering (previously the Peacemaking Offering) will be collected during that time.

What does “A Season of Peace” mean? PCUSA has made a commitment to be active in working to transform cultures of violence into communities of peace. That may mean working to end violence against women, children or others, establishing lines of communication between groups and communities with whom there is little contact, and many other initiatives.

Our participation in the Peace and Global Witness Offering provides funds for those programs and St. Mark Presbyterian will retain 25% of the total for local use. Session voted that those funds would go to the Presbyterian Children’s Home and Services and St. Martin Peace Meal.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Reach Out -- Show Love

We had great weather Thursday morning in the Beyond Housing - Pagedale Community garden. More importantly, we were blessed with an opportunity to share our faith through our words and deeds. Our work in the garden helps provide fresh, healthy food for those who have so little, but need so much AND we are building personal connections with members of the community. Thanks to our fellow St. Mark members: J Blackwell, J Boehme, S Caplinger, B Lienemann, V Sherman, J Steward, and K Sternhagen. Please join us when we return in mid-October (tentatively planned for the 12th) for a final harvest and prepare the garden for the cold months ahead.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Worship Prayers from Sept. 11

PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  God of all that is and yet shall be, you are father and mother to all your children, giving us good gifts - gifts of life, love, and compassion.  Although we often lose our way, you continue to gather us into your arms and feed us with the bread of heaven.  Open our hearts and fill us with your Holy Spirit that we may being the love of Jesus to a weary and broken world.  Amen.

CALL TO WORSHIP                                                                                                                               The foolish say, "there is no God."

         We come, following Christ:  the face, the voice, the presence of the God who loves us.

The scoffers of our age ask, "why do you seek after God?"

         We come, in this time, because God's grace has spilled over into our lives.

The hopeless around us think, "no one cares about me."

         We come, to this place, because Christ has found us and brought us home.
   PRAYER OF CONFESSION                                                                                                                             
Gracious God, you come for us like a shepherd searching for lost sheep.  We hide and we run, we lose our way, we find ourselves on the wrong path.  Regardless, you search us out.  With love and compassion you come after us.  So we make our confession, hoping you will find us again, and wipe away our sin, and return us to your fold.  Forgive us, O God.  Create in us a clean heart, renew with us a right spirit.  Send us forth to search for all who yearn for someone to come and find them, even as Christ came to find us.

Luke 15:1-10, p. 78

Friday, September 16, 2016


Our St. Mark Presbyterian team is helping to end hunger one step at a time by participating in this year's CROP Hunger Walk.

This year's St. Louis walk takes place on Sept. 25 at:
Eden Seminary
475 E. Lockwood Ave
Webster Groves, MO 63119
All ages are welcome to walk with us.

Registration begins at 1:00 PM and step-off at 1:30 PM.

Please support us by making a donation ... and join us on the Walk!
Contact Katie Sternhagen if you have questions.

CROP Hunger Walks are interfaith hunger education and fundraising events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by CWS local offices across the U.S.

$24 1 year supply of Vitality nutrition packets for 20 children---to promote healthy development.
 $50  Seeds and tools to help a family grow their own healthy food to eat and to sell at market.
 $50  Seeds and tools to help a family grow their own healthy food to eat and to sell at market.
$110 Emergency food package---locally purchased and culturally appropriate---enough for a family of five for one month.
 $140 Pigs in a Pair---soon providing a piglet to share with another family in need of a great source of food and income.
$300 10 meters of shallow borehole well for a community desperate for clean, safe water and sustainable food security.
 $1000 Pump and maintenance training---allows women and girls to grow food and attend school, instead of carrying water long distances daily.

We want to make this the biggest and best CROP Walk in Missouri's history!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Presbyterian Women Annual Brunch

"Don't Wait for Pigs to Fly"was the theme of this year's brunch for the women at St. Mark Presbyterian. All of the women were called, the skit was ready, the food was prepared, the tables were decorated when. . . .
There was a water main break across the street!  But the show went on!

With good fellowship mimosas, croissants, cupcakes and salad, we had a great time.

Chef Piggolo's Favorite Salad

4 cups cooked chicken, cut into small cubes/pieces
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Cucumbers, thinly sliced
Green onions, sliced
Pineapple chunks
Shredded coconut

1/4 cup mayo
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoon curry
   Blend all until smooth.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Blessing of the Pets

September 18, 2016
2:00 PM

Bring your dog, cat, hamster, or any other beloved pet to an outdoor service, especially for pets and the people who love them.  Special stuffed animal friends also welcome.

Light refreshments for pets and humans after the service.

St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 601 Claymont Drive, Ballwin, MO  63011

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Good-bye Gary Ferbet

We will miss your visits, your warm smile, your wisdom, but we wish you the best as you embark on a new journey as Acting Presbytery Executive of Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery.  We hope you come back to visit often!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Dining Out with St. Mark Presbyterian

We have several opportunities to dine out with St. Mark friends.

McAlester's Deli:
Join the Children’s Ministries Team for a FundraisingNight at McAlister’s Deli, 14848 Manchester Road Ballwin, MO 63011  September 12, 5-9 pm. 

Enjoy take out or eat in. This is our fundraiser which supports Operation Christmas Child and offsets the cost of mailing the shoeboxes.

Please mark your calendars to join us for lunch on September 13, 2016.

Our first Fall luncheon will take us to Big Chief Restaurant, 17352 Manchester Road, Wildwood, MO., 636/458-3200.

We will meet at the church at 11 am. Please let S. Tharp or J. Graves know of your plans to attend. Invite a friend and join us for special food, fun, and Christian fellowship.

We look forward to seeing you!

Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services 
The annual fund-raising luncheon will be hosted at St. Mark Presbyterian on Thursday, November 3, 2016

For over 100 years this amazing organization has been sharing God’s unconditional love and giving hope to thousands of helpless children who have been abused, neglected and abandoned. Hear heartbreaking personal testimonials of former and current clients and meet the staff that’s making it possible for desperate children to find their strengths, overcome obstacles and build better futures.

Thursday, November 3, 2016
Registration at 11:30 am
Luncheon from Noon to 1:00 pm
Seating is limited, RSVP to Debra Paulus at (314)
227.4545 or e-mail

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Worship Prayers Sept. 4

PRAYER IN PREPARATION:  Almighty God, whose ways are far beyond our understanding,
help us to trust your judgments so that we may do your will by loving you and one another.  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen  
CALL TO WORSHIP                                                                                                                                          
Turning, turning, turning: the clay on the potter's wheel comes round.
         And the turning of the seasons brings us round to this new day.
Gripping, molding, forming: the hand of the potter shapes the clay.
         In the grip of God, we are formed anew.
Lifting, shaping, stretching:  the hope of the potter is brought to life.
         God’s hope is us renews and transforms.
Opening ourselves, in faith, to God’s action in our lives we worship God.
   PRAYER OF CONFESSION                                                                                                                             
O Fountain of Every Blessing, who pours the holiness of your divine self into every corner of the world and into our very lives: we confess to you that the vessels of our lives are made of fragile clay.  Sometimes we are like cracked pots that cannot hold the measure of compassion you pour out, jugs that leak patience, crocks where hope seeps dry.  Our lives become dust; we chip, crumble, and are empty.  God of mercy, we confess that we are poor vessels.
   Divine Potter, who first knelt in the dust and formed our being, return to that dust and refashion our lives, so that we might hold the fullness of your image once again; we pray through Jesus Christ.  Amen.

SCRIPTURE READING                                                                                          
Jeremiah 18:1-11, p. 720

Friday, September 9, 2016

St. Mark Youth Fall Schedule

St. Mark Presbyterian Youth
Middle School (grades 6-8) will meet Sundays from 11:30 am-1 pm unless otherwise noted.
Senior Highs (grades 9-12) will meet on Sundays 4-6 pm unless otherwise noted.

Date Event
  • Sept 11: Superheroes: Covenant 
  • Sept 17: Adult Education Event
  • Sept 18: Superheroes: Mission Capes
  • Sept 25: CROP Walk—Congregation Event
  • Oct 2: Apple Picking at Eckert’s Belleville Fun Farm
  • Oct 9: St. Mark Fall Festival
  • Oct 12: Bullying Speaker—Parents and Students Welcome
  • Oct 14-16: Senior High Mound Ridge Retreat
  • Oct 23: Mystery Clues, Katie out of town
  • Oct 30: Halloween Party
  • Nov 6: Dessert Auction & Lunch Fundraiser?
  • Nov 13: Superheroes: Mission Capes
  • Nov 20: Giving Thanks Dinner
  • Nov 27: Advent Prayer Stations
  • Nov 30: Advent Mid Week—5:30 pm light supper; 6:15 program

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Daily Prayer September 8, 2016

Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving; go into the holy courts with praise; give thanks and call upon God’s name.

Job 29:1; 31:1-23; Acts 15:1-11; John 11:17-29

Almighty God, whose Son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: Give us faith to perceive his glory, that being strengthened by his grace we may be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory. O God, we pray for all international organizations of goodwill that their efforts may lead to a strengthening of those influences which make for peace. Great sacrifices have been made for war; awaken in us and in all people, O God, the willingness to make great sacrifices for peace, so that the day may be hastened when no nation shall draw the sword against another, and people no longer shall learn to fight. O Lord God, look with mercy on all whose increasing years bring them isolation, distress, or weakness. Provide for them homes of dignity and peace; give them understanding helpers and the willingness to accept help; and, as their strength diminishes, increase their faith and their assurance of your love. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

The God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, make you complete in everything good so that you may do God's will, working among us that which is pleasing in God's sight.

(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.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Bunko! Bunco!

It's time to play Bunko!! Join us on Saturday night,
September 10 at 6:00, following the 5:00 service. 

Our theme this year is Missouri Sports Teams. Wear your Cardinal, Blues, Mizzou and (maybe Royals gear) and join us for a fun evening. 

What is Bunko? A very easy dice game that we will teach you in five minutes to play. The cost is $3 per person. Sign ups will be in the Narthex just to give us an idea of how many to expect. Join us for fun and fellowship.

Your fellowship committee will furnish drinks and prizes, please bring a finger-type sports-related snack to share. 

Questions, or to sign up, call or email S. Shepherd.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Don't Wait for Pigs to Fly

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.

Presbyterian Women Board members at St. Mark Presbyterian are now calling women of the church.

Make your reservation when you get the call. If you do not get a call soon, please sign up at the PW table or call the church office.

Forgiven and freed by God in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to nurture our faith through prayer and Bible study, to support the mission of the church worldwide, to work for justice and peace, and to build an inclusive, caring community of women that strengthens the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and witnesses to the promise of God’s kingdom.Upcoming 

Presbyterian Women Events
September 10 PW Fall Brunch, 10 am
September 21 Third Wednesday/Thursday Circles
September 28 Book Club: 9:30 am Select books for the coming year. Send ideas to Linda Doane.
October 5 Board Meeting 9:30 am