Monday, October 31, 2016

Mission Trip to Louisiana Part 2

Colossians 3:17 ESV /

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
The church members who went to Louisiana to work on houses returned safely to St Louis this weekend.  

We were able to complete the work on one house to allow the homeowners to move back into their home in the next few days. They had been living in a motel for over a month. We met the woman whose family has lived in the house since 1962 and she joined us on her day off to work to get the house to be habitable.  After the work at her house was complete, two members of our group stayed an extra day to build a wheelchair accessible ramp at another house.

What we were able to accomplish is just a small drop of what needs to be done in the area, but to these two families it was a huge step towards getting their lives back to some degree of normalcy. For the group from St Mark, we were grateful for the opportunity to serve.  We hope to return to the area in 2017, perhaps with additional volunteers.  For any members interested in supporting this mission now, donations can be sent to the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance partner in the area:
GFN Fuller Center
955 S Morrison Blvd
Hammond, LA  70403 

From our St Mark vision statement:  through… joyful work in service to others, we demonstrate the new life given in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Colossians 3:23 ESV / 

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

Click here for more photos.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Worship Prayer Oct. 23

PRAYER FOR PREPARATION:  Holy God, you say “yes” to each one of us, affirming your promises to us.  We thank you for the faith of others that enables our own healing.  Send us such sisters and brothers when we are in need, and help us to be friends who help others in need. Amen.


CALL TO WORSHIP (based on Isaiah 43:18-21)
Do not remember the former things or consider the things of old.
         I am about to do a new thing, says our God.
Now it springs forth – do you not perceive it?
         I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
The Lord will provide drink for God’s people.
         The people formed so they might declare God’s praise.

   PRAYER OF CONFESSION                                                                                                                             
Holy God, we confess that we do not always love our neighbor.  We confess that we have shunned others.  We confess that forgiveness and acceptance at times are just impossible for us.  Forgive us, O God.  We know that nothing is impossible in you.  We come to you seeking healing and wholeness.  Help us, whenever possible, to live in peace with others, to seek reconciliation and acceptance and forgiveness.

SCRIPTURE READING               Mark 2:1-12, p. 36

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Advent Candle Lighting and Reading

The Worship Committee needs your help to enhance our worship experiences during Advent.  Please contact D. Schiro (or the church office at 636-394-2233) if you, you and your family, or you and your friends would like to assist in any of our weekend Worship services during Advent by reading specific liturgy accompanied with lighting particular Advent Candle(s) for that service.  Readings will be sent to you ahead of time.  This opportunity to serve has been very meaningful for those who have participated in the past.  Please consider this service to your church and your worshipping community.  Advent begins the weekend of November 26-27 and continues through the Christmas Eve services Saturday, December 24 (5, 7 and 9 PM).  If you have any questions you may speak to a member of the Worship Committee:  D. Schiro, S. Pfefferkorn, C. York, R. Vetter or J. Corlett.

Friday, October 28, 2016

St. Mark Louisiana Mission Trip Part 1

A group of six St Mark members drove to a pretty corner of Southern Louisiana that was hit by flooding in August.  After a ten hours of travel, we arrived at Living Waters Camp in Loranger, Louisiana.  We were upgraded to the better cabins, with heat!  We settled in and had a nice meal and organized for our first day of work.  Another group from Iowa is also here, but they will be working at a church and we are assigned to a house that had 3 feet of water inside.  The muck is gone and there is now painting and trimming left to complete and we are excited to begin.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Daily Prayer for Oct. 27


Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.
Nahum 1:15-2:12; Revelation 12:7-17; Luke 11:53-12:12

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.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Claymont Preschool Teachers

Claymont Preschool teachers took a break from teaching to pose for a group photo at the Open House held early one evening in October.  During Open House the children invited their parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends to come to their classroom to see some of the art projects they have been working on and to meet their friends.  The event was hosted by the Preschool Committee and a wonderful time was had by all! Our fabulous teachers are (front row) Kelley O'Malley, Kelly Cook, Lisa Marsh, Peggy Noonan, Judy Underhill, Kay Sherrill (back row) Becky Pierce, Sabrina Seidel, Jennifer Wipke, Lynne Dauve (Director), Lisa Turnquist, Susan Talley and Tammy Smith.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Library Corner---Bullying

Unless there is a meeting in the room, the Adult and Children’s Libraries are always open and available for browsing, resting and reading or checking out books. Take advantage when you are in the building. If you are in elementary or early middle schools and have a paper due, check out the “J” section of the Children’s Library for books to help with your report. Some (but not all) of the topics you will find include, history, geography, and biography. Get a start there.

Recent additions to the Adult Library include books on bullying. Two are: The Bully and Me by Helen Carmichael Porter. Parents and teachers can learn how to cope with both victims and bullies in various situations. Bullying and Me: Schoolyard Stories by Ouisie Shapiro These books will be on display on the book cart outside the Adult Library. COME IN AND CHECK US OUT!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Worship Prayers

PRAYER FOR PREPARATION:  Holy God, we come to you for truth, that we might see clearly and that we might understand.  We come to you for comfort, that we might be sustained.  We come to you for challenge, that we might be reminded that our ways are not your ways and that we can change.  Amen.


We have made this place for you, O God, and gathered here to worship you.
         Your presence floods into this sanctuary, filling us with your Spirit.
Your presence flows into each of our lives, O God.
         Our hearts are filled with peace, our souls with song.
Even as we gather in your presence, O God, we acknowledge that your dwelling place is not limited by our construction.
         Your mercy is not limited to our needs alone.
On the earth, in the earth, and above the earth we will meet you, O God.
         In every place we can imagine, and in ways we cannot imagine, we will worship you.

   PRAYER OF CONFESSION                                                                                                                             
Holy God, we come before you, acknowledging our brokenness.  We have been broken by the ways of the world.  Greed and selfishness of others have hurt us; our own desires for wealth and success have harmed others.  Forgive us, O God, for not looking to your ways, for not seeing that our greatest need is to love you and to love our neighbors as ourselves. May we feel your love and care, and your forgiveness, as we are challenged to forgive and love one another.

SCRIPTURE READING                                                                                                         Isaiah 58, p. 688

Friday, October 21, 2016

Technical Help from our Youth

Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook?

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!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Daily Prayer Oct. 20


Salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is near.

Micah 5:1-4, 10-15; Revelation 9:1-12; Luke 10:25-37

Eternal God, you taught us that the night is far spent and the day is at hand. Keep us awake and alert, watching for your kingdom, and make us strong in faith, so that when Christ comes in glory to judge the earth, we may joyfully give him praise; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. God of holiness and light, cleanse our hearts and give a new spirit to all your people, that your saving grace may be professed and proclaimed to the whole world. How great is your love, Lord God, 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. Amen. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord be kind and gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.

(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, October 18, 2016

The Journey

At my uncle's funeral several weeks ago, the pastor (noting we were a Missouri Pacific Railroad family) told  a story that I really liked:

As Susan climbed into the train and she noticed her car was totally empty---she could sit anywhere.  She couldn't decide if she wanted in the sun or in the shade, in the front, middle or back.  She tried several seats before the conductor told her to take a seat. She decided in middle on the sunny side.  

At the train was pulling away, Susan realized the seat was so low she couldn't see outside.  So, she looked around and found several pillows to sit on---no, too high---she couldn't see past the shade now.  So, she finally had the seat at the right height but her feet didn't touch the ground.  She pulled out the foot rest and just got comfortable to see all of the beautiful scenery out the train window, when she had to go to the bathroom. She got up and went to the restroom.  She finally got settled back into her seat to enjoy the view when the conductor came by and told her they had reached the station that was her destination.

As she was climbing down the steps into the station, she said to the conductor, "If I'd know the trip was so short, I wouldn't have bothered with all of the small stuff---I missed the beauty of the journey."

Jeremiah 29:11New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Hope for the Children Luncheon

Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services 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-- e-mail

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Worship Prayers of Oct. 9

PRAYER FOR PREPARATION:  Gracious God, you are the source of wisdom and joy.  Your love and mercies are not limited to one time or to one people.  You continue to heal and save, transcending the artificial boundaries and barriers we set.  For such expansive love, it is our right, duty and joy to offer you all our thanks and praise.  Amen.


CALL TO WORSHIP (Adapted from Psalm 66)                                                                                             
Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of God's holy name.
         How awesome are your deeds!  We sing the glory of God's name.
Come and see what God has done; awesome deeds for all the people.
         The Lord keeps our spirits alive and our feet on the ground.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION                                                                                                                                
Gracious God, we are meant to praise you and give thanks to you always.  We confess that we do not live out of constant gratitude.  We harbor resentment for what we lack.  We blame you; we blame others.  We doubt your compassion, even your power.  We find it hard to give ourselves away to you, or to others, in generous expressions of gratitude and praise.  Forgive us, O God.  Heal and restore us so that we may return to you with a right spirit.  Help us to live holy and joyful lives, befitting people you love and save.


SCRIPTURE READING                                                                                                  Luke 17:11-19, p. 80

Friday, October 14, 2016

Daily Prayer for Oct. 14


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

Hosea 13:9-16; Acts 28:1-16; Luke 9:28-36

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.

(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.)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Stained Glass Windows

Day or Night, Christmas or Easter, Wedding or Funeral, St. Mark Presbyterian's Stained glass windows are always front and center.  Brides are even told to not spend a lot of money of flowers for the chancel area because the window overpowers all floral displays.
This past week the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had an article on Emil Frei Associates which is the Studio which created our windows.

 These "side" windows from 1974 were originally in our sanctuary when it was where our Narthex is now.  They were also designed by Emil Frei Studios to look like medieval windows.

The Chancel Windows was a gift by Genevieve Daniel in memory of her late sister, Margaret Callahan.  The array of color is enhanced by subtle Christian symbols--i.e. wheat, grapes, crowns, fish and a chalice.  Made of faceted glass, the window was designed and made by Robert Frei of Emil Frei & Associates, Kirkwood, Missouri.  Mr. Frei, known nation wide for his work, invented the process using epoxy resins and silica, to make faceted glass structurally sound.  His process is now used throughout the world.

The glass, which is about one inch thick, is purposely chipped to refract light.  The result is a beautiful array of glass that sparkles in the sunlight.  The dark wooden cross in front of the chancel window is highlighted by the think brass cross of the 1974 sanctuary.

The information here was taken from the February 25, 1990 bulletin dedicating our current sanctuary.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Book Club 2016-2017 Selections

All are welcome!  Snacks and Enlightened discussions---please join us!

Generally we meet the 4th Wednesday in the month at 9:30am in Room 102

(Many of the book titles are available thru the public library system)

Oct.26: Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman
November: NO MEETING
Dec.14: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Jan.25: My Antonia by Willa Cather
Feb.22: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
Mar.22: Elephant Company by Vicki Croke
Apr.26: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
May 24: Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Jun.28: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Aug.23: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall Festival

Another beautiful Fall Festival!  We had pumpkin decorating,
games, bounce houses, Fair Trade Items and Bridge Bread for sale.

 We also had several special invited guests:  Lolly the clown, a Blue Grass Band (Good Turn Daily), Caricaturists, and Louie from the St. Louis Blues Hockey team!

 Although almost everything was free including a drawing for Blues Hockey tickets, the Fellowship Committee had lunch for sale in Gleason Hall where Louie again appeared for some photos.

 Everyone had a great time.  Thanks to everyone who made this happen!  It's a wonderful way to reach out to the community.