Friday, March 31, 2017

Souper Cook-off Recipes

The Winners!
Marci & Keith Monteith's Cold Strawberry Soup
(From "Simply Scrumptious Tea Room Emporium" in Eureka Springs, Arkansas)

1 quart fresh or frozen strawberries (they used frozen)
1  12 oz. container thawed Cool Whip
1 pint sour cream
2 small containers strawberry yogurt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar

Purée strawberries in food processor or blender.
In a large bowl add remaining ingredients to strawberries and mix well.  Chill at least 4 hours.
Serve in cold bowls or cups.
Garnish with strawberries and a mint sprig if desired.

Ala' Chez Joyce Blackwell's
Mushroom Soup with Chestnut and Roasted Fennel

(Original Recipe Food Network Recipe by Tyler Florence)

6 small fennel bulbs, stalks removed, halved lengthwise, save some of the fennel fronds
  (Looks like dill weed) for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped from stem or 1 tsp dried
3 pounds mushrooms in total, wiped of grit and coarsely chopped
I used a combo of as many types as I can find in the stores; button, cremini, oyster,
  Chanterelle, shiitake, portabella, porcini, hen in the woods, etc.  the original only called
  For 3 types, 1 lb each.
1 pound cooked chestnuts ( at Trader Joe's year round).
3 quarts chicken stock ( use vegetable stock for vegetarian friends).
1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Put the fennel halves, cut-side up, in a baking dish and drizzle with enough olive oil to come up half way ( no more than a cup);season with a generous amount of salt and pepper.  Roast for 30-40 minutes or until completely tender.  The roasted fennel is the base of the soup, so it's important the flesh is soft enough to be cut with a spoon.  Reserve until ready to serve.

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium flame, add onion and garlic.  Sauté for 4 minutes until translucent.  Toss the thyme into pan along with  the mushrooms, season with salt & pepper.  Cook, stirring for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mushrooms give off their liquid.  Add the chestnuts and cook for a few minutes more until they have some nice color on them.  If desired, remove  about 1 cup of the mixture and chop it a bit more finely to save as a garnish for soup.

Pour the stock into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and purée the soup until completely smooth, using a handheld immersion or regular blender.  Stir in cream to make soup even richer, and simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Taste for salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls garnishing each serving with a bit of the reserved chopped mushrooms and chestnuts and a sprig of the fennel frond.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Gifts of Love

Photo from 1980's Archives at St. Mark Presbyterian

Fifth graders in the 9:00 a.m. Sunday school class made posters expressing what they had received from God throughout their live. Among their favorites were:

Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, pets, home, grandparents, aunts, uncles, food, clothing, friends, nice church, the Bible, an education, jobs, toys, transportation and teachers.

Some that we also wanted to share with the congregation were:
oven, toaster, green beans, nature, air conditioning, heat, playground, oxygen, good land, microwaves, light bulbs,
talents, hamburgers and French fries, hugs, kisses and love.

We are truly grateful for that special “gift of love,” the creative and enthusiastic fifth graders, that we are blessed with each Sunday! Let us all take a moment every day to appreciate each and every “gift of love.”

Dear God,
We thank You for the blessings of children. Their love in unconditional like Yours. Help us to learn from them, as we try to impart to them the wisdom of our experience. They are our hope for the future. We thank thee Lord for Your gift of love through our children and through Your Son, Christ Jesus.


B. Palmer, B. Pierce, and J. Dressel, teachers
9:00 a.m. Fifth Grade Sunday School

Reprinted from St.Mark Presbyterian's 1998 Lenten Devotional

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Thoughts on the Third Lesson of the Five Lenten Studies

Do You Want to be Well?

Human beings throughout history have searched for ways to be healed or cured of their ailments. At our third Lenten study, Wednesday, March 22, we read three biblical stories about healings. The first story in John 5:1-18 was about a man who had not walked for years and years. He, along with others who had physical infirmities, had lain near a pool of water, which was thought to sometimes emit healing properties.

Jesus, who was developing a reputation as a healer, came by this pool of water. He healed the man, and maybe only him, as the scripture does not report on the others there. But He asked the man a question first: “Do you want to be made well?” The man does not clearly state “YES”! Rather, he gives reasons why he had not been healed to date. After a healing, how different would his life be? Would life become more joyful and free, or become more burdensome with new responsibilities for which to attend?

Talk of health consumes us these days, whether it is on a personal, political, or state of the art level. We strive for extending our lives and do not like to face the fact that all organisms do eventually die, at least scientifically. Several years ago my brother-in-law came very close to experiencing a major heart attack. Five blockages were found and corrected with surgery. I remember the surgeon’s words to our family, saying this was the goal of heart surgeons – to correct the problems - so that patients could die from something other than a heart attack!

In class, we discussed whether being made “well” means the same as being healed or cured. Can ‘being well’ be something that encompasses more than physical health? Does being well connote that life carries meaning of some sort, something different than just being scientifically alive? How do we face this inevitable physical death of ourselves? Neuroscientist-surgeon Paul Kalanithi explores these issues in his memoir When Breath Becomes Air, as he faced his own death from cancer at age 37. He had been the ‘healer’ for others, and now he himself wanted healing. With an unexpectedly shortened career and unlived goals, he embraced what he found to be worthy. For Dr. Kalanithi, part of what he found worthy was a return to the practice of Christianity.

May we all choose to live life, whether brief or long, to the full. Jesus says, “I came so that they could have life – indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.” (John 10:10, Common English Bible)

Written by Victoria Sherman

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Word from the Pastor

After a long Lenten Journey, we enter into the holiest week of the year. Beginning on Palm/Passion Sunday, we will recreate the foundational story of our faith through worship and song, culminating with the joy of the resurrection celebration on Easter Sunday.

On Palm/Passion Sunday, April 9, we will celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Each year at St. Mark Presbyterian in Ballwin, we commemorate this remarkable event with the Jerusalem Festival in Gleason Hall, which is kicked off by the Children’s Palm Parade. In worship, we will reflect on the highs and lows of that week, with a special reading of the Passion Story.

There are some new additions to our observance of Holy Week this year at St. Mark. We will be doing something different on Maundy Thursday. For the first time in 10 years, we will not be presenting the Living Last Supper. Donna Schiro, who has worked so hard to produce the Living Last Supper in years past, was not available to do so this year due to changes in her life. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Donna for her many years of dedication bringing the Last Supper to life for us.

This year on Maundy Thursday, April 13, we will be having a Tenebrae Service at 7:30 pm. Tenebrae is Latin for “shadows” or “darkness.” We will be reading the story of the Last Supper and Jesus’ betrayal, as candles are extinguished and the lights are dimmed. The service ends in darkness. This year several people in our congregation have agreed to provide personal reflections on the meaning of this dramatic story, and how it has informed their own faith journey. This holy experience is not to be missed. The service will also include the ritual of foot washing for our Confirmation Class and powerful music from the chancel choir.

 On Good Friday, April 14, St. Mark will be hosting a Community Good Friday Service at 3:00 pm. We are joining with St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Ellisville, St. Thomas UCC in Chesterfield, UKirk Campus Ministry in St. Louis, and Woodlawn Chapel Presbyterian Church in Wildwood, in a service of the Seven Last Words of Christ. Preachers from each of these congregations, including Pastor Susan and me, will be offering reflections on the final words Jesus spoke from the cross according to the gospels. This is a poignant service, and a great opportunity to welcome our sisters and brothers from our community to share in worship.

 On Saturday, April 15, the Confirmation Class will be hosting an Easter Vigil at 5:00 pm in Gleason Hall. They will recount the story of salvation history through reflection and song, as we await the dawn of Easter.

All of this culminates in the joyous celebration of the Resurrection on Easter morning April 16. We will sing and proclaim the new life promised in Easter with brass, choirs, and preaching. There are two services: 8:30 am and 10:30 am.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Jim

Monday, March 27, 2017

One Great Hour of Sharing: Presbyterian Hunger Fund

Offering serves as a witness to resurrection hope

by Pat Cole and Bryce Wiebe | Special to Presbyterian News Service
An alpaca farmer and her child near Huancavelica, Peru. (Photo provided)
LOUISVILLE – While violence and fear continue to pervade war-torn Syria, Presbyterians across the United States are helping those displaced by the conflict rebuild their lives.
Since the war began in 2011, at least 13.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes and seek safety in Lebanon, Jordan, Europe and the United States. The United Nations estimates 400,000 others have been killed in the conflict.
Thanks to previous gifts given to One Great Hour of SharingPresbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has been able to respond quickly to the refugee crisis. Working with churches in the region, primarily the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, PDA helps Syrian refugee children in Lebanon continue their education and provides refugee families food, shelter and heating oil. In the United States, PDA assists congregations’ efforts to resettle refugees and to follow the biblical imperative to extend hospitality to strangers and foreigners.
But the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, which is traditionally taken on Palm Sunday or Easter, does more than help refugees build new lives in a new country. It also enables PDA to assist displaced refugees seeking to return to the country they love.
For more on this and information from Jed Koball click here

“Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” —Matt. 4:7

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Worship Prayers March 19

PRAYER IN PREPARATIONGracious God, the world is parched with thirst for the living water of your grace.  So quench and fill us with your spirit that we may put aside our timidity and share our stories, even our lingering uncertainties of faith in Christ.  By our witness, may others come and, with us, seek and drink the water of life.  Amen.

We come, our souls thirsting for God.
         We come to the One who supplies our every need.
We come, with prayers in our hearts.
         We come to the One who listens to our hearts.
We come, with our hopes to be made whole.
         We come to the One who brings peace, who gives us living water.

Everlasting God, you know us better than we know ourselves.  We are parched by the heat of our desires.  We are burdened by our failures.  We are thirsty for hope, desperate for something more.  Forgive us, O God.  Shower us with life giving water.  Quench our thirst .  Pour your love into our hearts.  Fill the wells of our faith.  Bring us one again to life.

SCRIPTURE READING                                                                                                      John 4:5-42, p. 94

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Daily Prayer March 25

Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Jeremiah 13:1-11; Romans 6:12-23; John 8:47-59

God, our creator, you have given us work to do and call us to use our talents for the good of all. Guide us as we work, and teach us to live in the Spirit who made us your sons and daughters, in the love that made us sisters and brothers. Remember, O God, your church. Unite it in the truth of your Word and empower it in ministry to the world. Remember the world of nations. By your Spirit renew the face of the earth; let peace and justice prevail. Remember our family and friends. Bless them and watch over them; be gracious to them and give them peace. Remember the sick and the suffering, the aged and the dying. Encourage them and give them hope. Rejoicing in the communion of saints, we remember with thanksgiving all your faithful servants, whom you have called from this life. We are grateful that for them death is no more, nor is there sorrow, crying, or pain, for the former things have passed away. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

Go forth into the world, rejoicing in 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.)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Saints and Siblings Fellowship

Wednesday Night Fellowship follows Children’s Choir from 6:15 – 7:30pm.

We focus on a fellowship time including prayer concerns, prayer time which has included walking the Labyrinth. As we begin our Lenten Journey we will be studying the 40 days that with emphasis on Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter.

We will also continue working on mission projects that serve our community, and children in this
area and around the world. The children do make many of the crafts that are part of the Jerusalem Festival on April 9.

Children’s Ministries also welcomes you to join us for the following events:

April 9 Jerusalem Festival
April 15 Bunny Breakfast in Gleason Hall
April 29-30 All Church Earth Day Retreat
May 21 Kid’s Choice Outing
 June 9 Float Decorating & Barbeque BALLWIN DAYS PARADE
July 17-21 Vacation Bible School

Please mark your calendars and join us for these events. Although this is for Kindergarten to 5th grade, parents and siblings are ALWAYS welcome. For additional information, contact E.Oglesby or Ellen Hynes (636-394-2233).

2 Timothy 3:14-15Modern English Version (MEV)

14 But continue in the things that you have learned and have been assured of, knowing those from whom you have learned them, 15 and that since childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Surviving the Darkness

We have all faced times when we have felt that we are alone:  Pitted against formidable problems, at odds with those who love us, depressed, stressed, and sitting in darkness.  We feel unloved and unlovable.  It is at these times God our Father longs to comfort us.  We have only to open our hearts to Him and He will surround us with strength and love.

During a crisis with my youngest daughter, I was fearing the worst.  Well the worst did happen, but the world did not fall apart.  I turned to God and asked Him to give me courage to face the situation.  He lifted me above the dark clouds and through some wonderful people, gave my daughter and me the insight to work through the crisis.  He is always there for us, and we need not fear.  We just need to turn to him.

Isaiah 49:15-16New Century Version (NCV)

1The Lord answers, “Can a woman forget the baby she nurses?
    Can she feel no kindness for the child to which she gave birth?
Even if she could forget her children,
    I will not forget you.
16 See, I have written your name on my hand.
    Jerusalem, I always think about your walls.

Written by and published with permission of D. Boast.  From St. Mark Presbyterian's Lenten Devotional 1998.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Thoughts on the Second Lesson of the Five Lenten Studies

Who Do You Say That I Am?
Who do people say Jesus was/is? At our study session, we went around the room with our personal answers. In the list were Almighty, Redeemer, Friend, Teacher.

During His time on earth some people label Jesus as “good”. “Why?,” He asked them .

And how did Jesus respond to their concerns about whether they would inherit eternal life?

These questions, found in three gospels, were explored with Pastor Jim's facilitation of our discussion last Wednesday night, March 15, part two of the Lenten Series on The Questions of Jesus: Challenging Ourselves to Discover Life’s Great Answers, based on the book by John Dear. We looked at Mark 8:27-38, Matthew 19:16-30, and Luke 18:18-30.

In each story, Jesus addressed the need to “give up “ or “deny yourself” things that seem obvious, natural, and wise to want to keep secure – i.e. comfort, money, lifestyle, even life itself. Jesus said letting this go was the way for those to “save their lives” and inherit “eternal life”. He said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. Did He really mean that?!! Surely not! Were and are rich people still required to give up their possessions, comfort, and money before they could be accepted into the kingdom?! That seems impractically extreme and, therefore, to our minds, seems unnecessary and wrong! Maybe He really did not mean that. Maybe He was just using hyperbole – exaggerated statements, that were not intended to be taken quite so literally. Here is one reference that explains slightly less extreme interpretations about the sewing needle:

If Jesus did not actutally mean giving life and riches away to receive eternal life, then, what was He teaching? Maybe He was talking about something more nuanced than a straightforward prescription or formula on what had to be done to secure eternal life and be in the kingdom of God. And what about this talk of Him suffering and dying, and we having to lose our own lives in order to gain our lives (Matthew story)?

Maybe Jesus was talking about people (then and now) relaxing their grip on controlling comfort and ease as the ultimate measure of a good life. Are we willing to rearrange our priorities about what is important, even if that could mean encountering hardship and suffering? Can these undesired experiences be something that pleases God? In the Mark story, Peter started ‘rebuking’ (criticizing, disapproving) Jesus when He talked about Himself suffering and dying. In return, Jesus told Peter to ‘STOP IT’ because Peter’s arguments were causing Jesus, Himself, to become tempted to set His “mind not on divine things but on human things.’

Is, then, the answer to the ultimate abundant, good life – the inherited eternal life – one that does requires thirsting for the things of God rather than man? Regardless of the human cost, will our quench be satisfied when we steer our actions to the divine over and above the human things? I think Jesus struggled with His own priorities of divine vs. human during His 40 days in the Wilderness. Maybe we find our true security and good when we allow the spring of living water – the experiences with the Divine - to flow and slide through our fingers, relax in its comfort and cleansing, without trying to securely grasp it.

Third question in the series is Do You Want to Be Well?

Wednesday, March 22, 6pm, Fellowship

Written by Victoria Sherman

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cheerful Samaritans

Luke 10:27
…”You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all you mind. And you must love our neighbor just as much as you love yourself.”

My assignment was to conduct a Sunday service at Bethesda West Nursing Home. What thoughts would be meaningful to a group of very elderly people? I decided to use as my text a portion of the story of the good Samaritan, and tell them about my friend Bud, a victim of multiple sclerosis. I told of his tremendous spirit in his fight against a disease for which there is no cure and of this good cheer and good neighbor approach to all friends. I would occasionally see Bud struggling through the five o’clock Chicago Union Station crowd, navigating laboriously with crutches and braces and say “Hi Bud, how are you?” Invariably he would respond, “I feel great! How are you? Tell me about the kids. How is Jean?” The conversation would quickly swing to my family, our church, and the choir where we both sang.

As I talked about my admiration for Bud’s spirit, it was hard to gauge how many of my small congregation were hearing my words. Two elderly ladies in wheelchairs stared vacantly into space. Several people nodded when I suggested they could be good Samaritans. One lady, who was wheeled into the chapel on a bed, had her eyes closed during the service. As I walked down the aisle at the end of the service greeting people, I approached her bed. She opened her eyes and, with a twinkle in her eye and a smile, looked into my eyes and said cheerily, “I feel great!”

Matthew 5: “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Help us to be Samaritans in word and in deed, even when we don’t feel the calling. Let us learn by the example of Your love, as shown thru others.

Printed with permission of the author from St. Mark Presbyterian's  1998 Lenten Devotional
Jus M.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Deacons' Doings

Mark 10:13-16New Century Version (NCV)Jesus Accepts Children13 Some people brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch them, but his followers told them to stop. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was upset and said to them, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to people who are like these children. 15 I tell you the truth, you must accept the kingdom of God as if you were a little child, or you will never enter it.” 16 Then Jesus took the children in his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them.

When asked to share a deacon endeavor near and dear to her heart, Jan Boehme instantly thought of Circle of Concern’s Birthday Club. Here is an excerpt from a letter to Jan:

…the Birthday Club is so very special because it’s a program that helps our clients who might have to choose between purchasing food for their family or a birthday gift for their child. Unfortunately food always wins. The Birthday Club gives parent/grandparents peace of mind in that their children will be able to celebrate his/her special day with gifts and a cake.  
The Birthday Club is designed for Circle client’s children age one through eleven. About two week before each child’s birthday, the parent is called to ask what new toys the child would like. Each toy is then wrapped in birthday paper, and books or puzzles are also included, and the gift is usually topped with a new stuffed animal. Our supply of toys consists primarily of the items left over from Circle’s Annual Toy Day Program held in December, and donations from the public throughout the year.
 In addition to the gifts, each parent is also given a Birthday Bag that includes cake mix, frosting, paper plates, cups, napkins, invitations, candles and occasionally party favors (many times there are themes such as Spiderman/Frozen/ Dory). We try to give each child an age appropriate bag. The Circle’s Birthday Club has been going strong since 1997 – to date we have given out and wrapped approximately 13,000 gifts. We are always looking for new toys for children (ages 1-11) and items for Birthday Bags. 

As you can see, this is an incredible program that truly makes a difference in the lives of Circle children. Please consider adding this program to your weekly/ monthly giving. Donations can be placed on the Circle of Concern table outside of Pastor Jim’s office (there is a box labeled Birthday Club).

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Worship Prayers for March 12

PRAYER IN PREPARTION:  O God, your signs and wonders call us out of darkness and into your marvelous light.  We come to your word again and again, seeking understanding and the new life it offers.  Illumine our hearts and minds so that we may believe this testimony and have abundant life.  Amen.

We come into worship seeking God's guidance, reassurance, and hope.
         Help us, O God, to be open to your revelation in scripture, word, and song.
We come into worship longing for spiritual renewal and strength.
         Help us, O God, to trust your voice to us and feel your spirit within us.
We come into worship searching for community and relationship.
         Help us, O God, to see you in acts of friendship, welcome and care we find here today.

Gracious God, we are timid followers, wanting all the answers before we take the first step.  We are cautious and hesitant, fearful even, of the new.  We cling to old worn out ways, and though we try over and over, we still cannot save ourselves.  Forgive us, O God, empty us of our fullness, pry us loose of our knowledge, our grasping for control.  Open us to the new life promised in your love.

SCRIPTURE READING                                                                                                      John 3:1-17, p. 94

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Daily Prayer for March 18


I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. I was dead and behold I am alive forever and ever. Because I live, you also will live.

Jeremiah 5:10-31; Romans 3:19-31; John 7:1-13

O God of grace, you have given us new and living hope in Jesus Christ. We thank you that by dying Christ destroyed the power of death, and by rising from the grave opened the way to eternal life. Help us to know that because he lives, we shall live also; and that neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come shall be able to separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. By your power, great God, our Lord Jesus 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 the Lord. (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.)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Recipes from the Souper Cook-off

1 Corinthians 10:31New Century Version (NCV)

31 The answer is, if you eat or drink, or if you do anything, do it all for the glory of God.

Bob Lienemann's Swamp Soup
( from the Fish River Grill, Gulf Shores/Foley, Alabama)

2 - (10oz) fresh, chopped turnip greens, or 1-27 oz can "Margaret Holmes turnip greens
1 - small onion, chopped very fine
1  - pkg. DRY Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix
1 - 15 oz can Northern beans
1 - 15 oz can Navy beans
1 - 15 oz can Black beans (optional)
5 - cups low sodium chicken broth (boxed)
1  - 1 lb pkg smoked sausage, Polish Kielbasa, or one of your liking, sliced thin and cut into       quarters.  Browning first is optional.
1/2 lb bacon optional.  Cut into or break into small pieces
1 tsp Tabasco sauce, or a hot sauce of your liking
1 tsp garlic powder
Pepper to taste

Cook onions in a non-stick 5 qt. pot until transparent and tender.  Add the quartered sausage into the pot, stirring occasionally.  Add rest of the ingredients, stir and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until heated through and through and the green peas from the Dry Knorr is done.  You may substitute turkey or chicken sausage.

Jerry Dressel's Ham And Bean Soup

1 lb dry great Northern beans
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 ham hock
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 half stalk celery, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp mustard powder
2 bay leaves
2 cups chopped ham
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Rinse the beans, sorting out any broken or discolored ones.  In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to boil.  Add salt and beans and remove from heat.  Let beans sit in hot water for at least 60 minutes.

After the 60 minutes of soaking, return the pot to high heat and place the ham bone, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, mustard and bay leaves in the pot.  Stir well, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 60 more minutes.

Remove ham bone and discard.  Stir in the chopped ham and simmer for 30 more minutes.  Season with ground white pepper to taste.