Saturday, June 30, 2018

Scripture for July 1

2 Corinthians 8:7-15 New International Version (NIV)
Saint Paul by Bartolomeo Montagna

But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you[a]—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”[b]


  1. 2 Corinthians 8:7 Some manuscripts and in your love for us
  2. 2 Corinthians 8:15 Exodus 16:18
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Daily Prayer June 29

The Son of Man must be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
Numbers 20:1-13; Romans 5:12-21; Matthew 20:29-34
Almighty God, in Jesus Christ you taught us to pray, and to offer our petitions to you in his name. Guide us by your Holy Spirit, that our prayers for others may serve your will and show your steadfast love. Lead us and every people into ways of justice and peace, that we may respect one another in freedom and truth. Awaken in us a sense of wonder for the earth and all that is in it. Righteous God, you rule the nations. Guard brave men and women who risk themselves in battle for their country. Keep our sons and daughters from hate that hardens, or from scorekeeping with human lives. Though they must be at war, let them live for peace. Encourage them as they encourage one another, and never let hard duty separate them from loyalty to your Son. God of all generations, we praise you for all your servants who, having been faithful to you on earth, now live with you in heaven. Keep us in fellowship with them, until we meet with all your children in the joy of your eternal kingdom. (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.)

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Value of Vulnerablity

C.S. Lewis once wrote, "To love at all is to vulnerable." I believe vulnerability is one of the things that makes us truly human. God does not call us to be a rock or an island (Sorry, Paul Simon.) We are created in the Image of God, but we are built for community, and this requires both giving and receiving. If we are open to God, then we need to be open to each other!

In Hope and Confidence,

Pastor Dave

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

St. Mark Eagle Scout Gives Closing Prayer at 223rd General Assembly

Eagle Scout Patrick Rouff, an active youth at St. Mark, was selected to give the closing prayer he
wrote in consultation with Pastor Dave Burgess, at the 5th Plenary Session of the Presbyterian Church (USA) 223rd General Assembly.

Patrick represented  The National Association of Presbyterian Scouters and the Boy Scouts of America. Patrick is the son of David and Tricia Rouff who along with their daughter Megan are very active in the St. Mark Children and Youth Ministries.

Patrick is an Eagle Scout in Troop 603. He holds three of the Religious Awards and is a Brotherhood Member of the Order of the Arrow. He will be a Senior at Lafayette High School. This summer, Patrick is serving as an Intern at Keystone Software in Eureka. A Video of Patrick’ s prayer can be found at: https//

Activities for June 27

PW Book Club
The June 27 book that we will be discussing is A Piece of the World by Christine Baker Kline.
Please join us at 9:30 AM in Room 102 at church.
You are welcome at Book Club even if you have not completed reading the book.
Potluck Dinner and VBS Preparation
Children’s Ministry will sponsor a Potluck Dinner Wednesday, June 27 at 5:30 in Gleason Hall. All St. Mark Members & Friends are invited to bring a side dish, enjoy fellowship, and help prepare for VBS Rolling River Rampage. There will be painting, crafts, and miscellaneous tasks that need doing as we prepare for our VBS week, July 16-20.
Children’s Ministry will provide the entree for Dinner.
Wednesday,June 27 – hamburgers, brats & hot dogs

Summer Book Read

Join us as we read & discuss Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. This is a memoir by Bryan Stevenson, who established the Equal Justice Initiative and writes about his experiences in this troubling account of the justice system’s impact on our society’s poor, marginal, and vulnerable. Despite the despair Bryan Stevenson encounters, his hopefulness shines through lingering on forgiveness, kindness, and grace.
Fellowship Hall at 6:30 PM
Book Discussion Dates will be on the following Wednesdays:
June 27
July 11
July 25
August 8
St. Mark Presbyterian Church
601 Claymont Dr.
Ballwin. MO 63011

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Statement of Faith by Confirmands Part 4

I believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe that the Father sent Jesus Christ to this Earth to lead a life of kindness, empathy, and forgiveness, that others would follow for centuries to come. I believe the Holy Spirit breathes patience and strength into my life at the crack of dawn every morning. I believe that the bible was created, not to be taken literally, but to demonstrate a holy life. That the church was created as a welcoming place, for all who wanted to worship. That St. Mark was built as a welcoming home to all and to help make the world brighter in small, but mighty ways. I believe that the church should always stand for all people who worship Christ, through turning your other cheek and loving thy neighbor. I believe that all followers of Christ will make a mistake, or thousands, and whether it be big or small, the Lord will forgive and love you just the same. I believe that all followers of Christ should be faithful to Him and let Him take control of their lives when uncertainty lies ahead. Followers of Christ should love others, even when they haven’t loved them. Presbyterians should love all people, no matter their race or gender, like Christ loves and accepts all His children. I believe that sharing my anxieties and worries, and my hopes and joys, with the Lord, is one of the most crucial aspects of maintaining hope. I know that there is always a big plan and purpose, and even if I can’t see it, I know it’s there. After living a life of faith and filling the world with love and hope, I’m not sure what Heaven will be like. But I know that the Lord created it for eternal peace and happiness, and when it is time, I will be in a place of love for all eternity.

Julia D.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Worship Prayers June 17

CENTERING PRAYER                            
 (“Good Morning, God” by Fred Rogers

The sun is up and so are we

All set to start the day
We're wide awake and ready now
Will You please show the way

You've kept us safe the whole night through

Please guide us all day long
Give us a smile for everyone
A word of cheer, a song

Is there a job for us to do

A special task, a test
With help from You we hope we too
Can make this day our best

Good morning sun, good morning sky

We greet you with a nod
This day will be our special day
A good good morning, God

CALL TO WORSHIP                                  (Isaiah 52)

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
Who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations;
And all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
Come! Let us worship our beautiful Savior together!


God of mercy, your command to love one another across all differences opens us to new horizons, yet we often respond with fear and judgment and hinder your goal for humanity. Forgive our sins, we pray, and give us a true repentance that leads to life for all creation. Help us to see the beauty in you, in our neighbors, and in ourselves. We continue to pray in Jesus’ name. (Silent Confession)

For the sermon "Beautiful Day", click here.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Scripture for June 23 and 24

Jeremiah 31:31-37 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Jeremiah, as depicted by Michelangelo
from the 
Sistine Chapel ceiling

A New Covenant

31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband,[a] says the Lord33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
35 Thus says the Lord,
who gives the sun for light by day
    and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
    the Lord of hosts is his name:
36 If this fixed order were ever to cease
    from my presence, says the Lord,
then also the offspring of Israel would cease
    to be a nation before me forever.
37 Thus says the Lord:
If the heavens above can be measured,
    and the foundations of the earth below can be explored,
then I will reject all the offspring of Israel
    because of all they have done,
says the Lord.


  1. Jeremiah 31:32 Or master
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Daily Prayer for June 22


God is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for God's good pleasure.
Numbers 13:1-3, 21-30; Romans 2:25-3:8; Matthew 18:21-35
God our creator, yours is the morning and yours is the evening. Let Christ the sun of righteousness shine forever in our hearts and draw us to that light where you live in radiant glory. O Lord, our creator, by your holy prophet you taught your ancient people to seek the welfare of the cities in which they lived. We commend our neighborhood to your care, that it might be kept free from social strife and decay. Give us strength of purpose and concern for others, that we may create here a community of justice and peace where your will may be done God of glory, you see how all creation groans in labor as it awaits redemption. As we work for and await your new creation, we trust that you will answer our prayers with grace, and fulfill your promise that all things work together for good for those who love you. (Add your prayers.) Amen.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

(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, June 21, 2018

Long Days and Longing Hearts

Today is the longest day of the year. How will you mark this new season in your life? Will you greet it with hope for the future or regret from the past? Time is moving forward, but God's truth (and love) is marching on. I hope you feel the Lord's presence today!

In Hope and Confidence,
Pastor Dave

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Statement of Faith by Confirmands Part 3

I believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe in sin and forgiveness of sin. I believe in the church and that it is a place to gather with others to worship Jesus. I believe that God guides me through this life. I believe in hope. I believe in heaven and communion. I believe that God created Earth and the plants and animals that live on this earth. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. I believe that Jesus is the son of God. I believe in all of this because of the Bible, church, and my parents teachings.

I believe in the stories of the Bible. My favorite story in the Bible is the one where Jesus helps the fisherman catch the fish in John 21. In this story Simon Peter is going fishing and all through the night he catches no fish, but then Jesus appears on shore and tells them to throw the net on the other side of the boat and they catch so much fish they cannot hall the net back onto the boat. I like this story because it helps me to trust in God knowing he will be there if I really need him.

My faith means to me that I know and love God. Even though I have never seen God in person I can feel him with me and believe that he is with my family and me through good and bad times. I see the beauty of God’s creation through flowers, animals, other people.

Morgan A.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Worship Prayers June 10

Today is new.  It's new to everyone you meet.  It's new to you.  The houses on the street are waking up now.  Today is up now.

Today is new.  It's new with time and space and things we want to do.  The sparrow dries his wings and sings a new song, a just for you song.

We know each morning brings a brand new day, and though we sometimes wish for yesterday, today is new.  It's new to everyone who lives.  It's new to you, to everyone you give a bit of you to. Today is new too.

And we won't waste a minute feeling bad.  We can't cause we're too busy feeling glad.  Today is new.  It's new to everyone you meet.  It's new to you.  What say we try to greet it in a new way, say happy new day.  Today is new.

Let the righteous be joyful!
Let them rejoice before God.
Let us all be jubilant with joy!
Sing to God, all peoples of the world.
Sing praises to God most high.
From the sanctuary of heaven,
God gives life and renews the face of the earth.
Let the righteous be joyful!
Let them rejoice before God.
Let us all be jubilant with joy!

Loving God, we confess we do not always bring honor and glory to your name.  We are rebellious and weak; we flee before your goodness.  We avoid certain neighborhoods and ignore many neighbors.  We say we want to see you, but we are hesitant to join you where you are already working.  Forgive, restore, and strengthen us by the grace and mercy of Christ, that we may rise up again in peace to love and serve our neighborhoods. (Silent Confession)

SCRIPTURE READING                                                               Acts 1:6-11

† AFFIRMATION OF FAITH - Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

For the sermon, "The Right Neighborhood", click here.