Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Statement of Faith by Confirmand, Part 9

 Faith Statement
I believe in God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that is in every single one of us. God has the eternal power and makes the good in all of us. For in the Bible, it tells the stories of Jesus Christ and his good doings. The Bible teaches me how to follow and worship Jesus Christ, my father.

In the church’s name, it is a place to worship and gather to pray under God. Church is like a family to me, praying and helping everyone and everything in this world. I believe that worshiping not only in church but every day is the best way to connect with God.

I believe that God created everyone equal and that wrong doings and sins should be a forgiven. God teaches me that a sin does not define who you are but it teaches you right from wrong. I believe that in this life, following Jesus Christ helps others to connect with each other and come together.
To me, hope means trusting, looking for and desiring Jesus Christ in your life. Jesus has helped me to get through difficult times like when my dad was diagnosed with a rare disease. I have hope in Jesus Christ that he will help me worship him.

I believe in resurrection of the body and the Church. I believe that after death I will be able to sit with Jesus Christ and be able to worship with him.

Elizabeth P.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Stephen Ministry Programs

The Stephen Ministry Program is a service under the St. Mark Board of Deacons. What is a Stephen
Minister? What do they do? Do you know? We are the people who quietly walk with you through difficult times. We offer one-on-one confidential care to anyone who wishes to receive it. We deliver prayer shawls to many people in the congregation to help comfort and remind them how much God loves them. Did you know the Stephen Ministers have offered cancer support to the congregation and the community?

We also have GriefShare. This is a support program for anyone who has lost a loved one. We know what you are going through and want to help. Don’t go through the grieving process alone. We have a new session starting September 11. Call Debbie Hames for information.

Currently we have ten active Stephen Ministers and would like to add more. Is this a ministry that is calling to you? Are you a good listener and want to help people? Consider joining us. We will be starting a new training session this fall. Call Jean Steward for information,

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Worship Prayer July 22

CENTERING PRAYER  So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. Lighten, if it be your will, the pressure of the world’s care, and, above all, reconcile us to your will, and give us a peace which the world cannot take away; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. – Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847)
Come into the presence of the Most High God with songs of praise and shouts of thanksgiving.
        For our Savior frees us from slavery;
our Savior heals our diseases;
        our Savior is our peace.
You are a holy temple in the Lord Jesus Christ.                        
        Come; let us worship God.
Eternal God, your steadfast love endures forever. We confess that we act as if we are in control and you will bless whatever we do.  If we think of others at all, it is with an eye toward their usefulness to us.  If we consider your creation, it is to ponder what benefits us. We have failed to show your love or to do justice in obedience to you.  We have no right to be called your children.
Have mercy on us, God of grace.  Forgive our sins, we humbly pray.  Put the mind of Christ within us, O God, so that our lives take the form of a cross.  Use us to break down walls of hostility within the church, among the nations, and around the world.  Equip us to do your will, giving you glory, honor, and praise together with the Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. (Silent Confession.)
SCRIPTURE READING                                                             Mark 6:30-43
† 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 "Members Only?", click here.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Scripture for Sunday July 29


Psalm 14

For the director of music. Of David.

The fool[a] says in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
    there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven
    on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
    any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one.
Do all these evildoers know nothing?
They devour my people as though eating bread;
    they never call on the Lord.
But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
    for God is present in the company of the righteous.
You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
    but the Lord is their refuge.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When the Lord restores his people,
    let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!


  1. Psalm 14:1 The Hebrew words rendered fool in Psalms denote one who is morally deficient.
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.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

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

Eagle Scout Patrick Rouff, an active youth at St. Mark Presbyterian, 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://www.dropbox.com/s/9b6pwohbz0syllw/Patrick%20GA%20Prayer%203.mp4?dl=0

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Statement of Faith by Confirmand, Part 8

 Faith Statement

I believe in God and in the trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is all forgiving and gave his only son so that we the people may live. I believe in the Bible, containing the stories and telling’s connected to our Ruler. The Bible tells us to be faithful and good to all people, to love your neighbor as thyself.

We worship our Ruler by going to church. We praise His holy name, thanking Him for all that he does for us, showing us how to live, love, forgive, and how to handle going through difficult times. Last year, my grandma had a stroke and a heart attack, but she is still alive, and I am grateful to God for that. I prayed to Him that everything would turn out all right and it did.

As we commit sins against God, He ultimately moves past them and forgives us. He is the ultimate teacher. As people on this Earth, it is important to have a goal in life, to be faithful to our God and to be with Him once we pass away and go to heaven. We must have faith in our lives, believing that everything that happens is for a purpose and that God has a reason for everything.

Hope is especially important in the church. We have to have hope that things will always get better and that whenever something bad happens, something good must come out of that situation. We must have hope that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are always with us.

Grace P.

Monday, July 23, 2018

No Small Thing

“Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’” (John 13:33-35, NRSV.)

 Growing up, we were the family that attended church on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday nights. If the church doors were open, it was a pretty good bet the Burgess family was there. I knew the church layout by heart, all the familiar hymns, and what dishes went the quickest at the monthly congregational potluck. Most of all, I knew I was loved, and this is no small thing.

I write this message on the last day of Vacation Bible School. It is such a joy to hear the singing, see the smiling faces, and share in the learning going on in our facility this week. A small army of volunteers are making this a memorable week for church kids and guests from all over our community. The kids are growing through crafts, science, story time, and creative play. Some kids might forget the daily lesson, but I believe they will always remember they are loved at St. Mark, and this is no small thing.

 VBS wraps up at noon today, and the sanctuary will transform once again to its usual setup for Sunday worship. We have a service of “Witness to the Resurrection” on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. I talked with the families earlier this week about the upcoming funeral services, and the theme that came up repeatedly is how much these individuals loved St. Mark and how much they were loved in return. This is no small thing.

Sometimes, we look at the world’s problems and wonder how we can ever possibly make a difference. Walking through life can break our hearts. However, I believe there is good news all around for the youngest and oldest in our community. We can persevere in loving each other and the world in a wide variety of ways, and when we feel completely spent, we can come to our community of faith and be reminded of God’s eternal love for us. This is no small thing. It is everything!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Worship Prayers for July 15

CENTERING PRAYER  “God, remove all bitterness from my heart and give me the strength and courage to face any disaster that comes my way.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Come, let us worship God with the passion and joy of King David and all the people who sang and danced before the ark of the covenant.
        Let us worship our Savior with the songs of praise and thanksgiving of the apostle    Paul and all who are blessed with every spiritual blessing.
God has blessed us in our Lord Jesus Christ, destined us to be children of God, and sealed us in the Holy Spirit.
        Let us worship our wonderful God together.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, you are the God of glory.  We confess that we often forget your holiness is dangerous.  We take our impurities for granted, make excuses for the sins we commit, and expect you to overlook the harm we cause while still demanding justice from others.  We do not deserve your mercy.  Forgive us, and return us to a right relationship with you for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ.  You made us for the purpose of praising you; enliven us with the Holy Spirit so that we can fulfill our calling in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Silent Confession)

SCRIPTURE READING                                                             Mark 6:14-29


† 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, "Injustice Anywhere" Click here.


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Scripture for July 22

Mark 6:30-43 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Feeding the multitudes by Bernardo Strozzi,
early 17th century.

Feeding the Five Thousand

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 35 When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; 36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii[a] worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And all ate and were filled; 43 and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 


  1. Mark 6:37 The denarius was the usual day’s wage for a laborer
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, July 20, 2018

Daily Prayer July 20


Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Joshua 4:19-5:1, 10-15; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 26:17-25
O God, whose presence is veiled from our eyes: Grant that when we do not recognize you, our hearts may burn within us, and when feeling is lost, we may cling in faith to your Word and the power of bread broken. Eternal God of unchanging power and light, look with mercy on your whole church. Bring to completion your saving work, so that the whole world may see the fallen lifted up, the old made new, and all things brought to perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. God of grace and hope, we thank you for life, love, and good memories, for the gift of age, and for the wisdom that comes from experience. We bless you for your constant presence, for with you there is fullness of joy. Give us the courage and faith to accept life as it comes, confident that the future is yours and that we belong to you forever. (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.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

ABC Sale

Save the Dates—And Your Treasures!
The church’s rummage (Attic, Basement, Closet) sale will be here before you know it – and we need you and your treasures! See the key dates below and please share this information with your friends and neighbors.

St. Mark Deacons count on this fund-raiser to support our local missions. Thank you!
The St. Mark ABC Sale is August 3 and 4
This sale benefits over 10 local charities supported by our Deacons.
The sale dates and sale hours are
Friday, August 3:
Early Bird $5 Admission: 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM
8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Saturday, August 4:
8:00 AM to 12:00 noon.
The Sale is Coming! The Sale is Coming! 
Please begin to or continue to collect those items that you would like to contribute to the ABC sale.
You can begin to bring in your items during the dates of July 29 to August 1. That date will be here before you know it!
Drop Off Dates & Times:
Sunday, July 29 – 9:30 AM to 12 Noon
Monday, July 30 thru Wednesday, August 1 – 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Monday evening, July 30 – 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Please note that we are no longer able to accept:
– cribs, high chairs, car seats
– sofas and loveseats, mattresses, entertainment centers
– Christmas trees
– computers, monitors, keyboards, cords for computers, cell phones
– televisions of any kind or size
– encyclopedias or magazines
Want to know how else you might help?
There will be a sign-up poster in the narthex; please indicate what department you would like to work in and when you are available. All committees need help before the sale as well as the days of the sale, August 3 and 4. You will be contacted by the chairperson before the sale.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Statement of Faith by Confirmand, Part 7

 Faith Statement
Love surrounds all of us every day. It lives within us down to the deepest core of our hearts. “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). I believe in the power of love that is said to be shown by God. I believe that this love exists in different enough forms that we sometimes don’t recognize it even when it stares us in the face.

People love every day, whether it be in happiness, or in sorrow, or in anger. In ways, love can be the cause of sorrow and anger. When you miss a close family member, or maybe going to their funeral, you don’t mourn because you don’t miss them or don’t care, you do it because you feel the love that you have for them bleeding from your heart.

Love also leads to forgiveness. “We forgive so that we may not be outwitted by Satan’s designs” (2 Corinthians 2:11). God forgives every single one of us, even if we feel as though we do not deserve to be forgiven. Forgiveness is never a sin that we will regret; just as we will never regret being kind. Forgiveness and kindness are not altogether the same, but are very similar. You should always forgive out of the kindness of your heart. It would surprise many people how these two necessities of life are being renewed every day. It only takes one act to help people see face to face.

Faith is also a part of the deep decisions that we make every day. “We live by faith “so that we do not lose heart” (2 Corinthians 4:16). Faith is believing that the good in this world will overpower evil. And that heaven will always be where your spirit goes instead of hell. It is believing that darkness will never overpower light in the kingdom of God. But I also believe that evil, hell, and darkness is what it takes for us to see the good in the world, to realize how amazing the power of heaven is, and to really appreciate the light. If there was only darkness in this world, then when light were to come, I’m sure that many of us would rejoice and learn to love and appreciate what we didn’t have before.

We only understand the true value of something when we don’t have it. And this leads us back to faith. Faith is most importantly believing that we can get it back when we realize the true meaning.

Hannah P.