Saturday, February 16, 2019

Scripture for Feb. 17

1 Corinthians 5:12-13 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

12 For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge? 13 God will judge those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you.”
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.
Photo by Kate Williams on Unsplash

Friday, February 15, 2019

Daily Prayer February 15

My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord. I know them and they follow me; and I give them eternal life.

  • Morning Psalms 51; 148
  • Gospel Reading Mark 10:32-45
  • Evening Psalms 142; 65
  • God of our forebears, as your chosen servant Abraham was given faith to obey your call and go out into the unknown, so may your church be granted such faith that we may follow you with courage for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. God of love, as you have given your life to us, so may we live according to your holy will revealed in Jesus Christ. Make us bold to share your life, and show your love, in the power of your Holy Spirit. Mighty God, sovereign over the nations, direct those who make, administer, and judge our laws; the President of the United States and others in authority among us; that, guided by your wisdom, they may lead us in the way of righteousness. (Add your prayers.) Amen.
    Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

    (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, February 14, 2019

    Joy, Happiness and Hope

    As it is for many couples, gift-giving never came easily to my husband and me. At most holidays we were so preoccupied with what to give our kids, parents, siblings and teachers, that our gifts to each other were typically an afterthought; the low point was the year he gave me the movie “The Ringer” on DVD for Mother’s Day. To this day, I don’t know what that was about.

    But the year after my husband had his first heart attack, I remember spending weeks trying to figure out the perfect Valentine’s Day gift to give him. With medical expenses and unexpected time off work, money was tight. A heartfelt note that expressed how much I truly loved and appreciated him probably would have been best, but at that time, it was difficult to say those words out loud. To tell him how much he meant to me would have required admitting to myself just how much was at stake if I lost him.

    Valentine’s Day arrived and alas, I was still empty handed; cupid’s arrow of inspiration had yet to arrive. Jeff, on the other hand, had found a large Garfield the Cat pop-up card that somehow managed to perfectly capture our marriage and his devotion to me. Which made me feel like an even bigger shmuck for not having anything for him.
    It was a typical Valentine’s Day in a family household, with school that day, a kid’s ballet class that evening and some form of totally uninspiring salad hastily consumed in between. As I drove my daughter home from her dance class late that night, red glowing hearts from a nearby White Castle caught my eye.
    I remembered how passionately my husband had lobbied to get me to eat there with him one Valentine’s Day. For those who are unfamiliar, this unassuming, greasy burger joint transforms itself one night a year with candles and decorations. Jeff, who was a life-long slider devotee, had always dreamed of sharing a romantic candlelit dinner there.
    I impulsively pulled into the drive-thru line and ordered him a couple of sliders and a tiny sack of fries. When I saw the look of joy on my husband’s face when I walked in carrying that bag, I thought of the eight long months that had passed since his heart attack. All the times that I denied him his favorite foods. All the moments that I kept him from doing the things that he loved, like running on a trail or carrying one of our kids. All out of fear. All out of a desire to add days to our time together. Ultimately, I had been robbing him of those days instead.
    I wasn’t simply looking for a way to take care of him; I was looking for a way to assure myself that he would be okay. That I could sleep at night because he was safe. That he would wake up the next morning. That he would come home from work the next night. That he would make it through the next run.
    n the midst of all this, I came across a photo of our last trip to Walt Disney World. A look of carefree joy beamed from my husband and daughter’s faces. And I wondered how we’d ever feel that type of happiness again. I remember someone telling me, “You might not be happy again in this life, but maybe in the next.” As a Christian, I understood and appreciated what he was trying to tell me. But as a human being who somehow had to get out of bed every morning and take care of a husband and three kids, it was devastating to hear.
    But somehow, day by day, I loosened my grip on those fears, and laughter and new adventures took their place. There were more happy moments. There were happy weeks. There were happy months. There were even happy years.
    Since the second heart attack that claimed his life two years ago, I have found myself facing those same questions again. I have a thousand fears, but perhaps the greatest one is that we’ll never be completely happy again.
    For the first year after his death, I spent countless hours every week pouring through photos that I had taken of the kids before they lost their father and comparing them to photos we’ve taken since. I kept asking myself, “Do they look as happy now as they did then?” Honestly, no. But as time passes, I realize there were hundreds of moments of happiness after his first heart attack that were completely unexpected. And I am certain that there are more to come.
    I read an article this week that postulated that as Christians, we have become too preoccupied with being happy, pointing to the story of Job as evidence, and that we should be striving to be better people, not happier people. Perhaps that’s true, to an extent; the loss I’ve experienced has certainly made me more aware of the suffering of those around me, and more motivated to do something about it. But in the long term, to continue to care for one another the way God calls us to do requires happiness, or at least faith that we will be happy again one day. While the Bible is rife with stories of people who endured suffering, it is also filled with passages like, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth; make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” God gives us ample reasons to be joyful, from the beauty of our earth to the love and support of our friends and family. I believe that God gives us the necessary tools to fulfill his plan for each of our lives, and perhaps the most powerful of those tools are joy, happiness and hope.

    Wednesday, February 13, 2019

    Go-Getters Valentine Party

     The Go-getters is a fellowship group at St. Mark that meets for lunch once a month.  Sometimes they go out for lunch but when the winter months are so unpredictable, they meet at church.  A HUGE thank you to Nancy Sutch, Sharon Tharp and Jan Graves who organize, feed and entertain this lovely group of ladies.

    Monday, February 11, 2019

    Save the date for the Golf Tournament

    The 15th Annual Circle of Concern Golf tournament sponsored by Orthopedic Specialists and presented by St. Mark 
    Presbyterian Church, is right around the corner.  This year it will be held on Monday, May 20th at Aberdeen Golf Club in Eureka.  Over the last 14 years, this event has raised more than $100,000 to help Circle of Concern provide assistance for families in need throughout West County.  We are asking you to join again with our tremendous group of donors to help support this year's tournament.

    How can you help?

    1.)  Register to play in the tournament as an individual or as a foursome
         This event is open to EVERYONE.  Ask family members, friends, and neighbors to come out and play.  If you don't play, please mention this event to golfers you know.  They can register their own foursome or play as an individual.

    2.)  For those that do not play golf, consider a monetary donation or tournament sponsorship (5 levels of sponsorship are available -all at varying dollar levels).

    3.)  Donating an item for our live auction.  Do you have season tickets to the Blues, the CardinalsThe Muni, The Fox or other special event?  Do you know a restauranter or own a business that could donate an "experience" or an item?   We would love to have donations such as these to add to our live auction at the tournament.  

    4.)  Volunteer to help at the event on May 20th.

    Please save the date and plan to come out and play!  Spring is right around the corner and this event promises a fun day outside, while helping contribute to a wonderful charity.  Shotgun start will begin at 9:30 AM. Brochures and registration will be available at the beginning of March.  For more information call Circle at 636.861.2623.  Click here for more information.

    Sunday, February 10, 2019

    Worship Prayers for Feb. 3

    ***Due to icy conditions, Worship for Feb. 10 has been cancelled---video chat on Facebook at 10:30 AM ****

    CENTERING PRAYER – Francis J. Grimke (1850-1937)

    “Dear Lord, take out of our hearts all bitterness, hatred, and even indifference, unconcern, as it respects others. Help us to feel kindly toward others, to be sincerely interested in their welfare and happiness. The Lord Jesus was interested in everybody, felt kindly toward everybody. There was never any bitterness, or hatred, or indifference towards those with whom he was daily thrown into contact. Love, true love, unselfish love, love that suffereth long and is kind, was ever to the front, was ever actively in evidence. Grant that it may also be true of all of us in all our relations and contact with others. It is his beautiful spirit that we need to catch, and carry with us all through life.”

    CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 71:1-3)

    In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.
    In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me.
    Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me,
    For you are my rock and my fortress.
    Come! Let us worship our God together!


    God of life, we admit to you and to each other that we have not always lived lives of love. We have lost patience and been rude. We have been irritable and insisted on our own way. We have even stopped loving altogether. Forgive us and heal us, dear God. We continue to pray through the name of your loving Son, Jesus Christ. (Silent Confession)


    Q. What is our chief end?
    A. Our chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy God forever.

    For the sermon "Love, True Love", click here.

    Saturday, February 9, 2019

    Scripture for February 10

    1 Corinthians 15:1-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    The Resurrection of Christ

    15 Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters,[a] of the good news[b] that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.
    For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters[c] at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.[d] Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.


    1. 1 Corinthians 15:1 Gk brothers
    2. 1 Corinthians 15:1 Or gospel
    3. 1 Corinthians 15:6 Gk brothers
    4. 1 Corinthians 15:6 Gk fallen asleep
    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.

    Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger on Unsplash

    Friday, February 8, 2019

    Daily Prayer February 8

    The sacrifice acceptable to God is a humble spirit; a broken and
    contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

    Eternal God, you draw near to us in Christ and make yourself our guest. Amid the cares of our daily lives, make us attentive to your voice and alert to your presence, that we may treasure your word above all else. O God, you are infinite, eternal and unchangeable, glorious in holiness, full of love and compassion, abundant in grace and truth. Your works everywhere praise you, and your glory is revealed in Jesus Christ our Savior. Therefore we praise you, blessed and holy Trinity, one God, forever and ever. Eternal God, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts, to direct and rule us according to your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us from all error, and to lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

    Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God through him.

    (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, February 7, 2019

    There is Beauty in Hope

    It’s been awhile since we’ve had a real winter here in Missouri. Several years have gone by without any significant snow accumulation or school cancellation. It feels like Mother Nature is making up for lost time this go-round. As I write this on January 16th, I have one eye on several inches of snow slowly melting outside my window and the other on a treacherous forecast for the weekend. I don’t love winter, but I don’t hate it either. It is more than a necessary evil that gets us ready for a beautiful spring. There is beauty in hope.

    How folks viewed the recent snowstorm likely depended on where they were when the heavy flakes were falling. If you were safe in a warm and fully stocked home, it was likely a beautiful evening, but if you were stuck on a freeway or surface street trying to get home, the snow was anything but lovely. I believe our present circumstances greatly color our outlook on the world. We appreciate our health more after going through an illness. We are most thankful for companionship after periods of separation and isolation. We rejoice in the warmth of the sun and the budding of flowers more after a particularly harsh winter. There is beauty in hope.

    January is the coldest month of the year, February is the shortest, and spring arrives in March. I know there are plenty of cold, grey days and dark nights ahead of us, but this isn’t the end of our journey. I saw wonderful things this past weekend as strangers pushed cars up icy hills and folks shoveled their neighbor’s driveway. The good news is all around us if we have the eyes to see. There is beauty in hope.

    St. Augustine encourages us to keep our eyes on Jesus through both the good and difficult times.
    . “Jesus is beautiful in heaven and beautiful on earth. He is beautiful in his mother’s womb, beautiful in his parent’s arms, beautiful in his miracles, beautiful in inviting people to new life, beautiful in not worrying about death, beautiful in giving his life, beautiful in heaven. Listen to the son with understanding and let not the weakness of the flesh distract your eyes from the splendor of his beauty.”

    There is beauty in hope!

    In Hope and Confidence,
    Pastor Dave

    Wednesday, February 6, 2019

    Presbyterian Women's Report

    St. Mark Presbyterian Women is an organization for women within our church. We enjoy fellowship,
    Bible study and supporting local, national and international missions. Our challenge is to accept the gifts God has given us and to use those gifts to assist in the life and work of the Church. The Board of Presbyterian Women meets the first Wednesday of each month and is made up of women who serve as officers, Circle leaders, and project chairs. Presbyterian Women had 6 Circles with a total membership of approximately 80 active Women. September to May most Circles meet on the third Wednesday or Thursday of the month; 3 in the morning, 1 in the afternoon and 2 in the evening (One of which meets on dates determined by its members.) Ruth Circle is the only one that meets year round. Most Circles are using Horizon’s Bible Study.

    The mission work of PW is funded through individual gifts, the annual Christmas Boutique and Angel Street CafĂ©, an Easter candy sale, the Schnucks e-Scrip program, and circle pledges and offerings. In 2018 distributions were made to: Mound Ridge, Children’s Foundation, Children’s Ministries, Circle of Concern, Fellowship Committee of St. Mark and Youth Ministries of St. Mark. On the national and international levels, PW contributed to the work of the Presbyterian Church USA through our annual pledge, which supports the following offerings: Least Coin, Thank, Birthday, and Blanket+.

    In January PW invited St. Mark women to our Annual Tea “Off the Wall.” Guests brought artwork from the walls of them home and shared their stories while they enjoyed tasty treats. St. Mark Women returned to Toddhall, Columbia, Illinois, for our Annual Women’s Retreat in the spring. The retreat was a time to energize our spirits and bodies as we shared God’s word, worshipped, ate very well, met the challenge of game night and enjoyed the company of good friends.

    PW started the new program year with our annual brunch. The fall outing took several members to tour various churches in the St. Louis area to view their beautiful stain glass windows. Presbyterian women continue to participate in the monthly book club. Members meet on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 9:30 am for discussion of a book selected by the group, with no meetings in July or November.

    St. Mark Presbyterian Women wishes to thank Pastor Dave and the St. Mark office staff for their continuing support, assistance and guidance through the year. Our thanks also, to all St. Mark members and friends – women and men – who have baked, cooked, cleaned up, served, studied, purchased (soup, chicken salad, cookbooks, etc.), climbed ladders, moved furniture, washed dishes, attended meetings, enjoyed good food and fellowship, and cared for one another.

    It was a very good year. For more on Presbyterian Women, click here.

    Respectfully submitted, S. Tharp, Moderator

    ***Don't Forget our P W Tea today at 1 and 6:30PM.  Click here for more information***

    Monday, February 4, 2019

    Lafayette Work Centers' Report

    Boots featured in
    Lafayette Industries Newsletter
    2018 was a very successful year for us again, as we continue to be very blessed. From our Mission perspective we now employ over 410 individuals at our work centers, including 26 new “hires” last year!! Our 4th combined employee picnic for both the Manchester and Berkeley workshops was again a great success with almost 500 people in attendance. We again received great financial support from our sponsors throughout the year which enabled us to employ those new folks and continue to expand our free lunches, outings, flu shots, and other "be well, work well" activities, and expanded our Art and Craft instructional sessions to include even more people. At the end of the year we awarded 2 more gold watches (for 25 years of service), bringing the total to 89 that we have given out in the last 13 years—now those are dedicated employees! The year culminated in our 5th Christmas Glee Club Concert and Art exhibit in December attended by a record 250 guests. Another wonderful and satisfying year!

    On the business side of our operation, we have now reached $3 million dollars in “sales”, which is our packaging and other business that we do for companies, maintaining our reputation as a high quality supplier of valuable business services. Last year I wrote about our new expansion at our North County location, and I am happy to report that we now have 175 individuals working there, working at a place where they have a steady job and their abilities are appreciated.

    We are extremely thankful for the wonderful, continuous support and constant prayers of St. Mark. I would like to personally thank those St. Mark private donors who made contributions, as well as the St. Mark Spinnakers, and the St. Mark Presbyterian Women and the Deacons who support us every year.

    In 2018, we established the Boots Berry volunteer award, dedicated to Boots who not only was part of that visionary and passionate group who played a critical role in the formation of Lafayette Work Center 42 years ago, but also volunteered every Tuesday for 37 years at the workshop. Our very 1st employee, St. Mark’s own K. McLuen, is still working every day, and at the end of the year was interviewed on TV by Frank Cusumano of Channel 5! What an inspiration Ken is for us all. The vision of B. and E. McLuen, Board Members, Emeritus, and the founders of Lafayette Work Center, along with several of the faithful of St. Mark’s, continues to hold true today as it did in 1976---to provide employment to deserving folks that gives them Dignity through work and the opportunity to use their God-given talents and abilities, just like the rest of us. Lafayette Industries remains the leading full-time, long-term employer of adults with developmental disabilities in the State of Missouri. To Bob and Ethel, Boots, and to the St. Mark’s community: we are forever indebted to you.

    Click here for more on Boots.

    Thank you once again, may God continue to bless you all very much, and here’s to a Healthy and Happy 2019! For more on Lafayette Industries, Click Here.

    Respectfully submitted, Rob Libera, Executive Director

    Sunday, February 3, 2019

    Worship Prayers for Jan. 27

    CENTERING PRAYER*    *J. Birch, Worship Resources

    “Clear our minds of all that hurts ourselves and others, and in the space a song of joy, a word of praise, a smile, a hug, sharing your love, the simple things that make this world a better place.”


    God built the heavens, the earth, and everything in them.
    God calls us to be builders as well.
    God calls us to build our lives:
    to restore broken places and continue to grow.
    God calls us to build our faith:
    To study the Word and ponder its interpretation.
    God calls us to build our community:
    to build bridges of understanding and systems of justice.
    God calls us to build history by fulfilling the promises of Scripture:
    to preach the good news of God’s love and liberation for all people.
    Come, let us worship our God together.


    God of our Restoration, whenever we come home to you, we realize how far we strayed and how much of your law and your love we forget. We do not love you with our whole hearts or love our neighbors as ourselves. Forgive us, heal us, and restore us to our relationship with you. We continue to pray in the name of Jesus Christ.(Silent Confession)

    AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – The Apostles’ Creed

    For sermon, click here.

    Saturday, February 2, 2019

    Scripture for Worship February 3

    1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)

    13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poorand give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
    Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
    13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


    1. 1 Corinthians 13:1 Or languages
    2. 1 Corinthians 13:3 Some manuscripts body to the flames
    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.
    Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash