Sunday, June 30, 2019

Worship Prayers for June 23

Dear God, today I will be tempted to wander away from you. By your Spirit, guide me in the ways
you want me to go. I may become discouraged by my own limitations or by interactions I have with others. Direct my thoughts, words, and actions so that they reflect your love, not only for me, but also for those around me. Remind me today and every day that, in Jesus Christ, I belong to you. That will be enough. Amen.

When forces in the world threaten us, when our bodies or spirits turn against us, there is One who seeks us, One who meets us, One who heals us, whose love washes over us and sets us free for joy. This One is the Lord. Come, let us worship God.

Holy One, God Most High, grant us faith to confess our sins and seek your mercy. There are barren places in our lives where we have wandered far from you. We have listened to voices who distracted us from your call. We have submitted to powers competing for our loyalty to you. We have not taken the hand you offer to lead us out of barren paths, and into your holy ways. God our Savior, forgive us. Quench our thirst for you from the Rock of our salvation, and let your love well up in us unto eternal life. Speak tenderly to us of your presence. Feed us with your word. Deliver us from evil. Let us enter into your kingdom; then send us out to serve you by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. (Silent Confession)

SERMON “The Deep End”  Rev. Dr. Dave Burgess

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Scripture for June 30 Worship

Matthew 5:1-12 The Message (MSG)

You’re Blessed

1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson
The Sermon of the Beatitudes (1886-96) by James Tissot from the series The Life of Christ, Brooklyn Museum

Friday, June 28, 2019

Daily Prayer June 28

The Son of Man must be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
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 27, 2019

I experienced God working in the world…

"You’re never going to kill storytelling, because it’s built in the human plan. We come
with it.” - Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale

The season of Easter wrapped up with Pentecost Sunday, and we find ourselves again in the long journey through Ordinary Time. It feels every bit like summer break here at the church as the hectic up and down pace of the liturgical calendar gives way to a wide-open plain of planning for what is next. It is summertime, and the living might be easy, but there is still much work to do. I know school is out, but you each have a homework assignment.

Write your story.
This might feel intimidating, but it need not be. The hardest part to any storytelling is the beginning, and I am going to provide each of you with the same prompt. We are not looking at, “It was a dark and stormy night,” or any kind of cliché fictional start like that. I want you to write what you know. Try using this as a start: “I experienced God working in the world…”

Presbyterians are people of The Story, and we believe the Divine Author is still writing a love story of redemption for the entire world. Use this season of Ordinary Time to get creative talking about your experience with the wonderful Creator and the beautiful creation. You have a story to tell that is uniquely yours, and it is a tale the world is hungry to hear.

We all want St. Mark to continue to grow in service, in worship, and in fellowship. This will only happen when we both know and share our stories with others. We will continue to work on this over the summer and have special workshops on Sundays in August to hone our stories. I would be happy to meet with you anytime to help you find your voice, because I know it is beautiful.

In Hope and Confidence, Pastor Dave

Monday, June 24, 2019



St. Mark's ABC rummage sale (Attic, Basement, Closet) will be here before you know it. And you are a key part of making this annual event successful. See the dates below and please share this information with your friends and neighbors, by word and by social media. The Deacons count on the ABC sale to support our local missions, such as Lafayette Industries and Isaiah 58. Please help them to make a difference for so many area residents; they are counting on us! 601 Claymont, Ballwin MO


  • Sunday, July 28 - after the service until noon (Pull up to the kitchen door and have someone unload your car for you.) 
  • Monday - Wednesday, July 29-July 31: 8 am - 1pm 
  • Additional time for drop-off -Monday evening from 5-6:30 pm (at the kitchen door) 
  • Note: We will be doing our final sorting on Thursday, August 1, so please make sure we have your treasures before Thursday. 

Thanks for your help with this. Sale dates:

  • Friday, August 2: from 7-8 am, you may pay $5 for Early Bird admission
  • Friday, August 2: 8 am - 1:00 pm - free admission 
  • Saturday, August 3: 8 am - noon - free admission

 Goods we can NOT accept: Cribs, high chairs, car seats, encyclopedias, magazines, sofas, love seats, mattresses, large entertainment centers, televisions, computers, monitors, keyboards, cords for computers, cell phones, or Christmas trees. Sorry!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Worship Prayer for June 15-16

Wonderful God who showers your people with more than we will ever need, give us hearts moved to action, to share our abundance with others. 

Jesus, son of God, who opened your own heart to the needs of others, heal our wounds that we may serve your people with love and wholeness. 

Spirit of God, who is the light that breaks forth like the dawn, shine within us, that we may always seek to be the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.

Come! Now is the time to worship. God calls us to this place to seek understanding and renewal. Because God is eager to restore us to right relationships. 

We have come to meet the God who welcomes us. We gather to experience God’s steadfast love. 

Listen, for God is calling to us, “Open your hearts to hope and love! Open your hearts to the beauty of God’s world!” 

We are here to listen for God’s calling, We are here to open ourselves to the source of love. 

God will answer us and will give us what we need. God will restore us to faithfulness and love for all creation. 

We are here, just as we are, to be led by God’s spirit To a future filled with hope and understanding.


O God, we are so self-centered that we cannot be centered selves. We are so preoccupied with things of little consequence that we cannot appreciate important matters of the heart. We consume other people instead of loving them. We bite and devour while you call us to build relationships and delight in your love. Set us free, O God, from the sin that binds us. Amen. (Silent Confession)

For Brenda Booth's sermon,"It Matters", click here if it doesn't appear.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Daily Prayer Friday June 21

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

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation. In the beginning you separated light from darkness and placed all your works in our hands. You have given us the light of day that we might see your wonders in all we say and do; you give us the gentle darkness of the night that we might rest from our burdens and be refreshed in body and spirit. How great is your love, how wide is your mercy! Never let us board up the narrow gate that leads to life with rules or doctrines that you dismiss; but give us a Spirit to welcome all people with affection, so that your church may never exclude secret friends of yours, who are included in the love of Jesus Christ, who came to save us all. Keep us close together in your Spirit, breaking bread in faith and love, one with Jesus Christ our Lord and Master. (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.)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

VBS Pot Luck!

VBS POTLUCK and WORK DATES – June 19 and July 17
As the TO MARS AND BEYOND! VBS program approaches, we ask for your assistance in helping prepare for VBS 2019.
A free will offering will be collected to help defer the cost of the meat.

Please bring a side dish or dessert. Thank you.
After dinner, we will be preparing decorations, crafts, etc. for our VBS program in July.
June 19, 5:30pm Fried Chicken
July 17, 5:30pm Pulled Pork

Monday, June 17, 2019

Circle of Concern’s 15th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

This tournament’s weather could not have been any nicer and provided a gorgeous day for golf. The tournament was a “sell out”, so we had a full field of 144 golfers to enjoy the day and raise money for Circle of Concern Food Pantry. WOW!

Additionally, we had approximately 25 volunteers coming and going throughout the day to ensure things went as planned. Many cups of coffee & McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches were served to start the day, hundreds of hotdogs were handed out at the “turn”, case after case of beverages were consumed and a wonderful Bandana’s lunch was enjoyed by all at the end of the day after a fun round of golf. Overall, the tournament was a great success! Not only was a tremendous amount of money raised for Circle of Concern, but it was a wonderful outreach to our surrounding community

Special thanks to the golf committee members that spent countless hours working on this event since January. Our tournament had incredible support from the community with over 40 private businesses and/or individuals providing donations or sponsorship. In addition to these wonderful supporters, we had many St. Mark individuals that contributed to the tournament.

GOLF TOURNAMENT UPDATE. The financial accounting is in and I am happy to report that the net income from Circle of Concern’s 15th Annual Charity Golf Tournament was $24,439.00. We are thrilled that this number marks an increase of more than 20% over last year's donation and the largest donation to Circle in the tournament's history. Again, without all the wonderful golfers that participated, the incredible sponsors, the marvelous volunteers and the hard working committee members, this would not have been possible. THANK YOU ST. MARK!!!

I hope that St. Mark realizes the huge difference you make to this community food pantry. Both Circle of Concern and I sincerely appreciate the support you have given this event in 2019 and over the years.

We are already looking forward to May 18, 2020 and the Circle of Concern’s 16th Annual Charity Golf Tournament. Hope to see you there!

Blessings, Debbie Brown, Tournament Coordinator.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Worship Prayers June 9


For the Spirit of Peace that calms our mind and stills our life, we give you thanks.
For the Spirit of Love that touches hearts and reaches out, we give you thanks.
For the Spirit of Joy that lifts our soul and gives us faith we give you thanks.
For the Spirit of Power, that gift of grace for this your church, we give you thanks.


Spirit of life
Fill our emptiness with your fullness
Spirit of power
Stir our hearts afresh 
Spirit of love
Touch us, and through us, our neighbor
Spirit of Creativity
Enable and empower the gifts you have given
Spirit of Eternity
Draw us ever deeper into your Kingdom


Without your power, O God, we are lost. We have done the things we would avoid, and what you desire, we have not done. By your purifying fire transform our lives; guide us into honesty and compassion so that filled with your peace our dreams and visions may be one with yours; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. (Silent Confession)

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH                                                  (From A Brief Statement of Faith)

In life and in death we belong to God. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve. With believers in every time and place, we rejoice that nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord…. Like a mother who will not forsake her nursing child, like a father who runs to welcome the prodigal home, God is faithful still…. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

For the sermon "Speaking My Language", click here.

*J. Birch

Saturday, June 15, 2019

New Testament Reading for June 15-16

Jesus separating people at the Last Judgement, by Fra Angelico, 1432-14

Matthew 25:31-46 New International Version (NIV)

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.
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 14, 2019

Daily Prayer June 14

FRIDAY June 14

Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.

Jesus, Good Shepherd of the sheep, by whom the lost are sought and guided into the fold: Feed us and we shall be satisfied, heal us and we shall be whole, and lead us that we may be with you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Almighty God, by grace alone you call us and accept us in your service. Strengthen us by your Spirit, and make us worthy of your call. Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation. In the beginning you separated light from darkness and placed all your works in our hands. You have given us the light of day that we might see your wonders in all we say and do; you give us the gentle darkness of the night that we might rest from our burdens and be refreshed in body and spirit. Break through the darkness of our sins with the splendor of your mercy and love. Send your light to dispel our fears and anxieties and fill us with hope and joy. Glory, praise, and honor are yours, O God. (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.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Lenten Special Offerings

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who contributed during Lent! St. Mark raised over
$13,000 combined total for One Great Hour of Sharing and the Lenten Water Challenge! Because of your continued dedication in supporting these great causes, the following totals have been received as of May 24th.

One Great Hour of Sharing raised: $6,633.41

  • Presbyterian Hunger Program (36%) = $2,388.03
  • Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (32%) = $2,122.69 
  • Self Development of People (32%) = $2,122.69

Water Challenge raised: $6,428 Each well costs $450. With the money St. Mark raised, 14 wells can be dug!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Worship Prayers for June 2

Outdoor Worship


Every creature, every plant, every rock and grain of sand proclaims the glory of its Creator, worships through colour, shape, scent and form. A multi-sensory song of praise. Creator God, may we join with the whole of your creation, in praising you, our Creator, through the fragrance and melody of our lives.


The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;
Let the many coastlands be glad!
The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
and all peoples behold his glory.
Come! Let us worship our God together!


Gracious Creator, you call us to your everlasting springs to be drenched and reformed, but we fail to heed you. We do not turn with love to our neighbors, to ourselves, or to you. Forgive us for our failings, shield us from all evil, and guide us into unity with all for the sake of the whole world. (Silent Confession)

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Scripture for Worship June 9

Print by Heather Thum-Gerber

Acts 2:1-21 New International Version (NIV)

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

Peter Addresses the Crowd

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 “‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[c]


  1. Acts 2:4 Or languages; also in verse 11
  2. Acts 2:9 That is, the Roman province by that name
  3. Acts 2:21 Joel 2:28-32
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.