Saturday, August 31, 2019

Scripture for Sept. 1

Hebrews 13:1-8 New International Version (NIV)

Concluding Exhortations

13 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”[a]
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”[b]
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.


  1. Hebrews 13:5 Deut. 31:6
  2. Hebrews 13:6 Psalm 118:6,7
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 Dane Deaner on Unsplash

Friday, August 30, 2019

Daily Prayer August 30

My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord. I know them and they
follow me; and I give them eternal life.
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, August 29, 2019

Confessing our Faith

I never regret time spent in worship. Sure, there are days when I arrive at church on a Saturday evening or a Sunday morning a little worn out from the week, but, as soon as the prelude begins, I feel a peace in my heart.

 Presbyterians believe we should do all things decently and in order (I Corinthians 14:40, NRSV.) This applies to the way we govern the church, the way we interact with our neighbors, and the way we organize worship.  The flow of the service begins a time of preparation to hear God’s Word (Call to Worship, the Prayer of Confession, and the Assurance of Pardon.) We progress to the pinnacle of the service as we read and proclaim God’s Word. The three-act structure concludes with the response (Offering, Holy Communion, and the Charge and Benediction.) It is a beautiful symphony, but we rarely listen closely enough to hear the service moving decently and in order.

One of the most overlooked portions of the response is our Affirmation of Faith. In our more honest moments, we will acknowledge saying the Apostles’ Creed more out of rote memory than meaningful conviction. I often fall into this trap, and I have to focus on the words to make sure they are coming from my heart as well as my mouth. This is one of the reasons we occasionally add different Affirmations of Faith from the Book of Confessions.

I’ve thought a lot about one such confession recently, the Theological Declaration of Barman. It is not as familiar as the Apostles’ Creed, but I believe it speaks much truth to our world today. In 1934, a group of committed Christians challenged the fallacy that the German church should be subservient to the Nazi party. Further, they confronted the coopting of political rhetoric into the church that contradicted the Christian gospel. Some of these men would go to jails, concentration camps, and the gas chamber for living out the principles.

 “As Jesus Christ is God’s assurance of the forgiveness of all our sins, so in the same way and with the same seriousness is he also God’s mighty claim upon our whole life. Through him befalls us a joyful deliverance from the godless fetters of this world for a free, grateful service to his creatures. We reject the false doctrine, as though there were areas of our life in which we would not belong to Jesus Christ, but to other lords— areas in which we would not need justification and sanctification through him.” (The Theological Declaration of Barmen, 8.14-8.15)

 Stated another way, Jesus Christ demands our entire allegiance, and we must reject any power (economic, social, or political) that claims authority over the gospel. During worship, we act with our confessions. As we go out into the world, we confess with our actions. May the world see your love for God by the way you love all of your neighbors.

In Hope and Confidence,

Pastor Dave

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Children's Ministries

August 28:  Whirl into Fall with Wednesday Night Kid's Club 6:30.  Join children 3 years-5th grade as we enjoy fellowship with music, games, mission projects and Bible study using WHIRL curriculum

August 29: This event will help sponsor our children to attend Mound Ridge Camp & Retreat Center this spring. Please join your St. Mark family any time after 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm, at the McCalister’s Deli located at 14848 Manchester Road, 63011 (Olde Towne Plaza).

September 4:  BIG KIDS CHOIR. Starts Wednesday, September 4 at 6:15 pm in the choir room with Sarah Vlodek, director. For ages k-5, Sarah plans to include singing and playing chimes! (Pre-k Family Music Time will be a parent led group that will meet on Wednesday for about 10-15 minutes for singing with children and parents. Children will sing their favorites in worship throughout the year).

September 8:  Sunday School Commences for ages 3-5th grades.  Back to the Sunday School classrooms after Time with Children during the 10:30 service.
Nursery: 301-302 8:30-11:30 AM
Preschool:  208
Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd: 210
Grades 3-5: 17 (Lower level)

September 15:  Bible Sunday for all 3rd grade students.  Please contact Ellen Hynes if you wish your child to get a Bible.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Little Dresses in Kenya

St. Mark's Presbyterian women sent our friend Angela Kamuyu home to Kenya with dresses made by
several of the women from our church.  She recently sent a video showing children at the Mother Mercy Children's Home in Kiambu, Kenya wearing the dresses.   Click here for the link or click below.

"From Kambu, Kenya to St. Mark Presbyterian, may the love of our Lord Jesus overwhelm you all; now until forever.  Amen"

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Worship Prayers August 17-18


“God of Peace, your call, at times, appears to divide us from one another. Help us to overcome our fears and respond in courage. Give us faith to trust the unity that is beyond our sight. Give us your eyes to recognize the signs before us. We ask this in the confidence of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 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,
Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.
Mindful of the gifts we receive and confident of the sustenance the Lord provides,
Let us worship God together.


God of hope, we confess our disregard of your care, our doubt of your providence , and our blindness to signs of your love. We are afraid to risk our comforts to find new life; we separate ourselves from you and from others and foster divisions between those you love. Help us to amend our lives and make us your faithful people who bear the good fruit of your Word in the world.  We continue to pray through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.(Silent Confession)

For the sermon, click here

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Scripture for Worship Aug. 24-25

Jeremiah 1:4-10 New International Version (NIV)

The Call of Jeremiah

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
    before you were born I set you apart;
    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”


  1. Jeremiah 1:5 Or chose
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 Alex Hockett on Unsplash

Friday, August 23, 2019

Daily Prayer August 23

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.)

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Worship Prayers for Aug. 11

CENTERING PRAYER “O God of promise, creator of the cosmos, you are the first light breaking through the void, and the final light we shall eternally enjoy. Keep our hearts ever vigilant as we wait to welcome you, that you would find us clothed in love, dressed for action, and eager to receive you. Amen.”

CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 50:1-2) The heavens declare the righteousness of God. The earth declares God’s beauty. From the rising of the sun to its setting God’s word shines forth in glory. Come! Let us worship God together

PRAYER OF CONFESSION Holy God, you call us to do good, seek justice, and care for those in need, yet how often we place our own comforts above compassion for others. Forgive us, we pray, and cleanse us from these and all our offenses through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Silent Confession)

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – The 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 "Everything I Own", click here.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Scripture August 17-18

Luke 12:49-56 New International Version (NIV)

Not Peace but Division

49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Interpreting the Times

54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
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 Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

Friday, August 16, 2019

Daily Prayer August 16

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.
Eternal God, Author of our life and End of our pilgrimage: Guide us by your Word and Spirit amid all perils and temptations, that we may not wander from your way, nor stumble in the darkness; but may finish our course in safety, and come to our eternal rest in you. Eternal God, your hand shaped our lives by grace and your hand rescued us from sin by love. May your hand guide us through this day, shielding us from all evil, strengthening us to do justice and love. Enable us, O God, to do all things as unto you; that small things may be filled with greatness, and great things may be crowned with humility. O God, whom we cannot love unless we love our neighbors, remove hate and prejudice from us and from all people, so that your children may be reconciled with those we fear, resent, or threaten; and live together in your peace. (Add your prayers.) Amen.
With God's help and love may your lives be blessed and your labors fruitful as you offer yourselves gladly in the service of our common Lord.

(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, August 14, 2019


Current and interested bell players are invited to learn to play an easy piece on Wed Aug.14 at 6:30 pm in the sanctuary. Basic music reading skills required (whole, half, quarter notes and rests). We will teach/review basic bell technique. Middle school through adults are welcome! We will plan to play in worship on Sunday Aug 18 at 10 am (with a warmup before).

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

School Begins with Love

Camouflaged against the asphalt, I was surprised I saw it. Maybe it was luck. Or maybe I was looking at the ground, feeling contemplative, as we were leaving church. The sermon today was on fear. How fear can grow & fester when kept inside, in the dark, and only in being honest with our fear can it be made lighter. 

To be honest, I was thinking about school starting this week. I was thinking about the dull drum of fear that pulses behind my excitement & enthusiasm. I was thinking, "I wonder if my mom had this weird background fear or is the world that much different now?" And if my mom did experience this uncomfortable limbo of emotions, I don't recall picking up on it.

 Instead, what I remember is she focused on the good and did what she could to remind my sisters & me that we are loved. Every day. So this little nudge that appeared after such contemplation, it was right on time. #notetoselftoday #chooselovetoday #iseeheartsallthetime

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Dear God, Please be with the students, staff and parents on this first week of school.  Remind them all to have patience, be kind and begin the year with love. Amen

N. Douglas

Monday, August 12, 2019

Grief Share

D. Hames

Stephen Ministry is facilitating Griefshare at St. Mark on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:00 pm in rooms 17–19. Attend one, a few or all sessions. Classes began on September 3 and will continue to meet every Tuesday until November 26.

This is a support group for anyone experiencing grief over the loss of a loved one. If you are experiencing grief, we hope you will join us in a Christian support setting that will help you learn coping strategies to help make life easier. If you would like more information, please call D. Hames or B. Lienemann.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Worship Prayers Aug. 4

Holy One, you see us for just who we are, and yet you love us with a parent’s love. In your enduring love for us, we see both our guilt and our acquittal. Gracious God, continue to guide us and teach us to walk in your ways. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

We are children of God, learning to walk. Day by day, we are learning to be the church. The Lord is a loving parent, teaching us to walk. God loves us, leads us, and feeds. Come! Let us worship the Lord together.

Nurturing God, you continue to lead us in upright ways on account of your love for us, yet we do not always follow your call; we turn away from you and go our own way. Forgive us, and return us to our rightful home in you, through Jesus Christ our Savior. (Silent Confession)

For the sermon, click here.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Scripture for Aug. 10-11

Luke 12:32-40 New International Version (NIV)

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
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 Ben White on Unsplash