Monday, July 13, 2020


As we all adjust to this new normal the Finance Committee is making a request of everyone to
maintain their level of giving to St. Mark. As a church we have agreed to continue paying all of our full-time staff. This includes our preschool teachers who are still sending out lessons and making connections with their students.

In addition, regular bills still arrive and need to be paid. We also want to support our mission partners. To that end it is important that we all commit to making our contributions. They can be mailed to the church or paid online. There will be a link provided at another time on how to set up online giving.

Please note that mailed checks will take longer to process than usual. If you wish for your donation to go to a specific area please note that on the check memo line. With all of this said please know at this time we are keeping up with our obligations but we want to be able to continue with all of our efforts. We appreciate your ongoing support of the work of our church.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Worship for July 12

July 12, 2020 


I rise, O God, awakened by your Word, to live another day. Lead me in your path. Show me the steps to take toward greater faith. Hold me in your care as I move through this Holy Week where the shadows deepen even in the daylight. Hosanna! Save me now, dear God! Amen.

PRELUDE    Ride On In Majesty    Wells 


Awake to the day of triumph for our Savior!
Give thanks for this day that leads to the cross!
Come with your branches, hosannas, and songs!
Fill the air with welcome to the Lord!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

† HYMN     Come and Fill Our Hearts     Hymnal #466

Holy God, sure of your faithfulness even in your dying, comforted by your compassion toward your people in every age, we beg your mercy for our imperfect gratitude. We have looked to you for paltry favors, when you have given everything. We have withheld from your people, our neighbors, and from your creation, our Earth, the care and tending they deserve. We have rejected the cornerstone you sent to build a people of righteousness even here, today. Forgive our failings. Heal what we have broken, nurture what we have neglected, and lead us to your vision, so that we may know the peace of wholeness in you; in Jesus’ name. Amen.


† SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST The peace of Christ be with you. And also with you. 

SCRIPTURE Matthew 21:1-11 

SERMON     “Who Is This Man-God?”     Rev. MP Panco 

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH Confession of Belhar 11.3
We believe that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit has conquered the powers of sin and death, and therefore also of irreconciliation and hatred, bitterness and enmity, that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit will enable the church to live in a new obedience which can open new possibilities of life for society and the world;


SPECIAL MUSIC My Father’s World arr. Medley 
     Masked Ringers: Nocole Lesh, Liz Sprague, Jean Stephenson, Jean Steward 



† HYMN   Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love   Hymnal #203 

† CHARGE AND BLESSING POSTLUDE    Look,Ye Saints    Chesterton 

†You are invited to stand, as you are able. 

Liturgist: Glenn Knopf 

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Scripture July 12

Enrique Simonet Museo del Prado

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

Matthew 21: 1-11
21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]
“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Read full chapter


  1. Matthew 21:5 Zech. 9:9
  2. Matthew 21:9 A Hebrew expression meaning “Save!” which became an exclamation of praise; also in verse 15
  3. Matthew 21:9 Psalm 118:25,26
  4. Matthew 21:9 A Hebrew expression meaning “Save!” which became an exclamation of praise; also in verse 15

Friday, July 10, 2020

Daily Prayer July 10

Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Daily Readings for Friday, July 10, 2020

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.)

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Worship July 5

July 5, 2020 

This morning, as I rise, O God, I hear the sounds of your world awaking, and I give you thanks for another day. Bless your people this morning, at noon, in the afternoon, and in the evening with mercy and loving-kindness. Show us every hour the way to love each other. Help me to see in any conflicts how to grow in faith through the struggle for peace with my family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and strangers; in Jesus’ name. Amen.

PRELUDE    Trumpet Tune     Godowns 


Jesus said:
You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your mind,
and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
On these two commandments hang all of the law and the prophets.

† HYMN    “We All Are One In Mission”    Hymnal #733

Your holiness, O God, commands that we confess: We have neither loved our neighbors as ourselves nor honored ourselves as your beloved creation. We have judged unjustly, regarded others ungenerously, profited at the losses of those near and distant, borne grudges, desired vengeance, and kept silence in the face of wrongdoing. We long to live in accord with your desire that your way of compassion, kindness, and honesty will govern our hearts and minds, turning us toward lives of peace. Forgive us and lead us. Amen.


† SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST The peace of Christ be with you. And also with you. 

SCRIPTURE Luke 10:25-37 

SERMON    “Telling Stories”    Rev. MP Panco 

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH Confession of Belhar 11.3
We believe that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit has conquered the powers of sin and death, and therefore also of irreconciliation and hatred, bitterness and enmity, that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit will enable the church to live in a new obedience which can open new possibilities of life for society and the world;


SPECIAL MUSIC His Eye Is On The Sparrow Hayes 
   Marsha Medley, piano 


Great Prayer of Thanksgiving and the Lord’s Prayer 
Words of Institution 
Sharing of the Bread & Cup 
Prayer after Communion 

† HYMN    “Lord, Make Us More Holy”    Hymnal #313 

† CHARGE AND BLESSING POSTLUDE     Joyful, Joyful     Smith 

†You are invited to stand, as you are able. 

Liturgist: Ellen Hynes

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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Scripture for July 5

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Luke 10: 25-37
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Read full chapter


  1. Luke 10:27 Deut. 6:5
  2. Luke 10:27 Lev. 19:18
  3. Luke 10:35 A denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see Matt. 20:2).

Friday, July 3, 2020

Daily Prayer for July 3

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. I was dead and behold I am alive forever and ever. Because I live, you also will live.

Friday, July 3, 2020

O God of grace, you have given us new and living hope in Jesus Christ. We thank you that by dying Christ destroyed the power of death, and by rising from the grave opened the way to eternal life. Help us to know that because he lives, we shall live also; and that neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come shall be able to separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. By your power, great God, our Lord Jesus healed the sick and gave new hope to the hopeless. Though we cannot command or possess your power, we pray for those who want to be healed. Mend their wounds, soothe fevered brows, and make broken people whole again. Help us to welcome every healing as a sign that, though death is against us, you are for us, and have promised renewed and risen life in Jesus Christ the Lord. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(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 30, 2020

Through Intention and Love, We Can Create Positive Change

Throughout Jesus’ time on Earth, he stood with those who were hurting and those who were silenced. Jesus showed us how to love one another and we are called to do His work today and every day.

I know I have much work to do to walk in His ways. I have blind spots where I don’t understand what others have gone through or I don’t have accurate information to be an ally. But I have a desire to learn, to become a better ally, and to help guide my children to a more equitable future.

It’s important that we have open conversations, no matter how uncomfortable, to address racism and white privilege. I believe that by becoming informed about systems, gaining understanding of communal experiences, and then putting that knowledge and our resources into actions, we can dismantle racism.

As a parent, one of my most important roles is to educate my children by laying a path that leads to better days ahead. While digging into a variety of resources to educate myself, I’ve also been seeking resources that are kid-friendly that can help me have conversations with my kids. 

Our presbytery has a team called “Dismantling Racism and Privilege,” which helped share many kid-friendly resources that help explain systemic racism and how kids can recognize and stop racism. I’ve been sifting through many of them myself so that I can have meaningful conversations with my 5 and 8-year-old. Whether you have begun to have these conversations, or have been waiting for the right time, I hope you’ll take some time to check these out.

Resources for Working with Your Kids
Resources to Get Yourself Started: 
· Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources – Find tailored resources to meet you wherever you are on your journey to becoming an ally. 
· The History of Elijah Lovejoy – This shares the history of our presbytery’s namesake, Elijah Lovejoy, a Presbyterian who published editorials condemning slavery and was killed by an angry mob. 
· Implicit Bias Test – In this site, you can you report your attitudes or beliefs in a test to assess your implicit associations about race, gender, sexual orientation, and other topics.

Other Ways Your Family Can Support Our Black Neighbors: 

· Young Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamia Wilson
· The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
· Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
· We're Different, We're the Same by Bobbi Kates
· Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi

Find a list of more age-appropriate books in this article “Anti-racism Resources for Parents and Kids” by Healthline. There are also a variety of excellent books about diversity.

Our community is blessed with some bookstores doing amazing work in sharing leading books focused on dismantling racism and justice for all. 

One of the best ways to build empathy and a willingness to listen to diverse people’s stories is through intentional exposure to diverse books, movies, and stories. Consider how you are connecting with others through social media, your work, and your community. And may we all use these resources and tools to discover and learn, and to take actions to dismantle racism and white privilege so that all of God’s children can be created as equals.

Shelley Lester
Elder of Children’s Ministry and mother of two

Monday, June 29, 2020

Membership Committee Reaches Out

When the St. Louis area began ‘staying-at-home’ for health reasons about the middle of March, St. Mark Church leadership quickly complied with the orders and suspended our group gathering activities. The Membership Committee soon realized that this distancing might easily result in lack of awareness of how people within our St. Mark family were handling this strange and often alone time.

By the end of March, a phone calling campaign (yes, voices and ears talking and listening – not just texting and e-mailing) was created for checking on the well-being of our members. Volunteer callers were recruited to inquire about how people were doing: Did they need help with errands, help with shopping for groceries, and help dealing with this new way of living? Another team was ready stand to answer any requests. So far, our members have seldom requested help, but have appreciated the outreach.

The calling program began 12 weeks ago with 29 volunteers calling each week, thus contacting 288 households. By mid-May more callers were recruited. Over the weeks, based on feedback from the chats, the number of contacted households has been reduced. Now the team, 35 strong, is placing just a handful of calls per person, reaching about 145 families. Because a new list is given to each caller weekly, the interactions stay fresh. Our calls have enabled the church to broadcast the news of the church, to identify those members watching the virtual services, to identify those without access to a computer, and to update our information with cell phone and landline numbers. We have also identified 23 members who especially find joy in receiving cards and notes, and we are being responsive. Several members requested a written sermon. The Deacons are looking into this.

The callers report they are enjoying their chats with people they have never met face to face as well as talking with friends they miss seeing on Sundays. They have been told our calls are anticipated and appreciated. We plan to continue our calls until church resumes in the sanctuary.

Photo by 
Quino Al@quinoal

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Worship for June 28

June 28, 2020 


Your glory and power, O God, surrounds us in the sanctuary, our homes, and the world. We lift up our hands and call on your name. We are your people, thirsty for the living water you along give. When we consider how you help us, giving us a spring gushing up to eternal life, we cling to you, singing praises with joyful lips; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

PRELUDE    Meirionydd    Balderston 



O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.

† HYMN    “Fairest Lord Jesus”    Hymnal #630


Merciful God, you love justice, but we persist in wrongdoing and harm our neighbors. You call us to follow you, but we prefer making our own plans and following our own paths. You offer to fill us with living water, but we spend our time and money on superficial things that leave us empty. Forgive us. Heal us. Restore us. We pray in the name of the one who came to save the world. (Silent Confession)


The peace of Christ be with you. 
And also with you

SCRIPTURE    John 4:1-30 

SERMON    “Deeper Wells”    Rev. Dr. Dave Burgess 

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH Westminster Confession of Faith, Shorter Catechism Question One Q. What is our chief end? A. Our chief end is glorify God and to enjoy God forever

OFFERING SPECIAL MUSIC Make Your Life a Song to God Cool 
    Emmersen Douglas, soloist 



† HYMN    “Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore”    Hymnal #721 

† CHARGE AND BLESSING POSTLUDE    Baroque March    Ruhl 

†You are invited to stand, as you are able. 

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