Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Today Has Enough Worry

Pastor MP talks to us about Matthew 6:25-34 in the St. Mark Spark April 24th, 2020.


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Covid poem

My skin
is warm from the sun's
through my car window.
The temperature is rising,
dare I say, it's hot?
The air will feel good
through my hair,
making it dance
as I drive down the highway.


What else
will an open window
besides the wind?

I try to relax.
that all will be well
and yet, the question
lingers. To find relief
being part of the sun and wind


close up
where isolation
may keep me safe, but
without a filled spirit.

-Nikki Douglas
Photo by Makenna Entrikin on Unsplash

Monday, April 27, 2020

Mound Ridge Retreat and Mission

Mound Ridge Retreat and Mission center is a hidden gem nestled in the Missouri Ozark countryside, overlooking the headwaters of the upper Meramec river. Mound Ridge is a place where it is easy to relax in nature, a place where our spirits can be renewed and refreshed, a place where you can slow your pace and connect with the Triune God and with your friends and family. Mound Ridge provides excellent hospitality with our many facilities and is a great weekend or vacation destination in all seasons.

During the summer we hold various camps for ages 6-15. We welcome families, day use, weddings, and groups of all kinds including mission/service groups year-round.

Come. Explore. Experience the beauty!

St. Mark is actively involved in Mound Ridge Retreat Center, with members serving on their board, supporting the Jim Crippen Scholarship Fund, and members who are actively helping with building and maintenance projects.

Mound Ridge is currently having a virtual auction to raise funds until May 2.

Sunday, April 26, 2020


***Third Sunday of Easter, 10:30 AM Service:***

CENTERING PRAYER Holy God, you speak to us in a voice unexpected and come to us in ways we
do not recognize. Never leaving us to our own devices or defenses, you are the ever-present, all-powerful God. Call us out in faith again, until we learn to walk with you in steadfast love and faithfulness, and in peace. We pray in the name of him who feeds us in barren places and quiets our storms. Amen.

PRELUDE Come Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain Stallsmith


God speaks peace to the faithful, to those who turn to God in their hearts.
Surely, salvation is at hand for those who fear God.
Where God dwells, steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs up from the ground and righteousness looks down from the sky. 
God gives what is good, and we respond with abundant praise!

† HYMN God Is Calling through the Whisper Hymnal #410

PRAYER OF CONFESSION Gracious God, you call us to step out in faith, trusting in you for all things. We respond to your command but then sink in doubt and fear. We hide from the challenges of bold discipleship. We are not able to fulfill your commandments, for our purposes are never in full accord with yours. Forgive us, we pray, when we confess with our lips but do not believe in our hearts. Help us to practice our faith in all circumstances. Lift us out of sin into the arms of your mercy. Though we are distracted by noise all around, allow us to hear your voice, even when it is the sound of sheer silence. We pray this in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. (Silent Confession)


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

SCRIPTURE 1 Kings 19:1-14

SERMON “The Sound of Silence" Rev. Dr. Dave Burgess

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




† HYMN Open My Eyes, That I May See Hymnal #451


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

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Scripture for April 25

1 Kings 19:1-14 New International Version (NIV)

Elijah Flees to Horeb

19 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.

The Lord Appears to Elijah

And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”


  1. 1 Kings 19:3 Or Elijah saw
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 Mario Álvarez on Unsplash

***For online Sunday worship and activities, click here***

Friday, April 24, 2020

Daily prayer for April 24

Daily Readings for Friday, April 24, 2020

You, O Lord, are full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger, and rich in kindness.

God our creator, you made all things in your wisdom, and in your love you save us. We pray for the whole creation. Overthrow evil powers, right what is wrong, feed and satisfy those who thirst for justice, so that all your children may freely enjoy the earth you have made, and joyfully sing your praises. Take all our doubts and uncertainties, O God, and fill us with such faith that we may be confident of your love and loyal in the service of him who died and yet lives for us, Jesus Christ the Lord. Merciful God, you bear the pain of the world. Look with compassion on those who are sick; cheer them by your word, and bring healing as a sign of your grace. God of comfort, stand with those who sorrow; that they may be sure that neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come, shall separate them from your love. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

As God's own, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, and patience, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, and crown all these things with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

(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, April 23, 2020

Recognizing Resurrection

This time of self-quarantine and isolation is difficult for everyone, but the extra free time allows each of us a unique opportunity to dive deeper into God’s Word and contemplate the meaning of resurrection. So many people are looking to pass the days with little distractions, but I believe we can do more than just fill our days. God calls each of us to live abundantly, and, when we respond in faith, we will find God’s promises fulfilled. We are entering week two of the Easter season, and there are signs of resurrection all around us today. The world is greening, the birds are singing, and the days are getting longer. Beyond experiencing God in nature, the Lord can surprise us with joy in writing cards to loved ones, calling long-neglected friends, and encouraging one another through social media. We can even experience the Divine in opening old dusty books from our shelves.

Herman Melville’s great classic, Moby Dick, is packed with biblical themes and allusions. There is a character aboard ship named Queequeg, who was beloved by the crew. When he was seized by a serious fever, the illness left him worried about his future. He calls the ship’s carpenter, and requested a coffin be made for him in the shape of a canoe. The carpenter took Queequeg’s measurements, finished it.

Little more is said of the strange coffin, as the book progresses, and the story returns to Captain Ahab and the great whale, Moby Dick.

In the novel’s dramatic climax, Captain Ahab finds Moby Dick, but the whale overcomes the captain, smashing the boat to pieces, killing Ahab and tossing the crew into the sea to be eaten alive by sharks.

Ishmael, the storyteller, finds himself floundering in the water, being sucked into the vortex of the sinking ship, circling in a fatal eddy, prey for the sharks. Suddenly a “black bubble” bursts from the water, liberated from the depths by its own buoyancy. It shoots up with great force and lands near Ishmael. It is the canoe-shaped coffin. Climbing into it, Ishmael floats for a day and night until he is rescued by a passing ship.

Because of the Resurrection, our coffins are nothing more than canoes bearing us across the Jordan River to fairer worlds on high.[i]
Resurrection is occurring all around us. May we have eyes to see, ears to hear, and voices to rejoice. God is good…

In Hope and Confidence,
Pastor Dave and Pastor MP

[i] [1]Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (251). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Go-Getters St. Patrick's Day Lunch

Thanks to all who joined us today at O'Dell's  for GG!  So glad everyone came!  Thanks to David Sutch for driving the church bus for us!

Sadly, the April luncheon has been cancelled---we hope to resume again in May!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020


by Judy Richardson April 7, 2020

I am blessed but life is NOT the same. I want to attend Choir practice, attend St Mark, serve Communion, attend our book club meetings, attend Deacon meetings, attend Rachel Circle, go to Writers Life, potluck dinners, walk with friends, hug my daughter and her family. And I can’t do any of these things. Just because of a little microscopic organism which has hitchhiked its way around the whole world. Pandemic.

We are learning. On-line buying is about the only way we can buy goods that aren’t groceries . If I want restaurant food, I have to order online or call the order in and pick it up. Mostly it is a little cold by the time I get it home. Ugh!

I have decided to discontinue physical therapy for my shoulder. It is necessary for me to be in physical contact with my therapist and I am not the only one using the equipment. I will also not be seeing my chiropractor this week. Should I stay home? Maybe, maybe not, but I am most concerned about a virus which seems to prefer my age group.

I am so thankful that I can attend St Mark virtually. Praying and following along with the service, I feel uplifted and part of the Church community.. I am so glad that the Pastors used the sanctuary and put on their robes and Marsha played the organ and we had a hymn! It was uplifting and joyful. People were unable to do this during the Spanish Flu of the 1920’s. We are fortunate to live in this time.

I am looking forward to more virtual events at St Mark. On Palm Sunday I loved seeing the video shorts of people waving greens while the camera “walked” down the empty aisles. No animals to clean up after a Jerusalem Festival.

It is Easter week, which I always look forward to. I will enjoy the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and Easter services virtually, but my, I will miss seeing everyone in their Easter best. I will also miss watching my grandsons as they greedily hunt for the dozens of plastic “eggs” they find in their grass.

 I am thankful that no one in my family here or in Washington State, New Jersey, Idaho, or North Carolina or Nevada have contracted this formidable virus.

I am also thankful that Jesus loves me and always is there for me in my time of need and I feel selfish that I sometimes forget to mourn the many people who are succumbing to this dreadful disease.

I am lucky to have a husband who insists on learning and studying everything he can get his hands on to keep us safe. I believe God wants us to use the brains he gave to us.

My deprivations are tiny when I think of what others in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are facing. I can work in my garden, FaceTime with my daughter and family. I can walk and maintain distance. I am truly blessed.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Lafayette Industries

Founded in 1976, Lafayette now employs over 420 individuals. Choice of employment continues to
be of utmost importance for our incredible employees. Community support enables us to employ new adults and expand our free lunches, flu shots, and other “be well, work well” activities. In the last 14years, we have awarded 91 gold watches for 25 years employment.

This past year, Lafayette launched a cutting-edge program unique in sheltered employment. The Positive Behavior Center (PBC) provides employees with innovative programming opportunities enhancing their ability to manage self-regulation and sensory differences at work. These individuals often have difficulties managing emotional responses and sensory input from their environment. As an employer, success is contingent upon equipping our environment and staff with the necessary tools to address these needs.

In the packaging industry, our wonderful employees produced over 10 million packages, continuing our reputation as a high-quality supplier of valuable business services! Employee #1, Ken McLuen, is celebrating 44 years in 2020. This vision of Bob and Ethel McLuen, with the faith of St. Mark, continues to provide employment to deserving folks. Lafayette Industries remains the leading full-time, long-term employer of adults with developmental disabilities in the State of Missouri.  For more, click here.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Worship Prayers March 29: review

**Click here for today's worship and activities**

CENTERING PRAYER (St. Augustine, 354 - 430) “Look upon us, O Lord, and let all the darkness of our souls vanish before the beams of thy brightness. Fill us with holy love, and open to us the treasures of thy wisdom. All our desire is known unto thee, therefore perfect what thou hast begun, and what thy Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer. We seek thy face, turn thy face unto us and show us thy glory. Then shall our longing be satisfied, and our peace shall be perfect.

CALL TO WORSHIP *J. Birch, All I am, and all I have, I offer, Lord, to you. I offer you these hands, that you might use them in and through my daily work. I offer you these feet, that you might lead them to someone who needs my help. I offer you these shoulders if you should need them to help lighten another’s load. I offer you this voice that you might use it to speak up for those in need. All I am, and all I have, I offer, Lord, to you.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION All-knowing God, we are your children, but we turn away from your wisdom and walk in our own ways. We live carelessly and squander time. We are foolish and fail to understand your will. Paralyzed by fear, we take more than we need and harm our neighbors. Purge us from evil and fill us with your Spirit. Clear our minds from clutter that we may discern what is right and walk in your ways. (Silent Confession)

ASSURANCE OF GRACE † SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST The peace of Christ be with you. And also with you. HYMN Our God, Our Help in Ages Past Hymnal 687 v. 1,3,4,6 Our God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come Our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home. Before the hills in order stood, or earth received its frame, From everlasting thou art God, to endless years the same. A thousand ages in thy sight are like an evening gone, Short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Our God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, Be thou our guard while life shall last, and our eternal home.

SCRIPTURE 1 Kings 3:3-14

SERMON “Wisdom Is as Wisdom Does” Rev. Dr. David Burgess (click here for video)

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

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Links for Sunday Worship

Click here for the link to the Bulletin:
As always, you may visit for more information on how to join our virtual Worship.
Second Sunday of Easter, 10:30 AM Service:

Scripture: 1 Kings 11:26-40, 12:20 (click on these)

Friday, April 17, 2020

Daily prayer for April 17

Daily Readings for Friday, April 17, 2020

Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.
God, our creator, you have given us work to do and call us to use our talents for the good of all. Guide us as we work, and teach us to live in the Spirit who made us your sons and daughters, in the love that made us sisters and brothers. Remember, O God, your church. Unite it in the truth of your Word and empower it in ministry to the world. Remember the world of nations. By your Spirit renew the face of the earth; let peace and justice prevail. Remember our family and friends. Bless them and watch over them; be gracious to them and give them peace. Remember the sick and the suffering, the aged and the dying. Encourage them and give them hope. Rejoicing in the communion of saints, we remember with thanksgiving all your faithful servants, whom you have called from this life. We are grateful that for them death is no more, nor is there sorrow, crying, or pain, for the former things have passed away. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

Go forth into the world, rejoicing in 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.)

Thursday, April 16, 2020

St. Mark Spark

For Tuesday, Pastor Dave discussed the Easter season and how we understand and share resurrection stories.  Click here for this discussion if it doesn't appear above.

On Wednesday,Pastor MP discussed Thomas the Disciple. Scripture reading is John 20:24-29.  Click here, if it doesn't appear above.

The St. Mark Spark appears Monday-Friday around 1 PM on Facebook.  Past "Sparks" appear on the St. Mark website.

Pastor MP also has a Coffee Zoom on Thursdays at 10 AM.  If you would like to join in this fellowship, e-mail her