Sunday, August 30, 2020

Worship August 30

August 30, 2020 

CENTERING PRAYER God of mystery and might, we remember your mighty works. Move in our lives, change our minds, soften our hearts, direct our feet, that we may follow you more faithfully. Yes, Lord, we seek to follow Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.

 PRELUDE      Siciliano and Allegro      Alcock


CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 105) O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wonderful works.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.

† HYMN     “For the Beauty of the Earth”      Hymnal #14

PRAYER OF CONFESSION Merciful God, we confess that, like the disciples, we set our minds not on divine things but on human things. Doubting your loving care, we grab for more than we need. Doubting your loving purposes, we shrink from living as your followers. Doubting your loving plan, we become stumbling blocks in your creation. Forgive us, and give us new life and renewed purpose. We continue to pray in Jesus’ name. (Silent Confession)


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

SCRIPTURE Romans 12:9-21

SERMON “Playing Like You Practice” Rev. Dr. Dave Burgess

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH Heidelberg Catechism Question One Q. What is your only comfort, in life and in death?
A. That I belong--body and soul, in life and in death--not to myself but to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, who at the cost of his own blood has fully paid for all my sins and has completely freed me from the dominion of the devil; that he protects me so well that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that everything must fit his purpose for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.


SPECIAL MUSIC      Keep Me As the Apple of Your Eye      Kosche
                                  Emmersen Douglas, Soloist       Based on Psalm 17:8



† HYMN      “Great God of Every Blessing”      Hymnal #694


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

POSTLUDE      Recessional      Hughes

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

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Scripture for August 30

Love in Action

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[a] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[b] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[c]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Read full chapter


  1. Romans 12:16 Or willing to do menial work
  2. Romans 12:19 Deut. 32:35
  3. Romans 12:20 Prov. 25:21,22
Photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash

Friday, August 28, 2020

Daily Prayer August 28

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

Daily Readings for Friday, August 28, 2020

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.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

It Is The Road

 It Is the Road


“I run the same path as your commandments because you give my heart insight.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

-Psalm 119:32,105 (CEB)




Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ*,

As the days have turned to weeks and the weeks to months, we continue to ask the question, “How long, O lord?” (Psalm 13) How long will this go on? How long will we be separated from our family and friends? How long will it take to get over this bump before we can get back to the road?


I have been contemplating this and I am sure that Dave likely has as well. I certainly didn’t imagine my first year of ordained ministry to look like this, Zoom Bible studies, Team staff meetings and, pre-recorded YouTube worship services. If I have voiced these words once, I have voiced them over 100 times. Sometimes I feel anger; sometimes sadness; other times I feel a bit hopeless about this bump in the road. I cannot see what is on the other side of it and it feels like I am climbing up the bump and with each step the bump grows higher, keeping the illusive crest just out of reach.


But then, about a week ago, while out walking in the woods, I had a sudden moment of clarity. Why is it that I thought my vision of what my first year of ministry would look like would be the only option of what would happen? Good question, thought I. But in reality, my vision was just that…a vision out of many visions. It was not in any way guaranteed. None of the days ahead have a guarantee about what they will be. 


Therefore, I realized that this WAS the vision. This WAS the road. This bump is not a sidetrack to my journey. It is not a bump that needs to be conquered so that I can get back on the “right” path. It is part of the path. It is the vision like the path that makes a squiggly line moving left and right and around the trees in the forest.


Suddenly I felt lighter and freer. Since I am on the path, the only path I have, then I don’t have to struggle to get past it. But rather, I can live into it; live into the bump, the road, the path, leaning forward with all my might yearning for what comes next.


Accepting the path that I am on, as the path that God has planned for me, has allowed me to refocus my thoughts, my spirit and my energy. Remembering that God knows the plans made for me and lights the path in front of me encourages me as I take one more step forward into the days, weeks, and months ahead. May you find some peace and encouragement from these words.

Peace and blessings,
Pastor M.P. and Pastor Dave

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Mission Trip Memories: Beattyville, Kentucky

A dateline in the Post-Dispatch, Beattyville, Kentucky, caught my eye over the weekend. I had been there twice. This small town in the heart of Appalachia has a dilemma for the beginning of the school year because of limited internet service. Even if that was not a problem, many of the people in the attendance area can not afford to pay for the service even where it is available. Rural areas all over the United States are facing the same difficulty.

I read the article with much interest because of my participation in two St. Mark mission trips to the area at least twenty years ago. The mission committee at that time planned the trips there for the group to work on houses that Habitat for Humanity was constructing with volunteer labor. We also were told that there would be repair projects on existing houses. The week before we set off, volunteers from St. Mark made food for us to take with us and the head of the kitchen crew put together a menu and purchased food to take along. We understood that although Beattyville had a grocery store there would be a better selection if the food was purchased in Ballwin. Also, the several small cafes in town just did not have the seating capacity for twenty so we knew we would have to feed ourselves. Carpools were formed and everyone brought along work clothes and tools.

The trip was an all-day journey on Interstate 64 southeast across southern Illinois and Indiana and entering Kentucky at Louisville. We continued past Frankfort, Lexington and then turned off 64 to drive to our destination in the southeastern part of the state. When the team arrived, we were met by the Habitat for Humanity coordinator for the area, a minister of a small non-denominational church. Our accommodations were most interesting. The town municipal building had been replaced and the original was vacant, so Habitat had leased it. Some renovations were made to create male and female dormitories with bunk beds. Some of the smaller rooms were used by two people. Some of those had originally been jail cells. There was a kitchen and a large common room with tables and chairs where we ate our meals. The building was on the main street in the middle of Beattyville and had parking spaces enough to accommodate all our cars. Also, it was in the same block as one of the more important retails stores in town, Dollar General.

The first evening after we arrived the coordinator asked us to come to his church for a short worship service so he could ask blessing on our endeavors. We met several of the church members and got a feel for the town and its people. The workdays were all the same. Each day most of the crew went to the Habitat home that was under construction and worked on the next part of the project. We did not get to see the finished house either year. In an area where a doublewide trailer was one of the nicer homes, the Habitat houses were especially desirable. We got to meet the owners who were working with the volunteers. Each day a few people went to existing houses that had been selected for repair. At noon we returned to home base to eat lunch, freshen up, and then back to work. Late in the day after supper we had a short vesper service and then a planning session for the next day.

Our recreation was to go outside to watch the evening show. The local people drove their cars up and down the main street for several hours each evening. At one end of the street the turnaround was the Dollar General parking lot. I am not sure where the other turning spot was. There were stops along the way where ice cream and sodas could be purchased. The object of this activity was apparently to see and be seen. One year the added attraction was the Wooly Worm festival. This was a street fair where the local clubs could sell food, local crafts and homemade items. The wooly worm is a common caterpillar whose body is part black and part brown. There is folk wisdom that in early fall if the wooly worms coloring is largely black there will be a severe winter. That is probably as accurate as the Farmer’s Almanac.

A trip to repair an existing home gave us an opportunity to meet Geneva. Geneva is one of the memorable characters from the trip. She was a friendly, cheerful, gossipy widow whose home was in serious disrepair. It was located on the outskirts of town on the road to the next village. If you didn’t know where it was, you could identify the spot by the old car in the front yard that had not been moved in years if the size of the plants and little trees growing around it was an indication. Geneva’s house was on a hillside lot. The front door was on the same level as the road and the back door of the house was at the top of a stair to the ground level. Termites had eaten into the timbers under the house to the extent that the base of the house had collapsed, and one corner of the house was significantly lower than the rest. The back door could no longer be opened. It was a challenging repair project. The men who looked at the situation used tape measures, levels and eventually came up with a solution. 

They used carjacks to lift the corner of the house enough that replacement lumber could be put in place. They knew they had lifted the building corner enough when the back door could swing. The project was finished up with repairs to the back stairs and a fresh coat of paint on the house. Geneva was supervising all this activity with many stories about neighbors, local history and details on her husband’s death. She was a stringer for the local weekly newspaper so of course we were all in her column the next week. She also shared some of her best recipes with the St. Mark ladies.

The mission trips to Beattyville were special to the people who went. We touched the lives of people of the town and those who went had lives that were touched by this unforgettable time.

Alice Crippen

Monday, August 24, 2020


The Red Cross has asked St. Mark to host another blood drive on Monday, August 31st from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm in Gleason Hall at 601 Claymont Dr. Ballwin, MO.  We urge donors of all blood types to give blood and support patients fighting cancer, undergoing transplant surgeries and facing other serious illnesses.  Please help us help others by making an appointment today at  and enter:  Saintmarkpres 
Give blood in August to discover  your COVID-19 Antibody Status. For a limited time, the American Red Cross will test all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies as an additional health service to our donors. This testing may provide critical insight into whether donors may have possibly been exposed to this coronavirus. The Red Cross is committed to helping others in meaningful ways during this pandemic.  An antibody test screens for antibodies in your blood, which are formed when fighting an infection, like COVID-19. An antibody test assesses whether your immune system has responded to the infection, not if the virus is currently present. The COVID-19 antibody test is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms.  The results of your antibody test will be available by logging in to your Blood Donor account on the Blood Donor App or online about 7 to 10 days after your donation.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Worship Service August 23

August 23, 2020 
10:00 am Virtual Service 


Astonishing God, you give us a vision of the heavenly city, the new Jerusalem, your home among mortals on earth. All people and nations will stream to your city where they will find nourishment, healing, and peace. Even now your blessing shines upon all the earth to help us see a larger vision of your loving care for all creation. You call us to move beyond our comfortable circles, and into unfamiliar places, as we seek to share your dream of a world made new in Christ. Amen.

PRELUDE     Great Is the Lord     Moore 


CALL TO WORSHIP (Revelation 21)

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let everyone who hears say, “Come.” Let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift. Let everyone who is thirsty come.
Come to the tree of life, the Alpha and the Omega.

† HYMN      “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!”      Hymnal #1


Gracious Power, Alpha and Omega, God whose reign will know no end, you call us to your everlasting springs to be drenched and reformed, but we fail to heed you. We put up barriers between one another and, behind the supposed safety of these walls, judge those on the outside as unworthy of love, respect, or compassion. Forgive us for our failings, shield us from our due, and guide us into unity with all for the sake of the whole world. We continue to pray in the name of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. (Silent Confession)


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

SCRIPTURE     Revelation 21:1-7 

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


We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


 SPECIAL MUSIC      A Call to Praise      Taylor      William Tucker, Soloist 



† HYMN      “Rejoice, the Lord Is King”      Hymnal #363 


† BENEDICTION RESPONSE      “Soon and Very Soon”      Hymnal #384 

POSTLUDE      Call of the Trumpets      Purcell 

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

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Scripture for August 23

A New Heaven and a New Earth


21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

Friday, August 21, 2020

Daily Prayer for August 21

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

Daily Readings for Friday, August 21, 2020

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.)

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Worship for Aug. 16

August 16, 2020 
10:00 am Virtual Service 

Lord, you have the words of eternal life, so we ask, by the power of your Spirit, that you make yourself known to us through the reading and preaching of your Word. May it provide comfort in times of strife and courageous conviction in periods of complacency. Give us the grace to hear with open ears and the strength to live out your call on our lives daily. Amen.

PRELUDE      Offetoire      Boellmann 


CALL TO WORSHIP (Ephesians 4)

The Lord implores us to live lives worthy of God’s calling.
Fill us with all humility, gentleness, and patience.
Let us make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body, one Spirit, one faith, and one God and Father of all.
Let us worship the one true God together.

† HYMN      “Men of Faith, Rise Up and Sing”      Hymnal #319


No words can express the depth of our need or reveal the extent of our sin, but you know us completely, O God. When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our transgressions. You rescue us from evil and clothe us with love. Humbly, we thank you: for no words can express our gratitude for the gift of your salvation. We continue to pray in the name of Jesus Christ. (Silent Confession)


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


SERMON     “Smooth Words and Itchy Ears”      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 to glorify God and to enjoy God forever.


SPECIAL MUSIC      Serenity      Cumbie      Marsha Medley, Piano 



† HYMN      “Fight the Good Fight”      Hymnal #846 


POSTLUDE      Festive March      Bradshaw 

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

Characteristics for Godly Leadership 2 Timothy 4 

 __________ the message... 

 Be ___________ when the time is good and bad.

  Convince, rebuke, and ____________. 

 Have patience in _____________. 

 Be sober, ___________ suffering. 

 Do the work of an ____________. 

 Carry out your ministry ___________.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Scripture for August 16

2 Timothy 4:1-8
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash