Sunday, January 31, 2021

Worship January 31


January 31, 2021 

10:00 am Virtual Service 



Almighty God, Light from Light, who commands the universe and all that is made, your Word is the power that makes whole what is broken, the force of good, and the food of peace. Teach us now as you taught in the synagogue Heal us now so that in all we say and do, the freedom we have in you may be for others, too. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

PRELUDE      The Voice of God is Calling      Balderston 





Come! Let us give thanks to the Lord with whole hearts.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Glory be to the One whose wonders are to be remembered.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

The Lord feeds the righteous with truth.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Come! Let us give thanks to God together.

† HYMN     “Come Sing, O Church, in Joy”      Hymnal #305



 Holy and all-powerful God, who commands all spirits, comforts those in distress, and casts out destructive forces, we confess we are unable to do your will. We protect what is familiar and reject what is unknown. We admire those with courage but excuse ourselves when we falter from the truth. We forget you are always with us and with you all things are possible. Forgive us, lead us, make us new, and show us your way. (Silent Confession)




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

SCRIPTURE 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 

SERMON “Got Your Six” Rev. Dr. Dave Burgess 


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 the saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen. 


SPECIAL MUSIC     At the Name of Jesus      arr. Medley                        Bill Tucker, vocalist 



† HYMN      “Be Thou My Vision”      Hymnal #450


† BENEDICTION RESPONSE     “Come! Live in the Light”     Hymnal #749 

POSTLUDE      God Will Take Care of You       arr. Medley 

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


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Scripture January 31


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.[a]

So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Daily Prayer January 29

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

Daily Readings for Friday, January 29, 2021

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.)

Thursday, January 28, 2021

St Mark Presbyterian Church 2020 Moderator’s Report

 “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I sill uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, NRSV.) 

I don’t often quote Jerry Garcia, but as I reflect on this past year, I cannot help but think, “What a long, strange trip it’s been.” None of us could have anticipated the events of 2020 when we gathered in-person for our last St. Mark Annual Meeting 12 months ago. The pandemic took so much from all us. Due to health concerns, we closed down our sanctuary for worship and our facility for meetings. I miss singing along with the choir, passing the peace with handshakes and hugs, looking into your eyes during the assurance of grace, and sharing the bread and the cup during Holy Communion. The time apart has been too long, but, with God’s help, we adjusted to share the Good News in uncertain times. 

It’s been said, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and we’ve certainly had our fair share of new initiatives this year. I am thankful for everyone’s help, but I would like to thank our Technology Committee especially. St. Mark provided nearly 50 online services in 2021 along with five drive-in/in-person outdoor worship opportunities. Every one of these required several hours of work, and I know we are all deeply grateful. In addition to worship, we also expanded other spiritually enriching offerings online. Pastor MP and I combined to present approximately 125 St. Mark Spark mid-week devotionals. We expanded our adult education with our “Healing the Broken Heart of America” class and the “Psalms, Hymns, and Singing in the Reign” Sunday school class. I prefer meeting in person, but our high-quality online offerings allow us to reach many across our neighborhood, our country, and our world. I also appreciate the unseen work of so many who made weekly phone calls to check in on all of our members and friends. COVID took so much away, but it also presented us with new ways to be the church to one another.

 I look forward to the time when we can gather again in-person for worship, education, and mission. The Session is working on a plan for this, and I assure you we will return when it is safe to do so. Scripture reminds us again and again not to fear. The Lord is with us, and nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ. It’s been a long, strange trip, but God is good, all the time! 

In Hope and Confidence, 

Pastor Dave 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Guardian Angels


How often do we recognize the angel on our shoulder?  For most of us, it’s after a “near miss”, typically when something that would have caused a major accident is suddenly averted.  Driving down the highway, and the car in front of us suddenly breaks when everyone is going faster than they should as we are able to swerve without hitting them.  Then we say a quick “Thank You, God”, and move on.  As I think back over the years, I remember times when I thought nothing would get me out of a situation, only to end up unscathed.

The time in Germany, when we had a major IG inspection going on and a blizzard started up.  It was bad enough that the Commander closed the Air Base. Yet, the officer inspecting my unit informed us that HE was going to continue his inspection and if we left, he’d fail us. After all, he only had to walk across the street to the visiting officer’s quarters, so what was the big deal.  The big deal was that I lived close to 45 minutes from base and I had to pick up my toddler before heading out.  I stuck with the inspection for a short while, then said, I’m leaving, fail us if you will, but I’m leaving.

I picked up Brigham and put him in his car seat, then headed out on the rural roads I would need to travel to get home. In Germany, when heavy fog, rain or snow might prevent you from seeing where the road is, they put reflective posts about every 50 meters. On one side, the post has a rectangular reflector and on the other side of the road the reflector will be 2 circles. I knew that as long as I stayed between the reflectors, I would be on the road.

As I got close to the village we lived in, a large bus following me, the wind whipped up as I crested the hill, blinding me, but worse literally turning my car sidewise on the road. The wind died down and the bus driver was able to see me in time to stop, but only by a foot. The passengers on the bus, angels themselves, got out and pushed my car around so I was once more going in the right direction. Shaking, I drove through the village to my home, knowing that my son and I had come very close to never making it home.

In Miami, several years later, we had just moved into our new home with its swimming pool and were enjoying one of our first swims with my visiting parents, while Nathan, my toddler at that point, was happily splashing away as he rode in his rubber safety tube in the shallow end of the pool. Then suddenly he was upside down in the water. Brigham, age 5 now, reacted faster than the adults and pulled his sputtering baby brother upright. I think all our guardian angels worked overtime on that one.

So often we say Thank You, when the disaster is first averted, but we forget to say Thank You, every day, for all the small disasters that were averted without our even noticing them.

Dale Weir

Photo by Christian SPULLER on Unsplash

Monday, January 25, 2021

2021 Blood Drives


St. Mark and the Red Cross are pleased to announce the Blood Drive schedules for the New Year 2021. For years St. Mark has participated in this very valuable community service. St. Mark has regularly held four Blood Drives a year. The 2021 schedule is as follows: February 28, April 25, August 15 and October 24. These four Blood Drives will be held on Sundays from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm.

For members who regularly give blood, please add this schedule to your 2021 calendar. For members who have been thinking about giving for the first time, let this year be the beginning of a new habit in your life. A member of your community may be the one who receives your blood because of cancer, transplant surgery, other life-saving surgeries, genetic blood disorders, various illnesses and a multitude of various accidents. BE THE ONE WHO BRINGS HOPE AND HEALING TO THOSE PATIENTS IN NEED.

The Deacon’s Health & Wellness Committee looks forward to seeing our past donors & renewing old friendships & hopefully meeting new donors & making new friendships in this coming new year.

Deacon’s Health& Wellness Committee

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Worship January 24, 2021

January 24, 2021 

10:00 am Virtual Service 





Loving God, no matter what I am facing today – mourning or gladness, buying or selling – help me to focus on you throughout it all. Then bring me home safely to you. Amen.

PRELUDE      Praise the Lord Who Reigns Above      Page 





From God comes my salvation.

For God alone my soul waits in silence.

God alone is my rock and my salvation.

God is my fortress; I shall never be shaken.

Let us worship our giving and forgiving God together. 

† HYMN      “Eternal Father, Strong to Save”      Hymnal #8




Forgiving God, we repent of all the ways we turn from you. You call, but we do not listen; you show us your path, but we prefer our own way. You take away the sins of the world, but we still harbor grudges in our heart. Forgive us, heal us, and lead us back to you, that we might show mercy to others. (Silent Confession)



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


SERMON      “A Whale of a Tale”      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. 




God is our rock and our fortress. Let us celebrate our salvation by fearlessly giving a portion of what God has already given to us. Let us pray.


Merciful God, you save us for a purpose. We dedicate these gifts as we dedicate our lives to you, that you will make us fishers of people and bearers of your light.

SPECIAL MUSIC Pass It On Kaiser 

Declan Phipps, guitar; Marsha Medley, melodica 



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


† BENEDICTION RESPONSE “Come! Live in the Light” Hymnal #749 

POSTLUDE March on “Be Not Dismayed” arr. Medley 

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