Saturday, May 8, 2021

Scripture for May 9


Psalm 98

Sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known
    and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
    and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Daily Prayer May 7, 2021

 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.

Daily Readings for Friday, May 7, 2021

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, May 5, 2021

Getting the blog by e-mail


Yes, getting the blog by e-mail will no longer be an option after July 2021.  We will still be writing the blog, but you will need to access it either through the church web-site or go directly to the blog and bookmark it.  We hope to have updates from time to time on our Facebook pages, as well.

One of our goals with the blog was to have different kinds of writing, so if you like our blog posts better some days than others, I'll let you in on my loose organization. 

Monday---missions and music program

Tuesday---testimonials and inspiration from the congregation

Wednesday---events mostly from Presbyterian Women or Children's Ministry

Thursday---our pastors' writing

Friday---"Daily Prayer" and lectionary for the day

Saturday--scripture for worship the next day

Sunday---order of worship

Sometimes Thursdays get inspiration from the congregation  and music may be on Wednesday, but generally speaking this is the schedule we use.

We hope you will continue to follow us although it will take a little more intentionality than before.  We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The in Between Time. From Easter to Pentecost.

Liminal Space

In this
waiting place
we loiter, hover,
on a tentative cusp,
a threshold,
between the familiar
and the unknown,
with no possible retreat.
The customary comfort zone
is gone, and where
the entrance ushers
is not yet seen.
Our new question
(let alone its answer)
still is ambiguous.
We are in limbo.
We can either hesitate
or go forward.
The gossamer veil
of divine nearness
flutters ever so lightly,
breathing inseparably close,
as we step to embrace
the unrevealed with trust,
a shimmering opportunity
for connection and listening
and being led right on through.
Lean into this portal;
it is the doorstep
to fruitful ground

by Polly Castor

I have been thinking a lot about this time of the “in between.” This liminal space we often find ourselves in. For example, the space between the way it used to be before COVID and the way I hope it will be after COVID. And the space between the way it was before my parents died and the way it will be now without them. In general terms, the space between the way it was, asmy husband calls it, in “the before time” and the way it will be in the future. Or the space of the not-where-I-was and the not-quite-where-it-will-take-me.

No matter how we qualify it, this space can be scary, lonely, quiet, and uncertain. This space can be confusing, disorienting, and filled with anxiety. And it doesn’t always help to hear anyone say that everything will be alright. Words matter, yes. And actions matter more when we are in this middle place. What I need, what many of us need, is someone to listen instead of “say.” Someone to be there in person or virtually or on the other end of the line reassuring us that we are not alone simply by their presence with us on the space.

We are in a theological liminal space right now. That space between Easter and Pentecost. The space where Jesus told his disciples to wait until the Holy Spirit comes. Waiting is difficult sometimes. The good news is that God waits with us, listening to us as cry out for relief throughout our journey through the in between space, and gives us hope for the future!

Peace and blessings,

Pastor MP

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Worship for May 2, 2021

St. Mark Presbyterian 

10:00 am Sunday Virtual Service 




Wondrous Vinegrower, you make all things new in water and Word, feeding your people with love, joy, and peace. Lead us today and every day to the font of new beginnings. Teach us to love what you command and to prune what does not nourish your creation. We pray this in the name of the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, one God, now and forever. Amen. 

PRELUDE     Pipings!       Sotuhbridge 





In the wilderness, water brings life.

Seek us out, O god, and take us to the water.

In the Word of God, the good news gives light.

Seek us out, O God, and fill us with understanding.

In the bread and the wine, the body of our Savior nourishes everyone.

Seek us out, O God, and give us yourself.

Come and praise the True Vine that gives all goodness.

† HYMN      “Fairest Lord Jesus”       Hymnal #630




God of mercy, we confess we do not bear the good fruit of the Spirit. We do not love others as you love us. We deny the promises of baptism and cut ourselves off from you. Forgive us, restore us, and renew us. Help us to abide in your love and live out your mercy. (Silent Confession)



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

SCRIPTURE       John 15:1-8


SERMON      “Dying on the Vine”       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      Bringing In The Sheaves        Althouse 

Lisa Marsh, vocalist 



Invitation to the Table 

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving and the Lord’s Prayer 

Words of Institution   

Sharing of the Bread & Cup   

Prayer After Communion 


† HYMN      “Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ”       Hymnal #526 


† BENEDICTION RESPONSE      “Be Joyful”      Kaiser 

POSTLUDE     Welcome, Happy Morning!      Scriveyner

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

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Scripture for May 2

 John 15:1-8

The Vine and the Branches

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Read full chapter


  1. John 15:2 The Greek for he prunes also means he cleans.