St. Mark has a church library that is filled with all types of books. Each month, our church librarian features several titles in the Library Corner column for The Messenger (our church newsletter).
Book titles for the current month will be found on the book cart outside of the Adult Library or on in the Narthex.
All members are invited to COME IN AND CHECK US OUT!
Library books for Thanksgiving include:
Thanksgiving Tales: True Stories of the Holiday in America edited by Brian D. Jaffe includes happy, sad, funny stories about the Thanksgiving holiday.
Lessons from the Holidays by Dr. James Scott, Jr. brief essays about Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year.
For children, we have:
Thanksgiving at Our House by P.K. Hallinan tells all the activities that a family could do on Thanksgiving Day.
Thank you for Thanksgiving by Dandi Daley Mackall. The boy in the story is the last of his family for say what they are thankful for. He finally decides to “talk to God and say what’s true. Lord, can I give thanks for YOU? and thank YOU for Thanksgiving!”
About the St. Mark Presbyterian Church Library:
The St. Mark Library was started as an Eagle Project by Ron Fischer in 1970. It was first a small bookshelf located along the wall outside the present Adult Library. As it grew, more space was required and the library was moved into what is now the Pastor’s Conference Room. After a number of years, more space was needed and when the present office was finished, the library was separated. The adult section was moved to its present location in the “Library/Bride’s Room, and the Children’s Library went downstairs to the children’s room.
The Libraries contain over 1,000 books each, and although most of the collection deals with religious books, including Bibles, concordances, studies on individual books of the Bible, devotions, other religions, and hymnbooks, there are biographies, fiction, books on family life, and DVDs on various subjects including Bible studies.
For assistance in finding a particular book or subject, please use the card catalog or call Diana Johanning.
New additions to the Adult Library include:
Half Truths: God helps those who help themselves and other things the Bible doesn’t say by Adam Hamilton examines some half truths people often believe that sometimes when repeated can hurt people. These half truths can lead people to conclusions about God that are not only untrue, but may push some people away from God.
What am I supposed to do with my life? Asking the right questions by Douglas J. Brouwer offers a personal, spiritual response to the vocational questions people often ask. This book will encourage many to reflect on their lives and vocations.
Angry people…and what we can learn from them by Warren W. Wiersbe uncovers some surprising insights about anger and points out biblical principles that will help you control and display anger in a way that protects, builds up and brings glory to God. The anger of Moses, David, Elisha, Jesus, and Jonah are discussed.
These books can be found on the cart in the Narthex.
The library has books on other subjects than just religious topics.
For lighter summer exploring:
Recipe books from early church recipes, such as Musical Feast – 1981, can be found in the 641 section.
The Treasury of Religious Verse, compiled by Donald Kauffman, and other books on poetry are in the 800’s.
Dr. Seuss’s You’re Only Old Once! – a book for obsolete children. If laughter is the best medicine, this is a book against aging. Dr. Seuss lightens the aches and pains of growing old with his inimitable wit and wisdom.
A new book in the Children’s Library is:
The Mess Detectives: The Slobfather by Doug Peterson is a story about how lies can pile up and cause a bigger mess than “coming clean” at the beginning.
These books are available on the book cart in the Narthex, and, of course, many more in both the Adult and Children’s Libraries.
New additions to the library include:
Sleeping with Bread, Holding What Gives You Life by Dennis Linn asks two questions: 1) For what am I most grateful? 2) For what am I least grateful? It describes situations of life in which these two questions are asked and gives clues to the results.
She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton describes 13 American women who changed the world.
Since June 17 is Father’s Day, we have The Heart of a Father: How Dads Can Shape the Destiny of America by Ken Canfield.
Since we celebrated humor in worship in April, you might be interested in Elton Trueblood’s The Humor of Christ. Trueblood claims that “much of the relevant evidence (of Christ’s humor) is so deeply hidden by accepted presuppositions that it will not be recognized apart from some analysis.”
New additions to the library:
John Newton is a DVD about the ruthless slave trader who becomes a messenger of amazing grace.
Half Truths by Adam Hamilton tells us about “God helps those who help themselves”, and other things the Bible doesn’t say.
For the children:
Please, Nana, who is God? By Margaret Wieland meets the tough questions children ask head on, conveying Biblical truths in a captivating style.
These books, and books on Mother’s Day and Earth Day can be found on the carts and in the Adult or Children’s Libraries.
A few of the books by famous authors in the library follow:
Listening to Your Life by Frederick Buechner contains daily meditations for an entire year meant to possess and liberate the heart.
Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer an inspiring account of a unique fellowship in an underground seminary during the Mazi years in Germany. It gives practical advise on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups.
Following Jesus Without Embarrassing God by Tony Campolo confronts us with some of our everyday words and actions that are out of step with the footsteps of Jesus with insightful advice on how to get back in step.
These books are on display on the library cart. Seek it out.
Philosopher is a magazine published as a Christmas greeting. It is interesting because this one is a brief account of the Bible and the means by which it was handed down through the generations.
Recent additions to the library include:
The Christians as the Romans saw Them by Robert Louis Wilken offers an engrossing portrayal of the early years of the Christian movement from the perspective of the Romans.
What every Christian needs to know about Passover: what it means and why it matters by Rabbi Evan Moffic brings the history of the biblical Exodus alive and invites Christians of all denominations to explore the Jewish roots of our faith and experience an authentic Passover Seder.
With Advent here, and Christmas approaching, the libraries have books for the season on display both on the carts outside the Adult Library and in both libraries. The following are suggestions for both adults and children.
In Awe and Wonder by Ronda Nobles Nunez examines some of the details of the lives of those chosen by God to touch the life of the young Messiah.
Lessons from the Holidays, a collection of writings on Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year by James Scott, Jr. Wrapped in the biblical story of Christmas are profound lessons that inspire, challenge, teach and bless us.
Because of Bethlehem, love is born, and hope is here by Max Lucado – “Because of Bethlehem we have a friend in heaven.”
The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel serves as a fun and handy guide describing the significance behind your favorite traditions, suggests activities to do with your children and teachable moments for each tradition.
Nighty Night, Baby Jesus by Molly Schaar Idle for small children, it talks about the animals in the stable around Jesus.
The Small One by Alex Walsh tells about a boy who must sell his favorite donkey and who he finds to buy it.
Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco is a story about a tapestry used in a church for Christmas and the Jewish couple reunited through it. This book is for intermediate youngsters.
Books on both the Reformation and Thanksgiving are on display for November.
Martin Luther: a Man who Changed the World by Paul L. Maier is a biography written for the middle grades but has good information for adults. Martin’s life story sparkles with color, adventure and high drama. Most of us know his name and that he started the Reformation, but what kind of man was he? This book is a simple story of the man.
Also on display is Compend of Luther’s Theology edited by Hugh T. Kerr an in depth study of Luther’s theology.
Thanksgiving Tales: true stories of the holiday in America edited by Brian D. Jaffe. 48 writers share their individual stories and memories of earlier Thanksgiving celebrations. – Adult
Thank You for Thanksgiving by Dandi Daley Mackall tells about Thanksgiving through the eyes of the youngest child who is trying to think of something he is thankful for to add to the Thanksgiving prayer. – Children
Thanksgiving at Our House by P.K. Hallinan describes what happens during Thanksgiving Day in P.K.’s house. The story ends with “I’m grateful for blessings that just never end. But mostly I’m thankful for all of my friends.” – Children
Have questions about the Apostles’ Creed? Take a look at the children’s book on display.
The Apostles’ Creed by Jim Gimbel, is presented in three sections. It describes God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit and gives the characteristics of each. Written for intermediate children, we, as adults, also can benefit from reading it.
New books in the library:
God’s Tapestry: reading the Bible in a world of religious diversity by W. Eugene March helps us develop theological clarity about how to live in a religiously diverse society.
The Great Emergence: how Christianity is changing and why by Phyllis Tickle is a book of sweeping overview of church history that locates us in a moment of great opportunity and challenge.
Sabbath in the Suburbs: a family’s experiment with Holy Time by Maryann McKibben Dana is for anyone interested in resting with God. It is the story of one family’s decision to spend a year exploring the meaning of keeping Sabbath.
New Books for the Adult Library:
The Churches the Apostles Left Behind by Raymond E. Brown is a study of seven very different churches in the New Testament period after the death of the apostles.
Listening to Your Life by Frederick Buechner. Daily meditations meant to possess, and at the same time liberate the heart.
Let Me Tell You a Story by Tony Campolo contains stories of hope, doubt, faith, failure and triumph.
We have had several recent donations to the Children’s Library. Thanks to all you library donors! These are all easy fiction books which contain good messages for our children.
Berenstain Bears Faith Gets Us Through by Stan and Jan Berenstain is a I Can Read Level 1 book about the Bear Scout adventures in Spooky Cave and having faith to get them through.
God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren has Grandpa Bear answering Little Cub’s questions about God and love and how much God loves us.
Thank You for Being My Friend by Peter Bently is a book about fear of the dark and the value of having a friend.
These books may be found on the book cart outside the Adult Library and other new books will be found on display in the Children’s Library.
Patricia C McKissack lived in Chesterfield and wrote books for children, some of them also informative for adults. Following are three from the shelves of our library:
Let My People Go, Bible Stories Told by a Freeman of Color – Charlotte Jefferies and her father Price, a former slave, introduce us to twelve best loved Bible tales from Genesis to Daniel. These stories were written for young people, but are also valuable for adults.
Run Away Home and be Free is a story written for older elementary and middle school youth. It is based on very real events and much research. Occurring in the late 1880s it tells the story of a young Indian boy who escaped from a train shipping his people from Florida to Oklahoma territory, and is rescued by a black family of former slaves.
When Do You Talk to God? Prayers for Small Children invites young children to talk to God, to pray, at all sorts of times and in all kinds of situations.
These books can normally be found in either the Adult or Children’s Libraries. For this month, they are available on the bookshelf outside the Adult Library.
Books in the J section of the Children’s Library sometimes are useful for adults as well as children. Included in that selection are:
Bible Stories by Norman Vincent Peale which contains 37 stories from the Bible with such titles as: “The first homicide”, “The acid test,” “The first love story,” and “The storm clouds gather”
Bad Stuff in the News, a Guide to Handling the Headlines by Rabbi Marc Gellman and Monsignor Thomas Hartman written to help kids and parents handle headlines and news coverage. Although it was written shortly after the World Trade Center and Columbine, the topics are applicable in today’s world with such subjects as: “Terrorism,” “The hate that leads to harm,” and “Sad and scary addicts.”
Get Acquainted With Your Bible by Gary L Ball-Kilbourne is a book that gives adults and young people an opportunity to explore the Bible. Written for a group or individual journey to becoming better acquainted with the Bible.
Books on Lent and Easter are displayed on the carts outside the Adult Library and on the shelves in the Library. Please explore!
Books on devotions may be found under the Dewey number 242.
Among the books on our shelves are three you might like to look at:
Holy Ordinary, Finding God in the Everyday by Carol Mead
“The true power of God is present every day, when we place the most mundane activities of our lives in His care. For in the hands of God, the most ordinary of moments become holy.”
31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers
“Every day a different Scripture-based devotion helps you cultivate the “Heart Habit” of praise and worship.”
Devotions for Dieters by Charlie W. Shedd
Dieters, “ask yourself this unusual question: What did I look like when the Lord first dreamed of me? With a fresh mental image of what you plan to become, you gain the strength you needed to work toward your goal.” Each devotion contains a short scripture passage, a discussion, and a prayer.
For those of you who know children who don’t fit in to the group, here are some books which might help you understand and help them.
Not Exactly Normal by Devin Brown is a book about being different and about fitting it, about accepting the differences of others and seeing ways that everyone is alike.
Help Them Grow! by Jane Blumenfeld, et al is a pictorial handbook for parents of handicapped children.
His Name is Joel by Kathleen Deyer Bolduc is a book about searching for God in a Son’s Disability.
The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities by Kathleen Deyer Bolduc uses a mosaic metaphor to explore the challenges of raising children with disabilities with pieces of poetry, Scripture and personal narrative.
In Jesse’s Shoes: Appreciating Kids with Special Needs by Beverly Lewis is a book for children on understanding and accepting the differences.
Books for the Christmas Season will be on display on the book carts and shelves all over the libraries. Some suggestions for the season include:
The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke – follows the travels of the 4th Wise Man who
arrived too late to make the trip with the original three.
The Handmaid and the Carpenter by Elizabeth Berg – transports us to Nazareth in biblical times to
reimagine the events of the classic Christmas story.
Christmas Stories by Max Lucado – heartwarming classics of Angels, a manger, and the birth of hope.
Bartholomew’s Passage by Arnold Ytreeide – a family story of adventure (children 7 and older) for
Advent. Read a chapter each day during Advent while lighting your advent candles.
Mouse Tales: Things Hopes For by Ruth L. Boling – individual story themes correlate to the liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and Ordinary time and are especially appropriate over the four month period from December through March. Follow the adventures of the church mice as they
experience the church season.
Unless there is a meeting in the room, the Adult and Children’s Libraries are always open and available for browsing, resting and reading or checking out books. Take advantage when you are in the building.
If you are in elementary or early middle schools and have a paper due, check out the “J” section of the
Children’s Library for books to help with your report. Some (but not all) of the topics you will find include, history, geography, and biography. Get a start there.
Recent additions to the Adult Library include books on bullying. Two are:
The Bully and Me by Helen Carmichael Porter. Parents and teachers can learn how to cope with both victims and bullies in various situations.
Bullying and Me: Schoolyard Stories by Ouisie Shapiro
The library has recently added several new books for both adults and children. Among them are:
Beyond the Yellow Brick Road: Our Children and Drugs by Bob Meehan. This revised book creates a sense of urgency about teenagers and drugs and offers solutions. It explains Bob Meehan’s understanding of adolescent drug abuse and how teenagers think and feel, offering understanding, support and guidance.
Dear God, Well I Can Tell You I Have a Lot of Questions by Annie Fitzgerald is part of a series of books that helps answer the very hard and sometimes complex questions children may ask about God. The answers are written to help both children and adults understand puzzling questions. Based on Bible passages, this book answers questions such as “Dear God, do you ever sit around waiting for the phone to ring?” or “Dear God, when it rains, are you sad?”
You’re Here for a Reason by Nancy Tillman. In poetic form, this book shows readers how each of us fits into life’s big picture and how the world would be incomplete without you in it.
Whisper a Prayer for Moms published by Tyndale House is a collection of thought-provoking, heartfelt prayers to help you express to God your cares and joys as a mother.
A Cup of Comfort for Mothers & Daughters edited by Colleen Sell is a collection of rich and varied true stories that celebrate the very special bond between mothers and their daughters.
You’re Wearing That? Mothers and Daughters in Conversation by Deborah Tannen. Why is it that a remark coming from your daughter or your mother is more healing or more hurtful that the same remark coming from someone else? This book explores aspects of these complex relationships.
Mother’s Mother’s Day by Lorna Balian for young children, a family of mice visit each other for Mother’s Day.
A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza – Choco, a little bird, looks for a mother and finds a very special family.
What Moms Can’t Do by Douglas Wood finds many things Moms can’t do and the one thing they do better than anyone else.
With the approach of spring, you may want to take time out to “smell the roses” and enjoy a few devotionals.
Gifts Freely Given: Devotions for Your Quiet Time by Marjorie Holmes, a book of devotions which take only a brief time to read, but have the potential of life changing action. By sharing profound reflections on the wondrous magnitude of God’s blessings, Mrs. Holmes reminds us of the often-overlooked treasures to be found in our everyday lives.
Time-Out for the Spirit: Two Minute Quiet Times for Times that Aren’t Quiet – published by Guideposts, this book is a “spiritual first-aid kit” with devotions written to address 250 specific needs which you can look up in the Authors and Subjects Index.
124 Prayers for Caregivers by Joan Guntzelman is a source of strength and consolation for the difficult task of caregiving reminding us that God stands with us in our caregiving.
For the children:
Grover’s 10 Terrific Ways to Help Our Wonderful World by Anna Ross is a Sesame Street book which talks about our wonderful world and gives children 10 easy ways they can help the world.
Books for Lent include:
Kneeling in Jerusalem by Ann Weems, a book of poetry that brings new insight to the Lenten season by providing poems of inspiration.
Parables and Passion by John Indermark offers a disciplined encounter with the parables in Lent allowing reflection on one parable each day.
Faces at the Cross by J. Barrie Shepherd introduces you to persons in Jerusalem during Holy Week and at the scene of the Crucifixion through monologues telling of their encounters with Jesus. There are also poetic verses for Lent and Easter.
A World Worth Saving: Lenten Spiritual Practices for Action by George Hovaness Donigian helps us discover how we can be the hands of Christ in the world by seeing Lent as our opportunity to become involved in acts of mercy and compassion. This book is a six week study for Lent which will help us grow in our prayer life.
There are several appropriate subjects for February. We will touch on just a few.
Lincoln’s Devotional – With an introduction by Carl Sandburg gives us a glimpse of Lincoln’s religious journey, this is the the “tract” he read. The Believer’s Daily Treasure was published in 1852 in London by the Religious Tract Society and contained a Bible passage and hymn for each day of the year.
Let My People Go by Chesterfield award winning authors Patricia and Fredrick McKissack. This book introduces us to Charlotte Jefferies and her father, Price, a former slave, as they tell us twelve best loved Bible tales from Genesis to Daniel and reveal their significance in the lives of African Americans and indeed all oppressed peoples. For adults and children.
King of Another Country by Fiona French is an African tale about a selfish young man who never said “yes” and his transformation into a gracious and good king of another country.
Desmond and the Very Mean Word by Archbishop Desmond Tutu is based on a real-life childhood experience of his. The book eloquently shows a child’s realization that true forgiveness comes from within and that all people deserve compassion whether of not they say they are sorry. It provides a heartfelt lesson about how to handle bullying and angry feelings while seeing the good in everyone.
The libraries have many books for the Advent and Christmas seasons. Among them are:
The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke is the story of a forth Wise Man who didn’t arrive at the chosen point of departure in time to accompany his fellows. Determined to follow the star, he sought for years and in the end found the One for whom he sought.
Kneeling in Bethlehem by Ann Weems contains poems reflecting on the mystery of the Christmas Season and captures the spirit of joyful celebration. They can be used in worship services, read aloud at family gatherings or used by individuals for quiet reflection.
Getting Ready for Christmas by Yolanda Browne is a book of Advent Bible passages, prayers and Advent activities for each day of Advent designed for young children and their families.
Josie’s Gift by Kathleen Long Bostrom tells the story of a depression-era family celebrating the first Christmas since the death of their father. Josie asks for a sweater she knows they can’t afford because she desperately wants to feel joy again. In the form of three visitors and a surprise sacrificial gift on Christmas morning, Josie finds the joy she is seeking in the true meaning of Christmas. This book is most appropriate for grades 3-5.
The Library has a large section of devotional books which are cataloged in the 242 section. A few include:
Gifts Freely Given by Marjorie Holmes shares gently profound reflections on the wondrous magnitude of God’s blessings reminding us of often overlooked treasures to be found in our everyday lives.
124 Prayers for Caregivers by Joan Guntzelman offers a powerful source of strength and consolation. Each prayer includes a brief quote from the Bible or other source, lines of reflection, and a closing prayer.
First Steps: Helping Your Children Begin Their Walk With God by Paul Loth, Jr. contains 75 devotions for families with young children. The book includes an “Open Letter to Parents with suggestions on how to use this book.
A Layman Looks at the Lamb of God by W. Phillip Keller which is a Bible study that draws our attention to the six divine acts in the Old Testament that God used to prepare us for the coming of Jesus Christ.
The end of October brings us Reformation Sunday with its emphasis on Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation:
Martin Luther: a man who changed the world by Paul L. Maier tells the story of Martin Luther and his Ninety-five Thesis posted on the door of a church in Wittenberg which led to the Reformation. A good basic book for anyone beginning with grade 3 through adults.
Stewardship season is coming and books for children include:
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein which tells the story of a tree that gave all she had to a boy. It offers an interpretation of the gift of giving and the capacity to love.
The Case of Stuart’s Ship: a lesson in Stewardship by Stan Toler and Debra White Smith shows us how to put stewardship into practice and discover how we can please God by taking care of our toys, our time and our body.
Sometimes books written for young people can be informative to adults as well. This month, we are featuring books from the Children’s Library 3rd through 5th grade section which will give some basic Bible stories or Christian Living from which even adults can learn.
Pharaoh’s Daughter, a novel of Ancient Egypt by Julius Lester, enter a world that existed more than 3,000 years ago and see it through the eyes of Moses and his sister Almah as if you were encountering it for the first time.
At the Side of Esther by Eric Pakulak is a multipe-ending story about Esther in which you become one of the characters in the Esther story.
The Severed Head by Lena Wood is the first of a series entitled Elijah Creek and the Armor of God is a adventure that leads Elijah and his friends to understand that God has plans for them beyond anything they have ever dreamed.
Sanji’s Seed by B.J. Reinhard: the king is giving out seeds to boys in the kingdom to find a successor. The boy who grows the best plant in a month will become the successor to the king. Sanji’s seed does not grow and he is faced with a decision about what he will return to the king. How does Sanji handle this basic question about honesty?
August selections feature a variety of books from the library:
What Am I Supposed To Do With My Life? by Douglas J Brower. In this book, the author links our true purpose in life to following Jesus’ greatest commandment – love God and love your neighbor. He describes his own struggle to come to grips with the concept of vocation and incorporates stories of people and vocation.
Following Jesus Without Embarrassing God by Tony Campolo confronts us with our everyday words and actions that are out of step with the footsteps of Jesus and gives us insightful advice on how to get back in step.
A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey From the Inner City to the Ivy League by Ron Suskind follows the journey of an honor student from a crime infested school in Washington, D.C. through college at Brown University. Finding himself far behind most of the other freshmen and facing a bewildering array of intellectual and social challenges, he is left to rely on his faith, intelligence, and determination to keep his hope alive.
Mayo Clinic Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease: The Essential Resource for Treatment, Coping and Caregiving by Ronald Petersen, MD, PhD includes early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease as opposed to normal aging, guide for caregivers, and research advances.
July selections feature some old and newer books from the library:
The Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancey explores the sometimes shocking, often cryptic divine writings of the Old Testament. You will come to know God more intimately, anticipate Jesus more fervently and fine a wonderful, wise companion for your faith journey.
And Sarah Laughed: The Status of Woman in the Old Testament by John H. Otwell describes the standing of woman in the Old Testament based upon more than 700 scriptural passages. He concludes that while the Old Testament reports differences in the functions of man and woman, the many exceptions indicate that distinctions were pragmatic and not rigid. Circumstances and ability influenced the activity of the individual.
A Portrait of Jesus by Joseph F. Grizone recaptures the truth of Jesus that is presented in the Gospels and gives a compelling vision of the person Jesus’ contemporaries must have known.
June selections feature recent library additions:
The Greatest Life of All: Jesus by Charles R. Swindoll is a biography filled with biblical and historical insights which reveal Jesus with great clarity.
Survivors of Suicide by Rita Robinson includes:
1. help and understanding for survivors
2. words of comfort from survivors
3. how you can help a survivor
4. medical research on suppression and suicide and many other helps on this subject