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Pastor's Message



I Will Give Thanks!

Steve Ranney, Pastor


I have always loved the Thanksgiving holiday.  As a child, it meant two days off of school and that my parents would invite three or four families over to spend Thanksgiving Day with us.  It meant getting pie for dessert (this was not common in my house) and lots of leftovers.  It meant having a gang of kids to play with and a table that stretched from the dining room into the living room.  As I got older, we added touch football to the roster of events (the most memorable being played in a foot of fluffy snow) and a quiet evening with exhausted parents.  Of course, we would take some time at the table to list some of things for which we were thankful, and there was the prayer before dinner.  As I matured, the celebration focused on the meal and getting together with family.  We always say a prayer before dinner, but most of the day is wrapped up in making sure the elements of the feast are prepared properly.


A few years ago, I became concerned about this.  I realized that the day that was set aside for giving thanks had been whittled down to a few minutes.  “What do I need to do to focus more on the things for which I am thankful.”  I asked myself.  I then realized that people had been giving thanks long before President Lincoln made his declaration and even before the Pilgrims sat down to dinner.  From the time God introduced Himself to the human race, there is record of people offering thanks for God’s blessings.  As I looked at how they offered their thanks, I noticed two things I hadn’t seen before.  Those people focused more on the One they were offering their thanks to, rather than the things in their lives, and that it was something they practiced regularly. Starting on November 15, Stewardship Commitment Sunday, I will start a three week series looking at the act of giving thanks and ways to make it more meaningful both for us and for God.  Please join us as we prepare for our own special Thanksgiving celebration on Thanksgiving Eve (Wednesday, November 25).



Meet Steve Ranney


As we welcome our new Pastor, Steve Ranney, here is a little information to help us get to know him better:


  • Married to Kim Skilling who is a graduate of Princeton Seminary and is celebrating 30 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

  • Two sons and a daughter and two grandchildren.

  • B.A. in Ministry from Northwestern College in Roseville, Minnesota.

  • Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary.

  • Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from McCormick Seminary.

  • Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1991.

  • Associate Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church of Centennial, Colorado, 1991–2006.

  • Pastor/Head of Staff of St. Mark Presbyterian Church of Ballwin, Missouri, 2006–2015.

  • Steve seeks to lead both by example and by challenging people to use the gifts that God has given them for the building up of the body of Christ.  Thus, Steve's main focus is helping each person grow up in their relationship with God so that God will be able to bless others through them.






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