A community reshaping itself to be fit for God's purpose.

Thursday, February 13, 2020
The Prayer of General Thanksgiving in the Book of Common Prayer is said at the end of the Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer. You will recall I wrote about the Offices in the E-News last week. Towards the end in the General Thanksgiving come the lines:

And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days.

Living the Christian life is not a matter of confessing lips as much as it’s a matter of active lives. Living in God’s service is always more than the words we say. It’s the actions we take; the bread we break.

We are living through a time when the discrepancy between words and actions has never been greater. We are devastated by the fracturing of words from actions. Words trump action never taken while lies cover up evil action. Supposedly, the person on the street says it’s no big deal. As long as the economy is booming who cares about truth?

Truth has become a completely subjective concept. If I say black is white, then it is. If I assert my lie as truth and reject another’s truth as a lie or a hoax, then who’s to seriously contradict me? A glaring example of this – the objective evidence of climate change is now dismissed as a hoax, and some people believe it.

Well the short answer to who cares is that God cares! But if that’s too remote a concern for you, then the answer is that I care, you care, we care. Jesus said be salty but beware of losing your saltiness.

When our lips are out of sync with our lives; our words are severed from our actions - we resemble the residue at the top of the salt mound - its saltiness leached out - fit only as material with which to pave the path and be trodden under foot.

Where one metaphor was good, for Jesus, two were even better! Like the salt mounds after heavy rain, when our saltiness is leached out of us, the powerful search light of truth becomes hidden in us and we easily become complicit in narratives of lies and misinformation.

You are the light of the world, Jesus reminds us. A city on a hill cannot be hid. So, let your light shine forth that others may find their way to God through you.

The shining city on a hill, the light from which cannot be hid, has been an abiding metaphor in the American imagination. However, there’s another metaphor in the American imagination - that of Gotham City. A city shrouded in darkness; a city where the expediencies of power extinguish the light of truth. 

I said above that God cares about the fracturing of words from actions. How do I support that claim? Jesus proclaims that he will not take one jot away from the Law of the Lord given to Israel until the fulfillment of God’s unfinished business is completed.

Observance of living Torah and commitment to Gospel action both express God’s expectation to: Do Justice, Love Kindness, and Walk Humbly with God. This is God's expectation for our common life; an expectation that thunders through the mouths of the prophets and disturbs us in the teaching of Jesus.

So, let us with urgency recommit ourselves as we pray: …. that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and [humility] all our days.

You can visit an expansion of my thoughts in this E-News message at Lips and Lives, Truth and Lies, Salt and Light .

See you in Church this coming Sunday. Why? Because it’s only as a community, humbled in worship, that we can hear God calling us.


Women's Spirituality Group
Sunday, February 23, at 6 pm
All women of the parish are invited to Susan Allen's for a potluck dinner and program "Nuns and Nones" on Millennials and Spirituality. To RSPV or to find out more about the group, please contact Susan Allen
And save the date! On Sunday, March 15, Rev. Linda Griggs will share about her path to priesthood.
Friday, February 21, 5 - 7 pm
The Hospitality Committee will be hosting a TGIF on Friday, February 21, 5 - 7 pm in the Great Hall. Come enjoy a glass of wine and some nibbles after work! Catch up with your fellow parishioners or, better yet, invite a friend to visit St. Martin's for the first time. This is strictly a social get together.
Hope to see all of you at what promises to be an enjoyable gathering with friends, both old and new! Please contact Jennifer Kiddie for food donations and contact Natasha Lofgren if you’d like to volunteer at this event.
St. Martin's Pancake Supper
Tuesday, February 25, at 5:30 pm
Join us for our annual Pancake Supper where pancakes are cooked  to order  by  Gander , St. Martin’s spirituality group for men. Bacon, sausage, juice, and coffee will also be included on the menu. Families and singles of all ages love this event - we do all the cooking and the clean up! Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $12 per person or $25 per family.
If you would like to help out with this event, contact Chris Izzo to help in the kitchen. For set up & serving, contact David Brookhart, and for everything else contact John Bracken
Estate Sale!
9 am - 3 pm, Saturday, March 7
10:30 am - 2 pm, Sunday, March 8
St. Martin's next Estate Sale is coming up fast and we need your help to make it great! Start your spring cleaning a little early and set aside some items you don't need anymore, then donate them to St. Martin's. Items that sell best include small furniture, lamps, art work, decorative pillows, dishes, and glassware. All proceeds go to support St. Martin’s Church and its ministries. Questions? Please contact Brigit.
Show that St. Martin's Cares!
St. Martin's Cloak Ministry provides clothing and toiletries to the very needy. Please consider d onating a package of socks or boxers for a shelter resident to show that St. Martin's cares. Outreach baskets are at the back of the church. Thank you!
St. Martin’s Outreach Funds at Work:
The Aphasia Clefs
Thanks in part to jump start funding from St. Martin’s, parishioner Donald Cunnigen spearheaded the founding of The Aphasia Clefs, a singing group that is part of Hands in Harmony, a local non-profit organization. While researching appropriate therapies after suffering a stroke several years ago, Donald learned of Hands in Harmony, whose therapeutic approach to aphasia treatment is based on the premise that singing is an effective way of recovering the ability to speak more clearly. The Aphasia Clefs, with Donald’s encouragement, grew out of these music therapy sessions, and has gained a reputation in Rhode Island, receiving additional funding from the RI Council for the Arts, performing the National Anthem at a Pawsox baseball game last summer, being profiled on local television, and most recently, presenting a concert at the Weaver Library in East Providence this past Monday evening. According to fellow parishioners David and Pat Whitman, it was “an incredibly moving performance.” Congratulations to Donald and the Aphasia Clefs. We hope to hear more from you in the future!
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St. Martin's Church | 50 Orchard Ave | Providence, RI |02906
(401) 751-2141