St. Martin's Weekly E-Newsletter
October 1, 2020
To seek God, and be Christ’s body in the world
Preparing for Sunday

Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.
Matthew 21:43

REFLECT: The Parable of the Wicked Tenants is neither Jesus’ first nor his last confrontation with the Pharisees.Jesus is unwilling to give up on the Pharisees, or anyone else for that matter. That is the good news, hope, and joy in this parable. He is not condemning us but recovering us from the places of our self-exclusion, to call us back to life, and to lead us home.

Jesus doesn’t exclude us or anyone else from the kingdom of God. He doesn’t have to. We do it to ourselves. The Pharisees were given the vineyard and failed to produce and share the fruits of the kingdom - love, mercy and forgiveness, justice, generosity, compassion, presence, wisdom, truth, healing, reconciliation, self-surrender, joy, thanksgiving, peace, obedience, humility.

To the degree we are not producing kingdom fruits we have excluded ourselves from and rejected our share in the kingdom – a.k.a. self-exclusion.

•   Do you ever struggle with perfectionism, self-condemnation, and the question of whether you’re enough? Maybe that’s self-exclusion.
•   Do you ever feel like you have to be in control, be right, have all the answers? Maybe that’s self-exclusion.
•   Are you carrying grudges, anger, resentment? Maybe that’s self-exclusion.
•   Do you look at others and begin making judgments about their belief, choices, or lifestyle? Maybe that’s self-exclusion.
•   Are there people in your life that you have chosen to let go of rather than do the work of reconciliation and heal the relationship? Maybe that’s self-exclusion.
•   Do you go through life on auto-pilot, going through the motions but never really being present, never showing up? Maybe that’s self-exclusion.
•   In your life is there more criticism and cynicism than thanksgiving and celebration? Maybe that’s self-exclusion.
•   Are you hanging onto some old guilt that you believe could not be forgiven? Maybe that’s self-exclusion.

The antidote to our self-exclusion from God’s kingdom begins with first recognizing that self-exclusion. That means we must look at the vineyards of our lives. So, how’s your garden growing? What do you see? Is there fruit? Is there life? Are you sharing in God’s kingdom?

PRAY: Dear God, as we look at the vineyards of our lives, help us to recognize the ways that we exclude ourselves from producing your kingdom’s fruits. Let us not block love, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, joy, wisdom, thanksgiving, and peace. Open our eyes, hearts, and minds to all that is good so all vineyards may flourish.

This Week's Schedule

Thursday, October 1
1:00pm Bible Study-ZOOM

Sunday, October 4
8:30am* CCI Outdoor Spoken Service (weather permitting)-The Rev. Veronika Travis
10:00am* SMC Indoor Service-The Rev. David Laquintano; CCI Indoor Service-The Rev. Veronika Travis-Live Stream**
10:00am Zoom Sunday School-email Deb Parker for details
4:00pm Blessing of the Animals on the grounds at St. Martin's with The Rev. Veronika Travis

Tuesday, October 6
4:30pm Beginner/Chair Yoga Zoom Class-Rev. Amanda
5:30pm Worship Planning Meeting-Zoom
6:00pm All-Levels Yoga Zoom Class-Rev. Amanda

Wednesday, October 7
10:00am Staff Meeting
12:00pm Noonday Prayer-ZOOM

Thursday, October 8
1:00pm Bible Study-ZOOM

*Registration is helpful by noon on Fridays.
For SMC services: email or call the office at 610-688-4830
For CCI services: email or call the office at 610-688-1110.
**After the 10:00am service hour, the Live Steamed video is available to view anytime.
Bible Study
Bible Discussion: The Book of Psalms

C.S. Lewis is our guide through the Psalms. Today, October 1st, our discussion will turn to cursing, and what that might mean. How often can you say that is a church related discussion? One example of cursing in a Psalm is #69- The Psalmist is begging for God's judgement or calamity to fall on God's enemies. We should have a fascinating conversation around how we petition God!

Join us Thursday for our discussion and Invite friends or family because the Bible Discussion is open to anyone interested.

Each week stands alone. Log on any Thursday at 1 pm on Zoom (detail below). Contact Deb Parker if you have questions or would like to test Zoom. Note: We now have to use a password. It is jesus (all lower case).

Here are the Zoom details:
or Call: 1-646-558-8656
Meeting ID: 938 4282 6315
Password: jesus (lowercase)
Celebration of the Feast of St. Francis and Blessing of Pets
A Special Event for Pets

At 4:00 PM this Sunday, October 4th, all are welcome to bring pets on leashes or in carriers to be blessed by Pastor Veronika. Pets and families may either remain in cars for a blessing, or spread out on the church lawn.If your pets are not easily brought to church, you may bring a photo and we will pray for them too. Following a brief service celebrating God's creation and St. Francis' witness to the love of God, participants will be invited to pray near the St. Francis statue in St. Martin's memorial garden.
Sunday School
The Beatitudes

Each Beatitude has two parts. First is the blessing (for example: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness...) and then there is a promise (...For they will be filled.) Last Sunday we discussed the first Beatitude. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." From looking at pictures of people who looked lonely or sad, to talking about our own experiences, we focused on what it might means to be poor in spirit. And regardless of how down we feel, God blesses us and promises to care for us. Pretty comforting when times are difficult!

This week our focus will be on the second Beatitude that begins, "Blessed are those who mourn..." Join us to hear and explore the promise that goes with this blessing. There are many ways to mourn. There are things that make us cry, and we are sad sometimes. In this time of COVID, I think everyone mourns the loss of personal contact with friends or extended family. However, God continues to bless us and brings comfort both directly and through others like our wonderful church family.

Sunday School is for all ages: children, teens, and adults. It begins at 10:00 am each Sunday on Zoom (details are below with a new Meeting ID number). We always review our plans at the beginning of each session so join us any week if you would like to participate or know other family members who might be interested. Note: We now have to use a password. It is jesus (all lower case). If you have any questions or suggestions please contact Deb Parker by emailing

Here are the Zoom details:
10:00 AM Sundays
or call: 1-646-558-8656
Meeting ID: 977 8051 9998
Password: jesus (lowercase)
ECS School Supplies Drive

Although many children are not physically in classrooms they still need school supplies and Episcopal Community Services (ECS) is running their annual back to school program. This year's program will support children participating in the Philadelphia School District's social distance learning at 7 centers around the city. You can support the effort by using this link to Amazon Back to School Wish-list. Select the items you want to donate and then have them shipped directly to ECS.

Another option is to donate $15.00 for a "Kits for Kidz" which is a kit filled with basic learning supplies. Visit and type “Kits for Kidz” in the “Comments” section to submit your donation. We hope to have 300 kits to share with the children.
Noonday Prayer
Midweek Spiritual Connection

The Rev. Veronika Travis will lead the prayer group for noonday prayer every Wednesday at 12:00 PM via Zoom.

If you are unable to join at noon, you are encouraged to pray independently and participate by using the Online Book of Common Prayer -

If you would like to test using your phone, tablet, or computer to call into a Zoom meeting, please contact The Rev. Veronika at 610-596-1589 for assistance. When you log on you will be admitted to a waiting room, and then be granted access to enter the Zoom meeting space. This is a new security feature implemented by Zoom.

Here are the Zoom details:
12:00 PM Wednesdays
or Call: 1-646-558-8656
Meeting ID: 928 7196 7908
Food Donations
Greatly Appreciated!

Thank you to the Christ Church, Ithan parishioners who donated bags of food. The bags were delivered to The Great Valley Food Cupboard and were distributed to their clients on Tuesday. Everyone was extremely grateful for those much needed contributions.
DioPA Events
Free Flu Clinics

The Diocese has organized free flu clinics for people to come get their flu shots. No fee. Insurance cards and photo IDs are required. Anyone 3 years old or older is welcome; if you are bringing an infant for a flu shot please contact Here is the full schedule:

  • 10/7: St. Paul's Episcopal Church Levittown, 2:00-3:30 PM
  • 10/7: Calvary St. Augustine Episcopal Church Philadelphia, 11:30-3:00 PM
  • 10/8: St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church Blue Bell,10:00 AM-12:00 PM
  • 10/9: St. Luke's Episcopal Church Germantown, 10:00 AM-12:30 PM
  • 10/15: St. Thomas' Episcopal Church Whitemarsh, 2:00-4:00 PM
  • 10/16: All Saints' Episcopal Church Torresdale, 11:00 AM-2:00 PM
The Lectionary
Sunday's Readings can be found on the Worship page at St. Martin's website.

Isaiah 5:1-7
Psalm 80:7-14
Philippians 3:4b-14
Matthew 21:33-46