St. Martin's Weekly E-Newsletter
September 24, 2020
To seek God, and be Christ’s body in the world
Preparing for Sunday

When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, "By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?" -Matthew 21:23

REFLECT: Authority is the theme running throughout Sunday’s gospel – Matthew 21:23-32. We assume that authority comes from outside a person and that it is given them by their circumstances. In this understanding some have authority and others do not. We don’t like someone else teaching us, correcting us, or telling us what to do. We see it in the refusal of the two sons to go to the vineyard.
If you think God is the boss of you, you’ve misunderstood authority. Let go of that idea. God is not the boss of you. God is not the boss of us. God is our author. Every day God authorizes us to enter and sends us into his vineyard, to act in this world with his authority and on his behalf through the gifts he has bestowed upon each one of us. True authority always comes from within. It is an interior God-given quality not an exterior circumstance. In the absence of true authority there will always be power struggles. All authority originates in God, but it is not exclusive to God. God shares his authority with us. That shared authority exists in us and is revealed by us as the many and varied charisms, the gifts, God has imparted on each of our lives. That means every one of us has authority. God knows and sees the authority he has given us and waits for us to see and know it too. And when we do, we change our mind and go to the vineyard.

PRAY: Dear God, by sharing your authority, we are inspired and full of faith, hope, and trust. By gifting us with your divine attributes, we expand our world, change our minds, and live differently. May we discover our own authority and use our God-given gifts to help ourselves and others find the way to the vineyard. Amen.
This Week's Schedule

Thursday, September 24
1:00pm Bible Study-ZOOM

Sunday, September 27
8:30am* CCI: Outdoor Spoken Service (weather permitting)-The Rev. David Laquintano
10:00am* SMC Indoor Service-The Rev. Veronika Travis; CCI Indoor Service-The Rev. David Laquintano-Live Stream**
10:00am Zoom Sunday School-email Deb Parker for details

Tuesday, September 29
4:30pm Beginner/Chair Yoga Zoom Class-Rev. Amanda
6:00pm All-Levels Yoga Zoom Class-Rev. Amanda

Wednesday, September 30
12:00pm Noonday Prayer-ZOOM

Thursday, October 1
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.
Episcopal Community
ECS Virtual Event

Seeing Youth Succeed: Find out how this program for teens enables them to discern and build confidence in their futures with an empowering curriculum and a cohort of peers.
TODAY! Thursday, September 24, from 10:30am to 11:20am

For more information or to register for this FREE event, please visit
Bible Study
Bible Discussion: TIME CHANGE!

C.S. Lewis is our guide through the Psalms, and this week has a surprising twist. In much of scripture the "Day of Judgement" is described in frightening terms. It is described as "that day of wrath, that dreadful day." But here is the reversal. Some Psalms describe that day as one where we will be joyful and glad! Join us Thursday to explore what the Psalms have to say about love and mercy, too. Invite friends or family because the Bible Discussion is open to anyone interested.

Each week stands alone so you are invited to join the Bible Discussion any Thursday at 1:00 PM on Zoom. Contact Deb Parker at if you have questions or would like to test Zoom.

Here are the Zoom details:
or Call: 1-646-558-8656
Meeting ID: 938 4282 6315
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.) Blessing then promise. Last Sunday we listened to this pattern and talked about who we trust. The ones we trust fulfill their promises, like adults in our families, or perhaps a favorite teacher, and of course God. So even when we don't see the promise, we know God has already committed. We asked ourselves how people must have looked when Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. These were not just the lucky ones, but the poor, the sick, and those who were treated badly. Ask yourself and your family how people must have felt when they heard the promises.

This week our focus will be on the first Beatitude that begins, "Blessed are the poor in spirit..." Join us to hear and explore the promise that goes with this blessing. Jesus is turning people's understandings upside down and you can be part of that discussion.

Sunday School is for children, teens, and adults. It begins at 10:00 am each Sunday on Zoom. We always review our plans for the Zoom conversation 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. 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
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.

Here are the Zoom details:
12:00 PM Wednesdays
or Call: 1-646-558-8656
Meeting ID: 928 7196 7908
Blessing of the Animals
A Special Event for Pets

At 4:00 PM on 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. 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.
The Lectionary
Sunday's Readings can be found on the Worship page at St. Martin's website.

Ezekiel 18:1-4,25-32
Psalm 25:1-8
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32