A word from Mitch

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I feel like in some ways we are in unknown organizational territory. At St. Martin's, we are working on something very different and new, i.e., how to safely care for those who wish to re-gather and those who at this time feel safest at home.

At the same time that we are doing this very new thing, St. Martin's is doing some things that have become traditions for our community. For instance, today we met with someone who was considering ordained ministry. While clergy were engaged in that conversation, our Tuesday morning group met in online worship and prayer. St. Martin's has a history with both of these types of experiences. On top of that, a new tradition once again has popped up in that St. Martin's has been nominated for the third year in a row as a Best House of Worship by the free times ! You all know what to do: VOTE, LIKE, and SHARE (a link is provided below).

The mix between old and new, fun and serious, to regather or stay physically distanced has led a lot of people to ask us about our plans. St. Martin's has a talented group of people outside of the vestry who are our re-opening committee: Senior Warden Emmett Kirwan, Junior Warden Jack Myers, Cindy Chappell, Virginia Cooper, Tom Dougall, Duane Dunn, Bill Logan and Amy Montanez.

This committee is putting together a plan that follows the bishop's guidance for in-person worship. The link to the diocesan guidance is on the diocesan web page, or click HERE . Currently we are in Phase 1: In-person worship limited to online worship with strict physical distancing. The diocese has placed the entire burden of reopening on the virus. Should there, according to the CDC, be a 14-day trend downwards in percentage of positive COVID-19 tests, we will begin to be able to enter into Phase 2. This phase allows small in-person gatherings. At St. Martin's these in-person gatherings will without a doubt be safest outside and/or in the gym where people can sit distanced apart, bringing their own chairs and masks.

The reopening committee is working on flow patterns for entering and exiting (much like you see at the grocery store) and other details about how we might once again re-gather, but please note that the committee has no power over when we might re-gather. The "when" depends on the virus's trends. With that being said, we want how we re-gather to be what is best for everyone. So, please fill out the survey emailed to you this week or linked below on this page. Please be honest with yourself and us when you fill it out. We can not serve your spiritual needs if we do not know them.

In the midst of this, please know St. Martin's remains open. We are doing our best to provide meaningful worship, meaningful prayer, and meaningful interaction. We are doing our best to respond to our community's needs and pastoral care. We remain faithful to outreach and family services. As our ad in the free times says, "We never closed; we're just open in new ways." Until we can gather again, please be well and be safe.

In Christ,
We need to hear from you!
As our Reopening Committee works to make plans to bring us back together, they need to hear from you. If you have not yet taken the survey that went out on Sunday, please take some time to do so before Thursday morning so the committee can have the most thorough results possible when it meets again this week. Thank you!
What St. Martin's folks are reading!
We asked several St. Martin's members what they're reading this summer, and here's what they had to say. Maybe you'll find a good read or two in here as well. And if you would like to join the July St. Martin's Reads discussion of "A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story . . . " by Sonia Purnell, please stay tuned for the exact time and format.
For more information, Carol McGinnis Kay for more information.

Ann Braithwaite says, "I’ve rarely been organized enough to lay out my 'reading plans' for the summer, but I’ve listed here some literature I consider worth reading. These are titles I’ve either finished recently, am reading currently, or plan to read in the next few months":

  • "A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II" by Sonia Purnell.
  • "Calypso" by David Sedaris.
  • "The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross" by Jon Meacham.
  • "Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age" by Mary Pipher.
  • "I Know This Much Is True" by Wally Lamb.
  • "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism" and "You" by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
  • and "Workbook for How to Be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi.
Elizabeth Bentrup is doing a bit of re-reading as well as tackling new books this summer.
She's rereading:
  • "How to Think: A Survivial Guide for a World at Odds" by Alan Jacobs.
  • "Thank You For Being Late" by Thomas Friedman.

In addition to the books pictures, she is also reading:
  • "The Fearless Organization" by Amy Edmondson.
  • "The Woman of No Importance" by Sonia Purnell.
  • "The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For" by Charlotte Alter.
Richard Smith recommends reading one book on your list aloud instead of silently. "It always amazes me what I discover when I perform this exercise -– subtle humor and personality traits of characters, etc." Here's his list: 

  • "The Universal Christ" by Richard Rohr.
  • "Love Wins" by Rob Bell.
  • "Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C. S. Lewis" – this one I am reading aloud.
  • "Poetry and Prose" by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
  • "How to Love a Country," poems by Richard Blanco.
  • "The Gene: An Intimate History" by Siddhartha Mukherjee.
  • "The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett.
  • "Cowboy Culture: A Saga of Five Centuries" by David Dary
  • Howards End" by E. M. Forster.
  • "The Road to Agra" by Aimee Sommerfelt (a Weekly Reader Children’s Club book)
  • "Educated: A Memoir" by Tara Westover.
  • "O Pioneers!" by Willa Cather
  • "24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid" by Willie Mays and John Shea.
  • "The Written Word: The Power of Stories, To Shape People, History, Civilization" by Martin Puchner
  • "The Castle of Adventure" by Enid Blyton – my first read in 5th grade – a thrill for me to read then and now.

Should you be in need of pastoral care , please use the dedicated extension,
(Ext. 201) when you call the parish office, 803.787.0392.
The Community Garden is in need of five more trellises like this one in the picture. If you can provide one or all five, please email Caitlyn.
While scrolling Instagram, be sure to follow @smifsc for the Three-Word Gospel on Tuesdays and ComplinefromHome postings, M-F evenings. This week's compline postings include photos taken by Patsy Myers.
Youth, don't miss the Zoom lunches this week. These are Courtney's final ones before moving to Mississippi where her husband has taken a job with a new hospital.

Middle School students: Friday at 11:30 p.m.

High School students:
Friday at Noon.

We did it again! We have been nominated as a candidate for Best House of Worship in the annual Free-Times contest. Please share your support and vote before July 3. We are so grateful to be able to say, "We never closed, we're just open in new ways!"
Thank you in advance for keeping your pledge current during this time of uncertainty. You may pay your pledge in these ways:

  • Use this link to keep your pledge up-to-date by going online. This online link is safe and secure. 
  • You may also mail your checks to the Parish Office at 5220 Clemson Ave., Columbia, SC 29206.
5220 Clemson Avenue
Columbia, SC 29206
803.787.0392 | www.stmartinsinthefields.com