E-Messenger July 30, 2020

 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I find myself this week thinking about grief. I grieve some of the many things that we can no longer do at this time, and I grieve some things that have been lost.

Next week, I was supposed to celebrate the wedding for two of my best friends. Unfortunately, the wedding is in Washington, D.C., and because South Carolina is a COVID hotspot, I would have had to have already traveled there to begin my two-week quarantine. I grieve for the couple. The original church wedding was planned for 300 guests, then changed to an alternate date with the same guest list. It was then changed to an outside wedding with a guest list of 15. I have gone from participating in the service as a friend to being the priest, and now, at the last minute, the plans have changed again. I grieve.

I grieve the loss of funerals. Funerals are sad; not being able to have a funeral is worse.

I grieve the loss of certain aspects of pastoral care. Yesterday, I longed to hug a person who revealed a cancer diagnosis and yet safety deemed it unwise and unsafe.

Today a baby will be born into the St. Martin's community. Blessing babies and new families is one of the greatest privileges of the priesthood. It is my favorite thing to do. The love in the room is truly unique. The church will be there by phone, but not in person, and just like online Sunday services, it simply isn't the same. Corporately, as a church, we grieve.
I have found that it is important for me to name these things. Working, "powering through," or just moving on to the next task ignores the reality that things are not normal. Sure you can function, but take it from someone who has tried, this sort of functioning only works for so long, and the resulting crash is rarely worth it.

And yet, I have also found that it is important to be flexible. What traditions can be modified like Corn Sunday and thus continued? What traditions can be tweaked and then lifted up? And perhaps, most importantly, what new ministries have emerged? While the grief for what is lost is real, so is the hope for what is to come. Acknowledging grief and looking for hope is a part of the now. It is a part of our current reality. May God guide, protect, and hold us all.

In Christ,
SUNDAY, July 19
Join us online for church this Sunday!
Click HERE for our live online worship link. Worship is at 10 a.m . Sunday .
Click HERE for the readings.
Click HERE for the Book of Common Prayer.
Click HERE for the Order of Service, which includes current prayer lists.
Then join us after church
 for a Zoom coffee hour!
This is a great way to catch up with one another. You will need Zoom on your device to join. If you do not have Zoom, when you click HERE , you'll be invited to download Zoom and join the meeting.

Once you are in Zoom, you will need the following to join the meeting:
Meeting ID: 924 4926 0578
Password: onthepoint

If you want to join by dialing in, call   253.215.8782
Meeting ID: 924 4926 0578
Password: 236317
The Great EpisGOpal Race
has almost been run!
You can still take part through tomorrow (Friday, July 31). Log your miles for the Great EpisGopal Race that supports COVID relief efforts provided by the United Thank Offering, and remember, you do not have to do all your walking, running, etc., in one day. You can log miles over a period of days.

Click the first button below to register with the St. Martin's team. You will be prompted to create an account with UTO and then join the St. Martin's team. The password to join our team is smiffy .

Click the second button below simply to make a contribution on behalf of Team SMIF. Questions? Contact Caitlyn .
Community Garden needs you!
Please click below to sign up to help water and weed the Community Garden.
Please share a letter of encouragement
for immigrants in detention
Through El Refugio, St. Martin's has begun ministries of remembering and walking alongside people in immigration detention. This winter, we sent our first group of "missionaries" to make visits with people in detention, listening to their stories and letting them know they are not alone or forgotten. Since the pandemic, we have been conducting ministries of relationship through letter writing. Our friends in immigration detention are discouraged, fearful, and anxious during this pandemic. While some have been released on asylum, or had their deportation orders cancelled during this time, others have died from the COVID-19 virus while in detention.

For those who remain imprisoned, notes of hello and encouragement are a very important piece of love and charity that we can show them. Pictures drawn by children are also encouraged!

Here are important details about this effort:
  • Our goal is 100 total notes. They will go to men at Stewart Detention Center and women at the Irwin Detention Center.
  • For guidelines & video, go to the OUTREACH PAGE of our website.
  • For sample notes in Spanish or English, click HERE.
#GospelsbyHand Challenge!
See scripture in a whole new way -- in your own handwriting! You're invited on a formational (and  transformational)  journey through the Gospel of Mark. All you need is a Bible, a pen, and some paper. The challenge is to copy down 10 verses per day. That's it! 

  • Prizes for whoever completes the challenge (besides the prize of spiritual edification).
  • Join the Facebook group to share your progress pics, reflections, and receive encouragement from your friends! Or follow along on Instagram! 
  • If you are interested in taking part in a Bible study of Mark along with this challenge, please take THIS SURVEY so we can plan the options that will work best for those interested.
  • Challenge open to anyone: adults, youth, and friends!
Learning to see the sacred through spiritual practice
Monday is the deadline to register to take part in the Rev. Susan Prinz's Living Compass Course entitled "Enhancing Your Well-Being with Spiritual Practices," which will be held on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. (note time change), beginning Aug. 4, and running through Aug. 25.  Each Tuesday, the group will gather in on Zoom to consider spiritual practices and support one another in engaging with those practices. Class size will be limited to 12. For questions or to enroll, contact Susan at  susan.prinz@smifsc.com .
Tuesday Morning Prayer Group
You are invited to join this group of parishioners that gathers weekly via Zoom for Morning Prayer on Tuesdays at 7:30 a.m. T he video call is protected by a password. You can obtain that password by clicking HERE . After clicking in, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
If you would like to learn more in-depth about the history and work of the Church, consider taking part in the Education for Ministry program. This four-year program created by Sewanee is available each fall at St. Martin's. This year's classes will start via Zoom on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 6:30 p.m. with leader Terri Bailey. Once face-to-face meetings are allowed, a combination of Zoom and in-person gatherings will take place. For more information about the class, the cost to take part and how materials are ordered, please contact Terri at terri.bailey@icloud.com.
Tucked-in at Bedtime Storytime this Sunday at 7 p.m. , on the church's YouTube channel . (These stories are also posted on the church's main Facebook page at the same time, and later in the week on the children's FB page .)
FAITH AT HOME for weekly reflections on the Gospel.

Resources for talking with children about race are HERE.
for kids and teenagers
It's simple! 
1. Be a kid or teenager. 
2. Read the Gospel of Mark. 
3. Prove to Mitch that you read it. 
That's it! There's no time limit, but the first one to the finish line might get a bonus snow cone.
This app puts the church directory at your fingertips!
The easiest and fastest way to have an up-to-date parish directory is by downloading the ChurchLife app onto your phone. Follow these instructions to get started. You will be so glad you did this! We promise.

  • For the iPhone, click HERE.   
  • ​For an Android phone, click HERE.

Log in info: Site # 90036 
Username and password are same as your church website log in. You will only have to input this info once. If you haven't created a login, follow the steps with the login button on the homepage of the church website

Don't remember your log in? Contact robyn.holt@smifsc.com .
You can also use the church website
Click the button below for step-by-step instructions on how to access directories via our website.
July 30
Logan Barlow, whose name was inadvertently omitted last week.

Aug. 2
Witt Fisher
Cynthia Gilliam

Aug. 3
Mimi Harding
Rick McDonnell
Angela D'Anna Mitchell
Michelle Petit
Lydia Smith
Aug. 7
Anna Cooper
Robert Gahagan III
Rena McLendon
Yvonne Munro

Aug. 8
Eric Douglass
Sherry Miles
Donna Parker
Follow St. Martin's on  Facebook   (St. Martin's-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church) throughout the week for parish news.  LIKE  the page for us, and  SHARE  posts with friends and family.
Follow St. Martin's on Instagram at @smifsc, where we post:
  • The 3-Word Gospel on Tuesdays.
  • Compline from Home each evening, Monday through Friday.
  • And other fun posts!
Thank you for your gifts . . .
To make your pledge via online giving , click HERE.

To make a financial gift to St. Martin's online , click HERE .

To make your Capital Campaign pledge online , click HERE .

To make a gift to the Capital Campaign , click HERE .
5220 Clemson Avenue
Columbia, SC 29206
803.787.0392 | www.stmartinsinthefields.com