E-Messenger July 16, 2020

 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I pray that you all are well, that you are staying safe, and that you are strengthened by the love of God. 

Throughout this pandemic, hard choices have had to be made. I never imagined celebrating Holy Week online, and, truth be told, I never thought we would -- in July -- still be in a situation of rising COVID numbers, and, yet, here we are. 
For months our re-opening committee and our vestry have faithfully worked on plans for re-opening. One benchmark we set for St. Martin's reopening is the benchmark set by the CDC, which is a 14-day downward trend in percent positive COVID cases. Unfortunately, while some communities have hit this number, Richland County and South Carolina have not. We feel that this science-based benchmark is important.
One of the hardest choices we have had to make was the closing of the Drop-In Nursery. Our Drop-In has been a service to parents in our community for decades. It was a hard decision, but the reopening committee and the vestry were unanimous in their belief that this step had to be taken. Without being able to say when we would be able to re-open, the fair and right thing to do was to close. The hardest part of this closure is, of course, saying goodbye to Kathy Lentz, who is retiring. Kathy’s 30-plus years of service mean that she has literally hugged thousands of children and rocked countless babies. She truly is "the fairy godmother of Columbia." It is with love that we thank her, the staff, and the Drop-In Nursery board for their ministry of love. 
At the moment we cannot predict or know when we will be able to re-open our Drop-In and other traditional St. Martin's ministries, but we do see some real possibilities for ways we can safely gather in small numbers. Next Tuesday and Wednesday at noon, I would love to start training people to lead the Daily Office. Email me if you are interested in coming so we can prepare an appropriately distanced, safe meeting space. My hope is that we can have some small outside prayer services available to members here on church grounds. This would in NO WAY take away from the Sunday live stream, rather it will give people a chance to safely pray with other members during the week. Our bishop is 100 percent on board with this, having approved it with the words, "Why wouldn't we want more people familiar with the prayer book?"
It is my experience that as one door closes, another opens. COVID, unfortunately, has closed many doors. With that being said, if we, as Jane Fancher reminded me this week, "look for the good," we just may find it. The doors of the Drop-In are for now closed. I continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will guide our church into something new, something growing -- a door wide open.

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
If you would like to submit a name for our ongoing prayer list, please use this form. Names will be shared weekly prior to worship and will be removed after three weeks, as in the past. 
It's almost time for
the Great EpisGOpal Race!
The week is upon us! Starting next Wednesday (July 22) and running through July 31, you are invited to join in with Mitch's challenge to log your miles for the Great EpisGopal Race that supports COVID relief efforts provided by the United Thank Offering (click on image to left to see his challenge) . Anytime between July 22-31, choose your preferred mode and distance and race to raise money for COVID-19 relief.

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 the Community Garden. We still have a few open slots.
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.
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.
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.
Gravatt explorers
every Thursday
St. Martin's is joining with Camp Gravatt this summer and serving as a sponsor for their "Gravatt Explorers" program each Thursday at 2 p.m. Follow their social media posts on Facebook and Instagram each Thursday for a visit to a state park or other outdoor adventure spot in the Diocese. Gravatt is also posting other types of activities and Christian formation materials daily via their social media outlets.
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 19
Frances Tupper

July 20
Lib Dixon
Merritt Horan

July 22
Hannah Grace Frierson

July 23
Joy Campbell
Jon Dukes
July 24
Judy Harris
Rosie Jackson
Coleen Strasburger

July 25
Henry Hawkinson
Lane Poteat
Elaine Townsend
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