In this first E-News of a new program year we are aiming for a more streamlined appearance that invites easy access to the different sites of information that you are interested in knowing more about.
This last weekend we welcomed each other to a new program year with Homecoming Sunday and Ministry Fair. In my sermon address I spoke about the current restoration project on the tower and church roof. We began this 1.2-million-dollar restoration project in late spring, and we are on course to complete the work by Autumn’s end. We can feel proud of fulfilling our generational stewardship for the quality and scope of the work done will secure the Church from water ingress for at least another 100 years.
Throughout this summer’s tower and roof restoration project, those of us in leadership positions have learned many things. However, it’s about discipleship that we have learned most. We have found ourselves becoming transformed from a fearful and anxious state of mind to hold an attitude of courageous and energized confidence that this restoration project is but the catalyst by which God is nudging us into a new phase of a different kind of restoration in our life of discipleship. I hope you will visit the sermon blog entitled
for a full presentation of my thoughts about this. Although not included in the accompanying text, the audio track captures an off-the-cuff verbal snapshot of the parish drawn from my immediate experience over this past weekend.
Someone asked me did I think God was interested in stones? I answered that I thought God was interested in stones when they enabled a multi-generational community to flourish under the shelter of a roof and within the protection of walls that communicate the warm experience of fellowship, shared endeavor, and a numinous-mysterious encounter with God.
In life we don’t always have the option of careful and controlled planning before we have to act. Living according to pre-designed blueprint is safe but prevents the discovery of sources of courage that allow us to confidently set out on a challenging path - not simply to do what has to be done, but to become changed in the process by discovering spiritual benefits we could not have imagined.
We’ve appointed a consultant from the Episcopal Church Foundation to guide us through the discernment and feasibility study phases in preparation of hearts and minds for the possibility of a capital campaign after Easter next year. In a matter of weeks, we will produce a discernment brochure outlining discussion points designed to excite a parish wide conversation. October and November will see a number of cottage meetings – small group get-togethers - inviting all of us to voice what St. Martin’s means to us and what each of us might like to see as the fruit of a possible capital campaign.
God seems to be using our buildings challenge to nudge us into a new stage of our journey into becoming a community more fit for the purpose we are being called to. This stage will test us, requiring a concerted and courageous effort from all of us. Benedictine wisdom on the nature of community observes a common pattern: young monks are fervent but not holy, old monks are holy but not fervent, and middle-aged monks are neither holy nor fervent. In as much as this might be a good description of our community, we will need all our monks – that’s you and me - to be both fervent