St. Martin’s Lenten March 2018 Newsletter – News and Events


From our Lenten March 2018 Newsletter

Fr. Griffin with babyTIMELINES

One of my favorite activities at workshops, or retreats, or just a small gathering, is putting together a timeline. They are always enlightening and instructive and provide a wonderful visual to map out one’s history and to project one’s future. March is a month that I seem to naturally chart my course, reset the clock and calendar as I am eager to make winter history! As March seems to hold a significant portion of Lent, it gives us another opportunity to check in with our New Year’s goals. I’m always excited about this time of year—not only for the promise of warmer days, longer days and signs of new life blooming everywhere, but March also marks my anniversary as Vicar.

It’s hard to believe eight years has flown by so quickly. Upon my arrival, and learning of the long tenure of the previous Vicar, Fr. Reed a personal friend and mentor, I remember thinking about my own professional timeline and telling myself, “Oh…I’ll give this place 3 to 5 years.” Thank God I miscalculated that one! Actually, St. Martin’s has a long history of priests serving here much longer than I have. St. Martin’s has been here a long time indeed. This year marks the 140th anniversary of St. Martin’s in the Austin community, which means this place has been a spiritual home for quite a number of faithful believers and witnesses.

In just a cursory look at the timeline of churches in our community, we’ve noted that St. Martin’s Episcopal Church is one of the oldest, and one of the few, churches that has been around 140 years and maintained its denominational affiliation, and geographical location. When we compared our timeline with other great events of Chicago, we learned that St. Martin’s begun shortly after the Great Fire and the opening of the Chicago Public library. In the same year, 1878, telephone service began and the following year the Art Institute was founded. We’ve been here so long, we were here when the Cubs won the World Series the first time! How about that?! And we ain’t going nowhere! We plan to have a lot of fun this year, learning more of our history, sharing our stories, continuing the wonderful legacy we’ve inherited. Is St. Martin’s on your timeline? If not, make 2018 the year!

Lent Cross ImageLENT

Our Associate Priest Rev. Carolyn Bavaro led us into Lent with Ashes to Go and delivered a wonderful homily mentioning the intersection of Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday. With the tragic school massacre occurring on that day we’re painfully reminded that God’s love, grace and mercy are needed more than ever. With March also being Women’s History Month, we are honored that women preachers from our congregation, laity and clergy, will continue to lead us as we journey towards the Cross. To support and strengthen us on our path, we are praying with and meditating on the Psalms. We are also using the Episcopal Relief and Development booklet “Lenten Meditations 2018” (download .pdf here) as a traveling companion.

Holy Week 2018 banner

March 25th
10:00 am
Blessing of Palms
and Eucharist
Preacher, The Rev. Sue Youngblood
March 29th
6:00 pm Agape Feast
7:00 pm Eucharist with
Ritual of Hand Washing
Preacher, The Rev. Carolyn Bavaro


March 30th
6:30 pm A Liturgy of Our Lord’s Passion
With a Blessing for
Those Who Work for Justice
April 1st
10:00 am Holy Eucharist
Presider and Preacher,
The Rev. Christopher Griffin

 Torture CartoonGood Friday: An invitation to be witnesses to transformation, healing and hope

On Good Friday,March 30, 2018, time 6:30 P.m. to 8:00 P.M. at St. Martin’s we have invited Flint Taylor from the People’s Law Office along with Darrell Cannon and Anthony Holmes, Both victims of an injustice and cruel torture orchestrated by Commander Jon Burge of the Chicago Police Department will come to share their stories. Also invited are Donte Shrasker, from Atlanta, Georgia and now attending the University of Chicago School of Divinity. We will be having a special blessing to those who on a daily basis are champions for social justice and Healing throughout the City of Chicago. Please call Jose A. Zayas if you should have any questions at (312) 404-3252.

Life Touch Church Directory imageST. MARTIN’S PHOTO DIRECTORY

Together with LifeTouch, we are putting together a photo directory in celebration of our 140th year. We have already had our first day of photo shoots. Our next scheduled day will be Saturday, March 17, 2018 from 11am to 5pm. Schedule your photo shoot online here, or schedule time with our parish administrator, Lisa Scott at (708) 814-8152. The first wave of pictures have been delivered and they are wonderful. If you’re in need of professional pics for you and loved ones, this is a wonderful opportunity. LifeTouch will present you with options for purchase, and proceeds from that will benefit St. Martin’s. It would be great to see all of our church family in our directory. So, SMILE 🙂

And, speaking of Smiles . . .Amazon Smile logo

Amazon has a great feature for not-for-profit organizations to receive charitable proceeds for purchases made through “Smile Amazon.” So, for those of you who order items online through Amazon, we invite you to order through and select St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Chicago as the recipient of the charitable donation, and St. Martin’s will benefit from your purchase. We thank Amazon for this feature and all of you who have participated in this effort!

3x your impact! From March 12-31, Amazon is tripling the donation rate on your first purchase! Go to and Amazon donates to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.

Tellin' Tales Show StillEVERYBODY HAS A STORY

Create your own performance piece drawing from your personal life story, and have a blast doing it! This FREE theater workshop is for anybody with a disability who has a story to tell.
DATE: Saturday, April 21, 2018
TIME: 12:30-4:30 pm
PLACE: St. Martin’s Episcopal Church
5700 W. Midway Park, 60644

People with disabilities are sometimes excluded from participating in the arts because of inaccessible venues and/or lack of transportation. This FREE workshop led by writer, director, storyteller and performer Tekki Lomnicki is being held at St. Martin’s, an accessible venue, and funds for transportation are available.
In this class you will learn how to generate ideas and write your story using setting, character development, movement and music in a safe nurturing environment. A fun, learning experience this class could lead to an invitation to a free acting workshop that will culminate in a full performance in a theater. This program is presented by Tellin’ Tales Theatre and Bodies of Work, a program of the Department of Disability and Human the University of Illinois at Chicago with funding from the Chicago Community Trust.
Admission is free. Space is limited to 8 participants. To register contact Theresa Pacione at (773) 946-7540 or

Good Ground Institute

We are proud to announce the return of the Good Ground Institute, a nonprofit organization originally founded as a ministry of Saint Martin’s in 2001, to “provide programming around substantive themes relevant to social, economic and civic needs.” In 2003 Good Ground’s theme was Lift Every Voice: Affirming Gay & Lesbian People in African-American Churches. Rooted in the Austin Community, Good Ground has plans for writing and music workshops, improv classes, staged readings, film screenings and more. All of this is done with an eye toward integrating the community in everything we do.

 Oscar Douglas Brown sings in Just OscarGood Ground’s latest production was called Just Oscar. “Oscar Douglas Brown has a story to tell, and he does so in the one man show. Backed by the band Lance and an onstage DJ, we follow Oscar from his journey as a Mississippi boy prone to wearing tutus, to a young man dazzled by the bright lights of Chicago and equally mesmerized by the big city nightlife. Through it all he struggles to be Just Oscar.”