St. Martin’s September 2019 Newsletter – News and Events

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From our September 2019 Newsletter

Fr. Chris GriffinRESTORATION

This past Sunday’s gospel lesson on the lost sheep and the lost coin has become so profound to me as I’ve experienced so many losses over the years. When I was younger, my mother and godmother would encourage me to pray to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost items, in the Catholic tradition, as I would inevitably lose a mitten or glove or even my keys and eyeglasses.

That practice has not been a part of my piety for awhile; but lately I’ve been thinking of returning to it as the lost and found list has become huge! There are so many things (and persons and places)…we lose in our lives. I wonder which ones can be found or retrieved. Thank God some of these items can be returned! These parables with the diligent shepherd going after the lost sheep and the determined woman seeking the lost coin have encouraged me to focus on RESTORATION this year. By ‘restoration’ I do not mean nostalgia or turning the clock back to the “good ol’ days”…but reclaiming those lost coins in our lives, treasures, that just might renew our faith and our church.

Fr. Christopher Griffin


Rally Sundays – Sept. 22 and Sept. 29
Summer has passed; Autumn has come, which means it’s that time of year for Rally Sunday. Rally Sunday traditionally begins a new program year for the church, such as formation programs for adults and children, bible study and restarting the choir. For St. Martin’s this year, Rally Sundays will be a two-part invention of Vision Sunday & Homecoming Sunday. This upcoming Sunday, September 22, 2019 will be our first rally, focusing on our vision. I will share my thoughts and hopes, my vision for St. Martin’s for the 2019/2020 year. We will also have a congregational meeting after the service, sharing with each other our perceived strengths, gifts, challenges – hopes and joys. Vision Sunday is also time to pray together, regroup and renew our commitment to St. Martin’s.

The following Sunday, September 29, 2019 is Homecoming Sunday, a time to celebrate our vision, joys and passions with our friends, families and partners. Please come and join us for a lively, spirit-filled service and coffee hour/reception afterwards. If it’s been awhile since you’ve had a chance to worship with us, we would love to have you return. Come home, and bring a friend.


Loving Our Neighbors in the Bahamas
During the coffee hour/reception on Homecoming Sunday, September 29, 2019, we will have a bake sale. Originally the bake sale was planned as part of our Rally Sunday celebrations to enjoy sweet treats from the wonderful bakers in our midst while fun(d)raising for our community. We are reminded, however, that our home and our community extend beyond ourselves. In that spirit, the proceeds of this bake sale will go to Episcopal Relief and Development to help relief efforts for our neighbors in the Bahamas following the devastation of Hurricane Dorian. So, bring a hearty appetite, a sweet tooth, and your checkbook to support us in this endeavor.


St. Martin’s Salutes Mr. Bernard Clay
We are proud to announce a recent award bestowed upon one of our good friends, community partner and neighbor, Mr. Bernard Clay. Clay is Executive Director of Introspect Youth Services, Inc. on the West Side of Chicago. Mr. Clay and his organization have partnered with St. Martin’s on a number of projects for a number of years. Bernard has received the prestigious Walter O. Mason Award granted by the Council for Opportunity in Education, which “recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions to college opportunity programs and the advancement of educational opportunity for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities” (from www.coenet.org). Bernard Clay’s acceptance speech can be seen here [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw7p-dwZBWo ]


Barney LewisHomegoing of our Beloved Barney
On Tuesday, September 17, Barney Lewis made his transition to go home to be with the Lord. Barney had been in nursing care for quite some time and under the wonderful care of his sister Lou Ada. He had suffered with enormous endurance, strength, and the joy of the Lord. Barney has been a member of St. Martin’s for many years. Before joining St. Martin’s, he was frequently a guest soloist and became one of our Choir Directors. Services for Barney Lewis are pending. Rest in Peace our dear Brother.


Open House Chicago featured St. Martin’s Episcopal Church on its Architecture Tour in 2017 and 2018. The Chicago Architecture Center’s program offers visitors an opportunity to explore the city’s groundbreaking architecture through docent-led tours with behind-the-scenes access to 250 buildings across Chicago. In 2017 St. Martin’s was the only site in the Austin community on the tour, but in 2018 ten additional sites in Austin were featured as well. St. Martin’s has once again been invited to participate in the Open House Chicago tour, the weekend of October 19-20, 2019.