Last Sunday we had our first Drive-In worship service at St. Martin’s. We had about twenty cars in the parking lot and forty-five worshipers. The devoted people who have been providing online worship for the past five months successfully made a quantum leap forward in adding the celebration of the Holy Eucharist so those outside could receive. Our Regathering Team contributed in very helpful ways to our planning. St. Martin’s staff took care of numerous details that are necessary to such a service. Conversations with our Bishop and other clergy sparked creativity and identified resources, We are grateful to all of you!
Even after we are able to resume some level of in-person worship inside the church, I expect we will continue the Drive-In worship for those who are uncomfortable or unable to be inside. On August 23, our Eucharistic Visitors will begin taking the Sacrament to those who are unable to get out. In September, our Christian Formation Commission along with Children’s and Youth Ministries, will be rolling out some new online opportunities to learn and grow together in our faith. Sometime in October, we plan to offer a Discovery Class for those interested in membership or exploring their relationship with God and the Church.
There is much to look forward to! In the days ahead, you’ll find us recalling this encouraging word from the Prophet Jeremiah, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). We’ll be listening more closely and looking more deliberately to see God’s hand at work in the world around us. Surely, there are signs of hope from God all around us. When we find them, we’ll join hands with God and one another to help bring in a new and better time beyond this pandemic. Offering hope to the world is central to our mission, isn’t it?
Whenever I think about the mission God has entrusted to us, I am always guided by the words of Titus Pressler, “Mission is not fundamentally something we do as Christians but a quality of God’s own being. It is not a program of ours but the path of God’s action in the world. The mission of the Church, therefore, derives from the mission of God, and it has meaning only in relation to what God is up to in the universe. Already engaged in mission, God simply invites us to participate in what God is doing.”
On the evenings of August 20, 23, 27, and 30, we will be engaging in virtual holy conversations about what God is up to in this parish. We’re calling the series, “Yearning to Know God’s Will.” Our conversations will be about discernment, honoring the past, embracing the present, and reaching out for what lies ahead. Click HERE for more information and to register. I hope we have broad participation!
As we move through this time, I invite you again to pray this discernment prayer from The Book of Common Prayer daily:
O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who
call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand
what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and
power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ
our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Very Reverend Ron Pogue
St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church