The Patron Saint of our church is Martin of Tours (330-397). His feast day is November 11. It has long been the custom in this parish to observe his feast day on the Sunday nearest to November 11. So, this year’s patronal feast day is November 8.
As a young man, Martin was a soldier in the Roman army and stationed in Gaul, which is modern-day France. One day as he was approaching the gates of the city of Amiens, he met a scantily clad beggar. He impulsively cut his military cloak in half to share with the man. That night, Martin dreamed of Jesus wearing the half-cloak he had given away. He heard Jesus say to the angels: "Martin, who is still but a catechumen, clothed me with this robe." (Sulpicius, ch 2). Soon thereafter, he was Baptized. Martin was ordained, started a monastery, became a Bishop, and was a great leader of the Church. But that act of compassion and the vision that followed became the most-repeated story about his life.
For fifty years, that story has inspired the people of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church to reach out to those in need. One way we do that is with our annual Coat Drive, organized by the Outreach Commission, which begins on the day of our patronal feast.
November 8 – 28, we are collecting new and gently used coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and other cold weather clothing for homeless neighbors served by Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County.
You can drop off your coats and other items on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the bin at the church red doors, or hand your donations to an usher during Drive-In Worship on Sundays. If you aren't able to drop off during those times, please call the church office at 817-431-2396 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a time.
St. Martin shared his cloak with a poor man who was cold. Do you have a few spare cold weather clothes you can share with our neighbors to help keep them warm this winter? "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40 NRSV).
The Very Rev'd Ron Pogue
St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church