by Flo Lowrey
When I came to St. Martin’s in 1978, the congregation was worshiping in a trailer on 12 acres of land surrounded by grazing livestock. These 12 acres were purchased by the founding families. About 1980 we were able to build what is now our worship space. Years later we built phase 1 of the parish hall (the west side) and the beginning of what is now our concrete parking lot; some years later we added phase 2 (the east parish hall). I look at our land, worship space and Christian Education Building and give thanks that I was able to participate financially and with my time and talents in the land and buildings that we have today.
But buildings don’t make a church: people do. From the very beginning we have been blessed with people who have offered their time, money, and talents to build up the Body of Christ in this place. Our founding families had the foresight to purchase 12 acres in what was then grazing land outside of a little rural community. We are stewards of their gift. We still benefit from each other’s contributions, for it takes all of us to make St. Martin’s the wonderful place it is.
Someone asked me recently, “What is important to me that is supported by our gifts of time, money, and talent?” The list is long, for I benefit from all the ministries at St. Martin’s, either directly or indirectly:
- I am fed by the Word of God and the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at our worship services
- My faith and hope is encouraged by clergy visits when I am sick or hospitalized, and the Quiet Committee feeds me when I recover
- I grow spiritually through Bible Study, the Spiritual Awareness Group, the Sisters of the Spirit Group, and Inquirer’s Class (yes I’m still a seeker!)
- My spirits are lifted to hear our wonderful Choir
- There is fellowship galore at St. Martin’s: Wednesday Night Live, our Hospitality Hours, Ladies Night Out, etc.
- I participate in growing the Body of Christ through our Community Outreach and Radical Hospitality efforts
- I am supported in my own ministry by our Communications team and our Lay Staff
- I am filled with joy as I watch our children being baptized, singing God’s praises, and being taught and nurtured as they grow in Christian love.
All of these (and more – see our Ministries Directory) are supported by our money. They cannot operate without our financial gifts. All of these require time (and lots of it!). They cannot operate without our gift of time. And all of these require talents: our talents are gifts from God which we offer to His greater glory at St. Martin’s.
St. Martin’s is the place where I can offer to God the gifts given to me in thanksgiving for His Grace. Thanks be to God for the blessing St. Martin’s is to me.