Beloved Members of St. Martin’s,
This time of year, even if you are a city dweller, thoughts turn to the change of seasons, and to the idea of harvest. Autumn produce and the scents and spices associated with them, especially apples and pumpkins—are ubiquitous. The last few years, anything and everything that could be “pumpkin spiced” has been—including, I regret to say, Kraft macaroni and cheese (no, baby, no!). This once again reminds us that just because you CAN do something, does not in any way mean that you SHOULD.
Every time I drive home from church or from the store this time of year, especially along the bottoms, I drive past farm fields that are being harvested and prepared for the coming winter months. The hay has been mowed, tedded, raked, and baled; the pumpkins list higgledy-piggledy in the fields; the apples hang heavy on the boughs. The dogwoods sparkle with red berries. The persimmon trees in the meadow below our pond at our home are offering up their honeyed fruit and the birds and squirrels are throwing a party, for though they neither toiled nor spun, they find provision enough and to spare. It is the same in the life of faith.
Here at St. Martin’s, the garden is being “put to bed,” and plans are already afoot for what the next growing season will bring. The Fall Festival is this weekend, and we look forward to the simple joys of fun and fellowship this event always delivers. And Lincoln is planning a parish work day for Saturday, the 28th of this month, to prepare our building and grounds for the coming winter season. And in the first weekend of November, our diocesan convention will meet again at the Doubletree Hotel and Convention Center in Chesterfield.
This parish is a monument to the ways great and small that Jesus is present and among us and alongside us as we serve, pray, celebrate, feed, reconcile, clothe, host, support, encourage, accompany, and care for each other. Joyfully. Through giving in all kinds of ways—and always learning that no matter what we give, with God we receive far more that we could ever have imagined.
We have spent the last month, each of us, opening our hearts and our prayers to God in gratitude. I hope you have been as amazed as I am by all the ways this parish, and the diocese we support and which supports us, makes a real difference in the lives of our families, and in the communities in which we live and work. And now is the time we begin to ingather your pledges, your investments in the life and ministry of the people of this parish. Please mail in your pledge cards, or bring them with you to either of our services this weekend for them to be blessed and consecrated as our first fruits to God.
Starting this weekend, we will bless the pledge cards that each of you return, some of you for the first time here in our parish. And I give thanks for each and everyone of you who accompany my family and all the families that St. Martin’s blesses by being here in this place and in this time, for the live of the world.