It has been a busy time at St. Martin’s and many positive things have happened. We have
formed committees, initialized social media websites on Facebook and on the Web. We have
grown our congregation and we continue to serve our community in meaningful ways that bring real, tangible results. Families are being fed, people in need are being served with a place to meet for consultation, marriages are taking place, families are taking the opportunity to say
eternal good byes to family members and the list goes on.
We have just completed the 126th Diocesan Convention during which the church conducted
business with special emphasis on the human condition. We celebrated the love of God during
worship opportunities at morning prayer and later at the Holy Eucharist. We sang songs and
embraced the idea of all being able to worship together demonstrating that out of our diversity
we could show unity. Convention was a success and we left feeling inspired to be creative
communicators of the Gospel to those who have not heard the good news.
We have, as I mentioned earlier, grown our congregation, this has presented us with a number
of opportunities. We have wonderful volunteers who now teach Christian Education for children
who are new attenders to St. Martin’s. The families with children who now attend St. Martin’s
found us on the internet! We have created a wonderful space near the front entrance to the
sanctuary where those with pastoral needs or the need for confession can now be met in some
sort of comfort. We are working on having a window for that room that will allow privacy and
safety for all concerned. We, your BAC and I, continue to work hard to come up with ideas that
will remove barriers that keep people from being able to attend Mass at St Martin’s. Your BAC
have worked hard with our Bishop and as many of your know, St. Martin’s now has a Vicar for
the first time in several years. We have discussed ideas for music, worship, education,
counseling, finance, and outreach. Our committees are working overtime to continue the
creative growth that has brought us to a place where we will begin using two lay eucharistic
ministers to assist during the communion! What a wonderful time to be at St. Martin’s!
It feels as though I could go on for pages about the successes we have had at St. Martin’s. As
we continue to grow, we remember that any numerical growth is always a product of our
spiritual growth. As our spiritual growth continues, people in our community will continue to be
attracted to the love of God that we display. We are reaching our world!
The resolutions for the 126th Convention of the Diocese of Oregon were made up of 4 resolutions and the budget.
The first resolution reflected the changes referred to Dioceses from the 77th General Convention. These were minor adjustments to the lectionary readings for Sundays and Holy Days. This resolution was passed without discussion.
The second resolution was on including prayers for our enemies during common worship. There was minimal discussion and the House voted in favor of this resolution.
The third resolution was based on the interfaith support initiative on family Homelessness. This resolution also passed in the house easily.
The fourth and final resolution was asking the question whether the finance committee should study the impact of the Diocese of Oregon attempting to divest itself from holdings in companies profiting from the occupation of the Palestinian Territories by the State of Israel. This was a topic of vibrant discussion and in the end the resolution was passed to allow the study to go forward.
The Budget passed without discussion. Budget items included line items for Congregational Life, SAFE church training, Leadership Development, Gospel Justice (End of Racism, Environmental Commission, Episcopal Relief & Development, Homelessness, Prison Ministry, Poverty, and Recovery support) to name a few.
Thank you all for the opportunity to participate and “be at the table” that looks at the future of our Diocese. If you have further questions you may ask them on our Facebook page or see me or your delegate, Robert Weth in person after Mass on any Sunday and we will do our best to answer them.
Fr Randel Livingood
Vicar, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church
Shady Cove, Oregon