Parish News November 9, 2017

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“A Soldier of Christ”
By Fr Bruce Swinehart
November 11 is Veterans’ Day, a time to remember and give thanks to the women and men who have served in the armed forces on our behalf.  And we celebrate the values they exemplify: duty, honor, discipline, and self-sacrifice.  November 11 is also, appropriately, the Feast of St Martin of Tours, the patron saint of soldiers (and geese, it turns out).
Martin was born around 320 AD, shortly after the Roman Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity. His father was a high-ranking officer in the Imperial Army, and Martin himself became a soldier while he was still a teenager.
Martin also became a catechumen – one who is preparing for Christian baptism – as a very young man, even though his parents were not Christians.  One day while riding along a road he came across a naked beggar. Drawing his sword, he cut his military cloak in two and gave half to the poor man. That night, he had a vision in which Jesus appeared to him and said, “Martin, a mere catechumen, has clothed me.”  This experience inspired Martin to become baptized right away.
Not long afterward, Martin came to believe that his Christian faith was incompatible with waging war, especially after Constantine had died and Julian “the Apostate” ascended the throne and began to repress the Church once again.
He famously said, “I shall more surely break through the ranks of the enemy with the sign of the cross than with the sword and shield.” Julian called him a coward and had him jailed. On his release Martin left military service and spent several years as a monk and a hermit, learning to fight a new kind of battle – a spiritual one.
Eventually, Martin made his way to what is now Tours, France to establish a monastery with the bishop there, Hilary of Poitiers.  Martin became known for opposing the use of force to convert pagans to Christianity or to persecute heretics.  He fought so passionately for the release of unjustly held prisoners and captives that authorities – even emperors – refused to meet with him for fear that they would be unable to deny his requests.
Because of the way he exemplified the Gospel by caring for the poor, by seeking justice for the imprisoned, and by eschewing violence in the name of the Church, the people of the Diocese wanted him to succeed Hilary as Bishop. The story goes that he tried to avoid consecration by hiding in a barn full of geese, until their honking gave him away. He agreed to serve, but only on the condition that he could continue to live his ascetic way of life in the monastery.
As so many veterans do, St Martin brought the highest values of military service  with him to his post-army life. His particular vocation was to become what he called “a soldier of Christ,” breaking through the ranks of poverty, violence, and greed, and winning many by the sign of the cross.

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SMM Book Club 
Our next book is The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Steadman.  Janet and Bob Poley will also host this meeting. at 7pm, Friday, Nov. 10.  Respond to Janet Poley.  This thrilling story is a profound exploration of morality, love and fear. Our second book is Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah, host of “The Daily Show”.  We’ll be hosted by Marge and Ed Szoke at 7pm, Friday, January 5.  By turns alarming, sad and funny, Mr. Noah’s book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of his family, at life in South Africa under apartheid and the country’s lurching entry into a post-apartheid era.   Read the reviews here > 

Advent Wreath Making 

Please join us for Advent wreath making on the first Sunday of Advent, all ages welcome.  We will provide the supplies.  Please sign up on the spreadsheet on the “Children & Youth” bulletin board or online here by November 19th.  This will ensure we order enough supplies.  For questions contact Sue Crowley.
2017 CYF Christmas Pageant
The children and youth of St Mary Magdalene will  perform the traditional Christmas play “Room at the Inn” on Wednesday, December 20th. The evening program includes dinner, and will be the finale to the Wednesday evening Advent Series.  Sign up to be in and help with the Christmas Pageant on the “Children and Youth” bulletin board.  For details contact Sue Crowley.
Buy Grocery Gift Cards to Support SMM!
With the holidays coming, now is the perfect time to get your grocery gift card!  Grocery cards are an amazingly effortless way to support SMM.  Each time we use them to purchase groceries, the church receives a 5% rebate. So far, this year the grocery cards have generated $4,140 for SMM.   Let’s maximize our effort and see if we can increase that to $10,000 or $15,000 a year! Read more >
Sign Up for Coffee Hour! 
Please consider providing Coffee Hour treats following the 10:00 service.  Instructions and assistance are available for making coffee and setting up.  If no one has signed up for a given Sunday on the volunteer sheet posted near the fireplace, coffee may be made, but no munchies will be furnished.  Committing to this ministry just once a year will keep us in refreshments every Sunday!  We appreciate your generosity.  Questions?  See Patti Guilford or Jane Rogers, Kitchen Co-Managers.

Bake Communion Bread!
Would you like to bake communion bread? The recipe is simple – making and baking takes about a half hour on Friday evening or early Saturday morning.  Deliver the bread to the church before 10:00 am Saturday.  It is nice too if you present it at the offertory on Sunday morning, but not necessary.  This is a wonderful expression of service and care for your church family!  Find the recipe here!  Contact Janet Poley to volunteer.


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Bishop: The Rt. Reverend Robert O’Neill
Priest in Charge: The Rev. Bruce Swinehart,
Children and Youth: Sue Crowley,
Music Director: Matt Witherow,
Parish Administrator: Brian Gates,
Sr. Warden: Sarah Delaney,
Jr. Warden: Jeff Cantrell,

Worship Service Times
Saturdays 5:00pm
Sundays 8:00am & 10:00am

Office Hours
Mon-Thur 9am-2pm

Priest in Charge Hours
Sun Afternoon-Mon – Sabbath
Tues-Thur – Office Hours
Fri-Sat – by appointment

To submit an announcement for the church calendar, Parish News, website, and bulletin, contact the church office no later than 12:00pm on the Tuesday prior to desired publication.  Please limit announcements to 50 words or less.  If more information is needed, a document can be linked to the announcements with a full description.
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