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Casting a New Vision

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
Psalm 84:3, NRSV
I write this meditation on the first anniversary of my ministry here at St. Martin’s, although it will likely not be published until several weeks after I scribe these words! A week or so before I officially “came on board,” I received an invitation to walk around the “little” building project on the St. Martin’s campus with the other Clergy. We climbed up scaffolding in the Parish Life Center to get a close-up look at the woodwork being assembled in that beautiful building. We walked through the almost-fully renovated second floor of the Payne Building. With mouths gaping open, we entered Christ Chapel and saw the preservation and transformation of that Holy space. Finally, we came to the Pastoral Care Building, the building that was the idea of parishioners who wanted their clergy and their supporting staff to have a peaceful place in which to counsel, support and pray with the people of St. Martin’s, as well as perform the administrative tasks, preparation of teachings and the study for and writing of sermons.
As we moved through the second floor of the Pastoral Care Building, each one of our offices was identified. On the west side of the building, we came to my office and, as I moved forward to get a better look at the view, I was immediately overwhelmed when I realized I overlooked Christ Chapel. My mind went to the above quote from the Psalms for I was, in a sense, building my nest, the nest of my new ministry here at St. Martin’s, in the cleft of God’s altar.
So, I entered my ministry here last year with a sense of gratitude. Yes, gratitude to God for this call, but also gratitude for this physical space and what it represents, the vision of generations of St. Martin’s leaders. For every day, I look out a window and see both the walls of the original Church, the vision of an earlier generation of St. Martin’s leaders, aligned with the new brick walls of Christ Chapel, representing the vision for St. Martin’s by a more recent generation of leaders.
It is stewardship time of the year for our Church. And in this season, we need to remember that we not only inherit and live into those visions of earlier generations, but each year we are asked to cast a new vision as we faithfully respond to the abundance God has given to each of us. These 15 acres full of buildings and programming are not just for us alone, but for those beyond our membership, including the broader community and those who come behind us.
The Rev. Sharron L. Cox
Associate for Outreach, Pastoral Care and Women's Ministries
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