Summer Bonfire Party
“It Only Takes A Spark”
This is a night when our parish family and community friends gather outside on the church grounds for a fun event for all ages which includes free food, games, craft activities, entertainment, glowsticks and of course, a bonfire! Enjoy Tacos-in-a-Bag, homemade pizza, S’mores, and more. YUM…now that’s some good eatin’! The backpacks and school supplies we collect are also blessed that night.
The backpacks are gathered and blessed by our Rector.
All community members and pets are welcome to St. Martin’s annual Pet Blessing.
During the event we collect pet food donations to be given to Pete’s Pets, a pet food pantry housed in the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Buffalo.
The pet blessing lasts about 20-25 minutes.
Ashes to Go
For the past few years, St. Martin’s has offered ‘Ashes to Go,’ allowing commuters to drive up, get ashes and a blessing, and get on their way.
Our circular drive is perfect for the Ashes to Go experience. We still have our traditional Ash Wednesday services inside the church, but Ashes to Go is a way to take church to the people.
We are committed to the idea that the rite of Baptism ought to be available to anyone who’s interested in it, without qualification. In this way, we show that anyone can become a member of the body of Christ. All persons, adults and children, who have a desire to be baptized are invited to our Open Baptism Service, offered once a year.
St. Martin’s has with great joy hosted an annual chicken barbecue and basket raffle on the parish grounds for the community for well over a decade now. It’s become the place to be on Grand Island on the second Saturday of July. We serve between 800 and 1,000 chicken dinners each year. We have sit-down dining under our tents, with music and activities for children, plus a drive-through food service. We serve dinners to Vets for free that day in gratitude for their service to our nation. While the barbecue is going on, we simultaneously operate a bustling basket raffle, full of surprises and value. Plan to stop in for all of this and more, including meeting the Lottery Sombrero Guy and our Chicken Man.
During Epiphany, The Wise Men traveled to give gifts to the Baby Jesus. At this time of year, we, in turn, give gifts of diapers, formula, and other baby items to babies whose families are struggling with domestic violence. These items are donated to The Family Justice Center, which provides free services for domestic violence victims and their children.
Each year, St. Martin’s works with the Social Workers in the Grand Island Elementary Schools to identify families that need a little extra Christmas cheer. Members of our congregation share their good fortune by purchasing specific Christmas gifts that the families have identified on their wish list. The day of gift wrapping is an intergenerational event, with all ages working together to help create a special Christmas for these families in our community.
We give thanks that we have been blessed beyond measure as a parish, and as individuals. Each Sunday morning, parishioners have an opportunity to offer thanks to God for something that they are grateful for, or that has affected them. The monetary gifts which are gathered as “thanksgivings” are placed into our Thanksgiving Box, and then those weekly gifts of thanksgiving get disbursed out periodically throughout the year to various people and organizations in need, beyond St. Martin’s.