Fall 2023 Update

Rector’s Word A New Start

For many of us, the Fall is really the “New Year” – a new school year, the end of summer holidays and back to work, new programming… The Fall is a time to organize our calendars, and this involves making sure we arrange the most important commitments. Everything else can fit around those areas that are most central. 

For the Christian, this involves keeping up, as far as possible, a weekly rhythm of gathering with other Christian family for worship and fellowship. It involves scheduling a rhythm of growing in our faith through study and prayer (Loving God), and involves ensuring that we are caring for people around us (Loving Neighbour). 

There is no better example in history, than the life and witness of Jesus Christ. He always put first things, first. Loving his Heavenly Father and Loving people. He set out a template for us in his most famous teaching, The Sermon on the Mount, where he outlines for us what it means to prioritize our lives in the best ways possible for life as citizens of God’s Kingdom. 

This Fall at St. Mary & St. Martha, we are journeying through the Sermon on the Mount (from Matthew chapters 5-7) to learn from the best. As part of growing in faith, I warmly encourage you to reach out to others in your lives who are not part of a Christian family and invite them into life with us, which is life with Jesus. 

For ways to get connected, grow in your faith, and serve others, I commend to you the opportunities below!

Yours in Faith,


Sermon Series I Say to You: Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

On Welcome Sunday Mark will kick our Fall sermon series, “I Say to You: Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.”  Each week, as a community, we will work through the longest recorded teachings of Jesus, found in Matthew 5-7. Here we learn from Jesus about the character of God and how we are called to live together as followers of Jesus. Jesus offers us a glimpse of what God’s Kingdom will be like.

Many of us know the Old Testament laid essential groundwork for our faith. Jesus took those foundations and built something new and deeply meaningful on top of them. He gave us a fresh way to look at life, our relationships, and even our own imperfections.

You are invited each Sunday this fall as we explore this enduring message and examine how Jesus is calling us to live.

As we do each season, we have once again picked a song for our community to learn together. This fall Blessed Are All (Only in Jesus) by Advent Birmingham has been selected; together we will learn this new worship music in both traditional and contemporary settings.


Historically, 80% of guests have experienced an Alpha because someone personally invited them. It was a real conversation with a real person that made a real difference. The best invitations are rooted in
relationships, but here are some practical steps.

Who is God calling you to invite to Alpha this fall? 

Invitations cards are available at the welcome desk. Take a few and invite those looking for answers to life’s big questions. 

Alpha will be restarting Wednesday, September 27th. To get involved, to register, or for more information, please reach out to Sonya (sonya@stmaryandstmartha.org) or visit stmaryandstmartha.org/alpha.

Wednesday Noon Worship will be resuming on Wednesday, September 13th, with the Pilgrim Course meeting  at 10:30am, starting on September 20th. Worship is followed by a light lunch. Contact the church office for more details.  All are welcome.

Fall Activities

Drop in Drawing Ruthia will continue to host a drawing drop-in for those in our community who are 18+. The drop-in is informal, bring your own materials (though some materials will be available). Drop-in dates are as follows, 10am to noon. Contact Ruthia or reach out to the office for more details.

  • September 23, 30
  • October 14, 21, 28
  • November 4

Fall-o-ween SM&SM’s inaugural fall festival will be held on Saturday, October 28th, 1796 Lawrence Ave location. Drop in anytime from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. or stay the whole afternoon. Enjoy roasting hot dogs and making s’mores ,  DIY caramel apple creations, playing games, carving a pumpkin to take home (one per family), and much more!  All ages welcome. Costumes are encouraged!

Parish Outing to the Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls on Saturday, November 25th, with wine tasting. Meet at noon, 1796 Lawrence Ave West (car park).  $55 per-person, speak to Jackie Harris and the social committee for more information.

Baptism is an exciting milestone on your Christian journey, regardless of your age and stage.
 At St. Mary & St. Martha, Baptisms take place several times a year, with dates planned well in advance. Our next Baptism is on Sunday, November 26. Adult candidates and parents of young children to be baptized must reach out to the ministry team and attend our baptism preparation program.
 For more information, or if you have questions or concerns, please contact Sonya (sonya@stmaryandstmartha.org)

Fall Groups

Mary & Martha Book Club (MMBC) The MMBC meets online every Tuesday starting October 3rd at 7pm. Our time together will include a brief time of devotion and prayer. 

Our book this season will be Reading the Sermon on the Mount with John Stott. 

The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus’ most inspiring and challenging description of the Christian counterculture. John Stott’s teaching on this timeless text shows how its value system, ethical standard, religious devotion and network of relationships clearly distinguish it from both the nominal church and the secular world. 

In this volume Stott’s The Message of the Sermon on the Mount is offered in an eight weekly study for groups, this book covering Matthew 5-7 allows readers to enjoy the riches of Stott’s writings in a new, easy-to-use format.Books available through the office for a suggested donation of $10 each, an ebook version is also available. 

The Pilgrim Course Pilgrim is a major teaching and discipleship resource from the Church of England. It aims to help every local church create a place where people can explore the Christian faith together and see how it can be lived out each day. Pilgrim takes a different approach to other Christian programs. It examines the great issues of faith not through persuasion, but participation in a pattern of contemplation and discussion with a group of fellow travellers. Pilgrim’s approach: 

It starts at the very beginning – Pilgrim assumes very little understanding or knowledge of the Christian faith, but you came come to the course as a lifelong Christian. 

It focuses on Jesus Christ – Pilgrim aims to equip people to follow Jesus Christ as disciples in the whole of their lives. 

It flows from the Scriptures – The primary focus of each session is a group of people engaging with the Bible together. 

It draws deeply from the Christian tradition – In the early church, the Christian faith was taught by the transmission of key texts which summed up the heart of the Christian message. Pilgrim restores this approach for the twenty-first century. 

It honours the Anglican way and its many streams – Pilgrim has been developed as a specifically Anglican resource which aims to cater to every tradition in the Church.

Pilgrim will be offered both online and in person this fall.

Wednesday Morning Pilgrim @10:30 am in the sanctuary prior to noon worship; starting September 20thWednesday Pilgrim will be starting the Grow Stage looking at the Creeds and the Eucharist this fall. 

Lay Visitation Team The LVT (Lay Visitation Team) is a group that meets on Wednesday evenings for fellowship and prayer. The purpose of the LVT is to meet together to lift up the needs of people in our parish, and to find new ways of reaching out to people in our community who need a caring and supportive hand. Please keep the LVT in prayer as they engage in this important work. For more information on the LVT, please contact the office for details.

Intercessory Prayer Team This group meets each Sunday for 30 minutes before our time of worship. They will pray for the needs of the parish, for those who have asked for prayers, and to pray for anyone who is new or visiting our community for the first time.  After worship the intercessory prayer team with offer confidential prayer for those requesting it. Should you feel called to a ministry of prayer please reach out to Sonya, Michael, or Mark for more information.