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St. Martin's Church Endowed Pledges Fund
By Jean Cohoon / October 1, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
Fla Lewis, chair of the finance committee at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church on Providence’s East Side, recalls hearing the results of a survey that asked nursing home residents what they wished they had done differently in their lives. He says there were three primary responses: individuals wished they had loved more, had taken more risks, and had done more to be involved with something that would continue after their deaths.

“People want to make a difference,” the Reverend Mark Sutherland, St. Martin’s rector, agrees of the third response, “and we want to help them find that way.”

Missy Bennett, financial administrator, notes that this endowed fund is the result of a late parishioner who is making a difference through a planned gift that will benefit St. Martin’s in perpetuity. “She was very faithful to the church and, when asked, she gave,” Missy recalls.

St. Martin’s has a long and rich history, dating back to 1912 when Church of the Savior on Benefit Street merged with Calvary parish on Orchard Avenue. The new building, a stately granite edifice on the National Register of Historic Places, was dedicated on November 11, 1917, and the parish house was finished in 1926. ”We actively sit in tension between the historic Christian tradition and the challenges we face in modern life. We take living in that tension seriously as we hold onto the richness and wisdom of tradition while making it available and useful to people today,” Mark+ explains.

In addition to this endowment at the Foundation, St. Martin’s has seven other endowed funds, as well as 25 memorial funds, and is looking to build upon them. “Over time, we’d like for people who love this place – those who are baptized, confirmed, married, and buried here – to make sure it continues,” states Dennis Stark, treasurer at St. Martin, adding, “It is a way for people to engage in our ongoing Christian ministry and to help the church continue its good work.”

“We’re coming up on the 100th anniversary of this building. It will be a great opportunity for us to marry what’s important to our parishioners with the church’s needs,” says Elizabeth Welshman, senior warden.
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