Church Mission and History

Mission StatementChurch Exterior Summer
“The purpose of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church is to help people be transformed, gifted, called, equipped and sent into ministry by Christ in the context of a caring community of celebration.”

Our Personality
St. Martin’s is an open, loving parish where we cherish our diverse style of worship. Our parishioners represent many different backgrounds of Christian upbringing. We are like a stream with many tributaries. Our worship style is a mix of slightly traditional with a healthy dose of contemporary mixed in. Our passion is our faith and our joyfulness is reflected in our worship and fellowship with one another. St. Martin’s has approximately 200 members.

The church offers 2 Sunday services in addition to Sunday School and Children’s Chapel. St. Martin’s participates in the St. Clare’s Ministry which provides food and clothing to the homeless and working poor. St. Martin’s supports the Metro Care Ring Food Pantry, Operation Christmas Child, sending care packages to members of the overseas military, and community engagement through yard sales and craft shows. St. Martin’s makes facilities available to non-profit groups in Aurora and partners with other churches to host and attend events, retreats and educational meetings.

Church History
In January 1978, St. Martins-in-the-Fields became a mission of the Diocese of Colorado. Using a portable altar made by a mission member, the congregation became sojourners with services held first at Holy Love Lutheran Church as well as in homes of members. Arrowhead Elementary School provided the growing congregation a welcomed larger space late that same year.

In May 1978, The Rev. F. William Miles was appointed as half-time vicar by Bishop Frey, and on the feast of St. Martin of Tours, November 11, was instituted as the first vicar, with 18 persons presented at the first confirmation service of the young mission.

The traveling congregation found a permanent home when a lease-option was accepted on three acres at East Wagontrail Parkway and South Buckley Road. A donated modular building was moved onto the site. Parish members refurbished the building and celebrated the first service in it on the Great Vigil of Easter, 1981.

The Rev. E. Stanley Wright became the second vicar, and later, first rector of St. Martin’s in November, 1982, following the call of Father Miles to another parish. The congregation became self-supporting two years later and it was soon apparent it had outgrown the small church building.

In 1984, at the invitation of Suffragan Bishop William Wolfrum, St. Martin’s participated in a model program between the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado and the Lutheran Church of America (LCA) in the construction of a new church building. With cooperating efforts involving the Diocese, the National Church Building Fund, and the LCA, a building fund program was entered under the direction of the Lutheran Laity Movement.

Following a year of enthusiastic work by members and clergy in all phases of building, the new church was dedicated and consecrated by Bishops Frey and Wolfrum on the Feast of St. Martin, November 11, 1986. The original modular building became the Community Life Building and was used for Sunday School, social events, and as a meeting space for other community organizations.

The mission of St. Martins- in-the-fields was recognized as a parish in early 1992 and was renamed St. Martin-in-the-Fields, symbolizing its mission to reach out into the fields of the unchurched in southeast Aurora.

In October 1992, Fr. Wright accepted a call to another diocesan parish and on the first Sunday of Advent, The Rev. Richard Kautz became the second rector of St. Martin’s. Under his guidance and the leadership of the Vestry, St. Martin’s began work on Vision 2000, which resulted in the present vision and mission statements.

In the fall of 1997, Fr. Kautz received a call from Trinity Episcopal Church in Greeley, Colorado. The Rev. John Andrews was called as interim rector in September of that same year. Because of a prior ministry commitment, Fr. Andrews moved on to a new ministry in September of 1998 and St. Martin’s was served by several supply clergy through October 1999.

In August 1999, the Rev. Praveen Bunyan was called as the third Rector of St. Martin. During Fr. Praveen’s ministry here, a playground was completed east of the main church building, as well as the installation of a new altar rail, seating and carpeting in the church. In January 2003, Fr. Praveen accepted the call as Rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach, California. The Rev. Marilyn Schneider served as interim priest from 2003 through 2006.

In 2007 Fr. Jim Gilchrist was called to St. Martin’s and still serves as rector. When Fr. Jim was called to St. Martin’s, church membership had been in steady decline because of shifting ideological and theological positions on social issues facing the church and society. In Jim’s ten years, St. Martin’s has reversed the decline and continues to grow every year, not only in membership, but in its ability to follow in Jesus’ footsteps by loving God and each other, by living into our Mission.  Fr. Jim retired from St. Martin’s on July 2nd, 2017.

Fr. Bob Hart is currently serving at Interim Rector at St. Martin’s.  There is nationwide search underway to call our next rector.

Comments are closed.