In the community

A community consciousness

Used books fill the Parish Hall at St. Martha's.

St. Martha’s presence in the community includes its well known used book sales. The parish also offers its facilities to outside groups from yoga classes to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Book Sales

Area residents and visitors alike love St. Martha’s used book sales. Once the dates are selected for each season, many volunteers work to set up the tables which cover most of the parish hall and place the books by category in preparation. Volunteers work as cashiers and assistants during the sale, then take down the remaining books and store them afterwards.

On an ongoing basis, we collect book donations in a church drop bin, sort by type, and store the books for the next sale. Bake sales are often held side by side with the book sales.

Bake Sales

Our bake sales started outside under a canopy to support the capital campaign for a new parish hall. Now they are held in the Parish Hall on Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends and at the Bethany Beach Arts Festival at the Boardwalk.

Many volunteers donate homemade cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, jams, and pickles, and then help package, price, and sell the donations. We also have a Christmas Cookie Sale in December which benefits both St. Martha’s and the lucky purchasers who take home those mouthwatering goodies.

Craft Groups

Stitch and Sketch is an informal group that meets first and third Fridays from 10:00 to 12 noon in the church hall. We have knitters, painters, quilters and many other crafters who gather to stitch, craft and socialize. Several people work on Quilts of Valor that are given to veterans in the Bethany Beach area. All are welcome.

Adult Education and Community Events

St. Martha’s Adult Education/Community Events Committee plans and coordinates Parish and community activities.  A new committee, we held our first event in fall 2019 – a personal safety review by the Bethany Beach police department. Events in early 2020 included a presentation by an organization providing help to seniors allowing them to remain in their homes, a discussion group reviewing C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, and the first of three scheduled talks on Monotheistic religions. Regrettably, the virus forced cancellation of parts two and three.

Other scheduled but cancelled events in 2020 were a Celtic/Bluegrass and taco evening, a series of “End of Life” workshops, and several visiting musical groups. Events and meetings are presented in formats tailored to each topic and are scheduled for maximum attendance and participation. An active publicity effort for all events is conducted within the Parish and greater community. In addition, support is provided to the music director; publicity and logistical help are provided for events when needed.

Currently the Committee is focusing on events which can be delivered by technology; hybrid events are also being explored. An early response to 2020 cancellations, has been St. Martha’s Virtual Book Club. Meeting weekly, the club discusses a variety of books. Recent titles have included Welcome to the Anglican Spiritual Tradition, “The Alchemist” and “Outliers”. Subject matter is not limited to spiritual topics.

The planned “End of Life” workshops are being revisited. The goal is to present them as a “Life Before Death” series, hopefully in early 2021. With substantial help from the Diocese and Beebe Healthcare, focus will be on the important and sometimes difficult steps one must take while alive. Five workshops are tentatively planned. Several delivery methods are being reviewed.

The Adult Education/Community Committee is only a year old but response from the Parish and the greater community has been substantial. We will continue planning activities of varied and informative interest, working to deliver them in a safe and appropriate method for their content.

Interest in the committee’s work is welcomed, either on going or event specific. To learn more contact Rick Legeer at rlegeer@comcast.net.

Community Groups

St. Martha’s hosts many activities on a weekly basis that are open to our community. These include various support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous as well as exercise classes such as Yoga and Barre/Yoga. In addition, we provide space for events such as annual Homeowners Association meetings.

If your group would like to host an event at St. Martha’s, please contact our administrative assistant for availability. Also, please be sure to check our calendar of events for daily schedules.