We are Christians, young and old, rich and poor, theologically diverse and working to grow in our diversity. We gather as a congregation of the Episcopal Church, in the Diocese of Northern California, which is a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. We are servants of God in the city of Davis, California, and the surrounding communities of Yolo, Solano, and Sacramento counties.

Who is St. Martin and why is this church named after him?

Martin of Tours lived in the 4th Century as a Roman soldier, monk, and Bishop of Tours. Martin is associated with two legends. When he was a young soldier stationed in Gaul, he met a beggar clad in little but rags. Martin impulsively cut his cloak in half to share with the beggar. That night, he dreamt that Christ came to him, wearing the half cloak. He was baptized shortly thereafter.

After leaving the army, Martin became a hermit. The people of Tours intended to make a reluctant Martin their bishop. Legend says that Martin hid in a barn to avoid this but was discovered when geese honking outside the barn alerted the people to his presence. He subsequently was consecrated as bishop of Tours.

According to parish historian Shipley Walters, the people who founded St. Martin’s chose the name because they admired the ministry of Martin of Tours and knew of the London church St. Martin-in-the-Fields, At the time, Hawthorn Lane was on the west edge of Davis, so the church site literally lay in the fields.

For more information, see the Wikipedia article on Martin of Tours , Shipley Walters’ The First Forty Years, available for loan in the Richard Frost Library at St. Martin’s, and di Lassus’ homage to Martin.

Why the goose in the tab on my browser?

Geese are associated with St. Martin because they gave him away when he tried to hide from the people of Tours.

Lay leadership: the Vestry

In the Episcopal Church, the Vestry comprises the governing body of the parish.

St. Martin’s Vestry consists of 12 members who serve staggered three-year terms*. The Vestry strives to balance each incoming cohort for representation among the three services and all age groups, and for gender balance. Members are not eligible to serve consecutive terms. Since the mid-1990s, the Vestry has been elected by acclamation as a slate of candidates.

The Vestry meets in the Blanchard Library at 6:30 pm on the third Tuesday of each month. All are welcome.

2017 Vestry

  • Heather Baugh, Senior Warden
  • Janet Lane, Junior Warden
  • Neil Willits, Clerk
  • Nora Braun
  • Carol Chandler
  • Abby Gratzer-Owens
  • Karen Reiser
  • Susan Sabatier
  • Brian Shontz
  • Jeff Staniels
  • Anna Steel
  • Frank Wagner

Julie Knudsen serves as St. Martin’s Treasurer.

Staff of the Church of St. Martin

The Reverend Carren Sheldon, Interim Rector

e-mail: carren@churchofstmartin.org

Carren Sheldon is a priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California. She has experience in ministries with families, children, and youth, as a national trainer with the Godly Play Foundation, in broadcast media, and small business leadership.

Carren is a native of Suisun Valley, an alumna of Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and loves social justice, journalism, and all of God’s Creation, (except snakes: she does not appreciate snakes). She is the parent of two adult children and a high school student.

The Reverend Ernie L. Lewis, Associate Priest

e-mail: ernie@churchofstmartin.org

The Rev. Ernest L Lewis, M.D., (Ernie) is a native of Fresno and a graduate of California State University, Fresno. He received his medical degree from Washington University in Saint Louis. He is Professor Emeritus of Clinical Urology and Associate Dean Emeritus of Medical Education at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine.

Ernie was ordained as an Episcopal Priest on October 1, 2011. Previously, he attended the Episcopal School for Deacons in Berkeley and returned to St. Martin’s after ordination in 2002. From 2006-2011 he has served as Archdeacon for Deacons for the Diocese of Northern California and is active on the Commission on Ministry and the Total Ministry Planning Group of the diocese. He has been married to Mary Ann since 1964. Their family includes four grown children and nine grandchildren. Ernie considers himself primarily a teacher. His hobbies include gardening, photography, cooking, grandchildren, and books, books, books!

The Rev. Margaret M. Grayden, Deacon

e-mail: margaret@churchofstmartin.org

Margaret is passionate about helping people identify, claim, and use their God-given gifts to serve “the least, the last, and the lost” in this world. As the deacon at St. Martin’s, she preaches, proclaims the gospel, assists at the altar, and works closely with the Social Justice and Outreach Commission as well as the Eucharistic Ministers, Eucharistic Visitors, Healing Ministers, and Stephen Ministers.


Born in Iowa and raised in Kansas, Margaret attended college and graduate school on the East Coast, earning degrees in political science from Wellesley College and Princeton University. She married a graduate school classmate, David Aladjem, and they moved to the Bay Area, where after a time of spiritual seeking she discovered the Episcopal Church and was baptized at the age of 28. After graduating from the UC Davis School of Law and passing the bar, she practiced in the private sector, but soon found herself called to a very different career in end-of-life care.

Margaret has attended St. Martin’s since 1990 and was sponsored for ordination by this parish. She and David delight in playing with their cats, taking walks on the greenbelt, and spending time with friends and family.

Jan Sanders, Parish Administrator

e-mail: jan@churchofstmartin.org

Jan Sanders, a native of Liverpool, England, provides a welcoming presence in the office of St. Martin’s. In addition to her administrative gifts and calm demeanor, Jan makes a mean batch of scones with clotted cream.

Chris Reynolds, Choir Director

Christopher Reynolds, professor of musicology at UC Davis, is the author of three books, one on Renaissance music in fifteenth-century Rome, another on how composers in the nineteenth century influenced each other, and a third on Wagner, Schumann, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. His research has been supported by various fellowships and two residencies at the Villa I Tatti in Florence. He was a founding editor of Beethoven Forum. His article, Porgy and Bess: An ‘American Wozzeck’,” won the H. Colin Slim Award from the AMS and the Kurt Weill Prize from the Kurt Weill Foundation.

The son of a UC Riverside music professor and choir director, Chris at first shied away from an academic career in music. But music eventually won out and is woven through his life. He has collected sheet music of 6,000 songs by women composers that he is donating to the university.

His teaching includes a popular course on the history of rock music, and a new course on the Beatles.

Janie Howard Knudsen, Music Director & Children’s Choir Director

e-mail: janie@churchofstmartin.org
Janie Howard Knudsen, M.M. WTA&MU, Boston Conservatory,  has been in music ministry for 27 years, 19 as the Director of Music Ministries. Janie began The Interfaith Children’s Musical, now in its 13th year and is beginning her fifth year with The Church of St Martin as the Children’s Choir Director and first as Music Director.

Janie and her spouse of 20 years, Julie, have teenaged year old triplets-2 girls and a boy!

Sharon Cuthbertson, organist

Sharon Cuthbertson graduated from the Eastman School of Music as an Organ Performance major.  She studied Organ with David Craighead, and Accompanying with Brook Smith and Leonard Treash. She was the first undergraduate accompanist for the Eastman Opera Department. Since accompanying is her first love she later earned a Master of Music in Piano Performance at UNC-Chapel Hill where she played the Prokofiev First Concerto, as a contest winner, with the University Orchestra, and the Hindemith Concerto for Organ with the University Wind Ensemble. She has directed multiple church music programs, installed organs, and served on diocesan music committees in all denominations.


Jennifer Maloney, Children’s & Youth Ministry Administrator

email: jennifer@churchofstmartin.org

Jennifer comes to California and St. Martin’s by way of Memphis, Tennessee. Previously she has worked in both the banking and investment industries. Before moving to California and placing her career on the back burner to raise her two young children, she held the position of VP of Private Banking for Bank of America. Additionally Jennifer has always dedicated her time to volunteering and giving to others. She has spent years serving others in the community by raising funds and serving on numerous boards for not-for-profit organizations.

“If you have any questions regarding our Nursery, Children’s or Youth Ministries, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to spend time discussing all the wonderful programs our church offers and introduce you to the incredible staff of loving and dedicated teachers we are so lucky to have.”