Suppose that someone asked you, “What does your church look like?” How would you respond?
You might begin by mentioning the striking look of the building, the attractive landscaping and well-kept grounds, the beautiful vegetable garden and children’s playground. If you took them inside through the new red doors you could describe the inviting entry area and the soaring, light-filled sanctuary.
But to really capture the heart of St. Timothy’s, you’d have to look deeper. Here are a few pictures that come to my mind:
- Sunday Morning
Worship and fellowship are at the center of our community life, so you’d want to convey some images of them. Like the recent baptism of a youth group member, surrounded by all his diverse family members. Like the children presenting the pumpkins they grew at the altar, then selling them to raise money for a child’s school tuition in Haiti. Like the beautiful sounds of our faithful choir and our amazing new organist. Like the variety of voices preaching, reading Scripture, leading prayers, and witnessing to their love of the congregation. Like the prayers for birthdays and healing and servant ministers and those who have died. Like the fresh veggies on the harvest table and the coffee and goodies in the parish hall.
- Tuesday Evening
Images of what St. Timothy’s looks like wouldn’t be complete without an evening like this. With two community music groups rehearsing for public performances. With Boy Scouts gathered to conduct a review for yet another Eagle Scout, who’ll celebrate with those who helped him along the way. With dozens of people attending an AA meeting and then staying afterwards to talk, glad to help move a few tables for the next day’s activity. With the Youth Council meeting in the D’Zone to plan the upcoming Fall Festival and Youth Retreat, and to begin to imagine what next summer’s mission trip will look like. The parking lot was full of cars and the community was gathered.
- Behind the Scenes
So much happens out of the public eye that it’s hard to know where to begin, but you could start with a theme: people caring for one another. By taking communion to those who are no longer able to attend on Sundays. By making phone calls to recent widows and bringing dinner to families dealing with health problems. By holding a prayer team meeting in the new residence of a woman who just moved out of her life-long home. By gathering in a modest building on Broadway to offer motel vouchers on cold winter nights. By leading worship services in a Littleton nursing home and a Highlands Ranch senior residence and a soup kitchen downtown. By assembling boxes of Christmas gifts for children all over the world.
Did you realize that’s what our church looks like? Aren’t those good reasons to celebrate? Don’t you want to help make things like that possible?
The great thing about Christian community is that nobody has to do it all. If each of us does our part, offers our gifts of time and talent and treasure, the cumulative impact will be huge.
I invite you to consider how God is calling you to participate and then take the first step in carrying that out.