Welcome to St. Timothy’s! Your presence and participation are a gift for all of us. We’re delighted that you’re interested in being a member and want to let know you what that means to us.
Participate regularly in the life of the church.
As Episcopalians we’re part of an ancient worship tradition. The New Testament tells us that the disciples gathered on Sundays to remember Jesus and the offering of his life. Our worship services are patterned on the practices of the very first Christians.
From the earliest days of the church, celebrating the Holy Eucharist has brought believers into contact with the Risen Lord. His Word is proclaimed through Bible readings and a sermon, and we receive the gift of his Body at the communion table. We try to faithfully follow his command to “Do this in remembrance of me.”
The word Eucharist literally means “giving thanks,” and that describes the heart of our worship. Grateful for all we’ve been given, we come before God to offer our praise and to receive forgiveness and nourishment. Doing this together as a faith community amplifies the power of the experience—everyone who takes part is offering the gift of their time and presence.
Priests and Deacons have special roles in worship, but dozens of lay people are also involved in Sunday celebrations. The Altar and Flower Guilds lovingly prepare the sanctuary. Choir members and musicians lead us in singing. Readers proclaim God’s Word and lead the Prayers of the People. Acolytes and Chalice Ministers assist the clergy. Ushers and greeters welcome all who come. Many others serve behind the scenes, like Sunday School teachers and nursery volunteers who share the faith with our children and youth.
From the earliest days of the church, worship and fellowship have been inseparable. Jesus loved to linger at the table with his friends, and so do we. Conversations in the narthex (the lobby at the church entry) and downstairs in the parish hall deepen the bonds which are formed in worship. At St. Timothy’s we cherish the beauty of worship and the warmth of fellowship, and our members are committed to participating as often as they can on Sundays.
Keep talking with God.
Prayer is intimidating for most people: they don’t feel like they do it well enough or often enough. They may not know the “right” words and wouldn’t feel comfortable praying out loud in front of others.
But prayer is much more than words: it’s an attitude toward God, a willingness to be touched in a deep way, an opportunity to lift up the needs of others. It finds verbal form only after rising up from our hearts. Prayer takes place in times specially set aside but is also expressed in the actions of our lives. Loving and caring for others—doing the work God calls us to do—treating people as we would wish to be treated: these can all be prayers.
Prayer doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the classic writings on Christian spirituality, The Cloud of Unknowing, observed that “God wants us to pray and will tell us how to begin where we are.” Give thanks for the blessings of your life. Remember the needs of others. Ask for God’s help with the challenges you face.
While prayer can (and does) take place anytime and anywhere, it’s helpful to set aside a time and place for intentional conversation with God. Even if it doesn’t seem like much, keep at it regularly and see if it doesn’t grow on you. Remember God’s presence through the day: at meal times, in transit from one activity to the next, in the morning and at bed time.
Jesus’ disciples watched him pray at decisive moments, but they didn’t know how to do it themselves. “Lord, teach us to pray…” they asked, and he responded by giving them the Lord’s Prayer. (Luke 11:1, Matthew 6:5) If you’re not sure exactly what to say, these words are always on the tip of your tongue. They remind us of our relationship with God and point us toward the right ways of living with our neighbors.
Sunday worship and fellowship are the most visible forms of St. Timothy’s community life, but our members’ personal prayer practices have a great influence on our character and identity. Take note of what you’re already doing and set your intention to begin new steps forward in your prayer life. That may help you find a better answer to Corrie Ten Bloom’s provocative question, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”
Be generous in offering your gifts.
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in our cares and responsibilities that we forget to count our blessings. Every day of our lives is a gift, and so are our families and friends. Comfortable homes, abundant food, and safe neighborhoods should not be taken for granted.
While we have important parts to play in shaping our lives, God is the ultimate source of all our gifts. God’s love and generosity were evident in the creation of the world, and the sustaining presence of the Spirit enables us to take advantage of our opportunities. The gift of Jesus Christ brings us healing and hope, now and forever.
The church is a community of people focused on giving thanks to God and responding to the gifts we’ve received. As Christians we’re asked to give back to God from the “first fruits” of our harvest: a portion of our time to use our gifts for ministry…a portion of our money to support the church. Our faith promises that this will enhance, not detract from, meeting our family responsibilities.
As members of St. Timothy’s we’re building on a legacy of more than half a century of generous giving. Our financial gifts support the salaries of gifted staff members and pay for the expenses of facilities, programs, and administration. The offering of our personal gifts in ministry sustains worship, fellowship, Christian education, and community outreach.
Don’t overlook the rewards we experience as we grow in generosity. Breaking out of the grip money holds us in—moving from the fear of scarcity into the abundance of God’s kingdom—can help to free us to live more faithful lives. Joining gifts and talents with others multiplies our resources, enabling us to make a greater impact in the world around us. Our time is especially precious, but it’s rewarding to offer it when we can see what we’re doing together.
Filling out a pledge card is a way of saying that you’re part of St. Timothy’s and that you want to build up the church and serve people in need. Your gifts of time, talent and treasure—combined with those of other members—help to bring the love of Jesus to people yearning for something more in their lives. Thanks be to God!
Commit Yourself to Growing in Faith
It should be an obvious statement, but people often find it surprising: spiritual growth is a lifelong process. Perhaps because of our focus on Christian education for children and youth, it’s easy to assume that adults have already been equipped for faithful living.
Investing in young people during their formative years is critical, but adults face more complex expectations and responsibilities. We regularly discover new bumps in the road, which challenge the coping mechanisms developed earlier in our lives. Sooner or later we need help, but we may not know how to look or ask for it.
We all know people who’ve “hit the wall” in their lives and grown cynical about their faith. The problem may be that their spiritual growth didn’t keep pace with the challenges they face. The good news is that it’s never too late to continue growing in faith, and that small steps definitely add up over time.
The Bible is our primary spiritual resource, but it’s more often appreciated in the abstract than actually used. Rather than resolving to study it some day, just start reading! Take home the Sunday bulletin and look up the Scripture passages. Read a chapter from the Gospels every night, or a psalm, or the stories in Exodus or the Acts of the Apostles. Just begin somewhere and keep at it.
The earliest Christian communities emphasized experiential learning. Like the original disciples, they found that engaging in ministry was a catalyst for the growth of their faith. Serving people in need is a great way to gain perspective on our own problems, and making a difference for others builds our sense of worth and purpose. St. Timothy’s offers many opportunities to join together in service, strengthening the bonds of community as we help others and build the foundations of our faith.
Reading the Bible and getting involved in ministry may raise questions which invite study and conversation. Taking part in one of our adult education groups can be very rewarding during a period of spiritual growth. Consider attending the weekly Adult Forum, or a men’s or women’s group, or the Wednesday Study Brunch, or a Quiet Day, or the Lent Series. Your questions will always be welcome, and it may be surprising how much you have to contribute.