Rally Day at Saint Timothy’s Church
Dear Members and Friends of Saint Timothy’s,
In the Church’s liturgical tradition the year begins with the season of Advent. Our Episcopal Church falls in that tradition. In our belief and practice The First Sunday of Advent, in the secular calendar means that the very last week of November or the beginning of December, marks the beginning of the Church Year. I’ve learned that in churches of a more Protestant tradition, yet still leaning toward having a liturgical tradition, the Church Year begins in the fall, usually around the end of September or the first of October. The churches that keep this custom have a “Rally Day”. The “Rally Day” is the time in their church year when people are welcomed back to church; supposedly from summer vacation. The custom may include announcing new members of the church, beginning of their Sunday school year, and telling the congregation what the church leadership hopes to accomplish in the next year. I was first made aware of this Rally Day by our former Christian Education Coordinator, Grace Hurst. Grace, for a Christmas gift one year, gave me a framed postcard dating from 1916 that, I assume, was sent as a reminder to all the congregants that Rally Day was coming. The card reads, Rally Day – Next Sunday Will be Rally Day in Our School – With this announcement goes the call for every member to be present and to you in particular a very cordial invitation to meet with us. Believing you are interested in the success of the day, we will count on your coming. Yours for a big attendance. Then the card quotes Psalm 122:1 – I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. (Notice the use of The King James Version of The Bible)
This seems like a good custom and one that we could easily take up at Saint Timothy’s. We have fallen into an annual rhythm of having all of our programs, classes and projects starting in the fall, going at a furious clip through the fall, winter and spring, and then slowing down or “breaking” for the summer. This gives rise in the life of our parish for a Rally Day of our own. Even though we come from a different liturgical tradition than most Protestant churches, we could make very good use, and are indeed in need of, a Rally Day. We will find this month of September filled with so many activities and programs, either beginning or starting once again, after the summer hiatus. The concentration of groups, committees and organizations starting their meetings and activities is Sunday, September 11th. If we had to focus on a Rally Day for Saint Timothy’s, that would be it. On that Sunday the Church School is beginning fall classes. The Church School teachers will be commissioned at the 11:00 am Service. Our excellent choir will return in full force to the loft. The Men’s Fellowship will host another of their delicious cookouts in lieu of the coffee hour. Father Carreker will continue his class on The Screwtape Letters on that same Sunday. He has at least two and maybe three classes left to complete his helpful, insightful and enjoyable reading of that C.S. Lewis classic. We should all “rally” to the cause and be a full part of our parish family and these activities.
Our Standing Stewardship Committee is well into planning for this fall’s Every Member Canvass. It has been a great help and a great pleasure to work with our new Standing Stewardship Committee since it was formed last February and March. This committee has been charged by the Vestry to oversee and report on all aspects of stewardship in the parish. They are a group with new ideas, true concern for the welfare of the parish and want to see Saint Timothy’s grow and flourish long into the future. Part of their responsibility is to see that we have an Every Member Canvass. They are putting the finishing touches on the plans for the Every Member Canvass and so far the plans include a canvass whose theme is “Saint Timothy’s: Past, Present and Future”. All the events and programs planned for the Every Member Canvass will incorporate what a great ministry we have had for all these years, what good things are going on now and what we are going to do to carry on this ministry long into the future.
The important dates to have on your calendars now are Sunday, September 25th when we have two special coffee hours following the 9:00 am and 11:00 am services; Sunday, October 2nd when we will celebrate Episcopal Schools Sunday and hear more about the details of our Every Member Canvass; Sunday, October 9th and October 16th when we will have testimonials from our parishioners; Sunday, October 23rd that will be our Stewardship Sunday; and Friday, November 4th when we return to have The First Friday Fun Event to wrap up The Every Member Canvass. I am very much looking forward to the Every Member Canvass and all the events The Standing Stewardship Committee has lined up to celebrate the ministry we have had over the years, the exciting ministry we have now and to see all that we can do in the future with a successful Every Member Canvass. Please make every effort to join us for these events and give prayerful thought to your commitment to Saint Timothy’s when you complete your pledge card on Sunday, October 23rd. It has been so encouraging for me to work with our Standing Stewardship Committee and I encourage anyone who is interested, and is hearing a call to work in the area of stewardship, to join us.
Pray and give thanks for our parish family. The decades of faithful ministry Saint Saviour’s, and now Saint Timothy’s, has had in the Raleigh area are something for which to give hearty thanksgiving. The work and mission we have here in North Raleigh, in the Diocese, and in other parts of the world would make anyone’s heart glad. It is so exciting to pray and think about our future here in North Raleigh. Serving here is a privilege and I ask for your prayers for my family and me as we look forward to serving the Lord in this place.
Yours faithfully, in Christ,
The Reverend Jay C. James