St. Timothy’s Parish Development Month
Dear Members and Friends of Saint Timothy’s,
In the course of the Church Year here at Saint Timothy’s, we take some liberties with the Church’s Calendar. This is done, not to be disruptive of parishioners’ spiritual disciplines, nor is it done because we think we have a “better idea” about when these days should be kept. We move some of the holy days to Sunday to afford all of us an opportunity to celebrate them as a gathered parish family. Occasionally some major saints days and holy days fall in the course of the week. For example, during the month of September, we move Holy Cross Day and Saint Michael and All Angels Day to a Sunday. These days, to my mind, are so special in the life of the Church, and therefore meaningful in our spiritual lives, that we all ought to have the occasion to celebrate them with as many members of the Body of Christ as we can. If we kept them as they fall on weekdays, not many of us would ever have the joy of coming together and learning about their significance and meaning. We want to keep them as a family and if that means being liturgically incorrect, then let’s just say that we’re placing the welfare of our worship life over rigidly adhering to a schedule.
We’re affected in the month of October by this liberty we adopt with the liturgical calendar. The Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels, that falls on September 29th will be kept on Sunday, October 1st. Saint Michael’s Day honors him and all the angels of God. We need this opportunity to thank God for Him and all His holy angels. I like Saint Michael because of the kind of religion he represents. His ministry of defeating Satan and all the evil forces accompanying Satan remind us that there is nothing stronger than the grace and goodness of God. Saint Michael is for us goodness winning the battle against evil; life over death; forgiveness over sin and guilt. We need to be reminded of this and celebrate it. We need also to celebrate the ministry of angels in our own lives. We are tended to by these healthful, spiritual beings sent by God. Even now the angels are carrying God’s messages to us and our prayers and messages to Him. We will praise and thank God for Saint Michael and all his Angels on Sunday the first.
On what more fitting day could we keep Saint Michael and All Angels than on the same day we celebrate Episcopal Schools Sunday. It is providential, I think, that the two coincide. We are blessed with one of the finest Episcopal schools in our own Saint Timothy’s School. Across the country on October first many churches will recognize and honor the ministry Episcopal Schools have had to our children. We will welcome our Headmaster Tim Tinnesz to our pulpit at both the 8:30 and 10:30 services, the chorus of Saint Timothy’s School will offer a hymn as part of our service and the coffee hour will be hosted by the staff of our School. It will be a wonderfully fitting tribute to the ministry of Angels and the ministry of our School, both of whom are led and guided by the ministry of Saint Michael and all His angels.
As I look over the activities and ministries brought to us in the month of October I come to two conclusions. One conclusion, when seeing the activities in the parish, is “There is something for everyone.” Another conclusion is, “How do we do so much in such a short time?” Here’s a list of things happening in the month of October. On Sunday, October first is Episcopal Schools Sunday. The next Sunday, October eighth we will have The Blessing of Pets at 4:00 p.m. and The Second Sunday Supper at 6:00 p.m. The following Saturday, October 14th we will have The Daughters of the King traveling to Southern Pines for their Fall Assembly. The next day, Sunday, October 15th there will be a Kickball Game for everyone at Eastgate Park. (These kickball games are really fun because we bring our own picnic lunches to enjoy before, during and after the game.) The Men’s Fellowship has added a Brunswick Stew Sale on Friday, October 27th. They are hoping, with the special Mike Bailey Family Recipe, to serve and sell a Brunswick Stew that will be so popular it becomes an annual event and raises lots of money for good purposes inside and outside the parish. The amount from this initial sale will go to help relief from the three recent hurricanes in the United States and the Caribbean Islands. This is a comprehensive list for just October and almost all of us can find a way to be involved, get to know other parishioners and extend our work for Christ in the world. Keep in mind that these are just single events. There are regular meetings and activities in the course of the month that are on-going: The Adult Bible Study and the Knitters’ Group each Wednesday, The Youth Group has regular meetings, and The Daughters of the King have begun their Discernment Classes each Monday night until November. With all of these ministries in the parish, everyone should be able to take part in some way.
One event that every parishioner should plan to attend is the Congregational Dinner on Thursday, October 19th at 6:30. This is part of our program to develop the ministry of Saint Timothy’s and enhance our stewardship. In keeping with the work of our Standing Stewardship Committee, supported by our Vestry, this third in a series of dinners and talks is most important. Our parish consultant, Peter Saros, has met with the Vestry, some leaders of organizations and groups in the parish and now he will be addressing all of us in the parish on the 19th. Please make every effort to come and enjoy a nice dinner (childcare will be provided). After the dinner, Mr. Saros will want to hear about why we are at Saint Timothy’s and what keeps us here. We will also hear about what we want to see happening at Saint Timothy’s and what it will take to increase and develop our ministry. Judging from the participation and great conversations in the first two dinners, this is something we will not want to miss. These three dinners lead up to our Stewardship and Development weekend on November 10th, 11th, and 12th. Please keep those dates on your calendar too. I described the Stewardship and Development Weekend in the September Tidings. We will be giving much more information about the weekend very soon. Right now it is crucial to be at the Dinner on October 19th at 6:30.
You can see that there are so many exciting ways to be part of our parish family. What a good place to draw closer to Our Lord. What a good place to put our ministries into practice by worshipping God Almighty Sunday by Sunday and living out our Faith in His Son Jesus Christ week by week. Pray that God will continue to bless our parish. Pray for me and my family as we continue to minister in this place and know that you are prayed for by so many of your parish family members.
Yours faithfully, in Christ,
The Reverend Jay C. James