I begin my ministry as Rector
Greetings St. Timothy’s Church:
In this, my first of many Tidings letters to come, I want to begin by saying how honored and excited I am as I begin my ministry as Rector. Within my short time with you so far I have heard what a great blessing Fr. Remer has been to both our church and school following the large shoes left by Fr. James’ faithful ministry here. We can all agree that St. Timothy’s has been so blessed over the years for the committed leadership of its rectors and interim rectors, and I feel privileged to carry on in all that they have done to serve God here on Six Forks Road.
Like Fr. Remer, I begin my time at St. Timothy’s right at the beginning of Lent. I’ll admit it feels strange to be so excited and energized during a season of the church’s year meant for increased quietness, prayerfulness, reflectiveness and penitence. Despite how it’s often portrayed, Lent isn’t meant to be 40 days of pre-Easter misery (though perhaps giving up chocolate, wine, or social media does indeed make you a bit miserable!). What Lent is meant to be though is a set time of focusing our eyes on a prize greater than any earthly thing: a greater closeness to God. This is why we willingly remove distractions from our lives, because whether big or small, such things can so easily blind us from seeing “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).
But just because we understand why we give up stuff, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to do so. Take heart and know that like any human parent, our Heavenly Father is proud of each and every person who makes their best effort to ‘give something up’ for his sake. It’s not because the sacrifice you make earns God’s love either. No, it’s because such personal sacrifices prepare us to gain what is most important: a deeper love for, and reliance upon, God.
This Lent, do not simply focus on Step #1 by giving something up. Rather, push toward Step #2, which is to see how a change in your routine will allow God to speak to you, teach you, encourage or comfort you so that you may better live for him – not just for your sake, but for the sake of others as well. Remember, Jesus tells us to let our lights shine before others that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
With this in mind, I want to use our ever-popular Lenten Soup Suppers to focus on the ways our lives can be examples of the new life that has been given to us by God. St. Paul tells Timothy to set an example in five ways: in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity (1 Tim. 4:12). This year we will be focusing on one of these ways at each supper. Like last year, each of the evenings will begin at 6pm with stations of the cross, followed by a meal together and then a talk. We should be finished by 7:30pm.
I encourage people from both services as well as our youth group to come along for the first supper on March 13. Please also join us for one of the three Ash Wednesday services this year (details will be in our notice sheets and on the website). May God bless us during this Lenten season as well as this time of new beginnings here at St. Timothy’s Church.