Most ministries at St. Timothy’s arise because a need is identified and a parishioner feels they have the gifts and the calling to meet that need. The ministry to help job seekers and the outreach Sunday service at Grant-Cuesta Convalescent Hospital are good examples. But the ministry we value most is our network of small groups, called Covenant Groups, that meet weekly in parishioner’s homes. This ministry was initiated by a past rector and it is now sustained entirely by lay leaders with the support of the rector.
Covenant Groups started in the 1990s after about 20 leaders were trained and deployed by the Rector. Groups formed naturally around day and time, geography, and stage of life. Leaders have been supported and mentored through the years by each other, a lay coordinator, and ordained staff. Covenant Group leaders are not teachers or preachers; they are facilitators of a healthy small group process where every participant feels safe and heard. All groups are open and members and leaders are encouraged to continually invite newcomers.
Covenant groups generally follow a structure of opening prayer, sharing highs and lows, study of a “Look Book Took” Bible study, and prayer for the Church and each other. The deep friendships and faith formation that happen in covenant groups often leads to working on church ministries or community service projects together. Covenant groups also provide tangible practical, emotional, and spiritual support in times of life crisis and transition. We currently have nine covenant groups meeting weekly. A team of five lay volunteers takes turns writing and distributing the Bible studies we use in our meetings. For more information on Covenant Groups, contact lay coordinator Anne Wilde.