For a parish, physical well-being has two interpretations. One might first think of the well-being of the physical plant, the buildings, grounds and facilities of the church. St Timothy’s care for these structures by conservative fiscal management that allows us to pay all our bills. We employ janitorial and landscaping services to provide the daily maintenance of the facility.
The more revealing question is care of the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of the community, both individually and corporately. The foundation of this well-being is our fellowship – having fun together and exploring God’s Word as a group. In addition to gathering for worship on Sunday mornings, we gather as a community for Wednesday night dinners and again in small groups called covenant groups for mutual support and bible study. Wednesday dinners provide the opportunity for families and individuals to be fed and to grow spiritually through Wednesday evening adult education. To encourage participation in Wednesday evening activities, child care is provided. Covenant groups are our small group ministry. Groups of four to twelve meet weekly in homes or at church to share the highs and lows of the week, to study the Gospel lesson in more depth, and to pray together.
Having fun together is one of the wonderful ways we care for ourselves. We enjoy parties with food, fellowship and games such as our Pentecost barbecue. We strengthen our bodies and lighten our spirits through summer yoga classes taught by a parishioner in the church hall. The church campout, held every summer ,offers an opportunity for hiking, grilling, swimming, and long conversations. Annual men’s and women’s retreats bring us together to deepen our spiritual connections while providing opportunities for fun and fellowship. Zip-lining was a big thrill at the last women’s retreat! Beyond church functions, many of us gather as friends for lunch dates, to go for a run or bike ride, for a rotating game night, and even take joint family vacations together.
Recent events have demonstrated that all these activities are not always enough to insure the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of the community. A short training in conflict resolution was offered to vestry members and parishioners so that issues can be recognized early and resolved before their impact divides the community. Our interim rector, Janet, has offered several classes about group process and reconciliation, helping us through the interim process. This interim period has increased our awareness of healthy practices to maintain our corporate well-being.