They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching.
Scripture • Teaching • Personal Prayer • Gospel • Christian Formation • Ordained Leadership
Spiritual formation at St. Timothy’s centers around prayer, Christian education, and Bible study. In the past, intense study of Scripture has led to spiritual transformation for many parishioners, transformation that is still bearing fruit. Our strong focus on Christian education, Bible study and prayer prepares fertile ground for the transformational work of the Holy Spirit.
A tragedy had befallen our family. Reporters wanted to speak with me and because I did not want my children to be disturbed, I agreed to meet the reporters at St. Timothy’s. I was very proud of how I handled the TV interview and felt completely in control as I stopped by the Walgreen’s to pick up some medicine. Suddenly I was brought to my knees by wave after wave of unbearable grief. I stumbled to my car, but I could not drive myself home. I managed to call Annett. She left house guests behind to arrive at the parking lot five minutes later. She held me in her arms and prayed: “Holy Spirit, be with us. Hold us both through this hard time. We are helpless in the face of this tragedy. Holy Spirit, we need to feel your presence.” Again and again she prayed these words until we both felt God’s arms holding us, and she was able to drive me home.
Prayer sets the tone for our work as God’s Church. We consciously invite the Holy Spirit into our church meetings, worship gatherings, and small groups. Prayer is also part of our pastoral care. Stephen Ministers use prayer as part of their relationships with care receivers and offer healing prayer during worship. Intercessory prayer lists play an important role in many of our small groups.
All services, whether in our worship space, at retreats, or at our neighboring convalescent hospital, are built around prayers from the Book of Common Prayer. The Memorial Garden adjacent to the sanctuary is open to the community and written prayers are available to those who visit the garden. Through our fellowship and formal meetings, we encourage and teach extemporaneous prayer as a way to draw nearer to God.
Our formal education programs consist of Godly Play for young children, Breakfast Club for tweens, Youth Group for teens and a variety of adult education programs.
Godly Play offers a creative, child-honoring way of entering into and experiencing the Bible. Breakfast Club meets every Sunday from 9:45 to 10:25 a.m. Youth, made up of young people in grades 6-12, meets to explore the meaning of the Gospel together. We create a welcoming environment that values the active participation of youth. The preteens in our Breakfast Club describe the “nice people who are welcoming, greeting” and the “kids sermon [which] makes me a part” of the worship as helping them to feel included.
Successful fundraising allowed us to call the Rev. Beth Parab in the fall of 2011 to serve as Director for Children and Youth Ministries. Under her guidance, Rite 13 for middle-schoolers and J2A for high schoolers will begin meeting in April, 2012.
St. Timothy’s strives to offer a diverse adult education program. Past classes have included the history of the Christian and Episcopal Church, study and discussion of contemporary books on faith (such as Why Faith Matters by David J. Wolpe and Outflow by Steve Sjogren and Dave Ping), an examination of the purpose of the liturgy, integration of faith and business practices, and various types of prayer.
What I value most about my involvement at St. Timothy’s is the contact with people of faith. sharing life’s experiences and the development of relationships. This contact occurs through Marriage Encounter, Cursillo, through covenant groups, and through Christian Education, Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study and The Word. Nevertheless, the essential ingredient for me is our Sunday rituals and the faith community which gives me the opportunity to serve the community using my gifts.
St. Timothy’s has a long tradition of more formal Bible study. Both clergy and lay people have led year-long classes utilizing formal curricula. Participants describe a sense of feeling personally invited and challenged to explore Scripture to gain the rewards of a deeper relationship with God.
One of the things I value most from St. Timothy’s was Kevin’s teaching of the Bethel Series, a 2-year study covering the entire Bible. I signed up for the course with a combination of excitement of diving deeply into scripture and fear of committing to the long term study. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it because of the relationships I built and the perspective I gained on God’s role in human history and in my life. It was instrumental for my spiritual development because it forced me to make a commitment and because of the value of what I learned.
The Parish Profile continues with Service