Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.
Preaching • Eucharist • Stewardship • Music • Worship • Community Prayer
It all started mostly because of Nancy, my daughter. The Mellors invited Nancy, and she started to come to St. Tim’s. This was before she was driving, so I would drive her to the contemporary service and stay. It all felt very experimental: a laptop balanced on a card table, someone had to change the slides, a screen on the side of the altar. You felt like you were part of something new. I started as a Methodist, then didn’t go to church for years, then came back because of Nancy. They had slides saying that wherever you are in your journey, you are welcome. A revelation to me! And the rector sang “One Body” like a cantor. Another revelation! Compared to the trays of grape juice among the Methodists…it was a real understanding that communion is one body, all very exciting to me. And then the music — contemporary Christian music — was very exciting. That sense of community, and how the music makes you feel part of it, made me realize this was a special place and a special service.
We worship in response to divine grace, constructing liturgy that meets the needs and reflects the different facets of our community. Currently, three Sunday worship services offer variations in style, language, and liturgy. All are welcome at our table, with weekly traditional Eucharist at each service open to participants of any age and at any point along their faith journey.
7:45 service – Quiet and Meditative
This service is a traditional Eucharist with limited piano and organ accompaniment. This service grounds St. Timothy’s in the Episcopal tradition and is attended by many of the most experienced parishioners. A well-attended coffee hour follows.
9:00 Service – Dynamic and Kid-Centered
I remember when I first came to St. Tim’s, I loved playing the instruments – drums, piano. We were able to borrow the drums and bring them back later! When we had free time at church, I would play with my brother Sean and it made me feel happy how we could explore the church on our own. I especially enjoyed the fountain and discovering the memorial garden.
Paul (11 years old)
There is no better way for children to learn the love of God than by bringing their energy, movement and laughter to worship. Psalm 66 says, “Make a joyful noise to God.” Our children excel at this, and parents appreciate a worship environment where the ambient noise of children is welcome.
The service is inviting and accessible with contemporary music, prayers, hymns, and responses all projected on a screen (no books to juggle), engagement of children in all parts of the liturgy and a sermon prepared for them and delivered by a parishioner. After communion, the children follow their teachers to Godly Play while the adults join the priest in our social hall to listen to the adult sermon and enjoy a cup of coffee in fellowship with other attendees.
10:30 Service – Joyful and Inclusive
The 10:30 am service is a contemporary interpretation of the ancient liturgy of the Church. The worship band offers a blend of hymns, sacred liturgical music, contemporary, and gospel praise songs. The service offers a seamless act of prayer through the opening acclamation, “Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit!” to the final congregational response at the end of the service, “Thanks be to God.” The dynamic movement of our worship, reflected in song, readings and the sermon, proclaims overwhelming joy, allows for quiet reverence, and brings us together in covenant fellowship.
Music and Multimedia
Music plays a central role in our worship; it connects us to the readings each week while helping us transcend thought towards an emotional and spiritual connection. Our full-time Music Director, Peter Sammel, leads the worship bands and serves as a mentor to many in our parish, from the children who participate in his weekly music classes to the youth and young adults who run the projector and sound board at the 9:00 and 10:30 services. The sermon is recorded each week and available for anyone to download from the church’s web site, while the 9:00 am service is streamed to our satellite church in the Czech Republic.
I began going to the 9 am Family Service around the time Carson was born, and one Sunday when the band was short a guitarist, I volunteered to stand in. Eventually, I was able to play along with the band more regularly, and as Carson grew to about three years old, he began joining in my practices at home. He particularly liked Peace Like a River. Carson actually had pretty good rhythm, so we visited Peter and played for him. Peter invited Carson to join the 9am band one Sunday when Peace like a River was on. Carson actually began the song with his rhythm, playing his Moroccan drums, but he was so small sitting on the floor behind a plant that no one in the congregation could see him. People afterwards said they heard this drumming
but couldn’t tell where it was coming from. I thought to myself: “This is honest-to-goodness a miracle.” Carson loved accompanying the lead drummer Brian on “Peace Like a River” and other contemporary songs and has continued playing with the band. I love worship and music, love being able to participate and contribute myself, and love having an opportunity for the kids to participate for full family involvement!
Inspirational sermons have been central to the St. Timothy’s experience, giving long-time parishioners something new to reflect upon each week and drawing in newcomers by engaging them with a spiritual message. As a community that values education, we appreciate scripture-based sermons that can challenge us both intellectually and spiritually and that “give us something to chew on.” We also treasure messages that come from the heart and underscore the honest connections at the core of our covenant community.
My husband Tom did not attend church because he did not believe in the formality of it. Tom did read the Bible at home while the children and I were at church. Eventually he realized there was more and started attending the services and became very involved in church activities in addition to attending services—this was God at work. Once we discussed where he wanted to have his ashes scattered. I had thought perhaps at sea, since he loved the ocean, but he said “No! Goodness knows what’s in the seawater around here! I want to be ‘home’ at St. Tim’s!” Later, Tom died early on a Sunday morning. I came to church that day, and although someone else was scheduled to do the sermon, the rector found out that Tom had passed and did an extemporaneous sermon and fine tribute to Tom. I really felt God’s presence and a cleansing feeling that day. St. Tim’s is a place where we find peace and know that others are there for us. Even though some have left recently, I have always felt God’s presence and have been empowered to do individual ministries such as prayer scrolls, cards for veterans, and others. St. Tim’s has always been an environment where each of us can serve the church and God with a powerful freedom that draws on our spiritual gifts.
The Parish Profile continues with Community