2008 is going to be a year of new initiatives at St. Timothy's. Before anyone panics, though, let's remember what doesn't change:
- The Faith doesn't change.
- The basic shape and character of the liturgy doesn't change.
- Our commitment to Christ isn't up for negotiation.
- God's call to us to be His people remains.
But, some other matters will be under review and undergoing some renewal. Here are some we are planning to address in 2008:
- A new format for the Annual Meeting, focusing on discernment of God's call to us.
- New Vestry members will be elected and the Vestry better integrated into the parish's overall structure.
- We will be using the Commission system to organize our ministries; each Commission will have a Coordinator and a liaison from the Vestry.
- A new overall "picture" of how we discern and then use gifts for ministry will be implemented, based on work done by the Diocese's Commission on Ministry.
- A new Mission Statement will be developed; once we have a Mission Statement, then we will be able to set priorities and goals for mission. Each Commission (area of ministry at St. Timothy's) will then go about its work in direct relationship with an over-all vision for our common life and purpose as a Christian community.
These initiatives have to do with building on the solid foundations of teaching, worship, and fellowship at St. Timothy's. They are not busy-work or change for change's sake. Each aspect is meant to assist in sharing the message of the Gospel as we have received it--with grace, humility, joy, and effectiveness. January is the month when we celebrate our patron, St. Timothy. Here is a passage from the first letter to Timothy which I hope describes this parish as we enter into a season of thoughtful renewal. St. Paul is reminding Timothy to use the gifts he has been given by God:
Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4: 15 - 16)
St. Timothy's is being called to use the gifts it has been given in new ways. It will be a delight to work together toward this goal. May Christ's blessings be with us!
Brandon Lee Filbert+