We are heading into an unchartered future. The good news is, Jesus leads us. And it will be bright.
When we gathered on the lawn for our Wine & Cheese earlier this month, we weren’t just grateful for the warm weather and social connection, we were so pleased for the opportunity to create space for speaking the stories of our past, present and unknown future. Describing the best parts of our past helps us articulate those critical strengths that will protect us as we move into our future.
This first gathering (we are hoping for a few more!), presented an opportunity to listen and share personal stories of engagement so that we might shape a unifying narrative in our next steps together. We know that finding the story and living the story is critical work for a liminal season, as season of “in between” or “crossing the threshold” into the unknown.
We thought you might be interested in some of what we heard that evening. These are some of the common threads we discovered during our time together:
- Have felt the most motivated and alive when we come together as a community. “I love the sense of community that St. Tim’s offers.” “It’s good to have a church home.
- ”Becoming part of the St. Timothy’s family, expressed by the phrase: “We’ve found it!
- ”Thoughtful, beautiful services- always a spiritual experience.
- Participation in special activities or with special ministry small groups. For example, bonding while laying floor tile, helping with Altar Guild, and once-in-a-lifetime events like the pilgrimage trip to Israel. (Needlework, Craft Club, Wood Shop, and being a Warden in the church mentioned also.)
- “My relationship with the men of the woodshop I value very much and their support of each other over the years has been wonderful and meaningful.
- ”We love the Belles Trips, especially the trip to Lancaster and meeting new people.
- We appreciate helping with the Outreach program, and Hot Lunch. It has brought us fulfillment.
- Saturday Night Healing Services brought people together for healing, learning and connection. We are ready to have this back! Especially missed: testimonies and songs.
- Small group bible studies and special courses- learning from others (their insights and experiences and faith stories help us with our own.)
- Appreciation of the clergy and also the students that St. Timothy’s has known over the years.
Wishes for the future?
- We want to find ways to encourage all our children and young adults to stay in church. Could we accomplish this through a band, or family meal night?
- Cooperation with nearby churches and sharing of resources and expertise.
- We recognize the value of technology, especially during Covid. We like the hybrid model, but it does not replace the person-to-person community. We’re ready to have this back.
- We want continued varied musical worship. People really appreciate Ray & Sofia’s contributions as well as Marianne, Angela and Kara!
- Want to continue praying together, and learning how to contribute our gifts.
- These are just some of the comments from two of the questions. Special thanks to those who sent their comments and stories to me via email, and those who came out in-person to the Wine & Cheese. We hope to have a couple of other opportunities to share in the not-so-distant future. One of the events may be via zoom for those not ready to come together yet! Comments, questions? Let us know! email@example.com