Community Ministry Portfolio Narrative
Describe a moment in your worshipping community’s recent ministry that you recognize as one of success and fulfillment.
On the first Sunday of Advent 2019, the Community Outreach Commission put up a live tree in the sanctuary. This tree, called “The Angel Tree,” was decorated with paper ornaments. Each ornament had a list of Christmas wishes from families that had taken refuge in the Wesley Shelter. (The Wesley Shelter provides comprehensive services to all victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.) Families in our parish very generously fulfilled every one of those Christmas wishes for the Wesley Shelter families. This special outreach ministry was most certainly deemed a success! Find out more about the Wesley Shelter at www.wesleyshelter.org
Describe your liturgical style and practice. If your community provides more than one type of worship service, please describe all.
St. Timothy’s offers three weekly worship services in the traditional style using Rite 2 and occasionally Rite 1. At 8:00 am on Sunday we offer a spoken service, which includes Eucharist and sermon. At 10:30 am on Sunday we offer a Celebratory Eucharistic service that includes procession, music (accompanied by our Casavant organ or piano), chanting or reading of Psalms, scripture, sermon, and passing of peace. Many of St. Timothy’s parishioners are involved in various aspects of the services as Lay Eucharistic Ministers, Lay Readers, Acolytes, Choir, Altar Guild, ushers, greeters, and our priest. On Wednesday at noon we offer a Eucharistic healing service.
How do you practice incorporating others in ministry?
For many years St. Timothy’s has used the commission system: Worship, Pastoral Care, Finance and Stewardship, Communications, Christian Formation, Community Outreach, Parish Life, and Buildings and Grounds. Members of these commissions give generously of their time and talents to ensure that St. Timothy’s operates on a firm foundation. We also have many parish groups that provide opportunities for participation in the life and ministry of our parish. A few examples of these are Lay Eucharistic Ministers, Ushers, Greeters, Lay Readers, Chalice Bearers, Acolytes, Vestry, Altar Guild, Men’s Breakfast Cooking Team, St. Francis Guild (visits the home-bound and sends cards), Garden Angels, Carriage House (provides breakfast for the needy on Sunday morning). Our annual (79 years) Bake Sale and Luncheon in November, organized by the Episcopal Church Women, distributes its profits to the community.
As a worshipping community, how do you care for your spiritual, emotional, and physical wellbeing?
Spiritual wellbeing is addressed primarily through Sunday worship and Christian formation. Small groups have gathered at times for Wednesday evening prayer, contemplative services, and discussions on the philosophy of worship. Continuing programs include Bible study groups and a book club.
Describe your worshipping community’s involvement in either the wider Church or geographical region.
St. Timothy’s has provided a complete slate of delegates to diocesan convention and representation on diocesan council for at least the past five years. The parish pays our full allotment to the diocese each year. We have two sister parishes in Wilson, St. Marks and Guadalupana churches. We plan annual events with the three congregations. We provide a preacher and a lay reader to St. Luke’s Tarboro once a month.
Parishioners serve on many local charity and nonprofit boards:
CHEW (Childhood Hunger Elimination in Wilson)
St. John’s CDC
Community Soup Kitchen
Imagination Station Science Museum
We participate with other area churches in the Christmas Day meal and the annual Prayer Luncheon. Our annual Lobster Sale funded a Habitat for Humanity build.
Parishioners are also members of several lay orders, including Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross and Order of Saint Francis.
How do you engage in pastoral care for those beyond your worshipping community?
Our St. Francis Guild provides compassionate visits and support for newcomers and births. Many served by the St. Francis Guild do not attend our church. Our parish prayer chain includes both parishioners and others from the community. The Augustine literacy project supports at-risk children in the community. Lay Eucharist ministers visit six to eight shut-ins each Sunday. Our frozen food ministry creates meals that are available for parishioners to deliver to anyone in the community who has a need.
Tell about a ministry that your worshipping community has initiated in the past five years. Who can be contacted about this?
The church has initiated a number of ministries in recent years, including:
- Godly play – Charlotte Reynolds
- CHEW – Jim Davis
- Carriage House Breakfast – Randy Prouty
- Lobster Sale – Habitat for Humanity (past two years) – Sharyn Hardister
- Food Basket Ministry – Jordan Blazek-Guinan
- Garden Committee (past five years) – Courtenay Griffin and Elise Ross
- The Blessing of the Animals – Vicki Thompson & Scott Thompson
How are you preparing yourselves for the church of the future?
- By focusing on the Christian education of our children;
- By making sure that our youth know what resources provided by our diocese are available to them today and helping them to take advantage of those opportunities;
- By embracing this time of change, while appreciating the past without fearing the future;
- By continuing to be a welcoming church community;
- By ensuring that God’s Church continues to play an integral role in the lives of our families by taking ownership of our church and community;
- By being willing to use 21st century technology while maintaining the classical traditions of the Episcopal Church;
- By hiring and then building a spiritual relationship with a new rector.
What is your practice of stewardship and how does it shape the life of your worshipping community?
As Christians in the 21st century, we need to embrace the larger biblical view of stewardship, which goes beyond church budgets and building projects.
We should be faithful stewards of all God has given us in order to serve the common good and further his Kingdom.
Stewardship can be based on the following four principles:
Our parishioners take ownership of the church through their service on the commissions and committees and their participation in worship and in church projects and activities.
Our Finance Committee oversees the funding of projects, growing of endowments, and programs and activities in conjunction with the Vestry. Both groups share tremendous responsibility, accountability, and ownership within the church while providing for both the needs of the present and the rewards of the future.
What is your worshipping community experience of conflict? How have you addressed it?
When our worship community experiences conflict, we usually address and discuss it openly together. When our Youth Minister recently left suddenly, a meeting was called for parents and their children who were affected. Decisions about the future of the program had to be made, Our parents and children wanted to continue. Currently our parents and vestry members are maintaining this program until we have a Priest in place and can begin actively to search for a permanent Youth Minister.
What is your experience leading/addressing change in the church? When has it gone well? When has it gone poorly? What did you learn?
Our congregation values tradition, especially the Episcopal tradition, but we will accept change when necessary. We knew big changes would be coming when our rector was called as a bishop in another diocese. We are experiencing those changes, and in many ways our worshipping community has become stronger, more united, and more flexible.
Please provide words describing the gifts and skills essential to the future leaders of your worshipping community.
Your worshipping community’s website: http://www.sttimothyswilson.org/
The Rev. Dr. William Carl Thomas, Interim Rector of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Wilson NC (12/2019 – 07/2020) offers his observations about why an Episcopal Priest discerning a call to a new ministry might take a deep look at St. Timothy’s.
In summary, St. Timothy’s is a thriving Episcopal parish in search of a person of deep faith who will connect with our members and enthusiastically lead us into the future. Come join us on this amazing journey with God! We are eager to meet qualified candidates. If you are interested in the rector position within our parish, please email your CV, OTM Profile, and letter of intent to:
Canon Catherine Massey