Do you like to eat, play games, share stories, and make stuff all while hanging out with friends? If you do, come join the 4th and 5th grade Sunday School class each Sunday morning from 9:30-10:20 in Room 17. In addition, Club 45 will have its first meeting on October 9th from 4:45-6:00. The group will start out in the Youth Rooms for introductions and team building activities then move outside to Duke's Den for roasting marshmallows and making S'mores. The weather should be cool, and the fellowship should be fun! Participating in a joint service project with EYC and the Wagon Ministry at Project Canterbury sometime in the fall will also be a topic of discussion at the Club 45 meeting.
"Sing to the Lord a new song." The words of the psalmist express a moment when music became more than a part of my life; it became a means of worship, extending beyond Sunday mornings and Wednesday evening rehearsals.
Having spent the first 15 years of my life in a small town where nearly everyone took part in some sort of music program, it seemed to me that playing instruments and singing were the norm, rather than special activities for the few. Band and piano lessons, as well as singing in church, school, and community choirs, were a large part of my life.
While I stepped back for a little bit during the first years of my marriage (moving was a frequent occurrence at the time), I happily began singing in church choirs as soon as we were able to extend our time in any one place. Fellow church musicians and directors became family when we lived miles away from our own parents and relatives. It was difficult when we had to leave; however, the new choir seemed to always fill those spots for me.
When we moved to Signal Mountain, and St. Timothy's became our parish, the music was once again important, but it soon became more. Before the flooring was put in the Nave, parishioners were allowed to write on the concrete. I missed the Sunday event, so I went by myself on Monday to write. In my spot, I chose to leave the words found at the beginning of this piece.
My new song has since become the heart of my music experience at St. Timothy's and throughout my life. While I enjoy singing in the choir and ringing handbells, my song is also played each week on the timpani. While writing arrangements for the hymns chosen for the liturgy, I pay close attention to the lyrics, as well as to the tune. Emphasis at the strong words, quiet as needed, and those glorious cymbal crashes are carefully chosen for the appropriate places in the hymn. My heart and soul sing those phrases to me as I put them on paper and share them on Sunday mornings.
Familiarity with the hymns of my childhood is a source of comfort, but my experience at St. Timothy's has brought me a heightened awareness of words and music. By having past and upcoming hymns in my mind each week, I am reminded of the scripture and sermons that accompany them. Like anyone else, I have my favorites, but I now see them in the context of a complete worship experience. If a scripture passage is difficult to understand, or the sermon is not resonating, the music can often bring enlightenment.
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord." Making that noise through vocals, instruments, arranging, or just silently in my soul keeps worship at the forefront.
*This piece is part of a series published in the August issue of The Pointe.
|Art by Valerie Gibson|
Our days and weeks are taken over by "NOISE." In fact, my world is nine-tenths NOISE, and I bet yours is too.
If "NOISE" were liquid, we would be drowning. If "NOISE" were solid, we would be suspended motionless like trilobites caught in rock. Often confusing and sometimes enraging, the power of NOISE forces us to find a pathway to peace or risk paralysis. Our choice.
First comes the will to clear a space-where there is no distraction, no texting, or twittering, no incoming or outgoing-and step off the path into silence. "Bide-a-wee and pray" was carved into a wooden sign next to the door of the seaside Episcopal Church of my childhood. Understanding that simple phrase came later to me. "Simple" always arrives late.
St. Timothy's calls us to "show up" at a space set aside for quiet, even if our motives are not the best that day. All we are asked to do is to be STILL, to sit in a space of holiness, to feel the coolness on our skin, and allow our frazzled spirits to be calmed and switched to listening mode. It is possible to hear the unspoken invitation to leave one's baggage outside so as to enable us to focus without intrusion, and to be assured that, no matter what, "all SHALL be well."
In the act of WORSHIP, we open a space made "thin" by our willingness to be still and listen. Sometimes, it is only our heart beat that we hear. But even that brings an awareness of presence and a sense that by some other power than our own, we live. In the stillness, we may perceive a beckoning, a quickening, a breath that drives our own breath. It was not in the thunder and the lightening that Elijah heard the voice of God. It was in the silence of his cave that he heard the "pneuma," the still small voice of God. That has not changed. Even though we are better today at making hugely amplified NOISE on a plethora of devices, it is in that silence that God eternally breathes his voice.
Through creeds, and prayers, and metaphors, our precious liturgy chronicles the experiences of faith in ancient and present quests to meet the source of this voice. Seeking the God who whispers, who does not appear face-to-face, and who acts anonymously, the Church Fathers were mystically touched by lives infused with a spirit they could not see. It was a spirit powerful enough to knock a wicked man off his horse, blind him, and make him Holy; to infuse a room full of men with such love that, although foreigners and strangers, they could speak in the common language of love. It was the same spirit that filled a young Galilean man with the power to teach the known world that LOVE was a treasure more valuable than gold and a force more powerful than evil. It is the same spirit available in the quiet of today.
Through our silence and through our liturgy, we are invited to suspend our disbelief, rend in two the cacophony of our world, and receive the fire of love through our Holy Meal together, by faith, and with Thanksgiving.
"This IS the bread of life," Jesus said, This IS the cup of salvation." Only light can vanquish the dark. Only silence can vanquish the power of noise. May our worship fill us with the life giving spirit that overcomes the challenge of NOISE and maybe even renews the face of the Earth.
Let us "Bide-a-wee and pray."
*This piece is part of a series published in the August issue of The Pointe.
"What does our worship on Sunday mean to you?"
When I first thought about this question, as with many questions I've had since our family joined St. Timothy's, I had to translate worship out of Episcopal language. You see, I was raised in a mega-church in Colorado Springs and have only been a confirmed Episcopalian since the Bishop's visit last January. We didn't "speak Episcopal" growing up, so, for me, "worship" was a reference to the music portion of a service-particularly the slow songs during which people closed their eyes and raised their hands to experience the supernatural power of God. But worship means something different here at St. Timothy's.
Worship in the Episcopal world is, if I understand it correctly, more about the liturgy we observe, the sacred meal we share, and the commitment to waking up and dressing nicely for this ritual. Again, I'm a newbie, so please be merciful if I've oversimplified or understated our worship. But even if my definition is accurate, it still leaves the question of why it is meaningful.
I can comfortably speculate about why people go to church in general: to aspire to a higher moral standard, to connect with members of the community, and to give their children exposure to all that religion has to offer. But why do I actually wake up on Sunday and ask the kids to find their shoes four hundred times? Why is it meaningful? Honestly, because it's a safe place to participate in faith.
Without going into the long story, my mega-church upbringing has left me wrestling with ideas about God and whether he even exists. I question the Bible, and I want my religion to value reason and logic. On Sunday's at St Timothy's, I can bring my imperfect family to worship, and, despite my frustrating experiences in church in the past, I can try to make peace with God, whatever She may be, without any pressure. That's what worshiping together at St. Timothy's means to me right now.
*This piece is part of a series published in the August issue of The Pointe.
St. Timothy's is hosting a special activity in August where groups of friends and families throughout the parish are invited to create a Blessing Cup together. The Blessing Cup is meant to be used during the routines and rituals associated with daily life such as birthdays, holidays, deaths, births, and Holy Days. It is meant to bring everyone together in times of celebration and thought. Groups and families are invited to come to the Parish Hall following the 9:15 outdoor service on August 14th to make their cups from scratch using clay and guidance from one of the parish's very own talented artists, Lolly Durant. Everyone will then be able to decorate their cups as a symbol of togetherness using special paints and clay stamps. The cups will be glazed and fired by Lolly before being returned to St. Timothy's for the 10:30 service on September 11th. During this service, the cups will be blessed then given back to the families and groups to take home along with a book of prayer-rituals that serves as a guide for using the Blessing Cup. The cost per family or group will be $15. This will be to cover the cost of materials and books. If anyone has questions, please feel free to contact the Children's Christian Formation Director, Jessie Pogue, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information at a glance
What is the activity? Making Blessing Cups
Who is invited? Any and all families and/or groups of friends
Where is it located? Parish Hall
When is it happening? August 14th directly following the outdoor service
Cost? $15 per family or group
The children's program is growing and expanding here at St. Timothy's, and we are very excited about what the future holds! A very dedicated and talented group of volunteers have been giving their time and talents to the children's program each week during Sunday School and Children's Chapel. We are looking to add to this group for the upcoming Christian Formation program year due to our expanded offerings and participation. There are many different opportunities available, and the level of commitment can vary. Areas of particular need are volunteers who enjoy working with older elementary children and periodic assistance with Children's Chapel during the 10:30 service. Please contact our Children's Christian Formation Director, Jessie Pogue, at email@example.com or via her church mailbox outside the Parish Hall if you are interested in volunteering this upcoming year (beginning this fall and lasting through the end of May).
This fall we will kick off a new Sunday evening worship service! Please join us starting Sunday, September 20, for Holy Eucharist at 5:00 p.m. This will be a unique service as we celebrate our Appalachian roots with bluegrass music. Check out the preview today!
If you didn't know, two awesome ladies from our church--yours truly (Genimar), and Jessie Pogue--attended the 2015 North American Godly Play Conference, which took place in Sewanee from July 31st to August 1st.
(Don't know what Godly Play is? Learn more about it during our Christian Formation Ministry Highlights on August 30th after Service!)
Let me start this recount by saying that this was truly an amazing experience. To say that our trainers were excellent is an understatement. Their passion for Godly Play was almost palpable and their dedication to guiding us and giving us advice and recommendations was beyond anything I could've imagined. We'll remember Amy Crawford and Lindsay Bradford-Ewart for a very long time, if not forever.
The evening keynote speaker sessions were very informative and enlightening. We got to listen to the creator of Godly Play himself, Jerome Berryman (and we also had a Q&A session up close and personal with him later on Friday during our training), and two more speakers: Robert Whitaker and Marcia Bunge, both of who really gave us very interesting perspectives of the impact of Godly Play and spirituality on children as they grow and eventually as adults. To know we were sitting in these speaker sessions amongst people from different religions (Jewish, Quaker, and several others) and just about every Christian denomination, and people who traveled from other countries (Canada, Australia, and several countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa) made us feel very blessed to be there. We are so very thankful for this experience and we are so excited to share everything we learned.
Here at St. Timothy's, Godly Play has been an important part of our Young Disciples Program for a while, and, from everything we learned at the conference, we know that continuing to embrace Godly Play will enrich our Children's Education Ministry in incredible ways. I am proud to be part of a church that cares so much and I can't wait to share all these wonderful stories with both children and adults told in a way that makes you feel that no matter who you are, if you are ready, you can wonder in the Mysteries of God and find yourself surrounded by the most amazing love of all.
Last but not least, I wanted to mention--in case you didn't already know--that Sewanee is an incredibly beautiful place, but no matter what I write, I don't think I can come up with words to do it justice. It was my first time there and I honestly recommend everyone to take this short trip to visit. Believe me, you won't regret it!
During our time there, Jessie and I enjoyed walking the campus during breaks from our activities at the conference, each building seeming more beautiful than the one before. Every building feels old and full of history, but, at the same time, so full of new life and discovery. We also went on a hike, and the entire experience felt as if we were walking through a fantasy garden. Creeks, bridges, gazebos, butterflies, cicadas . . . And just in case the beauty of nature around you wouldn't do the trick, you find along the way plenty of monuments that invite meditation and would remind you of the presence of God. I felt truly blessed and even overwhelmed at times. It's just absolutely gorgeous.
It seems also that the people there are as beautiful as the nature around them. People greeted us with such warmth and big smiles everywhere we went. And wonderful things seem to happen at random to brighten your day, like when Jessie and I walked into a tavern to grab a bite for dinner and a group of young actors took over the place to do a scene from a Shakespeare play. What can I say? God gave me so many gifts during this trip.
And with that I'll just say one more thing to you: stay tuned for wonderful things to come to all of our Christian Education Programs! Don't miss the Christian Formation Ministry Highlights on August 30th for after Service. See you there!
Peace, love, and many blessings.
We are saddened to announce the passing of Peter Gibson, a longtime member and friend of St. Timothy's. He died yesterday morning on August 6, 2015. The funeral service will be at St. Timothy's on Saturday, August 8, at 3 p.m. Visitation will be held after.
We pray for the repose of Peter's soul and for Valerie and the rest of his family and friends--that they be comforted in this time of grief.
This Sunday, August 2, kicks off the first of our ministry presentations at St. Timothy's. Daniel Durant, the Pastoral Care Liaison, will be presenting the various ministries under the Pastoral Care fold at each of the services. Sign-up sheets and informational booklets will be available, as well. For a detailed description of each of the ministries, check out the Pastoral Care Ministries Guide.
For a quick, flashy highlight, check out the slideshow below:
Sign up for one of these hardworking ministries this Sunday!
North Carolina Bishop Michael Curry was elected as the 27th Presiding Bishop. Welcome! Curry will serve a nine-year term that officially begins on November 1. Below is an interview by the Episcopal News Service with Curry:
Last Sunday, The Rev. Robert Hartmans delivered a sermon* on the horrors of the shooting in Charleston that killed nine black parishioners mid-prayer at Emanuel AME Church. He asked how we as a church can move forward to help encourage progress, rather than turning a blind eye to the injustices of the world in order to preserve the safety of the status quo.
If progress is the goal, understanding is the first step. In this morning's paper, David Cook of the Chattanooga Times Free Press delves into the history of the black church and what we, as individuals and a church, can learn from that history.
The black church has been and will remain one of the most powerful institutions in America. No bullet, no manifesto, no racist intruder can stop it.
Because it has long contained a power that is greater than violence. Or slavery. Or lynching. Or segregation. Its power is a stronger power. Longer lasting. It is kingly, compared to the small-minded, dirty violence of handguns and racism.
If violence is a shriek, its power is the greater, choral response.
The black church has always demonstrated this in ways the American white church hasn't. (And can't until it finds itself on the side of the oppressed.)
It is not a normal form of power, like a strong economy or fleet of battleships. It is not the type of power that politicians court. It is not Trumpian. It is not best-selling.
It is a spiritual form of power, which means it plays by different rules.
It originates and begins from a place of defeat. It is a power that emerges out of slavery and oppression. It is a power that is precisely found within powerlessness.
It is a power that always welcomes the stranger.
For the whole article, see this morning's paper or check it out here*.
*Click on blue, highlighted words in order to go to the described link.
- We cannot accept furniture, computer monitors, and opened/used paint, large non-digital televisions, large play items, etc.
- Items cannot have spots, stains, holes, broken zippers, missing buttons, mold/mildew, broken parts, missing pieces, etc. If you wouldn't wear it or buy it again, neither will our customers!
- We appreciate your donated toys but cannot accept small toys (like those in Happy Meals) which could be choking hazards for the small children.
With St. Timothy's outreach support, Jeanne Teter just returned from a surgical mission trip to St. Benedict Joseph Medical Center in Comayagua, Honduras. SBJ is a 2-story medical clinic and Franciscan mission in the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, and offers free care to about 3,000 people a month who would otherwise not receive it. She wanted to share with you some of the highlights of this Mission Trip. Dr. John Kelly documented everyday what happened there. While it is a long read, be assured, it will be worth it.
Jeanne says, "We were able to do 66 cases with 3 Surgeons. Several, as Dr. John Kelly mentions, were too extensive to be done here--one child was born with 2 feet on one leg! Their hope is to have it done here in the States, and he will need an amputation below his knee so that he can be fitted with a prosthetic leg and hope to walk almost normally. St. Timothy's Church was a huge financial support in making this trip happen! I just want you to know how it touched so many people's lives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love serving the poor of Honduras. You see that is where my heart is!
God Bless and Thank You,
Jeanne Teter and the entire Solanus Surgical Team