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May 1, 2024: Thinking Back Over 5 Years as Rector

Five years ago today, May 1, 2019, I became the rector of Saint Timothy’s. It’s hard to believe that it has really been 5 years. We are a living community, which means that we have experienced both unexpected challenges and joys. We adopted a new mission statement that first month. At the end of that first summer, we conducted a second-mile financial campaign to allow us to build for the future. We hired Barbara as our organist and forever left behind canned music. We bought new cameras and audio equipment to be able to put sermons and services on You Tube.

Nine months after I arrived, we suddenly faced the pandemic. The audio-visual equipment provided an opportunity for many to continue to participate remotely who were unable to join us in person. For seven weeks we restricted attendance before resuming full participation on May 10th. The city faced a tornado which destroyed 2/3 of Turtle Creek Mall, the terminal at the airport, dozens of homes and other businesses and damaged many others. Fortunately, though 22 people were injured, all recovered.

The Church, like all communities, continually experiences change. Like all communities we have had to say goodbye to people we love. We have seen a number of people move away. We have also held funerals for good and faithful members. But when we look around us, we see many new families. And our new families share one thing in common: none come from the Anglican tradition. But they have found a home here. They embrace the historic liturgy of the Church and our emphasis on the faith once received. And they actively serve the Church.

We have also been able to make improvements to our facilities. We have replaced four air-conditioner units, reroofed all the flat roofs on the buildings, and rebuilt many of our window casings which had been damaged by termites and rot. The nave has been repainted. The church exterior has been repainted and we have added accent lighting to make it visible at night. We have resurfaced our parking lot and just replaced our outdoor sign with a new one which has our website address.

The most important in any congregation, and the single most important catalyst to growth, is the health of its community. Do we love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength? For, if we do, we will continue to devote ourselves to: (1) love one another as ourself; (2) devote ourselves to catechesis, prayer, the eucharist, and to our fellowship with the Church community; (3) we will live out our vocations in the Church, serving fully as the part of the body we are called to be; and (4) we will go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19–20 (CSB)


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