After a weekend of prayer, reflection, listening, and discussion – the vestry of St. Timothy has adopted this mission statement:
We glorify God as we live and grow in authentic relationship with Jesus and our neighbors, by
– Experiencing God’s transforming presence in worship
– Pursuing spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and relational wholeness
– Pursuing a culture of compassion, honesty, and vulnerability
– Equipping and supporting each other to go out into the world to do the work God has given us to do
Thank you all for your prayers for this process. I’ll be unpacking the statement a bit over the course of the Advent preaching series (click on the sermons link above to catch up on anything you missed!).
I am extremely happy with the result of our group discussions and prayers! The statement moves us through a cycle of growth and change, as we encounter Christ, whose transforming power makes us whole as believers and welcoming as a community, then grows us in our ability to do His work in the world. As we see Him move, we experience His transforming presence again, and go deeper still.
There are a few important things to know –
We tried to avoid the use of church or insider language. The church has always been good at creating words to distinguish ideas. They’re great, because they are precise – but they don’t help outsiders understand us. So we opted to use (and explain) “wholeness” – rather than “sanctification”, and to say “the work God has given us to do” rather than “proclaim the gospel”. We want to be understood, and that means speaking the language around us.
This doesn’t replace our five values. It helps to focus and implement them – but you can see that Worship, Healing, Study, Community, and Mission are still central to what we do.
It’s a bit long. We tried – we really did – to keep it short. It could have been much longer. If you need a short version that sticks a bit better – just take the first line. Or – “We glorify God by authentic living”.
As we head together into the new year, these concepts will help us clarify how we worship, serve, and even budget. I am deeply grateful that the vestry gave their time and thoughtful care to the process. They were committed to making it happen and getting us off to a good start before this term is over at the Annual Meeting (January 29).
I’m finding it hard in the format of a blog to express my excitement – but I know that God is doing great things, and is preparing us for the great things He is doing!