2013 was a good year for the parish of St .Timothy’s on the Hill. We completed our multi-year Preservation Plus project with an addition to the Parish Hall and renovations to the offices, bathrooms and halls. The Anam Cara Christian Center for Spiritual Life under the direction of the Rev. Alice Mindrum began offering regular Sunday afternoon worship services as well as other programs. Our Youth Group program, which last year started as a middle-school group under Amy Borruso and Stephanie Ard, added a senior high school group this year, with Kevin Kelly leading. The Garden on the Hill grew a record amount of vegetables for local food pantries, thanks to the hard work of director Misty Beyer and other volunteers. Our Sunday morning Holy Eucharist grew in attendance over the year, thanks to a wonderful influx of new families—and this in turn helped propel a sharp increase in stewardship numbers (thanks as well to the great work of the Stewardship Committee of Chip Campbell, Hank Schmidt and Dede Fitch—and many who gave inspiring testimonies). Increases in pledging, combined with the beginning of our modest draw from the newly established Endowment, allowed the Vestry to approve a 2014 budget that sharply reduces its dependence on reserve funds. The trend line is finally moving in the right direction. We have much to give thanks for, and many people to thank, but most of all we thank God.
As you read the reports that fill in the particulars of each of these programs, please keep in mind our emerging mission focus: to be a center for spiritual formation. All of our property improvements have the aim to enhance our setting both for members and the wider community. Our commitment to hire a Director of Children and Family worship (Amy) has resulted in a flourishing program for children, with a signature “Messy Church” once a month, and a developing program for youth. And here I must acknowledge and give thanks to the Corrigan family for establishing the Ursula Corrigan Fund for Children and Family Ministry which has been a major support of this effort. Our commitment to youth in music provided for our choral scholar fund, which has brought a wonderful group of young people to lead our choir. Our commitment to adult spiritual formation—and the wonderful gift of an endowment to support new ministries—has resulted in the founding of
Anam Cara: A Christian Center for Spiritual Life. This was really the first full year of operation and it has already become its own community of worship and service, having regular Sunday afternoon services, occasional special events, frequent teaching and fellowship programs, and outreach opportunities. Alice has done a wonderful job creating a leadership team and they have begun to develop resources for music—Beth Bradley is coming on board as music director for 2014—and special speakers, the resources for which they have raised through a pledge drive.
And as much as we celebrate these accomplishments and increasing clarity of mission focus, we must also remember we are only a small part of a much bigger whole, both as church and as members of the human community. We are active participants in the diocese and national church (I have been elected as one of four clergy deputies to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in 2015). And we are active in our partnerships with both local and international missions, as I hope is evident in our outreach report.
2013 was a good year, but it was only the beginning of what I hope and pray is a long journey of growth in faith and numbers here at St Timothy’s. Thanks be to God and grace and peace in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.