This will be my final Eblast to you. Some of the lay leadership will keep you filled in until Pastor Keller determines whether this is something he wants to continue.
We started these twice each week to keep in touch during the lockdowns because of COVID. So, this is not a long-standing tradition. We cut it back to once per week as things began to re-open, and it may be that at some point the newsletter and participation in our worship services will make them unnecessary.
There will be changes as Pastor Keller begins his call to serve you, and that is good. Not only does each pastor have their own style of preaching and teaching, but each of us has a unique set of gifts and also of weaknesses. The key to a healthy relationship between a pastor and a congregation is to acknowledge both. God has given every congregation all the gifts they need to thrive and bear fruit; He does not give all of them to any pastor (or any member, for that matter). Everybody needs to work together for a strong and healthy discipling community to be created (see Ephesians 4).
The key to your success together will be open, honest communications. The worst place for that to happen is at the door as you leave the worship service (when you get back to a normal Communion distribution which I hope will be soon). I know that I cannot remember what 50 or so people tell me as they rush past. With email and text messages, there is no need to communicate important information about pastoral needs (or your complaints about whatever) as you leave a worship service.
It is also important to realize that in any group, no single person (including the pastor) will get what they want all the time. Once the congregation follows its procedures to make a decision, it is essential for the mission of the congregation that even those who disagree support and live by that decision (unless it is utterly sinful, which is highly unlikely to happen at St. Timothy).
As I have said many times, it is critical that you pray every day for Pastor Keller and for your lay leadership. The world, the flesh, and the devil will do everything they can to undermine what God plans to accomplish through St. Timothy. We are in spiritual warfare, and while the decisive battle has been won, our enemies (including those inside ourselves) will do everything they can to wreak maximum damage to God’s Kingdom.
The story is told that when the Apostle John became a very old man, he was carried into the church and only had one message: “Little children, love one another.” I can think of no better message to leave with you:
Little children, love one another.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
Interim Pastor (for a few more days)
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic and therefore for the safety of everyone using the church buildings for meetings or gatherings, the following guidelines are in effect until further notice:
- All meetings will be scheduled through the church office. Rooms will be assigned to groups based upon the groups prior usage and allow for sufficient time between room use for appropriate cleaning or sanitation when necessary.
- As recommended by the Property committee and Church Council, the following are the maximum attendees per room:
- Youth Room – 6 persons
- Sunday School Rooms 1,2 & 3 – 16 persons
- Library – 4 persons
- Lounge – 8 persons
- Multi-Purpose Room – 20 persons
- Please follow the safety guidelines below:
- 1. Face masks or face coverings are required upon entering the building.
- 2. Maintain safe social distancing between persons.
- 3. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently.
- 4. Hand sanitizers are available upon entry or as exiting the building, as well as in the rooms.
- 5. Avoid touching anything as much as possible. Sanitizing wipes are provided in each room for anyone who wishes to wipe the space or area in front of them prior to sitting down.
- 6. Use of kitchen facilities is not currently recommended. If necessary, participants should provide their own food or beverages and is responsible for cleaning the facilities used as well as any other areas of the church that they use.
- Most importantly, keep in mind the corona virus is transmitted by entering the body through eyes, nose and/or mouth. Do not touch these areas of your face without thoroughly washing your hands or using hand sanitizer.
These guidelines can and have changed very quickly. If you are uncomfortable or do not feel safe for any reason to enter the building, then it is better to participate in an alternative way such as phone, email, or virtually.
If you have questions, please contact the church office at (717)737-5243.