Through the early hours of January 21, 2018, blustery rainstorms drenched much of the Diocese of New Westminster but as often happens, the rain eased off, the wind blew a few degrees warmer and the sun peeked out in time for the main Celebration of Sunday Eucharist at St. Timothy, Burnaby. This was a special day for the parish as they were celebrating their patronal festival (the Feast of St. Timothy and St. Titus transferred from January 26) with worship led by Bishop Melissa Skelton. Visitors in the congregation included diocesan Comptroller, Shailene Caparas (attending her very first Anglican liturgy in an Anglican church after more than three years on Synod Staff) and Director of Mission and Ministry Development for the diocese of New Westminster the Reverend Tellison Glover. Tellison had begun in his new position just days earlier, January 16.
There are many children under the age of 10 at St. Timothy’s and they really enjoy their time together. Following the Processional Hymn, “Here in this Place,” and the Collect for Purity, Bishop Skelton asked the younger members of the parish to join her on the floor in front of the chancel and the area quickly filled up. Bishop Skelton asked them “what day is this today?” and she received the correct answer, “St. Timothy’s Day” which was pretty impressive considering the group were for the most part very young. As is often the case, Bishop Skelton had some visual aids to help illustrate the messages of the Children’s Talk. She showed her audience various photographs of shepherds and sheep, including sheep that were in dangerous situations. She made reference to the readings focusing on the love bestowed on Timothy by his mother and grandmother Acts 16: 1-15 and the love of Jesus the Good Shepherd from the Gospel, John 10: 14-18.
Bishop Skelton went into this topic much deeper during the sermon. An audio and video of the sermon are available here.
At the conclusion of the worship, interim priest-in-charge, the Reverend Ruth Monette broke the news to the parish that she had been appointed rector of St. Stephen’s, Burnaby beginning May 1, 2018, and would be completing her interim ministry appointment at St. Timothy’s April 15. Bishop Skelton stood beside Rev. Monette and told the congregation that she is very optimistic about St. Timothy’s future. She commented on the parish’s “very interesting and rambunctious past.” The parish had been previously known as Christ the King. Bishop Skelton added that she is looking forward to the canoncial process and the development of the parish profile document saying, “I have interest, hope and energy for this parish.”
After worship the community gathered in the hall for cake with ice cream and snacks. The cake was gluten free and purple in colour under the icing. The left side of the cake was bedecked with jelly candies forming a Celtic Cross in blue and on the right 2 Tim 3-17 in orange jelly candies. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 reads, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
As is her custom during episcopal visitations, Bishop Skelton met with the parish and encouraged them to ask questions, which they did.