Reverend Debra Timmins (most often referred to as “Pastor Deb”) joined the First UCC, Royersford family in June 2017 as our Designated Pastor. Pastor Deb serves our church half-time, another job the other half-time and spends as much time with family the rest of the time. Pastor Deb has served a variety of churches as supply preacher, interim pastor and settled pastor as well as worked as a chaplain at several Pennsylvania hospitals. She is a graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary and completed a residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Lancaster General Hospital.
Pastor Deb enjoys preaching and teaching with a focus on sound theology, shining the light of Christ on the challenges in our world, sharing God’s grace, and a healthy dose of humor. She often uses props for children’s messages (and occasionally adult sermons) to grab attention and give a visual aid.
When not working, Pastor Deb, her husband Joe and their two dogs can be seen out and about in the Spring-Ford and Owen J Roberts areas or visiting family in their native New England. Together they have two adult children.
Jesus brought together a ragtag group of people hungry for love, community, and God’s truth. Those people became disciples as they learned and enacted love in action. As the group expanded, it became The Way, and eventually The Church. At the core of who we are is still a diverse group of people hungry for love, community, God’s truth and empowered to share God’s love in action.
Each congregation within the whole body of Christ is encouraged to be a “Beloved Community.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, popularized the notion of “Beloved Community” as a gathering based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings. Fundamental to the concept of beloved community is inclusiveness.
Thinking of our congregation as beloved community expands our understanding of congregation from church family. Family is just one part of our lives – community includes more than just families. Beloved community also reminds us that we are always loved by God – unconditionally. In return, God through Christ Jesus asks us, invites us to follow God’s law.
Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” - Matthew 22:37-39
God loves all people. We are invited to love all people, especially those people who come to the place where we worship. True beloved community requires that we admit that God loves us no matter what, we are flawed, and God’s love invites us to be changed, to be transformed, and to help others in their transformation, as well.
All (with the extremely rare exception of someone who is a danger to themselves or others) are welcome to worship. Those who have accepted Jesus’ call to follow the most important commandments have moved forward in faith to be followers of Christ. Those who wish to be leaders in Christ’s way in a local church become members. God loves us during every step of this journey and even when we make missteps (which we all do).
Those of us who have become members in this beloved community are held to a higher standard: we are no longer merely recipients of Grace. We have promised to faithfully participate in the worship of God. We have promised to invest ourselves in the administration of this beloved community. We have promised to give of our time, talent and treasure so that the ministry of this community can continue. We have promised to maintain both the rights and responsibilities of membership in this beloved community. We have promised to resist the powers of evil and be open to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit throughout our lives.
May God continue to bless this beloved community as we continue to allow ourselves to be loved and changed by God.