St. Timothy’s Receives Becoming Beloved Community Grant to Support Growing Latino Ministry

May 17, 2024 | Stories from the Diocese

In May 2024, The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council awarded 40 Becoming Beloved Community grants to support racial justice, healing, reconciliation, and creation care efforts throughout the world. St. Timothy’s Church in Herndon was the recipient of a $9,350 Impact Grant for its ongoing work in Latino Ministry.

“St. Timothy’s is an Episcopal Church that worships God in English and Spanish, striving to be One St. Timothy’s / Un Solo San Timoteo, St. Timothy’s shared in its grant proposal. ‘We aim to grow as one congregation of two cultures by deepening our existing relationships, equipping Latino congregants to share in leadership, and creating opportunities for cross-cultural fellowship and mutual understanding.”

St. Timothy’s welcomed its first full-time bilingual priest, the Rev. Mario Melendez, in April 2024. Padre Mario, who hails from Puerto Rico and most recently served in the Diocese of Southern Virginia, comes to Herndon with his wife, Catherine, and son, Thomas. He brings a passion and energy for the Gospel, and will serve the Latino/x and Spanish-speaking community while also working across the breadth of parish life at St. Timothy’s. In this position, he will expand the Latino ministry beyond the Spanish-language Eucharist to include comprehensive evangelistic outreach and Christian formation programs.

St. Timothy’s Latino ministry began strong in 2005 when then-Rector, the Rev. Brad Rundlett, and members of St. Timothy’s took an inclusive, welcoming stance toward undocumented workers in Herndon. The faithfulness of many grew and sustained St. Timothy’s Latino ministry throughout the years, but without a full-time Spanish-speaking priest, the Latino portion of the congregation was not able to grow into its full identity and place within the parish. With the support of this Becoming Beloved Community Grant, St. Timothy’s will be able to increase its outreach to the local Latino community and grow as an ambassador of reconciliation and healing in the world.