Worship is the most important thing we do at St. Thomas’ Church and our acolytes are important leaders. Our acolytes start serving when they are in the 5th grade and serve on the altar by carrying the cross during the procession, as a torch bearer, accepting the offertory, and assisting the priest set the table at our altar. We also welcome adults to this ministry, especially at our 8:00am service on Sunday. Becoming an acolyte adds a new dimension to your worship experience.
We have two worship services at which our acolytes participate regularly, as well as holidays and special services. Acolytes are on a rota to serve every three or four weeks and training is provided. Is this a ministry to which you feel called to participate?
The Altar Guild is responsible for cleaning and preparing the altar for each service. They set up all the linens and elements needed and keep the altar area cleaned, polished and dusted. They tend to the candles and the wicks, as well as washing, ironing and mending the linens. They change the colored hangings and make sure we have sacramental supplies for Eucharistic services.
This intrepid group puts in order the altar and our church for worship each week, as well as preparing for special services such as baptisms, weddings and funerals. They make sure we have lovely flowers on the altar each week and for the special Feast days of Easter and Christmas as well. It is all about making things ready for reverent worship through devoted service.
The Altar Guild is a quiet and spiritual behind-the-scenes ministry, so that all will experience worship that is organized, beautiful and efficient. Each person is on a team that serves approximately once a month. Traditionally a ministry done primarily by women, we certainly welcome men and people of all ages to join us!
Lay Eucharistic Ministers (Chalice Bearers)
This is a ministry to provide assistance to the clergy during communion by serving the chalice. You must be a baptized Christian to join this ministry. Training is necessary and will be done on a one-on-one basis. LEM’s serve approximately once a month, during the service they customarily attend. They also participate in special services throughout the year.
Lectors are people who read the assigned Scripture assigned during our worship on Sunday mornings. Their careful reading of the words of scripture allows the congregation to hear what God is saying to us each time we come together for worship.
It is an important ministry to read the Old Testament lesson, Epistle or Prayers of the People during the Liturgy of the Word. Lectors read at weekly services on Saturday or Sunday, and also at special services throughout the year. Training is required and is done one-on-one. Lectors usually serve approximately once a month; during the worship service they customarily attend. If you enjoy public speaking this might be a ministry you feel called to explore.
Creating the first impression of St. Thomas’ Church for those who attend worship, ushers warmly greet those who attend, distribute bulletins, count those in attendance, take the offertory and monitor the room for comfort. They also assist worshipers during the service as needed. Ushers are scheduled approximately once a month, at the service they customarily attend.
This ministry of welcome and hospitality will begin to set the tone for the worship experience of our guests and for our parishioners. The usher meets and greets them first in the name of the Lord and extends a hand or offer a smile that says, “It’s good that you are here.” Training is held periodically and a written customary is given to all new ushers. If you enjoy meeting people, this might be a ministry of hospitality you would want to try.