Who’s Who on Sunday Morning?
It takes an amazing team of staff and volunteers to make Sunday morning ‘happen’; here’s who they are and what they do:
From a Greek word meaning, “to follow.” Acolytes are lay volunteers, robed in white, who carry the Cross in the processions at the start and end of worship, and assist the priest during worship. An acolyte lights and sometimes carries candles, and helps in the preparation of communion. Our children and youth serve as acolytes.
The team of lay people who maintain and prepare the altar and its furnishings.
Trained caregivers staff the secure nursery during the 10 a.m. service. Parents must sign their children in and out. We require that our caregivers have attended St. John’s for at least 6 months and they are required to take a misconduct prevention training program administered by the Diocese.
Children’s and Youth Ministers
We have a variety of ministries working with the children of the church. These include our nursery volunteers and Sunday School teachers. Our young people gather on Sunday mornings during the Christian education hour at 9 a.m. and also during special activities and events. We require that our children’s ministers have attended St. John’s for at least 6 months and they are required to take a misconduct prevention training program administered by the Diocese.
The choir leads our principal Sunday worship service, blending a tradition of excellence with challenging and diverse musical selections to the praise and glory of God. Our choir performs under the direction of Jennifer Lester. On special occasions, talented local members and outside musicians perform as well.
The ordained leader in an Episcopal Church is the Rector. The Rev. Eric Turner is our priest and Rector and it is appropriate to call him “Eric,” or “Father Eric.” He is the primary preacher, teacher and worship leader in the congregation, and along with the Vestry (our church board) manages the day to day affairs of the parish. We also have a Deacon, the Rev. Elizabeth Murray, who assists the Rector, leads our children and youth ministries, and manages various outreach projects and special programs. It is appropriate to call her “Elizabeth,” or “Deacon Elizabeth.” Typically, for worship services, they wear vestments and sashes (called a stole), and the Rector also sometimes wears a ‘cape’ (called a chausible).
Coffee Hour Hosts
Rotating teams of volunteers who: provide the refreshments and arrange them on tables; make the coffee; and, clean up afterwards.
Counters assist the bookkeeper and treasurer in counting and recording the Sunday offerings, and ensuring that they are deposited and credited properly, securely, and confidentially.
Greeters stand outside the church front doors, greeting and assisting people as they enter the church. They are prepared to answer questions of visitors and newcomers and to escort young parents to the nursery and/or St. Nick’s House when requested.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEMs)
Lay persons are licensed by the bishop to administer the consecrated elements (the bread and wine) of the Eucharist. In addition, the LEMs read portions of the Scripture in Sunday worship, may lead the prayers, and perform other duties as the priest may direct. Typically, they wear the same white vestments as the acolytes.
These are non-ordained persons who participate by reading part of the church service. Typically, they do not wear vestments and will read the first lesson and lead the Psalm.
These volunteers greet visitors at a welcome table with a gift bag filled with all sorts of information about St. John’s and how to connect with members of the congregation. They are also willing and able to help with questions you might have, to respond to visitor’s and newcomer’s questions, to escort guests and visitors to the nursery, coffee hour, and St. Nick’s House.
Those who bring forward the people’s offerings of bread and wine which are presented to the deacon or celebrant (priest) and placed on the altar for consecration.
Following the 10 a.m. service, there are people who are available at the altar rail to pray with those who have particular needs or concerns. These concerns may be for yourself or others. Please know that anything brought to these Prayer Team members is held in the strictest confidence. It is also appropriate to seek out one of the clergy for one-on-one prayer.
Sound and A/V Volunteers
A volunteer works each Sunday to operate the sound system and other audio visual equipment to assist in our worship.
Ushers and Greeters
Lay persons who greet and assist people as they enter the church. Ushers hand out service bulletins, answer questions of visitors and newcomers, count the number of people in the congregation, collect and present the offering at the offertory, assist parishioners during the administration of communion, and clean the pews and church building after the service. Our ushers wear special red badges to help you identify them.
Visiting Lay Eucharistic Ministers (V. LEM)
Our Visitors go to take Holy Communion from the church to people who are shut in, or otherwise unable to attend worship. On occasion, they may also go to local retirement communities and others who are shut-in and lead worship services and offer home communion to residents.
If you would like to participate in one of these ministries, please speak to or contact Fr. Eric or Deacon Elizabeth. For ministries they manage directly, they will be pleased to discuss with you the responsibilities involved, the time commitment expected, and what training is required. Otherwise, they will connect you with the appropriate leader.