The Worship Committee meets with the Rector and the Minister of Music to plan our worship services. Committee members take responsibility for training service ministers, such as Eucharistic ministers, acolytes, lectors, ushers, the Altar Guild, and others. They coordinate worship services with special events such as the seasons of the Church year, children’s Sabbaths, baptisms, etc. Each year they review our worship services and plan changes to make them better suited for our congregation and worship experience.
A Worship Committee member must be a regular attender—almost weekly—at either Sunday service, and should be involved with one of the ministries listed above or sing in the choir. Members need to listen carefully to the people in the congregation and be open to change in our worship style at St. Peter’s. This Committee meets about 6 times a year
Acolytes are members of the parish (both children and adults) who serve during the liturgy by carrying the processional crosses, candles, and banners. They are trained to serve the Priest (celebrant) at the altar, taking part in the Gospel Procession, distributing the offering plates, assisting with purificators and the flagon, and with the smooth procession of people to communion. All acolytes wear an alb with a white rope girdle.
Acolytes serve at the principal Sunday liturgy and festival services. Some assist at special Evensongs, weddings, funerals, etc. The Acolyte serves with sincere devotion of mind and body, reverence, and an attitude of helpfulness and dignity. Training classes take place annually.
The Altar Guild is responsible for preparing and caring for all of the holy objects used at the altar during the worship services. They take care of the linens, robes, candles, vessels, bread, and wine. The Altar Guild is also responsible for the Sacristy and the Nave, making sure everything is in order for each service. A member of the Guild is always in the Sacristy before our services to assist all of the ministers, acolytes, and others participating in the service. The Guild covers Sundays, holidays, and special services such as weddings and funerals
Altar Guild is a ministry for those who are careful, who love the liturgy, and wish to see the services run smoothly. Members, who serve on a rotating basis, meet as a group 3 or 4 times a year on a Saturday morning. Training is provided for new Guild members.
St. Peter’s uses home-baked bread* for all primary communion services each Sunday and on special occasions. The bread is made with whole wheat and white flour and formed into flat round loaves. The loaves are then scored with a cross before baking so they are easy to break into pieces at communion time.
Volunteer bakers are scheduled in advance on a rotating basis. They bake at home and deliver the loaves a day prior to the service or early the same day. You can bring your love of baking and desire to bake for the Lord to this ministry. The recipe is provided.
*Note that gluten-free wafers are also available.
Our Eucharistic Ministers (EMs) serve at God’s table by assisting our priest during worship. An EM is called upon to help the priest prepare the altar for Eucharist, to administer the bread and wine at communion, and sometimes to read the lessons or prayers of the people. These duties may be performed at the scheduled Sunday services, when extra services are scheduled (as during Holy Week or at Christmas) or at funeral services. EMs are usually scheduled for one Sunday service every six weeks. A training session with our Rector or another EM is required before serving in this role.
Altar flowers are purchased from a wholesale florist and arranged by one or two volunteer arrangers when needed. At this time, we use flowers when a member of the parish or a friend wishes to remember a loved one or give thanks for a special blessing. Usually the member requests the flowers for a specific date.
On weeks that we have flowers, the Rector designates one or more persons to receive the flowers after the service. Flowers on the altar help us to express our praise to God, observe a special time or person, and add to the beauty of the church.
Skills you can bring to this ministry are ability to arrange flowers or the desire to learn from an experienced arranger, love of flowers, and the desire to enhance the worship space. Flower arrangers serve in pairs on a rotating basis whenever flowers have been requested. They usually do the arrangements on Saturday mornings.
Intercessors lead our congregation in prayers for our Church, our Diocese, our parish family, our community and the world. Gifts they bring to the worship service are:
• A prayerful heart and a gift for public speaking;
• Willingness to be an intermediary for others in need of God’s mercy; and
• A knack for allowing people time to say their own silent prayers.
Intercessors do not have regular meetings, but do commit to being at the service when scheduled or finding a replacement if unable to attend. Intercessors are assigned on a rotating basis.
Lectors read the appointed lessons for the Sunday and special services throughout the year. They are assigned on a rotating basis. Gifts the Lectors bring to the service include:
• Ability to read and project in a meaningful way before the assembled congregation.
• Willingness to prepare and become familiar with the reading.
Lectors do not have regular meetings but are expected to be present for the service assigned or to find a replacement if unable to attend.
Ushers are often the first person a visitor meets, so their first ministry is to smile. Other activities include:
• Greet parishioners and guests, giving leaflets and information as needed;
• Introduce visitors to a member of the Welcome Team;
• During the service they receive offerings and present them at the altar; direct parishioners to the altar to receive the Holy Eucharist; make sure the Eucharistic Ministers see any parishioners who need to receive communion at their seats;
• After the service is over, they help anyone who needs information or directions; and straighten books, kneelers, papers, and collect any trash or leaflets that are left behind in the pews; take the food offering to the office hall, and help take altar flowers to the kitchen if necessary.
Skills and interests you can bring to this ministry are a pleasant attitude, an over-all knowledge of how the church service flows, and an awareness of any assistance you can lend, including welcoming and helping visitors.
Ushers do not have regular meetings but are expected to be present for the service assigned or to find a replacement if unable to attend. They serve on a rotating basis.
On the third Thursday each month at 7 p.m., members of St. Peter’s and the wider community gather for Taizé Prayer. This is a meditative form of worship based in scripture, song, and silence.
Taizé ministers offer many gifts. On the preceding Sunday, a small crew prepares our worship space with dozens of candles (and occasionally soaring banners). Before the service, candles are lit, and leaflets and chant books are set out. At the service, assigned participants play accompaniment, offer welcome remarks, and read the psalm, scripture, intercessions, and closing prayer. All in attendance join in singing the short, meditative chants. At the end of the service, another small team stays to put everything away.
Taizé Ministers also participate in two Taizé Eucharists, on one Sunday in Advent and one Sunday in Lent. The Rector meets with those interested in helping plan those services several weeks beforehand.
New volunteers are welcome to become involved either by planning and preparing behind the scenes, or by filling musical or speaking/reading roles during the service. We have music for keyboard, classical guitar, recorder, flute, and other instruments. Please contact the church office for more information.