All worship minister schedules are now handled online through the program at this link. If you need help signing in, please contact the parish office.
In the Episcopal Church, the rector leads the worship of the gathered congregation. Each baptized Christian is called to take part in that worship through the liturgy. In addition, many Christians find themselves called to further ministry, assisting the rector in preparing for and leading the worship of the parish. At the bottom of this page is a form for more information on these ministries and to find out when the next training is so that you might join.
The acolytes are drawn from the youth of the parish. They are trained first to serve as torch-bearers, carrying lighted torches in procession to mark significant space and moments in worship. When they are older they graduate to serve as crucifers, carrying the processional cross and leading the procession. The Acolyte Cheat Sheet is online here.
As an offering to God, the Altar Guild serves the congregation by preparing our sacred space for worship. Guild members are mindful of the high privilege of serving God in the sacred sanctuary. They must have a sincere devotion and a desire to make their work an acceptable offering to our Lord. In short, they must view their ministry as a sacred trust in conjunction with all the other members, not only of the Altar Guild, but of the entire parish. The Altar Guild Manual exists to guide members of our Altar Guild in caring for and setting up our worship space and the various implements of worship.
Coffee Hour Workers
After the 10am liturgy, we gather for coffee and snacks in the Timberlake Hall (or outdoors, when the weather permits). Our Coffee Hour hosts get to church early to make coffee for the day, sometimes they decorate the Coffee Hour table for the season or a holiday, and they provide cookies, fruit, or other snacks. The instructions for serving as a Coffee Hour Host are online here.
Communion Bread Bakers
Our parish uses fresh, home-made bread baked by members of our community for each celebration of Holy Eucharist. The rotation of bread-bakers prepare it on Saturday for Sunday and the following Wednesday’s services and any special services in between. When a special service falls on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, it is made special for that day. Our communion bread-baking recipe card is online here.
Digital Evangelism Team
We know that the sharing of the Gospel can take a variety of forms. Our parish Digital Evangelism Team serves at the second service on Sundays, along with other key liturgy days during the year, to monitor our sound and video system. The video is streamed live to the nursery downstairs for parents who may need to exit the worship service with their children. The team also records the sermon, posting the audio and video of the sermon online.
The sharing of Holy Eucharist is at the center of the church’s life. Strengthened by Christ’s body and blood we go out into the world in service. Eucharistic Ministers are those called to a special vocation of hospitality and service. They exhibit a reverence for Christ’s presence in the sacraments and find profound joy in serving the chalice to their fellow Christians. Eucharistic Ministers must be trained by the rector and licensed by the bishop. The EM Cheat Sheet is online here. There is also a separate schedule for our Midweek Eucharistic Ministers, that is online here.
Holy Eucharist is a shared community experience. However, there are some members of our community who through reason of age or physical infirmity are unable to join our Eucharistic worship on a regular basis. Eucharistic Visitors exercise a ministry of pastoral care. Trained by the rector and licensed by the bishop, they work on a rotation bringing Holy Communion from our worship services to those members unable to be present. The current Eucharistic Visitor schedule is here (sign-in required). The checklist for preparing for and following up after a Eucharistic Visit is online here.
Kids of all ages are always very welcome in all of our worship services. At the same time, we know that sometimes the parents of smaller children can use a break and focus more on worship. For that reason we have volunteers in the nursery downstairs who are happy to keep an eye on your little ones while you worship. The service is also streamed down in the nursery, so if you simply want to go down there for a bit with your child, you can still see and hear everything happening up in the Nave.
For thousands of years the people of God have found life in the words of Holy Scripture. However, it has only been for a few hundred years that Scripture has been experienced through reading a book. For the majority of Judeo-Christian history, the proclamation of Scripture was an aural (heard) event. Readers find deep meaning in Scripture and prepare carefully to read the lessons in our gathered worship. The Reader assigned for the prayers also holds custody of the Prayers of the People during the week, adding in those petitions that they deem important given what’s happening in our community and world. Then, on Sunday, the Intercessor stands in the midst of the congregation and leads the Prayers of the People. They are trained by the rector. The Readers’ Cheat Sheet is online here.
An Episcopal worship service can sometimes be tricky to navigate for a newcomer, particularly one who is not familiar with liturgical worship. The ushers help guide people to and from the pews and are available to answer questions and provide assistance during the liturgy. The Ushers’ Cheat Sheet is also online here.
Thurifers & Boat-Bearers
The use of incense brings solemnity, joy, and a sense of God’s presence to our worship. At St. John’s, when we do use incense, a thurifer is responsible for preparing the thurible (censer for the incense) and being in charge of that incense during the liturgy. A thurifer is often assisted by a Boat-Bearer, who carries the incense boat and stays near the thurifer to help in other ways if needed.
The ministry of Vergers is focused on liturgy. Vergers assist the Celebrant in all worship services as the Master of Ceremonies for the liturgy. Vergers check that the worship space is properly set up for the service, confirm that lay leaders are present (and make substitutions when people are not in attendance), and assist in the movement of all participants during the service so that worship flows smoothly and other worship leaders can focus on spiritual aspects of the service. The Verger's Cheat Sheet for a normal Sunday service is online here.
According to Episcopal Church Canon III.4.(c).4, “A Worship Leader is a lay person who regularly leads public worship under the direction of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.” At St. John’s, our licensed Worship Leaders assist in the offering of Daily Evening Prayer on Mondays through Thursdays, at 5:15pm.
Customary and Altar Guild Manual
To help guide both our preparation and practice of worship, we have several resources available for our worship ministers. You can download any of the following resources by clicking on the highlighted name. The St. John’s Customary exists to guide the ministers in their preparation for a service and the execution of their duties. You can purchase a paperback copy of the customary for only a little over $12 (plus shipping) online here. You can also download a free pdf of the customary to print at home (or view on your mobile device) online here. If you are an SJE Worship Minister and would like us to run you off a copy that you could staple or binder clip, we are more than happy to do so. Simply contact the parish office.
Also, the Altar Guild Manual exists to guide members of our Altar Guild in caring for and setting up our worship space and the various implements of worship.
For more information on any of these ministries or to find out when the next training session is, please fill out this Get Involved form.