SERVING ON SUNDAY
We have volunteer opportunities for all ages that would enjoy helping on Sunday. Perhaps your grandchild would like to help you greet the visitors that morning or perhaps you prefer working in the kitchen to prepare and sample the refreshments for Coffee Hour. If you fancy arranging the altar flowers and vestments just so, front and center for all to see, we’ve got a place for you, too. Have a voice that can carry? Perhaps joining the list of lay readers is just the right fit. If you’ve got the inkling, we’ve got the job for you.
The Episcopal Church honors all ages and invites them to participate fully in worship. Acolytes may serve at the altar between the fifth grade and their graduation from high school. Training is done through the mentoring of fellow acolytes under the guidance of the acolyte master. Acolytes are scheduled quarterly serving approximately twice each quarter. They are also invited to participate in additional services such as Christmas and Easter. For information on how to participate contact Patrick Barlow, Acolyte Master.
"Since coming to St. Stephens’s, meeting new friends and serving this beautiful church through the Altar Guild has been a joy.” - Donna Bosholm
The Altar Guild is a volunteer group of women and men in the parish whose ministry is most sacred and vital. Their duty is to assist the Rector in creating worship services for all that are both spiritual and beautiful. The Altar Guild members care for the altar, vestments, and altar linens of the parish. Altar Guild members prepare the sanctuary for the services, including preparing the altar for the Eucharist, clean up afterwards, and also prepare the sanctuary for special occasions such as Christmas, Easter, funerals, and weddings.
These are the folks who not only know the names of the parts of the church, they know the church seasons, colors, names of vestments, linens, and holy hardware, and the most widely used church symbols. Interested? As a team member on the rotating schedule, your shift would usually take two hours a month—one hour to setup and one hour to cleanup. On-the-job training and a mentor are provided. Come and volunteer to “take care of The Lord’s table.”
LAY EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS, LAY READERS, & LECTORS
For all in-person weekday and Sunday worship services at St. Stephen’s, there is a network of volunteers that are front and center. These are our Lay Eucharistic Ministers, Lay Readers, and Lectors.
The Lay Eucharistic Ministers/Lay Readers/Lectors is arguably the most layered ministry, meaning that choices abound. One can choose to be a Lay Eucharistic Minister (LEM), which means one would be licensed by the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas (DWTX) to serve the chalice of wine at Holy Eucharist. One could choose to be a Lay Reader, also referred to as a Worship Leader, which means one would be licensed by DWTX to lead a weekday or weeknight public worship. And, if one prefers to read only, not serving the chalice of wine, one would choose to be a Lector, who is licensed by the rector at St. Stephen’s to read the Lessons and Prayers of the People. And, of course, there are combination
choices—like going through the training and licensing to become both a Lector and a Lay Reader. If you have already served as a LEM/Lay Reader/Lector at another church, one would only need a refresher training.
Here's what they have to say:
“Leading the Healing Service, increased my compassion, and my ability to connect with others, especially in difficult times.” – Frank Walker, Ministry Division Leader
“We feel humbled by the great privilege of serving the Eucharist to people at one of their most private and special moments of worship.” – Bob and Linda Reed, LEMs
For more information about this ministry, read this feature article.
For information on how to participate contact: Charlotte Carter, Dean of Lay Eucharistic Ministries
USHERS & GREETERS
Greeters are members of St. Stephen's who welcome and invite the congregation and especially visitors into full participation in the life of St. Stephen's on Sunday mornings. Greeters introduce themselves and others by offering name tags, introducing visitors to the members and the facilities of St. Stephen's and accompanying visitors to coffee hour. They also gently encourage visitors to complete an information card so they can be contacted and shepherded further and begin the process of discovering how St. Stephen's can help meet their needs.
Ushers are critical for helping people feel welcome at St. Stephen's. They distribute service leaflets, assist worshipers in finding a place to sit, assist worshipers in going to communion, take up the offering, and straighten the worship space after a service.
Being an usher is a great way to get to know other people in the church.