The Altar Guild is the ministry of preparing and maintaining everything that relates to the altar, including maintaining the vestments and linens (see Linen Guild) and preparing and maintaining the vessels used during the Eucharist. This ministry is usually thought of as a "behind the scenes" ministry in that most tasks are performed when only the team members are in the church.
The Altar Guild is divided into four teams, with each team serving one week a month throughout the year. They set up for and clean up after each Eucharist during the week. Each team has a team captain who coordinates the team's work in setting the Lord's Table and trains new Altar Guild members. New members are trained by their respective team captain and serve with experienced members of their team. Directions for Altar Guild duties are posted in the sacristy and distributed to team members. For more information or to become a volunteer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Linen Guild is the part of the Altar Guild that launders and maintains the linens used during Eucharist. Linen Guild members currently serve on a rotating schedule, serving one Sunday per month. Linen Guild members take the used linens home after the Eucharist and launder and iron them, returning them to the church the following week for use during the Eucharist.
For more information or to become a volunteer, contact email@example.com.
Do you like arranging flowers or would like to learn? Then the Flower Guild may be a ministry that you would enjoy. We design and arrange flowers for the services each Sunday. Members currently serve on a rotating schedule. The Flower Guild members are also instrumental in helping set up the Easter and Christmas displays.
The duties include contacting the donor to see if there is any flower preference then picking up flowers and greenery on Thursday or Friday from Southern Floral (a wholesale company located in the Heights). The church supplies the containers for the arrangements.
Classes of floral design are scheduled 1 - 2 times a year. If anyone would like to learn about this ministry and the enjoyment it brings to others, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donating Sunday Flowers: Giving flowers for the offering is one of the ways we remember special people and times. We invite people who would like to donate flowers to sign up on a Flower Guild Chart and indicate the occasion for which the flowers are presented. The name(s) of the donor(s) and the occasion are printed in the weekly bulletin.
Greeters & Ushers
Greeters and Ushers are church representatives that play a significant role offering assistance and hospitality to members, visitors, and friends. Before each service, they provide a welcoming environment and distribute Sunday Service Bulletins to parishioners and visitors. During the service, they assist with the offerings and the flow for communion. Following the service, they clean and straighten the pews for the next service. Working in teams, they generally serve once a month.
Oblation bearers act as representatives of the people when they bring the gifts of bread and wine to the altar in preparation for communion. The only time requirement for oblation bearers is during the service at the offertory.
Lay readers bring the word of God to life through readings from the Old Testament, the Psalms, and selected New Testament readings. The readings are an integral part of the worship experience, providing insight and preparing worshipers for the lessons in the sermon. Readers are emailed ahead of time so they may prepare in communicating the word of God effectively and enthusiastically. For more information or to become a volunteer, contact email@example.com.
Chalice Bearers assist the priests in serving the elements of the Eucharist: priests being responsible for giving bread to the congregants and the Chalice Bearers assisting by offering the wine cup. To each person, the Chalice Bearer says the words, "The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation." Chalice Bearers usually serve on the altar party four times for each quarter of the Church Year, the quarters being December-February, March-May, June-August and September-November. For more information or to become a volunteer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The acolyte, crucifer, and thurifer ministry stems from Old Testament times. The Scriptures tell of the Prophet Samuel assisting Eli the priest and of Elijah being assisted by Elisha. The New Testament illustrates early Christian adoption of this custom, retained to the present day as an honored office. The server team is made up of adults and youth who feel called to play a leadership role in our worship service. They serve as examples for worshipers, leaders of the congregation during the service, and assistants for the clergy and lay ministers. Servers participate in all phases of the rites and ceremonies at St. Stephen's Church. The Ministry gives our adults and youth an opportunity to assume a leadership position in the Parish, learn our traditions, and to actively participate in its services in a very unique and memorable way.
Parishioners who feel called to this ministry are encouraged to contact Sarah Beauchamp. Training are held annually every summer.