An important ministry for our youth and for people of all ages is service as an acolyte. The word “acolyte” means “helper”, and these young people perform a valuable service in helping those in charge of the service with their responsibilities. They may carry candles or the processional cross as the ministers and choir enter the church at the beginning of the service. They assist with the Gospel Procession when it is read from the center of the church. They also help with receiving the offerings from the congregation, and assist the priest with his or her duties at the Altar.
Any children of the parish who are eight years old or older are eligible to become an acolyte. Our Acolyte Trainer will see that they receive proper instruction and are placed on a rotating list to serve. Those just beginning as acolytes are assigned simple duties, and learn more complex ones as they gain experience.
St. Stephen’s Altar Guild has as its mission the care and maintenance of the vestments and altar wares of the parish. Each Sunday – and also for special services – the Altar Guild arranges the Altar and the area around it with the appropriate furnishings required for the service. They make sure that everything is in place so that our worship is dignified and orderly. In support of this they wash and iron altar linens, polish chalices and other utensils used for the Eucharist, and prepare and display flowers for our Sanctuary. They make sure that the proper vestments are available for those participating in the service, and that sufficient supplies of bread and wine are ready at hand. After the service they return everything to its proper place and see that vestments and furnishings are ready for the next one.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers and Visitors
Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEMs) are trained to serve at Sunday worship services and other special services where there is communion. At St. Stephen’s, LEMs are invited to vest in Alb and cincture and administer the cup at communion. Further training is also available for those interested in being “Lay Eucharistic Visitors”, who bring the Eucharist to members of the Congregation who by reason of illness or infirmity were unable to be present at the time Holy Eucharist was celebrated.
Guild of Severn Parish
The mission of this ministry is to provide additional outreach inside the church and in our surrounding community. The Guild assists in our Holiday Sharing Program, as well as most special events held at St. Stephen’s. The Guild usually meets once a month.
Lectors or Readers
At each Eucharist, there are usually three readings from Scripture. While the Gospel is always read by a member of the clergy, the other two readings are usually read by specially appointed members of the parish called lectors. Serving as a lector is a wonderful way to participate for those of us who have limited time to serve but who still want to contribute to our weekly worship services. If you love words; have a strong voice; are able to read with feeling and emphasis; and are able to review the reading ahead of time (always wise!,) then please consider serving in this sacred and meaningful way. Training will be provided to anyone who is interested in this ministry.
We are proud of our beautiful old country church. Old buildings are a lot of work though. Throughout the year many unsung heroes help our Junior Warden discuss and plan the maintenance of our facilities, as well as help with tasks to keep St. Stephen’s property in great shape. The Junior Warden welcomes your assistance. If you can share some of your time and talents on one of the many projects that could use a little TLC, please contact the Junior Warden or the Church Office.
Stewardship embraces the concept that Christians should be grateful, responsible stewards of all the gifts we receive from God – time, talent, and treasure. The mission of the Stewardship Ministry is to instill, develop and nurture a true sense of stewardship within each member of our congregation. We see stewardship as more than simply contributing money to the church; it’s also about contributing time and talents, and volunteering for ministry and mission. It’s about reaching out to build relationships from a perspective of abundance instead of scarcity.
Our Tellers work in rotating groups to count and record the offering collection each week. Training will be provided to anyone who is interested in this ministry.
The Ushers at St. Stephen’s are often the first people to greet and assist visitors at the Church. They are integral to making sure visitors feel welcome and that all aspects of our worship services flow smoothly. Our ushers serve on rotating teams, according to their schedule and service time preference. Older teens and young adults are also welcome to serve. Training will be provided to anyone who is interested in this ministry.
Contact the Church Office if you would like more information or to serve in any of these ministries.