Church on Sunday morning is a team effort. The clergy and Altar Guild, Readers and Acolytes, Ushers and Greeters, Hospitality and Choir, Sunday School volunteers and Nursery workers: all of them give time and talent to give thanks and praise to God, and to grow in faith and in the knowledge and love of God in Christ. Below find basic information about some of those ministries. Contact us to join or learn more.
Acolytes are young people who assist clergy and lay ministers in conducting the liturgy. Carrying sacred items in procession, and assisting with Holy Communion, Acolytes learn the pattern of worship and share in leadership.
The St. Stephen’s Altar Guild is a group of dedicated parishioners who prepare the altar and sanctuary for every worship service, and for the care and maintenance of the worship vessels and vestments of the parish. It is a ministry that is prayerful, careful, and joyful. The Altar Guild helps all of us to worship God, “in the beauty of holiness.”
FLOWER GUILD AND BOUQUET MINISTRY
Members of the St. Stephen’s community have been engaged in a new ministry of flowers. Some members work together to create the altar flowers that are displayed in front of the altar for Sunday morning worship, and others repurpose the flowers after the service into separate bouquets which are then delivered by individuals to members of the community.
Under the guidance of Michael Langham, our Director of Music, the choir sings at our 10am service on Sundays from September to June, leading the congregation in hymns and canticles, and singing anthems and other music to glorify the Lord in worship. The choir includes both trained section leaders and community volunteers, and rehearses every Thursday evening during choir season. Throughout the year, the choir also leads music at special services and feast days.
Worship since the time of Covid has changed how we gather. Currently at St Stephen’s we are also renovating our sanctuary and worshiping in our parish hall. This means that entrances and exits sometimes change from week to week, as does the location and arrangement of our worship space. Welcome Wagon teams serve at both the 8am and 10am services to make sure that people can find their way around, have what they need for worship, and that we are all adhering to the safety protocols we have implemented for the health of the whole community.
Lay ministers read scripture lessons and lead prayers at both the 8am and 10am services. In non-pandemic times, they also help administer the sacramental bread and wine.
Individuals and teams serve every Sunday at both the 8am and 10am service to make sure that our coffee hour is a welcome place for guests and regulars alike: providing refreshments and helping prepare the coffee. Anyone and everyone helps clean up!