If you’ve worshiped with us, you’ll have seen the countless ways parishioners can be involved at St. Paul’s every Sunday morning. Read on for information on these volunteer ministries.
St. Paul’s has an extraordinary music program with a number of ways in which to offer your voice. See our Choral Music page for more information.
These include people who are part of the procession, wear vestments, and serve during worship. The thurifer leads the procession and oversees the use of the thurible (a vessel that burns incense); they may sometimes be accompanied by a boatbearer, who the vessel of incense. The crucifer carries the cross in the procession, while servers carry candles and assist with the distribution of consecrated grape juice during communion. Finally, a Minister of Ceremony oversees worship by preparing the various books of prayers and keeping a watchful eye to assure that the clergy have what they need and that the service proceeds smoothly. Training for all roles is readily available.
St. Paul’s offers fresh bread every Sunday in the Holy Eucharist, prepared by a volunteer team of amateur and professional bakers. We are always happy to add more folks to our rota, and to share our secret recipe for our delicious bread.
Our volunteer team of flower arrangers make worship more beautiful with the presence of flower arrangements throughout the year, corresponding to the liturgical seasons of each moment.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Whenever a baby is baptized at St. Paul’s, they are presented with a beautiful blanket knitted with love by our Prayer Shawl Ministry. This team of folks sharing in fellowship every two weeks also provides prayer shawls for anyone in need of one, for pastoral care or any other reason. Come join the team in their regular meetings, whether you’re an amateur knitter or a pro, to provide an important ministry of welcome, and to join in fellowship with others. See our calendar for a regular schedule of meetings, which are held in the Guild Room at St. Paul’s.
Christian Education Team
There are several ways to be involved in Christian Education at St. Paul’s. One can present on an adult forum, lead Children’s Worship, or host a Young Adults activity. The Christian Education Team works in coordination with the clergy to plan the year’s programming. See our Education & Formation page for more areas you might be interested in.
Lectors and Intercessors
Volunteers from within the congregation serve as lectors and intercessors during services, reading the lessons and leading the intercessory Prayers of the People.
The Sacristans at St. Paul’s are the people who do the “behind the scenes” work for our worship life. They are responsible for setting out the elements for Sunday Eucharists and special mid-week services (bread, wine and grape juice, as well as silver and linens). For special services, they make sure that all the necessities are set and ready, like warm water for the Maundy Thursday foot-washing, or the quick turnaround for back-to-back services on Christmas Eve.
Healing Ministry is central to our life together at St. Paul’s. A large part of Jesus’ ministry and the ministry he passed on to his disciples involved healing of all kinds. Each Sunday the sacrament of anointing and prayers for healing is offered during Holy Communion. Following the ancient healing tradition described in Scripture, our healing teams use special sacramental oil, delicately scented, to make the sign of the Cross in the name of the Trinity on the foreheads of all who come for healing prayer. Consistent with our “open Table” where all are welcome to receive Holy Communion, the sacrament of anointing and prayers for healing is available to anyone who desires healing support for themselves or for others—for physical, emotional and spiritual needs, including healing of relationships, memories, and freedom from addictions, or any other unspoken need.
The Rite of Healing is also available whenever one is ill, anticipating surgery, or feels the need to receive this sacrament. Please ask the clergy about this, or consult our page on Pastoral Care.
Hospitality is a broad group of volunteers, including the important roles of Ushers, Ministers of Welcome (or “Greeting Ministry”), and Coffee Hour hosts/hostesses.
An advisory team to the Rector, the Worship Team provides input and perspective to various questions related to liturgy.
Training and support are available for all roles. To learn more, or to express your interest in joining a particular ministry, contact Marsha Dunn, Associate for Member Engagement and Parish Administration, at (203) 847-2806. For more information about music ministries, contact Director of Music Jake Street.