Acolytes serve as part of the leadership team for worship. Acolytes are both youth and adults above the third grade. Acolyte duties are divided into two levels through which acolytes progress as they learn the duties and responsibilities. Children and youth serving as acolytes still attend Sunday School classes on days when they are scheduled to serve. Acolytes are scheduled about one Sunday a month plus festive days. If you are interested please speak with a member of the clergy to arrange for training.
Eucharistic Ministers are youth and adult members of the congregation who serve as part of the leadership team for worship. Eucharistic Ministers assist in serving the bread and wine at the time of Communion. Training is provided by the clergy to obtain a license issued by the Diocese. Youth must have completed the Sacrament of Confirmation. Some Eucharistic Ministers vest and serve for the entire service and some sit with their families during the service and then come forward to assist with distribution. Both are fine. Please speak with a member of the clergy.
Lectors are part of the leadership team for worship. They sit in the pews and come forward to read the scripture lessons assigned for the day. Training is provided and lectors are scheduled to read about once a month. Lectors may join the team at any time during the year. Please speak with Claire Mingalone or a member of the clergy to get started. Children in 5th grade and above with a strong speaking voice are also welcome.
Greeters serve to welcome all who come for worship be they visitors or members. The ministry of the Greeter is to assist everyone is feeling comfortable and included as we gather to celebrate as a family of faith. Greeters will also help visitors and newcomers to find their way in the building and assist in locating classrooms and facilities as needed. Greeters serve from 20 minutes prior to the beginning of the service through helping visitors find their way to coffee hour. Greeters also assist in making the clergy aware of their presence and encouraging them to sign the guest book and pick-up a welcome packet. Friends, couples and families may also decide to greet as a team. It is wonderful for young children to be greeted by other children. Greeters also encourage members to wear their name tags!
Ushers serve during worship services and have a variety of duties to assist the clergy in making the service run smoothly. Ushers assist those arriving for worship by handing them the service bulletin and, if needed, helping them to find a seat. During the service ushers take a count of those present for the service record. They also assist during Communion by helping to direct people up and back from Communion making special note of those needing assistance.
WORSHIP BROADCAST TEAM
One of the blessings that the Covid Pandemic brought about is the now-common live-streaming and publication of our weekly worship. If asked we, like most churches, would have said it was beyond our capabilities. Yet when needed it was accomplished. We began with Facebook Live from a single phone taped to a mic stand. Fifteen months later, thanks to the volunteer IT Team, we have three screens, four cameras, an integrated sound system, additional speakers and a sound board, we have a weekly product of which churches much larger would be rightly proud. Under the leadership of Dean Mohamed and Don LaCass, the steady development of the system means that everyone is able to participate fully, whether they are in-person, in the neighborhood, or the other side of the globe! This once ‘pie-in-the-sky’ idea is now a weekly reality. It is transforming how we plan for and deliver the gathering of worship for our family of faith and will continue to be a way that we are able to connect more and more of the faithful and seekers into relationship with God, The Episcopal Church, and St. Alban’s!
If you would like to learn more or become involved with this team you are most welcome!
Our Counters Teams consist of two trained adults who are responsible for the counting and recording of the offering following the worship service. Counters serve once a month following a closely designed but simple to follow system. New counters are paired with experienced ones until the system is learned and the member is comfortable. Counters prepare the weekly deposit and treat with confidentiality the information on the offering and envelopes.
Members of our choirs are part of the leadership team for worship. St. Alban’s has two choirs available for those who are interested in group singing and assisting with the important ministry of leading congregational singing during worship. The adult choir practices at 9AM on Sunday morning and sings during the 10AM service. The children’s choir practices following the 10AM service on the 1st Sunday of the month to prepare to sing on Family Sundays (first Sunday of most months) and special occasions. All are welcome and can join by simply coming to a rehearsal. Both choirs sing from mid-September to mid-June.
Our Altar Guild is a dedicated group of people who serve with joy and friendship behind the scenes to prepare the church and altar for worship and assist the clergy with special arrangements. Those who are interested in serving with the Altar Guild are welcome and encouraged to do so! Training occurs by being included in a team of experienced members who each serve one weekend a month. The Altar Guild sets up on Saturday afternoon for the Sunday liturgies. The altar is reset in-between the 8 and 10 AM services and then the guild clears the altar area and cleans-up the vessels following the service. As special occasions approach the Altar Guild also polishes silver and brass and makes other seasonal preparations to enable us to ‘keep the feast’. We hope you will join us!
At St. Alban’s we use both baked bread and wafers for Communion. Our bread is baked by members in their homes with a non-yeast, whole wheat recipe which we provide. A single batch of bread will make enough rounds for about a month. Our bread baking ministry is something that you can do on your own time in your own home. Because bread is kept in the freezer you can volunteer to bake anytime and the bread will be saved until needed. This is a great opportunity to include little ones as well! All are welcome!
Prayer is an integral part of a healthy faith community. At St. Alban’s we seek to provide many opportunities for people to enter into prayer. The Prayer Chain is a group of faithful prayers who are committed to holding in prayer those who request prayer and those who are placed on our Sunday worship prayer list. All that is needed to participate in this ministry is an open, willing and prayerful heart. Members of the Prayer Chain take the Sunday bulletin, where names are listed, as well as phone calls and emails that are circulated apprising them of new prayer requests. To join the Prayer Ministry please contact the parish office or speak to a member of the clergy.
THE ALTAR OF ROSES and ALTAR OF TIES
On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day we have two beloved traditions. On Mother’s Day the ALTAR OF ROSES beautifies the altar with hundreds of single long-stemmed roses each given in memory or thanksgiving for a woman in our life. The dedication for each rose is listed in the bulletin and read during the service. The cost of $5 per rose is a fund raiser for the Altar Guild. The ALTAR OF TIES is part of our Father’s Day celebration when ties are arranged on the altar to create a beautiful (and fun!) frontal. The stories that the ties tell are music to the ears of God. Please watch the bulletin and Albanac as these two days arrive and join in the remembering and celebrating.
ST. NICHOLAS AND ST. LUCY
The second and third Sundays of Advent have taken on a special identity at St. Alban’s. We are continuing to develop a tradition of celebrating the feasts of St. Nicholas and St. Lucy, also known as St. Lucia. Both of these saints’ feast days are in early December and the qualities for which they are known are especially appropriate as we look toward the coming of Jesus at Christmas. St. Nicholas was a real bishop in Myra, now Turkey, and was know for his kindness toward children and love of giving gifts of life in secret. St. Lucia was a young martyr who is pictured with a crown of candles on her head bringing light into the darkness of winter. Both of these are beloved saints in parts of Europe and bring even more excitement of anticipation to our Advent preparations as they make visits to St. Alban’s with special treats that bear their names.