Ways to Serve
We are called as disciples of Jesus Christ to be servants. St. James' has many ministry opportunities both inside and outside of our walls for you. These ministries allow us to join together as the hands and feet of Christ in service of others. As one, we become the Body of Christ. Below, you will find a brief summary of some ministry opportunities for and with our Worship. We hope you will join us as disciples and servants of the Jesus movement.
This is a very important ministry at St. James and an integral part of our worship services. Our youth and adults serve as acolytes. As an acolyte, youth carry torches and crosses (and sometimes flags, banners, and doves) in procession; light and extinguish candles before and after the worship service; lead the Gospel procession; serve the High Altar; carry the Gospel Book in procession; participate fully in the worship service. Acolytes typically serve one or two times each month, and also at special services during Easter, Advent, and Evensongs.
The Altar Guild prepares the altar and church for regular services, holy days, and the great festivals of the church such as Christmas and Easter. Preparations for weddings, funerals, and baptisms are also the responsibility of the guild. The Guild cares for the linens, communion silver, liturgical hangings, candles, and brass vases which are used in the various services. This is a sacred and important responsibility and ministry in the church.
This group of dedicated people also gather for moments of fellowship throughout the year, including the annual Christmas party (see picture to the right).
Chalice Bearers/Eucharistic Ministers
Chalice Bearers/Eucharistic Ministers walk in procession, and, like the Acolytes they participate fully in the worship service. Finally, they assist the Clergy in the Celebration of Holy Communion by administering the Chalice.
Eucharistic Visitors administer Holy Communion to those who cannot attend a Sunday Service because of illness or infirmity. Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEMS) are sanctioned by the Bishop to deliver Communion to those unable to participate in our corporate worship due to illness or infirmity. This allows our parish family to share communion from Sunday with those who cannot join us. This is an important "inreach" ministry for those in our parish family who are sick or shut in and cannot make it to church. It brings the Holy Eucharist celebrated by our faith community to this person and it brings the fellowship and support of our parish family.
The Choir is an integral part of our worship at St. James. Led by the Rev. Daniell Hamby, this group of dedicated individuals join together to make a joyful noise to the Lord (and help the rest of us). Parishioners who can either read music or love to sing are invited to lead the congregation in the hymns appointed for the service, as well as performing anthems on special occasions. The Choir also has a lot of fun throughout the year participating in special events such as Christmas caroling (pictured below left) and choir fellowship.
The Word as spoken from holy Scripture is important to our worship and Christian walk of faith. Each Sunday in the Episcopal Church you will hear three readings including Old Testament, New Testament and Gospel readings. There is also a reading from the Psalms. Lectors/Readers read most of these during our worship. Readers assist with the service by reading the Second Reading and Prayers of the People on Sunday. No specific skill is required to be a lector/reader, just a willingness to read clearly and audibly in the presence of the congregation. Training is provided.
Ushers greet and assist members of the congregation at services of worship and share responsibility for orderly services. The Usher is often the first person to greet a visitor or a regular communicant and the last person to say "farewell." Ushers show young families the location of the nursery and familiarize everyone with the church’s floor plan, including the restrooms. Ushers are typically scheduled once a month for regular Sunday morning services. During the week Ushers may be requested for special events or scheduled services. Orientation and training are provided for this ministry.