An acolyte is one who serves in one or more ways during our Sunday worship. The acolyte may be a crucifer (one who brings in and carries out the processional cross). He or she may be a torch-bearer, one of two acolytes who carry the torches during the opening, closing, and gospel processions. The acolyte may assist Deacon Sue in setting the table for Eucharist, or in receiving the offertory. She or he may help in carrying the gospel book during the gospel procession or in "pointing" the Eucharistic prayer. The acolyte may be as young as the third grade or they may be an adult. While most of our acolytes are in school, we do encourage our adults to consider participating in this fun ministry. The frequency of an acolyte's participation depends on the number of acolytes we have. At present, most of our acolytes rotate through every 3-4 weeks. Please contact our parish administrator if you have any questions or if you are interested in serving as an acolyte.
Bread Makers Guild
The bread we share at communion is handmade by your fellow parishioners! What a symbol of everything that knits us together. A few times a year, you will have the opportunity to bake small loaves of bread which will end up as something else entirely.
The St. Gabriel's Flower Guild members enjoy the beauty of flowers and are honored to make arrangements for the Altar each week. Our skills have been 'learned as we go' and from the experience of others in our past churches. We were all novices at arranging flowers. The enjoyment we receive from preparing the weekly offerings has made this service a ministry that we treasure. In addition to our weekly efforts, the Liturgical year provides opportunities to enhance the nave in celebration of Christmas, Easter, and other feast days. The funding for the Flower Guild comes from our parishioners who sign up for sponsorship of the Sunday Altar Flowers. Our parishioners also purchase poinsettias and Easter lilies to honor, remember, or celebrate a loved one or family. We are always looking for new members to train or to give us new ideas.
Ushers and Greeters
We are blessed to have a wonderful team of ushers and greeters at St. Gabriel's. For folks who are visiting and for those who have been here for years, it is central to our mission that everyone is met with a warm welcome that reflects God's welcome. Our greeters are our face and heart to all who come on Sundays. These folks also function as ushers on Sunday mornings. This means that they pass the collection plates during the Offertory. They also help guide the congregation forward to the altar to receive communion. They also assist those parishioners who may need special help due to infirmity or disability. There are typically two greeters/ushers for each service. The frequency of serving tends to be about once a month.
You will recognize vergers in the 10:30 Rite II Eucharist service by their black robes and the large "stick" they carry. The staff of the verger is called a "verge". The verge dates back to the medieval church where processing to and from the church went through the busy paths of villages. At that time, the verger used the verge to clear away animals blocking the path of the procession. In the present day, the verger still functions in leading the procession of the choir members, acolytes, lay eucharistic ministers, and clergy. A verger's most important role is to make sure the acolytes and readers are present and properly robed in their vestments. They ensure that the readers, chalice bearers, and other appointed servers are present. If individuals are not present for the time periods they have been assigned to, the Verger will have the task of finding replacements for those who could not attend. Without the verger, our 10:30 worship service would not be the smooth, orderly liturgy we have come to enjoy. Please contact our parish administrator if you have an interest in this worship ministry or if you have any questions.
The Altar Guild has the privilege of caring for and preparing the sanctuary and altar for all services held at St. Gabriel's as well as assisting the church as needed. Caring for the altar consists of taking care of the communion silver, pottery, and other vessels as well as the altar linens used in the communion service. Preparations for each service begin in the sacristy where all materials are stored. The Altar Guild manages the supplies used for worship including the wine, candles, and bread (in conjunction with the Bread Makers Guild). Preparing the sanctuary for service involves making sure all candles to be used are fitted with a sufficient amount of oil, checking the wick length in the candle lighter, the preparation of the bread and wine for the specific service, alms, basins, linens, vessels and placement of the gospel and altar book on the altar. There are currently four teams of 2-4 people per team. Each team serves for one week on a rotating schedule. The schedule is prepared quarterly by the Altar Guild Director. The service period begins on the Sunday of each team's assigned week and concludes on the following Saturday. Individual training is provided for new volunteers. We welcome all who wish to contribute to this weekly service. Please contact our parish administrator if you have an interest in joining a team or need additional information.
During the 10:30 service, our Children's Chapel creates a similar, age-appropriate space for all children ages 4 years old to the second grade. Using Godly Play and our own rich liturgies, this time apart allows young participants to embrace the mysteries of worship and experience their place in the loving hand of God. Our Children's Chapel is located across the hall from the Nave. Different adults of our parish team up to lead this group. The time for the Children's Chapel service occurs during the time in our adult service from Presentation of the Gospel to the sharing of the Peace. If you would like to be added to this important and enriching ministry with our parish children, please contact the church office.
The lay readers guide the congregation through much of the first half of our Sunday Holy Eucharist service. The desire that the word of God be heard is deeply ingrained in the history of the early church. It is not enough that the congregation simply read the word of God. When the Word is made audible, it becomes alive within the community each and every time it is spoken. Thus, the lay readers offer an important and integral ministry on Sunday mornings. They read an Old Testament lesson and an Epistle each week, as well as leading the congregation in The Prayers of the People. During the 8:00am (Rite I) service, a lay reader leads the community in the Psalm appointed for that day. On any given Sunday, three lay readers take part in the Eucharist. There is a separate rotation for the 8:00am service and the 10:30 service. If you would like to be a lector (lay reader), please contact our parish administrator.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers and Visitors
Lay Eucharistic Ministers are licensed by the diocese to assist in distributing Holy Communion during the Eucharist. This usually involves administering the communion Chalice. This individual is vested in a white alb and is scheduled to assist in pastoral services such as weddings or funerals that will celebrate the Eucharist as a part of the service.
Lay Eucharistic Visitors are licensed by the diocese to carry the Sacrament in travel communion boxes to those who are unable to attend a service due to illness or injury. A Home Service Eucharist/Prayer booklet will be provided to assist the Eucharistic Visitor with providing a structure for the service and visit. All or a portion of the service may be used as the situation dictates. The Eucharistic Visitor needs to be flexible to preferably go to the home-bound or hospital bound parishioner after worship service on Sunday. Please consider one or both of these important ministries as we live out our commitment to servanthood. If you are interested in one or both of these ministries, please contact Deacon Sue.