The ministry of the laity, as defined in the Book of Common Prayer (P. 855) is “to represent Christ and his Church … and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church”. Lay ministers are not ordained but assist clergy, prepare the church before and during services and continue Christ’s work in the world. These roles are scheduled by lay leaders/coordinators for each ministry, and some roles are licensed by the Bishop.
Altar Guild is a volunteer group of women and men whose ministry is to care for the altar, vestments, vessels, and altar linens of the parish. This work contributes to the sense of order, beauty and peace of worship services. Altar work requires a number of special qualities: love and respect, humility, and the ability to work as a team quietly and efficiently when members of the congregation are present.
The members of St. Mark’s Altar Guild currently work in teams of five or six members on a four week rotation (see Schedule and Roster). During the week an Altar Guild team is on duty, the team is responsible for the preparation and clean-up of Sunday services and any weddings or funerals that are scheduled during the week.
The Altar Guild team washes and prepares the silver for service and changes the linens and altar hangings, depending on the church calendar. We also polish the silver and brass, launder and iron the linens and maintain the wine and wafer supplies. Our members meet periodically for fellowship and to discuss any Altar Guild projects.
If you would like to join the Altar Guild or have any questions, please contact Directors Dorrie Pearson and/or Vickie Loftis. All new Altar Guild members are assigned to a team, whose members will teach you the ins and outs of altar work.
Candle Ministry A group of volunteers rotate through a schedule to replenish the oil in our sanctuary candles. Thus, as per their motto, this group is “Keepin’ God’s Home Fires Burnin’” Contact The Rev. Murray Powell to volunteer.
St. Mark’s Choir is open to anyone who has a desire to serve God with a joyful voice. Choral Director Renee Rybolt accompanied with Organist Lee Wells leads our adult choir at two Sunday morning services, and rehearsals on Thursday evenings at 7:15 p.m. in the Music Room.
St. Mark’s Choristers, led by Ms. Julia Hall, exist to provide children the opportunity to experience the challenge, joy and reward of choral singing to the Glory of God so that our children may grow spiritually in Christ. It also fosters leadership in the children grades one through middle school. When scheduled, Choristers vest at 8 a.m. and sing in the 9 a.m. service. Rehearsals are from 10:10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Youth Room during the school year (September through April/early May).
Contact The Rev. Samantha Smith for more information about any of the ministries listed below.
Acolytes are youth, grade three and above, and adult members of the parish who serve as torchbearers, crucifers, thurifers, and banner-bearers. They assist the clergy in Sunday worship leading the procession, presenting the Gospel Book for reading, and preparing for Holy Communion. Acolytes also serve at funerals and other services as needed.
Eucharistic Ministers are licensed by the Bishop to assist the Celebrant in administering the consecrated Wine at any celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Eucharistic Visitors are licensed to go from a Sunday Eucharist or other principal celebrations of the Eucharist to share the sacrament with members of the congregation who are unable to be present at the celebration because of illness or infirmity.
Readers are parishioners who serve as lectors to read the appointed Scripture lessons for the day, lead the congregation in the Psalm, and Prayers of the People. Occasionally, they may read for services such as mid-week Eucharists, weddings, funerals, Morning and Evening Prayer. Lectors are not required to be licensed by the Bishop.
Ushers and Greeters welcome people as they enter the church on Sundays. Ushers provide direction and assist members and visitors before and during each service. They distribute service leaflets as people enter the Narthex, pass offering plates during the Offertory, and guide the flow of congregants to and from the altar for Communion. Ushers work in teams of two to four during Sunday services.