We are a liturgical church. This means we follow familiar patterns of prayer, readings and song. The word 'liturgy' means the work of the people. Worship is something we do together. We need you. Please consider the following activites:
Set the Table (Sacristan/Altar Guild)
The Altar Guild has a number of responsibilities. Essential they prepare the sanctuary for worship, setting the table, posting the hymns, adjusting banners and paraments for the seaon, and other duties as needed. For more information, please visit their page or talk to the person clearing the table after the service.
Assist the Minister
The Assisting Minister leads the congregation in prayer. For some of the musical settings we use during for services, the Assisting Minister also leads the congregation in song. On the rare occasion that a volunteer isn't able to attend the service they signed up for, the Assisting Minister may fill that need (particularly reading scripture, or serving communion).
We firmly believe God has accepted and welcomes us. Ushers bring a warm, friendly first impression to all who come to worship God in this place. Often that first impression stays with a visitor. This is an important ministry of warmth, joy, smiles, and service.
Ushers also provide structure when needed. They collect the offering and invite people to the altar for communion. They count the number of people at each service. When people arrive after the service has started they help them settle in with minimal disturbance.
We follow the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), so we always know well in advance what the readings are scheduled. From the lecturn, this person does the First Reading, leads the congregation in saying the Psalm in a call and response manner, and does the Second Reading. The First reading is typically from what we call the Old Testament; this second is from the New Testament. As many as three people could volunteer to read at any given service.
Every regular service at Bethlehem is a service of Word and Sacrement. That means we have communion every Saturday and Sunday. The pastor offers the bread with the words, "the body of Christ, given for you." Three lay persons assist. One offers the small cups. Another offers the chalice. Both offer the wine (or juice) with the words, "the blood of Christ, shed for you." The third lay person carries the tray to collect the small cups. This person is usually invited to commune the pastor at the end.
Count the Offering
We want to be good stewards of our collective resources. To this end, congregations typically have a small cadre of trained volunteers who count the offering after services and provide a record to the Treasurer. Having someone other than the Treasurer or other Council members count the offering is an important safe guard for them. We have been remiss in relying on our Treasurer to do everything because this exposes that person to the risk of accusations of mishandling funds. Do I trust our Treasurer? Absolutely! Being good stewards isn't just about managing money. We also need to honor and protect each other.
Host "Coffee" Hour
Sometimes called the Third Sacrament of Lutheran Churches, the coffee hour provides an important ministry of fellowship. Bake or buy a snack to share. Prepare coffee and other beverages. Set up and clean up are part of hosting, but you are unlikely to be left holding the rag. People generally pitch-in.