Sunday Volunteer Ministries

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Sign Up to usher, greet, coffee hour, etc!

ACOLYTE

An acolyte is needed for each service. Children who do this should be at least seven years old and should practice ahead of time.

  • Light the candles about the same time as the prelude begins.
  • The candle lighters are hanging on the hooks to the right of the shelf by the south door to the sanctuary; matches and/or a lighter can be found on the shelf.
  • Take the lit lighter to the altar. After lighting the candles, extinguish the lighter. (The symbolism is bringing the light of Christ into the sanctuary.) Before returning the lighter to the shelf, push the wick out—otherwise it has the tendency to get stuck in the lighter.
  • During the last verse of the last hymn, take the unlit candle lighter to the altar to extinguish the candles. Before extinguishing the last candle, relight the wick on the lighter. (This symbolizes taking the light of Christ into the world.)
  • At the back of the sanctuary, extinguish the wick, push it back out and replace the lighter on the hook.

COFFEE HOUR SUPPLIES

Coffee—You may use coffee from the Equal Exchange Fair Trade Program that you will find in the church kitchen, and we ask for a donation to the coffee fund, or you may decide to purchase coffee and bring it.

  • Tea bags*—in a box on top of the microwave

  • Teapot of hot water — Teapots are in the upper cabinet to the left of the ovens.
  • 3 or 4 coffee cakes, cookies or other baked goodies—Be sure these are nut-free. We estimate about 150 small servings.
  • Juice in paper cups for the children—in a color that doesn’t stain, e.g. apple or orange juice
  • Cookies or other goodies appropriate for children—again, no nuts.
  • Mugs—set out on serving table. You will find them under the microwave.
  • Coffee servers- are found to the left of the ovens in the upper cabinet.
  • Napkins, sugar and creamer*
  • Tablecloths—These are in the closet across from the elevator on the lower level.

*These items can frequently be found in the kitchen, but it pays to make sure ahead of time.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Coffee “hour” is held in Paxton Hall between services.
  • Make the coffee—3 pots of regular and 2 pots of decaf— and set up the tables prior to the first service. Directions for the coffee maker are posted next to the coffee maker.
  • The coffee servers keep coffee hot for six hours, so you can fill them and put them on the serving table before you go to the service. • Mugs are in the cabinet under the microwave. It helps to put them on a tray to carry to the serving table.
  • Leave the 9:00 service early to complete your preparations.
  • Get the tea water by using the red-handled spigot on the coffee maker, or boil in the teapot on the stove.
  • Open the small window near the dishwasher, and put two dish racks out to encourage people to put their dirty mugs there.
  • Wash the mugs and serving items. If you know how to use the dishwasher—or know someone who does—you may use that. Otherwise, do them by hand. And remember . . . DO NOT immerse the coffee servers—just rinse them out and leave them open to air dry.
  • Be sure to leave the kitchen clean and tidy.
  • Please take the used tablecloths, towels, etc. home to launder before putting them away. The tablecloths are no-iron, so they just need to be washed in cold water, dried and put on hangers.
  • Please do not leave extra food unless you have arranged for a group to use them.

GREETERS

Greeters are needed at the entrances. When someone comes to visit your home, they are welcomed at the door. We would like to extend that same warm greeting in our church home! The responsibilities are as follows: Arrive about 20 minutes before the beginning of the service. Wear your name-tag. There should be a greeter at each entrance: 1) south courtyard door- near the stairs that lead from Paxton to the sanctuary and near the lift, 2) south entrance-near the office door, and 3) the north courtyard door near the elevator. If there are not enough greeters to fill these spots, please fill them in the above numerical order. 

  • Greet people with a smile and a handshake as they enter the sanctuary. If it is not too cold, open the door for people as they enter. If you are comfortable doing so, you may grab an umbrella from the office and escort people from into the building.
  • If you see someone new, please introduce yourself and ask if they would like a tour of the church. If you are not able to give the tour, please find Director of Connections, an Evangelism team member or someone you think might be able to do this.
  • Areas to be sure to point out: Restrooms, sanctuary, Paxton for coffee and fellowship, Ed wing and Nursery. If they have children, introduce to Laura/Marcia. If they have babies/toddlers, introduce them to Ms. Kristi, the nursery attendant.
  • Assist people with the elevator and lift as needed.
  • Remain by the doors until the first hymn has begun so that you may greet latecomers.

USHERS

  • Please arrive 20-25 minutes before the beginning of the service.
  • Open both doors to the sanctuary.
  • Hearing devices are in one of the drawers of the table at the back of the sanctuary. Be sure they are ready for anyone who asks for one. There are extra AA batteries available in this drawer as well. Please let the Director of Connections or a staff member know if there is a problem with hearing aids or batteries.
  • Handheld microphones (red & yellow) should be ready on the back table. If they are not there yet, please ask for assistance from a member of the AV team/sound board. The red mic is often used for the Children’s Message, but will be placed back on the table when it is finished.
  • Please be sure to wear your nametag. It can be found on the table at the rear of the sanctuary.

When people arrive into the sanctuary:

  • There may be two different versions of each bulletin (9:00 and 10:30 bulletins). Be sure to check for the one that is marked for the appropriate service. There are limited large print versions of the bulletin available for anyone who prefers them. Please notify the Director of Connections or a staff member if either bulletin runs out.
  • Distribute bulletins to each adult, teen (and only to children who request one).
  • Chair cushions are available near the coat racks. 
  • If assistance is requested, you may accompany someone to his or her seat. Please remain available to assist anyone who requests help before, during, and after the service. You may offer assistance to anyone who appears they need help. • There are folding chairs located in the closet under the stairs to the balcony that may be used if the pews are full.

During the service:

  • Promptly at the beginning of each service (9:00 or 10:30) ring the church bell. Be sure to begin pulling the rope gently. Increase strength of pull until you hear the bell begin to ring. Ring the bell 10-12 times. If the rope is pulled too hard, the bell may flip over and facilities will need to go up to the bell tower to fix it.
  • Please close both doors to the sanctuary once the prelude concludes.
  • Continue to graciously greet and distribute bulletins to any latecomers. If the service is crowded, you can tell or show people where open seating can be found at any time during the service.
  • The acolyte (when available) will light the candles during the prelude. If no acolyte is present, one usher will light the wand with a lighter, proceed down the center aisle, light both side candles, light the Christ Candle, and blow out or snuff the wand. If you snuff it by lowering the wick, please raise the wick back up once the flame is extinguished. If the wick is left inside of the wand, the metal gets too hot and the wax on the wick melts and gets stuck. Please do not light a Baptism Candle if one is present.
  • During or immediately after the Call to Worship, record the attendance for the service on the small notebook found on the back table. Count everyone who is in the sanctuary at that time – children, pastor, choir, musicians, staff, etc. (If it has a nose, count it!) Please note - there is a separate number for choir, main floor, and balcony in the notebook.
  • Ushers are invited to sit in the chairs along the backside of the sanctuary (next to the doors) during the service. There are extra hymnals and Bibles on the shelf above the coat rack that may be used by ushers. Please remain available to assist people and remain alert to the progression of the service.

Offering:

  • Be ready at the back table with the offering plates a minute or so before the offertory will begin. When the pastor calls the ushers forward, all four ushers will process down the center aisle to the front of the sanctuary together (2 by 2).
  • Once you arrive at the front, two ushers should stay in the center aisle while the other two walk around to the sides. When each usher is in place, begin to pass the offering plates. The plates should be passed along down each full pew. If people prefer not to pass the plates, that’s fine too.
  • Once you reach the back, make sure that one usher goes up the balcony to collect the money from the small plate upstairs. The person at the sound board does the collecting from individual people up there.
  • At the 9:00 service: When the Hymn of Thanksgiving begins (most often “Praise God from who all blessings flow”), proceed up to the altar and place two plates on either side of the altar on the small marble stands. Step back down to be in line with the first pew, turn back around and remain standing facing the altar through the thanksgiving prayer and piano response. Return to the back of the church as the rest of the congregation is being seated.
  • At the 10:30 service: Collect all money from the offering plates and give it to the counter or member of the financial team. They will need to get started counting the money right away. The Finance Team schedules someone to count the money every Sunday. In the event that no one comes to the sanctuary to retrieve the money, two ushers must bring the money together to the conference room. If there is no one in the conference room, there is a money bag in a cabinet under the sink where the money should be placed. The bag needs to be locked and the key placed inside the office in the financial secretary’s box.
  • During Communion Sundays: Separate the money from the prayer requests notecards. The money is handled the same as above, but be sure to get the notecards to the pastor. They can be placed in the offering plate and brought up with the plates or brought up separately by an usher. Don’t worry if someone turns in a notecard late, they can be brought to the pastor at any time. 
  • When the offertory song ends and doxology (Praise Song) begins, 2 ushers will process with all 4 offering plates (2 stacks of 2 plates) to the altar. Gently place the offering plates on the small tables on either side of the altar table. If these tables are unavailable, place the offering plates directly on the altar. Turn around and walk down the stairs, turn back to face the altar as the song & Pastor’s blessing continues. When the blessing ends and the music starts again, turn around and proceed to the back of the sanctuary.

Joys & Concerns

For Non-Communion Sundays (or as announced by Pastor):

Ready the microphones as it becomes time during the service to share joys & concerns. Two ushers will bring the microphones down the side aisles to hand to people who would like to share. When Joys & Concerns concludes, turn the microphones off and place them back on the table.

For Communion Sundays (the 1st Sunday of each month): Joys & concerns will be brought to the pastor after the offering and the pastor will read them. The Pastor will incorporate them into the Communion Liturgy.

Communion: There will be an extra plate and chalice prepared for an usher’s use. Please walk around the side aisles to see if there is anyone seated that prefers to receive communion in the pew. Note - Not all seated people wish to receive communion. Be sure to offer communion to Prayer Partners in the back of the sanctuary and to the musicians. Prayer Partners are available on Communion Sundays in the back of the sanctuary. Please be sure to keep the back of the sanctuary clear of standing people and respect the privacy of people praying. Ushers may get in line to take communion (taking turns) or may serve each other communion. Gluten-free communion is completely separate and should only be handled by those trained to do so. After the service: During the last hymn, open the sanctuary doors.

When most of the people have left the sanctuary, go through the pews and do the following:

  • Replace all pew pads into the holders at end of each pew closest to the center aisle.
  • 10:30 service only: Remove the used pages from the pew pads. These will go in the office on the secretary’s desk.
  • Replace all Bibles, hymnals, folders, etc. into the holders.
  • Collect all used bulletins & garbage from pews & floor. All paper can be placed into the recycling baskets at the rear of the sanctuary. All garbage should be placed into the trashcans.
  • If a personal item is left behind (toy, glasses, etc.) please bring these items to the office with a note affixed that has the date the item was found.
  • Turn off and replace any used hearing devices back into the drawer. 

WORSHIP LEADER

A few days before the service, you will receive via email or US mail a copy of your readings and the Bible passages you are to read. This will allow you time to practice the readings. If you have not received this information by Friday morning, call the church office (630-879- 1999) for the scripture readings. Bring your copy of the readings with you on Sunday. (An extra copy of this information will be on the pulpit; so if you forget yours, don’t panic.) If you are the worship leader for the first service, be sure to leave the extra copy on the pulpit for the 10:30 service.

  • Prior to the service on Sunday morning, make sure the scripture readings are marked in the Bible on the lectern—or bring your own marked Bible—so that you may turn to the readings easily.
  • Sit next to the pastor.
  • You are usually responsible for reading the Call to Worship, Call to Prayer, and Unison Prayer. These are read from the pulpit on the south side of the chancel.
  • The scripture lessons are usually read from the lectern on the north side of the chancel.
  • The scripture readings are often divided into two parts—often one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. It is important for you to become familiar with the passages prior to the service so that you read fluently. The pastor is more than willing to help with pronunciation and emphasis. Remember to announce the book, chapter and verses, and the page in the pew Bible before each reading. (The pages in the pew Bibles are the same as those in the Bible on the lectern and are listed in the bulletin.) Occasionally the pastor will read one of the selections.
  • She’ll let you know before the service.
  • Once you have finished with the scripture readings, you may sit in the sanctuary.