There are a variety of Lay Ministries in which people are welcomed to serve at Grace Church. Among these are crucifer, Eucharistic minister, choir member, acolyte (open to anyone 9 years old and above), lector, altar guild, greeters and hosts for the Coffee Hours after the 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Sunday
Each Sunday at each Service, the Rector is assisted by our volunteer service personnel. These traditionally include Greeters at the door, two Lay Eucharistic Ministers, two Acolytes and a Crucifer. We have a strong acolyte program currently, although many are nearing the age where they will be graduating high school. As some of our younger parishioners reach nine years old we offer them the opportunity to serve as an acolyte and we’ve been very successful in this regard. We have a strong group of young people with many of them serving this crucifer and lay readers in addition to serving as acolytes. Both men and women encouraged to serve on the Altar Guild and receive on-the-job training. We have nine certified Eucharistic Ministers into more certified to get communion at home for homebound, a practice we have recently reinstituted. Our lay readers attend lay reader training put on by the Diocese. We have about 20 individuals we can draw upon for the Sunday service readings. We are always on the outlook for new volunteers and gladly arrange for the training they need to fill their desired roles. Scheduling is done on a bimonthly basis by one of the vestry members.
The members of the Altar Guild are the “behind-the-scenes” workers of the church liturgy. Set up in a monthly rotation, the Altar Guild teams see to the housekeeping of the church services, setting up whatever is needed to conduct each service. Caring for the fine linens, brocades, and silver is one of the pleasures of Altar Guild work, as is the camaraderie among team members and the contemplative nature of this “quiet work.” We are in the process of transitioning many of the Altar Guild primary responsibilities to younger members of the congregation as many of the long-term members are at the age when it is time to do so.
St. Christopher’s Guild
Going far beyond hosting the social events that are fund-raisers for outreach and the parish, St. Christopher’s Guild is the backbone of parish life, ready to serve whenever called. Comprised of all the women of Grace Church, they plan for and support all aspects of church life and share the fellowship of service. From fund-raising luncheons, auctions and wine-tasting events to receptions on special occasions such as Christmas Eve, Easter and memorial services, St. Christopher’s Guild answers parish needs with a resounding “Yes!”. The Guild meets between services on the last Sunday of every month.
Our choir is led by our music director Mr. Gary Evans. The choir sings as a 10:00 AM Service and annually performs a choir concert prior to our Christmas Eve Service. The choir traditionally takes the summer months off. Men and women of all ages love to sing are encouraged to join in at the choir. We cannot overstate the importance that music plays in our 10 o’clock service. The choir practices usually once a week during the choir season and annually conducts a special one half hour Christmas Eve concert prior to our Christmas Eve service. They also occasionally sing at other venues and in the local choir competition in the city of Martinez.