Serving God is one of the most important principles of the Christian faith, as believers are expected to serve the church with a joyful spirit.
Serving at St. Thomas encompasses a variety of roles filled by members of our congregation who are passionate about serving Christ. We praise Him through a variety of responsibilities.
John 12:26 (NRSV)
26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.
Eucharistic Assistants are appointed annually at the General Vestry meeting by the Incumbent. They aid the presider with distribution of the sacraments.
Lay Readers have made a specific commitment to their Bishop, their Parish priest and Church wardens to use their skills and their developing gifts in ministry to the glory of God and for the benefit of the people within and beyond their own congregations. The service of Lay Readers is performed in the conduct of public worship, instruction in the Christian faith, the provision of pastoral care within their community and other duties as requested of them. Authority is given by the Bishop in the form of a license following a probationary period of training.
The duties of a Lay Reader will vary according to Parish needs. Each Lay Reader must give prayerful consideration to how best to reconcile the concept of their vocation with the whole-hearted cooperation and support of the Incumbent. Typically Lay Readers perform such functions as reading lessons, administering the chalice, leading the Prayers of the People, sharing leadership in and planning for public worship services,
The Parish is fortunate to have a number of individuals who have volunteered to take part in the ministry of reading God’s word as part of the services.
The Servers are robed members of the Ministry team and have numerous responsibilities during services. They are trained to carry the Cross during the Processional and Recessional Hymns and receive the Offertory plate at the Chancel steps. It is their responsibility to serve the Priest at the Altar as he prepares the Eucharist and to ensure that all members of the Congregation are invited to receive Communion.
The word “sidesman” originally referred to a lay church official who stood “at the side of” the church wardens, assisting them in gathering the collection. Today, in addition to collecting the offering, sidespeople act as ushers: greeting people, handing out liturgical leaflets and books and organizing the seating of the congregation. This ministry is critically important in helping people to form their first impressions of the Cathedral community.