Worship does not happen at the Church of the Good Shepherd without the dedication of many individuals and their desire to serve. Each week, it takes an extensive team of lay ministers to prepare the Church sanctuary and the campus for the variety of worship services that take place. Opportunities to serve range from behind the scene service, such as preparing the altar and cleaning liturgical items, to public offerings such as acolyting and lay reading. Every service is crucial to the intricate and beautiful dance that develops into our liturgical worship. Please come join with others as we serve our Lord and offer our best to him, with glad and thankful hearts.
At the Church of the Good Shepherd, the team of Lay Readers shares the responsibility of reading the prescribed scriptural readings from the Lectionary for the Sunday morning worship services. These readings may include an Old Testament passage or a Psalm, and will always include the Epistle reading from the New Testament. The ordained Clergy read the Gospel. Lay Readers join in the ancient tradition of proclaiming God’s word to the congregation and it is a great privilege to serve God in this capacity.
The Altar Guild is comprised mainly of women who seek to serve the Lord by literally setting the table, doing the laundry and the dishes. It is a quiet but sacred responsibility that requires commitment and dedication, not to mention, attention to detail. Members of the Altar Guild commit to serving before and after each service, including weekday services, weddings and funerals. They set the altar with the fair linen, the candlesticks, the patent and chalice, among other sacred vessels and utensils. They are also responsible for taking away these items, cleaning them, and storing them properly. Although the Lord is the Host of the table at each Eucharist, it is a blessing to serve at His side in these simple but important tasks.
The Acolyte Program at the Church of the Good Shepherd is well established and a vibrant ministry for our youth, starting in the 7th grade. Acolytes recognize their service as an offering to God, by assisting the clergy and making a contribution to the spiritual life of the congregation. Acolytes receive training in liturgical movements, including the processionals, lighting of the candles, serving at the altar and presenting the alms. Junior acolytes begin service by bearing the banners and flags. They progress to being Torch Bearers, Gospel Bearers and ultimately Cross Bearers, with the Crucifer being a high honor. Progression in training and responsibility is based on service. The Church of the Good Shepherd has approximately 70 youth involved in the Acolyte program, assisted by approximately 10 adults. For more information about acolytes, schedules and how to get involved, click on Acolyte Program.
Ushers and greeters have the gift of hospitality. These are the parishioners that serve by welcoming all who walk through the doors of the Church of the Good Shepherd. Their enthusiastic smiles and greetings are an important part of our hospitality to the community. Ushers and greeters play an instrumental role in helping newcomers and visitors find their way around the church campus. They also help newcomers learn how to become involved in the life of the parish. Ushers have the additional responsibility of gathering the collection during the offertory and bringing it to the altar, and assisting the congregation during communion. These servants represent the face of Jesus to each individual who walks through our doors.
Lay Eucharist Ministers
Lay Eucharistic Ministers serve in a beautiful and selfless way. They are trained and charged with taking the blessed Eucharistic elements, the wine and the bread, to those that are unable to attend the Eucharist at Church. If an individual is sick, hospitalized or home-bound, the Lay Eucharistic Minister is trained to read the Holy Eucharist service in the Book of Common Prayer and administer blessed elements to them. They read prayers and share any announcements that may have taken place during the service at the church. Serving as a Lay Eucharistic Minister is a great calling and a blessing, as we seek to administer the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you feel called to serve God through any of our Worship Support Ministries, or if you know of someone who would benefit from having a Lay Eucharistic Minister visit them, please call the Church Office at 361-882-1735.