The Altar Guild members do their work behind the scenes, preparing for the Eucharist and our other worship services. They lovingly care for the sacred vessels and the linens. They ready the chancel for worship, and later they take care of the cleanup. They tidy up the pews so that the hymnals and prayer books are where they belong. In short, they ensure that we have all that we need for our worship. And, if you’ve ever wondered who makes the changes in color that are part of our liturgical tradition, wonder no more.
It may not be possible to overrate the important role of the ushers/greeters. You’ve heard the adage, “First impressions count,” and that is as true for a parish as it is anywhere else. A warm greeting, help with the lay of the land, collecting the offering, and assisting with Communion are among the responsibilities.
Literally leading the procession at the beginning of the service and for the proclamation of the Gospel before helping to ensure that the Eucharistic Celebration goes smoothly until leading us back into the world at the end of the service, acolytes are essential to our liturgy.
One of the most wonderful aspects of our Episcopal liturgy is that the readings from the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament are offered by a lay person. Also, the Prayers of the People are offered by a lay person.
LAY EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS (LEMS)
The Celebration of the Eucharist, though presided over by a priest, is not exclusively the priest’s. Lay members participate in the administration of Communion as chalice bearers. This is an “official” role in the Episcopal Church, requiring licensure from the Bishop.
Music is an essential element of the Episcopal liturgy. Please consider joining this ministry. If you are not a singer but do have other musical talent, please consider offering your gifts to augment this ministry.
This is the team responsible for counting and documenting the weekly offerings and preparing the bank deposit documentation.
Prayer is a critical part of our life together. The Prayer Line is a group of parishioners who receive specific prayer requests and include those requests in their daily prayers.
PROPERTY & GROUNDS
The care of our building and grounds is crucial to our ability to engage the work God is calling us to do. Although we have a sexton to do the routine cleaning, there is a need for a team to work together on non-routine projects and for longer term planning.
GENEROSITY AND STEWARDSHIP
We tend to think of stewardship as being the way in which we raise the money we need for our operating budget. Although raising that money is a part of stewardship, the real meaning of stewardship is how we use our gifts, often thought of as time, talent, and treasure, to show our thanks to God for all the God has given us.
The Bishop’s Committee is the lay governing body of the parish, with officers (Senior and Junior Wardens, Treasurer, and Clerk) and members elected at the Annual Meeting in January. With the clergy, the Bishop’s Committee works to ensure that the various ministries of the parish support our mission and vision.
All the women at St. Matthew/San Mateo are welcome to participate in our Episcopal Church Women group. We empower each other as we serve Christ in our activities. We have three fundraisers each year to support the ministries of our church: two rummage sales and a holiday bazaar. We encourage and welcome all the women of the congregation to join us at our monthly meetings, held on the second Saturday of each month.
Quilters meet on Wednesday mornings for sewing and fellowship. The group is open to all. Many quilts are given to shelters, the Tacoma Rescue Mission, and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital each year. We also sell them at our annual holiday bazaar. The money raised there is used to purchase more supplies for quilting. Come join us – all are welcome.