At each Sunday service congregants have the chance to sign up as a volunteer for following Sundays. The sign-up chart is passed around on a clipboard during the service.
Worship Task Descriptions at Lord of Life
Greeters arrive at least 10 minutes early to say hello to visitors as they enter the building on Sunday morning and hand out bulletins and any hymnals that will be used during the service. Also on the greeter table are the prayers and readings sheets labeled with the names of the people signed up for those tasks who will be picking them up. Greeters welcome new guests with basic information about our church (ELCA, Reconciling in Christ, open communion with small cups) and ask them to fill out a form with their basic contact information. After the service, greeters bring any new visitor forms that have been filled out to Pastor Jen.
Ushers collect the offering during the offering music. They pass around offering plates (found on the small table in the sanctuary by the doors) to all rows of pews where worshippers are seated and place them on the altar after the entire congregation has been given the chance to contribute.
Youth Communion Assistant:
A child (aged fourth grade through high school) who serves as communion assistant comes forward to the side of the altar closest to the piano during the offering music. She or he then receives communion from Pastor Jen (along with the music director and assisting minister) and pours the grape juice during communion, saying to each person receiving it, “Blood of Christ shed for you.” She or he will pour grape juice for Pastor Jen and say the phrase for her after Pastor Jen has finished communing the worshipers. After communion there will usually be a prayer and hymn before the child communion assistant (along with the assisting minister) sits down as end-of-service announcements start.
A child (usually aged third grade through high school) who serves as acolyte waits outside the sanctuary door with a lighted illuminary stick and enters slowly with the stick when the first verse of the first hymn is being sung. She or he lights the two candles on the altar (one on left and one on right) and then walks slowly back out of the sanctuary, waiting until she or he is outside the sanctuary to extinguish the flame on the stick. During the first verse of the last hymn of the service, the acolyte quietly walks out of the sanctuary and enters again, this time with an unlit stick. The acolyte lights the stick with the flames of a sanctuary candle before extinguishing both sanctuary candles’ flames with the bell-shaped end of the stick. He or she then walks out slowly and extinguishes the stick’s flame after exiting the sanctuary.
The bread baker makes bread for Sunday communion according to a recipe recommended by the church. One or two loaves of flat bread are used each Sunday, and the bread may be taken to the church before Sunday and left in the freezer of the basement fridge belonging to Lord of Life. Some worshippers have special dietary needs and require an altered bread loaf which needs to be set apart from the other loaves.
Communion Set-up and Clean-up:
The person who prepares communion will arrive at the church at least 10 minutes early Sunday morning. He or she will heat up communion bread found in the fridge or freezer in the basement using the basement microwave (usually 20 seconds). With the key to the communion closet (located near stairs by side of sanctuary) wine is poured into two containers and another container is used to hold grape juice from the church fridge. White cloths from the closet cover the bread, wine, and grape juice when they are placed on the altar. After the service, communion cups, bread plates, and grape juice and wine holders need to be washed in the basement kitchen sink and the used white cloths are put in the bin labeled “dirty” in the communion closet.
People who sign up for fellowship provide snacks served after the service on a table outside the sanctuary. The church has coffee and cups on hand, but the person designated for fellowship needs to bring napkins and a non-coffee drink.
The person reading the two Bible sections will pick up a printed copy of the readings set out on the greeter table (labeled with the reader’s name) prior to the service. A reader may provide their own printed version if she or he desires. When the slides on the screen indicate it is time for the first and second readings, the reader walks to the microphone in front of the congregation and, while speaking slowly and clearly, reads the selections separately at the designated times.
A person signed up to read the prayers will pick up a printed copy on the greeter table outside the sanctuary that is labeled with her or his name. When the slides on the screen indicate it is time to read the prayers during the service, the person reading prayers walks to the microphone and reads slowly and clearly from the sheet. After the reader of prayers has finished, Pastor Jen will say a one-line prayer and she or he will sit down again.
The volunteer assisting the minister comes forward to the side of the altar farthest from the piano during the offering music. She or he reads prayers as indicated by notes in Pastor Jen’s binder on the altar and also serves wine during communion, saying to each person receiving it, “Blood of Christ shed for you.” After communion he or she serves the bread of communion to Pastor Jen and sits down when it is time for end-of-service announcements. The person assisting the minister reads aloud in a loud, clear voice the dismissal line at the end of the service (as shown on the slides on the screen).
After the service, counters start their job by organizing the money that was gathered during the service in the offering plates. There are forms in a box that indicate how much currency and what kind was gathered and with places to write how much money was earmarked for a specific purpose (such as for a charity or church building improvement fund). When the counting is complete, counters take the money and forms in an envelope to deposit at First National Bank.