Old habits die hard, and even though most of us are well past school age, the time between Labor Day and Memorial Day really marks “the season” for many of us in the Church. Some congregations call it the “program year.” As we enter that time together, I’m eager to help make us be as vital and functional as we can be so we’re equipped for the larger ministries God give us as a parish. St. Paul’s is as strong as we all make it. We need your help to keep our ministry and community function. How can you get involved?
Here are some volunteer opportunities that need leaders and team members. I wonder if you might be called to one or more of these roles:
Christmas Pageant Leaders: Last year as Christmas approached, I heard a number of people lament the fact that we don’t have young families at St. Paul’s. Some remember the days when kids were marshalled as the cast and choir of a traditional Christmas pageant. And some people said they wish we had young children again. The fact is that we have more children at the preschool we host than we have adults on Sunday morning. And the middle school across the street from us has almost 400 students. I’ve spoken with the heads of both schools, and both are eager to work with us to form a Christmas children’s chorus and/or pageant. Most of the families at both schools have no church home. They’re there, and they’re interested. But as it always did, these programs require leadership and invitation. They require coordinators, directors, prop managers, costume managers, and snack ladies. And most of all, they require leadership volunteers to invite and welcome children and parents. I am convinced by both heads of schools that we’d get participation if our own people stepped up to invite the families and lead the events. If you want young families, go get them. They’re under our nose and waiting to be invited. The problem isn’t that nobody goes to church anymore. The problem is that church doesn’t invite and welcome them.
Photographer: I often hear from people that they’re disappointed that we use clipart on our website instead of photos from the events and programs we’re talking about. We don’t have those photos. Someone has to take them. As we prepare for the arrival of the next Rector, one major gift the parish can offer is a current catalog of photos of all our members. We’re hoping to publish a parish directory again soon. Wouldn’t it be a great way to welcome the next rector to include photos us all of you?
Flower Scheduler: We are fortunate that some of our parishioners provide beautiful flowers from time, and for that I am very grateful. More often than not, the donors go unacknowledged because we didn’t know flowers were coming until Sunday morning. And may people would happily contribute flowers if someone called to remind them, helped them know what they need to do to make a flower donation, and remembered family events like anniversaries of births, marriages, and deaths so that parishioners could be reminded and encouraged to repeat their generous gifts. This role would NOT include arranging flowers or planning special arrangements for Christmas, Easter, and other major occasions. What we need is someone to maintain the schedule, encourage the donations, alert the office so we can publish thanks and acknowledge the gifts, and assist the donors in procuring the flowers.
Sunday Morning Ministries: We need additional ushers, altar guild members, crucifers, altar servers, coffee hour hosts, and choristers. Training and encouragement are available, and these roles are crucial to the maintenance of vibrant and hospitable worship and fellowship.
If you think you may be called to one or more of these ministries, please let the interim rector know at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are St. Paul’s, and your service builds the Body of Christ in central Milwaukee.