Serving Opportunities 



Our youth acolytes assist with and enhance the services as they simultaneously learn more about the Episcopal liturgy. Acolytes serve about once a month and are trained on the job. Often they begin as torchbearers and progress to serve as scheduled (other than in the event of a last-minute illness or happening), they are responsible for finding their own replacement and conveying that to the office and Rich Lammlin. 


Our older youth acolytes may be trained to become chalicists, lectors and prayer intercessors. These positions encourage our more experienced acolytes to accept additional responsibilities as they continue to grow in faith. 


Our adult chalicists also serve once or twice per month (depending on the service). Training is done prior to their first scheduled Sunday for about 1/2 hour and on the job. There are no meetings. Except for special services, chalicists typically serve at the service they choose to attend because some of our chalicists are seasonal or away periodically, we welcome the opportunity to involve additional parishioners who may feel called to the ministry.




Our lectors are parishioners entrusted with reading the Old and New Testament lessons for the parish and sometimes leading the psalm appointed for the day. A lector serves approximately every 6 or 7 weeks and is asked to recruit a substitute if unable to serve as scheduled and to convey the change to the office. 


Readers may access their lessons online via "Lectionary," which appears under the Worship schedule of our e-news. Lessons are also emailed by the office. Lectors are requested to review the lessons ahead of time. A pronunciation guide is available for names which may be unfamiliar. 

Altar Guild


The Altar Guild's purpose is to support the teachings of our faith by reverently handling and caring for the linens and sacred elements of worship that are an integral part of our services. It is a very visible area of ministry in that there is a set of expectations to be met for every service, yet our ministry is almost invisible as it is never the emphasis of worship except for those times when new linens, vestments or vessels are blessed.


The Guild is responsible for watering flowers, preparing for Wednesday healing services, ironing and repairing linens, and polishing silver and brass. As we prepare for the Eucharistic services, we are, in effect, setting the table for the dinner party that reconnects us with Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.  We help to create a setting that nurtures and challenges us, broadens our understanding of the Gospel, and strengthens us to do the work we have been given to do in the community and beyond.


Our Guild works in teams that each prepare for Sunday services and the Wednesday service that follows.  Twice a year, before Christmas and Holy Week, we all gather to prepare for the special services ahead.


Prayer Team

A prayer team member may be found at the back of the church, in the baptistry (where the baptismal font is located) each Sunday during the distribution of Holy Communion. The team joins with and supports anyone who comes there with a concern, a desire to offer thanks or to ask for a prayer of blessing for an event such as a birthday, an anniversary, or a healing.


Prayer places us in the right frame of mind to meet and handle whatever life hands us, and thus our prayer teams consider it a privilege to join others in prayer and address an issue in a quiet, reverent manner. Many of our "pray-ers" find that praying blesses them as well as those for whom they pray.  It is our hope that prayer will become the first response to all of life's challenges and joys, rather than a last resort.


Prayer Circle


There is a group of St. John parishioners who belong to what is known as the "Private Prayer Circle".  The members of the circle have a list of people (fellow parishioners, friends or acquaintances) who have requested prayers, but who do not wish to have their names read out in church.  No one is added to the list unless they are aware of their being added and who desire prayers. This list is not shared outside the Circle.  


The Prayer Circle meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 3:00 p.m. at St. John's.  At this meeting, our list is updated and each member gets a new list for their private daily prayers. We currently have six members.  All who wish to join us in daily prayers for others are more than welcome to join.  


Greeters & Ushers


Our greeters are the first people a guest or newcomer encounters when entering St. John’s, and they can be the foundation for the initial impression a person receives of the congregation.  It is very important that our guests feel welcome and that they have someone to help them if they need any information about the church, the congregation, our ministries, or even something as basic as where to find the restrooms or the church school.


Greeters serve every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the service, and as with all those involved in church ministries, they are asked to find substitutes if they are unable to be here when they are scheduled.


Our ushers are the second line of welcomers to St. John’s. They stand at the back of the church and distribute the service programs. They are also available to help people find seats on those occasions when the church is particularly full. On these occasions, they may even be involved with bringing additional chairs into the nave as space runs out.


The ushers are also responsible for bringing the elements to the altar for Communion, for taking up the collection and before that offering to the altar as well, and for securing the altar rail afterward. Ushers guide the congregation to the rail at the appropriate time and open the rail after communion.


St. John’s is currently in need of a head usher to recruit, schedule and coordinate this ministry and, perhaps the greeter ministry as well, as ushers sometimes double as greeters when those who serve in these roles cannot all be present.


The Welcome Committee


The Welcome Committee is a small group of individuals who collect Welcome forms that have been submitted in the plate. The welcomer assigned for that Sunday sends a note to the visitor and passes the card to the Rector for followup. The welcomer for the week is also responsible for seeing that there are welcome cards and pens in the pockets on the back of each pew. 

© 2020 St John's Episcopal Church

Mailing: PO BOX 422, Essex, CT 06426 | Physical: 3 Cross St, Essex CT, 06426