Worship is the heartbeat of any church community. We at Christ Church truly appreciate the beauty of holiness that draws us together as one body in Christ. We offer a diverse palate for worship, utilizing the traditional Rite I and contemporary Rite II liturgies, as well as drawing from creative resources and ideas from our Liturgy Committee and Parishioners. A veritable host of persons are involved with ministries that directly affect and contribute to our weekly gathering: Acolytes, Altar Guild, Chalice Bearers, Greeters, Lectors, and Ushers. In addition, our first-rate music program, featuring the St. Gregory’s Choir, is constantly reaching out for new ways of expressing our faith and joy through music. In addition to our Sunday morning services, we have other regular times of worship: Education for Ministry (EFM) practices a most creative array of worship each Tuesday night, and on Wednesdays Morning Prayer (with interactive homily) is said in the Library. During the summer an outdoor service called “Mass on the Grass” is held on Saturdays at 5pm. Other opportunities for worship include special celebrations and dedications, Lenten programs, and a comprehensive offering of worship during Holy Week, including our very popular Good Friday service, The Seven Last Words of the Cross is Prose, Poetry, and Music.
Every Sunday, a team of trained young people arrive early to assist the congregation in worship at the altar. It a privileged place to be. Acolytes get to know how the service works backstage. They become acquainted first hand with clergy and adult leaders of the congregation. They take on a new role of leadership and responsibility. They learn about the rites and rituals of our worship – and better yet – are a vital part of our worship experience. They make friends and get to know other youth in our community of faith.
All youth who are entering the fifth grade (and older) are welcome to contact the Rector about the ministry of Acolyte. Acolytes generally serve about once every four weeks (a little more around Christmas and Easter). They must be in the sacristy twenty minutes before service begins and remain until service is ended. We invite our children and youth to explore this marvelous ministry. It will give them a new outlook on and appreciation for our faith and worship.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
let the whole earth tremble before him.
The Altar Guild is composed of faithful workers who care for the vessels of the altar, the linens and vestments, the candles, flowers, and many other tasks that allow the congregation to enter each Sunday morning into the “beauty of holiness”. Altar Guild Members set up for and clean up after all liturgies. They are responsible for making sure everything in the sanctuary is polished and ready for worship. The beautiful flowers that adorn our sanctuary at Christmas, Easter, All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days, and Thanksgiving are lovingly and creatively displayed; each unique for its own season and purpose. The Altar Guild is a ministry that not only honors the place in which we worship but offers a deep spiritual experience for those who join its ranks.
The Altar Guild currently consists of four teams who rotate, serving one week each month. They are under the direction of Phyllis Edwards, Altar Guild Director. If you are interested in this ministry contact the Rector, the Reverend Lisa Mitchell.
Chalice Bearers are Lay Eucharistic Ministers who served specifically at the altar to assist the clergy in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. They must be confirmed members in good standing and serve at the invitation of the Rector. Chalice Bearers are trained in the parish and licensed by the Diocese. They serve on teams of two and assist at the altar approximately once a month. If you believe God may be calling you to this ministry, please contact the Rector.
Each time the Church gathers we listen to God’s word. Lectors are those lay persons who carefully read the lessons each Sunday and lead the congregation in the Prayers of the People. The Ministry of Lector is open to people of all ages. Please contact the Church Office if you are interested in this ministry.
Every Sunday a team of Ushers arrives early in the nave of Christ Church to ensure that the congregation has a meaningful worship experience. The Ministry of Ushers is much more important than one might first consider: the Usher is one of the first people that parishioners and visitors meet upon entering the Church. It is their warm welcome that enables all who enter to feel comfortable and at home. Not only do they distribute the Sunday Bulletin, but they also help direct your children to the Church School or Nursery, aid those who need special assistance, and are always ready to answer your questions. They make sure that your worship is free from distractions, that the temperature of the nave is just right, and that all you need is ready and awaiting your arrival in the pew. This in turn, sets the tone for the entire Liturgy.
The Ministry of Ushers continues throughout the service as they select parishioners to bring the communion bread and wine to the altar, take up the Sunday offering, and direct parishioners to the altar to receive communion. They are always on watch; being sure to assist anyone who might have a concern or any kind of problem during the service. And when the last prayer is said, the last hymn is sung, and the last person has left the Church, you will find the Ushers carefully cleaning up the pews, turning off the lights, and locking the doors. You will see them bringing the altar flowers over to the Parish House so that they may be taken to those who are sick or in trouble.
The work our Ushers do is truly a ministry of service and hospitality. We welcome persons of all ages to consider joining our team. If you are interested, please contact the Rector.
Greeters are specially assigned individuals who meet and greet worshippers in the narthex (entrance hall) of the church each Sunday. They are there to offer special assistance and provide a warm welcome to all who enter. Following the service, Greeters are particularly attentive to the needs of visitors and newcomers to Christ Church. They assist them in finding the Parish House, making a nametag, introducing them to staff and members, assisting them with the guestbook, and answering any questions a visitor might have. They are also happy to pass along any particular needs or concerns to the Rector.
The music ministry at Christ Church is inclusive and eclectic in nature – both in terms of its participants and its repertoire. All parishioners are welcome to worship through music, whether through participation directly through choral singing, instrumental accompaniment, financial support or non-musical involvement in music ministry projects.
St. Gregory’s Adult Choir sings weekly at the 10:00 AM Sunday Eucharist, as well as at Christmas and Easter. Our members, ranging in age from 18 to 80, typically sing anthems for SATB choir. Once a month, choir members have the opportunity to sing solos, duets, or participate in trio or quartet singing. The choir rehearses weekly on Thursday night at 7:30 pm.
St. Mary’s Children’s Choir is open to children ages 7 and up. Rehearsals are held weekly on Sunday at 11:45 am and focus on the developing the basics of musicianship and vocal technique. The children’s choir sings for Christmas and Easter and other special occasions.
The choirs perform sacred repertoire from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Choristers have the opportunity to sing music from Gabrielli to Handel to Copland. We sing a cappella pieces as well as music accompanied by organ, piano, trombone, harp, clarinet, trumpet and percussion.