We all have gifts, graces, and talents given to us by God. As Christians, we are called to serve God and use these gifts, graces, and talents. Congregations would not be able to offer its programs or opportunities for ministry without volunteers. Leadership is often “tasked” with finding volunteers to serve a variety of roles, including that of teacher and mentor for children and youth. It’s not about recruiting warm bodies, it as about an invitation into ministry. Here are some tips and pointers to invite others to share their gifts through the ministries of teaching and learning in your congregation. It is a call to ministry.
The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Matthew 9:37
vol·un·teer – n. one who chooses freely to do something vt. To offer or give of one’s own free will. vi. To offer to enter into service of one’s own free will.
Why do people volunteer?
- They want to be needed
- They want to help others and make a difference
- They want to learn new skills or use skills they already have
- They want to belong to a caring community and feel accepted as members
- They seek self-esteem and affirmation
- They want to grow in their faith and share their God-given gifts
- They want to keep from being lonely
- They want to support causes they believe in
When seeking to involve people in ministry: Continue reading Calling Teachers to Teach
I’ve been an acolyte since I was sixteen-years-old. I wanted to become one sooner, but being a girl, I had to wait until a priest would allow anyone of the female persuasion to serve behind the altar rail, in the holy of holies. I was trained, and overly trained, as my mentor (who became a bishop) wanted to make sure I knew EVERYTHING so as not to give anyone an inch of an excuse to say a girl couldn’t perform this ministry. So I can tell you the difference between the gospel and epistle side, what candles are lit first (and in what order) and what candles get extinguished first. I know what a credence table is, the different between a flagon and a cruet, and the use (and meaning) of a lavabo bowl and towel.
I eventually ‘graduated’ to serving as a minister of communion, aka LEM (Lay Eucharistic Minister), but find my training as an acolyte has informed every ministry I have had on the altar – preacher, bishop’s chaplain, and LEM, including taking on the role of crucifer, torchbearer, or altar preparer. And now I and my husband are privileged to train a whole new generation of acolytes. Continue reading Life as an Acolyte
The below sermon was preached at the 2014 diocesan convention for the Episcopal Church in Vermont on All Saints Day, November 1, 2014. The theme of convention was “Equipped for the Journey: Formation for Mission”
Readings: Revelation 7:9-17, Wendell Berry’s Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front and Matthew 5:1-12
Much of yesterday we were challenged to look at how we join in God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation. We live in changing times, and as Phyllis Tickle shares in her book, The Great Emergence, every five hundred years the Church has a rummage sale; we are again living in such a time of reformation. What do we need to keep? What do we need to get rid of? What do we need to re-imagine?
Continue reading Formation for Mission in a VUCA World
It began like most Mondays . . . thinking about the projects that awaited me at my desk, posting my weekly lectionary reflection on my Prayer Book Guide to Christian Education page, triaging what the rest of the week’s work would look like. But then, triage became a reality.
As many of you know, I’ve spent my fair share in Norwalk Hospital‘s Emergency Room over the past 3+ years. My mom, Trinette, has now been in a nursing home for 2 years with late-stage Alzheimer’s disease. So, I get regularly called to rendezvous with her at the E.R. when she has a fall. My dad, Cliff, now 89+, has been in an assisted living facility for 1.5+ years. And he’s had his moments, too. One day this past January I had the “honor” of having them both in the E.R. at the same time. So today began with a call from a nurse where he lives to tell me he fell during the night and was experiencing some pain. Another Monday at the E.R. Continue reading A Day in the E.R.