Lay Ministries

St. Thomas Prayer Group 

 

The St. Thomas Prayer Group meets every Monday from 11:30 AM-12:30 PM in the chapel. The hour is spent in silent meditation and verbal communal prayer for everything under God’s sun, as well as using the Psalm from the next week’s Propers. We pray specifically for those requesting our prayers using the St. Thomas prayer list and a “private” list for those who do not want public prayer. All are welcome to join the group. To place someone on the prayer list, please call the church office or use the new website link.

Altar Guild 

 

The purpose of the Altar Guild is to prepare the altars in the Nave and the Chapel for the eucharist.  Care of the altar, sanctuary, vessels, and vestments are “behind the scenes” tasks necessary to support the liturgical life of the parish.  Although circumstances have changed over the centuries, the essence of altar guild work has remained constant.  Care for the furnishings of the church is a vital ministry done for the glory of God.

There are currently three altar guild teams with two or three members each.  Each team is “on duty” for two weeks out of six.  The teams are responsible for Sunday services in the Nave and the Chapel as well as the Wednesday night service in the Chapel and a monthly Friday morning service.  The teams work together to prepare for Christmas Eve and Easter week services and occasional services such as weddings and funerals. 

Children’s Chapel- Erin Redden

episcokids@stthomascolumbus.org

As the congregation sings the sequence hymn, the children are led out of the sanctuary, following the petite cross, to the chapel. All children ages four through the fifth grade are invited to participate in a Liturgy of the Word that has been designed to capture their imagination and their questions about what it means to be a child of God. While the adults are praying, listening and singing, the children also listen to the scripture lessons, singing songs and praying their own prayers of the people. Children’s Chapel will end in time for the children to sit with their families for the Eucharist. We hope that it is in this way that the children can experience the richness of the Anglican Tradition and also have time to worship in a liturgy designed for them.

Members of the parish are welcomed to volunteer as leaders or assistants. All volunteers also must complete a Safeguarding God’s Children online workshop before working with the children of the parish.

Children and Youth Christian Formation

Erin Redden (children) & Tiffany Bonaker (youth)

episcokids@stthomascolumbus.org

tkbonaker@gmail.com

Sunday school is held between services, from 9:30 to 10:15. Sunday school classrooms are located in the Outreach Center and in the Youth Wing. Teachers are happy to welcome new parents, children and youth. Children between the ages of 4 and 5th grade, use the WHIRL curriculum which follows the Sunday lectionary. 

Living the Good News is a lectionary based curriculum used with our middle school and high school youth classes. Living the Good News uses a variety of learning media, including music, art, oral, visual and movement, which appeal to the learning styles of all ages and types of students.

Members of the parish are welcomed to volunteer as leaders or assistants. All volunteers also must complete a Safeguarding God’s Children online workshop before working with the children and youth of the parish.

St. Thomas Acolytes – Tiffany Bonaker

tkbonaker@gmail.com

The word acolyte means “follower” or “one who helps.” When acolytes first helped with the liturgy, beginning around 250 A.D. they carried candles in processions, lit candles on the altar, and assisted with the Holy Eucharist. Today’s acolytes play the same role with very few differences.

Acolytes at St. Thomas’ serve as Crucifers carrying the cross, or Torch Bearers carrying the candles in procession. They also assist in setting the table for Holy Eucharist. 

Children as young as 4th grade and up to High School seniors may serve as Acolytes. Most acolytes will participate in one service a month along with special services at Christmas and Easter.

Lay Readers & Prayer Leaders 

 

Lectors – often referred to as Lay Readers – perform a vital role in reading the Lessons during St. Thomas services. Three Lectors are utilized in the usual Sunday morning service, including readings from the Old Testament, the Psalm, the New Testament and the Prayers of the People. Lectors should have the ability to articulate, speak clearly, audibly, and with the sense of the passage – illuminating the readings so that they are clearly understood by the entire congregation. Lectors do not vest and generally come up from the congregation to the lectern to read.  Lectors are expected to rehearse their readings before the service. Lectors generally serve 1-3 times quarterly on Sunday mornings (8:00 am and 10:30am) and for other special worship services. The schedule for Lectors is e-mailed quarterly.

Flower Guild 

 

The Flower Guild provides flowers or greenery on the altars of the Nave and Chapel each week to the Glory of God as appropriate with each season of the church year.

Some members prefer to work in pairs and others do flowers by themselves. The only requirement for participation in Flower Guild is a passion for flowers and a joyful desire to enhance our worship space. Our work is a partnership between the donors who contribute money for flower Memorials/In Honors and members of the Flower Guild who give their time to create the arrangements. 

Flower Guild volunteers are asked to serve twice in a four month period. New members are welcome, and no experience is necessary.

To sponsor flowers or volunteer for the Flower Guild, contact the church office to indicate your wishes.

Parish Life 

 

St. Thomas Church enjoys a long tradition of getting together throughout the year to share the fellowship of meals and a variety of faith centered activities. Parish Life Committee volunteers plan the events, set the tables, coordinate the food preparation and help with serving. Receptions following funerals are available to any family. In addition, the kitchen staff prepares a hot breakfast each Sunday morning and a delicious meal each Wednesday night.

The Parish Life Committee welcomes new members who enjoy any facet of hospitality.

Ushers

 
Ushers greet Sunday worshippers, distribute bulletins, give directions, receive the offering, count attendance, and ensure that worship flows smoothly. 

Lay Eucharistic Ministers

 

Lay Eucharistic Ministers – often referred to as Chalice Bearers – are people who assist the priest with communion. LEMs process in and out, holding the Gospel for Gospel readings by the priest. LEMs must be baptized members of St. Thomas. LEMs must have the physical ability and agility to serve the communion wine. LEMs vest in robes and are a full part of the service, sitting in the prie dieu (prayer desk) at the front of the church for the entire service. LEMs process in and out of the service with the Verger, Acolytes and Priests.

Grounds Upkeep & Maintenance 

 

St. Thomas contracts with a lawn service company for general mowing and edging on the grounds. All upkeep and maintenance of plantings throughout the grounds is undertaken by volunteers who care for specific landscaping plots. From time to time, a “Grounds Work Day” is scheduled to address major issues. If you have a desire to get in the dirt and enjoy such gardening activities, please contact Ann Johnston.

Music Ministries – Rick McKnight

music@stthomascolumbus.org

Our Music Ministry is an intergenerational ministry involving children and adults.

St. Thomas Choir is a modern blending of mixed voices that is the norm for  choirs in Episcopal congregations throughout the country. The singers’ time spent in rehearsals is intense preparation for a sacramental duty in the life of worship and prayer. When singers take on such enormous liturgical responsibility they create an atmosphere of vitality and life for the worshiping community. The mind can accomplish these acts with remarkable ease, and youth respond readily to challenges, routine, structure, community, and above all, consistency.

Of all the Christian traditions, the Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is the American manifestation, has nurtured one of the strongest traditions of worship led by choir. In this tradition the choir leads worship through the singing of service music, canticles, hymns, psalms and anthems. As such, the choir performs a sacramental role in worship, offering their gifts from God to the people of God through sung prayer. The choral program emphasizes instruction for each singer, encouraging both musical and spiritual growth. The unique leadership provided by our youth and adults is a precious gift we give to the spiritual life of the church.

Singing in the choir requires an enthusiasm for choral singing and basic music reading skills. The choir lead weekly worship at the Sunday Eucharists. The St. Thomas choir  is composed of adults and teens in high school.  The Children’s choir is composed of children from pre-K through 5th grade. Please contact Erin Redden at 706.887.1340 or episcokids@stthomascolumbus.org.

We welcome you to participate in the musical life of St. Thomas if you play an instrument. If you are an interested singer, instrumentalist or parent, please contact Rick McKnight at 706.575.8900 or music@stthomascolumbus.org