There are two ministries that do significant work leading our ministries of Worship. The Altar Guild Ministry works primarily behind the scenes while the Vergers’ Ministry functions in a more visible manner.
Altar Guild Ministry
- To warmly welcome more members, particularly young people and men, to join in this sacred ministry.
- To explore whether a formal training program might assist the Guild in the execution of its ministry.
Membership: This ministry is overseen by the Rector, assisted by a Sacristan who is elected by members of the Guild each year. Guild members are generally communicants of St. John’s, regular in attendance at worship, and faithful in the execution of their duties. They should always be mindful of the high privilege of serving God in the sacred sanctuary. They must have a sincere devotion and a desire to make their work an acceptable offering to our Lord. In short, they must view their ministry as a sacred trust in conjunction with all the other members, not only of the Altar Guild, but of the entire parish.
The Altar Guild Manual exists to guide members of our Altar Guild in caring for and setting up our worship space and the various implements of worship. The current Altar Guild Schedule is online here.
Statement of Purpose: The ministry of Vergers is focused on liturgy. Vergers assist the Celebrant in all worship services as the Master of Ceremonies for the liturgy. Vergers check that the worship space is properly set up for the service, confirm that lay leaders are present (and make substitutions when people are not in attendance), and assist in the movement of all participants during the service so that worship flows smoothly and other worship leaders can focus on spiritual aspects of the service.
- Under the direction of the Rector, Vergers will plan and execute worship so the liturgy is edifying to the People.
- For the Vergers to assume fully training of the various worship ministers of the parish, including Readers, Eucharistic Ministers, Intercessors, and Acolytes.
- Develop an Emergency Procedure Manual for worship.
- Conduct training so that all Vergers know how to conduct the liturgy in the event of a sudden illness of clergy.
- Annually, assist in updating the Saint John’s Customary.
Membership: This ministry is overseen by the Rector, assisted by the Head Verger who is elected by members of the Vergers each year. Vergers are called and serve in this ministry upon nomination by current Vergers and appointment by the Rector. Usually, a person called to the servant ministry of Verger has previously served faithfully as a Worship Minister and has demonstrated a deep devotion to worship and knowledge of the liturgy as put forth in the Book of Common Prayer. Vergers must be familiar with: the movement of all participants of the liturgy, the seating and role of all worship ministers, and the conduct of special services, including the liturgy when the Bishop is in attendance.
The current Verger schedule is here (sign-in required). There are also several Vergers’ Cheat Sheets available online: Regular Eucharist, Chancel Eucharist, Pontifical Eucharist, Burial Liturgy, and Marriage Liturgy.