Ministries That Support Our Parish
The vitality of St. Mary’s parish life depends upon the time and talent contributed by its members. Ministries to the parish cover a spectrum of activities, and parishioners are free to support these ministries as they are called to respond. Many have found that, to paraphrase Luke 6:38 … in giving it will be given to you.
This is a ministry for parishioners who have a gift of welcoming and supporting those who come to St. Mary’s. It doesn’t matter whether the person is a first time visitor or a thirty year member of the parish – – Radical Hospitality members put into action the words spoken at the invitation to Communion; Come. It is Christ who invites you to meet him here.
Members of the Prayer Ring communicate with each other and with parishioners who have special requests for prayer. This ministry prays for those with urgent or long-term needs.
These are members of the laity specially trained as pastoral caregivers. Stephen Ministers are available to meet with parishioners experiencing difficult times. Situations where Stephen’s Ministers provide support range from death or divorce, illness, a recent change in life circumstances, or other stressful events. These ministers are trained to be compassionate and prayerful listeners, conduits to other counseling services and keep all aspects of their ministry in strictest confidence.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
This ministry supports those in need of comfort, as well as those expressing joy and celebration. The knitting of a shawl begins with an intentional prayer for the recipient, and meditative prayer continues as the shawl is completed. The ministry concludes with the blessing of the shawl at one of the Sunday services and presentation to the person for whom the shawl was made.
This ministry provides a meal for those of the congregation who are temporarily experiencing difficulty in putting a meal together. This may be at a time when a family member is sick or hospitalized, upon the death of a spouse, or upon some other occasion when a prepared meal or two is needed.
This ministry derives its strength from the biblical story of how Martha served Jesus. In quiet reverence, Martha’s Guild lovingly serves others, preparing meals for festive occasions, receptions, and for condolence gatherings after funeral services. They seek to serve others before they themselves are served.
These people set-up and clean-up for each Sunday’s congregational gathering in the parish hall (Fitch Hall) where coffee and goodies are made available after each service. Kitchen Angels also ensure that kitchen supplies are available, and consumables are replenished, as required.
The Communications Ministry Development Team works on a variety of projects including publication of The Bells of St. Mary, our monthly newsletter, coordinating email distribution of special events, and maintaining the St. Mary’s and Red Shirt Project web sites.