Serving Opportunities at St. Thomas'

You can sign up online for all Serving and Worship opportunities by going to Sign Up Genius. Here are descriptions of each opportunity:

Ministry

What you do in this ministry

Acolyte

Participate in worship leadership by lighting and extinguishing the candles, processing, carrying the cross, banner, assisting with the offering of bread, wine and money during Holy Eucharist. (Children grade 4 and above, youth, & adults)

Altar Flower Delivery

Deliver the altar flowers to designated persons in the parish and community after the 11 a.m. Sunday service and after the 10 am service in the summer. (Not in Advent or Lent)

Altar Guild

Maintain and prepare the altar, the flowers, the elements (bread & wine), vessels, linens, and sacred space set up.

Annual Auction

Help with the annual auction which raises funds for ministry

Bell Choir

Play hand bells for Sunday worship services as well as special occasions.

Bluegrass Mass Support Team

Be a part of the team which provides readers, prayer leaders, ushers, set up and hospitality for the monthly Bluegrass Mass. 

Boaz & Ruth

Be a part of St. Thomas’ relationship with this organization that helps provide transitional jobs, training, and emotional support for ex-offenders., which is located only 2 miles from St. Thomas’.  Specific involvement includes  volunteering on site for work days, volunteering with Boaz and Ruth special events, participating in the Long Walk to Freedom, volunteering at the Sunny Days thrift store and participating in the Beyond Dialogue programs on racial reconciliation. 

Bright Beginnings

Participate with other St. Thomas’ members in the  YMCA’s annual “back to school” outfitting of local school children.  Volunteers are paired with one or two children and help them in an organized shopping trip organized by the Bright Beginnings Program. 

CARITAS

Help with St. Thomas’ week to serve as a shelter and provide food and shelter for homeless people (yearly, January)

And/or participate in the Northside Churches’ Joint CARITAS week where area churches cooperate to host an extra week of CARITAS at one of the churches. 

 

Children’s time leader

 

Lead young children in a brief activity during the sermon portion of the worship service

Choir

Learn and rehearse music to sing at Sunday worship services as well as special occasions. (Older youth and adults)

Church Drama

Volunteer for periodic dramatizations of liturgical seasonal celebrations and stories. (Examples: Saint Walk, Vacation Bible School, Epiphany Kings, Sunday school Stories etc.)

Coffee Hour

Set up, serve, and clean up the weekly coffee hour or support the host by providing goodies to serve. 

Eucharistic Minister

Assist in worship and serving communion on Sunday and/or Wednesday night services. 

Godly Play Leader

Lead in the Godly Play ministry of St. Thomas’, primarily on Sunday mornings. 

Food Pantry

Assist in the organization and distribution of food through St. Thomas’ weekly Thursday Food Pantry. Roles include shoppers and gleaners who procure the food we distribute as well as distribution volunteers.

Fall Line Farms Site Volunteer

Serve once a month as a volunteer in the Thursday Fall Line Farms pick up.  Staff a 2 – 3 hour shift once a month to facilitate the participant food pick up.    A free Fall Line Farms membership is provided for volunteers. 

Hospitality

Assist with special brunches, dinners, and receptions by providing food, decorating, set up and clean up.

Jail Collections

Help manage the collections of magazines, books, toiletries and other items donated to inmates at Richmond City Jail.  Once a month commitment to gather collected items and transport them to the City Jail. 

Junior Choir

Learn and rehearse music to sing at designated Sunday worship services as well as special occasions. For children grades 2 – 8

 

 

Lay Eucharistic Visitor

 

Take communion from Sunday Eucharist to a homebound or hospitalized parishioner.

Lotsa Helping Hands/Meals Ministry

Provides meals and other support to parishioners during times of need (This ministry is managed via website.  Volunteers will receive website access instructions.)

Men’s Corps

Supports ministry at St. Thomas’with fundraising and fellowship. 

Men’s Prayer Breakfast

Bi-weekly breakfast for men with Bible Study and Prayer every 1st and 3rd Monday.

Micah Initiative

Provide tutoring and support at local schools

Musical Instruments/Soloists for worship

Do you play a musical instrument” Are you willing to play in a worship service?  Sign up below.  Sing (solo, duet, etc.) at Sunday worship services (where the choir is not singing) as well as special occasions. (Includes adults, children and youth)

Mini-Mission Camp Helper

Volunteer with St. Thomas’ summer mission and outreach camp for children grades 3 – 5. 

Nursery Volunteer

Provide safe and loving care for the youngest children of our church. Nursery workers (adult) and nursery aides (grade 5 and above). Please indicate 9 am or 11 am service preference. 

Office Support

Volunteer as receptionist or an office assistant.

Outreach Collections

Help manage the various items St. Thomas’ collects for outreach (cell phones, eyeglasses, toiletries etc.) Involves periodic checking of what has been collected and delivering the collections to the organizations for whom we are collecting the items. 

Oystoberfest

Volunteer for this fundraiser.

Parish Hall Steward

Serve on Sunday mornings as a steward in the Parish Hall to assist visitors and guests before, between and after the worship services. This is a new ministry for 2012. 

Prayers of the People

Lead the “Prayers of the People” during Sunday worship

Property Assistance

Do you have “fix-it” skills?  Sign up to work on St. Thomas’ “fix-it” list around the church property.

Readers

Read the lessons and the Psalm (when it is not sung) during services (Open to children who can read, youth and adults)

 

Seasonal Celebrations

 

Help with the  intergenerational liturgical seasonal celebrations.  Includes Advent Adventure, Epiphany Party, Lenten Retreat, Alleluia Egg Hunt, Pentecost Party, Saint Walk and St. Thomas Festival.

Second Saturday Drop In

Help host Chamberlayne Avenue adult home neighbors for fellowship, art, music, and lunch in the parish hall on the second Saturday each month, 10:00 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.

Sewing Guild

Design and create baby quilts that are donated to those in need (Meets on Wednesdays at 10 am)

St. Thomas’ Day School

Support one  of St. Thomas’ main outreach ministries.  Opportunities include Day School Board service, event support and participation.

Sunday School Teachers

Teach Sunday School during the regular Sunday School sessions.

Supper Clubs

Participate with other parishioners for monthly potluck meals at each others’ homes. Hosting in one’s own home is not required to participate. Groups are reorganized annually.

Tellers

Count, record, and deposit the weekly offering collection

Ushers

Distribute bulletins, collect the offering, assist with special seating needs and extend welcome during worship.  Serve on Sundays and/or Wed. night.

Vacation Bible School

Help provide a week of study, worship, service, and fellowship for children in our church and neighborhood

Wheels Ministry

Provide transportation with your own vehicles for parish members and guests who need a ride to and from church

Women of St. Thomas’

Help with Yard Sale and Presale Treasure Event (Help with selling tickets, wine and cheese refreshments and assisting in sales.)

Youth Ministry Team

Support the youth program with prayer and participation.  Team divisions are: Middle School, High School and Support Team.

 

 

Committees:  Committees are formed by a combination of recruitment and volunteer.  All committees have a vestry liaison which works directly or indirectly with them.  

 

Faith Formation Committee

Finance Committee

Hospitality Committee

Newcomer Committee

Outreach Committee

Parish Life Committee

Pastoral Care Committee (new committee being formed – vestry liaison is Terry Gau)

PIC Committee

Property Committee

Shrine Mont Parish Retreat Committee (a sub-committee of Faith Formation)

Stewardship Committee

Worship Committee

 

 

Outreach Ministries (report from 2011 and updated to include current ministries)

Al-Anon: We provide meeting space for three Al-Anon meetings each week.  They enable families of alcoholics to gain support in difficult situations and lead healthy lives.  One of the groups has been meeting at St. Thomas’ for over 40 years. 

Boaz & Ruth:   is  an organization that helps provide transitional jobs, training, and emotional support for ex-offenders. Our relationship with Boaz & Ruth  provides many opportunities to help rebuild these lives and help revitalize their neighborhood, which is only 2 miles from St. Thomas’.  Specific involvement has been volunteering on site for work days, volunteering with Boaz and Ruth special events, participating in the Long Walk to Freedom, volunteering at the Sunny Days thrift store and participating in the Beyond Dialogue programs on racial reconciliation. 

Bright Beginnings:  This is St. Thomas' partnership with YMCA of Greater Richmond and Target Stores. We take over 30 elementary school aged children from City of Richmond to TARGET to buy school supplies and clothes. St. Thomas donated school backpacks filled with a list of school supplies for about 10 children, as well as volunteered to shop at Target for $120 allowance of donated money, to buy school clothes for children in challenged circumstances. St. Thomas has participated in Bright Beginnings since 2001. 

CARITAS: St. Thomas’ participated in CARITAS twice in 2011. In September, St. Thomas’ joined other Ginter Park Churches in a Ginter Park Churches CARITAS housed at Battery Park Christian Church.  In December St. Thomas’ hosted CARITAS at our church.  Over 170 parishioners volunteered in this ministry between the two weeks, welcoming homeless families. CARITAS served 11 families in Sept. and 14 families in Dec.  

Cell phone collections: Parishioners donated cell phones and cell phone parts which enable battered women to make calls to get the help they need when they or their children are in danger. 

Children’s Books: Donated through the Food Pantry ministry. Over 500 children's books were distributed during 2011. 

Christmas cards and stamps: Donated by parishioners, these items were deeply appreciated by people in the jail who are isolated from their friends and families at Christmas. 

Coins for Outreach:  The loose coins put into the offering plates in worship each week. These coins are used to supplement the outreach funds allocated as a part of our church budget. 

Concerned Northside Congregatinos  This is a group of churches in the Ginter Park/Northside area that meet to discuss and support concerns and issues of our neighborhood residents, especially relating to those who are homeless or living in group homes, in order to better meet their needs as a group. This year the group hosted a CARITAS together and worked on several other joint projects. 

Discretionary Fund: The Rector’s discretionary fund and the Assistant Rector’s discretionary fund help the clergy to meet some financial needs of the poor while respecting confidentiality.  Funds get used to help people in need who are not part of the congregation as well as assist people within the congregation to nurture and enhance the life of the congregation.    

Education: St. Thomas’ Day School is an outreach ministry of our church. (See detailed report attached).  

Episcopal Church Women:  Provides scholarships high school seniors in the parish through funds raised at their Yard Sale; and periodically provides dinner to the O’Brien Home.

Eyeglasses collection: Parishioners donated eyeglasses which are sent to Uganda where many people who need glasses cannot afford to buy them. Mrs. Else Fuller at Westminster Canterbury receives these and then sends them to Uganda. 

Food Pantry:  This ministry distributed 274  turkeys at Thanksgiving in addition to serving between 86 and 150 households each month representing 281 to 771 individuals ( 126 to 298 children, 104 to 150 adults ages 18 to 55 and 51 to 200 seniors ages 55+)  This ministry has been newly reorganized to

Magazines and Paperbacks for Prisoners:  St. Thomas’ parishioners continue to donate copious amounts of magazines and paperback books which we take to the jail. In such a grim environment, having something to read is a real treat for the women and men.     

Micah Initiative: This ministry is a partnership between various communities of faith in metro Richmond and the Richmond Public Schools to support education and nurture of the children of Richmond.  St. Thomas' has a roster of volunteers numbering nine individuals; mentoring is a one-on-one relationship, where classes are concerned the numbers will run 16-20 per class . We have  five active participants at this time. One is serving in a Tutoring role with a first Grader; two are serving as Classroom Assistants; two Volunteers are serving as Pen pals. 

Nurturing Parent Group:  St. Thomas’ provides meeting space for three 15 week parent education classes for families who have been referred for education by the Henrico County Court. This is a pilot program operated by Henrico County Department of Social Services which was begun in 2009.  In Jan. 2011 the group will begin its fourth session. 

Outreach: A budgeted item in the St. Thomas budget supported by pledged and offering income. Distribution of Outreach funds this year included helping pay for lunch for a trip to Boaz & Ruth; buying stamps for inmates at the Richmond City Jail; and buying new clothing for an individual formerly associated at St. Thomas, who personally asked for help. 

Refugee Resettlement Project:  This program aims to help in providing needed supplies and welcoming into the community a large group of refugees from all parts of the world, who live approximately 2 miles away.. In January and June of this year, a group provided  dinner and support to this group, with about 80(Jan.)  and 40 (June)  refugees attending.   At Christmas, the outreach fund helped provide small gifts for refugee families. 

Regional Meetings: We have provided meeting space for Ginter Park Residents’ Association, the Richmond EFM class, Region 11 clergy gatherings, and Regional Educators Meeting. 

Rivercity Babywearers: We provide space for the twice monthly meetings of this parenting support group which promotes safe and varied ways to keep infants, toddlers and young children close to their parents bodies, hence “babywearing”.  More info here:

http://rcbw.blogspot.com/

SCAN: We provide space for weekly meetings for Stop Child Abuse Now, which helps prevent abusive behavior and teach parents better ways of managing anger and raising children.  We have been providing meeting space for over 10 years. 

Second Saturday Drop-In: (Also see Second Saturday Drop-In report attached). Second Saturday Drop-In serves neighborhood group home residents of O'Brien Home and The Palace Home on Chamberlayne Avenue, every second Saturday morning of the month. Residents are people with mental and physical disabilities, who are served a healthy breakfast, snack, and lunch. We also donate healthcare supplies, time in gardens around O'Brien Home, and a social connection of friendship. Each month, we serve between 10 - 20 resident guests. St. Thomas Volunteers donate food, toiletries, healthcare items, and their time and talents. Each year, around Christmas, we partner with other churches in Concerned Churches of Northside Richmond [CCNR] and have a Christmas Party. St. Thomas has actively and consistently partnered with Chamberlayne Avenue Group homes, since September 2003. 

Sewing Group: Meets weekly to make baby quilts to donate to area groups ministering with newborn babies. 

Stations of the Cross: This a ministry of prayer and presence that takes place on Brookland Park Boulevard on the afternoon of Good Friday. 

Towels and Toiletries:  Donated for use in CARITAS, inmates at the Richmond City Jail, and the Second Saturday Ministry as well as other groups that periodically request these items. 

Vacation Bible School:  This summertime childrens’ event  takes place over a week and each year a project or place is chosen to donate money and needed supplies. 2011 over $250.00 and 300 pairs of socks were donated to Appalachian Service Project.  It was the fourth consecutive year that St. Thomas has held Vacation Bible School, and close to 100 children attended. 

Youth Ministry Outreach Projects:   included serving lunch through St. Paul’s Episcopal Church lunch ministry and a CARITAS Dinner as well as a mission trip to Appalachia.