Licensed Eucharistic Minister
Parishioners may become trained to serve in the role of Licensed Eucharistic Minister (LEM) or Eucharistic Minister (EM) in the worship service, wearing vestments and assisting the priest in administering communion and providing the second reading and other parts of the service.
In each worship service, the usher hands out service bulletins, helps worshipers to be seated as needed, guides people to the altar for communion, and handles the offering plate.
Families who sign up for this service take a role in the worship service by prayerfully delivering the wine and bread from the oblations table to the altar for communion. Ushers also serve periodically at weddings and funerals.
Those participating in this ministry are dedicated to preparation of the altar for worship and communion by preparing the bread and wine; caring for the altar linens, plate, chalice, candles, and lectionary materials; and laying out the items needed for each service.
This group works very closely with the Altar Guild to prepare the altar for each service by purchasing flowers or obtaining them from the cutting garden, and arranging flowers and placing them on the altar.
This ministry is open to young parishioners to assist with the service by lighting the worship candles, carrying the cross, handing the bread and wine to the priest during communion, and extinguishing the candles at the end of the service.
In each service readers deliver the first scripture reading and the psalm, and lead the congregation in the Prayers of the People. Readers may also lead Morning Prayer when the rector is away.
Music is a very important component of the worship service at Grace. The choir, led by our highly trained organist/choir director, attends choir practice once during the week and just prior to the second service.
In addition to musicians periodically invited from outside the parish, Grace members with musical talent take part in the service by playing instruments for the hymns and choir offerings.
Youth Sunday Sermon
Youth are valued at Grace, as the adult parishioners of the future. Each year, the eldest high schooler, usually a graduating senior, prepares and delivers a sermon bringing his or her perspective to the parish at the Youth Sunday service, held at the end of the school year.
Grace Threads/Blanket Ministry
This ministry is a group of members who gather once weekly for sewing projects including making blankets to give to new babies and parishioners who have had illnesses. The blankets are blessed in the worship service prior to delivery to the recipient.
Lay Weeders and Others
This group (with or without green thumbs) ministers to the beautiful and extensive gardens at Grace, assisting the garden designer and the gardener in keeping weeds under control, straightening up borders, and other garden maintenance tasks; grass inside the church close is maintained by a lawn service, but the grass outside the close is mowed by our parishioners.
Spring & Fall Workdays
Twice each year, parishioners gather for Saturday or Sunday work days to spruce up the indoor and outdoor spaces by spring and fall cleaning and grounds maintenance. Sunday work days are accompanied by a service known as “Mass on the Grass.” Those working are treated to a delicious breakfast and lunch as they prepare our lovely gardens for the Easter season and for return to the fall schedule.
Episcopal Church Women
This group links the women of Grace Church with women throughout the wider Episcopal Church, particularly those within the Montgomery Convocation. Grace participates in the hosting of convocation annual meetings and other events.
Saint Joseph’s Guild
Men of Grace Church gather periodically to carry out special maintenance projects, to grill food for tailgate celebrations during football season and for parish picnics, and to sponsor the annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, wearing the traditional green Grace Church aprons.
Each Sunday, worship attendees gather in the parish hall service area for fellowship and light refreshments after each service. Refreshments are provided by parishioners on a loosely-organized schedule. If no one is scheduled, members step in and display whatever snacks and beverages are stored in our larders.
This group gathers every other month during the academic year at the home of one of the Book Club members to share delicious food and to discuss the books they have read (or not) over the past two months. Each gathering focuses on two books—one fiction and one non-fiction—selected and assigned by the hosts.
The Friday Night Supper Club for Grace members meets once a month in a variety of restaurants or sometimes at the parish hall so that members can socialize more easily. Usually 10 to 24 people attend supper club. This is a great way to get acquainted with other Grace members and to welcome newcomers.
This ministry straddles the fence between service to Grace and outreach in that it provides spiritual development for those participating and also focuses on the world outside the parish and even the wider church. Participants, called Pilgrims, attend a very spiritually moving 3-day weekend involving music, talks, group activities, and worship. Then, in the “Fourth Day,” (after the weekend) they attend reunion groups to keep in touch and to think outside their own world.