AN INVITATION TO SERVE THE LORD AND OUR PARISH
The Lord calls each of us to care for and serve one another. We invite all parishioners of St. Michael the Archangel to use their gifts and talents in the many activities and ministries of the parish. ALL ARE WELCOME and encouraged to work in the building of God’s kingdom. Whatever you can do to help will add to the life of our parish community and lighten the load for those you serve.
The Ministries currently available and in need of your help are listed in this brochure. Remember the words of Jesus as you peruse this brochure, “I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me”. Matthew 25: 40
Administration and Finance
Building and Grounds Ministry – Assists the Parish Life Director in maintaining the physical plant of the parish and planning and supervising projects and other activities to beautify and enhance the parish facilities. This ministry meets four (4) times a year.
Finance Ministry – Members advise and consult with the Parish Life Director regarding the ongoing financial status of the parish, budgeting, investment of savings, etc. This ministry meets four (4) times a year.
Men’s Club -The Men’s Club is a group of male parishioners who gather for social activities and activities to benefit the parish. They meet once a month to socialize and exchange ideas on projects, etc. The Men’s Club organizes Welcome Dinners, the annual Parish Picnic, a scholarship to a high school Senior going to college, dinners for the public, the annual parish Golf Tournament, etc., and assists the Women’s Guild with joint projects. The Club welcomes new members.
Pastoral Council – Meets six (6) times a year to assist and advise the Parish Life Director with a wide range of activities, goals and projects for the Parish. The Council serves as liaison between the Parish Life Director and the Parish Community for advancing ideas and pursuing parish goals. The Council has a President, Vice President, and Secretary that serve on an annual basis.
Social Media Ministry – Meets as needed, usually by a social media instrument that allows people to participate from home. This group keeps current all of the following in an attempt to “speak” to all ages and interests in the parish bulletin, phone app, website, Instagram, and Facebook page. Plans are being made to develop a Twitter account for the parish.
Stewardship Ministry – Members of this ministry plan and formulate activities to support the life of the parish by encouraging the utilization of the time, talent, and treasure of our members. In addition, the group organizes one large fund raiser per year for charities in our area. The group meets four times per year in the morning.
Vocation Ministry – This ministry promotes an awareness of vocations throughout the parish, to include the priesthood, religious life, married life, single life, and especially lay ministry in general. The group meets twice per year.
Website Ministry – Parish members involved in this ministry create, organize, and maintain the calendar of events, post pictures, and add documents to the “News and Events” section of the parish website.
Welcome Ministry – Members of this ministry work in groups of two or three to pay a visit to new parishioners, answer questions about the parish and parish activities, encourage participation in parish ministries and personally invite new parishioners to parish events.
Women’s Guild – The Women’s Guild is a long standing ministry of our parish. The Guild works to support and work with the Parish Life Director by planning projects that contribute to building up the spirit of the parish. This ministry plans parties for the children of the parish, holds bake sales, financially supports the activities department of the Springs Nursing Home, and has subcommittees that do good works for the parish and beyond:
- The Military Subcommittee which collects items from the parishioners to send overseas to our troops.
- The Garden Subcommittee which tends to the Memory Garden and other flower beds on the parish grounds.
- The Hospitality Subcommittee that takes responsibility for providing setup and refreshments for parish activities.
- The Altar Rosary Subcommittee which consists of six groups of four women who rotate taking turns making sure that the sanctuary is prepared for liturgy. They clean, wash and iron linens, repair acolyte robes, polish the sacred vessels, etc.
- The Card subcommittee sends cards to members of the parish who have been sick, lost a loved one, etc.
New members are always welcome to attend the once per month meetings.
Prayer and Worship
Acolytes (Altar Servers) – Opportunities exist for YOUNG PEOPLE and ADULTS to serve at Mass and other liturgical services, such as funerals and weddings. Those volunteering will be trained in the proper practice of assisting at the altar. Acolytes need to have made their First Communion to be eligible for service.
Altar Society – This very valuable and necessary group is an arm of the Women’s Guild. Members are assigned to “Teams” and each team (there are six teams) takes a turn on a rotating schedule attending to the Altar and the Sanctuary of the Church and Chapel by: arranging flowers, cleaning linens and other church materials and, in general, keeping the Altar and Chapel prepared for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. On Holy Days, all groups gather together and help set up the Church, decorating and changing the seasonal colors, ordering flowers, etc., in consultation with the Parish Life Director.
Baptismal Ministry – Members of this group meet, usually in partners, to prepare parents of a child for the baptismal rite and to walk them through the ceremony. The meaning of the Sacrament of Baptism is explained. The group meets as needed.
Bereavement Ministry – Members of this ministry reach out to those who have lost a loved one and assists the family in planning the funeral liturgy and, when possible, attend the funeral, acting as an Honor Guard. Other activities include: planning a semi- annual Memorial Service, sending cards and letters, making telephone calls, and making visits to provide ongoing support. The group meets two times per year.
Communion Service Leaders – People are needed to conduct Communion Services in Church when there is no priest for Mass. This includes Wednesday of each week. Volunteers will be thoroughly trained in all aspects of conducting the service.
Door Tenders – Our facility has front doors that are handicapped accessible, but, in addition to this feature, we station “Door Tenders” at the front doors of the Church before weekend Masses to assist anyone with a walker, wheel chair etc. who needs help.
Health Care Team Ministry – This ministry is comprised of a group of healthcare professionals, who come together to determine the needs of the parish community whether physical, spiritual, or health related, and provide programs and services to address those needs. Parish nurses can also serve as a health educator, counselor, and referral agent, as well as develop support groups and coordinate volunteers as needs arise. This group meets monthly (nine times per year) for planning.
Homebound Ministry – Committee persons make visits to private homes for those who are aged, disabled and cannot get out to Mass, bringing comfort to those confined to their homes.. All “Homebound Ministers” are trained to be Ministers of the Eucharist.
Ministers of the Eucharist – Eucharistic Ministers distribute the Eucharist (Body and Blood of the Lord) at parish Masses, in the nursing homes, and for the homebound members of our parish.
Ministers Of Hospitality – Ministers of Hospitality (Greeters) welcome and invite people as they arrive for Mass. They are charged with making sure “All Are Welcome”. They should be easily visible if someone needs assistance or directions to a particular area in the Church.
The Music Ministry – enhances the celebration of the liturgy for the community at St. Michaels’s through music and song. The music ministry includes the Adult Choir and the Children’s Choir. Choir practice is held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. All parishioners interested in music or singing are encouraged to participate in the Music Ministry.
Nursing Home Ministry – Members of this group make visits to those who are in Nursing Homes, and Adult Residences. They bring the Eucharist to provide spiritual comfort. In addition, they bring flowers to the nursing home residents and homebound members of the parish on Christmas and Easter. Training as a Minister of the Eucharist is provided for those interested.
Pastoral Care Ministry – The Pastoral Care Ministry directs the overall pastoral care of our parishioners. It plans and coordinates services to the home-bound, sick and disabled. The coordination of the parish’s Pastoral Care activities is vital to this very widespread ministry of the parish. The group meets four times a year.
Prayer Chain – This group forms a network of people who agree to pray for the intentions of parishioners (family or friends) who are ill or in need of prayers. No meetings! This is something you can do at home. Our parish depends on the prayers of this group.
Prayer and Worship Ministry – This group of parishioners coordinates special liturgies and events, such as Lenten activities, etc. The ministry meets four times per year.
Proclaimers of the Word (Lectors) – Lectors proclaim the Word of the Lord at weekend liturgies and holy days. Those volunteering will be trained and then assigned to a Mass of their choice.
RENEW – This gathering of people is a small “Faith-sharing” group which meets for prayer, the breaking open of Scripture, discussion, and support. A variety of resources are used to support fellowship and prayer.
Ushers – Ushers are ministers of hospitality and are charged with making sure “All Are Welcome”. They should be easily visible if someone needs assistance or directions to a particular area in the Church. Ushers may help seat people or assist the physically disabled or elderly. They assist in handing out worship aids for Mass. In addition, ushers take up collections, make sure there are people ready to bring the gifts to the altar and, when necessary, help direct the congregation at communion time. They distribute bulletins and other materials as needed after each liturgy. Ushers are observant and stay alert should they need to assist someone that becomes ill or has a medical emergency. After Mass, ushers ensure that everything is in order (papers picked up, lights turned off, candles extinguished, etc.) in the church and in the gathering area before leaving.
Volunteers are always needed to help the parish conduct its educational programs for the children and adults of the parish. Our Faith Formation program, a model of “Whole Parish Catechesis” is based on the belief that none of us ever stops learning and growing. This model fosters the total personal and spiritual growth of each person in our parish, drawing parishioners into active participation in the life, mission and work of our faith community, and empowering our families and young people to witness their faith by living and working for peace, and justice. Development of our programs for sacramental preparation, religious education, and youth ministry are designed with the advice of our Faith Formation Committee.
Adult Faith Formation – We never stop learning about the faith. Opportunities to enhance our understanding of many of the components of our faith are provided for all adult parishioners through the Whole Parish Catechesis Program each month from September through May. These presentations take place on Sunday mornings at both 8:45am and again at 11am for approximately an hour each. Topics are announced in advance through the bulletin. Additional opportunities are provided to the parish at large during the seasons of Advent and Lent.
Bible Study – This group meets Thursday evenings at 7pm under the direction of Dr. Ted Close, parishioner. The “class” studies and discusses a specific book or theme of the Bible per semester. Discussion of the text takes up a major portion of the time together. This is a good way to learn and pray God’s Word.
Catechists – teachers for our Faith Formation program are trained and certified by the Diocesan Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. Catechists are assigned to a grade level and given all necessary prep materials for teaching our children in grades K-10. Classes meet one Sunday per month. Catechists are assisted by Confirmation candidates who serve as aides.
Dismissal Catechists for RCIA – catechists are trained by our co-coordinator of our RCIA process to enable them to be “dismissed” after the homily at weekend Masses with candidates/catechumens so that the Gospel can be “broken open” in a small setting. This enables discussion to take place about the meaning of the Gospel text and the application of it to our daily lives.
Faith Formation Ministry – members of this group advises the Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation in planning all aspects of the Faith Formation Program. It meets six times per year.
Liturgy of the Word for Children – Catechists take children aged 3-5 from the 10am Mass each Sunday from September to June for their own “Liturgy of the Word” where they can hear the Gospel in words they can understand. An activity accompanies the reading of the Gospel. Training and supplies are provided so that the experience will be fun and enriching for our young parishioners.
RCIA – There are people who have not been baptized or baptized in another Christian tradition and would like to join our faith. The RCIA Team provides opportunities for adult faith formation and assist in helping people through the process of becoming Catholic. The RCIA Team consists of an Initiation Core Team (planners), persons who will assist in individual phases of the process (e.g. Inquiry, Catechumenate, Mystogogia, etc.), and individuals (sponsors) who personally journey with a candidate or catechumen.
Youth Ministry – Youth Ministry enhances the total personal and spiritual growth of young people in our parish in Grades 6 to 12. Activities and programs draw young people into responsible participation in the Catholic Faith community. Leadership and service opportunities empower these young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in the world today. This is an on-going year round Ministry.
Outreach Ministry – this group used to be called the “St. Vincent DePaul Society.” The group exists to work with the Parish Life Director to assign monies and goods that have been donated by the parish members to needy organizations and individuals.
Social Justice Ministry – The members of this ministry involve the entire parish in practicing acts of social justice, particularly Christian Service. The committee also works to promote a deeper learning and understanding of the principles of Catholic Social Justice Principles (provided by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops) and endeavors to increase educational activities related to these principles through speakers, panels, collaborations and increasing awareness of related events in the community.
Some of the specific projects and events sponsored by the Social Justice Ministry include the monthly food collections for Bethany and Roarke Centers, monthly Damien Center dinners, holding the Catholic Relief Services Work of Human Hands Craft sale, monthly Fair Trade coffee sales, the annual baby shower for Community Maternity Services and Birthright, the Veteran’s Day Peace Pole ceremony, the Christmas Giving Tree, and promoting environmentally safe multi-use shopping bags. The group also sponsors many varied drives for the needy including children’s socks, underwear and book collections, fresh grown produce, back to school supplies and hygiene items to provide for the diverse needs of numerous agencies including Circles of Mercy, Concerns U, Griswold Heights Community and the Rensselaer County Jail. New members, with new ideas and a willingness to work on projects are always most welcome. The group meets 9 times per year.
PRAYER FOR OUR MINISTRIES
We thank you for this parish home,
for sisters and brothers
who warm and comfort us,
who nurture and challenge our faith,
who love and support us
in our journey of life.
We pray for people who are alone
and in need,
may they find in us
a loving smile,
an outstretched hand,
and an open heart.
May we always be a community
with a welcoming heart.