Acolytes assist the clergy during the service, especially during the Eucharist. They are responsible for lighting the candles and leading the procession by carrying the Cross and/or torches. They carry torches and lead the procession of the Gospel Book for the Gospel reading. They assist with bringing the offering to the altar after it has been collected. The youth have a chance to learn more about the history and tradition of the Episcopal Church while serving important functions at the altar.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers
St. Peter’s Lay Eucharistic Ministers are a group of trained laypersons licensed by The Episcopal Church in Connecticut to assist the parish’s priests in celebrating the various liturgical services of the church, including administering the chalice at the Eucharist and leading services such as Morning and Evening Prayer, Ash Wednesday services and a service of Lessons and Carols.
Lectors present an Old Testament and/or New Testament reading to the congregation during the service. Since ancient times, communities have chosen persons for the task of reading Scriptures at worship. Being a lector, or reader, is more than just fulfilling a task, it is a calling and a spiritual discipline. Reading is a commitment to share the Scripture during our community worship time. It is a commitment to preparing oneself so that one’s reading becomes a vehicle for God’s Word.
The role of the ushers at St. Peter’s not only includes the welcoming of the congregation with the greeters, but also includes a few “behind the scenes” duties. They must keep an eye on the seating in the church, and if it is getting full, assist parishioners in finding a seat. They bring in extra folding chairs if needed. They collect and present the offering and assist in the flow of communicants.
Greeters are an essential part of our church. They are the first people to welcome guests and parishioners. Greeters also help parishioners find their nametags and provide visitors with nametags, increasing their comfort level and sense of welcome. They also help familiarize guests with our worship service, facility, childcare, and church school; invite them to coffee hour; and introduce them to the clergy and other parishioners.
The Altar Guild is comprised of dedicated parishioners who prepare the altar and sanctuary for worship, and who care for and maintain the worship vessels and vestments of the parish. From laundering and ironing the linens to arranging the flowers, it is a ministry of joy and care. Preparing the Church for worship is similar to making sure your house is perfect for a very special guest. You want everything to look perfect and nothing out of place.
Healing Prayer Ministry
St. Peter’s Healing Prayer Ministry offers prayer for those in need during the Communion, as a part of each Sunday’s worship at both the eight and ten o’clock services. These lay ministers are obedient to the Lord’s call to pray for others. It is not our responsibility to heal, but to pray in love and faithfulness, following Jesus’ commission to us. Our Lord is the healer. In addition to weekly Sunday prayer, special services take place two to three times a year where the focus is on healing and saturating prayer. These special services are offered to the entire Milford community.
Lay Eucharistic Minister Visitors
The LEME ministry continues to be very active in serving our sick and shut-ins. We currently have four teams of two members each that visit Carriage Green on a weekly basis. Each team has a set week and serves communion to five to ten residents every Sunday. The residents greatly appreciate the caring and concern they are shown. The numbers at Carriage Green have lessened but those who attend are fed by the love shown to them. West River Rehabilitation Center on Orange Avenue is visited on a monthly basis. Other LEMEs visit people in their homes and in the hospital when needed.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
The Prayer Shawl Ministry knits prayer shawls and baptismal blankets for members of our parish but they also reach out to the wider world. Some members continue to knit hats for afghans4Afghans that provides hats for the displaced children and adults in Afghanistan. Hats are also knitted and provided to local shelters and hospitals to give to anyone in need. They would greatly appreciate any donations of yarn towards their efforts. They meet monthly on the last Tuesday of the month. New members are always welcome!