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St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Brunswick, Maine

How We Serve
An invitation from the rector to discover your spiritual gifts in order to glorify and serve God:

Dear St. Paul’s Friend,

I invite you to enter into this marvelous resource of St. Paul’s ministries to discover how our ministries serve God in the parish, the town of Brunswick and in the world.

If you are a Newcomer or Guest, there are many different ways you can meet people and become a part of our thriving Christian community in addition to participating in the vibrant worship of Sunday Holy Eucharist. You might even eventually answer a call to serve.

If you are a parishioner, I invite you to behold how God is calling you to service for Christ’s sake in this part of the world.

In First Corinthians 12 and in Romans 12, our patron saint, St. Paul lists some of the spiritual gifts that build up the Body of Christ and then expands on how they apply in a Christian community. After we celebrated St. Paul’s feast day on June 29 last summer and learned more about our own spiritual gifts, some of you spoke to me about the gifts you have and how you are living into them to the glory of God.

Just after that feast day, a member of St. Paul’s introduced me to a “Ministries” booklet she had produced for a former parish. She hoped to use her gifts of administration and helps to organize our many ministries to produce this resource so that it might stimulate God’s Spirit in each of us to serve.

I want to thank Sally Jeanne Kappler for exercising those gifts to create this resource for St. Paul’s.

And thanks go to Pat Ryan who organized the purpose statements and names of chairpersons of each ministry in order that the members of the Vestry might liaise with one of them.

Thank you to all the committee chairs who saw the importance of this project and acted immediately to give your purpose statement and important information to complete this booklet.

And finally, thanks go to our Parish Administrator, Susan Tyler who is charged with the updates.

Please use this tool as a kind of “field guide” to assess your spiritual gifts, pray for discernment about how God is calling you to use them and then inquire about how to be of service.

Here are some more questions to ask yourself as you begin your discernment, “How am I to contribute to the building up of Christ in this community?” “What is my passion?” And “How is God calling me to use my passion?”

O heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, p. 814)

In gratitude and faith,
The Rev. Carolyn H. Eklund, Rector

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How Do I Determine My Spiritual Gifts?
The first step in discerning the special gifts God has given you to use for ministry is prayer. Ask that your spiritual gifts be made known to you and where they may be used in the Body of Christ and the world.

The second step may be to utilize one or more of the spiritual gift inventories readily available.

Here is a sampling of those found on the Internet:

  • http://www.spiritualgiftstest.com/test/adult
  • http://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Congregations-and-Synods/Faith-Practices/Assessment-Tools
  • http://sgi.churchdb.com/staustinsgi/StAustinIntro.asp

For those who prefer a pencil-and-paper format, one is available in the church office. Also several books in the parish library include questionnaires and present the topic in greater depth. The names of the spiritual gifts may differ from resource to resource. One particularly helpful resource is a list of topics compiled by Dr. C. Peter Wagner, the developer of the Wagner Modified-Houts Questionnaire and the author of several books on the topic.

Once you have determined your dominant and subordinate gifts, read through the following descriptions of various opportunities at St. Paul’s to see where God may have equipped you to serve.

If you do not see something that connects, it could be that you are being called to create a new ministry. After prayer, the next step would be to discuss this with the rector or the wardens.

Note: For more information on any of the following activities, you are invited to contact the church office at (207) 725-5342 or via email to stpauls@stpaulsmaine.org. Specific recommendations where applicable are noted with the activity in question.

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WORSHIP

To live for God’s pleasure

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” MARK 12:30 NIV
Acolytes

To enhance the worship experience by conveying the symbols of Christianity in procession and assisting at the altar during services.
Membership: Open
Training provided Meetings: As needed
Note: Each service (8:00 a.m.; 9:30 a.m.; & 10:30 a.m.) is handled separately.

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Adult Choir
To praise and glorify God through the ministry of choral music, and to lead and encourage the congregation in worship through the gift of music.
Membership: Open
Meetings: Weekly; Wednesdays 7-8:30, Sundays 9:45-12 noon.

Altar Guild
To prepare the altar and credence table for worship services, maintain and store all required items.
Membership: Open. Training provided Meetings: As needed

Eucharistic Ministers
To assist the celebrant during the service by administering the chalice.
Membership: License required; training provided
Meetings: As needed

Eucharistic Visitors
To bring the Eucharist from the service to those who are unable to be at worship and who have requested Communion.
Membership: License required; Diocese provides training
Meetings: As needed

Flower Committee
To plan and coordinate the placement of flowers for the altar at weekly and other services.
Membership: Open Meetings: As needed

Healing Prayer Team
To provide anointing and prayers for healing with the laying-on-of-hands at the first and third Sunday services and to study the healing ministry of Jesus.
Membership: Nomination by a parish member; a period of discernment; training provided
Meetings: Monthly; on designated Thursday 4 pm to 5:30 pm

 

Lectors
To read the lessons and lead the congregation in psalms and prayers during the worship service.
Membership: Open; Training provided Meetings: As needed

Ushers
To distribute the service bulletin, collect the offerings, coordinate the movement of worshipers during the service and return the pews to good order after the service.
Membership: Open; Training provided Meetings: As needed

Worship Commission
To advise the rector and to provide resources and planning for inspiring, joyful and orderly worship to God’s glory.
Membership: The Committees: Acolytes, Altar Guild, Eucharistic Ministers, Flower Committee, Lectors, Music, Ushers, Worship Leaders
Meetings: As needed

Worship Leaders
To lead non-sacramental services, such as Morning or Evening Prayer
Membership: Age 16 and up; license required; training provided.
Meetings: As needed FMI: Please contact the rector.

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DISCIPLESHIP
To become like Christ
“Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus” PHILIPPIANS 2:5 NIV

Adult Christian Formation
To provide programs that encourage and support adults in their spiritual journey.
Membership: By invitation Meetings: As needed

Youth Formation Leader – Middle School Level
To prepare appropriate activities and provide guidance to young people ages 11-13 in an exploration of their emerging spiritual needs.
Membership: Appointed (see the rector); Safe Church Training required; other training provided
Meetings: Weekly with more as needed;
FMI: Please contact the the Rev. Carolyn Eklund, Rector

Youth Formation Leader – High School Level
To prepare appropriate activities and provide guidance to young people ages 14-18 in an exploration of their emerging spiritual needs.
Membership: Appointed (see the rector); Safe Church Training required; other training provided
Meetings: Weekly with more as needed; greater than 1 year commitment
FMI: Please contact the The Rev. Carolyn Eklund, Rector.

Church School Teacher/Classroom Assistant
Engage our children in the faith. We schedule teachers and assistants in partnerships. Lessons and resources are pre-planned and materials are organized, so you have a minimum of prep time.
Membership: Appointed (see the rector); Safe Church Training required; other training provided
Meetings: Varies; As needed
FMI: Please contact the The Rev. Carolyn Eklund, Rector

Exploring the Word
To discuss a selection from the Sunday readings as an informal method of Bible study.
Membership: Open Meetings: Weekly; Sunday 9:30–10:15 am

Giving Committee
To plan and implement the annual giving program.
Membership: By invitation; limited to 6-8 persons
Meetings: As needed; August through November
FMI: Please contact the rector or wardens.

Library Committee
To provide books on religion and spiritual topics to support an exploration of one’s faith.
Membership: Open Meetings: As needed

Newcomer’s Class
To learn more about Christianity and the Episcopal Church for personal edification or preparation for confirmation.
Membership: Open Meetings: As announced
FMI: Please contact the rector.

Tuesday Women’s Bible Study
To explore Biblical and other spiritual topics as a means of supporting individual spiritual growth.
Membership: Open to all women Meetings: Weekly; Tuesday 12:30 pm

Wednesday Bible Study
To explore the Holy Bible as a means of encouraging spiritual growth.
Membership: Open
Meetings: Weekly; Wednesday 5:30-6:30 pm

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FELLOWSHIP
To be a member of God’s family
“…so in Christ we who are many form one body,
and each member belongs to all the others.”
ROMANS 12:5 NIV

Coffee Hour
To organize refreshments for the period of fellowship after each service on Sunday.
Membership: Open; weekly volunteers needed for all three services (8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m.)
Meetings: None; short orientation provided

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Crisis Meals
To provide meals to parishioners or their family members during a time of crisis.
Membership: Open; Desire to cook Meetings: As needed

Intercessory Prayer Group
To pray for the needs of the parish and individual members.
Membership: Open; ability to be disciplined in prayer
Meetings: Weekly; Thursday Noon-1 p.m.

Kitchen Facility Committee
To maintain the kitchen and oversee its use.
Membership: Open Meetings: As needed

Lay Pastoral Visitors
To connect St. Paul’s through visits, notes and/or phone calls to parishioners and friends who may be unable to attend church, are lonely or may be recovering at home through visits, notes and/or phone calls.
Membership: Open; have a desire to care about, visit with or help others
Meetings: Monthly; September through June

Men’s Group
To provide mutual support in a non-judgmental environment where men can reflect together on life as a spiritual journey.
Membership: Open to all men Meetings: Wednesday 7:30 am

The Messenger (Newsletter)
To facilitate communication in the parish by providing a monthly publication of news, events and articles.
Membership: Open Meetings: Single ministry

Name Tags
To produce name tags as needed and to maintain the name tag board in good order.
Membership: Open Meetings: Single ministry

Reception Committee
To organize and provide receptions following funerals and memorial services.
Membership: Open Meetings: As needed

Sharing and Caring Support Group
To support both those who are grieving the loss of a loved one and those who are the caregiver to a loved one.
Membership: Open Meetings: Monthly; 1st Wednesday at 1 pm

Telephone Prayer Chain
To receive and accurately communicate the immediate prayer request of a parish member and to diligently pray about that need.
Membership: Open; ability to communicate effectively and be disciplined in prayer
Meetings: As needed

Welcoming Committee
To welcome and integrate visitors and newcomers into the congregation.
Membership: Open Meetings: As needed

Women’s Group
To provide mutual support to the women of the parish in their spiritual journey.
Membership: Open to all women
Meetings: Weekly; Thursday 2-3:45 pm; September through June

EVANGELISM
To share my faith
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”
COLOSSIANS 4:5 NIV

Christmas Fair Committee
To coordinate the activities of the annual Christmas Fair.
Membership: Open
Meetings: As announced. The fair usually takes place on the first Saturday in December.

Communications Committee
To facilitate, coordinate and maintain good communications both within and outside the parish.
FMI: Please contact the rector.

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Earth Care Commission
To encourage protection and preservation of God’s creation, sponsor and attend events on environmental issues and promote energy-saving initiatives in the parish and for all members and facilitate opportunities for sustainability in our community.
Membership: Open Meetings: As announced

Frontline Committee
To guide St. Paul’s into knowing and working with those in our surrounding community, through collaboration and projects with other faith institutions and secular groups, and knowing and understanding our neighbors and their needs
Membership: Appointed Meetings: As needed
FMI: Please contact the rector.

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Holy Stitchers
To provide various items of handwork including prayer shawls to be given as gifts.
Membership: Open Meetings: Weekly; Tuesday 10-12

Outreach Commission
To promote support of local, diocesan and world initiatives beyond our walls to help those in need.
Membership: Open Meetings: Monthly; Usually 2nd Tuesday; 7 pm

Webmaster
To maintain the parish website as an effective vehicle of communication.
Membership: Open Meetings: Single Ministry
FMI: Please contact the rector.

OTHER MINISTRIES
To serve God
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others” 1 PETER 4:10 NIV
Building and Grounds Committee
To oversee the maintenance and repair of the parish facilities and grounds.
Membership: Open Meetings: As needed

Convention Delegates and Alternates
To represent St. Paul’s at the Diocesan Convention and inform the parish of any actions taken.
Membership: Elected at Annual Meeting or appointed by Vestry; must be a Member in Good Standing, age 16 and above.
Meetings: As announced
FMI: Please contact the rector or wardens.

Finance Committee
To advise the Vestry on financial matters, develop a yearly budget and coordinate an annual internal audit.
Membership: Appointed Meetings: Monthly; 3rd Thursday

Holy Folders
To assist the Parish Administrator by folding the weekly service bulletin.
Membership: Open Meetings: Weekly; Friday 10 am

Memorial Garden Committee
To provide information about the Memorial Garden and administer all aspects of its preservation.
Membership: Open Meetings: As needed

Office Assistants
To assist the Parish Administrator with various office tasks.
Membership: Open Meetings: Weekly service and as needed

Vestry
To conduct the business of the parish.
Membership: Elected at Annual Meeting for various terms
Meetings: Monthly; 4th Thursday of the month
FMI: Please contact the rector or the wardens

Wardens
To oversee the business of the parish.
Membership: Elected at Annual Meeting Meetings: Weekly as needed
FMI: Please contact the rector.