Sunday Morning Worship Takes a Villag … er … Whole Congregation

By Katy McGrann

You walk into church on an ordinary Sunday morning, get a bulletin from a smiling usher or greeter, find your pew, and let the organ prelude wash over you, as you prepare for the worship experience ahead. Seems straight forward, almost effortless, right?

Au contraire, my friend. Your worship experience began days earlier, at a meeting between our Rector, Jeunee Godsey, and our Director of Liturgical Music and Organist, Crystal Jonkman, with Deacon Becki Dean adding her wisdom as needed. Together, they craft the service and hand off the details to Doris Custer, Director of Parish Operations, who prepares the service bulletin; office volunteers then copy the bulletin and “stuff” the announcement sheet into it, so you’ll have it in your hands come Sunday morning. That’s at least five people, plus more than a dozen choir members, who’ve thought about your worship experience so far, and it’s not close to Sunday yet.

Now add another 40 folks who will help to make your Sunday morning a genuine, moving and meaningful experience. Eleven coordinators under the umbrella of the Liturgical Commission have finessed the schedules of over 100 volunteers to make sure that all areas of a normal Sunday service have been attended to. The Altar, Flower and Visual Arts Guilds have made the sanctuary beautiful. The Choir has rehearsed processional, psalm, anthem, and recessional music. Someone has lovingly baked communion bread. Acolytes, lectors, lay readers, healing ministers, eucharistic ministers and eucharistic visitors have been assigned.

And that’s just the group that makes Sunday morning worship happen. It doesn’t include other commisions, like the wonderful instructors of Christian Education for adults, youth and children before the service or the welcoming hospitality of Parish Life after.

Chances are if you sit in the pew on Sunday morning, either you or your pew neighbor are involved with one of these commissions. Two adages come to mind: “many hands make light work” and “it takes a village.” Here at St. Michael’s, while we have the hands of many parishioners already at work, there is always room for more, because in our case, it takes a village – our entire congregation – to keep this church running.

If you volunteer in any capacity, thank you for making Sunday morning happen. If you would like to volunteer, pick an area of interest, then ask Jeunee, Becki, or any Vestry Member to direct you to the appropriate coordinator. We’re happy to help you make a connection at St. Michael’s that runs deeper than an hour on Sunday morning.

The next time you walk into church, thank that smiling usher, greet your pew neighbor with kindness and curiosity, let the organ prelude wash over you, and say a little prayer of thanksgiving for the extraordinary 45 plus people who have made this ordinary Sunday morning seem so straight forward, almost effortless, all