Ministries: Ways to Serve at St. Philip's

You are looking for ways to contribute to the community or the parish? You have children looking for community service hours? or little ones that you are looking after?

At St. Philip’s there are many ways to get involved in parish life. There are activities and ministries for those who have lots of free time – and for the many of us who do not!

A few ministries and events are opened to people of all ages, so you can make your involvement a family affair.

Through these ministries, each of us is given an opportunity to grow closer to God and help others to do the same.

As you look at these ministry descriptions, listen to the quiet whispers in your heart. What is God calling you to do in this time and this place?

For more information about any of these ministries, contact admin@stphilipslaurel.org.

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Community Involvement

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Elizabeth House

This house, located in Laurel near St. Philip’s, contains both a meal kitchen and food pantry, which distributes groceries to families in need. St. Philip’s volunteers the 3rd Monday of every month for the closing shift (6 – 8 pm). We serve dinner, distribute lunches, clean up and leave the house in good order for the following day. New volunteers are cordially welcome. 

NOTE: If you need a good, hot meal, Elizabeth House serves one every evening from 6:00-7:30 p.m., and when you leave, you can pick up a bag lunch for the next day.

Elizabeth House is located at 308 Gorman Avenue in Laurel, behind the Exxon station on Rt. 1, and diagonally across from the Shell station on the corner of Gorman & Rt. 1. Also, if you need groceries in an emergency situation, call 301.262.7106, and someone will help you. Their helpline is open 24 hrs/day. Their website: http://www.fishoflaurel.org


The Quilt Guild of St. Philip’s

The Quilt Guild of St. Philips meets monthly.  Our focus is to learn from each other, unwind, and enjoy mutual interests.  To do this we share supplies, knowledge, techniques and socialize while making beautiful fabric treasures for ourselves and the church.  You do not need to know how to sew or quilt.  We will guide you along, and introduce you to machine and handwork as well as other skills to make you an accomplished member of this group.  Currently we meet the 4th Monday of the month from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.in Wyatt Hall.  We are open to an evening group if there is interest.  All are welcome to join this guild.

If you are interested in participating, please call the parish office at 301.776.5151 for more information.


Laurel Advocacy and Referral Service (LARS)

St. Philip’s was one of the founding members of this ministry. LARS, an ecumenical ministry serving the Greater Laurel area, assists homeless and low-income individuals or families in crisis with emergency and long-term services. Members of St. Philip’s serve on LARS’ Board of Directors; participate in the Winterhaven program at St. Philip’s, help in the office, or assist in other LARS events. LARS is located at 311 Laurel Avenue–just off Route 1 in Laurel | Tel: 301-776-0442


Prayer Shawl Ministry

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MEETS 1ST SATURDAY OF EVERY MONTH     10:00 A.M. – NOON

This quiet ministry was begun several years ago, and it meets on the first Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. in Wyatt Hall (except during holidays).  Whether you are a veteran at knitting, crocheting, needlepoint or other handwork, or you have no idea which end of the needle to use, you are most welcome! We knit prayer shawls, baby blankets, baby caps, and—a new addition—caps for chemo patients. These hand-crafted gifts are blessed by our rector/pastor in worship, and then either mailed with a personal note or hand-delivered to folks who need a physical symbol of God’s healing touch. We have several folks who showed up and asked to be taught to knit. Now, they are veterans! If you are an introvert, this is a wonderful way to ease your way into this parish. We welcome men as well as women to this group!


Web & Communications Ministry

This ministry uses the St. Philip’s website and social media to inform the St. Philip’s community of general information, ongoing and upcoming events along with forms for feedback, registration, etc. Additionally the website serves as a welcoming beacon to people searching the internet for active, living and loving Christian communities like St. Philip’s.


Winter Shelter

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This ministry provides a respite from the freezing sidewalks during the winter and is carried out by many churches in the Laurel area for the coldest months. At St. Philip’s, The Ministry Center and Parish House are opened to homeless men and women for one week—usually the week right after Christmas, from Monday evening – Sunday morning. Members of the parish provide a hot dinner and packaged lunches for our guests, who can also get a hot shower while they are with us. Volunteers are needed to check guests in, cook, wash linens, or spend the night.


Women of St. Philip’s

This Ministry offers a variety of opportunities for fellowship and service, which is open to all women in the parish.


 

Education Ministries

 
 
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Camp St. Philip's

This themed Summer Day Camp for children of St. Philip’s and others is held for one week every July. Participants learn about our faith through stories, songs, crafts, and other activities. The week concludes with a dinner and short program. We also have a “Camp St. Philip’s Sunday”—usually in late August—when the Ministry of the Word part of worship at the later service focuses on what we did in camp.  We rely on many adults, most of whom volunteer for a day or for the same several hours daily.  We always offer “before care” and “after care” for working parents, and although we do charge for camp (about $150/child), we have discounts if you have more than one child/family AND we have a number of scholarships available.


Christian Formation:  GODLY PLAY

Christian Formation is a significant part of our communal life. We work together to create opportunities for members of all ages to learn and explore their Christian faith so that we all may grow to have minds to think, hearts to love, and hands to serve.

We pray that all who enter here may be welcomed, challenged, and sent forth equipped to do the ministries to which God has called us as individuals and as a faith community. Our regular programs are developed with the hope that the work that we do together gives us all the chance to experience and understand God’s movement in our own lives and in the life of our community. This year, we are offering Godly Play for children from age 3 through grade 5 in the Large Sunday School classroom, a class for youth in grades 6-8 in the Small Sunday School classroom, and a Youth Forum for youth in grades 9-12 in the Wyatt Hall under the croft classroom. All of our classes are held between our two services, from 9:00 am to 10:00 am.

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Youth Group

Volunteers run this formative program for young people in grades 7 – 12. The group meets semi-monthly for social outings and Christian fellowship. This is a unique opportunity to share your love and guidance, and to make a difference in the lives of our youth.

 

Holidays & Annual Events

 

 

Chili Cook Off

This annual event provides much needed fun and fellowship during the darkest nights of winter. Cooks vie for the best chili, cornbread and dessert. Some of the proceeds from this event help to fund our St. Philip’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner. New entrants and hearty eaters are welcome!


Greening of the Church

This annual event will occur this year on Sunday, December 17, after one 9:00 service of Advent Lessons & Carols – and all ages are welcome to join in the fun! Members of the parish first cut greens (usually the week before), then gather in The basement of Wyatt Ministry Center to tie bunches of greens to ropes that are later hung in the church as decoration for the Christmas season. A light lunch consisting of soup and bread is shared following the greening.


Holly Days Bazaar

This is “The Craft Event” of the year at St. Philip’s. It is held the Saturday before Thanksgiving and features the handicrafts made by the Craft Group. In addition to handmade items, food, crafts for children, door prizes, Grandma’s Attic (white elephants) and a photo opportunity with Santa Claus are provided. Volunteers to help set up (on Friday), sell, and clean up are welcome.


Pancake Supper

This annual event takes place on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. The Acolytes and their parents host this fellowship supper and the proceeds are used by the Acolytes as needed. NOTE: In 2018, we’ll gather for pancakes, waffles, sausage, bacon, etc. on Tuesday, February 13.


Parish Picnic Committee

This committee plans the annual parish picnic held in June. Volunteers are solicited for this event in early spring, so the time commitment is short. There is a Standard Operating Procedure Manual to help in the planning process.


Thanksgiving Dinner

Begun in 1988, this event is anticipated every year in Laurel. It is a free dinner of turkey or ham, and all the fixin’s, served in Wyatt Hall and, for others, delivered to their homes and apartments. It is not just for “others” but for “ourselves” as well… many parish members want to share this meal with fellow parishioners and folks from the community in the spirit of the season of gratitude. Volunteers are needed to assemble the food, bake and cook, set up and clear tables, serve food, clean up, deliver meals, and welcome everyone who wants to celebrate Thanksgiving at St. Philip’s.

 

Music

 

 
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Adult Choir

The Adult Choir always welcomes new members with the following voices: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone/Bass, or “other!” There is no audition – anyone with a love for music and a desire to sing to the glory of God is invited to join.

The choir sings at the 10:15 am service and rehearses on Thursday evenings, 7:30 – 9:00 pm.  We meet for rehearsal in the St. Philip’s worship space.  How you find us:  Park in the back parking lot behind Wyatt Hall, come in the glass French doors, keep moving to your left to the door next to the Alpha window, go through breezeway and open the door to the worship space. Here we are!!!!! Alternatively, you can come through the McKee Room door. Where is that, you may ask? Standing in front of the church on Main Street, in front of the main worship space doors, you’ll see a sidewalk curving to your right towards the church (inside the fence). 

Come around and up that sidewalk and the door right in front of you leads into the McKee Room. Come in, turn left, and enter the worship space doors.


Bell Choir

The clear and beautiful sound of handbells enriches the music and worship at St. Philip’s. New members are always welcome to contribute their time and talent to this ministry. Volunteers who can read music are most welcome, though there are some members who don’t read music as well! The Bell Choir normally practices on Monday evenings, 7:30 – 9:00 pm, mid-September through June.

We meet in the Wyatt Hall Conference Room. If you are new, you can park in the small back parking lot behind Wyatt Hall, just off Prince George Street. OR you can park next to Wyatt Hall in the City of Laurel parking lot, and come through the Wyatt Hall French Doors that face Main Street.

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Youth Choir

Children in grades 2 through 6 are invited to join this choir, which sings at the 10:15 am service on the third Sunday of each month and for other special events. Rehearsals are held on Sunday mornings 11:30 am – 1:00 pm October through June. Where does this choir meet for rehearsals? In the Wyatt Hall conference room–where you see the big piano! Ms. Kelly Young and Mr. Christopher Chappelle lead this group.

 

Property Management

 

 
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Property Core Team

This committee of lay people oversees the buildings, grounds, and equipment of St. Philip’s. Parish “work-days” are organized as opportunities for parishioners to help out with general cleanings and projects that need a team effort.


Rentals

The members of this ministry seek on behalf of the parish to maximize the use of our facilities by renting them, when not in use for church functions, to those who wish to utilize the facilities for appropriate community uses, such as weddings, parties, meetings, rehearsals, recitals, etc.


Community Involvement

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Acolytes

Do you think that Sunday morning services would be more interesting if your children were part of the ministry team at the altar?

You’re right! Children aged 7 and older are encouraged to consider being acolytes. Acolytes light the candles on the altar, carry crosses and torches in procession, and assist Eucharistic Ministers with the distribution of Holy Communion.

 


Altar Guild

Much of what makes a liturgy beautiful happens behind the scenes, and much of that work is done by the members of the Altar Guild. Members prepare the altar for worship. Members also arrange for altar flowers and greenery, polish the silver and brass, and generally make all things bright and beautiful for our worship. If you are interested in being part of this quiet “behind the scenes” ministry, please call Betsy.


Bread Bakers

Bread bakers create part of “the gifts of God for the people of God” at all Eucharistic services, a gift to all who receive communion. When Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, that bread had been lovingly made for his meal. In the same way, the members of this guild make the bread that is then blessed and broken to feed our community. We have a recipe, so it is quite easy to bake this!


Eucharist Ministers

These are the men and women of the parish who assist clergy in services of Holy Eucharist by serving the chalice of wine. Eucharistic Ministers require appointment by the Rector and licensing by the Bishop for a three-year term. If you are interested in being a part of this important ministry, we would love to welcome you on board and get you trained.


Holy Baptism

The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is one of the two major sacraments in our church (the other is Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion). Holy Baptism takes place within the context of church community, and in the Episcopal Church, is only administered privately in the case of a life-threatening emergency. Our Book of Common Prayer sets aside special Sundays during the church year for baptisms: The Easter Vigil, the Feast of Pentecost, the Feast of All Saints, and the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord. If necessary, other Sundays may be considered after conversation with the Rector. Adults, young people or babies may be baptized at St. Philip’s. The rector and a lay team meet with and prepare candidates, and their families and godparents, for this sacrament. In addition, this ministry sews individual banners to be used during the baptismal liturgy.  If you have a new baby, and have not yet been to St. Philip’s, we usually encourage families to come and worship with us for a while before you get your child baptized. We do that holy sacrament within a community, and we all love baptisms, so the better we know you, the more we can support your family in this spiritual journey!


Intercessors

There are many lay people who serve as both Lectors and Intercessors, and so there is often an overlap between these ministries. However, it is possible to serve as one or the other. Members of this ministry read the Prayers of the People from the lectern at Sunday services. Intercessors are trained and scheduled well in advance to participate in our many services.


Lectors

Lectors are lay people who participate in ministry by reading the appointed lessons and psalms. Lectors, sought from the congregation, will usually volunteer and remain on the roster until requesting to be removed. The roster is established in advance for three-four months. Lectors receive training by lay leaders or clergy, and may prepare in advance. Lectors often seek a deeper understanding of the Bible through the appointed lessons.  If you are unsure how to pronounce biblical words, we have a little reference book at the ready for you!


Nursery

From 9:00 a.m. – Noon on Sunday mornings, a Nursery is available for children from newborn to age 4. We have two paid Nursery Attendants who have completed “Safeguarding God’s Children.” The Nursery is at the end of a short hallway in Wyatt Hall, part of The Ministry Center. For other parish events, the nursery may be opened if there are volunteers to staff it. All people who work in the Nursery must have taken Safeguarding God’s Children, a diocesan standards of conduct program. They also have to have been at St. Philip’s for at least six months.


Pastoral Care Ministers

Licensed Eucharist Ministers and other caring parishioners take Holy Communion to the sick, homebound and others who are unable to get to church. Additionally, this group also responds to the needs of parishioners and others by sending cards to the ill and shut-in; and administering the Almoner’s Fund which can be used to help those in financial need. The Pastoral Care Ministers also minister to the dying and bereaved, as needed.  If you think you might be interested in writing notes, or visiting (we can train you!), or taking Holy Communion to folks at home, please see Mother Sheila.


Stewardship Team

At St. Philip’s, we believe that we give back to God out of God’s abundance to us.  That means that we give our time and energy, the gifts of our skills and talents that are unique to each one of us, and a percentage of our financial means.  No one is under pressure to give. We will never take you into a back room and ask for a copy of your income tax return to make sure you give 10%.  We do strive for a biblical tithe, though, and if you are able to give 10% of your income, that is wonderful!  We also cherish the earth and the creation that God has given us. So you will hear, at times, about that kind of stewardship. We are a faith community that bases its budget on actual pledges received, so whatever you give will be well used–not just for physical plant repairs & maintenance of a historic campus, but for spiritual formation for adults, youth, and children. It will also go to various OUTREACH projects.

The goal of our Stewardship Team is to foster an environment of giving at St. Philip’s: giving of time, treasure, and talent to the greater glory of God. Stewardship at St. Philip’s is involved in many aspects of parish life and strives to encourage and acknowledge service to the church and within the community.


Worship Committee

This group works to support and enrich the worship experience at St. Philip’s for all parishioners. It is composed of clergy, staff, and lay people actively seeking and promoting ways to engage the congregation in an inspiring and meaningful worship experience. It also strives to put all of our worship within the context both of glorifying God in worship and the overall vision and mission of St. Philip’s parish. Currently, this committee meets on the third Sunday of the month at Noon.