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Parish Ministries

Commissions

Being active in a church is more than just showing up on Sunday mornings. We have many opportunities for service and community engagement. “Faith without works is dead.”

Alter guil

The duties of the Altar Guild are to prepare all things necessary for the celebration of the Eucharist and other Sacraments of the Church, so that they may be conducted in decency, order, and beauty. Duties include setting up for all services of Holy Eucharist, maintaining the Altar and sacristy, and caring for all Altar linens, vestments, vessels, and other supplies necessary for the service.

At Christmas and Easter, the entire Guild gathers to prepare and decorate the Church. We have "teams" of workers of three parishioners who are on duty every five weeks. The team prepares the Church for all services. If interested, please contact the office at 401-596-0197.

Architecture and Property Committee

The Architecture and Property Committee is a Standing Committee of the church and is responsible for the overall maintenance of church properties including the Church, Parish Hall, and grounds. The duties of the committee, as assigned by the Vestry, include but are not limited to:

 

  • Conduct studies and recommend to the Vestry the approval or disapproval of proposed interior and exterior changes, permanent decorations, furnishing and memorial, and;

  • As necessary, consult with the Architectural Commission of the Diocese or other qualified authorities as it may deem proper, and;

  • Periodically examine all tangible property of the Church and call to the attention of the Vestry the need for repairs and/or modifications, and;

  • Report annually to the Vestry the conditions of Church property, with recommendations, if any.

If interested, please contact thoffice at 401-596-0197.

Christ Church Acolytes

Our modern word "acolyte" comes from the Greek "acolytos" meaning "attendant" or "helper". Tradition places the roots of this ministry in the Old Testament, where Samuel served Eli the priest (1 Samuel) and Elijah the prophet was served by Elisha (1 Kings). Acolytes can therefore claim to be continuing one of the oldest traditions of the Church.

At Christ Church, acolytes range in age from 8 to adults and act as processional torchbearers, crucifers, and altar servers, and assist the clergy at all Eucharistic services as well as weddings and funerals. It is one of the few ministries available to our young people for active service in our worship life.

Christ Church Choir

The Choir at Christ Church plays an important role in the worship and liturgy for our church community. To learn more about the choir and our music program, please contact thoffice at 401-596-0197.

Christmas Bazaar

Our Bazaar is held on the first Saturday of Advent. Members of the entire Church community work together in producing a very festive affair. October and November Cornerstones contains further information. It is our major fundraiser for the year and volunteers are always welcome to participate.

Christ Church Crafters work on projects weekly throughout the autumn. The Knitting Group meets on Mondays to knit and crochet hats, sweaters, scarves, afghans, mittens, and baby sets. Most of these items are created for the church bazaar, and some are donated to local charities. Contact the office at 401-596-0197 to be a part of a terrific holiday tradition at Christ Church.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee is a Standing Committee of the church and is responsible for the following:

Christ Church has recently announced the introduction of a new option for financial contributions. People will now be able to contribute electronically through their bank account or by a credit or debit card. This new process is convenient and provides needed consistency for the church. This change also responds to the way people are paying bills today instead of writing checks.

To assist in this process the church has contracted with Vanco Services, a recognized leader used by over 15,000 churches and non-profit organizations.

To start giving electronically, click here.

Gardens and Grounds Group

This group is an informal collection of people who care about the appearance of the church's property and have some combination of time, energy, expertise, and occasionally muscle to do something about it.

We meet about once a week on Tuesdays, schedules permitting. Join us, all are welcome!

Hospitality Committee

The Hospitality Committee provides coffee, tea, and "goodies" every Sunday morning from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall. Lemonade and cookies under the "lemonade tree", on the lawn during the summer months. The Committee hosts receptions after the Lessons & Carols services during Advent and Christmas. Consider them the "go-to people" for questions etc., concerning the kitchen.

If you are interested in joining, ask anyone! Or call the office at 401-596-0197.

Investment Committee

The Investment Committee oversees the parish's several portfolios meeting periodically with our investment advisor. Several accounts, other than those managed by our advisor, generally invested in short-term instruments, also come under the Committee's purview.

Lectors/Lay Eucharistic Ministers

Lectors are members of the congregation who read the first lesson and the psalm at the Eucharist on Sunday mornings. Lay Eucharistic Ministers are the men and women who read the second lesson, the prayers of the people and most importantly administer the chalice during Communion. Training is needed for this ministry and is provided within the parish.

Memorial Garden

The Memorial Garden of Christ Church is a place for the interment of ashes of loved ones as well as a place for quiet contemplation or meditation. The garden is maintained by a committee of dedicated parishioners who plan, plant, and care for the plants and structures of the garden. Memorial pavers, which comprise a pathway through the garden, are available for purchase and help fund the costs for the upkeep of the garden. We welcome new members to the committee who have an interest and desire to help maintain this lovely garden. Please contact the church office if you have any questions regarding the garden committee.

Pastoral Care Commission

The Pastoral Care Commission gives support, understanding, encouragement, and companionship to our parishioners through a variety of ministries. Pastoral Care is essential to our life as a Christian community. Please contact the Parish Office if you or anyone in your family could benefit from any one or all of these ministries. We are here to serve.

Peace and Justice Group

The Peace & Justice Group at Christ Church was formed in 2005, looking for alternatives to accepting war, violence, and social injustice as a given condition. We attempt to look at our responsibilities around these issues in the light of our Christian Faith, but also through other Faith traditions.

We have sponsored a number of guest speakers, including a Buddhist monk, a Quaker activist, a Franciscan priest, a Muslim teacher, and members of the R.I. Institute for the Study of Nonviolence and the Voluntown Peace Trust. As peace, justice, and environmental issues are all connected, we also look at the politics of food, water, energy, and climate change.

Our programs are usually on Sunday afternoons, include refreshments, and engender lively discussions. We're always open to new ideas and new members.

Public Relations / Social Media Committee

The mission of the Public Relations/ Social Media Committee is to inform and educate the local community about the vitality of Christ Church which can be experienced through its worship, music, study, outreach, and play. In support of this mission, the PR committee provides assistance to Christ Church commissions and organizations seeking help in promoting their ministries, events, and activities.

The assistance can take the form of poster & ad creation, placement of event announcements on local media event calendars, development and distribution of press releases, and placement of event information on the large temporary swinging sign positioned in front of the church. For more information, visit our Facebook or Instagram page, and don't forget to follow us!

Spiritual Life Commission

This group works closely with our clergy and provides various book studies and programs focused on the spiritual life of the parish and the individuals who make up the congregation. This commission presents Special Seasonal Programs throughout the year, especially during Advent and Lent. We meet once a month on the last Monday of the month.

Stained Glass Committee

The Stained Glass Committee's mission is the preservation and restoration of Christ Church's magnificent windows. There are fifty-eight stained glass windows of various ages and styles of which eight have been fully restored and protected. There are five remaining windows that require restoration. The restorations are funded through donations, memorial gifts, and fundraisers.

Stewardship Committee

The Stewardship Committee is responsible for educating our parishioners about what Christian stewardship is:

The Stewardship Committee also plans, along with the rector, the annual campaign (usually held in the fall) and the acknowledgment of personal commitments of time, talent, and treasure.

Usher / Greeter

As the first representative of Christ Church, the worshipper is likely to meet when entering the church, the usher's/greeter's role is a very important one. They are the parish "hosts" in welcoming friends and newcomers to assure that everyone feels "at home."

Ushers are assigned on a monthly basis for the Sunday services. Greeters are assigned to the 5 pm Saturday service.

If you are interested in participating in this meaningful ministry, please contact our office at 401-596-0197.

Welcome Committee

Our mission is to provide a welcoming environment for newcomers and promote a warm and friendly atmosphere in our church community. We welcome newcomers at our church services, and with a follow-up call or visit by a member of the committee. We plan parish events to create esprit de corps among all parishioners.

  • Conduct studies and recommend to the Vestry the approval or disapproval of proposed interior and exterior changes, permanent decorations, furnishing and memorial, and;

  • As necessary, consult with the Architectural Commission of the Diocese or other qualified authorities as it may deem proper, and;

  • Periodically examine all tangible property of the Church and call to the attention of the Vestry the need for repairs and/or modifications, and;

  • Report annually to the Vestry the conditions of Church property, with recommendations, if any.

  • Preparation of the annual budget

  • Oversight of fundraising activities

  • Annual investment portfolio review

  • Annual insurance coverage review

  • Providing advice to the Vestry on all financial matters

  • Greeting cards are sent from Christ Church to parishioners whose spirits may be lifted by knowing they are in our thoughts and prayers. Church School children often provide handmade cards for this purpose.

  • Flower Delivery Altar flowers are delivered to church members following the 11 AM Sunday services.

  • The Friendship Ministry extends the care of Christ Church to members of the parish who are homebound, coping with loneliness, grief, or long-term illness, or otherwise in need of pastoral care. Friendship Ministers offer a "ministry of presence" to their "friends" through good listening skills and the ability to offer them compassionate and empathetic support.

  • Lay Eucharist Visitors (LEVS) bring the sacred gift of the Eucharist to the homes of those unable to come to Church making time for a visit with the homebound parishioner.

  • The Meals Ministry provides for parishioners who are recovering from health-related and/or family crisis issues, and items are brought to homebound parishioners when Friendship Ministers and LEVs make house calls.

  • A belief that God is the Creator; he created all things and continues to do so.

  • Everything belongs to God.

  • We are offered the role of caretaker/manager/steward of God's Creation. This includes (at least) concern for our natural resources, the environment, our fellow human beings, and ourselves.

  • God's church is a primary resource/channel for the implementation of our personal stewardship.

  • Offerings of time, talent, and treasure are really offerings of ourselves to the role of steward of God's Creation.

  • Motivation for a life of stewardship derives from our realization of what God has done and continues to do for us AND our desire to offer our most sincere Thanksgiving for those gifts.

Outreach programs

Arts Commission

The mission of The Arts Commission of Christ Church is to offer to the greater community, without charge, high-quality concerts, lectures, and other artistic and cultural events, sharing our celebration of excellence and beauty of the Arts.

The Arts Commission, founded at Christ Church in 1990, presents free concerts and lectures that are open to the public. It is a part of the church's outreach, and our programs draw many people from the greater community as well as parishioners.

Most of our concerts feature our C.B. Fisk organ, which was installed in 1965 and is certainly one of the Parish's great treasures.

Our programs are funded by individual donations and by the Endowment for Choir and Music Series at Christ Church (in memoriam Helen Dick, Louis Arnold, Ghislaine Mailloux, the Rev. Gene Rose, and Lucy Graichen) and endowments in memory of The Very Rev. Dr. James E. Annand, Anne H. Utter, and Laura Kent Hynes.

The Giving / Star Tree

The Giving / Star Tree is a project that works with the Department of Children Youth & Families and the Johnnycake Center to help bring Christmas to children and families in need. The Johnnycake Center collects Christmas wishes from local families and distributes the information to area churches and businesses. We then take the information given to us by both agencies and place it on a star by putting the gender and age of a child and their wishes or needs for the holiday. On the First Sunday of Advent, we begin hanging the stars on a Christmas tree.

We buy for the child, wrap the present, and return it to church labeled with the star for pick up. If you would like to learn more about this project or help in some way, please call the church office. Thank you.

The Living Supplies Closet

The Living Supplies Closet is a 501(c)(3) community outreach program that fills a niche not addressed by other social service agencies in our community. We provide to those in need items that are not covered by food stamps or distributed by welfare agencies. These include such things as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, laundry and dishwashing detergents, razors, paper goods, diapers, and women's feminine hygiene items.

We operate on a referral basis and work with agencies such as the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, the Bradford Jonnycake Center, the Department of Human Services, South County Community Action, and local churches.

We are supported by volunteers from Christ Church and others from the Westerly/Pawcatuck area and by contributions from the Church, parishioners, and the community. The Closet is now able to apply for and has begun to receive grants from businesses and foundations. Donations, either monetary or of stock items, are always appreciated.

Navajoland Mission

For the past 15 years, parishioners from Christ Church have participated in mission work at Saint Mary's-in-the-Moonlight Church near Monument Valley, Utah — in the northern part of the Navajo reservation.

Each summer, several adults and/or teens from Christ Church, sometimes accompanied by members of other churches, spend one or two weeks offering a Vacation Bible School for the Navajo children, hosting community dinners and retreats for our Navajo neighbors, and working on construction and repair projects at the St. Mary's community.

Pastoral Care Commission

The Pastoral Care Commission assists clergy in visiting those in need of unique spiritual care during illness, difficult times, and visiting shut-ins. Take a look into what the Pastoral Care Commission offers to our community. Visit Our YouTube Channel by Clicking Here

Thanksgiving Community Dinner

Each year Christ Church puts on a free Thanksgiving dinner which is open to all in the community looking for fellowship during the holidays. This is a terrific opportunity for the larger community to gather in gratitude over a shared meal.

Warm Center Dinner

The WARM (Westerly Area Rest Meals) Center provides a continuum of care and services to the homeless and the needy in our community. One of their many services is to provide daily noontime and evening meals for individuals, families, and children.

Christ Church volunteers provide the evening meal on the 4th Tuesday of each month. Volunteers to cook, serve, and donate food for the meal are always needed. For further information, please contact the WARM outreach coordinator Walter Dugas. Volunteers consistently report they receive much more than they give.

See our calendar for more information about upcoming meals and their needs.

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