Serve at St. Francis
St. Francis Episcopal Church offers a variety of ways for members of all ages to get involved in our services. We are always looking for dedicated volunteers to serve in our various Lay Ministries as Acolytes, Altar Guild, Lay Readers, Ushers or Greeters. To learn more about each of these areas of service and find out how you and/or your children can get involved, please contact Sally Jo Crowson at 832-325-2983.
An acolyte is a youth volunteer trained to assist the clergy in a religious service or procession. At St. Francis, acolytes include altar servers, torchbearers, crucifers, and banner-bearers who help in our 9 am Family Worship Service, our 11 am Traditional Worship Service, and special seasonal services. Serving as an acolyte is a unique way for youth to reverently serve our Lord, and allows them to learn more about the traditions of the Episcopal Church.
Acolytes wear a red cassock (robe), topped with a white surplice and a cross necklace. In a worship service, they process into the sanctuary ahead of the priests and then sit in the front of the church near the clergy. The ministers lead the worship service, and the acolytes are their key helpers: they hold the offerings for blessing, receive the gifts (the bread and the wine) for the Eucharist, and assist with preparations for Communion. Acolytes are scheduled once every 4–6 weeks throughout the year and also help at services for Christmas and Easter.
The acolyte ministry for the 11 am Service is open to teens in grades 8–12. There is a mandatory training session for all new and returning acolytes each fall, but the new acolytes are welcome at any time of the year and can be trained individually.
In the 9 am Family Service, younger children can help too! We invite children in grades 1–5, depending on maturity level, to participate as Server, Crucifer, or Torchbearer; youth in grades 5–9 to serve as Readers; and children ages 3+ to ring the chimes that begin the service.
The Altar Guild of St Francis assists the clergy and the parish family by preparing the Sanctuary and chancel and chapel for all liturgies at St. Francis church. These dedicated volunteers take care of the sacred vessels, linens and vestments. They prepare for the four Sunday services and the Wednesday evening service as well as preparing for funerals, memorials and weddings and the Day School Eucharists. In addition to the regular services, the Altar Guild is responsible for planning and executing the beautiful decorations in the church during the Christmas and Easter seasons.
This is a special calling, as these individuals take pride in the rites and rituals of the church and are instrumental in making sure services operate in an orderly and smooth fashion.
Please contact the church office at 713.782.1270 if you are interested in joining this very special worship ministry of the church.
Our dedicated group of Lay Readers serve the church in a very important role. Lay Readers are responsible for reading the Lessons to the congregation as well as the Prayers of the People during Sunday services. Lay Readers also act as Chalice Bearers at the Holy Communion. They are also called upon to serve at some Funeral and Memorial Services. Assisting in church services in this capacity is an extremely rewarding experience. In our 9 a.m. Family Service, youth in middle- and high-school serve in some of these lay reader roles.
If you are interested in joining this ministry or have any questions, please contact the church. 713.782.1270
The St. Francis Episcopal Church Ushers serve at the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday services, special holiday church services such as Christmas and Easter and funerals. Before the service begins, ushers assist the church greeters in their duties, which include greeting arrivals, assisting first time visitors, distributing the service bulletins and making all feel welcome. During the service the ushers continue to greet late arrivals and assist in locating seating when necessary. Ushers collect the offering and carry the collection plates to the altar for the celebrant’s blessing. During Communion, ushers control the flow of communicants to the altar rail, provide direction at the altar rail and assist communicates needing assistance. Ushers count the number in attendance at each service and help tidy the church after the service.
Ushering is an important ministry of the church and a terrific way to serve the Lord. There is always a need for another warm smile; contact the church office if you are interested in being an usher. 713.782.1270
The mission of the Greeters is to welcome church attendees as they enter the church each Sunday, and assist those unfamiliar with the facility to find the nursery, classrooms, and Robert E. Gay Foyer for coffee, etc. Their mission is also to introduce themselves to newcomers and make sure that they in turn are introduced to clergy and informed about the programs the church has to offer. The ministry of greeting is a wonderful way to get to know people and welcome visitors to our church. We invite more to join the group.
If you would like further information, please contact the church office at 713-782-1270.
sally jo crowson
Executive Assistant to the Rector