OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVING THROUGH WORSHIP AND PRAYER

MUSIC… Our Choir provides the support for congregational singing in our worship services from September to June.  We include a variety of music:  traditional, classical, spirituals, etc.  While we have some very exceptional voices in our group, we also have people who are there because they love music and like to express their love of the Lord through that medium.  From September through May we have choir practice on Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. and before church at 9:45 a.m. each Sunday.

In addition to our vocal choir we also have a Handbell Choir which meets from September through May on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m.

During July and August, music is provided by smaller groups and individuals.  Contact Music Directors
Dr. Douglas Lohnas and Ms. Susan Lohnas through the parish office (518-346-6241).

USHERS… are St. Stephen’s experts at making a good first impression.  Ushers welcome worshippers at the front doors, giving special attention to first-time guests.  Visitors are encouraged to sign the guest register and to ask ushers questions about the church.  Finally, ushers are the liaisons between the nursery and parents at worship.

ACOLYTES… The acolytes assist the priest at the altar by lighting and extinguishing the candles, assisting with the preparation of the Holy Table for the Eucharist, helping with the offertory and standing ready to assist the priest in any other way he/she may require.  They serve at regular Sunday services and at special services including Christmas, Easter, weddings, funerals and baptisms.

Boys and girls who have reached the 4th grade may ask to serve in this position.  They usually continue to serve until they have graduated from high school.  St. Stephen’s also has adult acolytes.

The acolytes at St. Stephen’s are fortunate to have a director who wants them to have fun along with their work.  If you have been an acolyte or would like to train for this service, please call the church office, 518-346-6241, or the Director and Trainer of acolytes:  Allison de Kanel – (H) 518-346-0529 or (C) 518-339-5000.

LAY EUCHARISTIC VISITORS…This is a group of dedicated people that makes possible the sharing of communion with the homebound of our parish.  They have been trainedby the rector to administer communion to those unable to attendthe church services.

During the week after the Sunday Eucharist, the consecrated bread and wine are taken directly from the altar of St. Stephen’s to those unable to attend because of illness or infirmity, so that they can participate in our communion service as a part of the body of our church.  See the rector if you wish to serve in this area.

LECTORS AND CHALICE BEARERS…  We have approximately 25 people serving as Lectors or Chalice Bearers.  They are commissioned to read God’s word and to serve at the altar whenever there is a service of Holy Communion.  Those who serve in this capacity find a special joy in the work.

Jesus himself filled the office of lector.  It was his custom both to attend the synagogue services and to participate actively as a layperson.  The most familiar case in point is the one in which he read aloud from the prophecy of Isaiah to the synagogue congregation at Nazareth.

The function of the lectors is to read the scriptures to the congregation.  The chalice bearers administer the chalice during the Eucharist and assist the priest in whatever ways he/she might request.  Licensed lay readers are authorized by the bishop to lead certain services of worship or certain parts of a service.

If you wish to become a licensed lay reader or a chalice bearer, speak to the rector.  If you wish to become a lay reader contact Doreen May at 518-505-1913. 

ALTAR GUILD… As their service to our Lord, the congregation and the priest, these lay people wash and iron the altar linens; polish the brass, silver and wood; see that the priest’s vestments are cleaned and pressed; set up the altar for the Eucharist; arrange the altar flowers, and make sure that everything necessary is available for regular services, weddings, funerals, etc.  The members serve in teams on a scheduled rotating basis.  If interested, contact the rector.

PRAYER FOR OTHERS… There are three prayer lists that the congregation uses on a daily basis, as well as a group that meets monthly for prayer.

Prayer Chain:  Names are placed on the list in times of crisis, decision, thanksgiving, etc.  All members of the chain pray daily for everyone on the list.  Each name remains on the list for three months unless notified otherwise.  To put a friend, loved one or yourself on the prayer chain, or to be a member of the prayer chain, please contact Suzanne Taylor at 518-393-9035 or Louise Peake at 518-374-0480.

Church Intercessory List:  is found on the stand at the back of the church.  Members put on the list those for whom they wish prayers said each morning during Morning Prayer in the chapel.  A fresh list is put out each Sunday morning.
Prayers of the People:  members of the congregation are included in the yellow bulletin insert for prayer during the Sunday morning Eucharists.  Anniversaries of birthdays, weddings, baptisms and deaths are taken from parish records as well as the Personal Information Form each family completes.
Daughters of the King (DOK):  This group meets once a month for bible study, prayer and service, and also maintains an intercessory prayer list.   If you are interested, contact Richey Woodzell at 518-852-6796 or erwoodzell@verizon.net for the next meeting time.