The lay people of our parish are involved in several ministries that serve our church and our community. Among them are Mission and Outreach, pastoral visitation, liturgical ministers, choir, altar guild, Christian formation, fellowship, buildings and grounds, welcome/
hospitality, and Helping Hands Circle.
Mission and Outreach
The ministry of our Mission and Outreach team includes interactions on local, national, and international levels:
Several parish volunteers work together in teams of three to offer "Help with Homework" every Tuesday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at North Village, a subsidized housing development on North Main Street in Webster. Children in grades Kindergarten to six are invited to come to the North Village Community Room and receive assistance with reading and their homework assignments. The children are also provided with a light dinner. The program runs through the school year and follows the school calendar.
Each Christmas, in concert with the chapter of St. Vincent de Paul at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Webster, we provide toys and clothing to about 35 families in need.
Our greatest mission effort came in the establishment of Reconciliation House, Inc., a six bed, MASH certified men's sober house located in the former parish rectory. The men are chosen to participate in the sober house program by Pastor Janice, who provides spiritual direction and counseling to them at the Worcester County House of Correction. RHI opened in September, 2016, and is separately incorporated from the Church as a non-profit, tax exempt 501c3. Pastor serves as the President of the Board of Directors.
Our outreach to veterans includes quarterly free dinners at Point Breeze restaurant on Webster Lake. Each dinner includes a speaker and an opportunity for veterans of all branches and times of service to come together to share experiences and to socialize.
Our international outreach efforts take us to the continent of Africa, and the countries of Kenya and South Sudan. In Kenya we have established sister relationships with two churches: PCEA Bethel Church in Naromoru, and St. Mark’s Karuangi Church. In addition to weekly prayer, our parish has sent funds, children’s books, school supplies and clothing to the people of these two churches in an effort to help meet some of their basic needs. In the new republic of South Sudan, we have established a ministry with the Episcopal Diocese of Aweil, and the Rt. Rev. Abraham Nhial, their Bishop. We continue to raise money to help support the lives of the people in this war-ravaged part of the world. We have also sent school supplies to the children there.
Our Pastor currently makes the majority of pastoral visits to our shut-ins and any hospitalized parishioners. However, we currently have a Deacon and one Lay Eucharistic Visitor who are licensed to bring Holy Communion to those who are not able to come to church. We also have several long-standing parish members who make social visits to our shut-ins.
Our liturgical ministers include Eucharistic Ministers, acolytes, lectors, greeters, and Eucharistic Visitors. Eucharistic Ministers participate in the service by offering the chalice to communicants during the distribution of Holy Communion. Acolytes participate in the service by assisting the priest at the altar, and by leading the procession and recession. Lectors read the lesson from Hebrew scripture, the Psalm, and the Epistle lesson. Eucharistic Visitors take the Holy Communion directly from the Sunday service to shut-ins.
Our choir is currently comprised of ten adults who sing selections primarily from the 1982 Hymnal, as well as other selected congregation-focused hymns.
Members of the Altar Guild are responsible for the preparation of the altar prior to the Sunday service of Holy Eucharist, as well as for funerals, weddings, and baptisms. They take care of our sacred vessels and altar linens, and arrange altar flowers and plants on Sundays and Holy Days. Currently, we have six dedicated Altar Guild members.
Our parish provides an “across the lifespan” approach to Christian formation (see Christian formation elsewhere on this website). Parishioners work together with the Pastor to develop and teach classes.
The goal of our welcome ministry is to provide a welcoming environment and experience for those new to our parish. We provide “welcome gift bags” for those who visit us, and our Pastor offers a follow up call to those who are new to our church
Members of this ministry plan and organize a variety of social activities for parishioners and members of the local community. Pot-luck dinners, breakfasts, holiday dinners, etc. allow us to gather and share not only our faith, but fun and fellowship as well.
Helping Hands Circle
This ministry evolved out of the creation of prayer shawls by several members of the parish who got together once a week to knit and crochet. The prayer shawls are given to those who are sick or shut in. Over time, the group has added more crafts to its repertoire, including the making of Anglican prayer beads and handcrafted Christmas ornaments. The ornaments are hung on the Christmas tree in the nave of the church, and taken home by parishioners. The prayer beads and other crafts are sold in order to provide income to our mission and outreach ministry. In addition, the members of Helping Hands Circle are using their skills to add new items to be given out to clients who use our Food Pantry and other outreach ministries.
The group is currently comprised of five members who meet every Tuesday morning from 10:00-noon from September to June. They are always looking for additional members to add to their ministry.
The Church of the Reconciliation
21 North Main St.
Webster, MA 01570
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
and by appointment