Descriptions of Sunday Volunteer Roles
About: For over 2,000 years, Scriptures have been read aloud to Christians gathered together. The shared stories and experiences are one of the profound ways we connect with God and the tradition of believers who have gone before us. So, too, we offer this as a wonderful and meaningful way to participate in the worship service. Lectors who speak the Word with confidence have a strong positive impact on everyone’s worship experience.
Role: Our lectors are privileged to read the weekly lessons from the ambo.
Time commitment: The time commitment involves preparation before service and reading during the service. Readings are available in the weekly e-newsletter so you have the opportunity to review them and work out any pronunciations with our special guide.
About: An important aspect of Lutheran theology has long been the belief that we all minister to one another. Luther notes that, “In fact, we are all consecrated priests through Baptism, as St. Peter in 1 Peter 2[:9] says, ‘You are a royal priesthood and a priestly kingdom,’ and Revelation [5:10], ‘Through your blood you have made us into priests and kings.’” As such we take seriously that we are all able to minister to one another on God’s behalf and that God is equally accessible to all people. Therefore, we invite all individuals to minister to the congregation alongside the pastor.
Role: The assisting minister’s responsibilities may include lighting the candles, leading the congregation in prayer, serving Communion, carrying the cross, and assisting in welcoming new members and the newly baptized.
Time commitment: The assisting minister should arrive about 9:30 a.m. to go through the service with Pastor Jason and will assist during the entire service.
About: In the same way that the assisting minister is given the role to minister to others, the Communion minister role is a hands-on way to participate in Holy Communion, the central Sacrament of each service.
Role: The Communion minister aids with Communion by serving from the common cup to those coming forward.
Time commitment: The time commitment is typically 10 minutes during the second half of the service.
About: As Christians, we acknowledge that Christ’s presence was made known in the fellowship and sharing of a meal. At WPLC many find immense support and joy in sharing with one another the joys, sorrows, and daily reflections of their week. We, therefore, offer the opportunity for individuals to host this sacred moment of fellowship each week. This is a great activity for families or groups of friends, and getting the kids involved in service can set a great example!
Role: Hosts bring snacks to share, make coffee, and clean up after fellowship hour. Instructions for making coffee, using the dishwasher, and carrying out other responsibilities will be communicated to you prior to your first time.
Time commitment: This role typically requires planning and purchasing a snack or food item(s) in advance, setting up the coffee table and making coffee before or during the service, and spending 15 minutes to clean up after fellowship time.
About: We are reminded that we can “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” (Psalms). At WPLC we enjoy any musical gifts or offerings you might be interested in bringing to the assembly.
Role: If you sing, we would love to hear you as a soloist or in a small group. If you play an instrument, let us know and you can grace the assembly with your gift. The church musician will happily work with you to make you feel at ease.
Time commitment: The time commitment for this role varies depending on the service and the structure of your participation.
About: Periodically for high festival days we have a more robust procession that includes individuals carrying in our mobile torches that are placed around the altar or the ambo (where the readings are read and the sermon is preached). This is a great activity for adults and older or mature children.
Role: The torch bearer walks into the sanctuary carrying the torches and sits in the congregation for the service before processing out with the torches at the end.
Time Commitment: The torch bearer will briefly meet with Pastor Jason before the service to learn the details of the procession and will participate at the beginning and end of the service.
About: As our assembly gathers each week, we experience the gift of God’s grace through the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. Our sacristan team is privileged to serve by preparing the sacraments for the assembly under the direction of Pastor Jason.
Role: Sacristans are key players behind the scenes who ensure Communion is properly and respectfully prepared, play a role in selecting the altar flowers each week (except during Lent), help prepare for the baptismal liturgy, and fill and replace the candles on the chancel.
Time commitment: Sacristans arrive to set up 45 minutes before the service and spend about 30 minutes cleaning up after the service (no participation during the service).
About: Hospitality is an important part of our Judeo-Christian heritage. The primary role of the greeter is to welcome and provide hospitality to our guests and members.
Role: These individuals are important for welcoming and providing hospitality before, during, and after the service. Before the service they hand out bulletins and greet those coming for service; during the service, they are attentive to the needs of congregants.
Time commitment: Greeters should arrive 20 minutes before the service and greet and hand out bulletins until the Psalm. They ensure the nave is clean and tidy before and after the service (removing bulletins in the pews, straightening children’s play space, etc.)
About: Providing directions to members and visitors helps to ease confusion and liberate worshipers to experience the presence of God more fully.
Role: These individuals are important for assisting members before, during, and after the service.
Time commitment: Ushers should arrive 5 minutes before the service and coordinate with one another to ring the bell 7 times after the prelude and before the service begins. During the service, ushers collect the offering, count and record attendance, bring forward the offering/Communion elements, guide individuals during Communion, and in some cases help with other liturgical needs. After the service, ushers and greeters help to ensure the nave is clean and tidy after the service (removing bulletins in the pews, straightening children’s play space, etc.)
 Martin Luther, Weimar Ausgabe, vol. 6, p. 407, lines 19–25, as quoted in Timothy Wengert, “The Priesthood of All Believers and Other Pious Myths,” page 12.