Episcopal Church of the Ascension
Ministry Descriptions

Mission Statement:   Ascension is a congregation of diverse believers with common goals called to worship God as our Lord and Savior, ministering to our communicants and community.

This brouchure is intended to introduce you to Ascension Church, our leadership, and  our various ministries.  Please feel free to ask any of the people named as ministry leadership in this brocure if you have more questions.  The Episcopal Church recognizes that God calls every person, ordained or lay, to ministry.  We welcome you to join with us in shared ministry here at Ascension.

 
Governance and Administration


God creates the Church, and invites us to participate in the process.  A congregation’s leaders are the stewards of that creation and hold it in trust.  The congregation has been given the resources needed to do the job God has called it to do.  Leaders identify and allocate those resources, enabling the Church to carry out its mission.  They also lead the congregation in celebrating and giving thanks for these resources.

Under the guidance of the Bishop and his staff at the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, the Rector is the Head of Church of the Ascension.  Our Rector has a 4 person staff, the Parish Administrator, Sexton, Organist and Nursery Attendant.

The elected Lay Officers of Ascension Church are the Senior Warden, Junior Warden and the Treasurer.  The Vestry is the elected Leadership and Board of Directors for the Church.

The vestry is the body within Church of the Ascension that, with the Rector, leads the parish.  The vestry:

·        Helps to discern the vision toward which God is drawing Church of the Ascension

·        Articulates and communicates the vision

·        Holds the community accountable for its realization of that vision

·        Keeps the mission of the Church and that of the individual congregation clearly before the parish community

The vestry is elected by the Church membership at the annual meeting in February.



Worship Ministries

Church of the Ascension along with all Episcopal Churches honors and calls forth the ministry of every member, ordained and lay.

Greeters

Everyone who comes through the doors on Sunday morning is met with a smile and a bulletin.  Our greeters are the first ‘face’ of Ascension a guest sees and they are our hand of welcome.  Greeters are also able to answer questions and act as a guide to Sunday School, Nursery, and Coffee Hour.


Ushers

The smooth flow of our worship is to a great extent in the hands of the Users.  They make sure everyone is comfortably seated and has a Book of Common Prayer and a Hymnal as needed.  Ushers collect the offerings of the people and present them at the altar.  At Communion time we rely on the ushers to direct us to the altar rail.  We often forget that the Ushers also take responsibility for putting the pews back in good order after the service, ready for the next service.


Lectors

The Lector is the lay reader of parts of the worship service.  Specifically a Lector will read the First and Second Lessons and lead the congregation in the Psalm.  After the Creed the Lector leads the Prayers of the People.  Many times Lectors are called upon to lead a service from the Daily Office outside of the Sunday worship.


Choir

The Ascension Choir add their voices to those of the entire congregation on Sunday mornings to lift up music along with prayer.  The Choir also spends time rehearsing special offerings of music that they present as part of our worship.  On special feasts like Christmas and Easter the Choir works overtime to prepare lovely programs as their service of music to the parish and to the Lord.


Acolytes

Acolytes are vested ministers who serve at the altar with the priest. Their role is to light and douse the candles, to carry the cross and torches in processions, and to assist in the in-gathering of offerings and the setting of the Lord’s table.


Eucharistic Minister

The Eucharistic Minister is a vested assistant to the priest.  The Eucharistic Minister assists in the setting of the Lord’s table and in the distribution of Communion, usually offering the chalice to the communicants.


St. Martha’s Altar Guild

The general duties of the altar guild are to prepare all the things necessary for the celebration of the Eucharist or any of the sacraments of the church. In early times monks called sacristans performed these duties but in the mid 1800s these duties were assumed by volunteers who became known as the altar guild.



Education Ministries

Godly Play - Children 3 years old – 5th grades

Godly Play is the name of a Christian Formation Education method for children.  The goal of the program is to teach children the art of using religious language – parable, sacred story, silence and liturgical action – to help interpret what happens in their daily lives.  Children experience the word of God through the element of prayer, song, The Word, and response.

How it Works

·        Parents bring children at 15 minutes before the beginning of service

·        Children are greeted by the “door person”

·        Children and Godly Play teachers return to the sanctuary for the service of Holy Eucharist 


Special seasonal activities are scheduled throughout the year for children and adults together.  The dates of these events are published in the bulletins, in the parish newsletter, and online on the parish web site.


The Nursery

The nursery at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension welcomes infants and children to four years of age.  Through love and acceptance, children learn respect and self-worth.  We strive to provide this atmosphere in a safe, clean environment. The nursery is open on Sunday mornings in order that parents may attend the 10:30 am worship service.  Nursery care may also be provided for other parish activities. 


Youth and Adult Education

Youth classes for Junior and Senior High School students and Adult education classes are scheduled as needed through the year.

 

Outreach Ministries

 

Eucharistic Visitors

Our homebound parishioners are remembered in our prayers every Sunday, but in a very real way by the efforts of our Eucharistic Visitors.  They carry Communion to them, but more important, they carry our good wishes and remind those who cannot join us here in Church that they are not forgotten.  This visitation ministry is at the heart of Ascension’s outreach efforts.

 

Hospitality Ministry

this is an opportunity for each one of us to carry out our task to share God’s grace, which we have been given, with each one around us – AS Jesus directed his disciples.  It is a ministry to create a welcoming feeling in the church, a community feeling.  It enables every guest to feel a part of the church.

Hospitality ministry also hosts activities that help us interact and know each other better.  This is accomplished through working together on activities including social events and by ongoing communication.

 

Pastoral Care and Health Ministry

The Episcopal Church of the Ascension promotes optimal health of the individual’s body, mind, and spirit in the context of a faith community.  Through core values of compassion, integrity and faithfulness, our mission is to help people to care for one another and to live life more abundantly.

 

Projects in planning and development are:

·        Development of lay pastoral care and healing ministries

·        Health education

·        Health screening

·        Home and hospital visitation