Ministries

TEAM MINISTRIES

All parishioners are encouraged to contribute their many and varied talents and gifts in the ministry opportunities at Grace.

Outreach/Mission

United Way’s Stuff the Bus

Every year Grace collects supplies for school children who would otherwise be ill equipped to begin school in September. This is part of a large program coordinated by United Way that seeks to fill 2,000 backpacks for lower income Bucks County children. In 2015 and 2016 Grace contributed about 1,200 items and $250 in cash (each year).

 

Food Collection

Mary’s Cupboard is a Levittown food pantry that serves hundreds of families and individuals each week. In the summer of 2014 Grace Church began a food collection ministry to support the pantry. In just over two years we have donated more than 6,000 pounds of food.

 

Aid for Friends

Aid for Friends is an effort dedicated to alleviating the hunger and loneliness of isolated, homebound people. In 2015 Grace’s members donated food for, cooked and packed more than 1,000 meals to support this effort.

 

Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI)

SCI is an ecumenical group long supported by the Episcopal Church. It provides crews on foreign ships in the Port of Philadelphia with access to communications, warm clothes and personal necessities, transportation, meals, worship services and much more. Grace annually donates more than 700 items to help stuff bags as part of the Christmas Ditty Bag project.

 

Trenton Rescue Mission

Grace joined with a neighboring Episcopal church to support the Trenton Rescue Mission’s successful effort to win the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of used clothing to support the Rescue Mission’s clientele. Together the churches collected 104 large boxes and bags of quality used clothing.

 

More Outreach

Grace also sponsors an annual Red Cross blood drive, provides financial support to the county’s only domestic violence support organization, supports Church World Service’s program to provide blankets to those affected by disasters, sells soup to raise money for the annual Souper Bowl of Caring, and takes up an annual collection to support the Bucks County Homeless Shelter (in 2016, we contributed $669).

 

Community Events

Each year the Outreach/Mission team and the Episcopal Church Women put on three community dinners, a Christmas bazaar, a community Halloween party and a children's Christmas cookie decorating party.

 

Vestry 

The vestry is the legal representative of the parish with regard to all matters pertaining to its corporate property. Vestry members are elected by the congregation at the annual parish meeting. The basic responsibilities of the vestry are: to help define and articulate the mission of the congregation; to support the church's mission by word and deed; to select the rector, to ensure effective organization and planning; and to manage resources and finances. To accomplish these ends, the Vestry and the clergy work together, in partnership.

 

Communications 

This ministry handles service bulletins used in worship services, the monthly newsletters, Grace’s FaceBook page, the website and any special publications.

 

Finance 

The finance team ministry provides support, advice and guidance to the Vestry, clergy and staff regarding church-related financial matters involving budgeting, banking, bill-paying and auditing.  Finance maintains a sound internal control system that assures the Vestry and parish that the funds collected and disbursed receive proper handling and are accounted for in accordance with the Vestry’s wishes.

 

The Stewardship team works under Finance to educate the parish in stewardship (giving of time, talent and treasure) year-round and lead the gathering of the annual pledge.

 

Counters are volunteers who spend an hour or so after fellowship/coffee time to count and record the week’s offering and ensure that it is promptly deposited in the bank.

 

Property

This Ministry oversees the maintenance of the buildings and grounds, including the rental home that is part of Grace’s property.  While there are various service contracts for yard maintenance and mechanical building equipment, much of the minor maintenance is performed by members of this ministry.

Pastoral Care

Along with the clergy, Grace’s pastoral caregivers provide for the well-being and healing of individuals and families. Members of the team offer pastoral care in the forms of visiting, listening, sharing meals, hospital and nursing home visits and home Communion.

Worship

Acolytes 

Parishioners, both young people and adults, assist in worship by carrying the processional cross and torches, lighting and extinguishing candles, and helping prepare the altar for communion.

 

Altar Guild

Members prepare the altar for the celebration of all services, care for linens, silver and brass, maintain inventories of supplies, and coordinate and arrange gifts of flowers and candles given in memory of the dead.

 

Choir

A small but well trained and superbly led group that enhances our worship by leading the congregation in song. The choir also performs an anthem every Sunday except during the summer, when the choir takes a break.

 

Eucharistic Ministers

Individuals licensed by the Bishop who assist the clergy during worship services by carrying the processional cross (in the absence of an acolyte) and administering the chalice at the Eucharist.

 

Eucharistic Visitors

Lay people licensed by the Bishop to distribute communion and to take the reserved sacrament to people who are ill, homebound, or unable to attend services (see Pastoral Care).

Lectors

Trained individuals who read the Old and New Testament lessons and lead the Psalm and the Prayers of the People during worship.

 

Ushers

These folks unlock the church, set the heating or air conditioning, turn on the audio system, distribute the worship bulletin, provide a pleasant greeting at the door, assist in seating the congregation, bring up the bread and wine at the Offertory, take up the collection, and help people up and down the altar steps at Communion.

Other Ministries

Adult Education

Every Sunday before church a group of adults gathers in the fellowship room to discuss, reflect and pray on readings from Forward Movement’s Day by Day series. 

 

Book Club

Members of the book club choose a book a month to read. They enjoy luncheon out and then gather for a relaxed discussion every other Friday afternoon.

 

Episcopal Church Women

ECW is a national Episcopal organization that brings the women of the parish together for worship, study, outreach service and fellowship. ECW puts on an annual theme luncheon, dinners, a Christmas bazaar and other events, and supports or has supported such varied outside programs as Heifer International, Jewish World Watch’s solar cooker project to alleviate hunger in refugee camps in Chad, and a parish member’s mission trip to Tanzania.

 

Fellowship Time Hosts

Volunteers who sign up to host the food and fellowship time after church. They make, bake or buy food to go with the coffee, iced tea and lemonade that the church provides, set up the spread in parish hall and clean up.

 

Girls Friendly Society

This is a worldwide Anglican society that empowers girls and young women, encouraging them to develop their full potential through programs that provide training, confidence building, and other educational opportunities. Grace’s chapter also hosts Fellowship Time once a month.

 

Wednesday Prayer Group

This group meets every Wednesday at noon to study and reflect on the life of a saint of the church whose feast days falls closest to the day, then has a time of intercessory prayer for sick parishioners.