Saint Andrew Orthodox Church strives to fulfill the words of our Lord written by St. Matthew who wrote in the Gospel, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (St. Matthew 5:16). To that end, we find sage direction in the words of St. Tikhon who said in his farewell address to his people in America as he prepared to return to Russia:
“The Light of Orthodoxy is not lit for a small circle of people. . .it is our obligation to share our spiritual treasures, our truth, our light, and our joy with those who do not have these gifts. This duty lies not only on pastors and missionaries, but also on lay people, for the Church of Christ, in the wise comparison of St. Paul, is a body, and in the life of the body every member takes part.”
Let us all bear this yoke of responsibility to use our God-given talents for His Glory. The St. Andrew Ministry programs can provide you with the opportunity to contribute by using your talents. Importantly, a first step in ensuring the success of each ministry outreach or activity is to commit our ministries to prayer and to seek the blessings of God and of our pastor. In this way all may be done in harmony in the Church and to the glory of our Savior Jesus Christ.
It is our Ministry Program’s goal that every member of the church body, from our children to our grandparents, finds a ministry in which to participate. Below, you will find a brief description of each ministry within our parish. As you peruse this list, seek to find those places where your talents can best be used. Then call or e-mail the parish office to volunteer so that your “light may shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
St. Andrew has many ministries designed to serve the needs of our church and community. Some ministries center on our church services, such as our choir, altar servers, chanters and readers. Others center on maintaining our property. Yet others center on fellowship, outreach and serving those in need. We hope that everyone in the parish finds a place to serve and participate. If you have questions about a particular ministry, want to volunteer or participate, please call or email the church office.
Adult Catechism: This ministry is designed to provide instruction to our catechumens who are preparing to become Orthodox Christians. The classes cover many topics: historical, theological, life practice and tradition… The classes convene immediately following the homily during the Divine Liturgy. The catechumens and their teacher are dismissed from the service and go to class. Volunteers who teach Adult Catechism prepare and conduct classes on a rotation basis with other teachers.
Friday School: Families who have chosen to home school their children meet once a week at the Fellowship Hall to study together, and provide play time for the children – a chance to meet and interact with many of their friends. Volunteers teach students, assist teachers, provide child supervision or cook lunch. Parents with children in homeschool must participate in one of these volunteer areas. Others are welcome to volunteer for this ministry.
Teen SOYO: Teens and youth leaders meet together for activities, ministries, learning and other fun stuff. Volunteers serve as a youth leader, assist youth leaders, go on youth outings as a supervisory adult and provide entertainment/activities for youth.
Sunday School: Each Sunday after Liturgy our children go to Sunday School classes, with a break during the summer months. Volunteers serve as Sunday School Director, teachers, classroom assistants, provide snacks, or provide classroom materials.
Newsletter: Every two months St. Andrew distributes our Bugle newsletter. Volunteers serve as editor or assist the editor with creating and publishing the parish newsletter. Tasks involved in creating the newsletter include news gathering, layout, graphic design, writing news articles, photography and monitoring Diocese and Archdiocese sites for news.
Fundraising: Each year St. Andrew holds various events and drives to raise funds for special projects. Volunteers engage in event planning, event management and activities, food preparation and service, seek event underwriting and sponsors and other fundraising activities.
Parish Council: St. Andrew business is managed by an elected group of leaders who become members of the Parish Council for fixed terms. To serve on the Parish Council, one must be approved by the parish priest for nomination, and be placed on the ballot by the sitting Parish Council. The ballot is presented at the annual parish business meeting, and those with the highest number of votes are elected, as well as a seat appointed by the parish priest.
Altar Server: During Liturgy a group of men and boys serve the needs of the Altar under the direction of the clergy. Volunteers are willing to undergo training and to be scheduled to serve during services throughout the year.
Bell Ringer: At key times preceding services bells are rung in a proscribed manner according to ancient traditions. Volunteers learn how to ring the bells at appropriate times and in the proscribed manner. They are willing to be scheduled to serve at church services.
Chanter: During services it is our tradition to chant – musically intone – liturgical hymnody. Volunteers are willing to learn proscribed chanting tradition and convention, and to be scheduled to chant at church services throughout the year.
Reader: During church services, appointed scriptures and other texts are read by a Reader according to the Liturgical calendar under the direction of the clergy. A Reader is one who has been accepted into a clerical order through tonsure and ordination, setting him apart as blessed by the bishop to read in services and in the Divine Liturgy. If a man is interested in this ministry, he must seek approval from his priest to begin preparation and study for the office.
Choir: During Liturgy, weddings and funerals, the adult choir members sing hymnody under the direction of the choir leader. Those seeking to sing in the choir must be able to site read and sing music and learn basic hymnody used frequently in the choir. They also must be willing to participate in choir rehearsals, continuously learn choir music and participate in church services as a choir member. For choir: Resources can be found here.
Usher: Each Sunday our ushers greet people as they enter the church for Liturgy, pass out Sunday bulletins, help direct the movement of people for communion, processions and blessing lines; take up the offering, help keep order and propriety during services and assist people in need.
Prosphora Baker: Prosphora, a special bread used for communion, is required at each Liturgy. Volunteers are scheduled for Liturgies to make sure prosphora is provided without fail. Volunteers prayerfully bake the prosphora and make sure it is delivered in a timely manner before Liturgy. Training is needed to properly and prayerfully bake the prosphora.
Chalice Wine: During each Divine Liturgy we must have wine which is used for communion. Volunteers provide a contribution towards the chalice wine used for communion.
Candles: In the Narthex, the back of the temple, we light candles in prayer. Some are slender candles along the back wall, and some are seven day vigil candles set before icons of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. Volunteers make sure fresh candles are available, remove spent vigil candles, candle nubs and wax drips and keep the area clean. They also help people find the donation box to pay for the candles they use.
Icons: Icons depicting Jesus, Saints and special feast day scenes are displayed in various places throughout the temple for veneration and prayer. Volunteers clean glass coverings over icons and remove smudges left by people reverencing the icons. They receive training regarding the proper way to clean and maintain the icons.
Flowers: On various days throughout the year we decorate icons and the temple with flowers – most memorable are days like Palm Sunday and Pascha. Other days it may just be a vase of flowers and a garland draped over an icon. Volunteers are scheduled to assist in acquiring and arranging flowers for major feasts and other times flowers are needed during church services.
(Please note: Ministries that involve the Liturgy and church services may require pastoral approval and training. Examples include altar servers, readers, adult choir members, bell ringers and chanters.)
The St. Andrew Temple and Parish Fellowship Hall both need ongoing upkeep. Volunteers help with regular preventative maintenance, as well as repairs and improvements - plumbing, electrical, roofing, painting and exterior/internal repairs. In addition, there are always janitorial needs.
Our property is enhanced with beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees. There is a comprehensive irrigation system on the grounds to sustain the growth of these plants. A great deal of work is needed on an ongoing basis to maintain the beauty of our grounds. Volunteer opportunities include:
Pruning/Weeding/Mulching: Volunteers prune roses and other plants as appropriate, weed grounds and lay down mulch.
Irrigation: Volunteers walk the irrigation system, looking for stressed plants and other indications that a section needs repair. When a problem is detected, volunteers repair the line, or contact someone who can do this - Sections of drip line, bubbler heads and emitters must be periodically replaced.
Grounds Pickup/Cleaning: Trash collects around the perimeter of our property, dirt collects on the terrace, walkways and drainage areas, people leave trash laying on the grounds. Volunteers pick up trash, clean drains and gutters, clean dirt from walkways and the terrace, and clean cobwebs, dirt and dangling leaves from temple and hall walls.
FELLOWSHIP AND OUTREACH
IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities): The IOCC, an organization of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide. Our parish provides a representative to the IOCC. The representative communicates IOCC needs for financial support to St. Andrew and occasionally leads a project, enlisting participation by IOCC volunteers.
Homeless Meals: The Hulen Shelter is located in Riverside, and provides shelter to homeless in the city. St. Andrew volunteers prepare meals and serve them to the Hulen Shelter residents. At this time St. Andrew mostly provides breakfasts twice a month. Occasionally we provide an evening meal.
Orthodox Christians for Life: Volunteers participate in walks for life, attend pro-life events, assist pro-life organizations and engage in political activity designed to abolish legalized abortion.
Prayer Ministry: Volunteers are on a prayer request distribution list, and receive prayer requests from the prayer chain leader.
Visitation: Volunteers for this ministry visit people who are sick or shut-ins. Currently visitation is informal in the parish, but we seek a leader who would organize and lead this ministry, and organize not only visits, but supportive services for those needing transportation to appointments, help getting groceries or other needs they are unable to perform.
Visitor Welcoming: Volunteers sit at the Welcoming Table on the temple terrace before Liturgy and greet visitors. They offer literature on Orthodoxy, and encourage visitors to fill out a visitor form. Visitors are invited to the Agape Meal, where volunteers sit with them and help them to feel welcome.
Burial Society: At St. Andrew we have a burial society that works in cooperation with a local Mortuary to prayerfully prepare our loved ones for burial, assist in making funeral and burial arrangements; pray for those in repose during their preparation for burial; visit cemeteries and pray for the reposed.
Agape Hour: Each Sunday after Liturgy we have an Agape Hour meal. Parishioners go to the Fellowship Hall, eat and visit with one another. Volunteer families are scheduled on a rotation basis to bring food for everyone about once every three months. A group of families are assigned to bring food each Sunday so that it isn’t too much of a burden for any one. Assistance in knowing what/how much to bring and recipes is provided.) All families should consider participating in this important ministry.
VIP Agape Hour Server: People get in line to get their lunch at the Agape Hour. Some of us are elderly and infirm, so standing in line is difficult. Volunteers serve food plates to those who need assistance.
Family Night Meal: On Wednesday nights when we have St. John Chrysostom Catechetical School session, a Family Night Meal is served. Volunteers assist in preparing and serving meals to those attending class.
Meals for the Sick & New Mothers: We have a Coordinator who works to make sure that those who are sick or are new mothers are provided meals while they are recovering. Volunteers work with the Coordinator to cook meals and arrange for delivery.
OCMC (Orthodox Christian Mission Center): Volunteers support mission OCMC projects that are geared at strengthening the infrastructure of newly emerging, or reemerging, Orthodox Churches around the world.
Bookstore: The St. Andrew bookstore offers books and other Orthodox items as an outreach ministry. Volunteers assist customers after Liturgy each Sunday morning, when the store is open. The store is located in the Fellowship Hall.
Docent: People in the community routinely call and ask if they can tour our beautiful temple. We also provide temple tours to groups during major parish events. Volunteers (Docents), lead the temple tours following a developed and pastorally approved script. Docents provide information about our temple’s architecture, Orthodoxy and the history of St. Andrew. Tours are coordinated by our lead Docent. (Approval and training is required to conduct temple tours)
OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship): OCF is the official collegiate campus ministry program under the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. OCF is charged with connecting Orthodox college students and those interested in the Orthodox Christian faith to Christ and His Church. OCF supports fellowships on college campuses providing a venue where members experience and witness to the Orthodox Christian Church through community life, prayer, service to others, and study of the Faith. College students can learn more at OCF.net.
Wheel Chair: After Liturgy, people are encouraged to walk across the campus and participate in the Agape Hour Meal. Because of physical limitations, this is a challenge for some of us. Volunteers assist those who have difficulty walking to the Fellowship Hall after Liturgy by transporting them in a wheel chair.
Myrrhbearers: Our parish lady’s group is called the Myrrhbearers. This group meets for fellowship and works to support various charitable and church projects both locally, nationally and around the world.
The Spokesman Club: This is a men’s group that meets once a month in the Fellowship Hall to gain public speaking confidence, develop leadership skills, enjoy Christian relationships, eat fine food, hear great guest speakers and more.