Lectors are responsible for reading the first and second lessons in our service of worship and leading the congregation in responsively reading the psalm. More importantly, the lector proclaims the word of God to the gathered people.
A "lectionary" is a list of scripture readings assigned to be read on a particular day. This tradition of a lectionary has roots in Jewish worship of long ago and was continued by the early Christians. Not all Christians use the same lectionary, but many Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist and other Christian churches around the world use the Revised Common Lectionary, a three-year cycle laid out to guide ELCA congregations and other Christian denominations in the use of designated Old and New Testament lessons for weekly worship and daily devotions.
Each year the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, or Luke is read primarily with the Gospel of John interspersed throughout all three years. Consequently, if a person worshipped every Sunday for three years, he or she would be able to hear the majority of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
It is through the reading of the Scripture that God continues to speak. Bethel has been blessed with many people, both young and old, new and long-time attendees, who are faithful and dedicated readers of the word of God.
A sign-up sheet is located on the bulletin board in the hallway leading to the sunroom. Lectors are needed for not only Sunday services but for special services such as Advent, Lent, and Holy Week. In the fall and late spring there are training sessions for worship servers in which we gather to discuss areas of concern and changes that will help us better serve. Guidelines for reading and a pronunciation sheet are also located on the bulletin board.
For those who are new to reading but feel they might want to try this, the best teacher is observing what other lectors do - how they approach the lectern, how they read, how they emphasize certain words, how they communicate God's word to the congregation. I am available at any time to train, encourage, and help any who are interested in learning to lector.
Help me to proclaim, not just with my lips,
but with my whole heart and soul. May your Spirit live in me and
fill the holy word that I proclaim.
Contact: Connie Houtz
Bethel's four hymn boards, placed so as to be visible throughout the congregation, reflect the day and season of the year and the hymns used for that particular day. In the Lutheran Church, as in other liturgical Christian churches, the church year is divided into the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost. The seasons include major festivals and lesser festivals or "commemorations" which are observed by many congregations when they fall on Sundays but are commemorated in the Lectionary cycle.
My work with the hymn boards is one of the highlights of my week as it provides me a quiet and worshipful time in the Sanctuary. Over the years my grandchildren and other children have often helped me. Their presence has provided not only a teaching opportunity with numbers but also an opportunity to instruct in the seasons of the church and how to follow the music in our service.
Some trivia about hymn boards you might find interesting comes from a book describing hymn boards in the 16th to the 18th centuries:
"Now to the hymn board…number boards were hung in 1701 because the hymns could no longer be recognized from the organ prelude.” …
It seems that hymn boards have become an unnecessary church fixture since bulletins are printed (or yes, even projected via Powerpoint). But let the hymn board be a visual reminder to the church musician and the congregation:
- The church musician shall clearly introduce the hymn so as to invite the congregation to sing.
- The congregation shall kindly accept the invitation and sing vigorously since the hymn number is prominently displayed.
- If either the church musician or the congregation fails to do the above items, the other party is welcome to remove the hymn board and bring it to the other party as a reminder of the covenant between musician and congregation. "
Members of the altar guild are grateful servants: servants of God and servants of God’s people as we enable worship through the preparation of the worship space.
Basic Responsibilities: The altar guild is concerned with the things of worship (filling candles with oil, setting up communion by either filling cups on trays or chalices for intinction, setting altar flowers in brass holders), the care of the worship space (checking and restocking pew pockets with envelopes and pencils as needed, making sure hymnals are neat, dusting piano and organ), and the care and placement of the furnishings, appointments, and ornaments used in worship (preparing for baptisms, weddings, funerals, and changing paraments and banners to follow the church seasons, and lastly decorating with flowers.)
The goal of the altar guild is to see that the worship space is kept beautiful and in good order, both to glorify God and to provide a setting that helps enable the congregation to worship in a meaningful way. Two to three people work together and serve a month at a time. It usually takes about an hour a week (4-5 hours a month) to get the church prepared for Sunday morning.
There are plenty of instructions and fellow guild members who would help “show you the ropes.” We welcome all women, men and teens!
For further information:
Win Lightner (altar guild coordinator)