Thomson First United Methodist Church
Sunday, October 22, 2017
To make disciples of Jesus Christ through active, Christ-centered ministries of love

Duties

Captains

  • 8:30 captains pick up bulletins for both services and place in back of sanctuary.
  • 8:30 captains should arrive no later than 8:15, or specifically arrange for one of your crew to do so.
  • 11:15 captains should arrive no later than 10:40, or specifically arrange for one of your crew to do so.
  • 11:15 captains take note of the acolytes.  Assist them with the cross and lighting the taper, or assign someone to do this.  Take note if there is only one acolyte rather than two, as you will need to combine the offering into one plate instead of two.
  • Captains for each service pick up money bags from the ushers's mail box, and return them to the lock box in the office door after the service.
  • Captains should always read through the bulletin for that day, note the order of worship, understand what that means about when and how they perform their duties, ask questions of the pastors as needed, and communicate with the entire ushering team.
  • On communion Sundays, captains play an important role in the "flow" of the Service of Table, making sure that there are a sufficient number of ushers, positioned in the correct location, and trained in how to direct the flow of people.
  • Do attendance count, including everone in the sanctuary - whether in the congregation or chancel - as well as those in the nursery or children's church, and make sure that late-comers are included.

8:30 Ushers

Before the Service

  • Make sure doors are unlocked.
  • Straighten Bibles and hymnals, and make sure they are evenly distributed.
  • Send our "friendliest" usher to the back door of fellowship hall to greet.
  • Give "Children's Bulletins" to parents.  We will have bulletins for young children as well as those over 7 years, so pay attention to this information on the top of the bulletins.
  • Take note of any "extra" handouts that may not be inserted into the bulletins so that these can be handed out as well.
  • Check that attendance pads are at left end of pews. 
  • Read through the order of worship in the bulletin.
  • Ask questions of your captain if you are unsure what to do.

During the Service

  • Light the Table Candles during the Prelude.
  • Come to the chancel railing for the offertory ... Read the bulletin so that you will know when this is, and will be ready to start down the aisle when the pastor get's up to go to the pulpit for the offertory prayer.
  • After the offering, the captain will bring a single plate to the chancel and place it on the Lord's Table.
  • Watch for, greet, welcome and assist latecomers to the service.  Help them find a seat, and help them feel at ease.
  • Light the taper from the candles of the Lord's Table, extinguish the candles on the table, and carry the light of Christ out of the sanctuary during the last hymn.

 After the service:

  • Make sure that all the offering plates have been returned to the Lord's Table (or on communion Sundays, to an accessible location on either side of the pulpit.
  • Clean up loose papers and return hymnals/Bibles to racks.
  • Captains place the money bag with the attendance slip and offering into the lock box in the office door.
  • Remove completed attendance sheets from the pads.
  • Place attendance sheets under John's door.

11:15 Ushers

Before the service:

  • Straighten Bibles and hymnals, and make sure they are evenly distributed.
  • Send our "friendliest" usher to the back door of fellowship hall to greet.
  • Give "Children's Bulletins" to parents.  We will have bulletins for 3 - 6 years as well as 7 - 12 years of age, so pay attention to this information on the top of the bulletins.
  • Take note of any "extra" handouts that may not be inserted into the bulletins so that these can be handed out as well.
  • Check that attendance pads are at left end of pews. 
  • Read through the order of worship in the bulletin.
  • Ask questions of your captain if you are not sure what to do.

During the Service

  • Be ready to start down the aisle  to receive the offering when the pastor gets up to go to the pulpit for the offertory prayer ... if you haven't read the bulletin before the service, you may not know when to do this!
  • After the offering, combine the gifts into two plates:  one for each of the two acolytes.
  • Watch for and welcome latecomers to the service.  Help them find a seat and feel at ease.

After service:

  • Remove completed attendance sheets from pads.
  • Place attendance sheets under John's door.
  • Captains place money bag with the attendance slip and offering into the lock box in the office door.
  • Clean up loose papers and return hymnals/Bibles to racks.
  • Return all of the offering plates to the sacristy.

A Ministry of Hospitality

As ministers of hospitality, one of your most important duties is to be welcoming and attentive to those entering the sanctuary, and to resist the temptation to socialize with each other.  It may seem obvious, but this is so important that it bears saying ... a warm greeting and a smiling face are essential. 
 
There are many aspects of being an usher that you learn over time as you become more knowledge and comfortable with your role.  You will learn about the space in which you are working, the people you get to know week-in and week-out, and how to read the body language of people you have never met before.  You will not always do a "perfect job," but if you approach your tasks with a loving heart ... love for God and neighbor ... you will be a good usher.  Such a loving heart is attentive to the feedback and response others - members, guests and other ushers - open to suggestions and guidance, and sees this service as a ministry of hospitality into which they grow.
 
If a woman arrives alone, especially if she is older, please offer to seat her. The old fashioned "offering of a lady your arm" is appropriate. 
 
Temperature control in the sanctuary can be challenging for some.  The location of the vents makes one side of the sanctuary colder than the other when the air conditioning is running, and warmer when the heat is in use.  We have a number of attractive throws in baskets, and we encourage you to offer these when you notice that someone is uncomfortable with the temperature.  These baskets are located in the entrance between the fellowship hall and the sanctuary, however, you are encouraged to move these to a more convenient and "noticable" location.  You might even encourage someone who has a chronic problem with the temperature to try a seat on the other side of the church.  Yes ... that is really stepping out there ... but, ushering has it's challenges!
 

Communion

First Sunday is communion Sunday, and we typically receive kneeling at the chancel rail.  There are other times in the Christian Year when communion is appropriate, and is traditionally offered here at TFUMC:  Christmas Eve at the 11 PM service and Holy (Maundy) Thursday of Holy Week.  There are other Sundays during the year that the pastor may want to serve communion because of the day of the Christian year, occassion for this church, or the sermon being preached.  The pastors should give adequate notification when this occurs if it is not on a first Sunday.  Also, it is the pastor's responsibility to notify the usher captain if the method of receiving is different.  For example, if communion will be served by the method of intinction. 
 
The 8:45 communin service flows from the side aisles to the chancel railing and the people return using the center aisles.  There is no formal dismissal, and individuals may stay at the railing for as long as they wish.
 
The 11:00 communion service uses the center aisle to approach the chancel to receive.  Communicants will be dismissed together with a benediction to return to their pews after receiving. Four (4) ushers are needed at the front of the church to help people move easily to and from the chancel railing.  The movement of worshippers from the two outside sections is straightforward - they come to receive down the center aisles and return using the outside aisles.  However, the movement from the two inside sections is more complex because the center aisles are also used by people returning to their seats.  It requires careful observation of where people were sitting, and therefore how they will be returning to their seats.  It also requires a very grace-filled approach to "directing traffic."  Be sure that you talk with your usher captain if you have any concerns about this important part of our services.