Scroll down this page to read the descriptions as printed in our service bulletins.
“Stewardship: It’s Not Just About the Money”
Our Parish Meeting and annual report illustrated the wide range of ministries that exist in our parish community thanks to the countless hours that many people unselfishly contribute of their time and talent to Calvary. It is easy to forget that a contribution of time and talent is part of our stewardship responsibility and spiritual development. Each of us is blessed with specific gifts and, as such, it is our responsibility to use these gifts in God’s work, not just for our own personal benefit.
This year we want to establish a way to make it ‘easy’ to join in the many ministries in our parish. If we could increase the number of people helping out, who knows what other wonderful things we could accomplish! In the past, we have had Rally Sunday as the day to rejoice in our parish community, reconnect with others after the summer, and sign up for the many tasks necessary to carry out our mission. We will continue to have this day for the same purposes, but have made some changes which we hope will make it easier to contribute your own specific time and talent. First, we are changing the name: Rally Sunday will now be Celebration Sunday, as recognition of the many blessings we enjoy as a community. We hope the celebration theme will inspire us all to continue to make a time commitment or to join in for the first time.
Next, it is important that we have a way to communicate the nature of how our various ministries work, and the time commitment and the specific task required. Each Sunday, beginning on June 24, the service bulletin will have a brief description of ministries which will allow you to understand the nature of the tasks required and the time commitment. Then, on August 26, each ministry described throughout the summer will have a visual display, again illustrating the nature of time contributions and tasks, as well as a contact list should you have questions. We hope that the combination of brief descriptions and a visual display will encourage volunteers.
So, look for important information about our ministries so you can be a part of the exciting work we do here at Calvary!
Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God,
serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. (1 Peter 4:10)
Mary Lou Southwood,
Chair, Stewardship Committee
No worship service can occur without proper preparation. The Altar Guild prepares the altar and sacred vessels, sets out the wine and wafers, lays out the vestments for the clergy, and decorates for Christmas and Easter. They also care for the communion vessels after the service. Colors of the altar cloths and vestments vary by the season and service. Training and a pictorial manual are available for those who serve on the Altar Guild Teams.
Beginning in the 3rd grade, children are encouraged to become acolytes. Acolytes light the candles, process with clergy, facilitate the reading of the Gospel and help with other service functions. Being an acolyte is a wonderful way to share in a ministry and deepen one’s understanding of the Episcopal faith and practices.
Lectors read the Old Testament and epistle scripture passages appointed for the day, the Prayers of the People. Lay participation is an important part of the worship service.
During the service of Holy Communion the chalice bearer administers the wine, accompanying the priest who distributes the wafer.
Named after the staff, or verge, they carry, vergers lead participants in services as they move about the church and aid in keeping the service flowing smoothly.
Usually the first to greet newcomers and other worshippers, ushers are also an important part of Calvary’s outreach program. They distribute service bulletins, assist newcomers, answer questions, collect the offering and secure it, and guide worshipers during the administration of the Eucharist.
EECM: A large regional service organization with a mission to build a community of opportunity in the East End. Calvary is one of 50 faith communities supporting these programs.
• Men’s Shelter Dinner: Prepare and serve a dinner the second Saturday of each month at Calvary.
• Food Bank: Ongoing collection of non-perishable food items and transportation to the Food Bank.
• Meals on Wheels: Prepare and deliver meals to those not able to get out or cook.
Habitat for Humanity: Builds and rehabilitates simple, decent homes with the help of future homeowners. Under direction, participants will aid in construction/rehab process or provide support to those who provide labor.
Off the Floor: A multi-denominational organization which moves furniture from homes of donors to apartments and houses of families in need. Volunteers spend 5 hours on 6 Saturdays throughout the year.
Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN): Works for social justice on such issues as health care reform, civil rights, labor activism, transportation equity and anti-violence. Volunteers participate in social justice gatherings and annual dinner meeting.
CROP Walk: An annual ecumenical 6 mile walk through the East End neighborhoods to raise funds for the hunger and refugee work of the Church World Service. The 2012 CROP walk is scheduled for Sunday, October 14. Volunteers will participate in the walk and have sponsors who fund their success.
Elewana Education Project: A mission helping student in East Africa who otherwise may not receive an education. Volunteers can sponsor students by providing books, tuition and computers.
Book Store: Mission is to serve the parish and wider community in our spiritual journey. The Bookstore offers inspirational and theological book, Bibles, prayer books, jewelry, and other religious gift items. Volunteers are needed to stock shelves, take inventory, work the cash register, answer phones and order items.
Calvary-Lincoln After School Program (CLASP): An arts enrichment program offered by Calvary for elementary school children by providing funding, space, backpacks, supplies, snacks and volunteers. Calvary members also serve on the CLASP committee. CLASP meets every Tuesday during the school year.
Neighborhood Academy Dinners: Dinners are provided 4-5 times per year by Calvary parishioners to students and families of the academy, which focuses on providing a private school, college-prepartory education to low income students.
Berry Project: A part of the EECM Holiday giving program, where Calvary parishioners purchase gifts for about 75 needy children and adults. Volunteers are needed to organize the giving, arrange collection and distribution.
Women of Calvary: The mission is to deepen and strengthen the spiritual lives of Calvary women by sponsoring and supporting relevant programs and ministries.
• Annual Holiday Bazaar: Proceeds provide the base to allocate grants for annual outreach (which were described in past issues of the Calvary bulletin). Volunteers are needed to organize, provide support the day of the bazaar, procure auction items, contribute items for sale, bake, cook, serve, count money and clean up.
• Pack-to-School: Collection of backpacks and general school items to assist children in need to prepare for school. The drive also includes the ability to donate cash and to purchase school uniforms for the children.
• Home Eucharist: A gathering in a volunteer home to meet in a small group and share communion and a meal. Host homes are needed for this fellowship opportunity.
Beginnings Spring Fling: An annual celebration including food, items for sale, silent auction items which funds the scholarship program of Beginnings.
Christian Formation – Youth: Classes for pre-school through 9th grade, held Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. from September through May. Volunteer teachers and helpers are welcome under the direction of Adele Eley.
Calvary Youth Group: Opportunities for fellowship, service, worship and outreach for Calvary’s teens (ages 12-18) in an informal setting. CYG meets the first and third Sunday from 4-6:30 pm during the school year. Volunteers needed to help organize, chaperone, and support various group activities.
Vacation Bible School: Held each summer, children hear Bible stories, sing songs, make crafts, play games and enjoy snacks. Program runs from Monday to Thursday for one week from 9 – 11:30 a.m. Volunteers needed for check-in/check-out, singing, craft-making, playground / game supervision and field trip chaperones.
Annual Christmas Pageant: Held the fourth Sunday in Advent, the Christmas story is re-enacted with the children and youth groups, including live stable animals! Volunteers needed to help with organization, costumes, supervision and general support on the day of the Pageant.
Adult Forum: Presentations each Sunday from September to May at 10 a.m. about significant events in the church, Calvary’s life and outreach, community programs and issues, religious music, history and places. Volunteers needed to recommend topics and make presentations.
Adult Bible Study: Bible study held at various dates throughout the year. Participants welcome.
Coventry Circle: A book study group for women meeting on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Spring, Autumn and Winter, to discuss short religious works. Members of the group take turns providing snacks and beverages.
Education for Ministry (EfM): An international program of lay theological education which integrates the study of the Bible and Christian tradition with theological reflection on the life experiences of the group’s members. The EFM meets weekly for four academic years to worship, discuss study materials, develop the ability to ‘think theologically’ and become more aware and effective ministers of Christ in the world.
Inquirers Class: For those wishing to learn more about the Episcopal faith and practice. Classes are open to all, offered in the fall and in the spring, for a 6 week session.
Centering Group Prayer: The group meets Monday evenings at 7 p.m. to practice a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, experiencing God’s presence within us.
English as a Second Language (ESL): On Wednesday and Thursday mornings an ESL conversation class is taught in the Evans Rooms. This group is supervised by the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. Most of the students are mothers with children attending our Beginnings preschool. Volunteers are welcomed to work with the students or supervise younger children that come with their mothers.
Adult Choir: Serves both the parish and the wider community. Both liturgically– especially at the 11 a.m. Sunday service – and in concerts, the musical offerings of the parish continually strive for excellence and are respected and admired throughout the Pittsburgh area. Choir members practice on Thursday evenings during the September – May season, and on Sundays at 10 a.m.
Choristers (Grades 3-12) / Troubadours (Grades K-2): Choristers rehearse on Wednesday afternoons and Troubadours meet Thursday afternoons from 4-4:45 p.m.
Other Service Opportunities
If you have difficulty with a time commitment for a specific duration, but would like to participate in ministry here at Calvary, you can consider contributing skills to be used in various ministries. Below are opportunities to use skills on an ‘ad hoc’ basis, which would greatly enhance achievement of many services.
Note in particular the last item: Help with the installation of the new Bishop. Calvary Church was chosen for the installation, in part, due to our capacity. We are expecting many parishioners and visitors on that day and any help for the Calvary staff would be much appreciated!