Parish Life

Parish Ministries

We are an inclusive, diverse, and hospitable community that strengthens and supports the mission of the Episcopal Church through group activities and the interactions of individuals. Here are some of our ministries, programs, and small groups categorized into Grace & Holy Trinity’s four pillars; Worship, Parish Life, Education, & Outreach.

Worship

Altar Guild

The Altar Guild prepares the church for each service, including special services such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals. The members set the altar for communion, mark the lessons, and arrange flowers. They also maintain the pristine condition of the linens. Currently, the Altar Guild has about twenty members who serve on five active teams. The schedule is rotated yearly to make sure that each team gains experience with different types of services and celebrations. Catherine Perrin is the Guild member who is in charge of the flower arrangements. This ministry is led by Jean Jumet; contact her to learn more.

Lay Eucharistic Ministers (Chalice Bearers)

According to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, “A Eucharistic Minister is a lay person authorized to administer the consecrated elements at a celebration of Holy Eucharist when an adequate number of clergy is not present. A Eucharistic Minister acts under the direction of a Deacon, or under the Member of the Clergy who oversees the congregation or community of faith.” [He or she is a] “Confirmed communicant in good standing, Faithful in worship and in stewardship,” and “Mature in faith.” If you are interested in becoming a chalice bearer, please contact Donna Campbell.

Greeters

The Sunday Greeter’s Ministry welcomes everyone to church before the later service, both parishioners and parishioners-to-be. We are welcoming and warm to all, affirming the friendliness of this parish, and offering newcomers an opportunity to be included in the church’s email list. Most people volunteer once a month. To volunteer, or to get more information, please contact Lisa Dawson.

Ushers

Ushers warmly welcome congregants at the door of the nave for the 10:30 a.m. service and hand them bulletins. We keep track of the total number of congregants at each service for the church’s attendance records, and for those who are preparing communion. During the service, we collect offerings from the congregation and deposit them in the church’s safe. We try to have four ushers each Sunday, and we fill the spots for the upcoming month by email to the pool of volunteers. We would love for you to join us and put your name on the list. The time requirement is minimal, but the reward is great. Contact Clay Hilbert or more information.

Parish Choir

Everyone is welcome to join the Parish Choir from youth in high school to any age. The choir rehearses on Thursday evenings from September through May from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Parish Choir sings for the Sunday worship services at 10:30 a.m. and for Choral Evensongs, Christmas Lessons and Carols, and other special worship services. They are a welcoming and caring community of faith that shares its musical gifts to the glory of God. The Parish Choir is directed by Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Melcher Davis, Choirmaster and Organist, and accompanied by Stanley Baker, Assistant Choirmaster and Organist.To talk with Beth, please call (804) 359-5628, x18 or contact her using our Contact page.

Concert Series

Our music ministry reaches out beyond our regular worship with musical offerings throughout the year. There are receptions in the Parish Hall after some of the concerts. We need people on the Music Ministry Team to help plan receptions when they are offered. There is usually one meeting in advance of each concert. This is an excellent opportunity to support the music ministry with a relatively modest commitment of time. Please reach out to Dr. Elizabeth Melcher Davis at (804) 359-5628, ext. 18 or contact her using our Contact page. if you are interested.

Children’s Choir

Assistant Choirmaster and Organist Stanley Baker will be directing the Children’s Choir. Under his leadership, and with the able assistance of Abigail Stinnett, children have the opportunity to develop singing skills, grow in fellowship and community and participate in worship. We invite children from pre-K through 5th grade to join the Children’s Choir. The Children’s Choir rehearsals are held every other Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Parents of interested children, please call Stan at (804) 359-5628, ext. 21 or email by using our Contact page.

Youth Orchestra

The Music Ministry Team invites youth in 6th-12th grade to sign up for the Youth Orchestra. Strings, brass, woodwinds, piano, and acoustic guitar players are all welcome. We hope to have several opportunities for our young instrumentalists to perform throughout the year. October 29th is Children & Youth Sunday and we plan to have the group present a musical number at that service. Rehearsal times will be determined once participants are confirmed but will likely follow the 10:30 a.m. worship service. If interested, please call Stan at (804) 359-5628, ext. 21 or email by using our Contact page.

Property Committee

The primary function of the Property Committee is to provide recommendations to the vestry regarding the physical components of GHTC. We provide a proposed budget for the Major Repairs and Property Upkeep components of the overall financial budget. We meet monthly to discuss current issues regarding the building and physical plant. In addition, we organize spring and fall work days to involve parishioners in the preparation of our church for Easter and Advent. Please contact Andrew Peacock to be added to the list.

Shining Examples

The Shining Examples polish brass every Thursday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The brass contributes so much to the beauty of the church, and we have a good time chatting while we work. Stop by our table and pick up a list of what we polish. We think you will be surprised, and will want to help! Contact Dougie Erikson or details.

Acolytes

Serving God in his church starts young. The acolyte program is an excellent way to serve the church, and to learn responsibility and discipline. Age-appropriate duties may include giving alms basins to ushers, helping the priest to set the communion table, marking pews at communion, and as able, to lead processions carrying a cross. Younger children can start as junior acolytes carrying a torch or banner. Young people are trained before being scheduled to serve. How often an acolyte serves depends on the individual’s or family’s schedules, and regular participation is encouraged. If your child would like to serve as an acolyte, please contact Dan McNamara to find out more, or to sign up.

Lectors

Lectors come to the lectern to read the lessons designated for every service. If you love these texts, are able to read with understanding and humility, and can commit to reviewing your readings ahead of time, please consider serving in this meaningful way. If you aren’t sure, we’re happy to provide a little coaching. We’ll also connect you to internet sites that will teach you how to pronounce things that are not decipherable out loud. To investigate the 8:00 a.m. roster’s process, contact Andrew Peacock. For information about the 10:30 a.m. group’s routine, contact Ann Gray.

Education

Lectio Divina

This Wednesday night group has been meeting by Zoom over the past few years from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to discuss the upcoming gospel for the following Sunday. Each session lasts 6-8 weeks. For more information, please contact Beth McClelland, or Mary Ann Blankenship.

Lectionary Group

Why was Saint Paul talking in the Epistle about eating or abstaining from meat? In a ten-minute sermon, the preacher can’t delve into every Bible reading. If these texts pique your interest, consider coming to Lectionary Group every Sunday between 9:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. in the library. For more information contact Terry Hathaway.

Children’s Ministry

Sunday School for children in preK through 4th grade meets at 9:30 a.m. every Sunday. This Sunday School follows the research-based curriculum Godly Play, which teaches children the core stories of our faith and equips them with lifelong tools to understand and talk about scripture and God. Several times a year, we host Parents’ Night Out: a time for parents to gather in fellowship while the church provides education, dinner, and activities for their children. Throughout the year we also host events such as Grace & Holy-Ween, the Christmas Pageant, and the annual Easter egg hunt. This busy ministry welcomes volunteers who want to support the church’s youngest parishioners and their families. Whether you are interested in working with the children or providing more “behind the scenes” support, there are a wide variety of opportunities to get involved! For information about how you can help with any of the activities in this ministry, please call Kate Given at (804) 229-3110 or via the Contact page.

Youth Formation

Based on input from the families of our young people, we are focusing our youth programming on monthly events and quarterly retreats. The quarterly retreats will become the center of programs to educate and equip young people for Christian practice. These quarterly retreats will also serve as steps toward Confirmation.. On Sunday mornings and in the continued monthly events, we will continue to emphasize fellowship and service in worship as well as on outreach in our community for youth and their families.

Campus Ministry

Campus Ministry seeks to provide a space for college students to explore their faith, ask questions, build fellowship, and seek spiritual guidance. This year, we are focusing more on worship and community building on the Monroe Park campus. Opportunities involve sponsoring a meal, mentoring students, and providing transportation to events. If you’re interested in supporting our campus community, please contact Kate Given at (804) 229-3110 or via the Contact page or Kyle Reed at (804) 480-2605 or via the Contact page.

Parish Life

Hospitality Committee

The Hospitality Team organizes the receptions celebrating the parish’s activities, including the Christmas festivities. Volunteers are on hand for each event, and take on the requirements of the plan, including organizing beverages, baking, preparing savory hors d’oeuvres, and whatever else is on the menu. Then they handle serving as necessary, and cleaning up. Contact Karin Walker or co-chair Sandie Hale to add your entertaining skills to the group.

Holy Strollers

The intrepid Susan Hankins organizes and leads comfortable, companionable excursions on foot to explore parts of the city that are historic, inspiring, beautiful, or all three. This fall, itineraries include the Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge, the Dutch Gap trail, and historic downtown Richmond. Keep an eye out for the plans in the regular parish communications. Susan invites you to contact her if you have questions.

Spirited Sisters

The Spirited Sisters are a group of the women of the parish and their friends who meet once a month for dinner, drinks, and good conversation. We usually meet at a local restaurant, and enjoy each other’s company for about two hours. For more information or to let us know you are coming, please contact Cathy Saunders.

Spirited Readers Book Club

At four o’clock on the third Monday afternoon of each month the members of the Spirited Readers Book Club arrives at the appointed home with copies of a novel – or a biography, perhaps a mystery, or maybe a current volume of non-fiction. In any case, the discussion is lively and thoughtful, the snacks are tasty but not elaborate, and everybody nominates future reading suggestions and gives input. Come join us – it’s a great time. For more information or to let us know you are coming, please contact Mary Ann Blankenship.

Foyer Groups

These are informal gatherings for brunch, lunch, or dinner, either potluck or in a restaurant. These are opportunities to enjoy good conversations and excellent meals, and hope you will join us. Your contact people are Maurice and Debra Cole.

Men’s Group

Chuck Bleick is beginning to build a social group for men in the parish who are interested in getting together once a month or so for fellowship. No particular theme has been established, and how the group organizes itself will be up to those of you who participate. Contact Chuck Bleick if you have questions, are interested in being part of the process, and might like to join such a group.

Prayer Shawls & Needlers

The Prayer Shawl Ministry began early in 2003 when a group of women began meeting once a month at various homes to knit. Each shawl is wrapped in tissue paper and put into a bag that is printed with the GHTC logo. One of three printed cards goes into each bag; one with a prayer for the bereaved, one for healing, and one for comfort. The shawls are given to anyone who asks, whether or not they are church members. Since we began, 265 shawls have been made and given away. We stopped meeting when COVID-19 intervened, and now that we can safely meet again, we encourage interested knitters to join us. We invite anyone who would like to knit prayer shawls or wool mittens or our Red Door guests to call Betsy Featherstone.

Outreach

Red Door

The Red Door Ministry is always thinking of ways the church can help the guests we feed at lunchtime every Friday. The clothing closet continues to collect socks, men’s underwear in medium to extra large sizes, jeans, toiletries, and plastic grocery bags.

Later this fall, there will be a coat drive, including gloves, hats, and scarves. We welcome your donations of used clothing that is clean and in good repair, understanding that the people we serve should be dressed in clothes they can feel proud to wear. Please contact Molly for more information.

Sunday Morning Breakfast Crew (The “Crew”)

Although Sunday breakfast is currently on hiatus, this vital ministry of the parish has plans in the works to continue serving Sunday morning breakfast that nourishes parishioners for spiritual journey. We cook and serve an old-school, high calorie meal usually consisting of eggs, biscuits, bacon, sausage, apples, grits, and potatoes most Sundays between Labor and Memorial Days, gathering at 7:30 a.m. (for the cooks) in order to serve from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Call Dave Hetherington with questions.

Circles RVA

Circles RVA fills an unmet need in Richmond by partnering with families on the fence between surviving and thriving economically. We do this by recruiting volunteer Allies, who serve as intentional friends to walk with Leaders, the people who have joined Circles to move themselves and their families out of poverty. Volunteers also help with providing meals at the weekly gatherings on Tuesday evenings.

In-kind donations for water, paper goods, and plastic ware are also welcome. Leaders are also supported by volunteer Resource Teams that help with jobs and education, connecting them to community services, and addressing systemic barriers at Circles Big View Night. With your help, whether once a week or once a month, Circles RVA empowers families to break the cycle of generational poverty and move permanently toward economic stability. Contact Glenn Moore with your questions.

Missionary Society

GHTC’s Missionary Society gathers, trains, and supports members of our faith community as they work together in spiritual mission in Belize. The work we have done there has included dental care and vision screening for children, service projects in the community, and an annual summer camp for children from age five to twelve. We welcome parishioners of all ages and skill levels. Opportunities are available for parishioners of all skill levels and ages, including families. Please contact Mary Cay Kollmansperger for more information.

Men’s Groups

The Men’s Group offers the opportunity for men in the Parish to get together once a month on Saturday mornings at a local coffee shop for casual conversation and fellowship. Members of the group introduce topics for discussion related to local, national, and international interests. The Men’s Group has become a great opportunity to get to know other church members in an informal setting. Contact Chuck Bleick for more information.

Christmas Ministry

The Christmas Ministry provides Christmas gifts and clothing for 25-35 students in need at Dumbarton Elementary School. Parishioners sponsor each student by providing clothing and gifts. Other parishioners make monetary donations which are used to buy gift cards for the student families and for teachers. Last year, duffel bags were provided for 13 homeless children. We are seeking volunteers to assist in organizing sponsors and delivering gifts.

St. Andrews School

St. Andrew’s School is a tuition-free school focused on the whole child. It was founded almost 130 years ago to give Oregon Hill neighborhood children access to high-quality education. To date, hundreds of students have gone through our whole child programming, which nurtures intellectual, creative, moral, and spiritual growth, preparing students for success in school and in life.

At St. Andrew’s School, we are so grateful for our volunteers who consistently go above and beyond by donating their time and energy to our students and school community. Currently, we are seeking volunteers to serve as lunch buddies and kitchen assistants.

Lunch buddies are mentors, advocates, and champions for our students. As a lunch buddy, you will visit St. Andrew’s once a week to have lunch and chat with one or a group of our students. This is an opportunity to get to know our students in the best way possible – directly from them!

As a Kitchen Assistant, your duties may include assisting with and/or preparation of breakfast, lunch, and snacks, performing washing and cleaning duties, cleaning and sanitizing all food preparation areas according to established standards of hygiene, washing, sanitizing, and appropriately storing all cooking appliances, and assisting the Chef with the preparation of meal ingredients, with more duties as assigned.

Each of these opportunities requires that volunteers are at least 18 years old and must submit a background check. Lunch Buddies must also complete training through Mentor Virginia. If you’re interested in volunteering with St. Andrew’s School, please contact Shelley Thompsonor visit st-andrews-school.org/volunteer.

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