Committees

Remember that many hands make light work. If you have time or talents to share and do not find an opportunity here, but have ideas of other ways to help, speak with co-Wardens or send an email to Saint Elizabeths Wardens.

Acolytes
Youth acolytes greatly enhance the worship experience and sense of intergenerational community at St. E's. Clergy and parishioners alike enthusiastically and gratefully applaud those youth who step forward to serve. Serving as an acolyte is a unique opportunity for young people to assist our Celebrant with the Eucharist. The requirements are fairly modest. Simply,
    A willingness to attend training and learn the principal acolyte duties ? Crucifer, Torchbearer, Offertory and Server.
    An ability to get to church 15 minutes before the 10 AM service on your assigned day.
    A commitment to serve approximately once a month, sometimes less, rarely more.

Altar Guild
The Altar Guild plays a vital role in the weekly church services. Members work closely with the rector setting the altar for communion, preparing linens, marking the readings for the given Sunday and placing the hymn numbers on the boards. At times special services need to be prepared, for instance: baptisms, weddings and funerals. This work can be done the day before at one's own pace which allows time for reflection and prayer. Guild members find setting God's table a very rewarding experience. New members are always welcomed and are trained by shadowing a current member until they feel comfortable on their own.

Adult Education
The goal of the Adult Education Program at St. Elizabeth's is to nourish the faith life of its parishioners by offering opportunities to study and discuss the Bible, the Creeds, the Episcopal Church, writings on spirituality, works of fiction, films, world religions, and various topics of current interest and concern like the relationship of science and religion or the just war theory. Times, frequency, and number of meetings vary depending on the class. The Adult Education Committee is always open to suggestions for a new area or topic to explore.

Buildings & Grounds
We take pride in the maintenance of the interior and exterior of our church not only for our parishioners but for the larger community as well. The number of acres and buildings we oversee requires a group effort. If you like to putter around the house or work in the yard, consider turning your talents on God's house. Many hands make light work.

Choir
St. Elizabeth's Choir Seeks New Adult and Youth Members: We are seeking new members to join the lively Adult Choir which is open to those in 9th grade and up. The Adult Choir rehearsals are Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. We begin the season on Thursday, September 16th with a dinner at the home of Charles and Mary Sue Willie. The choir will sing at the September 19th service. Also beginning September 19 the enthusiastic Youth Choir sings every Sunday, warming up with the adults at 9:30 am, going to church school, returning during the offertory and usually singing during Communion. After a quick break for juice and cookies, children return to the balcony to rehearse for a half hour. The St. Elizabeth's Youth Choir will rehearse for the first time this fall on Sunday, September 12. These choirs, whose goal is to provide music that will enrich our common worship, enjoy congenial social and extra events. There are also musical opportunities for instrumentalists to provide enhancement to our worship. Contact: Mary Sue Willie, Organist and Director of Music, 978-369-2363 or musicdirector@st-elizabeths.org

Christian Education for Children
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (COGS) Levels 1, 2 and 3 for ages 4-11 The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children rooted in the Bible and the liturgy of the church and using the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in an atrium, a sacred room prepared for them, where they work with simple yet beautiful materials. The children respond in their own way to the weekly presentation, most of which focus on the life and teachings of Jesus, Baptism, the Eucharist, or the Plan of God. The children's use materials including figures used to depict parables and Bible stories, art supplies, three-dimensional maps and 'practical life' activities like pouring and sorting. All of these activities help the children both to explore on their level the life of Jesus, as well as prepare for deeper spiritual work. More COGS information is available at the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd website.

Transitional Atrium for Three Year-Olds The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program at St. Elizabeth?s has traditionally started in Level One when children are three years old. This new Transitional Atrium will be the children?s next step after leaving the nursery and before entering Level One. It will be a sacred space where children can continue to develop their relationship with God and begin to learn about Jesus and His love for them. The prepared environment and materials will be similar to those found in Level One, geared toward the younger children?s interests and abilities. Children in the Transitional Atrium will be introduced to the peaceful enjoyment of God?s presence, as called forth by the image of Christ, the Good Shepherd. Children will begin to explore the quiet rhythms of the COGS program, learning to fall in love with God by exploring practical life activities, working with developmentally appropriate materials, singing songs, and coming together in prayer. This program also serves as an introduction for adults to the COGS program.

Christian Education For Youth

Journey to Adulthood (ages 11-17) J2A is a youth ministry program of spiritual formation for 6th - 12th grades, developed by LeaderResources, an organization rooted in the Episcopal Church which serves the educational needs of many denominations. Saint Elizabeth's uses all three segments of the program.

Rite-13 Rite-13 is a two-year program for 11-13 year-olds whose goals are to: ? celebrate Gods gift of manhood and womanhood ? affirm the power of creative energy and to explore the thoughts and disciplines which allow individuals to effect change in the world ? teach, by word and example, the principles of freedom, responsibility and friendship

J2A J2A for 14-15 year-olds is also a two-year program. The goals of this curriculum are to: ? celebrate the transition from youth to adulthood ? train young people in the skills of adulthood ? to explore the mystery of our faith heritage and to grow into their identity as Christians ? establish our experience in the strength of community and liturgy

YAC Young Adults in the Church (YAC) is for older high school students. The goals of the curriculum guide the young adult participants as they develop: ? Responsibility and partnership in the life of the parish ? Practice stewardship in tangible giving of one's time, talent and treasure to all of Gods people ? Leadership for the maintenance of the YAC group setting meeting times, electing leaders, setting up a communication network, establishing group norms and goals ? A foundation of personal discipline to carry them along their faith journey ? Mentorship of the Rite 13 group

Youth Mission Trips High School youth have two church-sponsored opportunities to participate in week-long summer mission trips. In even numbered years, youth and their adult leaders join in a home repair ministry with the Appalachia Service Project (www.asphome.org). During the school year, interested teenagers prepare for the trip by learning how to use hand and power tools. They also study the culture of Central Appalachia so that they understand something of how that part of the US became and remains so poor. For many of our youth the ASP trip is transforming. Some go more than once, and some have even returned, years after their first trip, to participate as mentors and adult leaders themselves.

City Mission The second opportunity, City Mission, is a local mission trip. The youth spend a week living in a church in downtown Boston and each day serve with a number of different volunteer organizations that provide for the marginalized in our city.

Coffee Hour Hosts
Your cup-a-joe after Sunday service is provided by a team of coffee hostesses who also offer you an array of baked goods to enjoy. Set up is usually done sometime Saturday, pots plugged in before 10:00 service (pots require one hour to brew) and then cleanup afterward. Children's snacks and juice are set out as well and supplied by a parishioner; these are stored in the pantry closet in the hall. Coffee hour is an important ministry in a variety of ways and our thanks go out to each of our providers.

Communications

The Mantle St. E's monthly newsletter. Editors assist in the publication the Mantle. All content is provided by contributors. If you have familiarity with Microsoft Publisher and an eye for newsletter formatting, we hope you will consider a call to this important communications ministry.

Local News Media Features writers submit occasional articles to the local media about community focused events taking place at St. E's.

St. E's Bulletin Boards We could use some help with a creative person to keep our communications bulletin board in the Parish Hall up to date and fun.

Church Brochure Help us develop a set of Saint Elizabeth's brochures for the front hall for visitors, newcomers, and church members.

Website (st-elizabeths.org) The Communications Committee maintains the St. E's website, st-elizabeths.org. Volunteers with HTML skills assist in ensuring that our web site continues to be a helpful resource with dynamic content.

Fellowship
At St. Elizabeth's fellowship plays an important role in the life of the Church by providing opportunities for parishioners to come together to connect socially in an open, friendly, and sharing environment. Fellowship Committee activities not only contribute to the rich sense of community found at St. Elizabeth's but support the healthy spiritual life that we enjoy as a congregation. Our plans for 2010-2011 will continue to include long established and cherished events such as the Dickens Dinner and the Winter Weekend as well as the introduction of new activities designed to engage a broad array of parishioners in the life of the congregation.

Finance Committee
The Finance Committee (FinComm) serves in an advisory capacity to the treasurer and Vestry on financial matters. Traditionally, FinComm members include the current Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer, past treasurers, the chair of the Stewardship Committee, the Wardens and other interested members of the parish.

Flower Guild
Each Sunday morning you are greeted by a beautiful floral design under the cross behind the altar, "Dedicated" or given "to the Glory of God", these flowers have been designed by one of our six Flower Guild members to enhance our morning services. Afterward they are relocated in the hallway for the pleasure of all during the coming week. The Guild is also responsible for adorning the sanctuary at Christmas and Easter.

Hospitality
Many parishioners are thinly stretched as they cope with career, marriage, family, housekeeping, meal preparation, carpooling children, caring for aging parents, and the like. It doesn't take much to upset a very delicate balance. The Hospitality Committee provides meals and other assistance to individuals and families who are dealing with extra demands brought on by illness, a new baby, a death in the family, or a household disaster, to name a few of the possible setbacks most people endure at one time or another in their lives.

Newcomers Committee
Our welcoming program seeks to ensure that new church members feel embraced and at ease at St. Elizabeth's. To that end, we assign a parish buddy to each new family to assist them to get oriented to the Episcopal Church in general and to St. E's in particular; to keep them informed about St. Elizabeth?s activities; and to help them become integrated into the community to the extent they desire. The Newcomer Committee seeks and welcomes new committee members who enjoy meeting new people, who love St. E's, and who love sharing St. E's with others.

Nursery
On Sunday mornings supervised childcare is offered for infants and toddlers from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the nursery on the lower level.

Outreach
The outreach committee meets a few times a year. Items on the agenda include: select a chairman; plan The Giving Tree gift celebration in December; recommend to the vestry charitable contributions from the parish outreach fund for 2010; and discuss possible outreach activities for the parish from ideas suggested by parishioners. The committee can use some new thoughts, so if this activity interests you, please attend and think about becoming a committee member.

Pastoral Care
Pastoral Care at St. Elizabeth's is offered both formally and informally. Parishioners provide pastoral care to each other as a matter of course in their interactions with each other. A pastoral care team of trained and supervised parishioners regularly visit and bring communion to the hospitalized and homebound. The clergy offer pastoral care in person, on the telephone, by email, by appointment or not, across a wide variety of circumstances, some happy and some not so happy.

Salvation Army Miracle Kitchen
Both cooks and servers step up to assist with the monthly Miracle Kitchen Meal at the Salvation Army headquarters in downtown Framingham. On the second Tuesday of every month, volunteers from St. Elizabeth's deliver and serve hearty casseroles, augmented by a vegetable and dessert, to approximately eighty individuals at the Miracle Kitchen. Tins and recipes are distributed to parishioners on the Sunday before for return to the church by Tuesday at 4 PM.

Stewardship
The primary source of operating income to pay for staff, programming, and maintenance of buildings and grounds is contributions from parishioners. We do not receive funds from the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts except via grant applications for specific projects. The average annual pledge is $2500. We encourage proportional giving of a set percentage of our individual means as a spiritual practice of gratefully returning for God's mission a portion of the bounty with which we have been blessed.

Students Together Opposing Prejudice (S.T.O.P.)
In its nineteenth year, S.T.O.P. began as a collaborative effort of three Sudbury congregations. St. E's is now a participating member. There is a seven-week curriculum aimed at seventh and eighth graders with the goal to help them understand the harm of prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination.