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  January 2018  
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Worship & Music Ministry

Altar Guild
The Altar Guild is responsible for handling all altar preparations for church services. These responsibilities include the cleaning and care of brass and silver and the laundering of linens. The work of the Altar Guild is divided among five groups; each group is responsible for one week of services per month. The primary duties of the guild are performed on Saturday morning and following the last Sunday service. Training is provided to new members.

Holy Baptism is a public celebration of full initiation, by water and the Holy Spirit, into Christ's body the Church. It is the act of grateful acceptance of the new covenant God has offered to all humankind. We offer this Sacrament to infants and children with the expectation that they will in time make their own public affirmation of faith before the bishop of the diocese. Infant and child baptisms at St. John’s are scheduled through the Children’s Baptism Coordinator; adult baptisms are scheduled through a member of the clergy.

The Acolyte Ministry at St. John’s provides an opportunity for our young people to be active and involved in the life of the parish by assisting the sacred ministers at all regular and special liturgies throughout the year. Our acolytes are committed to enhancing our corporate worship to the glory of God, and to learning the practical and symbolic roles of the acolyte in our rich liturgical tradition. All youth in the parish are welcomed and encouraged to serve as acolytes, generally beginning in their sixth grade year, and continuing through high school. Duties are assigned based on the experience of the server, and at the discretion of the Acolyte Master. Group training is held several times during the year and is publicized in advance. Individual training is also provided as needed, and we are always glad to welcome new acolytes to serve at St. John’s!

All adult men and women are encouraged to serve as ushers during worship services. Volunteers are added to a rotating list provided by the Men of St. John’s. Schedules are emailed to those scheduled to serve.

Lectors/Eucharistic Ministers
Lectors serve the congregation in services by reading the scripture lessons and leading the prayers of the people. Individuals are licensed by the bishop to administer the chalice at Holy Communion. They are trained by the clergy, and follow the customs of the parish.

Holy Matrimony
The Episcopal Church teaches that marriage is the life-long union of a man and a woman, who make their vows before God and the church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to  help them fulfill their vows. Couples asking to be married at St. John’s are presumed to be seeking God's blessing and the support of this church community. We expect couples to prepare for and fulfill their marriage covenant through active  participation and regular worship here, before and after their wedding. The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage in The Book of Common Prayer is the church's liturgy for its baptized members; this ceremony is not offered for nonmembers. In accordance with the canons of the church, the rector makes the final decision of who may or may not be married at St. John’s, and assigns an officiating priest for each wedding.

Guild of the Flowering Cross
This is an opportunity to work with one of God’s most delightful gifts to us –flowers. The guild can be a way for you to offer spiritual service and floral beautification of our church on Christmas, Easter, and special occasions. Women and men of all ages can participate.

Memorial flower donations can be made throughout the year to maintain the potted flower arrangements in the Memorial Garden. These potted arrangements are provided, planted and maintained by our church volunteers. Memorial flower donations are announced weekly in the church bulletin and online at These seasonal potted arrangements are permanent fixtures in our garden. Memorials of $25 or more can be made online by visiting our website or by mailing a check to 2827 Wheat Street, Columbia, SC 29205.

Music and Choirs
The music ministry at St. John’s is dedicated to promoting music and singing as an integral and supportive component in the daily life of the church as we worship, proclaim, teach and learn.  Learn more with our Music Blog!

Adult Choirs
Chancel Choir
This mixed-voice choir is open to singers of high school age and older, and all are invited to enjoy the choral experience. No music reading or previous vocal training is required to join, and private training is available if needed to help new members become comfortably integrated into the group. The Chancel Choir leads worship weekly. Rehearsals are on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm.

Chamber Singers
St. John’s Chamber Singers focus on four-part unaccompanied music, primarily early English choral music (16th - 17th Centuries) and early
American music. Membership is by audition.

Choral Scholars
St. John’s offers scholarships to qualified USC students whose role is to serve as section leaders in the Chancel Choir while school is in session. Scholarships are offered on a one-year basis.

St. John’s Singers
This group is an RSCM (Royal School of Church Music) ensemble for grades 4 - 8. These singers learn the rudiments of music (music theory) and singing as they learn standard-repertory choral music, hymns and service music in preparation for their regular role as music leaders during worship. Those who choose to do so receive an added level of learning through a structured, workbook-based study program with awards for various levels of achievement. Young singers enjoy an expanded emphasis on excellence and achieving their personal best in performance, learning and behavior.

Children’s Music
Children in grades 3K-grade 3 are divided into two groups for singing and music activities usually meets on Wednesdays between 4:45-5:30 pm. The younger group (3K-4K) focuses learning music primarily through action songs, rhythm instruments and games. The older group (5K-grade 3) begins playing percussion instruments and learning the fundamentals of music as they begin to sing age-appropriate music.

Instrumental Music
Singers and acoustic instruments (guitar, bass, percussion, mandolin, etc.) make up this group that leads in worship monthly at the 9:00 am service and rehearses at times convenient to the members.

Instrumentalists of all ages are encouraged to contact the Director of Music to see what opportunities are available to accompany hymns or play solos. One can play individually or in a group both informally and during worship.

The 2016-17 Cycle of Prayer is now available. You can download it here and it will be posted on the website later today, as well as sent out in e~dusc news.

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