The altar guild is responsible for handling all altar preparations for all church and chapel services. This includes maintenance of silver, brass, and linens. There are five groups, each one responsible for one week of services per month. The primary duties of the altar guild are performed on Saturday morning, following each service on Sunday, the mid-week chapel service, and any other services that might occur during the week. Training is provided, and there is a manual with instructions for additional assistance.
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 clergy 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. Acolyte or Crucifer duties are assigned based on the experience of the server and at the discretion of the Acolyte Master. Group training is held each 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 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.
The Episcopal Church teaches that marriage is the life-long union of two people, 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, and through pre-marital preparation with the clergy. 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 Priest in Charge 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
The Guild of the Flowering Cross is a group of parishioners who volunteer to arrange flowers for the altar. Usually working in pairs, they select the flowers and greenery for a designated week and arrange them in a provided container. The arrangements are usually completed on Friday or Saturday of each week. For major Holy Days, the entire group helps decorate the church. This is a fun and creative way to participate in the life of the church. New members are welcome and will be provided a "seasoned" helper, if desired.
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 www.stjohnscolumbia.org. 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.