Parish Ministries: Discover Your God-Given Talents
Find the Way God may be leading you to Happiness
God has given you unique talents that can lead you to the life of fulfillment He wants for you. How can you know what way God may be leading you? God has given you unique talents, skills and knowledge. Using these gifts in your life will help you find the contentment you are looking for.
Everyone is talented. We just notice the talents of some more than others. What are your talents? It may be a natural tendency to: understand the emotions of others; thrive under pressure; make others laugh
Skills are things we’ve learned over the years. For instance, what people skills do you have? Empathy, Listening; Hospitality? What skills have you developed? A Hobby, Cooking, Computers?
Knowledge is simply what you know. Your knowledge can tell you: how to deal with an upset customer; what time Mass is held at your parish; how to cope with job related stress .*
When people compliment you, what do they recognize? Understanding – Friendliness—Enthusiasm – Patience – Wisdom?
What is your job or profession?
What makes you good at what you do?
What activities energize you?
What do family members see as your best traits?
As you review the parish ministries that follow, ask yourself if you would enjoy any of them. Perhaps your talents, skills and knowledge are leading you to a ministry that isn’t listed. Then contact Father, indicating how you would like to serve as “My Personal Ministry.”
*Albert Winseman et. al., Living Your Strengths, Gallup Press, 2008
- Altar Guild
The Altar Guild serves the parish by ensuring that all cloths and linens used for the celebration of the Mass and liturgical ceremonies are worthy of God’s altar. Members meet every other week for 1½ hours to change altar linens and lightly polish liturgical vessels.
- Eucharistic Ministers
Parishioners assist the celebrant in the distribution of the Eucharist at all parish liturgies. Each minister volunteers to serve one or two Sundays a month. Initial training is provided by the Diocese.
- Decorators of Environment:
Members of this ministry serve the parish by preparing, decorating and maintaining the worship environment for various feasts and seasons of the liturgical year.
- Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine Committee
Members of this ministry care for the Lourdes Shrine located next to the main door of the church. A minimum of monthly cleaning and decorating is needed.
Members of this ministry assist the celebrant by proclaiming the Word of God. Training is provided by the parish. Each lector is given a workbook containing the Sunday readings. Those interested in being a lector must be capable and comfortable speaking in front of a large audience. Members of this ministry are placed on a monthly rotating schedule.
- Liturgy Committee
This ministry is involved in the planning of parish liturgical events so that they are alive and prayerful for our community. Members include representatives from the altar guild, altar servers, Eucharistic ministers, decorators of the environment, and lectors. The liturgy committee is the thread that pulls it all together. This committee meets on an as-needed basis, usually the months before the high holy days.
- Music Ministry
This ministry offers many opportunities for individuals wanting to participate musically in the liturgy. The cantors enhance the liturgy by leading the congregation in song. Rehearsals are set on a schedule that accommodates their availability. The Seasonal Choir leads during Easter and Christmas and rehearses for a few weeks before each holiday. We welcome all instrumentalists, especially organists, guitarists, violinists, flutists and trumpeters. Instrumentalists must rehearse prepared songs prior to participating in the liturgy. Chimes and hand bells are added seasonally, usually starting in September. The Bell Choir usually rehearses at 1-3:30 pm on Sundays as they prepare to join in the Christmas and Easter liturgies.
- Sick and Homebound
This ministry provides pastoral care for the sick and homebound of the parish by bringing them the Eucharist. The ministry also provides a Eucharistic Service every Sunday at Westhampton Care Center on Old Country Road in Westhampton, ensuring that residents who are unable to attend Mass may receive not only the Eucharist but ashes on Ash Wednesday, and palms on Palm Sunday.
Members of this ministry serve the parish by greeting and assisting parishioners to their seats, and taking up the collections. Members of this ministry are friendly and outgoing and enjoy making others feel welcome. While this ministry has traditionally attracted male volunteers, women are especially encouraged to enter this ministry, as well.
- Food Pantry
This ministry assists in the packing and distribution of food to needy families from our area who have previously signed up. Coordinators are needed. Volunteers will be invited to attend a meeting to organize the program.
- Blood Drive
Held twice a year, the Blood Drive can empower each of us to be a “healer” and a “savior” to those in need of blood. Volunteers help with the registration of donors.
- Prayer Shawl Ministry
Members of this ministry crochet and/or knit shawls for those who are undergoing medical procedures, enduring bereavement, or are in need of comfort during times of stress or illness. Volunteers meet on Wednesday mornings in the Parish Center.
- Consolation Ministry
Members of this ministry contact the family of the deceased, assist them with the arrangements for funeral liturgies, lead the prayer service at the funeral home, and extend the condolences and support of the parish.
- Holiday Outreach
The responsibilities of this ministry include helping with the packaging and distribution of meals for Thanksgiving, and meals and gifts for Christmas. Contact the rectory one month prior to Thanksgiving and/or Christmas to volunteer to help distribute holiday food and gifts to the needy within our parish perimeter.
- Homeless Outreach
The Immaculate Conception Church parish provides shelter, food and care to homeless individuals during the winter months. Volunteers provide three meals and overnight shelter at the Parish Center twice a month from November to March. This ministry is administered in cooperation with the multi-denominational organization known as “Maureen’s Haven.” We are particularly in need of volunteers who are willing to stay overnight once or twice during the winter season.
This ministry helps the parish family by providing refreshments at parish functions. Baking, setting-up, serving, greeting and clean-up duties are the responsibilities of this ministry. They also host the Lenten soup suppers and other functions as the need arises.
- Reach Out
This ministry provides transportation to Mass, coordination to provide the Eucharist to shut-ins, daily reassurance telephone calls, friendly visits, transportation to hospital and doctor appointments, food shopping, meal preparation, and information about other services available from the town and county. This is a vital ministry that is in need of more volunteers.
- Respect Life Committee
Members of this committee espouse the credo that “human life is a gift from God.” Members of this ministry promote greater respect for the sanctity of all human life, from conception to natural death.
Assists women in all facets of pregnancy and beyond in bringing their children into the world. Contact Birthright directly at 728-8900 to become a volunteer in this ministry.
- Knights of Columbus
The Fr. Joseph Slomski Council #7423 of the Knights of Columbus is a family-oriented fraternal organization that helps families grow together in love, promotes the spirituality of its members, and engages in service projects for the church and community. Council members meet in Our Lady’s Hall on the first Sunday of every month at 9 am.
- Welcoming Ministry
A ministry to welcome new families and people into the parish.
- Vacation Bible School
Volunteers offer an experience of bible study, prayer, arts and crafts, recreation, music and refreshments for our children during VBS, which is held for one week each August.
- Religious Education
Those involved in the ministry of religious education foster the spiritual formation of the children of the parish through weekly instructions for children in grades 1-10 and preparation for the sacraments. Volunteers in this ministry serve as catechists, aides, substitutes, monitors and babysitters for those teaching. They help, as well, in other ways that keep the program running smoothly. Being involved in this ministry requires a weekly commitment of time, generally from late September to early May. The time commitment can range from one to three hours per week. Volunteers need to have a desire to work with children, a willingness to be trained and to share their faith, a commitment to nurture their own faith, and a commitment to the teachings of our Church. Interviews are required of all volunteers.
- Youth Ministry
Youth retreats and other special programs are part of the Confirmation program. Eleventh and 12th grade students are charged with teaching 7th and 8th graders as they prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Adult and student volunteers are needed to assist the students not only in this preparatory program but in special events and general youth activities, as well. This ministry is part of the Immaculate Conception Church’s Religious Education program.
- Baptismal Preparation
The ministry prepares the parents in their roles as the principal people involved in the faith development of their children. Classes are held the first Wednesday in January, March, May, July, September and November and usually last between 1 and 1 1/2 hours.
- Pre-Cana Marriage Preparation
The Pre-Cana team prepares engaged couples for the sacrament of Marriage. Sessions are conducted on an as-needed basis in groups of 2-12 couples. It is suggested that engaged couples complete this preparatory program at least six months before their wedding date. The preparation consists of three 2 ½ – to 3-hour sessions, usually on weekday evenings.
- RCIA – Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
RCIA is the process by which adults prepare to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, the Eucharist and Confirmation, allowing them to subsequently be received into the full communion of the Roman Catholic Church. It focuses on exploring one’s personal relationship with God through prayer and Scripture, while learning about the Church by studying its traditions and experiencing it as a community. The group meets weekly.
- First Friday Devotions
Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament follows the 8 am Mass on the first Friday of each month. Volunteers make a commitment to visit the Blessed Sacrament for an hour each month. Volunteers are asked to sign-up in the church lobby before the First Friday of each month.
- Scripture Study
This ministry brings parishioners an easy and enjoyable way to learn more about the Word of God by sharing insights and growth through prayerful reflection upon the Scriptures. Participants meet at a private home at 10 am on Thursdays. Meetings usually last about an hour and a half.
- The Elijah Cup Program
Each week during the Sunday Mass, the celebrant will use the Elijah Cup as the chalice or a precious blood cup. After Mass, the celebrant with welcome a family, couple or individual to come forward to receive the Elijah Cup, which they will take with them to their home, putting it in a place of honor. Each day for a week, during prayer time (morning, bedtime or at meals), they will pray for an increase and perseverance of vocations. The following Sunday, they will bring up the Elijah Cup with the gifts of bread and wine at the offertory, so that the Elijah Cup may be passed on to another family, couple or individual. This program is in need of a coordinator, scheduling volunteer and committee members.
- Mailing Ministry
Parishioners in this ministry prepare parish mailings by folding, stuffing, sealing and sorting mailings on an as-needed basis. Volunteers should have the ability to work well with others, be willing to share their time when called, and have a flexible time schedule.
- Stewardship Committee
This committee is the most important of all the ministries because it supports all of the others. Parishioners assist with the planning and celebration of the fall Renewal of Time, Talent and Treasure programs, as well as making stewardship a way of life. Volunteers are needed for this program. It does not require a lot of time.
- Internet Ministry
This ministry creates and maintains a parish website and Internet services for the parish and parishioners.
- Hispanic Ministry
In addition to organizing a music ministry, lectors, altar servers and extraordinary ministers for Spanish liturgies, this ministry also provides such things as translation services for parishioners in need, transportation to doctors and other necessary appointments, emergency food, shelter, etc. This ministry is open to both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking individuals. English-speaking parishioners are encouraged to establish English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.