Ushering Instructions

 

Ushers are ministers of hospitality who embody God’s welcome and remind all of us to see God in one another. Matthew’s gospel reminds us that God is present especially in the stranger who is welcomed: “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for . . . I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matt. 25:34-35). When we welcome others, we are blessed to welcome God’s very self. Ushers get to be among the first to welcome God’s people to worship every week!

 

 

I. BEFORE THE SERVICE

A. ARRIVE 20-30 MINUTES BEFORE THE START OF THE WORSHIP SERVICE.

 

 

B. PREPARE FOR SERVICE

Ÿ  Check in with Pastor for any special instructions

Ÿ  Put on nametag

Ÿ  Make sure the collection plates are available. They should be on the usher’s stand.

Ÿ  Check the worship space and make sure it is tidy and neat

Ÿ  Open doors between narthex and sanctuary. Doors will be locked to easily shut in case of an emergency.        

Ÿ  Read through emergency procedures and verify that the First Aid Kit in kitchen, fire extinguisher in the narthex, and phone in kitchen are ready in the event of an emergency.

Ÿ  Close blinds on east wall and souths side of the sanctuary. The slats should face UP.

Ÿ  Look in front of worship folder and check with Pastor for any special instructions

Ÿ  Close doors to kitchen and on the west wall near the sacristy

 

C. ASSEMBLE BULLETINS AND HYMNALS

Examine bulletin to determine if hymnal is being used. If so distribute bulletins with hymnals. Complete stuffing or folding bulletins if needed. It helps to pre stuff as many bulletins as you can

 

D. ACOLYTE

Help light the acolyte by lighting the candle lighter (brass piece on back wall). If no acolyte is present within 5 minutes of worship light the altar candles and Christ candle (by the baptismal font). Matches will be on the usher’s stand.

*       Make sure the taper wick in the acolyte stick is adequate to use during the service. Replace if needed. Extras are available on usher’s stand or in the sacristy.

 

E. GREET WORSHIPPERS

*       Greet everyone with a smile.

*       Provide worshippers with bulletin and hymnal (if needed).

*       Help visitors to enter and find a seat.

 

 

II. DURING THE SERVICE

A. DOORS Leave doors open during worship. Families will be invited to take a break if they decide to in this area.

B. ASSIST THOSE WHO ARRIVE LATE

*       Greet quietly and warmly

*       Provide bulletin/hymnal

*       Assist to find seating

C. PLACE DURING WORSHIP

*       Ushers should remain near the doors during the entire service to help with supervising the service and attending to the needs of the congregation.

 

D. TAKE ATTENDANCE. Count every person in the building after the children’s message so not to miss late arrivals. Record the count and the date in the Usher folder in the white three-ringed binder. These head counts are used in reporting worship status numbers to the St. Paul Area Synod.

Count:

*       Pastor, organist, pianist, other instrumentalist(s)

*       Special music people/choir

*       People in sound booth, kitchen, nursery(s), narthex, office

*       Ushers, lectors, acolytes

*       Children of all ages, even babies

*       Everyone else

E. HAND OUT CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY BAGS after the Children’s Message. Leader will direct the children to the back of the sanctuary following the Children’s Sermon. Used bags are placed under the table. Give children a bag from on top of the table.

G. OFFERING:

*       After noisy offering Pastor or Assistant will invite you to take the offering

*       Begin from front, move back, face forward, walk backward, as much as makes sense.

*       Hand the offering plate to the people. Let them pass it down the aisle. Assist as needed.

*       Let go of the offering plate. Don’t watch people as they put in their offering.

*       Return to hymnal rack area with all four offering plates. Compile all offerings into one plate

*       Bring offering to the Pastor or Assistant at the Alter when you have combined offerings

 

H. COMMUNION: Usher people forward after the words of institution and pastor’s instructions. One usher in each near side aisle.

         *    Wait for pastor’s instruction to congregation.

*       People come forward by way of the near-side aisles.

*       Return to seats by way of the center aisle.

*       Wait for communion servers to get positions in front of near-side aisle.

*       Invite people to come forward, moving from front to back.

*       Assist in keeping the line moving.

*       Give utmost attention to visitors, elderly, those with special needs, and those communing for the first time.

*       Let Pastor know if there is someone who needs communion brought to them

*       Commune last following the last person on your side of the aisle

 

III. AT THE CONCLUSION OF SERVICES

A. ASSIST ACOLYTE: As the closing hymn begins, assist or remind the acolyte to go forward to snuff out the candles. Help Acolyte to put away acolyte stick and stole.

B. SAY GOODBYE: Greet people and thank them for worshipping, as seems appropriate. Assist those who need assistance. Welcome people to coffee and treats.

C. COLLECT HYMNALS/USED BULLETINS: As people begin filing out, collect the hymnals and used bulletins.

D. COLLECT CHILDREN’S BAGS. The used children’s activity bags need to be collected and placed in the large plastic tub under the table to ensure that bags distributed during the second service are not used bags from the first service!

E. STRAIGHTEN UP

         *  Recycle bulletins in bin near the new fellowship space.. Leave all items on hymnal rack. Also, sometimes people have prayer requests that didn’t get dropped into the offering plate. Bring them into the office (workroom).

*    Straighten ushers stand.

*       Go through entire sanctuary:

               Straighten chairs

               Pick up garbage, paper and other items from the floor.

  • Open blinds on south and east sides of the sanctuary
  • If offering is still on the altar after 5 minutes bring to the office (workroom)

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