Volunteers are critical to St. Mark’s; with more than 600 adults members and a staff of just 6, we need many extra hands to do everything from teaching Sunday School and weeding the gardens to making sandwiches for Grate Patrol and organizing our Honduras fundraiser.

There are many ways you can volunteer at St. Mark’s, and we are always eager to have new talents, ideas, and perspectives in our community. Here are some ways you can step in and step up:

Volunteer in our Worship Services

At St. Mark’s, we welcome lay volunteers in all aspects of worship. Whether you are a young person or adult, you can offer your talents and time. Volunteering as a service participant is one way to engage in ministry with our parish community and offers a new experience of worship. For our morning services, volunteer coordinators solicit volunteers in advance. For the 5 pm contemplative service, volunteers are solicited on the day of the service. Please consider taking a role during the next worship service!

“Among the many reasons I am drawn to St. Mark’s Episcopal – seeing the faces, smiles and tears of so many friends across the Communion Table each week and learning (over many years) how to live into the time we share. An abundant mix of opportunities are here – to take classes, participate in worship, help with outreach efforts, and participate in arts events….” – Jan

For more information or to volunteer, email worship@stmarks.net

Below are some of the volunteer opportunities in Worship and the coordinators to contact:

Our youth (9 am) and adult (11:15 am) acolytes guide us in worship by carrying the cross during the procession and serving as torchbearers during the service. Acolytes also assist the clergy during the Eucharist (communion).

Acolyte Coordinators
Deanna Garner, 9:00 am
Michael Knipe, 11:15 am

The Altar Guild cadre of dedicated volunteers prepares the Altar for the Sunday morning services as well as weddings, funerals, and baptisms. Members are scheduled on a rotating basis. In addition to maintaining the liturgical pieces and linens, members gather twice a year, just before Advent and Palm Sunday, to polish the silver and brass liturgical pieces. These gatherings also provide opportunities for fellowship. Many Altar Guild members view this service as a spiritual practice.

Altar Guild Coordinators
Doris Burton
Susan Ryerson

Those who offer bread and wine for our weekly Eucharist enable us to commemorate Jesus’s last supper with his disciples.  Members of the congregation may offer bread and wine in honor of a loved one or to celebrate a special event.

Bread and Wine Coordinators
Joe Tarantolo, 9:00 am
Ryan Baugh, 11:15 am

Ushers carry out the ministry of hospitality by greeting each person who enters our doors and providing them with the bulletin and hymnals to participate in worship. Ushers also assist with the offertory during worship.

Usher Coordinator

Josie Jordan, 9:00 am and 11:15 am

Lay servers assist the clergy with the Eucharist (communion) during the service by offering the cup to each person who gathers around the central altar.

Lay Server Coordinators
Karen Getman, 9:00 am
Raiford Gafney, 11:15 am

Every first and third Sunday of the month, we offer the ministry of laying on of hands in the small chapel in our nave during the Eucharist (Communion). Lay volunteers are trained to offer prayers with and for those who request this ministry.

Laying on of Hands Coordinator
Jan Lipscomb, 9:00 am and 11:15 am

Readers Guild volunteers participate in worship by reading the Holy Scriptures prior to the Gospel reading and lead our congregation in the prayers of the people following the sermon.

Readers Guild Coordinator
Jim Steed, 9:00 am and 11:15 am

Vergers are lay leaders who assist in all aspects of worship, from the sound system to helping clergy manage special services (such as baptisms).

Head Verger and Coordinator
David Deutsch, 9:00 am and 11:15 am
Jennifer Cate, 5 pm

Volunteer in our Youth Activities Program

Our Youth and Family Ministries program depends on volunteer support. From helping with the Christmas pageant to chaperoning a middle school overnight to teaching Sunday School, there are countless ways to get involved with our Youth program. Contact Caroline McReynolds-Adams, Director of Youth and Family Ministries, to find out more.

Volunteer in Parish Leadership and Programs

St. Mark’s is extraordinary in the degree to which it is a lay-led community. That means we need dozens of volunteers willing to offer their time and talent. There are countless opportunities to offer your services, whether you have just a little bit or lots of time to commit. There are one-time projects (helping to “green” the Nave at Christmastime, for instance) to leadership roles that require a commitment of one, two or three years – and everything in between. You will find some of these opportunities listed below.

Answering Angels

Parishioners willing to help in the office on a regular (bi-weekly) basis by answering the phone and doing small office jobs are welcome. Bob Ewald is the coordinator.

Hospitality and Holy Grounds

Each week (with only a few exceptions, annually), St. Mark’s hosts both coffee hour and lunch on Sundays, following morning worship services, and a light snacks and beverages reception following the 5 p.m. worship service. These are important acts of hospitality – that depend on volunteers – as we welcome newcomers into our midst, and fellowship with longtime friends and parishioners. Sign-up for both coffee hour and lunch is ongoing in Baxter Hall on Sundays. Contact Jr. Warden, Kenn Allen for more information.

The Holy Grounds “Barista” volunteers make the coffee every Sunday and clean-up afterward. We love our coffee (and tea) at St. Mark’s and consume a lot of it! More volunteers are needed for shifts to make the coffee during the first part of the morning, or to help with cleanup at the end of the coffee hour and/or lunch. Training will be provided. The FETCO (coffee-making) system produces a highly drinkable brew that has, no doubt, affected the Sunday business of St. Arbucks!!  Doris Burton is the coordinator.

Parish Retreat

Each year, St. Mark’s heads to the Claggett Retreat Center in Adamstown, MD for a weekend of relaxation and reflection.  This is a family, singles, and “all ages” event, with full participation across the spectrum. The Senior Warden is the lead on the retreat and welcomes volunteers to help with planning and/or to share leadership of various sorts during the weekend.

Volunteer in Our Outreach Programs

St. Mark’s has numerous opportunities to give back to the community around us, from making sandwiches for the homeless after our 9 am service one Sunday a month to getting involved with one of our partner nonprofit organizations. See our Local Outreach page.

Forms and Procedures for New and Current Volunteers

Time and Talent Survey

We ask members when they make a financial pledge, to also complete a short “time and talent” survey. It allows each member to identify areas of interest and expertise. Those responses are provided to the leaders of activities at St. Mark’s, who will then contact you with information about volunteer opportunities. This way, we can better match your interest and talents with the needs of the community.

To get started, contact our Senior Warden, Nora Howell.

Reimbursement Form

If you need a form for reimbursement of expenses or to make a deposit, click here.