The Ushers, under supervision of the Board of Elders, “conduct” parts of the service in a way which augments the way the pastor conducts the liturgy, or the way the organist conducts the singing of a hymn. The ushers make sure the building is in readiness for worship, welcome newcomers, guide the movement of worshippers within the service and generally attend to the needs of the worshippers in order to help them participate more fully.
Because the pastor and the ushers are the only “officials” of the church apparent to newcomers, the ushers proper attention to visitors is especially meaningful and important to our church. The usher will want to greet them in a way that says. “Welcome, we’re glad that you came to worship with us!” the visitor needs more help than members because they may be unfamiliar with the way we conduct our worship services. A little extra help will always be appreciated.
The ushers will work on a rotating monthly basis. If you are unable to serve for your scheduled service please arrange to exchange with another usher to take your turn.
1. Be at church 20 minutes prior to service.
2. Unlock all entrance doors.
3. Turn on lights, including those in educational unit.
4. Check candle lighter for wick and availability of matches.
5. Check bulletins and be sure a pen is at guest book.
6. Make sure hymns are correct on boards.
7. Check with pastor for variations in service (baptism, etc.)
8. Greet worshipers and provide them a bulletin, insert and Bible.
Introduce yourself to visitors and ask them to sign the guest book. Find our if they are visiting from a
9. Locate an Acolyte (mature young boys ages 12 and up) to light the candles. If none is available, do it yourself. Light the candles left to right or bottom to top. If communion, light the altar candles. Light candles 5 minutes before the service starts and extinguish them after the final hymn.
10. At the start of the service, verify that the sound system is on and monitor sound levels as needed to insure that all can hear and that no ‘feedback” or “squealing” is heard. Adjust the knobs to the “marks”. If the problem persists, turn the amplifier off.
11. Watch for late corners. Greet them in the Narthex, provide them with a bulletin and ask them to wait until the next appropriate place in the service to enter the sanctuary. Late corners should enter during hymns, the longer sung sections of the liturgy, or if necessary, after the sermon has started.
12. About 10 minutes into the service take an attendance count by counting all present. Enter the number in the appropriate blank on the attendance form.
13. When the pastor stands at the pulpit at the start of his sermon, dim the lights by turning off the 4 left side switches. Turn them on after the sermon.
14. Find at least two assistants to collect offering on each side of the church. Note: During special services and/or when attendance levels are higher than normal, two ushers in the center and one on each side will be needed. Pass out attendance books, one per pew prior to receiving plate from the pastor.
15. Following the service collect the Bibles as the worshippers exit and again greet the visitors and ask them to sign the guest book if they have nor yet done so. Also, invite them to stay for Bible Class and refreshments (when available).
16. Walk through the sanctuary and pick up things that don’t belong, discarding trash and placing books where they belong. Make sure the church is ready for the second service.
17. Check that the Financial Secretary has emptied the offering plates. If they haven’t, empty them and place the money into the red pouch and place it along with the attendance report in the church office.
18. Following the second service, turn off the lights, close the windows and lock all of the doors.
19. COMMUNION: During the singing of the Agnus Dei, the communion rail and pads should be assembled and the offering table moved over in front of the closet door. Following the singing, the ushers will invite the communicants to the Lord’s table in groups of 7-8 per side. Note: It is better to be a few short than a few too many. A few too many may cause embarrassment to some people, when they find there is no room after they get to the altar. For the very first table, be aware that several parents of small children may approach from the rear of the church to be in the first table. Plan for these when counting the first table. Try to allow family members to commune together but remember the space requirements and don’t overcrowd. Ushers should plan on communing with the last table and then remove the rail and pad.
20. BAPTISMS: At services with a baptism (check with the pastor), work with the pastor to make sure that all items are prepared (water in the baptismal fount, napkins and certificates).
If you think you‘ve made a mistake or aren’t sure what to do in a given situation, get help. Ask the pastor, an elder or a more experienced usher. Maintain eye contact with the pastor during the service. If there are problems, i.e. no water for a baptism, problems with the communion table, sound problems, etc., you are his only contact for assistance.