Ushers Detailed Information

Ushers Detailed Information

Ushers, representatives of the Worship Ministry are responsible for making sure that the congregation feels welcome (smile!), is seated comfortably, and is free from unwanted distractions and is safe.  Usher teams have been established for regular worship services in the Sanctuary; each usher team is led by a captain with the experience to answer any questions that may arise.  The captain should also be aware of any peculiarities and take appropriate actions to handle them.  All who enter our church should be greeted cordially and made to feel welcome.  Please do not ignore children and make them feel welcome at our services.  Our services are a celebration and joyous in nature.  Always smile.  Please offer the red cloth bags that hang on the hooks to the children that have crayons and coloring books in them.

ONE USHER IS TO REMAIN IN THE CHURCH NARTHEX AT ALL TIMES, EXCEPT WHEN COLLECTING THE OFFERING.  MORE USHERS CAN BE IN THE NARTHEX,  IF THEY WANT TO BE.

The following jobs are the responsibility of the ushers for a worship service.

General

1)  Arrive at Narthex a half hour before the service begins.  You may want to bring your reading glasses.

2)  Put on the Usher nametag.

3)  If you are not able to usher on one of your scheduled days you should recruit a substitute from the usher substitute list and notify Melanie Burton in the church office.

4)  The usher captain will assign you duties.  Don’t wait for instructions, but begin preparation of the Sanctuary for the service as soon as you arrive.

5)  Know the location of fire extinguishers, defibrillator (in the Narthex), and landline phone (on the wall in the Narthex/middle section).

6)  Know the location of Sunday School; sometimes parents will ask where their children will go to class.

7)  If evacuation of the building becomes necessary, direct the congregation to the nearest exit.  Instruct parents NOT to get their children in their classrooms, the teachers will get them out.  The teachers have instructions for the safety of the children.  Help the elderly and the infirm.

8)   Do not open the windows in the Sanctuary or Rowell Hall; this interferes with the heating and cooling systems.

9)  Normally members of the congregation seat themselves, however, ushers are to provide any assistance required to anyone who needs it.  As you move about the Sanctuary, note available seating.  If someone seems unsteady on their feet, please offer them your arm and walk them to where they want to be seated.

10)  Members of the congregation may require additional items for the services; such as cushions to sit on, hearing devices, and worship materials for the children.  These are all in the Narthex and you need to be able to give them to people.  Note:  we have two types of hearing devices, one has headphones and the other a neck loop so hearing aids can pick up the broadcast directly.

11)  Ushers should observant of the congregation during a service to assist in the event of a medical emergency and to help with disruptive situations.  For crying babies, parents can be offered facilities in the Narthex or Rowell Hall.  If the sound system operator detects that a hearing aid is set too high, the operator will notify the captain. The usher should attempt to locate the member and ask them to lower their hearing aid volume.

12)  Appropriate dress for the ushers is conservative business attire.  Coat and tie for men.  Dresses, skirts, or dressy slacks for women.

Before the Service

1)  Prepare the alter area: Post hymn numbers on the board.  Check candles to make sure they can be lit.

2)  Rope off pews as appropriate for special needs of the service and reserve pews for the acolytes.

3)  Put water in baptismal font, if baptism is scheduled.

4)  Open doors between the Sanctuary and Rowell Hall

5)  Make sure that a microphone is set up on the lectern, this will be used for the prayer during the offering.

6)  Turn on the lights in the 3 alcoves in the Narthex; the switch is the top switch in the south closet of the 3 alcoves (left closet as you face the middle school).

7)  During the Introit an usher or an acolyte should light the brass candle lighter and light the Christ candle (if it’s not lit already) and the two candles on the alter.  Carrying in the light of Christ.

8)  Your captain will assign you to work one of the four stations.  Two usher at the door to the Gathering Place and one at each of the three doors in the Narthex.  Total of 5 ushers (right now).  If the balcony starts filling up, we will need 6 ushers.

9)  Bulletins are in a basket in the Narthex.

During the service

1)  As soon as the choir has assembled at the back of the sanctuary the Narthex doors should be closed while they sing the introit.

2)  During the service the ushers are responsible to count the congregation, ministers, and choir and recording it in the attendance book.  The attendance book is in the lighting closet.

3)  If a stranger comes into church and asks for money, please direct them to a minister after the service.

4)  Offering Procedures

  • a)  Your captain will assign your jobs for the offering.  One usher will be assigned the offering prayer; prayers are available in the wooden box in the Narthex.
  • b)  The two ushers assigned to the balcony should pass the offering plates on the sides first and then the center section.
  • c)  The four ushers who take the collection on the main floor will proceed up the center aisle.  The first two will cross in front of the pews and walk to the outside aisles, and the last two ushers will work in the center aisle.  The center aisle ushers pass to the first occupied pew.  The outside aisle ushers will start passing in the next pew back from the one the center aisle usher starts passing in.  Repeat passing the plates in every other pew. Start at the front of the sanctuary and work your way to the back of the church, passing the plates back and forth, in every  row. If there’s no one in the middle of the pew please walk into the middle and get the plate.  Once you have completed your collection assignment take your tray to the Narthex where all the offerings will be put into one offering plate.
  • d)  The captain will assign the two ushers to present the offering at the altar.  At the first strains of the doxology, proceed towards the altar.
  • e)  The usher saying the prayer should be on the left walking up the aisle, the second usher should carry the offering plate on the right side.
  • f)  The prayer usher should stop at the bottom of the stairs and the second usher should walk up to the altar and place the offering plate on the altar.
  • g)  Once the plate usher has returned to the bottom of the stairs, both ushers should turn and face the congregation and the prayer usher should read the prayer.  HOLD THE MICROPHONE RIGHT UP TO YOUR MOUTH TO ENSURE WE CAN HEAR THE PRAYER.

5) If communion is being served (the first Sunday of each month)

  • a)  Check the bulletin to see when offertory appears during the service (it sometimes is earlier in the service on a communion Sunday);  ask the ushers to all return to the Narthex before the offertory.
  • b)  Two ushers can walk down the center aisle to indicate when rows can walk up to receive intinction communion.

6)  When the recessional hymn starts the acolyte or the usher should walk up to the altar and  extinguish the candles on the altar.  Then take the acolyte stick (brass candle lighter) and light the wick from the Christ candle and then walk down the center aisle out of the sanctuary.

After the Service

1)  Straighten the pews: remove bulletins and other materials left in the pews; arrange the Bible and hymnals (hymnal/bible/hymnal).

2)  Pick up the attendance sheets and bring them to Melanie Burton’s mailbox.

3)  Make sure the trustees have picked up the offering plates; if not, take to the printing office and put the money and checks  in the drop in safe. If there are prayer request cards put them in Melanie’s mailbox.

4)  Place leftover bulletins in the recycling bin in the Narthex.

5)  Remove water glasses behind the pulpit.

6)  Remove hymn numbers from boards at pulpit and lectern.

7)  Double check that all candles are extinguished before leaving the church.  The Christ’s candle should be extinguished too.