A Glimpse of Some Ways to Serve

By Susan Shinn Turner

The 9:27 nursery is now open for members each Sunday from 9:15 am to 10:30 am. Children’s Minister Stacey Shafer staffs the nursery with one paid worker and one volunteer.

Attendance has varied since the nursery reopened at Easter.

Meredith Williams and her husband, Jonathan, have used the 11 am nursery over the years for their three children, Ashton, Jackson, and Charlotte.

“Although Jonathan and I like to teach our children very early on how to sit in church and enjoy the worship service, it’s not always possible for little ones to make it through an entire hour,” says Meredith, also a member of the Children’s Ministry Team. “Having a nursery available allows us to engage in church as parents together in worship, which we find is a critical component to the strength and well-being of our family.  We appreciate the volunteers who make this possible so very much!”

Josh and Lindsay Triplett attend the 9:27 service with their son, Deacon, who turns 3 in June.

“Deacon really enjoys the musical part of the service,” his mom says, “but he struggles when it is time for the sermon. We take him to the nursery as soon as the music is over, so we can focus on the sermon and really hear it.”

Because of COVID, Lindsay says, Deacon has had a lot less interaction with other children over the past year. But that’s now changing.

“The biggest benefit for the nursery is giving us parents the ability to focus on the sermon and not be a distraction to others,” she says, “so we can enjoy church without that anxiety.”

If you’d like to serve as a nursery volunteer, contact Stacey Shafer at 704.636.3431 ext. 204 or stacey@stjohns-salisbury.org.

Seasons Gifts
Barbara Jo Corriher schedules volunteers to work in our gift shop. Right now, the shop is only open 9-11 am each Sunday, and one volunteer is needed for a Sunday shift.

“Later in the summer, we’ll pick up hours during the week,” Barbara Jo notes.

Diane Poole, Director of Senior Adults, trains volunteers on how to ring up customers.

Barbara Jo says she’s always had an interest in the gift shop, and likes the fact that it supports Senior Seasons.

The information about the products available for sale — most of which are free trade products that support various ministries around the world — are a great way to learn more about these products while supporting a ministry at the same time.

“I want to see Senior Seasons thrive and our gift shop supports it,” Barbara Jo says. “It’s good for seniors to stay active, and we certainly want to encourage that with our members.”

For more information about Senior Seasons, contact Diane Poole at 704.636.3431, ext. 220 or diane@stjohns-salisbury.org.

Meals on Wheels
Evelyn Cartner loves receiving Meals on Wheels.

“It’s great!” says Evelyn, who has limited mobility after a fall in 2005. “One of my family members has delivered meals to me, but all of the volunteers are just so nice. It means so much to have somebody to say good morning to. I’m very pleased.”

Amy Ritchie and Elaine Gerst are longtime coordinators of
St. John’s eight routes. Daily hot delivery of meals resumes in June, and St. John’s volunteers deliver the first and second Wednesdays of every month.

At the moment, Amy has two routes that need volunteers.

“People have just gotten out of the habit,” she says, “and we always need substitutes.”

And it’s not just to deliver hot meals. Volunteers also provide a safety check for clients. During the pandemic, some volunteers even bought groceries for clients.

If you’d like to deliver Meals on Wheels for St. John’s, contact Amy Ritchie at amyritchie1985@gmail.com or call Cindy Fink, executive director of Meals on Wheels, at 704.633.0352.

Funeral ushers
Dave Phillips and Bill Safrit are working together to coordinate volunteers for the Funeral Usher Ministry Team. During the pandemic, both of them worked small funerals, but the need will expand as larger services take place.

Dave retired from the VA, and was talking with Bill at a funeral when Bill expressed the need for more volunteers.

“I told him I would help out, and it’s just kind of grown from there,” Dave says.

Anyone with a flexible schedule is welcome on the team, Dave says, and that includes women.

“We are there to help coordinate the event,” Dave says, “and maintain a sense of dignity while still being friendly and comforting. We want to honor the person who died and offer any assistance we can.”

That includes directing visitors to the elevator and restrooms, he says. “When you’re in a strange place, you are totally lost.”

It’s not a huge commitment, Bill says. St. John’s hosts anywhere from 20 to 25 funerals a year. It takes about an hour and a half for each funeral. Ushers distribute bulletins and direct visitors, then turn off the lights and lock the doors after each service has ended.

“It’s not anything difficult,” he says. “It’s just about being there.”

If you would like to serve as a funeral usher, please contact Dave Phillips at phildl5@aol.com.

Altar flowers
Just like everything else, the altar flowers have been affected by the pandemic.

“We no longer have about half of our standing orders,” says Deborah Cross, who orders the flowers each week. “We decided to forgo weekly arrangements during  the pandemic, but things have changed.”

Discussions are under way to use potted plants and more long-lasting arrangements during the summer using natural materials, Deborah says. Members are also welcome to bring arrangements from their own gardens.

If you’d like to order flowers, the cost is $80 for two vases. Deborah places the order each Monday, and you can request color and flower preferences (based on availability). You may place altar flowers in honor or in memory of someone, and Salisbury Flower Shop continues to provide our weekly arrangements. You can pay by check, pay online, or make payment when you receive your bill. You may pick up your flowers at the end of the worship service, or send them to Trinity Oaks via the bus so that they may be enjoyed there.

For more information about placing altar flowers, contact Deborah in the church office at 704.636.3431, ext. 200, or deborah@stjohns-salisbury.org.

Office Volunteer/Receptionist
Now that all of our staff members are fully vaccinated, the office is open to the public between 9 am-4 pm Monday-Thursday. Volunteers serve at the welcome/reception desk to greet those who visit, answer the phones, and, in some cases, help with the Seasons Gift Shop.

Contact Deborah Cross if you would like to volunteer for a morning shift (9 am-12 pm) or an afternoon shift (1 -4 pm).


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