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Ushering Guidelines

Deacon Duties | Set-up Duties | Helper Duties | Usher Duties
Setup Checklist (Adobe Acrobat) | Helper Checklist (Adobe Acrobat)

I. Deacon in Charge of Ushering and Sacraments

The Deacon in charge of Ushering and Sacraments is herein defined as the “Head Usher”. It is the Head Usher’s responsibility to direct and oversee the following:

A. Preparation for the Worship Service:

  • Distribute ushering sign up lists for the current and following month. There is to be a minimum of 4 ushers for each service, plus 1 each for Set-up and Helper volunteer positions. As a general rule, the ushers will consist of adult or Sr. High men. Special occasion situations should be brought to the Worship Team and/or Session for approval at least one month prior. The Helper maybe male or female and does not usher.
  • Confirm/remind volunteers during the week prior to their ushering. Be appreciative of those volunteering.
  • Oversee proper training of the Set-up and Usher volunteers. This includes handing out the respective “Job Description” to the volunteers prior to their first assignment each month. Each “Job Description” is outlined below.
  • Prepare or arrange for the proper preparation of the Communion juice and crackers on the 3rd & 5th Sunday of each month. (See below for details.)
  • Purchasing offering envelopes when necessary. All the envelopes are now ordered through the PCA, see the church office for specifics.
  • Have the checklist available for the “Set-up” and “Helper” individuals. (See attached checklists.)

B. Sunday Morning:

  • Be properly attired, which is minimally a sport coat and tie and wear an “Usher badge”.
  • Get and review the “Worship Agenda” from the Deacon’s box prior to the Sunday morning service.
  • Get key for the Deacon’s closet from the church office.
  • Meet with the Set-up and Usher volunteers at the appropriate times prior to the service as outlined in the specific job responsibilities below. Thank the volunteers.
  • Unlock the Deacon’s closet for the Set-up volunteer.
  • Oversee collection of monies during the service.
  • Take receipt of the Sunday School offerings after their collection.
  • Group offering envelopes, checks and currency together then rubber banded them. These items are then placed in the moneybag which is then locked then is deposited and locked in the church safe in the presence of the other ushers. Note: There will be, at all times, another usher accompanying the Head Usher during the process of counting and placing the tithes, gifts and offerings in the church safe.
  • Keep Prayer Cards separate, do NOT put them in the moneybag. Place the Prayer Cards in the mail-slot in the Church Office (south side door).
  • Lock Deacon’s closet during the Worship Service. Unlock for storage of the banners and usher tags then re-lock when complete.
  • Oversee and know the responsibilities of the Set-up and Usher volunteers. Be prepared to step in as needed.
  • Designate one usher after the offering is taken to walk the parking lots and observe people coming and going. This is due to the recent car break-ins.

C. General Oversight and Preparation:

  • Train other Deacons for all preparation activities. All Deacons should be familiar with this job function and should be willing to accept the responsibility when requested by the Head Usher.
  • Obtaining volunteers for regularly occurring requirements should be done well in advance. (Early planning and foresight makes for a smoother operation, so that last minute emergencies become much easier to deal with.)
  • Check with the church office regularly for other services where ushers are required, such as Good Friday, Easter, Thanksgiving Eve, and Christmas Eve services. Occasional changes in Communion dates (such as Easter on the third Sunday of the month) may occur and need to be planned for in advance.

D. Communion Duties

  • Purchase 2-64oz. containers of Welch’s Grape Juice (purple) and a package of Matzo.
  • The communion plates are under the counter to the right of the stove in the kitchen.
  • There are 10 plates each for the crackers and juice. The juice stack will also have a lid and a base, whereas the bread plates have only the lid.
  • Use one-half of the large cracker to place in the dish on the alter table.
  • Break up the rest of the crackers into approximately half inch square bits. Use a big bowl from the kitchen to avoid a mess. Then distribute evenly to all the plates.
  • The box of plastic cups is in the same cabinet. Reorder through Melanie Allen when the last box is first opened. She usually orders around three boxes.
  • Place the plastic cups in all the holes except the outside row. Alternate the cups in the outside row.
  • There are 2 filling plungers in the same cabinet as the rest. Practice with water a few times to get used to the speed it fills.
  • Fill the plastic cup to the ring where the cup begins to flare out. Overfilling causes spillage.
  • Carry only 5 plates down at a time. Make sure the plates are stacked completely straight.
  • Double check the tablecloth to be sure it is straight.
  • After the service, pick up the plates from the table and from the Narthex. Dump all crackers while retaining the doilies.
  • Dump all juice. Do not use the juice in the container for the next communion.
  • Clean the plates as necessary. Usually water then dry with a clean cloth is adequate for spillage.
  • Place everything back in the cabinet. Clean the juice dispensers with clean water.
  • Arrange to have the cups picked up from the sanctuary. Throw out used cups.
  • Set up of communion requires about an hour for one person.

II. Set-up Duties

Print Set-up Duties Checklist (Adobe Acrobat Format)

A. Arrive at church by 9:00am and is to be properly attired, which is minimally a sport coat and tie. We are representatives of the church and are required and expected to present a professional appearance. You are representing Valley Presbyterian Church.

B. Check in with the Head Usher (Deacon) for keys and any final instructions. Set-up volunteer is responsible to see that the “Helper Checklist” is complete.

C. Set up “Welcome Banners” (located in the Deacon Closet, Nursery and Sunday School Closet) as follows (weather permitting):

  • Information Banner – locate to the right of the north narthex entrance
  • Welcome Banner – locate to the left of the north narthex entrance
  • Children’s Banner – locate in front of west entrance of Saunder’s Hall
  • Nursery Banner – locate outside of nursery entrance
  • Youth Banner – locate outside of Jonah’s entrance
  • Classes Banner – locate at the top of the stairs outside of the upstairs fellowship room (in front of the AV closet).
  • Directory Sign – locate outside south side doors.

    All Banners and Directory Sign are stored in the Deacons closet.

D. Set up church for worship

  • Turn on sanctuary lights. Turn on bathroom lights.
  • Check the thermostat temperature settings. The thermostats should all be set at 68 degrees for heat and 71 for air conditioning. There are four thermostats, two in the choir loft on each side, one on the east wall just south of the south sanctuary door and one on the east wall just north of the north sanctuary door. The 2 rear thermostats are both A/C and heat. The choir loft thermostats are only A/C.
  • Pick-up any trash left in the pews and on the floor.
  • Organize the hymnals and the bibles, making sure there are enough in each pew.
  • Replenish offering envelopes and prayer cards (purple) as needed. Replace pencils as necessary. There should be one each of the following in the small holders: church-offering envelope, Deacon’s offering envelope and purple prayer request card. All these items are in the plastic carryall located in the Deacon’s closet.
  • BAPTISMS – Make sure water is in the Baptismal fount (check the Head Usher Worship Agenda to see if any baptisms are scheduled.)
  • Provide Pastor with a glass (NOT styrofoam cup) of water, to be located in the pulpit. The glass should be placed on the top shelf on the right side.
  • Place attendance books in all rows along both sides of the center isle with one in the Fellowship room. Books are located in the plastic bin in the right rear storage room behind the organ.
  • Set up Fellowship Room for Family Church as soon as Sunday School is completed. Tables should be turned toward the TV screen. Provide 2 hymnals and one bible on the each table. Place offering envelops, prayer cards, and “sign-in’ book on table nearest the door to the Narthex. Open both doors and keep them open until the beginning of worship. Open nursing screen with a chair in the northeast corner of the room. Have assistance from ushers as necessary. The Youth will set up the TV.
  • Be prepared to step in as an isle usher in case of an unexpected absence of an usher. Be familiar with the Usher responsibilities below.

E. Post Worship

  • Dismantle banners and place in their respective closets for storage.
  • Put all hymnals and bibles back to their place along the wall in the Fellowship Room.
  • Pick up trash from pews and pew racks.
  • Put attendance books back in the bin in the storage room.
  • III. Helper Duties

    Print Helper Duties Checklist (Adobe Acrobat Format)

A. Arrive at church by 9:00am and check in with the Head Usher for last minute instructions. Casual attire is acceptable.

B. Set up church for worship

  • Check in with the Head Usher (Deacon) for any final instructions.
  • Turn on the “cross” light. Switch is located in the storage room behind the piano at the front of the sanctuary.
  • Turn on choir loft lights, switches also in left side storage room behind the piano.
  • Turn on planter lights, switches are behind the piano and organ, push slider all the way to the top.
  • If necessary, unplug planter twinkle lights from power strip in side planters. May also have to unplug the side twinkle lights near the side doors.
  • Turn on the sidelights in the choir loft, plugs into metal box located front-center in the loft, close the lid insuring not to pinch the power cord.
  • Put 4 hymnals on the two Deacon’s Benches.
  • If necessary, the two small hymnals on the Deacon’s Benches and small hymnal in the pulpit. Check bulletin.
  • Help setup the Fellowship Room. (2 hymnals, 1 bible per table and set up screen.)
  • Check with Set-up individual to confirm checklist is complete.
  • On Communion Sundays, help prepare communion elements after above items are complete.

C. Post Worship

  • Pick up and count the attendance books at the end of the service. Should have 27 books distributed. A total of 29 books in the bin.
  • Remove top page from the attendance books and put on Brett’s desk in the church office. Insert new attendance pad if necessary.
  • Assist in picking up trash from pews and pew racks.
  • Put attendance books back in the bin in the storage room.
  • Turn off all sanctuary lights. Make sure the sliding switches click to the off position.
  • Pick up and return the water glass from the pulpit to the church office.
  • On Communion Sundays, help put away communion elements.
  • IV. Ushering Duties

A. Pre-Worship Service Ushering

  • All ushers are to be properly attired, which is minimally a sport coat and tie. We are representatives of the church and are required and expected to present a professional appearance.
  • All ushers meet at 10:40am in the Narthex for instructions and to pick up “Usher” tags. Review with the Head Usher (Deacon) the protocol for the service, (i.e. number of times to proceed down the isle, any special concerns during the worship service, door assignments, location of hearing-aid equipment…)
  • Assist setting up the Fellowship Room with the “set-up” individual for Family Church. Tables should be turned toward the TV screen. Provide 2 hymnals and one bible on the each table. Place offering envelops, prayer cards, and “sign-in’ book on table nearest the door to the Narthex. Open both doors and keep them open until the beginning of worship. Open nursing screen with a chair in the northeast corner of the room. Have assistance from ushers as necessary. The Youth will set up the TV. Be prepared to answer questions regarding nursery and children’s care.
  • Maintain reasonable order in the Narthex. Children running and yelling should be firmly but kindly dealt with at the time.
  • Greet in a friendly manner and hand out Worship Bulletins as needed. This is one of the first chances for visitors to be made to feel welcome at Valley Pres.
  • Know the location and setup of the FM Hearing devices. These are kept in the Sound Room.
  • At 10:56am, toggle Narthex lights to move people into the sanctuary, in the belief that this may someday accomplish the goal. At 10:58am rapid flash the lights and then turn them off. Begin closing one door at each entrance. Pastor wants to have all people in the sanctuary prior to 11:00am. Encourage those who are talking to move into the Sanctuary.
  • Once the Pastor leaves the Library to head down the isle, turn on the lights in the Narthex to 50% and leave them at 50% until the end of the service.
  • Obtain ushering plates (4).

B. Worship Service Ushering

  • Once the service begins, all entry doors will be closed. The usher is to stand in front his doors of responsibility to control entry.
  • Entry to the Sanctuary will then be permitted at appropriate times during the service. The asterisks (*) in the bulletin indicate the appropriate times. (This is currently being set up by the Worship Team.)
  • Proceed into the sanctuary and stay in the back until the Elder/Deacon leading the Offertory calls for the ushers to come forward. Pass the plates as is customary.
  • One usher collects offering from those attending Family Church in the Fellowship Room.
  • All ushers meet in the Library (at Librarian’s Desk).
  • Sort envelopes, checks, and currency into stacks. Rubber band them and place them into the deposit bags. DO NOT PUT THE PRAYER CARDS INTO THE DEPOSIT BAG.
  • Ushers may return to family members until the final hymn.
  • During the final hymn, open all exit doors to the Narthex.
  • Return usher tags, place them in the offering plates.

C. Post Worship Service Ushering

  • Pass out any post service information literature as required.
  • Assist the ‘Set-up’ and Helpers with the Fellowship Room by putting all hymnals and bibles back to their place along the wall in.
  • After the service each usher is to proceed down his aisle of responsibility and pick-up trash and straighten the items in the racks in the pews adjacent to his aisle.

Approved by Session on April 29, 2003
Rev 1 Approved January 25, 2004

 

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