First Congregational Church of Rockport, MA

Preparation (usher captain)

Consider how many ushers you’ll need.  Two are enough for most services.  You’ll want four for heavily attended services (e.g. Christmas and Easter).

Consider finding other people to usher instead of doing it yourself.  Especially consider people who are new to the church.  Ushering is an easy task, and doing it makes one feel a part of things.

Inform the church office who will be ushering by Tuesday morning so that the names can be printed in the worship bulletin.

Before the Service

Arrive at the church at least one half-hour before the service begins.

Wear name tag.

Check with the Pastor for special requirements.

If the worship bulletins are not in the last pew, get them from the church office.

Leave a few bulletins on the cabinet in the sacristy.

Get the offering plates from the cabinet in the sacristy.  The key is hanging behind the cabinet on the left side. You will need two offering plates for two ushers, and four plates for four ushers.

Turn on the public address system.  Open the door of the large black metal box on the rear wall of the music office.  Turn on the orange power switch at the lower right.  Ensure that the pulpit and lectern microphones are working.

Listening devices are located to the right of the double doors at rear of sanctuary. Notice there are two styles of headsets, one to go over the top of your head and one to go behind the neck.

Check that the altar candles are both at least two inches in length by lifting the brass top of the candlestick out of the white tube.  Light the candles after the choir has finished rehearsing and before the start of the service.  Matches and a lighter are on the seat to the left of the altar.  Replacement candles are in white boxes on a shelf in the music office.  There is a second set of candlesticks on the file cabinet in the music office that can be substituted for the ones on the altar if time is short.  Replacement wicks for the lighter are in the cabinet in the sacristy.

Ask someone to unlock door to the Dangerfield Room (Bride’s Room).

Greet people as they arrive, and give them bulletins. Note new attendees so they can be welcomed in coffee hour.

Bring the “Joys and Concerns” book from the table in the Narthex to the Pastor right before the service begins.

During the Service

Close the doors to the sanctuary as the choir is processing.

Leave some bulletins on the last pew or table next to last pew for latecomers.

Count the entire congregation, including children, choirs, Pastor, and organist.

Record the attendance number and the weather in the notebook in the drawer of the table in the Dangerfield Room (Bride’s Room).

Offering procedure:

  • Walk together down the center aisle with plates when the pastor says “The offering will now be taken”.
  • Pass the plates, pew by pew, staying even with each other.
  • Wait at the rear until the Pastor stands and gestures for congregation to rise.
  • Walk to the front and hand the plates to the pastor.
  • Remain through the Doxology and prayer.

Pay attention for special circumstances such as an illness.

After the Service

Extinguish the altar candles.

Collection processing procedure:

  • Find the deposit bag on the shelf in the music office. If not there get it from Treasurer’s assistant.
  • Find one deposit slip on counter in music office..
  • Check the box in the narthex for offerings deposited there. The key is on the keychain with the sacristy cabinet key.
  • Take the offering plates and any offerings from the boxes into the music office. Count the cash offering. Find a helper, and ask him or her to check your count. Record the totals on the deposit slip. Record the totals for the box in the narthex separately. Both you and your helper should sign the deposit slip. Do not open pledge envelopes or other envelopes.
  • Put the cash offering, deposit slip, and all checks and pledge envelopes in the deposit bag. Close the deposit bag and give it to one of the treasurer’s assistants (Geof Lyon, Charlie Brackett, or Fred Witte).

Return the offering plates to the sacristy cabinet, lock the door, and return the key to its hook.

Tidy the pews, put hymnals back, and pick up trash and discarded orders of worship. Save any pages that would be needed for following Sunday’s bulletin (with ongoing events). Place these in church outer office. All other bulletins to be discarded go in paper recycling either in kitchen or in church outer office.

Check the maroon communication note pads on inside end of each pew. Tear off  top page if it is written on. These pages go in the Pastor’s mailbox in church office.

Ensure that all headsets are turned off and are placed in their charging base with the belt hook toward the wall so the red light illuminates.

Turn off the public address system by turning off the orange switch.  Do not turn off any other switches. Close door to the Dangerfield Room.