OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVICE
Parish Commissions and Committees
St. Peter’s Church in the Great Valley is a thriving and vibrant parish where literally dozens of opportunities for service exist. Oversight for the entire Parish Mission is the responsibility of a 12-person Vestry which works closely with the Rector and her staff.
To coordinate the diverse work of the parish, fifteen Commissions have been established, each focusing on an aspect of that mission. Working through each Commission are Committees which focus in greater detail on that Commission’s work.
We urge you to become acquainted with our parish organizations, and their role in spreading God’s love through our Lord Jesus Christ to the wider community. We ask you to consider how you can become involved in the life of this parish. Please feel welcome to contact any of the Commission chairs for more information, or to express your interest in participating in one or more of these service opportunities. Read on to discern where your gifts and desires intersect with the work of living out our faith here at St. Peter’s Church:
Christian Formation Commission
Jamie McArdle, Vestry Liaison
This commission oversees Sunday morning care for infants (i.e. nursery care); Children’s Chapel (ages 3-7) during the 9:00 Family Service; and Christian Education for children from preschool through 6th grade (ages approximately 3-11) each Sunday morning between the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. worship services.
The name of this commission reflects our understanding that the “education” for our children at St. Peter’s occurs in several ways, some outside the immediate scope of this commission. Our Sunday School focuses on teaching our children the Bible, the Sacraments, and the history of the Christian Church. A child’s Christian education, however, also includes raising up our young people in the church to be leaders, and includes liturgical leadership positions as acolytes (1st grade and up) and readers (5th grade and up), Children’s Choir (grades 1st through 3rd) and the Family Choir (5th grade and above).
Unlike the other commissions, the Children’s Christian Formation Commission does not have individual committees. All commission members participate 1) as teachers, 2) in new teacher recruitment 3) planning Commission fellowship events 4) planning and carrying out teacher education.
The critical responsibility at St. Peter’s Church for providing Christian education to our Junior and Senior High young people, and for our adults, is under the overall direction of our Rector. Opportunities for Christian service within these critical groups include:
Sunday Morning Adult Education Forums
Advent and Lenten Quiet Days
Lenten adult forums (Wednesday evenings)
Retreats (family, women)
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Trudi Graves, Chair
This commission has two objectives. We present our parish to the wider community, letting them know who we are and what we do. We also make sure that our parishioners are informed about the activities at St. Peter’s. All of this is accomplished through letters; our monthly newsletter The Beacon; the parish website; and maintaining close relationships with local newspapers and other media.
The Beacon (our monthly newsletter, also available on the parish website)
KEYNOTES (our weekly cyber-newsletter)
The parish website
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David Lockner, Chair
The objective of the Endowment Commission is to secure the financial health of St. Peter’s Church in the Great Valley so that the beauty of our campus, the richness of our worship and the Mission that we share as a Christian community can be passed on to future generations.
The very fact that an endowment exists creates a sense of permanence, stability, and strength in a church. It is proof that we are thinking about tomorrow, and that we intend for St. Peter’s to be here for generations to come. That sense of institutional permanence is very important to our survival as a community of faith. It is our communal way of leaving a legacy.
As a Commission, our work is to encourage parishioners to leave a legacy through the Society of the Keys. Just as current gifts from earned income provide the basis for building a bank barn (Capital Campaign) and paying for existing programs (Annual Stewardship), the Endowment provides a way of using our capital assets to perpetuate our values well into the future. Contributions to the Endowment may be given in the form of Will Bequests, Retirement Plan Beneficiaries, Charitable Trusts, Charitable Gift Annuities, Life Insurance policies, or outright gifts of valuables.
The Endowment Commission is ready to encourage and assist you in your efforts to meet personal objectives that an Endowment gift can accomplish:
Establishing a living memorial for your family or for a loved one
Fulfilling a personal life mission
Creating permanence in an uncertain world
Gathering family and friend’s participation in honoring an individual
Guaranteeing the funding of a staff position or program
Providing long-term maintenance for our buildings and grounds
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Pat Harvey, Chair
There are always times when we all need to play and have fun together. This commission organizes food and drinks for the many different events that take place at St. Peter’s. From Sunday morning coffee hour to wine and cheese receptions after Evensong and parish dinners during Lent, parishioners at St. Peter’s act as host, cook, and baker on a variety of occasions.
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David Eddy, Chair
Mr. Peter Kreek, Parish Treasurer
Our finance commission manages the resources of St. Peter’s Church in the Great Valley, and oversees the financial health of our parish in several ways. Members create a sound budget each year, watch over our investments, and make sure that an annual audit is completed. Each week, parishioners share the responsibility of counting the contributions received from our Sunday worship services and pledge receipts.
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Linda Holden, Chair
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Helen Ockenden (610-296-9541), Chair
The Outreach Commission of St. Peter’s Church in the Great Valley is closely linked to the parish’s mission statement. We focus on the goal of reaching out with Christ’s love to others in our nearby community, as well as those further away. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, from hands-on ministry, to special projects throughout the year, to fundraisers. This commission oversees the diverse outreach ministries of our parish, including but not limited to Pennsylvania Home of the Sparrow, The Clinic in Phoenixville, Good Works, and the Seamen’s Church Institute. We are continually seeking volunteers to serve in these ministries.
St. James School in Philadelphia
Chester Children’s Chorus
Clinic in Phoenixville
Episcopal Relief and Development
Habitat for Humanity
Pennsylvania Home of the Sparrow
Seamen’s Church Institute
Special Projects and Events
Research & Grants
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Pastoral Care Commission
Mary Ann Tatum (610-644-1549), Chair
We are all in the ministry of caring for others. Members of this commission offer support to parishioners on their life’s journeys according to their spiritual and physical needs. Such support happens in a variety of ways: hospital and home visits, bringing the Eucharist bread and wine to shut-ins and those who are homebound, offering rides to parishioners for doctor’s visits, providing dinner when a family member is ill, and mailing Sunday sermons to homebound parishioners.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers
New Member Ministry
Cards & Sermons
Prayer Shawl Ministry
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Buildings and Grounds Commission
Gerry Cousins (Buildings) and Randy Klein (Grounds)
St. Peter’s Church in the Great Valley has inherited a wonderful gift in the form of our historic church. This commission cares for this legacy of buildings and land, and does so by overseeing the conservation of our churchyard, church, and parish office through loving maintenance and care. Volunteer cleanup days are frequently organized, and the commission oversees the work of professionals in conserving the historic treasure that is Saint Peter’s Church in the Great Valley.
Historic Church Building
Parish House and Preschool
Churchyard (Cemetery) Committee: responsible for the conservation and management of our ancient graveyard. Much work is being done to conserve and repair our historic stones, many of which are close to 300 years old. For information contact Tony Morris at 610-933-1713.
Bad Boys for Jesus
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St. Peter’s Preschool
Ann DiMedio, Director
St. Peter’s Preschool is an educational outreach ministry of St. Peter’s Church in the Great Valley. To learn more about St. Peter’s Preschool’s developmentally appropriate, play-based programs, please click here.
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Holly Hardester, Chair
Stewardship is about the spiritual practice of financial giving and includes the way we manage all that God has given us: our time, our talents, and our treasure. This commission is responsible for communicating and securing the spiritual and financial commitments of our parish family, which happen through education and events, and through our annual pledge campaign each fall.
Time & Talent
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Susy Baum, Chair
Worship is not something done solely by our clergy; many parishioners each Sunday share in the worship experience at St. Peter’s. The Flower Guild creates beautiful arrangements for our Sunday services, Christmas, and Easter, and our Altar Guild prepares our sanctuary space for worship each Sunday. Parishioners sing in the choirs, greet people as they come to church, read lessons from the Bible, bring our offerings of bread and wine to the altar, and serve at the altar as chalice bearers. Even our youth’s unique gifts are seen on Sunday mornings at the 9:00 service as readers and as acolytes assisting the clergy as they set the altar table.
Acolytes – Acolytes carry the processional cross and assist in preparing the altar table for Communion during the service. Both young people and adults serve as acolytes at St. Peters. For more information contact Steve Hartman at 610-696-4822.
Altar Guild – The Altar Guild prepares the Sanctuary and Pulpit for our services. For information on becoming a member of the Altar Guild, contact Gail Malcolm at 610-296-5921 or Mary Lou Unruh at 610-692-9727.
Chalicists – Chalicists pass the chalice of wine during Communion. For more information on becoming a Chalicist, contact the Rector, Anne Horne Bridgers.
Flower Guild – Members of the Flower Guild prepare our beautiful floral decorations for the Altar and the rest of the church. To join the Flower Guild (no experience necessary!) contact Mary Lou Dunn at 610-827-7111.
Presenters – Presenters bring the wine and bread to the altar table during Communion. For information about serving as a Presenter, contact Rob and Margie Wiltshire at 610-399-4567.
Readers – Readers or ‘Lectors’ read the Bible Lessons and lead the Prayers of the People during services. For information on becoming a reader, contact our rector Anne Bridgers at 610-644-2261.
Ushers – Ushers help prepare the front of the church for services, collect the offering, and assist people to and from their pews. For information on joining the Ushers, contact Mark Carkhuff (610-935-1623) or Ross Unruh (610-520-9014).