Preparing Our Hearts- Acolyte Ministry
Connie King & Claney Lattie
Dear Friends, I am so grateful for the ministry of our acolytes and crucifers. They add beauty and meaning to our worship. Enjoy this article by Connie King and Claney Lattie about this ministry and the faithful young men and women who serve. In Christ’s love, Pastor Martha
Early in June, eleven year old Ryan Lattie turned to his mother Claney and said, “We must prepare our hearts for worship.” It was his first Sunday to serve as acolyte. He’d been watching his older siblings Caleeb and Rhea serve as acolyte and crucifer for the past year. He was eager to join the acolyte and crucifer ministry.
The acolyte’s and crucifer’s quiet service prepares our hearts for worship. Sunday worship begins with the solemn procession of Light of Christ and the Cross of Christ during the opening hymn. This ancient ritual symbolizes Christ’s presence among us as The Light of the World; the Cross represents God’s redemptive love for humankind. At the close of service the light from the altar is extinguished and carried out into the world reminding worshipers that we, as believers, are called to serve. The Cross follows reminding us that God is with us. The acolytes serve at the altar during Holy Communion as chalice bearers and assist Pastor Martha in any way she may require.
RUMC currently has eight acolytes ranging in age from 11 to 18 years. Serving longest is Shingai Magaya age 13. He says he likes serving because it, “makes the service run smoothly and he feels a sense of accomplishment”. Shingai will be leaving us in August to return to his home country, Zimbabwe. We will miss him and his strong leadership. Katie McCleary, age 13 is serious about her duties. She likes lighting the candles; her only fear is she’ll “light something other than the candles!” Jeffrey Ji age 11 says he’s afraid of “messing up in front of everybody” but he likes “to help a lot of people get closer to God through my work”. Twelve year old Alex just arrived here from Zambia and immediately wanted to join the ministry. He says he, “loves to work for the Lord” and that his service will, “help him grow spiritually and have good behavior”. Tony just arrived with his family from the Kingdom of Tonga. He says he is, “proud to be in the acolyte ministry doing something useful in church to glorify God and so I have nothing to be afraid of”. The three Lattie’s are from Jamaica. Eighteen year old Caleeb is bound for Greensboro to attend North Carolina Agriculture and Technology State University. He says his fear is, “getting to church on time”. He feels this is his way to give back to his church. Sister Rhea, 16 was, “afraid she’d make a mistake in from of the whole congregation”. Her joy comes, “in service to God”. Young Ryan feels, “happy when he serves God!”
When you see any of our acolytes please give them a word of encouragement and thanks for their faithful service. If you know of a young person in our midst who would like to join the acolyte and crucifer ministry please call Connie King at 540.220.5921 or the church office. Let us pray for the people who lead and serve in this ministry.