Summer Schedule June - August: one Eucharist at 9:00 AM
Worship Times September - May: 8:00 am & 10:30am (Online & In Person)
9:15 - 10:15 AM Fellowship hour and study group
7:00 AM in person Healing Eucharist with prayers for the parish prayer list.
9:00 AM in person Morning Prayer
Nativity enjoys a rich musical tradition at the center of which is the liturgical music for Eucharistic services led by the music minister, organist, and the choir (except for in the summer when our choir is on hiatus). On occasion, we feature hand bells, brass, and other instrumental performances by various members of our congregation and the larger community.
Programs, educational sessions, and activities centered around music add to the ways we use our “reason, memory, and skill” in our music ministry. For example, in 2015, our music minister led a special program on hymnody with an activity where the parishioners involved worked as a team to carefully select a tune and write a hymn reflective of the unique qualities of Nativity and our life together. In 2018, the choir participated in a city-wide service, “Peace in the Valley,” to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice with other choirs from the local area at Lewis-Clark State College. In 2019, the congregation was invited to participate in a “Christmas Hymn Bracket,” where people voted for their favorites and results were posted in the Parish Hall. Each week the bracket became smaller and ended with a tie between “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”
Desiring to be a hub for the community, Nativity has welcomed performances by local music groups including the Lewis-Clark State College Concert Choir, the University of Idaho Vandaleers and the Palouse Choral Society Chamber Choir. We have also hosted guest lectures, film screenings, and more from the college and community on topics ranging from church music to minstrelsy.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED IN WORSHIP
Members of the congregation: When asked last spring what members need from the church, one member replied, "I need the church to be there for me when I need it." At baptism we promised to continue "in the fellowship and the prayers" -- and showing up so that the church will be there when we need it is a part of that.
Musicians and singers: Our choir begins on the Sunday following Labor Day, and leads the congregation in singing most Sundays until Pentecost or Trinity Sunday (depending on when those days fall in the calendar.) Rehearsals are on Sunday mornings at 9:15; all voices are welcome; musicians are welcome to work with our music director, Elena Panchenko
All of the following serve at the altar at some point during the Eucharistic celebration, and are an important sign of the orders of ministry (lay persons, bishops, priests, deacons) present for worship. Acolytes and Eucharistic Ministers wear a white robe called an alb -- the "uniform" of the baptized Christian, to represent the congregation's role in worship.
Lectors: Read the lessons at worship, with training available on the use of voice amplification, practicing projection of the voice, studying the passage to give clarity of understanding to the word proclaimed to the people, and leading the people in reciting the psalm appointed for the day.
Eucharistic Ministers: With the same training as lectors, as well as advanced training in the shape of the Eucharistic liturgy, Eucharistic ministers are licensed to read the Epistle, assist at the table, and distribute consecrated elements to the people
Chalice bearers: trained the same as Eucharistic Ministers, but usually with the assignment to come to the altar as the elements are being prepared for distribution to assist in the administration of communion
Acolytes: lead the procession in from the doors, and assist the Deacon in the setting of the altar, washing the hands of the presider, and helping to replace and cover the vessels after communion. Children as young as 6, and adults of any age serve as acolytes, according to their capabilities and attention spans. They serve under the direction of the Deacons.
Eucharistic Visitors: are specially trained and licensed to bring communion to shut-ins. They receive a kit prepared with the elements consecrated during the celebration of the Eucharist, are dismissed in the name of the congregation, and usually bring communion to shut-ins immediately following the service.
Ushers: greet arriving worshippers, distribute worship leaflets, make sure that late arrivals, or persons needing specialized assistance have an appropriate place to sit. They also distribute the offering plates during the offertory, and give directions to the people on when to come forward for communion. At St. James, it is our custom to have one of the ushers, who stand at the door and thus may know the most pressing needs and concerns of the community, come forward to lead the congregation in offering the Prayers of the People. Ushers also appoint people to bring up the bread and wine at the appropriate time.
Oblation bearers: to bring up the gifts of bread and wine, along with the offering of money, to present them as the people's offering at the communion table.
Behind the scenes
Altar guild: work earlier in the week to make sure that the sacred vessels are clean and in order, ready to be set out for worship. They keep the vessels and linens clean, maintain order in the sacristy (the room behind the altar where the ministers put on their vestments) and keep oil in the candles for each worship service. They work in teams of two to prepare the worship space each week, cleaning out the baptismal font in the baptistery, vacuuming, dusting, and making the space ready. They also come after each service to clean and, if needed, re-set the vessels and linens for the next service. Toddlers are often engaged in assisting in this work as soon as they can carry cushions back into the sacristy after each service.
Worship leader: In older parlance this person was called a "lay reader" but the term refers to a lay person specially trained to lead the Daily Offices (Morning and Evening Prayer, Compline) of the church in public worship. We usually have a public service of Morning Prayer on Sunday mornings only once or twice a year, when there are no priests available to lead the worship. But worship leaders are being trained regularly in our midweek services of Morning Prayer (Wednesdays at 8:30am) so that they can be called on to lead the congregation in prayer. The worship leader officiates at Morning Prayer, appoints lectors to read the lessons, consults with the musician to appoint the chants for the psalm and canticles, and select the hymns appropriate for worship. The worship leader may offer a reflection, or may call on a licensed preacher to preach at the service.
Preacher: While ordained ministers receive specialized training as preachers, lay persons are also competent to proclaim good news as preachers. Training to be a licensed preacher is available through the diocese.
Catechist: A person specially trained and licensed to prepare adults seeking baptism.
Any of these sound like something you'd like to do? Talk to the rector, or the deacons, or any of our vestry members and they'll be glad to help you learn more, talk to others who are currently involved in these ministries, and learn how you might be involved.
Baptism is the rite administered through water that signifies our union in Christ through his saving action once for all. In the water of Baptism “we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit.” (Book of Common Prayer, page 306) The Sacrament of Baptism is available to those of any age in the Episcopal Church. Contact the priest to schedule Baptism preparation sessions. For infants and small children, the parents chose godparents, usually three per child, at least one of whom is a member of the parish. Godparents should be those who are most likely to be in contact with the child through growing up years and who can support the child in spiritual growth and development. Older children and adults also benefit from a godparent or sponsor from the congregation as someone with whom they will have a continuing connection in the parish family as mentor and friend.
The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage in the Episcopal Church is available for those meeting specific requirements. At least one of the parties must be baptized Christian, sufficient time for pre-marital counseling is given, and in the case of previous marriages an additional process involves looking at causes for breakup and learnings from the previous marriages that give insight and help to make the proposed marriage successful, and in the continuing care of children from previous marriages. This applies to same sex couples as well. Beginning the pre-marital counseling 6 months before the date of the wedding is optimal.
Funeral/Memorial Services and Columbarium Information
As death approaches, the priest should be notified in order that the ministrations of the Church may be provided (Book of Common Prayer, page 462). The time of death is a particularly holy time and of great significance in the life of faith. The priest may be called directly and will be in touch as soon as possible. In making plans for the funeral/memorial service talk first with the priest. (Except in cases of urgent pastoral necessity, funerals are not conducted on any Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, or the day before Easter Sunday.) Niches in the Nativity Columbarium may be purchased through the Church Office. The emphasis of the funeral service is on the deceased person’s resurrection life with Christ and is thus an Easter celebration. In the Episcopal Church the Eucharist is frequently celebrated as part of the memorial service. Lessons from the Bible are read. Remembrances or tributes (also known as eulogies) are limited during the service but are welcome at the reception or time of gathering of family and friends. If the person who died was an active member of the parish, please consider Nativity for memorial gifts.