by Rod Bunn
My name is Rod Bunn. My wife and I have been St. Philip’s parishioners since moving to Atlanta in 2000. Shortly after we arrived, we were asked to be oblation bearers—that is, to carry the offering of bread and wine to the altar for Communion—by Dr. Emile Fisher, the Chief usher. As many of you know, Dr. Fisher was a person to whom you could not say “no.” In as much, we accepted the task! At the Presentation (when we present our offerings), we made it to the altar with the wine and bread, as we had been instructed, without tripping, falling, or spilling anything. Apparently, we succeeded, as Dr. Fisher asked both of us to join the usher ministry, and I have been an usher at St. Philip’s ever since.
Serving as an usher has been a wonderful experience, offering me the benefit of meeting and getting to know parishioners and making and cultivating new friendships. Ushers are generally the first to welcome parishioners and among the last to say as they depart, “Have a great week, and thank you for being here in this wonderful place!”
Our ministry is one of hospitality. In addition to greeting worshippers with a smile and a leaflet, we are there to answer questions, like “Where are the restrooms?” or “How do I learn more about this church?” Hospitality also entails facilitating a sense of safety and comfort, which we do in many ways, such as responding when someone needs medical assistance and preventing falls on the steps during Communion.
Many ushers have participated in this ministry during a large part of their lives at St. Philip’s, some serving as long as sixty years. There is no age limit! Ushers as young as mid-teens routinely serve alongside older team members. We also have a junior usher program, for children of adult ushers, which adds a wonderful dimension to the overall worship experience.
We are currently seeking ushers for all Sunday services (7:45 a.m., 8:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 4 p.m. Evensong), as well as special services such as funerals or diocesan services. Ushers typically serve seven to nine services a year. Should you be interested in joining the usher ministry, please speak to one of the ushers wearing a carnation, or contact Rod Bunn, 678-428-7444.
Thank you for your consideration.