Parish Choir The choir is a group of dedicated, enthusiastic parish members, including clergy. Membership is open to all interested parishioners. Weekly practice focuses on hymns for the upcoming service, seasonal anthems and service music. The group is very prayerful and supportive of one another. Music selections include new pieces as well as traditional and old favorites. Going to homebound members to sing, when requested, is a meaningful outreach.
Parish Hosts The Parish Hosts organize and coordinate parish activities which do not fall under any other parish group's duties. Some examples are parish dinners during the Bishop’s visitations and receptions following the funeral of a parish member.
Pat’s Path Pat’s Path is a new gem in our mountain community. It is designed for those seeking a quiet spiritual respite, whether one is alone or with a group. Our parish has completed this quarter-mile Creation-themed meditation path built in a natural wooded setting on church property at the Mission House in Glendale Springs. Pat's Path, in memory of a parishioner, has eight stations equipped with benches, scripture passages, artwork, and meditations.
Lay Eucharist Visitors The parish Lay Eucharistic Visitors (LEV) alternate bringing Communion to shut-ins and those in the hospital. Lay Eucharistic Visitors receive approximately eight hours of formal instruction followed by supervised sessions with the deacon. All LEVs have been approved by our Bishop and commissioned by our parish to carry out this ministry.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEM) serve at the altar as Chalice Bearers and Crucifers. A six-month schedule is given to each member and posted in each church for reference. All have been approved by Bishop Taylor and have received extensive training for the opportunity to serve in this capacity. In addition to LEMs, we have two youths who serve as acolytes.
The Episcopal Church Women The Episcopal Church Women of the Parish of the Holy Communion is a very strong group. Members are active in many community organizations, such as the Sharing Center, Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission (BROC), Ashe County Free Medical Clinic and the Frescoes Foundation. The major fund raiser of the year is the Festival of the Frescoes. With the profits from the Festival, contributions are made to many community charitable organizations, mostly assisting with the underprivileged in the county. The ECW contributes financially to the parish by providing many improvements that enhance parish life. The Frances Ministry, a group within the ECW, sends get well, sympathy and birthday cards to parish members and oversees providing meals to parish members who are ill. The ECW currently has a business meeting every other month and on alternate months an active program is offered. ECW’s December program is always the parish Christmas party which is fun for the entire parish family.
Prayer Team The Parish prayer chain was expanded to include a Prayer (Healing) Team in 2004. Members are available for prayer support while the congregation receives the sacraments. Those desiring personal prayer time meet in a quiet place during Communion. A Public Service of Healing is conducted in months that have a fifth Sunday.
Altar Guild The altar guild is comprised of two-person teams serving on a rotating basis to provide for the set-up of the altar for all services. The guild is also responsible for the care of the altar linens and providing the Eucharistic bread and wine.
Shawl Ministry Several years ago a group of women in the parish began a project of making shawls and lap blankets (prayer shawls) for the people of the parish and for others who were ill or otherwise in distress. This is not a formal group and does not have regular meetings or an organizational structure. Individuals make the shawls and blankets, sometimes with a specific person in mind, sometimes for a future need, praying for the recipient as they work. All items are blessed during a service and non-designated shawls are made available as needed.
Roads End Retreat Roads End Retreat is an outreach ministry of the Parish of the Holy Communion. Roads End, a small, non-profit retreat center located in Fleetwood, N.C., is available for individual and small group retreats, hermitage retreats, spiritual direction, labyrinth and meditation walks
Docent Ministry Our two churches, St. Mary’s in West Jefferson and Holy Trinity in Glendale Springs, are fortunate to have four of the earliest frescoes created in the United States by internationally-renowned artist Ben Long. Many visitors come each year—individuals, family groups, busloads, youth and other church groups, senior citizens--from all over the United States and many foreign countries. They come as art enthusiasts, pilgrims, or merely out of curiosity, often moved by images. The Docent Ministry strives to provide a welcome to these visitors, who number in the tens of thousands, most of whom come during the summer and fall months. Docents prepare a schedule to cover the times when most visitors are expected. They are also available to meet tour buses that call ahead. Docents and visitors often share close spiritual moments with each other. Visitors may write their prayer requests which are included in the weekly Prayers of the People during Sunday service. In addition, docents and other members of the parish pray privately for the concerns noted by visitors.
Festival of the Frescoes The Festival of the Frescoes is the annual fundraiser of the ECW. The entire parish family is involved in this wonderful event. Booth spaces are rented out to local vendors, many of whom return year after year. The ECW sponsors a parish crafters' booth, a bakery booth, a silent auction and Granny's Attic. Proceeds from the Festival are returned to the community by donating to groups such as We Care/BROC, the Free Medical Clinic, Ashe County Drug Assistance Program, the Ashe County Humane Society and many other groups. Funds are also given back to the parish by contributing to the Rector's Discretionary Fund and scholarships for Christian formation.
Daughters of the King Our parish has an active Chapter of the Daughters of the King (St. Clare), which meets weekly. The DOK is an Order for women willing to undertake a Rule of Life, incorporating the Rule of Prayer and the Rule of Service. By reaffirmation of the promises made at Baptism, a Daughter pledges herself to a life-long program of prayer, service and evangelization, dedicated to spreading Christ’s Kingdom and strengthening the spiritual life of the parish.
Parish of the Holy Communion Two Churches - One Parish P.O. Box 177 Glendale Springs, NC 28629 (336) 982-3076