Our church is not a place for spectators. It's a place for meeting people, making friends and getting involved in one or more of the many different opportunities that are available for fellowship as well as service to the church, the community and the world. Whether you are a child, an adult, single or married, working or retired, gay or straight, we want you to be a part of our church community. Whether you consider yourself a visitor or you have chosen to become a member, here is how you can get involved and become a part of our fellowship.
Sunday Worship - 10:00 a.m.
Of course, worship is central to the life of our church, and we want everyone, including you, to participate. Every Sunday, we need members who are willing to arrive a little early and help with greeting our worshippers as they enter the sanctuary. The greeters also serve as offering ushers. We need readers who will read the liturgical passages selected for worship. On the first Sunday of every month, we need two additional individuals to prepare and serve communion. After our service, if fellowship is planned, someone volunteers to provide limited treats and to also arrive early to set up for fellowship, especially getting the coffee ready to brew. There are sign-up sheets at the back of the sanctuary, and we encourage you to be an active participant in our services. Please contact our office is you want additional information: (941) 637-8443, .
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Our choir is an integral part of our worship and praise. The members of our church choir are all volunteers who just like to sing. The choir has grown exponentially under the direction of our music director, Isaac James. He doesn't shy away from challenging our abilities. His first Easter with our congregation, our choir not only tackled but surpassed expectations when we performed Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. New members are always welcome, and there is no audition. Choir season runs through October to the end of April. Click on the image to the right to hear our choir.
If you can read a little music and count beats as you ring, our handbell choir is the group for you. The handbell choir usually performs during Christmas and the Lenten season.
Our church is blessed with several musicians who participate in our music ministry during the year. Vocalists and instrumentalists are encouraged to share their talents during the musical portions of our services: gathering music prior to the service, prelude, hymns, offertory music, meditative pieces, and postlude. Isaac will welcome your contributions. Reach out to him through the church office: (941) 637-8443, .
Visiting with members who are homebound because of their health is only one of the tasks of our Caring Friends. Sending greeting cards for various occasions or making a phone call to say, "Hey, we've missed you and we care about you," are also ways that this group reaches out to our members. Please contact the office to volunteer.
Social Justice Ministries (SJM)
Write and call political leaders. Rally alongside peace and justice organizations. Work on environmental issues. Stand up for civil rights. Take action with time, talents and resources. The SJM are currently co- facilitated by Mary Ellen (M.E.) Steele-Pierce and Glenn Weaver. Other members of the team are Mary Cassidy-Anger, Pastor Mike Ford, Beatrice and Elizabeth Pitcher, Carol Schmuhl, Linda Weaver, and Elden Wick. To learn about the activities of the Social Justice Ministries, click here. Feel free to reach out to any of the team members if you would like to become part of this impactful ministry.
Pastor Mike leads a weekly Bible Study on Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The group discusses a focus passage from the upcoming Sunday's lectionary. Currently, Bible Study is being conducted via Zoom. The monthly Grief Support Group, also led by Pastor Mike, meets on the first Monday of each month at noon. The location will depend on the indivduals involved; it has been held over Zoom during COVID but may be transitioning to in person. For both of these groups, let Pastor Mike know to add you to the invite list by calling or emailing the office: (941) 637-8443; .
Living the Question and Great Decisions are two study groups that begin in January or February each year and run for about eight to ten weeks.
Book Talk Tea meets (seasonally) on the second Friday of the month at 1:00 p.m. The books that are discussed include books from the United Church of Christ Women's Book List as well as books that members recommend. The meetings may be held in the library or at someone's home. A light lunch/tea is served.
During COVID, the weekly Men's Breakfasts went on hiatus but are expected to restart soon. Ladies' Lunch Out has also been suspended. Watch the weekly announcements and the Beacon for updates.