Finding Ways To Serve
One of the things that make SSEC a great church is the generous service offered by our community. Over time, people find themselves called – or curious to be more involved – either in our church itself, or in some of the ways we try to serve our local community and our world.
A World in Need
We are a ‘hands on’ church that wants to contribute back to our neighborhood and beyond. Thanks to dedicated members, we have created and nurtured a number of active programs and we’re always interested to see what you’ll want to do next. We invite you to explore the different ways you can serve with SSEC. A great place to start is talking to our Community Connections team members. Contact our Outreach Committee to learn more about opportunities to connect with these groups and ministries.
Hands On Church
African Immigrant Welcome Center
Beacon Clinic for Health and Hope
Central Pennsylvania Food Bank
Downtown Daily Bread
Habitat for Humanity
The Joshua Group
YWCA Women’s Shelter
Lending a Hand
Serving at SSEC
SSEC is an active church, with numerous projects and functions that depend on volunteers. If you are interested in ways to get involved, or if you feel a call to contribute and deepen your walk with God in a community, we would love to hear from you.
Leadership in Services
Many members contribute to our services: greeting newcomers, reading scripture and assisting acolytes. Additionally, dedicated volunteers are at the heart of our children’s formation program during Sunday morning’s 10:15 a.m. service throughout the school year. If you feel called to take a deeper role in our services, please speak with our clergy.
Our Parish Guilds work behind the scenes to ensure that the worship service is reverent, beautiful, accessible and enjoyable for all. If you are interested in learning more about any of our Parish Guilds, contact the Cathedral Office.
The service of the Altar Guild is to prepare the altar and sanctuary for all of the services offered at the Cathedral, from the small intimate weekly services to large Diocesan or Festival events. The Altar Guild consists of approximately twenty members who work in teams of four, in collaboration with the clergy. The teams serve one week per month, washing and polishing silver and brass, laundering and ironing lines, changing the hangings according to the church season, cleaning the sanctuary area, setting out all of the candles and other items necessary for the service.
It is a privilege and an important and solemn responsibility to set the table for the Holy Eucharist. With love and devotion, the members report to attend to the appointed tasks on their assigned week and volunteer to cover special services as needed. Many of the members have been on the Altar Guild for years; their dedication and commitment is unwavering and the bond among the members is strong. New members are always welcome to assist with this important service of the altar.
Our creative, talented, and artistic Flower Guild is outstanding! They create floral arrangements for all services in the Cathedral to enhance the worship experience with nature’s beauty, exquisitely arranged. Whether it is a special diocesan event, Christmas or Easter when the Cathedral is draped with floral beauty, bridal parties with their bouquets, or table arrangements for parties or receptions, the genius of the Flower Guild members shines forth. Their talents are well known beyond the Cathedral walls, as they assume responsibility for special events in the greater Harrisburg area.
The Technical Guild manages our sound and lighting systems before and during services. The goal of the Tech Guild is to make sure that everyone is able to comfortably hear everything that is said, and to highlight the beauty of the worship service through lighting. No prior experience with sound or lighting systems is required to serve on the Technical Guild — new members are provided with training and mentoring on using the Cathedral’s sound and lighting systems.
The Hospitality Guild makes sure that every special event — including Sunday services — has plenty of coffee, refreshments and snacks available. The guild also organizes and prepares special meals for a variety of events at the Cathedral.
Raising a Hand
Serve in Worship
You don’t need to be a member of the clergy to be an assistant at worship services at St. Stephen’s — lay members take an active part in leading and supporting worship. Learn about the different lay ministries that are available to you. Click on each ministry to learn more.
Breaking Down Walls
St. Stephen’s participates with and runs several special ministries including Sycamore House, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, Music by the River, and Riverfront Gallery.
Building a Community
Leadership, Boards, and Committees
Our church is governed by our Vestry, which has responsibility for fiduciary management and property maintenance. There are also committees providing leadership and oversight on various operations, programs, and projects.
If the SSEC has begun to feel like a church you could call home and you’d like to contribute to its direction, please reach out to start a conversation.
Serving the City
The Outreach Committee at St. Stephen’s exists to help members of the church to serve the urgent and ongoing needs of the people of Harrisburg. Whatever the need – whether it be winter coats for refugee, shelter for the homeless, or volunteers to serve food to the hungry – the Outreach Committee can mobilize the congregation to meet the need.
The Outreach Committee is also responsible for acting as a clearing house for volunteer service opportunities outside of the church. Anyone who is looking to do service work can meet with committee members who will help evaluate skills and interests and match you to a service organization.
Social Justice Matters
Our Social Justice Group meets regularly to learn and reflect on the state the world, on matters of human need and to increase awareness of justice issues within the church.