My Usher Ministry

Hal Core"So the last will be first, and the first will be last." (Matthew 20:16)

Safety and security issues notwithstanding, a large part of my job as a flight attendant is serving others. Although I’m trained to deliver a baby, de-escalate cranky passenger situations, and clean-up potential biohazards (ahem), I’d guess ninety percent of my job while on the aircraft is really just serving drinks and pretzels and adjusting the cabin temperature - yes, we do have some control over it but please don’t spread the word…

There’s very definitely a humbling aspect to serving others. You see, I don’t just serve nice people. I serve everyone. EVERYONE. Even those who don’t have a “please” or “thank you” for me. I’m reminded every day I fly that humility is indeed good for the soul.

I feel the same way about ushering on Sunday mornings at Grace. Ushering is a wonderful way to serve others for the sake of serving others. It isn’t one of those “flashy” worship duties like, say, being a reader or assisting minister. Those duties allow for – and some might say, cry out for – a certain degree of individuality and style. Ushering, on the other hand, requires no particular style or panache but is no less vital to the worship experience.

Ushering requires different qualities altogether. Patience, calmness, assurance and yes, humility. Ushers are truly the mortar that keeps the worship service together: you see them pre-service at the church entrance, greeting folks and explaining Grace’s communion process to visitors. Mid-service, they are on the scene passing the offering plates around and then delivering the offering, along with the food donations, to the altar. Finally, during Communion, they are our gentle guides. Imagine how confusing and/or intimidating the communion process can be for visitors and even newer Grace members, and you begin to appreciate the importance of ushers.

Most people shy away from ushering because they don’t know what it involves, and there’s a good reason for that: when ushers do their job (and you do yours as a church-goer), you are most likely focused on the altar-space. You don’t even notice the ushers. And that’s the way it should be. Guiding without getting in the way of church-goers’ personal/communal relationship with God -- that is the usher’s task.

I’ll say it again: ushering is a wonderful way to serve others for the sake of serving others. And I challenge you: next Sunday at Grace, take some time to notice 1) who the ushers are; 2) where they are during the worship service; and 3) what they are doing. You may gain a greater appreciation and joy in the worship process watching these humble guides in action. They are truly inspiring, so give them thanks and, better yet, become an usher yourself. Serve others before self. Thanks be to God!

-- Hal

There is an immediate need for ushers at Grace, please contact the office if you are able to serve.

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