St. Paul’s is an empowering congregation where members, clergy, and program staff share in the leadership of the many groups that do the work necessary to guide and implement the ministries of our large church.
The Administrative Board is the governing body of St. Paul’s. Its purpose is to “Ensure that St. Paul’s is successfully ‘Living Our Purpose, Exemplifying Our Values, and Moving Toward Our Picture of the Future‘’’. When necessary, it reshapes these to better meet the needs of the communities we serve and the world. The Ad Board sets and monitors goals; assesses how the church is performing by reviewing the state of the church and evaluating the church’s ministries; determines policy; clarifies areas of responsibility; initiates planning; receives reports and authorizes action (reviews and approves the annual budget, Trustee projects, and any actions requiring official approval).
The Lay Leader is the congregation’s representative and serves as liaison between the congregation and the clergy/staff. Members of the church can ask questions or voice concerns to the Lay Leader who will obtain answers or pass along concerns to the clergy. The Lay Leader serves on Administrative Board and Program Council; is co-chair with the Senior Pastor of Nominations and Leadership Development, and is an ex-officio member of Staff Parish and Personnel, Finance, and Trustees. It is helpful to visit other committee meetings occasionally, too.
The Program Council is a forum for the clergy, program staff, and chairs of the “operational” committees/work areas to collaboratively multiply our ministries as we equip, encourage, and empower the congregation to live into St. Paul’s purpose.
The Celebration Committee’s primary responsibility is to help set a tone of anticipation for our congregation and many guests during Advent/Christmas and Easter. We do the planning and preparation for the Advent/Christmas decorations throughout the church, often enlisting the help of many others as we put them up. In addition, we decoratively place the poinsettias and lilies in the sanctuary at Christmas and Easter and often help deliver them to the homebound. We work with the Membership Committee in hosting selected church dinners, primarily during Advent and Lent. We also give feedback on the worship service to the staff.
The Music Committee oversees the Music Program at St. Paul’s. We are involved in the “Harmony in the Hills” concert series, choir membership, and other music-related projects.
The Altar Guild prepares the sanctuary and its furnishings for the celebration of worship and the sacraments. Committee members are asked to work two Saturdays a year, setting up communion and polishing the brass objects on the altars. We are also asked to serve communion two Sundays a year.
The Education Council works to provide opportunities for all members of St. Paul’s to participate in Intentional Faith Formation. We know through our study of Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations that vibrant, fruitful, growing congregations offer multiple opportunities for Intentional Faith Development. The classes and groups that Education Council supports offer our members the opportunity to mature in their faith by learning together in community with other believers. We oversee Children’s Ministry (preschool and elementary), Youth Ministry (middle school and high school), Young Adult Ministry, Adult Ministry, Childcare support, St. Paul’s Preschool, Scouts, and the Church Library.
- Youth Leadership Team is the team of adult leaders and youth who volunteer and serve at Middle School & High School Youth Group, lead Confirmation Classes and/or assist with other youth events (including but not limited to Worktrip, fundraising activities and special events). This team meets at various times throughout the year to discuss programming, faith formation and development of new youth activities. Parents are also welcome to join this group as we discuss the youth at St. Paul’s.
- Young Adult Development is the group who assists with CORE programming and other events targeted for young adults. This group is still in the early implementation phase; therefore, it’s an especially great time to join the team and help shape the CORE and surrounding ministries as it enters its second year!
- Adult Ministry offers opportunities for learning more about Scripture and to know first-hand what “growing in faith” within a study community looks like. Classes may be based on a book or a DVD-workbook series focusing on various Scripture themes. Leaders may be Clergy or Peer Leaders, often leading in teams, as we meet to discuss each week’s lesson. Prior Bible knowledge is not a prerequisite. Sunday, daytime, evening classes, often with prearranged child care, are designed to make it easy to find a welcoming study group.
The F.I.S.H. (Faith, Invitation, Sharing, Hospitality) Committee’s purpose is to empower and lead our congregation in the practices of evangelism and hospitality. Primary responsibilities include raising awareness of St. Paul’s and our ministries in the greater Rochester area (social media, targeted special event post cards, newspaper articles/publicity) and fostering radical hospitality (train and coordinate greeters for worship services, host periodic Name Tag Sundays, and provide “Ambassadors” at major events in our church.) Additionally, the F.I.S.H. Committee ensures that guests receive the information they need to take the next steps to more deeply connect with our church (visitor’s packets, pew cards and visitor follow-ups).
The Membership Committee’s purpose is to build community within St. Paul’s, coordinating ministries that seek to bring new people and participating members together in the fellowship of Christ. We sponsor the post-worship Coffee Hour, several fun church-wide fellowship events, the Confirmation Reception, and attendance tracking improvements. And, we are now creating “Grow Groups” to provide one more opportunity to help people grow in their faith and their sense of feeling a part of St. Paul’s.
The History & Archives Committee helps St. Paul’s “tell its story” by collecting, maintaining and sharing a historical record of the happenings here. We do this through systematic, coordinated and purposeful collecting of the history of the church and proper data filing for retrieval; writing newspaper articles of important events at the church, and then filing these articles and pictorial records from our in-house amateur/professional photographers.
The Mission Council’s purpose is to provide opportunities for St. Paul’s members to “transform the community and the world” through sharing our gifts of hands-on ministry and/or our resources. Our six “Focus Missions” include Habitat for Humanity, Rochester Area Neighborhood House (including Christmas food baskets), Cass Community Social Services, Red Bird Mission, Baldwin Center, and Henri Dennis School & Lott G. Matthews Church in Liberia although we support many more. During 2017, we have committed to helping to raise $35,000 to help Cass Community Social Services build a tiny house in Detroit. For further information, see the St. Paul’s website under Community/Missions.
The Health Ministry Team’s purpose is to encourage physical and emotional health, often an unacknowledged component of spiritual growth. Under the direction of the Faith Community Nursing Program at St. Joseph Mercy of Oakland, a team of health professionals works to identify the congregation’s health needs and how to address those needs through the use of volunteers from the church as well as community resources. Monthly blood pressure clinics and mini health fairs on various health topics are offered throughout the year. Special programs relating to health and wellness are also offered periodically.
Stephen Ministry provides one-on-one, confidential lay care to people who are struggling through difficult times in life. Those receiving care may be experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness or some other life crisis. Our Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of preparatory training before they are assigned a care receiver. They usually provide care to one person at a time and give that person spiritual and emotional support. Twice a month Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for continuing education and supervision.
The United Methodist Men (UMM) is a creative, supportive fellowship of men who seek to know Jesus Christ, to grow spiritually, and to seek daily his will. It supports spiritual growth among men, helping men to mature as disciples as they encourage spiritual formation in others. Habitat for Humanity is the primary mission focus through the Valentine Dinner although we lend support in other church events, when requested. There are monthly breakfast/book discussions on issues relevant to men.
The United Methodist Women (UMW) is a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ, to develop a creative, supportive fellowship, and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church. It sponsors fundraisers such as rummage sales, coffee cake sales, cookie walks and collecting items that are donated to area non-profit agencies. There are also varied programs that relate to mission, women’s issues, and youth and children ministries.
The Nominations and Leadership Development Committee meets during September to prayerfully discuss and make phone calls to invite members to utilize their spiritual gifts to serve on a church committee which fits their interest. These names are presented and voted on at our Annual Church Conference each November.
The Staff Parish and Personnel Committee coordinates the Human Resource function for the paid church staff. The committee acts on personnel issues in direct assistance with the Senior Minister, including staff personnel needs, evaluations, salary review, and feedback from and to St. Paul’s congregation and the community. The committee also leads the congregation in finding appropriate ways to celebrate both new staff arrivals and the tenure of those who have served St. Paul’s and are moving on to new assignments and adventures.
The Finance Committee oversees the finances of the church and ensures good stewardship of the financial resources that enable the efficient operations and support the various ministries. We work closely with the clergy and committee chairs to develop an annual budget, track performance, and deal with financial issues that periodically arise. We also work with Trustees in providing funding necessary to maintain and improve the church’s physical assets (the facilities and related contents as well as the parsonage.) The Finance Committee members are encouraged to play an intentional role of thanking members of St. Paul’s for their commitment and generosity. To demonstrate openness and transparency, committee members are encouraged to understand the general condition of churches finances and to assist in gently communicating these financial realities when opportunities arise. Committee members are counted on to bring feedback they receive (positive or negative) to the full committee.
The Permanent Endowment Fund Committee promotes and manages funds of the church’s endowment. Each quarter the committee reports to the Administrative Board on the interest that is available to be used for non-recurring/non-budgeted ministry needs.
The Trustees Committee supervise and maintain all property belonging to the congregation so that the ministries of the congregation can be effective. The Trustees work closely with the Administrative Board to respond to God’s call.
The Trustees together have several legal and administrative functions. They are to:
- Oversee, maintain, and supervise all local church property
- Report annually to the charge conference on the state of the church’s property, equipment, investments, and resources
- Receive and administer all gifts made to the congregation; make certain that all trust funds of the congregation are invested properly
- Ensure that the articles of incorporation of the congregation are kept up-to-date, if applicable
- Be responsible, in conjunction with the pastor, for all use of the church buildings and grounds
- Maintain adequate insurance coverage on all church property and develop appropriate risk management policies
- Submit to the Finance Committee the annual budget requests for insurance, property maintenance and improvement, and new property purchases
- Be accountable to the charge conference and to the Administrative Board.