Worship is the occasion for gathering all the Christian community, and participation is an important aspect of worship. Children age 7 are invited to support and assist in our Sunday worship as acolytes - joining the procession and recession, assisting with the offering, and helping to prepare the table for Holy Eucharist. Latin crosses with black cord or ribbon are presented to signify that a person has committed himself or herself to serve faithfully. Ribbon colors are changed to indicated years of service: green, two years; red, three years; gold, four years; purple, five years or more. Team leaders are given Jerusalem crosses with ribbon of appropriate color. The present acolyte chair, Mr. Walter Freeman, arranges meetings and training from time to time during the year for both new acolytes and acolytes who are learning new skills. Acolytes are scheduled to serve approximately one Sunday each month. As young people approach college age, they are often invited to continue their participation by becoming readers and lay Eucharistic ministers.
As is the custom in many churches, a group of men and women known as the Altar Guild cleans and prepares the altar and vessels for Sunday Worship. We have four teams which are consistently large enough to enable people to share the duties as they are available. If you would like to help in this way, please make your wishes known to the person in charge of the Guild, Eileen Stewart, or to the Rector.
We gather a choir for Christmas and Easter worship from all people in the congregation who like to sing. There are usually one or two rehearsals prior to the times when our choir sings. There are also other occasions for singing such as the Bowie Interfaith Service for Thanksgiving and other ecumenical services. Our worship committee is hoping to have the choir sing more frequently for Sunday worship.
The governing body of a local congregation is the Vestry. At St. Barnabas' the Vestry includes twelve persons, each elected for three year terms at the Annual Meeting. Four new members are elected each year from those persons who are canonically resident, and members in good standing. The Vestry elects two of its members to serve as Junior and Senior Wardens each year.
Fellowship, encouragement of one another, and service to others have been the themes of our work with young people (grades 7-12). Two of our current activities are a week of service with the Highland Educational Project in McDowell County, West Virginia, which we have done for 32 years, and an annual skiing trip the weekend of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The young people work together to earn the money for the West Virginia trip largely by splitting and delivering firewood on weekends each Fall. In addition to these activities, the young people of the congregation frequently "pitch in" to help with dinners, social activities, and outreach efforts.
St. Barnabas' Church has a strong tradition of outreach to the surrounding community. We now conduct three special drives for funds annually which lead to the purchase of more than 600 cases of nourishing beef stew which are distributed to the hungry through eleven area food pantries. During the winter, we also provide one week of shelter for homeless persons in church and school buildings through our participation in a program sponsored by the local community ministry. Recently we have embraced the eight Millennium Development Goals as the focus for our local outreach, and our effort to respond to the needs of the larger world. In 2010 our children planted, raised, and sold potatoes in support of the first MDG, which is to eradicate hunger and poverty throughout the world. Funds raised from the sale of the potatoes were given to a large Anglican Church in Monrovia, Liberia where the grandparents of two children in our Sunday Children's Program are active members, and where the effort to reduce hunger is focused on a farm owned by the congregation.
St. Barnabas' Episcopal Church
14111 Oak Grove Road
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20774
Phone: (301) 249-5001 Fax: (301) 249-3838
Sunday Worship: 7:30 and 10 am, Fellowship after both services Sunday Faith Formation programs for adults and children