The Ministry and Mission of St. Mary's
Ministry and Outreach
All Christians are called to give of themselves in ministry. To this end St. Mary of the Hills provides countless opportunities for service and outreach to the community and to the world. Members of our congregation possess a wealth of talent and enthusiasm, and opportunities exist for any level of commitment – from one-time projects to regular weekly or monthly jobs. We invite you to join with the members of our congregation who seek to serve Christ in others by means of these ministries.
Pastoral care is available to all members of the congregation for day-to-day issues as well as in times of personal crisis. Preparation for the pastoral rites of baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial is offered to individuals and their family and friends. Father Rick and Mother Jeanne offer spiritual direction, ongoing guidance and dialogue for individuals interested in deepening their spiritual life. They are also available to come and anoint you with oil for healing and to pray with you prior to your surgery and to visit you during recovery.
Those who assist in administering Holy Communion. For more information, please contact Greta Wilson in the Church Office.
Members who present the Old and New Testament Readings, as well as lead the congregation in the reading of the Psalms. If you would like to volunteer as a Lector or want more information, contact Kathy Dacchille.
Young people in middle and high school who serve as torchbearers, banner bearers or crucifers. Training in provided. For more information, contact Catherine Carter.
The Altar Guild is responsible for preparation and maintenance of all of the altar linens and vessels. Members commit to several hours of laundering and ironing linens, polishing silver, and setting up all of the weekly services. For more information about the Altar Guild and how you can get involved, please contact Louella Rundell.
Volunteer members of St. Mary’s who arrange the Altar flowers for Sunday services and Holy/Feast days. Training is available for this much needed ministry in our Parish. Contact Bo Henderson for more information.
All Christians are called to contribute a portion of their time, talent and treasure toward the work of the Church. The easiest way to give to St. Mary of the Hills is to become involved with one of our specific ministries, and to make a financial pledge. Pledging is crucial in enabling the Church to plan its ministries in advance; it provides a stable financial base for the support of our programs. Pledging also reflects our prayerful response to God’s call to be good stewards of our material possessions.
Each fall during the Stewardship Campaign, members of the Church are asked to make their pledges. Those joining the Church during the year can pledge at any time by filling out a pledge card and returning it to the Church Office. Pledges can be paid weekly, monthly or annually, in cash or by check.
For information on pledging, please contact Kay McCloskey. Click here to go to the Stewardship page.
For more information about Outreach activities, please contact Michelle Capen.
Tour of Homes
Sponsored by the St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Churchwomen, this highly successful all-volunteer community-wide event annually raises over $60,000 for as many as 25 local area charities and includes home tours as well as a variety of other fund raising activities on the church grounds. Visit the Tour of Homes page on our site.
St. Mary’s provides volunteers to help prepare and serve meals for this local facility which offers homeless and emergency winter shelter for individuals and families located in Boone. In addition, on the second Sunday of each month, volunteers gather during Coffee Minute in the alcove of the Parish Hall to prepare sandwiches to be delivered to the House for lunches. The church also provides the Exit Box program which supplies basic items for people leaving the shelter to establish their own housing. For more information on the program, contact Phoebe Nelson.
Members volunteer to help collect salvage food from the Blowing Rock Food Lion and Woodland’s Barbeque for use at Hospitality House.
Hunger Coalition Pantry
Parishioners are asked to bring canned food or dry goods to the church and place them in the Foyer basket each 3rd Sunday. Donations will be delivered to the Pantry.
Part of the work of St. Mary’s is mission. With the continued growth and diversity of the parish, outreach activities have expanded beyond the boundaries of Watauga County and the surrounding area. Beginning in 2004, St. Mary’s provided ten volunteer parishioners from the Church for a cross-cultural mission to Panama to assist with work for the Episcopal Church in Panama. A combination of fellowship and team work guarantees that this mission fills early each year. For more information, visit the Panama Mission Trip page or contact Dale Shelton.
Habitat for Humanity
Volunteers participate in Habitat’s “Building on Faith” program, a joint program of area churches working together to help low-income families. ReStore, Habitat’s store is in need of volunteers to help keep the store operating. They will also happily accept donations of gently used items (furniture, building supplies, electric fixtures, etc.). ReStore is on George Wilson Road off of 321/421 on the west side of Boone.
St. Mary of the Hills has made a long-term commitment to assist with the recovery efforts in the Gulf region. Working with the Episcopal dioceses in those areas to identify the greatest need, it was determined that partnering with a local church would be the most beneficial. Our partner church is St. Mary’s Chalmette, which was totally destroyed by Katrina. The recovery/rebuilding effort will be an ongoing process. To help or for more information, contact Judy Domer who is heading the Hurricane Relief Task Force.
Heifer International is an organization that provides animals, trees and training for recipients all over the world to help people grow their own food and become self-sufficient. The annual Heifer Fair held in November and hosted by St. Mary’s is an important contribution the church makes to this effort. Sunday school classes and other church groups offer refreshments and fun, along with the opportunity to 'purchase' an animal to give as a gift. The goal of this event is to have enough animals sponsored to buy an Ark for the program.
Recycle Your Eye Glasses
Parishioners provide their discarded prescription glasses to be distributed to those who need them.
Recycle Your Cell Phone
The program helps the clients of the Watauga County Battered Women’s Shelter. Phones are re-programmed for contact to 911 and provided to women at risk.
For more information, please contact David and Posie Dauphine.
Spring Clean up Day
This fun work day sponsored by the Landscape Committee follows Sunday services in late April or early May depending on weather. The parish community unites to weed, plant and mulch the grounds of St. Mary’s in preparation for the spring and summer season. A picnic lunch on the grounds celebrates a job well done. To volunteer or for more information, contact Meg Fary.
We warmly welcome newcomers to St. Mary’s and extend the resources which are ours to share: a simple place of prayer and meditation that is open daily, a priest for sacramental and pastoral needs, a congregation with a healthy, participatory worship and an ongoing parish life which welcomes visitors wherever they find their present journey in faith.
These outgoing and dedicated individuals are the church’s front line in our ministry of hospitality, welcoming visitors and offering assistance and information. Volunteers serve at Sunday services and are available for special events. If you would like to serve as a greeter or want more information, please contact Sabina Miller.
At all services, ushers welcome visitors and congregation members, pass out service programs, take up the collection, guide people during communion, and straighten up afterward. Contact Leslie Barnes for more information.
Third Sunday Brunch
As the name implies, held the third Sunday of each month following the 10 am service in the parish hall. Members and guests gather for a covered dish meal together. Members provide favorite dishes to share. Volunteers help with set-up and clean-up.
Get to know members of St. Mary’s through informal in-home gatherings with small groups of fellow parishioners. Dinner, fun and fellowship are exchanged as each hosts an evening in their home. If you are interested in participating in a foyer group, sign up in the Church foyer or contact Beth Lawler.
Join members and guests for coffee in the foyer following the 8:00 am service and in the Parish Hall following the 10:10 am service. All visitors are welcome and are encouraged to fill out a visitor card, available in the pews. For more information or to volunteer to assist with Coffee Minute, please contact any ECW member.
EYC – Episcopal Youth Community
Open to all youth in Grades 6 through 12. Friends are always welcome. This active youth group meets regularly on Sundays and participates in a wide variety of parish mission, worship and fun.
For information on meetings, please contact Bill Devereux.
The Episcopal Church Women is an organization within the Church which unites all women through worship, service, study and fellowship. Each woman of St. Mary of the Hills is a member of ECW and is welcome to participate in any and all of its programs. Because of its many fund-raising efforts, ECW is able to contribute to various outreach programs, social service agencies and programs within the church that provide educational and spiritual instruction. For more information, please contact Page Parsons.
A religious order for women in the Episcopal Church, of churches in communion with it, or in churches who are in the Historic Episcopate. It is a group of Christian women who undertake to live by a Rule of Life, incorporating the Rule of Prayer and the Rule of Service. The purpose of the group is Evangelism. Through a disciplined life of prayer and service, Daughters endeavor to encourage an ever-growing, deepening relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. For more information, contact Betty Greene.