Reflections from Acolyte Coordinator, Paul DeConinck
As an acolyte I help people pray. This is what Rev. Jen tells new acolytes every year when we have training. I try to think of this every time I serve as an acolyte at Grace: acolytes are there to help people pray.
We are an important part of the church service. We assist the priest with their duties and are part of the rituals of the service. Being an acolyte during church service requires attention to what is happening during the service and responsibilities to a variety of tasks. But, I am always aware of the fact that, in addition to our duties, we are there to worship as is the rest of the congregation. In helping parishioners pray, I find deeper meaning in the service, readings, and sermon.
I find many joys from being an acolyte. I love the rituals of the service, the attention to detail, and most of all being able to work with a wonderful group of people. They are happy to be serving as an acolyte at Grace. We have children, teens and adults who serve as acolytes. I have enjoyed the relationships that I have cultivated with everyone involved. For the adults, I am happy to help coordinate when they can serve and assist them with their own leadership abilities.
With the teens and children, I have enjoyed helping them learn the ropes of being an acolyte. I am thrilled at seeing them grow into their duties, become more confident, and take on new responsibilities as they gain experience. I hope any guidance that I offer helps them as they become adults. I want them to have a positive memory of being an acolyte and their time at Grace Episcopal Church. So, maybe someday they might have children of their own and pass on those experiences to the next generation.
Being an acolyte has also given me the chance to become more involved in the life of Grace and helped me grow as a person. In addition to acolyting I have become involved with Creation Care, Worship Commission, and Vestry. Through these groups, I have gained the friendship of many people and have been able to help with a wide variety of activities in the church. I have also become the Acolyte Coordinator. I enjoy working with my fellow acolytes and Rev. Jen in coordinating the schedule, answering questions, and helping with training.
All of this has made Grace Episcopal Church my community in Holland. It has helped deepen my own faith and has given me a sense of purpose and satisfaction of being able to help.
And most of all it has shown me the importance of prayer and service to this church and the wider community. I hope that my efforts help when you come to Grace to pray.