Ways to Serve

St. Mary's is a community of Christian worship, well-being and service.  Our Baptismal Covenant demands that we "seek and serve Christ in all persons," and love our neighbor as ourselves.  

The ministry of service and outreach at St. Mary's allows everyone to participate in service to others whether it is at church or in the greater community.

Below are opportunities to serve others at and through St. Mary's. Choose the one that speaks to you and grow in love and grace through Christ.


Acolytes bring the light of God into the worship service and take it out into the world at the end.  They serve not only on Sunday mornings but at other services throughout the year.

    Altar Guild

    The altar guild sets the table and prepares the altar for all of the services held at St. Mary's. The guild maintains the linens and the silver and brass that are part of setting Christ's table.

    • Millie Cozzens at

    Greeters are the first people to offer welcome and hospitality at St. Mary's. They greet people as they enter the church for worship services whether they are the weekly services or special services such as funerals or weddings.

    • Lauren Lema at
    Lay Eucharistic Ministers

    Lay eucharistic ministers (LEMs) assist the clergy as needed by administering the chalice at Eucharist. LEMs may be called upon to serve during other services such as weddings or funerals.

    • Marshall Lundberg at

    Lectors proclaim God's Word aloud and lead the prayers of the people during worship. They are called upon to serve not only at weekly worship but during Holy Week, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and for other special services.

    • Stacy Mello at

    Music inspires us. Offering up our voices in song; listening to music as part of the worship service, fills us with joy and helps lift our hearts and souls to God.

    Music is a vital part of Sunday worship services. The 8 am service includes many traditional Episcopal hymns and often a choir or cantor will offer a special musical piece. The 10 am service focuses on more contemporary music that praises God with innovative tunes both lively and inspiring.

    • Karin Larsen, Music Director,
    • Michael Templeton, Pastoral Musician,

    Collation means "to bring together" and it our belief at St. Mary's that this "bringing together" over food and drink, helps in remembering the deceased, brings some closure for family and friends, and dispells grief after the funeral gathering.

    People who come to the reception offer comfort and companionship to the deceased’s loved ones. Memories of this celebration can lift spirits and ease loneliness and grief in the bleak months that follow.

    St. Mary's ministries offers collations in the Parish House for all who desire it. Food, drink, and service are provided by members of St. Mary's.

    • Susan Kelchner at 401.683.9745.

    St. Mary's prides itself in its warm welcome to newcomers and members. Whether it is coffee hour after service, a potluck, or a reception following a funeral, many events in the parish offer opportunities for meeting for food and fellowship.

    Pastoral Care

    We are all the body of Christ, whether we worship in church or at home.  The pastoral care team reaches out to St. Mary's shut-ins and house-bound parishioners. Lay Eucharistic visitors take communion to those who are house-bound as well. Other ways of caring for parishioners include preparing meals, running errands, sending note cards, and driving folks to appointments when needed.

    • Pauline Davis at
    Prayer Shawl Ministry

    The Prayer Shawl Ministry at St. Mary’s has been making prayer shawls, hats, scarves and mittens, and baby blankets for those in need of warmth and love for quite a while now. Each item - whether it is knitted, crocheted or sewn - is made with love and concern for the recipient.

    All prayer shawls include the following blessing -

    May this shawl enfold you, encircle you and empower you.
    May this shawl show you that you are loved.
    It is a shawl of protection, wholeness, strength, healing and patience.

    The Prayer Shawl Ministry meets on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. All those who knit, crochet, or prefer some other kind of fiber art, are welcome.

    • Jeanne Derrah at 401.847.5747
    The Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center

    St. Mary's contributes time, talent, and treasure to the MLK Community Center.  St. Mary's supports the MLKCC through various initiatives.

    • Weekly collection and delivery for the food pantry
      • Jon Edwards at
    • Christmas Giving Tree
    • Volunteers for Food4Friends
    St. Mary's Community Garden

    St. Mary's Community Garden's donates fresh, organic produce to local food pantries and to help alleviate hunger on Aquidneck Island. Located on St. Mary's property, the garden has relied on the efforts of parishioners and friends to raise fresh vegetables for donation to area food banks, including the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, Lucy's Hearth, and the Salvation Army. Cutting flowers are also grown for use by the St. Mary's Pastoral Care Commission and community. The garden has contributed over 2000 pounds of fresh food in an effort to reduce hunger and food insecurity on Aquidneck Island.

    The garden is open to members of the community through seasonal plot rentals. Our intention is to bring organic gardening within reach of a larger local population while encouraging gardeners to donate excess fruits and vegetables to local food pantries.

    We are RIPTA accessible (bus route 60) and have garden tools and a watering hose available for onsite use.

    • Elise LaParle Garcia at
    St. Paul's Soup Kitchen

    Monthly on the second Thursday, St. Mary's provides food, fellowship, and a tasty meatloaf dinner for those in need in Newport at St. Paul's United Methodist Church.


    At St. Mary's volunteering is more than volunteering; it is being called to serve others within and outside of the parish through lay ministry. 

    Schedules for volunteers in worship such as LEMS, greeters, and acolytes,  as well as for coffee hour are available now through an online scheduling tool.  Click here to see when you are scheduled to serve or to request a change in your schedule.