Ways to Serve

At baptism, we, or someone on our behalf, promise to "seek and serve Christ in all persons" and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Ministry 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. The name and email after each opportunity is the point of contact if you are interested in serving


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 is an integral part of worship at all our worship services. Whether it is singing the Psalms, playing the guitar (contemporary service), or leading the congregation in hymns (both the classics and contemporary), the music program provides richness to the worship experience.

    • Karin Larsen, Music Director,

    Sharing a meal together is a hallmark of Christian love and community.  A collation - which means "to bring together" - allows family and friends to gather after a funeral for food and fellowship and an opportunity to remember a loved one.   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 gathers weekly on Wednesday mornings to knit, crochet, needlepoint, or simply enjoy each other's company and support. Various handcrafted items are made from prayer shawls to hat and scarf sets to baby blankets.

    • 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.