I Serve at God’s Altar

The Ministry of Acolytes

Roger A. Speer Jr. and Sharon Ely Pearson

Nov/2018, 128 Pages, PAPER, 8.5 x 11

ISBN-13: 9781640651234

• An acolyte resource for the 21st-century Episcopal Church
• Fully illustrated (black-and-white) with reproducible handouts

Despite the changing landscape of the Episcopal Church, one ministry that continues but gets little attention is that of acolytes. Whether second graders or adults, the mentoring and training of acolytes is a formational experience. I Serve at God's Altar offers a simplified theology of how God is met in worship and how it affects the lives of those most engaged in it, a visual exploration of the Episcopal liturgy and its history through extensive illustrations, how acolytes fit into the work of the church in worship, and how worship affects the acolyte's discernment for ministry and Rule of Life. Illustrations include a visual exploration of church artifacts (crosses, candles, Eucharistic vessels, etc.), holds, and processes to set a standard of expectation and expertise in service according to Episcopal practice and tradition. There is a section of reproducible handouts for organizing an acolyte ministry at every size church, including scheduling, communications, installation liturgies, recruitment plans, and training outlines.

Audience: Clergy, youth leaders, Christian educators, anyone overseeing liturgy or training of acolytes, acolytes themselves

Roger A. Speer Jr., is a graphic designer and educator who has served the Episcopal Church as professional youth minister for 20 years. Involved in the ministry of acolytes since childhood, he has facilitated this ministry at all levels: diocesan and General Convention, international Anglican worship, and acolyte training in Episcopal schools and churches of all sizes, spending a lifetime trying to figure out how best to train and equip acolytes. He is director of student ministry at Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta, Georgia.

SHARON ELY PEARSON is a Christian educator, editor, and author with 35+ years of experience in Christian formation on the local, judicatory, and church-wide level. Known for her knowledge of published curricula across the church, she has written or edited numerous books, including The Prayer Book Guide to Christian Education, 3rd edition; Call on Me: A Prayer Book for Young People; The Episcopal Christian Educator's Handbook; and Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Theologies of Confirmation for the 21st Century. She is a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary and a lifelong Episcopalian. You can follow her at www.rowsofsharon.com


  • Acolyte
  • Worship
  • Episcopal
  • Training

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