Team's SOPs

Standard Operating Procedures:




For Worship Assistants in Standard In-person, Non-pandemic Worship Scenarios



1) If you can't serve when assigned, please find a replacement. 

2) Make certain with Pastor or the Assisting Minister that there aren’t changes from this order. 

3) Before the service, please make sure things are set:

     a: A butane lighter is present with the Candle Lighter/snuffer

     b: The wick in the Candle Lighter/snuffer moves freely and is long enough.  If not, let Pastor or the Assisting Minister know, so that the wick can be changed.

4) The service begins with a prelude, during which the acolyte lights the candles on the altar with the Candle Lighter/snuffer.  During the Easter season, fire is taken from the Paschal candle by the baptismal font.  Otherwise, the Candle Lighter/snuffer is lit with the butane lighter.

5) When lighting the candles, be aware that orienting the Candle Lighter/snuffer so that the wick arcs over the top of the candle will make lighting the candle’s wick easier. 

6) When all candles have been lit, return to the rear if the Sanctuary with the Candle Lighter/snuffer still lit.  Extinguish it by retracting the wick all the way into the housing. 

7) During Advent season, light the candles on the Advent wreath that had been lit the previous week.  During the Candle lighting portion of the service light the candle for the week. 

8) After the Peace is shared, move to a seat near the Communion table where Pastor or the Assistant Minister can catch your eye if something is needed during Communion.

9) During the Presentation of the Gifts, carry the offering plate to the altar or assist those selected to carry Food Pantry offering up to the altar if necessary.

10) During the final hymn, after the Pastor and Assisting Minister have processed out, extinguish the candles after having first, re-lit the Candle Lighter/snuffer from one of the candles. 

11) Again, return to the Narthex area with the Candle Lighter/snuffer still lit.  Extinguish it by retracting the wick all the way into the housing. 

Note: Retracting the wick of the Candle Lighter/snuffer all the way into it when extinguishing the flame prevents the hot end of the tube through which the wick passes from melting the wax of the wick.  When this melted wax re-hardens after everything cools down, it can jam the wick in the tube, making it very difficult to extend the wick the next time. 


1) Please find a replacement if you are unable to serve when scheduled.

2) When you arrive check with Pastor that there aren’t changes from this order.

3) Before the service, please make sure things are set:

     a: Bread (on platen, include 4-5 gluten-free wafers), wine in flagon, purificator placed on small tables by the doors. Bread is kept in the fridge (or freezer) in Advent Hall. Both chalices and offering plates are set out on credence table by the sacristy.

     b: Lectionary book open to proper page.

     c: Acolyte is present and ready. Recruit acolyte, if necessary.

     d: Coordinate with greeters to make sure someone is prepared to take the collection, including presenting the food pantry collection.

4) During the Easter season, make certain that the Paschal candle is lit.

5) The service begins with a prelude, during which the acolyte lights the candles on the altar.  During the Easter season, fire is taken from the Paschal candle.  Otherwise, with the butane lighter. Assist the acolyte as needed.  During advent, assist the acolyte to light the candles on the Advent wreath, if necessary.

6) After the Prayer of the Day, read the first lesson.

7) Announce the Psalm. 

8) After the Psalm, read the second lesson.

9) After the Sermon, join the Pastor at the Altar for the Creed and Prayers.

10) During the Presentation of the Gifts, bring wine and bread to the altar.

11) Assist Communion; generally, the Assisting Minister handles the common cup.  The intinction cup is generally handled by the Communion Assistant.  The person with the intinction cup usually stands in the middle. 

12) Along with the Communion Assistant, accompany the Pastor to commune anyone who requires communion at their seat.

13) After everyone has communed, commune the Pastor and help clear the table.

14) After the Communion Blessing, read the Post-Communion Prayer.

15) During the final hymn, process with the Pastor while the acolyte extinguishes the candles. 

16) After Announcements, dismiss the congregation. 

Clean-up teams are assigned to clean-up communion, but please check to make sure that is done.


1) Clean up communion

     a: Wrap any whole unused pieces of bread and place back in freezer in Advent Hall

     b: Pour any wine remaining in flagon back into bottle.  Put wine bottle back into refrigerator in Advent Hall.

     c: Drink or pour on the ground outside any wine remaining in the chalice.

     d: Wash flagon and chalices and put into cabinet in sacristy.

     e: Arrange for the purificator to be washed.  (soaking in Oxyclean is the best way to remove wine stains)

2) Turn off sound system (2 boards on shelves in sacristy).

3) Turn off cordless microphones on altar and lectern.

4) Place batteries from cordless microphones in charger in sacristy.

5) Turn off lights in sanctuary.

6) Pick up extra bulletins, papers or items left in sanctuary.

7) After most people have left, clean up from coffee hour.

     a: Wash cups, glasses, coffee pots. 

     b: Replace items in cabinet in narthex.

     c: Instructions are on inside of cabinet door above coffee opts in Advent Hall

     d: Wipe table.

8) Turn off lights for waterwall and font  (inside utility closet in narthex)

9) Leave pumps for waterwall and font on.

10) Check thermostats to see that they are off or on Auto.

11) Lock office doors (front and back)

12) Check back exit in Advent Hall; make sure door has latched.

13) Release panic bar on front door with Allen wrench (kept on top of thermostat in entryway)

14) Make sure door closes properly and latches. 


1) Arrive @ 9 AM for regular worship and education schedule.  Arrive ½ hour before service if no education hour. 

2) Lock the panic bar on left hand door (as you face the building) into the open position with Allen wrench (wrench is on top of thermostat in entryway).  Push the panic bar in and turn wrench while holding the panic bar in. 

3) Start coffee brewing as soon as you arrive.  Instructions for coffee hour are inside of cabinet door above the coffee pots in Advent Hall.

4) Check thermostats.  They are on timers, but check to make sure that they are on the appropriate setting (heat/air) or heating/cooling does not need to be used, in which case the sliding glass doors in the sanctuary should be opened. Thermostats:  3 in sanctuary, 1 in narthex, 1 in office and 1 in Advent Hall.

5) Check with Sunday School teachers whether they need any assistance with set-up

6) Turn on lights over waterwall and font (switches are in the utility closet in the narthex, on the right-hand side, on the back surface of the wall adjacent to the closet doors).

7) Turn on lights in sanctuary as needed.  The bank of light switches is on wall near right side sanctuary door.

8) Check oil in candles on the altar. The supply of oil is in the cabinet in sacristy.

9) Check butane lighter and wick on acolyte’s lighter (inside right-hand door to the sanctuary).  The supply of wicks is in the cabinet in the sacristy.

10) Check for proper liturgical colors in the sanctuary.  A calendar with colors is on the desk in the office.

11) Hang the appropriate banner for the day or season.  Liturgical hangings and banners are in the sacristy.

12) Check waterwall and font water levels.

     a: Marked dowels (dipsticks) are in the utility closet in the narthex.  There is a different dipstick for the water wall and for the font.  Each is calibrated in gallons below the corresponding maximum mark.  A gallon jug for filling is in janitor’s closet. 

     b: Pour the appropriate number of gallons into the waterwall via the large slot where the water flows.  Do not overfill! 

     c: Pour the appropriate number of gallons directly into the bowl of the font.  Do not overfill!  If rechecking the level, wait a minute or so for the excess water in the bowl to run into the reservoir below the stones. 

13) Straighten the chairs in the sanctuary if needed. 

14) Place Food Pantry Basket by stands for bread and wine (near right entry door) on third Sunday of the month.  Basket is on top of cabinet in sacristy.

15) Prepare for fellowship/coffee hour.

     a: Coffee should have finished brewing.  Instructions for coffee hour are inside of cabinet door above the coffee pots in Advent Hall.

     b: Set up in narthex, unless a special reception is being held in Advent Hall. 

     c: Provide milk or cream for coffee.  Juice and snacks may also be provided.  

16) Turn on sound system in sacristy.

17) Place charged batteries into cordless microphones and turn on microphones on altar and lectern.


1) Greeters should be at the door 25 minutes before the start of the service.  Also, check in with the set up person to see if they need any help with coffee, etc.

2) Check the greeters table to make sure the bulletins and brochures are available along with any other special handouts.

3) Check the visitor’s book and make sure it is open to a blank page for any new visitors.  After any guests have signed the register, double check to see that the date line has been filled in.

4) Greet the worshipers as they arrive and work with the Sunday School greeter to hand out the bulletins. 

5) Welcome any visitors and invite them to sign the guest register and/or give them a visitor’s card to complete and put in the offering plate. If there are small children in the family, offer them crayons and a children’s bulletin. 

6) As you engage visitors in some welcoming conversation (i.e., Do you live in the area? How did you hear about Living Waters? etc.) be thinking of who you can introduce them to of our members that are in the narthex area before they enter the sanctuary.

7) Note if there are other members sitting near them in the sanctuary and if not alert some of our members that they might want to sit near the visitors to offer any help as the service unfolds.

8) Be mindful of how full the parking lot is if the crowd is large for that Sunday.  As the parking lot fills up alert some of the council members to help with directing some cars to the overflow parking area so we have some spaces available in the main lot for any visitors arriving.

9) During the service take the offering.  Two greeters go the front to receive the offering plates from Pastor.  Pass the plate through the side sections of the congregation and then to the center section.  One person then takes the offering back to the front to the Pastor along with the Sunday school student bringing up their offering and the Worship assistant bringing forward the bread and wine.

10) Following the service invite any visitors to have a cup of coffee or tea.  Offer them a blue cloth bag and water bottle as memento of their visit to Living Waters.  Try to introduce them to Pastor if they haven’t already had any conversation with the Pastor.


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