Groups & Ministries: Stewardship & Volunteering


An acolyte’s job is to serve the priest during the Eucharist. Acolytes assist in worship during one of two Sunday services by lighting and extinguishing candles, carrying the processional cross, carrying torches in the procession, holding the Evangelion (i.e., Gospel Book) for the deacon to read, and serving the priest at the altar. Acolytes also assist ushers with the offering. If you are interested in serving, please contact Father Bill Garrison, Sally Schacht, or Will.

Altar Guild

Altar Guild member Donna Marshall, February 2019

Altar Guild member Donna Marshall, February 2019

The Altar Guild at Saint Matthias is the volunteer parish organization that prepares the Lord’s Table for the Eucharist at two services Sunday mornings. These volunteers also are available to clergy for special services as needed (e.g., during Holy Week and funeral and memorial services). Altar Guild participation is open to all parishioners at Saint Matthias. If you are interested in being trained and/or serving this mostly unseen but crucial function, please contact Altar Guild Director Lynn Rostedt or Father Bill Garrison.

Chalice Bearers & Lay Eucharist Ministers

Chalice Bearers administer the chalice during the Eucharist at each of the two services every Sunday morning. (This duty is generally performed by different parishioners each week.) Lay Eucharist Ministers take the sacrament to shut-ins. If you are interested in serving in either of these capacities, please contact Father Bill Garrison.

Parish Choir

Saint Matthias Parish Choir Practice, February 2019

Saint Matthias Parish Choir Practice, February 2019

The Parish Choir is a group of singers dedicated to leading the congregation in the liturgy through words (i.e., prayers) and music written by fine composers spanning the centuries. The oft-repeated expression “one who sings prays twice” is felt very deeply by our choir. Although a close and jovial family, the group, directed by Choirmaster Kevin McKelvie, is very serious about their preparation for services in order to do their very best to convey a spiritual message, and to provide a ministry of music for the congregation and community. If you are interested in serving as a member of the choir, please contact Kevin McKelvie.


A fancy word for “readers.” For most of the history of Saint Matthias, we have selected laypersons to read the first and second lessons and lead the psalms and prayers during each of the two Sunday morning services. Lectors are assigned on a rotating basis to the regular Sunday services as well as special services. If you are interested in serving as a lector, please contact Kathy Underwood.

Pastoral Commission

The Pastoral Commission serves parishioners in crisis and need. The group sends cards, plants, and flowers to shut-ins, the sick, and the bereaved. Members of the Pastoral Commission also help to fund Stephen Ministry training and supplies as needed, assist at funeral receptions, and assist members of the congregation, for example, by transporting them to doctor’s appointments and to the grocery store. Finally, the Pastoral Commission organizes the Feast of Lights fundraiser every year.

Prayer Ministers

The power of praying together has been practiced and felt through the centuries by Christian communities as a way to seek God’s help and give Him thanks through Christ and the Holy Spirit. Prayer Ministers are lay members of Saint Matthias who desire to serve the church by praying with people who want to pray individually with a church member, usually for support during difficult times they or others are facing, as well as in thanksgiving for God’s grace. Prayer Ministers undertake this work during each of the two Sunday services at either end of the altar during communion. Any person may simply walk up to a Prayer Minister to ask for a prayer partner during this time. If you’re interested in praying with people in church during scheduled Sunday morning services, contact Jay Biby by phone at 562-869-3038, or via email:, or Parish Administrator Dottie Andersen at 562-698-9741. All Prayer Ministers receive an orientation to the Prayer Partner Ministry and will be given opportunities to practice praying with others before they begin.

The Soup Hour

In 1983 Saint Matthias began serving meals to homeless and other economically disadvantaged community members. We provide hot meals every weekday at 3 PM to all who come. We also receive mail for over 300 people; distribute hygiene kits, clothing, and other donations; and refer people to social and medical services as needed. Our goal is to provide our neighbors in need with daily sustenance, community resources, and human companionship: In all the program’s aspects, we strive to make evident our belief in recognizing and preserving the dignity of every human being. The program is currently run by two staff members, Parish Administrator Dottie Andersen and Facilities Manager Ben Gonzalez, along with a wonderful group of more than thirty volunteers, some of whom are members of the parish and some of whom come from the wider community.

Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministers are lay people who are trained to work with parishioners going through challenging or stressful times, including a death in the family, job losses, divorce, and many other problems. Stephen Ministers must complete 50 hours of training administered by Stephen leaders, and one week of intense training administered by personnel from Stephen Ministry headquarters in Saint Louis. Stephen Ministers become a friend to their care receivers and compassionate advocates for people who need to be seen, heard, and comforted; they also have resources available to make referrals to professionals if and when a situation demands it. All conversations and visits with Stephen Ministers are absolutely confidential.  If you are interested in learning more about this important program, whether you are a person in need or think you might make a good Stephen Minister yourself, please contact Father Bill Garrison.


At Sunday morning services, ushers greet parishioners and guests as they enter the sanctuary, distribute the weekly bulletins, receive the offering, and direct people row-by-row to the communion rail. Ushers also serve as counters, recording attendance statistics as well as counting, recording, and depositing pledges and offerings from the collection plates on Sunday mornings and special services like Christmas and Easter. If you are interested in this ministry please contact Dave Donovan.