Ministry Picture
SOTP Church Ministries

After reviewing the following Ministry Descriptions, please use our online Ministry Interest Form to indicate your Ministry Interests.

Youth and Family

The purpose of Youth and Family Ministry at Shepherd of the Prairie is to help grow and nurture the faith of our children, which is accomplished through five key ways:

  • Faith is formed through personal, trusted relationships
  • The church is a living partnership between home and the congregation
  • Home is church, too
  • Faith is caught more than taught
  • It takes Christian parents and other adults to raise Christian children

We build our relationships with God and each other through caring conversations, devotions, service, and rituals and traditions.

As a support to the parents in guiding their child on the journey of Confirmation, we provide AAA (Authentic, Available, and Affirming) adults within the Confirmation program.

CONFIRMATION – (GRADES 6th, 7th & 8th)

Confirmation is a public rite of the Church, for which students have spent time in instruction, designed to help them identify with the life and mission of the Christian Church. The Rite of Confirmation provides an opportunity for the individual Christian, relying on God's promise given in Baptism, to make a personal public profession of the faith and a lifelong pledge of faithfulness to Christ.

Confirmation teaches baptized Christians who wish to become Lutheran Martin Luther's theology found in his “Small Catechism.”

HIGH SCHOOL (GRADES 9th – 12th)

“re:fresh” is a time of gathering for our high school students. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says "Come to me all who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest". This is designed for our high-school-aged students to come and rest. In the midst of the turmoil of being a teenager, it is refreshing to come and just "be" with other Christian students. re:fresh meets at the church one night a week.

Children and Family

The purpose of serving as POINT team leaders of Children and Family Ministry at Shepherd of the Prairie is to glorify God by providing 3-year-olds through 5th grade youth opportunities to develop and nurture their Christian and their relationships with one another.

  • Pray for one another
  • Offer Christ-centered activities
  • Invite others to gatherings
  • Nuture faith
  • Together grow as children of God

CRADLE ROLL

Cards are sent to newly baptized children and information is sent to the parents for the first three years after an infant is baptized. This information offers parents ideas on how to incorporate faith into their child’s daily life.

G.E.M.S. GIRLS CLUB

GEMS (Girls Everywhere Meeting the Savior) Girl’s Club is a relationship-building, small-group based program for 4th and 5th grade girls meeting two times a month. Our goal is to help bring girls into a living, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. At GEMS we get to know Jesus, enjoy dynamic singing and creative movement, study the bible, make lasting friendships, do service projects, play games and fun crafts for others.

LITTLE LAMBS EARLY LEARNING PROGRAM

Little Lambs is for children between the ages of 2 and 5 years. This early learning program is held on weekday mornings. During that time children enjoy Bible stories, crafts, music and other fun activities. All these activities help children develop a love for Bible stories and the knowledge that God loves us.

SUNDAY SCHOOL

This ministry provides for faith formation and religious education of our Preschool through 5th grade youth. Sunday School builds the foundation of our youth’s relationship with Jesus, and continually works on strengthening that relationship by developing a deeper understanding of the Bible.

We have over 100 preschool through 5th grade children involved in Sunday School. The preschool, undergarments and first grade children begin service seated with their parents, and then are guided to Sunday School by their teacher after the children's message is completed. The 2nd through 5th graders are in Sunday School for the entire hour of worship.

We offer the same Sunday School curriculum during each church service. We have a curriculum called "Sparks". Sparks offers children an interactive classroom experience which helps to bring the amazing stories in the Bible to life. It also provides teachers and parents a variety of online communication and learning tools so that parents can reinforce the principles in the Bible that will lead our young people to become good stewards and disciples in Christ.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

Help kids learn about the Lord through the enjoyment of music, crafts and fun—this is what Vacation Bible School is all about! For one week during summer we reach out to Pre-school and grade-school-age children in our church and community, to develop their understanding of the many teachings of Jesus, through high energy activities. All age groups are welcomed to help by donating their time prior to or during the week of VBS. It's a fantastic way to get to know families from within our church and those who live in our area.

Mission

The Mission Team was formed to do “outward visioning” for mission involvements where SOTP is not present, but can work to make a difference in God’s world; locally and globally. The team’s focus is defining new opportunities for God’s work in places where His work is needed and where we can serve. These opportunities can have positive impact both locally and globally. Some examples of mission team projects are shown below:

EXODUS WORLD SERVICE

SOTP works with Exodus World Service to provide Welcome to America packages for refugees. These packages provide the basics for setting up an apartment and providing for the refugee family’s first month in America. Members also deliver the items and set up the apartment.

FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN

Feed My Starving Children is a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit. The approach is simple: SOTP volunteers, children and adults, hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children. The meals are shipped to distribution partners around the world where they are used to operate orphanages, schools, clinics and feeding programs to break the cycle of poverty. FMSC food has reached more than 70 countries in our history.

GRAFTON FOOD PANTRY

SOTP is committed to the Grafton Food Pantry program, which meets the needs of families and individuals who do not have the means to purchase food and other essential items. As our community grows, it will be necessary to plan for the expansion of our food pantry services, and to continue partnerships with the church and business community, as well as local civic groups to provide these services.

The first Sunday of every month, non-perishable food and/or paper products are donated and brought to church for delivery to the Grafton Township Food Pantry. After services, the items are packed and delivered the next day to their office in Huntley.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.

To accomplish these goals, people of all backgrounds, races and religions are invited to build houses together in partnership with families in need.

This ministry requires coordination with the Volunteer Coordinator at the Habitat Affiliate in either McHenry or North Fox Valley. In addition, there is also a need to help at the Habitat Restore in Elgin and various special Habitat events.

HEIFER PROJECT

Heifer's mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. By giving families a hand-up, not just a hand-out, Heifer empowers them to turn lives of hunger and poverty into self-reliance and hope. With gifts of livestock and training, families are helped to improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. Animals are referred to as "living loans" because in exchange for their livestock and training, families agree to give one of its animal's offspring to another family in need. Monies collected from the children of our congregation during services are used for the purchase of animals for Heifer and to date, we have purchased many heifers, goats and sheep.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS FOOD BANK

SOTP volunteers visit the Northern Illinois Food Bank every few months. NIFB is a nonprofit organization providing food for hungry neighbors across 13 counties. Much of the donated food Northern Illinois Food Bank distributes needs to be inspected, sorted and packaged before it’s distributed to our hungry neighbors and this is only possible with the help of volunteers. SOTP volunteers packed 7,375 meals during their most recent visit.

P.A.D.S. (PUBLIC ACTION TO DELIVER SHELTER)

One Sunday of every month (October–May), our PADS ministry helps Bethany Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake by serving dinners or shopping for lunch supplies. Anyone who has a desire to help others and the community is welcome. Our members serving dinners normally arrive at Bethany a little early to get familiar with the staff, learn how the shelter functions and to help set up the serving tables. Dinner is served early evening and lasts for about one hour. No more than five people are needed to help on our assigned Sunday.

PRAIRIE POINTS QUILTERS

This group of women meets the first and third Tuesday of every month to make quilts for various organizations, such as Lutheran World Relief and Home of the Sparrow. These worthy organizations distribute the quilts to the needy here in the United States and overseas. Last year the group made over 130 quilts. Everyone is welcome to participate in this very special ministry.

PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY

The Prayer Shawl Ministry is based on a very old idea…that those experiencing rough times, physically, emotionally or spiritually, are comforted with the presence of a warm shawl. The group meets once a month and is open to men or women, young or old. No experience is necessary—current members are willing to teach you to knit or crochet the shawls. The importance of these shawls is that they are knitted/crocheted, prayed over and delivered to someone who is in need of comfort. We give these shawls for both joyful events such as the birth of a child, or for those sad times when someone needs a little comfort. We provide Prayer Shawls to Hospice here in Huntley and to Centegra Hospital. The Prayer Shawl Ministry receives most of the yarn used from donations.

Worship

The purpose of serving on the Worship Planning team is to glorify God by creating an atmosphere in worship where God’s Word is clearly proclaimed. The Worship Planning Team oversees the following:

ALTAR FLOWERS PICK-UP

Flowers that are ordered for special occasions are picked up on Saturday afternoon from a local florist, and brought to church on Sunday to be displayed during worship services. A church-supplied debit card is used to purchase the flowers.

ALTAR GUILD

Members of the Altar Guild are ministers of the liturgy. The SOTP Altar Guild is a dedicated group of men and women whose primary mission is to prepare the worship space with the furnishings, appointments, vessels, elements, linens, and paraments used in the liturgy for use by God's family. The members prepare for regular weekend worship services, celebrating communion every Service. They also prepare for Lent, Easter, Christmas, Baptism, wedding and funeral services, as well as other special events. Making worship meaningful for our congregation and friends is truly the Guild's privilege.

Each member who serves on the Altar Guild is committed to this service. We appreciate their gifts of time and warmly welcome any and all members of SOTP who are interested in joining our group and have available time to serve.

ASSISTING MINISTER

The Assisting Minister's responsibility is to assist the Pastor during the worship services. This role involves leading prayers of the Church and preparing the elements for Communion. The Assisting Minister reads the offertory, communion and dismissal prayers. A robe is provided for the Assisting Minister at a traditional service, but not required at a contemporary service. No special training is involved in this position, but a complete list of duties is given and each week the Assisting Minister receives a notebook containing the appropriate prayers. As the Presiding Minister represents ordained clergy at the Altar, the Assisting Minister represents lay people and the position should be considered by those who would be totally devoted to this beautiful ministry.

AUDIO/VISUAL

Members of the Audio/Visual team do their work in the booth in the rear of the sacristy. They meet at the church occasionally to discuss their duties and for training on new functionality.

SOUND BOARD OPERATORS...Running the soundboard during the worship services is an important part of worship. This ministry involves adjusting volume levels in the house speakers and the stage monitors to the musician’s specifications. The sound board operator needs at least 45 minutes before services to prepare for these tasks. The sound board operator attends worship rehearsals.

AUDIO/VISUAL COMPUTER OPERATOR...The Audio/Visual computer operator controls the material that appears on the screen in front of the sacristy. This consists of either the live action material from the camera (pastor’s sermon, children’s message, etc.) or song lyrics for congregation accompaniment for the music team. Another function for this operator is to video record the service for posting (some or all) the captured video on the church website. The Audio/Visual computer operator needs at least 45 minutes before services to prepare for these tasks. The A/V computer operator attends worship rehearsals.

BAPTISMAL BLANKETS

White Baptismal Blankets are crocheted by congregational members and placed inside the Faith Chest at each baptism, child and adult, to remind them that they are blessed and enfolded in the love of God and the love and prayers of the members of Shepherd of the Prairie.

COMMUNION BREAD BAKER

Shepherd of the Prairie uses bread baked by members of the congregation for communion. A specific, easy recipe for non-leavened bread is provided for the bakers that normally takes less than an hour. This is a ministry that only requires the making of the bread approximately once every three months.

COMMUNION STEWARD

The Communion Steward is a representative of the congregation during worship by assisting the Presiding and Assisting Ministers in the distribution of Communion. They serve the wine and grape juice for those who do not wish to receive the wine. This ministry does not require prior experience and a specific, detailed list of duties is given to those wishing to serve in this ministry.

DRAMA FOR WORSHIP

The Drama group is involved in creating and acting out short skits to enhance the worship experience, performing once every few months or as requested.

FAITH CHEST MINISTRY

The Faith Chest Ministry provides a wooden hand-crafted personalized chest for each child baptized into faith at our Shepard of the Prairie Lutheran Church. The Faith Chest is intended to be a place where documents, moments & keepsakes of one’s journey to faith and adulthood can be stored. The Faith Chest is presented by Pastor Mark immediately following the Baptismal Ceremony.

If you have wood-working skills and would like to join this ministry, please contact the church office.

GREETER

Pastor usually stands outside the door prior to the early service to greet all worshipers. Additional individuals are needed to assist, especially prior to the late service, as pastor cannot always be out front at that time. A greeter welcomes people and lets them know how happy we are that they came to worship with us. On the last Sunday of the month, the greeters also distribute bags to those who want to contribute non-perishable food items and paper products to the Grafton Township Food Pantry the following Sunday.

MARRIAGE MINISTRY

The Marriage Ministry’s goal is to prepare couples for marriage by administering the ”Prepare Assessment” to couples as they approach their wedding, discuss the results, pray and reflect on scripture together to prepare for their future lives together. Another goal is to provide discovery/sharing opportunities along with support for already married couples.

NURSERY CAREGIVER

This ministry consists of volunteers who help care for little children who do not attend worship services with their parent(s). There is no age limit as such but usually it is the younger children that are in the nursery.

READER

This position involves reading of the lesson or psalm during the service. The reader coordinator always sends the lessons/psalms to the reader in advance so they review the readings prior to service.

USHERS

The position of Usher is one of worship facilitation. Worship can be a confusing experience, especially if it is one's first time to our congregation. Ushers help worshipers navigate the layout of the building, such as location of worship service, Sunday School classrooms and restrooms. They invite folks to fill out name tags, distribute bulletins and welcome cards. They prepare Eucharistic elements, collect offerings, guide worshipers to Communion, light and extinguish Altar candles. In addition, they are aware of locations of emergency phones and fire extinguishers. Ushers have an important ministry and all are given a complete list of duties and preparations for each particular service. The ushers group meets quarterly for assignment updates and to discuss issues.

WEDDING COORDINATOR

The Wedding Coordinator works directly with the Pastor and with the couples preparing for marriage at SOTP. This is accomplished by assisting with all the necessary arrangements such as where at church the bride/bridesmaids, groom and groomsmen dress (if not at home), music, use of kitchen facilities and availability of possible rooms needed and other important factors of a wedding.

WORSHIP ARTS

This committee designs and makes all the banners that are displayed in the sanctuary. It takes someone who is willing to devote time and skills to make these beautiful banners. We make banners for the four liturgical seasons of the church and special occasion such as baptisms, marriages and other events. We’re always looking for volunteers who have ideas or visions for new banners, the ability to create banners or just want to support this important ministry.

Adult Education

This ministry is an opportunity for adults in our congregation, regardless of age, to continue growing in their faith. Whether new to the Christian faith, or having been a life-long follower of Jesus, all are invited to join us for conversation. We may use a Bible story to get us started, or we may have a more general topic to explore those faith issues that intersect with daily life. You may choose one of the several times we meet each week. We recognize that people are in very different places in their faith journey. And that's good! So "old hand" or new beginner, all are welcome! In addition to weekly opportunities, events like a marriage retreat are also offered. Watch the Sunday bulletin insert, the newsletter, and the Friday Flourish for details.

ACTIVE CHRISTIAN PARENTING

Twice a year, a six-week series is offered titled, “Active Christian Parenting”. It’s a wonderful opportunity to assess and strengthen your parenting skills and a way to learn if we are re-active or pro-active parents. We can learn how to help our children make wise choices with consequences, all the while strengthening the self-esteem of both parent and child.

CONGREGATIONAL SUMMER BOOK READ

Each summer, we provide an opportunity for members and friends of SOTP to participate in a six-week book read. We break out into small groups and group reads and discusses the same book during the six week time period. All participants meet at the beginning and end of the time for a potluck and fellowship to launch the book read and during the six weeks small groups meet in homes with group members serving as leaders.

FRIENDS BIBLE STUDY

Friends Bible Study is a group of women who meet once a week at the church. Using various inspirational books as guides, the “Friends” develop a deeper relationship with our God. It is not just a walk with God, but a dance of the heart.

A “Friend” is a gift you give yourself! Please plan to join us and make new friends!

SUPPERS WITH LUTHER

This study is offered both Spring and Fall as an opportunity for those who are new to the Lutheran expression of faith and for those for whom confirmation has been a long time ago to learn more about Martin Luther and what we believe and practice as Lutheran Christians.

WEEKLY BIBLE STUDIES

Several studies are offered throughout the year on a variety of subjects. Some studies are based on Books of the Bible, some on the history of the Christian Church, some on timely issues of the day and some on topics of general interest. Studies are held on Sunday Mornings at 10:20 a.m. and on Wednesday Mornings at 11:00 a.m.

Music

ADULT BEGINNING BELLS

The Adult Beginning Handbell Choir is one of our newer music groups and requires little or no music reading skills.

PRAIRIE RINGERS

This Adult Handbell Choir usually plays twice a month from fall to spring. The Ringers also play for special services, such as Christmas and Easter. They meet Tuesday evenings for practice, except during the summer months. The Ringers are always looking for new members and the only requirement is the ability to read music at the intermediate level.

REJOICE TEAM — WORSHIP BANDS

These groups are for the Contemporary (late) service. Vocalists, keyboardists, guitarists and drummers are welcome. Rehearsal is once a week on Thursday. If interested, call Jane McMullen.

SATURDAY NIGHT WORSHIP

Saturday evening worship is predominately led by piano/organ with the addition of occasional special music such as handbells, instrument ensembles and vocal offerings.

SHEPHERD’S VOICES CHOIR — ADULT CHOIR

The Shepherd’s Voices choir meets for practice every week on Wednesday in the evening except during the summer months. The choir sings at the 9:00 a.m. service and sings mostly traditional music. The only requirement for joining this choir is loving to sing. Everyone is welcome.

CHILDREN’S CHOIRS, BELLS AND CHIMES

Children's Choirs provide an opportunity for children to become actively involved in worship. They sing and play music that praises God and spiritually guides them in their faith journey. Children learn and practice basic music concepts, move and play some basic rhythm instruments. It's a great way to build friendships with other children in the church. Relationships with adults will develop through prayer partner ministry and opportunities to perform with the adult worship team.

Choirs:

  • Cherub Choir (P3 to Kindergarten)
  • Treasures Choir (1st & 2nd Grade)
  • Blessings Choir (3rd to 5th Grade)
  • Youth Choir/Youth Band (6th to High School) (the Youth Band leads worship on the 4th Sunday of most months. Rehearsals are twice a month on Sunday afternoons)

Bells and Chimes:

  • Joy Ringers (Chime Choir—1st to 3rd Grade)
  • Jubilate Ringers (beginning Handbells for children who can read basic music—2nd to 5th Grade)
  • Jubilation Ringers (Handbells for children who have intermediate music reading skills—6th to 8th Grade or at the discretion of the Director)
  • Spirit Ringers (Advanced Handbells—8th to 12th Grade or at the discretion of the Director)

Fellowship

BOOK CHAT GROUP

Using contemporary best sellers, this group meets once a month during the afternoon for discussion, fellowship and “chat”.

BOWLING LEAGUE

The Shepherd of the Prairie Bowling League meets once a month at a local bowling alley from September to May.

COFFEE FELLOWSHIP

The Sunday Coffee Fellowship Time provides a welcoming atmosphere for members and guests between services each Sunday. Members from our congregation organize and schedule various ministry groups to host this fellowship time. SOTP members provide the treats, prepare the coffee and set up the refreshment table before the first service ends. The hosts have the responsibility of cleaning up the refreshment table and coffee pots and returning all equipment to the assigned storage areas.

MEN’S BIBLE STUDY

This men’s small group meets once a week in the evening at the church to further their knowledge of the Bible using various studies as guides.

MEN’S FELLOWSHIP BREAKFAST GROUP

This men's ministry group meets once a month at a designated restaurant not only to have breakfast together, but to learn and practice Christian principles, provide support by praying for one another, for discipleship and witnessing to others.

PHOTOGRAPHY

In today's media world, images and video clips are used to effectively communicate ideas and events. This ministry is a way to document and publish the activities, events and ministries at SOTP on our website for all to view. Because of the numerous activities for various photos, anyone that has an interest in this ministry is welcome to take pictures or videos at events and forward them to our church office.

Members of this ministry will be available to take pictures or videos of your activities, meetings and special events—they can then be posted on SOTP's website and used in the Sunday morning media announcements. In addition, by sending the pictures/videos to our church office, we will archive them to document the activities of SOTP for any given year. (A digital camera is available in the church office which can be used if necessary for last minute events in the church.)

PRAIRIE CRAFTERS

The Prairie Crafters meet each month to work together on craft projects to be sold at our Christmas bazaar in early November and our Easter bazaar in Spring. All proceeds are donated to the building fund. New crafters are always welcome. Even if a person has never made crafts before, but is interested to learn, members are willing to give you all the information and supplies needed to help you get started. If unable to attend the monthly meetings, a person can still participate by donating craft items made at home, baking items for the bake sales at the bazaars and/or helping to sell crafts or baked goods at the bazaars. In addition, charitable donations of lap robes and scarves for nursing homes and material/yarn are always appreciated.

SOTP SUPPER CLUB

The purpose of the Supper Club is to provide an opportunity to become better acquainted with other SOTP members. This ministry consists of small groups of six to eight who get together once a month for meals. There are three different sessions for these groups: winter, spring/summer and fall. All members are welcome. Each group determines what will be served and when and how often they will meet. Some groups eat out, some meet at each other’s homes. Often one host will make the main meal while others bring salad, desserts, etc.

SPARKPLUGS

The purpose of the Sparkplugs is to experience Christian fellowship and service in a small group with an interest in classic cars, sports cars and auto racing. The Sparkplugs recently presented the “Driving Zone – Essential Techniques for New and Experienced Drivers.” The program featured a video which offered valuable lessons to help reduce accidents and save lives. The Sparkplugs are for everyone….youth, men, women…..all ages.

Inreach

INREACH TEAM

The Inreach Team is a ministry of listening and caring in order to be present and to provide support and invitation for persons of SOTP to witness and experience the presence of Jesus. The Inreach Team oversees the following:

CARING CARD MINISTRY

This ministry involves the sending of Welcome Cards to all new members and their families, Cards are also sent to those who are baptized, students who graduate and students who are confirmed. We send cards to those who are having spiritual difficulties, health issues, or in celebration of answered prayers or births. In addition, holiday cards are sent to servicemen and women who are listed on the Prayers for Persons in the Armed Services list in our weekly announcements. This ministry also creates the Baptism and Confirmation banners.

CARING CALLERS

This ministry involves follow-up calls for members who are recovering from surgery, hospitalization or prolonged illness to provide support and love and help if requested

COMMUNION FROM THE ASSEMBLY

The purpose of serving in this ministry is to carry and serve the sacrament to those who are unable to be present in worship. This can be at home, in the hospital, or nursing/rehab facility. This is also a wonderful time to share a word of scripture and prayer. Couples and individuals are given easy instructions from Pastor on how to distribute the sacrament and sharing the love of Christ through the Lord’s Supper. The only requirement for this ministry is that it does take some reflection and prayer to know that you want to serve in this capacity.

FFAA – FUN FOR ALL AGES

The main responsibilities for the FFAA group are to conceive and schedule social activities for everyone in our congregation. This includes activities such as Christian concerts, piefests, family retreats, soup suppers during Lent and the annual church picnic. A game/trivia night and other fun activities have also been planned by FFAA.

Do you like facilitating gatherings where people come together for no greater reason than to experience Community—the kind of events where anyone could be involved and even invite their neighbors? Do you feel that little excitement within that says: "I am good at that and it would be fun to do!" If so, FFAA is for you!

FUNERAL PLANNER

We know not the day or the hour when our God will tell us ”well done good and faithful servant”. SOTP is blessed with a member who has been a long time pastor. He is willing to meet with you and plan with you. Some of the topics touched on include your favorite/chosen Bible passages and music you’d like included in the service. It is so helpful to our loved ones if we make our desires known beforehand.

GRIEF SUPPORT

This ministry provides booklets on grief that are mailed four times over the first year after the death of a loved one. The booklets offer comfort and insight into the grieving process.

GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP

A gathering to provide opportunities for the bereaved for understanding and healing.

HELPING HANDS

Helping Hands is a ministry of care. This ministry’s goal is to prepare and deliver meals to congregation members who are experiencing a family crisis or to a family with a new baby who are in need of a warm meal during this joyful, but hectic time. The Funeral Luncheon Committee is part of Helping Hands, planning and providing meals after funeral services in our church.

This ministry is constantly changing and growing in both its members and in how we provide help to those in need. We encourage new members to join this ministry and share their ideas and talents with us. Together we can help someone in need feel the concern and care that we are called to share with another. This ministry blesses its members as much as (or perhaps more than) it blesses those who receive a warm meal. We'd love for you to join us in adding more hands to Helping Hands.

KITCHEN CARE

The individuals who join the Kitchen Care Ministry are responsible for caring for our kitchen by keeping it “clean” and acquiring needed supplies.

PRAYER MINISTRY

Special Prayer Requests for members, family, and friends are sent to nearly 80 people each day via email. The prayers can be for healing, support, and comfort for those in need, and to rejoice and celebrate good news. Unless a prayer request is private, the request is published for four to six weeks in the Sunday bulletin announcements, which are updated every week. Prayer requests can be made using special forms on the ushers' table or contacting the church office.

Outreach

OUTREACH TEAM

The goal of the Outreach Team is to introduce Shepherd of the Prairie church to our growing community by helping the congregation organize to deliver the message of salvation. This is accomplished by participating in various meetings and workshops and planning for outreach each year at the Huntley Expo and Huntley Fall Fest.

The Outreach Team encourages all members to invite friends and family to worship at Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church. All the members of our team are excited about sharing their love for Jesus and are always looking for new ways to make others feel welcome. We hope you consider becoming a member of the Outreach Team!

ANGEL BABY COCOONS

This ministry provides cocoons for miscarried and stillborn babies fo Centegra Hospital Huntley and Rockford Memorial Hospital.

PUBLICITY

This ministry involves individuals from our congregation to provide information to the local newspapers regarding our weekly services and various meetings to be held during the week. These individuals also coordinate with the various publications and other media where the church advertises.

WELCOME CENTER

Members of the team greet first-time visitors during Sunday worship at the Welcome Center in the Crossroads (narthex). We hope you have noticed the welcoming banner above the office window. At this location, after each service, we welcome new visitors and present them with a gift. We call this the “Mugging Ministry” because each family receives a mug and information on all the activities that we offer in our church.

Property

PROPERTY TEAM

The Property Team currently has about 15-20 talented members that help maintain the church. Are you familiar with interior or exterior maintenance? If you join us, this does not mean we would call you constantly looking for help; we would call you only if we had a problem in your area of expertise. Some examples of help we might need are painting, changing light bulbs, working on door hardware or changing furnace filters. If you would like to join this ministry, please free to contact any member on the committee or contact the church office.

DECORATING COMMITTEE

The Decorating Committee of SOTP is a new committee, having been formed in December 2011. We decorate the church and Crossroads area for Christmas, Easter and as this committee evolves will be doing special decorating for other important church dates. We will also be working with the Banner group to coordinate. We welcome any and all who enjoy decorating to join us!

GREEN THUMB GARDENERS

For the love of gardening, this group meets regularly during the growing season to enhance and beautify the gardens of Shepherd of the Prairie. We are also working with the Property Committee to maintain the Prairie plantings established on the church grounds. We meet as a small group for study and fellowship.

Many of us were the "Weed and Water Brigade" who continue to have an interest in gardening and desire to learn more about Prairie/wildflower gardening. Since the church grounds have been planted with environmental friendly grasses and vegetation, we want to continue planting and maintaining the prairie grasses in the berms and the Main Street garden by the sign. We are inviting all those with a "Green Thumb" to join this group.

SPACE AND FACILITIES PLANNING

This committee has been formed for the purpose of contacting the various ministries to determine their present and future space requirements. Based on this information, we will attempt to determine the most efficient use of the space presently available and to prioritize future expansion requirements. There is a need for additional committee members who enjoy person to person contact.

Administrative Support

COMPUTER SERVICES

This is a data input ministry, entering basic new member and visitor information (name, address, etc.) into our church database.

FINANCIAL SECRETARY

The Financial Secretaries are responsible for entering offering contributions into the church database and running financial reports as necessary.

GIFTS AND MEMORIALS

This committee is responsible for recording and acknowledging all special gifts and memorials received by the church during the year. We also receive monetary gifts to honor or celebrate special occasions for our members. These gifts can be designated for the building fund or special needs of the church or the organizations.

NEWSLETTER ASSEMBLY

Newsletter Assemblers meet once a month on Friday (usually towards the end of the month) to assemble and prepare the church newsletter for mailing. Four volunteers are needed and they meet in the church office. This vital ministry takes about one hour.

OFFERING COUNTER

Offering counters meet at church on Monday morning (unless it's a holiday) and follow procedures for counting the previous weekend’s offering. Money is earmarked for various accounts and all must balance with the actual amount received. Counters sign up for one month at a time, but can certainly count more than one month in a calendar year. There are usually three counters at each session.

SUNDAY BULLETIN ASSEMBLY

Every Friday morning the Sunday Bulletin is assembled at the church office,. There are usually two to three volunteers and requires about one and one-half hours of time. This ministry is an easy ministry to do and usually entails helping once a month.

Congregation Support

CHURCH COUNCIL

The Church Council consists of the Executive Committee, namely, President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, in addition to five associate members.

FINANCE MINISTRY

The purpose of this ministry group is to oversee SOTP financial activities. This ministry group should consist of approximately 3-5 selected members. Its activities include:

  • Review/develop investment strategies for SOTP funds.
  • Review/document accounting procedures and practices to insure compliance with generally accepted accounting procedures and Federal and State laws.
  • Oversee insurance needs – insure church assets are adequately protected.
  • Review monthly financial reports communicating with the council and congregation as appropriate.
  • Oversee preparation and procedures for Annual Budgets with appropriate staff and ministry groups, as well as annual budgets for operations and capital.
  • Coordinate with stewardship committee.
  • Coordinate with Space and Facilities Planning Team.
  • Review and oversee any other STOP financial activities and issues as needed.
  • The Council Treasurer is the council liaison to the Financial Ministry Group.

HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE

The Human Resources Committee is charged with filling paid job positions at Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church. The positions, identified by the Pastor and the church council, are necessary for the continued strength and growth of the church's future. We create the job description, post the position, conduct interviews and select the appropriate candidate to fill the position. Our selection is presented to the Church Council for approval.

The Human Resources Committee is also charged with protecting our youth and church family by conducting background screenings of paid personnel and volunteers who interact with the various groups at Shepherd of the Prairie.

MUTUAL MINISTRY (PASTOR SUPPORT GROUP)

Mutual Ministry is a small group of people who meet monthly with the pastor to provide a safe and confidential environment for him to share new ideas, blessings and concerns he may have about his ministry at SOTP. This group also supports the pastor by making sure that he:

  • has good work and family balance
  • takes his vacation
  • is attending continuing education opportunities
  • has meaningful goals each year

The Mutual Ministry group also administers the pastor’s yearly performance evaluation and is available to the congregation for feedback or concerns specifically about the pastor or his ministry.

NOMINATING COMMITTEE

This committee consists of six voting members of the congregation, two of whom, if possible, shall be outgoing members of the Council and shall be elected at the annual meeting for a term of one year. Members of the Nominating Committee are not eligible for consecutive reelection.

The Nominating Committee nominates members for the Audit Committee, the Voting Members of the Synod Assembly and the Congregational Council.

STEWARDSHIP

Stewardship means “belonging to God" - all that we are and all that we have comes from God. We are grateful to God for it all, and responsible to God for how we use it. There is a connection between stewardship and spirituality: generous giving as a spiritual discipline helps us to grow in Christ. “Duty and delight” are both motivating factors for giving - doing what we ought to do as responsible church members, and making cheerful sacrifices out of love for God.

The Stewardship Committee is responsible for planning and sponsoring workshops and temple talks leading up to Commitment Weekend. The committee also has the responsibility of providing detailed financial information in the newsletter and visuals at Church with regard to our loan balance projected pay off date and pledge results.

SYNOD REPRESENTATIVES

During the annual Shepherd of the Prairie congregational meeting, delegates are chosen to serve as voting members of the ELCA Synod Assembly. The number of persons to be elected and other qualifications are described in the guidelines established by the Northern Illinois Synod.

The Synod Representatives act as the legislative representative at the Assembly for all of our members. After the Assembly, activities and a summary report is presented to the congregation.