Opportunities to Volunteer and Serve

 Just call or email the contact person when you find something.

Worship / Liturgical Prayer

Contact
Beth McElhone (343-6256 x 113)

The Holy Mass and the sacraments are the bedrock of Catholic worship. We all have an important role as members of the assembly gathered to worship God and to offer ourselves to God in union with Jesus. Our presence and our prayer builds up the community. Members come forth to serve in various ways. 

ALTAR SERVERS

Assist the priest during Mass. Through their integral role in the Mass, adults and children (male and female) in the 4th grade and above, gain a deeper appreciation of the liturgy, receive valuable Catechesis and forge a deeper love for our Lord Jesus Christ. Training is offered in the fall and as needed.

CHILDREN'S LITURGY OF THE WORD LEADERS

Provides a way of engaging children in grades K-6 with the Sunday Scriptures. It is offered during the 8:45 AM. English Mass. Training for the leaders is offered as needed.

EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION

Minister the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ to their sisters and brothers at Sunday Mass, and take Holy Communion to parishioners who are home bound or in nursing homes. Training is held periodically for those who are eligible to serve in this ministry.

LECTORS 

Proclaim the Word of God to the gathered community at Mass and other parish services. A training session is held each fall and as needed for those who wish to continue in this ministry or to begin serving as a lector.

CHOIR

Supports he singing of the Assembly of the Faithful and provides music during worship services and devotions. St. Joseph's has various choirs: adult choirs; seasonal choir; two children's choirs; a chime choir; and a Spanish choir. If you would like to be a member of a choir, or to play an instrument, talk with Beth McElhone.

Devotional Prayer

At the end of Mass, we are sent forth to love and serve the Lord. Where and how is God calling you to serve? You might find some opportunities in what follows.  Prayer is a constant in everything we do at St. Joseph's. The following groups and activities deserve special attention because prayer - in and of itself - is the focal point of their ministry. 

ROSARY GROUP

People who meet at 6:30 p.m. on Monday evenings to pray the Rosary. All are welcome to come when able to do so. Enter the church building through the front door of the rectory.

Contact:
Mary Mero (382-4102)

STATIONS OF THE CROSS

Prayers and meditations that retrace Jesus' path to Calvary. The Stations of the Cross occur regularly during Lent. Call the rectory office for days and times.

Contact:
Rectory office (343-6256)

Christian Formation  

Christian formation concerns deepening our understanding of the Catholic Faith, to become "formed" to the life Jesus Christ is calling us to live. St. Joseph's offers several ways to help form its members of all ages (adults, youth, and children) as disciples of Jesus. Would you like to participate in or help with one of the following areas? 

Contact:
Rectory Office (269) 343-6256

Catholic Schools of Greater Kalamazoo (CSGK) 

A Catholic-faith-based elementary and secondary education system that focuses on high achievement in a caring Christ-centered environment. St. Joseph Parish and seven other area parishes sponsor CSGK. Visit their website for more information.

LECTORS' BIBLE STUDY

But You Don't Have To Be A Lector - helps lectors and others to get a grasp of the upcoming Sunday readings in order to proclaim them in a meaningful way. Anyone - don't let the name scare you - who would like to better understand the Scripture Readings at Mass is welcome to attend. The group meets Monday evenings at 7:00 PM in the rectory dining room.  More information.

PASTOR'S BIBLE STUDY

Consists of reflection and faith sharing on the Scripture readings to be used at the upcoming Sunday Masses. The group meets every Saturday morning during the entire year at 8:00 AM in the rectory dining room and is happy to welcome new participants. Enter through the side door by the parking lot. 

Spanish Speaking Group

This groups meets Tuesday evenings at 6:00 PM in the Rectory to study the readings for the coming Sunday. All are welcome whenever you can come. More information

Sunday Morning Bible Study

Follows the Little Rock Scripture Study program to better understand the Bible and apply it to our daily lives. The study group meets Sundays at 10:10 - 11:10 AM during the school year when religious education classes are scheduled. New members are always welcome to join us as often as they are able to do so. More information.

Religious Education for Children and Youth

FORMAL PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Provides English and bilingual formal religious instruction and sacramental preparation for youth up to 18 years old. We share this program with St. Thomas More Catholic Student Parish. We welcome and train adult and youth volunteers who wish to help us in our teaching mission. Virtus training required for anyone who is age 18 or older. Click here and then click on the brief tutorial to register for Virtus Training.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

Provides a great way to continue the religious development of children during the summer months. Through instruction, games and challenges, children gain a deeper understanding of their faith, grow closer to Jesus, develop lasting friendships, and have a whole lot of fun. Children from other parishes or faith expressions are welcome to attend. If you would like to help out talk with Jason.

YOUTH MINISTRY / YOUTH FORMATION PROGRAM  

Helps our youth develop a deeper relationship with Jesus, fosters a welcoming and loving community, and sends them forth to be the light for others.

SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION FOR ADULTS

PILGRIM'S PROGRESS

Consists of baptized adults who meet for a variety of reasons, to learn more about the Catholic Church, faith, and living as a baptized disciple of Jesus. Whether they come from a different denomination, are rejoining the Catholic Church after a period of separation, are preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation, or just want to add to their personal knowledge of our faith, all meet with the same purpose: to deepen their relationship with Jesus; to strengthen their bond with the Catholic Church; and get to know others from our parish family. The sessions include prayer, reflection on Sacred Scripture, formal presentations, and large- and small-group discussions.  Parishioners are welcome to join us at any time during the year to assist for whatever length of time works for them. More information.  

 RCIA - RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS

A process for unbaptized persons to learn about the Catholic Faith and way of life in preparation for Baptism. The RCIA meetings are held Monday evenings. The process includes prayer, instruction, community, and service. It leads, through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist celebrated at an Easter Vigil, to full initiation into the life and mission of Jesus as lived by the Church. We welcome inquirers who are not sure what they want to do but would like more information to assist in their decision-making, as well as those who desire to prepare seriously for Baptism and live their life according to Catholic belief and practice. A team of parishioners helps those who are on the road to Christian Initiation through prayer, participation in the meetings, and sponsorship.  Parishioners are welcome to join us at any time during the year to assist for whatever length of time works for them.

 MARRIAGE PREPARATION

FACILITATOR COUPLE FOR DISCUSSION OF PRE-MARITAL INVENTORY

Facilitates an engaged couple's discussion of the results of their pre-marital inventory. The instrument we use is FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding, and Study). The meeting is scheduled for a mutually convenient time and usually lasts for a couple of hours. Most facilitators have the meeting in their home, but meetings may be held at the parish. The engaged couple takes the FOCCUS Inventory online. Facilitator training is provided online. More information

PRESENTING COUPLE FOR CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE SEMINARS FOR ENGAGED COUPLES

Gives an 8-10 minute talk about the impact faith and prayer have in their married life. It is a personal sharing of how Christian Marriage is for them. Usually two married couples give a short presentation at each seminar which includes, in addition to the presentations, formal input, a short video presentation, and prayer. More information.

 MEN'S FELLOWSHIP GROUP

Through prayer, Scripture reading, reflection and discussion, participants work together to apply Gospel values to their daily lives and become the men Jesus wants them to be. All men 17 years and older are welcome. The group meets every Saturday at 7:30 AM in the St Joseph Room (rectory lower level).

WOMEN'S SPIRITUALITY & READING GROUP

Meets at 4:00 PM. on the first Sunday each month to discuss an agreed-upon book which was read in preparation for that month's meeting. The group is open to all interested women. Meetings are held in the rectory dining room.


Fellowship  

The Faith Jesus calls us to is not faith in a vacuum. It is social. It has us interacting with our brothers and sisters, working together, building up our parish community and helping each other become better witnesses of Christ. The following are some of the opportunities to foster fellowship. You might find something for yourself here. 

Bazaar

Held the first weekend in November, this event puts the talents of our parishioners on display via baked goods and crafts. Proceeds go toward special initiatives and/or to the parish's general fund.

Café y Mas

Provides parish members and friends a place to gather after the Spanish Mass for a cup of coffee, chocolate, donuts and sharing with one another. Since coffee is not the only thing that is shared, Mas is added to Café.

Donut Crew

Coffee, juice, warm conversation and some of the tastiest donuts in southwest Michigan provide a great setting for fellowship after the 8:45 AM Mass. This "power" breakfast happens in the Bennett Gym on most Sundays, September to May. If you would like to help out call Kyle Elmblad

Contact:
Kyle Elmblad (323-7217)

Hospitality Committee

Prepares and serves refreshments at special parish events. Help is always appreciated.

Parish Pride 

Bimonthly newsletter that keeps parishioners up-to-speed on what's going on in our parish. Article contributions are welcome and may be dropped off at the rectory for publication.

Service and Outreach

Catholics are called to imitate Jesus by taking care of those in need. St. Joseph parishioners answer this call by assisting the needy worldwide through organizations such as Catholic Relief Services and the Foods Resource Bank.  On a more local scale, St. Joseph's provides a meeting site for Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Many of our parishioners assist our parish and others in the following ways:

ARIMATHEANS

Provides parish family presence and support at funerals in our church. At a time when families are grieving the loss of a loved one, the presence of parish family members at the funeral can be a great comfort. The name is derived from Joseph of Arimathea who buried Jesus.

Contact:
Beth McElhone (343-6256 x 113)

BEFRIENDERS MINISTRY

Reaches out to members of the parish in their time of grief through notes and personal contact. BeFrienders let the grieving person know that the parish is there to help them get through their difficult time following a death or major life change (health issues, unemployment, divorce, etc). An annual prayer service is held each November in memory of those who have died during the year. Training for new volunteers is offered as needed. If you are interested in serving in this ministry or know of someone who would benefit from it, talk with Toni Gross.

Contact:
Toni Gross (383-7853)

 BISHOP DOMINIC'S MINISTRIES

There has been a long friendship between St. Joseph Parish and Bishop Dominic who now serves in the Diocese of Lodwar in Kenya .More information

Contact:
Sister Maureen Metty, CSJ (373-0424)

CHRISTIAN SERVICE OFFICE/FOOD PANTRY

Provides emergency food to those in need through the Loaves and Fishes program for Kalamazoo County. It dispenses limited direct assistance to prevent energy and water shutoffs and refers people to appropriate resources. Volunteers work in the food pantry during the day Monday through Friday on a regular basis or as an Occasional substitute. If you would like to help in the food pantry or donate to the fund, contact the Parish Office.

CHURCH CLEANING CREW

In charge of keeping the church building in tip-top shape. Rotating teams clean after the morning Mass each Monday. Other individuals work on special cleaning projects at other times. If you call Jim Buck, he will be glad to give you a volunteer job.

FACILITIES COMMISSION

Reviews conditions of parish buildings and grounds; advises pastor, Finance Council, and staff of needed repairs and maintenance; recommends plans for the future; coordinates with vendors regarding major projects to be done; and supervises repairs and the maintenance of buildings and grounds as needed. Would you like to be a member of this commission? More information

FINANCE COUNCIL

Aids the pastor and staff in the administration of parish goods, in order to carry out the mission of the parish. The Finance Council includes persons with skills in finance, administration and law. If you have useful skills for this work and are available to serve, call the rectory today. More information.

FLOWER CARE

Plant, prune and weed flower beds surrounding the Church.

FOODS RESOURCE BANK

Benefits communities in third world countries. Local volunteers are involved in the planting, cultivation, harvesting and sale of a food crop whose income is then invested in programs in a third-world country to help the inhabitants achieve food security. A Kalamazoo farmer donates land to be used for this purpose. Other local farmers give their time and the use of their machinery. Sponsors pay for the seed, water, and any other costs associated with growing food. Foods Resource Bank is made up of member organizations including churches of various Christian denominations, church agencies, and faith-based hunger organizations. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Foods Resource Bank are a partnership that responds to the challenges of world hunger. St. Joseph Parish is one of the member organizations. Monetary donations from sponsors are received through the parish office. Ed Cagney can tell you more about Foods Resource Bank.

Contact:
Ed Cagney (269) 217-4559

FUNERAL LUNCH CREW

Prepares and serves meals for the bereaved following funerals and graveside services. This comforting ministry calls on a substantial number of parishioners to do the job; from the callers who let people know a dish is needed, to the cooks and bakers who make the dish, to the people who serve the food. Help in any phase of this work will be appreciated. Right now we need your help especially in serving the meal.

HERITAGE COMMUNITY CENTER: HELP RESIDENTS FOR MASS ATTENDANCE

Volunteers are needed at least 2 Fridays a month, from 10:00AM - 12:00PM to help residentsat Directors Hall/Upjohn Community Care Center get to Mass at the nursing home (2400 Portage Road).

           Contact:
           Pat Dent (353-9893) available May through November

 KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS 1616

A band of brothers, a network of men in communities around the word dedicated to doing good in the service of God and our neighbor. Locally members have the opportunity to support our parish, give back to our community, and to grow in faith.

Contact:
Dan Barrett (388-3814)

LITURGY COMMISSION

Plans and coordinates liturgical services throughout the Church year. The commission meets the third Wednesday of the month. More information

Contact:
Maribeth Huster (382-5778 or cell: 250-0935)

PASTORAL COUNCIL

Comprised of parishioners whose role is to supply input to the pastor concerning the needs of the parish. The focus is on the prayerful identification and consideration of issues concerning parish life and the direction in which the parish is being called to carry out its mission. The format is based on prayer, reflection on Sacred Scripture relating to the issue being considered, and discussion of the issue. The parish staff meets with the pastoral council at various times during the year to clarify a common direction. The council meetings occur the second Wednesday of the month from September through June at 7:00 PM in the parish library. The meetings are open to guests. More information

ST. JOE PACKERS

A group of parishioners, who in collaboration with the Dream Center, assist in feeding the hungry with perishable food in the Edison neighborhood and beyond. They repackage bulk donated perishable food into smaller quantities for appropriate distribution by the Dream Center which is located on Portage Street just south of Lake Street.  The packers usually meet 8:30 AM on Mondays in the parish Gym. Jane Knuth can tell you more about it.

Contact:
Jane Knuth 329-0124