Time and Talent
St. Joseph Parish offers many and varied opportunities to serve our parish family and the surrounding communities. Below are listed descriptions of the ways in which you can share your time and talent.
- Spiritual Life and Worship
- Faith Formation
- Youth Ministry
- Adult Faith Formation
- Parish Life Commission
- Music Ministry
- Charitable Activities and Social Justice
- Properties Commission
Spiritual Life and Worship
Our Mission: We, the members of the Spiritual Life and Worship Commission, are called to promote the faith development of all members of St. Joseph Parish through liturgical celebrations, prayer experiences, and opportunities for spiritual growth.
Members of the commission coordinate the environments of both the Village and Country Churches. The Commission meets on the second Tuesday of the month.
Mass Captains serve in teams of two and assist at weekend and Holy Day Masses, overseeing all areas of liturgical ministry. They are active before, during, and after Mass, coordinating the lectors, Eucharistic ministers, and hospitality ministers. They invite a family to present the offertory gifts. They ensure that all the needs for worship are met before Mass and that the church is neat, clean, locked and secured when Mass and fellowship/coffee and donuts time in the Gathering Space has concluded.
These are boys and girls who assist the priest at the altar at weekend and Holy Day Masses. This includes holding the Roman Missal for prayers, setting the altar, lighting and extinguishing candles before and after Mass. Servers must be in 4th grade or older.
Eucharistic Ministers assist in the distribution of the Body and Blood of Christ at weekend and Holy Day Masses. After Mass, they purify and wash the vessels. Some ministers may also take communion to the sick and homebound.
Hospitality Ministers assist at weekend Masses by greeting and welcoming parishioners in the Gathering Space, assisting people with finding seats, the procession to communion, and taking up the offering of the people; handing out bulletins after Mass, straightening the pews after Mass, and having an awareness of facilities for emergency purposes (restrooms, first aid, etc.).
Lectors assist at weekend and Holy Day Masses by introducing the Mass, proclaiming the Word of God, and leading the Prayers of the Faithful.
Anointing Mass & Lunch
In the fall an Anointing Mass of the Sick is celebrated at the Parish Center on the village campus. It is for anyone who is in need of physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual healing. This is followed by lunch. Help is needed for providing transportation, setting up for the Mass and lunch, cooking the meal, and cleaning up. We also offer the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick after a 5:00 pm Saturday Mass in the spring during Easter Time.
Ministers of Praise
These parishioners volunteer to pray daily in private for the needs of the parish. Each month these ministers receive a letter with a pertinent prayer and a list of requested intentions. These intentions are taken from the “Prayer Intention Box” which is located in the back of both the Village and Country Churches. This prayer box is brought forward at the Offertory at the weekend liturgies. All parishioners are invited to join this ministry.
These are volunteers who help the Worship Commission prepare, decorate, and transition the Church for the liturgical seasons. This includes setting up, watering plants, carrying flowers, placing flowers, changing banners, etc.
Women of the Cloth
The Women of the Cloth cut and sew together the machine embroidered fabric that is used to make the baptismal bibs that are given to all the babies and young children that are baptized here at St. Joseph’s. For more information contact Carol Desrochers, 734-646-4424.
Our Mission: As intentional disciples of Jesus, committed to the needs of St. Joseph Parish, we will develop, sponsor, and support a wide range of opportunities and resources for parishioners of all ages.
With a friendly and welcoming approach, we will welcome and invite all members of the community to join us in nurturing and developing a lifelong relationship with Jesus through the Sacraments, our worship, and the traditions of our Catholic faith.
Faith Formation Commission Responsibilities
To achieve the goals of the mission statement the members of the Faith Formation Commission oversee the quality of the parish’s faith formation by supporting and advising the Directors of Religious Education, Youth Ministry, and Adult Formation. Members serve a three-year term and meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Membership is open to all interested parishioners. Responsibilities include: reviewing the spiritual and educational needs of our parish, researching and reviewing materials used in faith formation, assisting in the recruitment of volunteers, and assisting in the planning and facilitating of formation opportunities.
St. Joseph Religious Education Program Needs You!
Our children, ages preschool to 8th grade, are placed into classes and need two adults each week who will guide them in the ways of Christ and the Church. Their formation is a critical component of their youth and will help them to become contributing teens and adults who will shape the future of the Church. If you feel called to serve in this ministry, there are three ways you can help:
- Become a catechist or co-catechist.
- Become a classroom assistant.
- Become an office assistant or hall monitor
These adults need not be parents! Those who volunteer to catechize our children will be guided by the Directors of Religious Education and Youth Ministry They are provided materials and curriculum that give them the tools they need to be successful. Contact Michelle Hochrein at email@example.com or Don Dalgleish at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 734-426-2674 with any questions or to join our team! A great year of religious education begins with your prayerful discernment at this time.
- Must attend a Protecting God’s Children session.
- Must sign a waiver for a criminal background check.
- Must be fingerprinted if you have lived in Michigan less than 10 consecutive years.
- Catechists and Co-Catechists must attend at least one formation session during each school year to show work toward Diocesan Certification.
(The above are requirements by the Diocese of Lansing for those who volunteer with children)
- REP volunteers must attend an organizational meeting.
High School Confirmation Program
The Confirmation Program is open to all High School students. It is a one year program that candidates can start at the beginning of their 9th, 10th, or 11thgrade year. We are using Matthew Kelly’s Confirmation program, Decision Point, for regular classes, and Ascension Press Altaration for the large gatherings. Two catechists are needed to run the program each session (Sunday 11am-12:30pm, Sunday 4-5:30pm, and Wednesday 6:15-7:45pm) and adult leaders for the small table discussions during regular class. Small group leaders can either sign up for the whole year or for specific classes. For information or questions about this program please contact Don Dalgleish at email@example.com or at 734-426-2674 Volunteer Requirements apply to this program.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word (CLW)
Those who volunteer for Children’s Liturgy of the Word are part of a team who presents the Sunday Scripture Readings, Creed, and Prayers of the Faithful to the children of our parish in grades K – 4. The children are dismissed and led to the music rehearsal room where the children have an age-appropriate reflection on the Sunday Scripture. This activity takes place during the 9:00 am Mass on announced Sundays. During the liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent we meet every Sunday.
Vacation Bible School
Vacation Bible School is a one-week, half-day event held each summer on the campus of our Country Church. It is a themed week of scripture-learning, faith-building, friend-making fun! It is available for children ages 4 years through those entering 6th grade. We seek volunteers, both youth and adult, to be group leaders and assistants, to help with games and snacks, and to provide childcare for our volunteers.
St. Joseph Parish offers youth ministry programs: God Squad and Mustard Seed.
God Squad Youth Group (Grades 6-8)
(Grades 6-8) activities include community-building activities, prayer, service projects, and the Diocese of Lansing Youth Rally. God Squad runs from September to June and meetings are led by the God Squad Leadership team made up of 6th, 7th and 8th grade youth and adult volunteers. The calendar is put together by the God Squad Leadership Team, usually starting off with our annual corn maze trip in October.
Mustard Seed Youth Group (Grades 9-12)
(Grades 9-12) meets on Sundays from 6:00-8:00pm in the Parish Center Loft. The Mustard Seed Group has retreats, trips, and service projects throughout the year with Sunday meetings from September – June. There are also diocesan-sponsored events such as the Diocese of Lansing Jamboree, Diocesan Youth Leadership Camp (DYLC), and the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC). The Leadership Team is made up of teens and adults who meet from 4:30-5:45pm on the first Sunday of every month. They are responsible for planning the upcoming meetings and events.
Adult Faith Formation
St. Joseph Parish offers a Parish Mission during Lent for the spiritual renewal of our parish community. Volunteers are needed to help with hospitality and refreshments, and to set up the church environment.
Scripture Studies at our Parish
For men and women of the parish, we hold a Wednesday, once a week, scripture study from September through May. These studies are held in the Parish Center at 7pm each week with breaks for holidays. The same study is repeated on Thursday mornings at 9am. These topical studies take place throughout the year and are intended to help our parishioners to understand the teachings of our Catholic Faith and how those teaching apply to our lives. Volunteers are needed to facilitate sessions, serve as hospitality, and assist with signups and recruitment.
Personal Spiritual Growth Opportunities
Participation in a retreat experience is a way to enhance your prayer and spiritual life.
Growing in God We offer a one-day spiritual opportunity in early March for women to experience faith, fellowship, and a renewed commitment to Christ. This faith enriching experience is led by parishioners for parishioners.
Building the Brotherhood of Christ is a one-day renewal experience for men, held annually just before or during early Lent on the parish grounds. The day is facilitated by men from our parish.
St. Francis Retreat Center Annual men’s and women’s retreats are held at St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt for parishioners. Sign-ups are held for these throughout the year.
Infant Baptism Preparation
Workshops are held in January, March, May, July, September, and November on the second Thursday at 7pm at the Country Church. At the workshop, we share the teachings of the church about the life of faith, the church, and the sacrament of Baptism. Volunteers are needed to serve in a hospitality and community role at each of the Baptism Prep sessions.
A mom’s group to meet and pray a little, chat a little, and support one another while the kids play! This group is new and excited to involve all the moms in the parish who are interested. The group meets each Tuesday, from 9:30 to 11am at Disciple House (on the property with the Country Church). The children play in the preschool area supervised by the moms who will rotate the responsibility.
Marriage Preparation Seminar
This Friday night/Saturday seminar is held in the Parish Center and provides engaged couples with information on several topics relevant to a successful marriage and offer the couples the opportunity to focus on the life, happiness, and holiness of each other. The seminar concludes at the 5pm Mass in the Country Church on Saturday. Volunteers are needed for hospitality which includes preparing and serving three meals.
Each engaged couple from our parish takes part in a Pre-Marriage process and meets with a married couple from our parish who have been trained in marriage preparation. During the time the two couples spend together topics relevant to marriage are explored and engaged couples are led in understanding one another and how these topics can impact their lives. The Sponsor couples are recommended to the pastor and then invited by the pastor to be a part of the team. Volunteers are needed to seriously pray for our engaged couples and our Sponsor couples, that their time together may be fruitful.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
St. Joseph parishioners serve as the primary ministers of Christian Initiation. As Catholic Christians, we need to be attentive and involved with those interested in learning about the Catholic faith. Parishioners are encouraged to share their faith and offer their support by:
- Extending an invitation to a friend or family member to consider the Catholic way of life.
- Walking with those interested in the Catholic Church as sponsors.
- Providing desserts, donuts, coffee cakes, bagels, as well as healthy snacks.
- Joining the Hospitality Team and hosting luncheons and receptions.
- Documenting the RCIA journey with photographs.
- Keeping the men and women involved in RCIA in your prayers each day.
Volunteers can contact Marinell High at 734-426-8483 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up on the ministry form.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a journey of steps and stages to prepare adults and teens who have a desire to join and to be initiated into the Catholic faith. The St. Joseph Faith communities are primary ministers and witnesses to those seeking initiation into the Catholic Church. Parishioners are encouraged to share their faith, offer their support, and accompany those interested in the Catholic Church as sponsors. Catechists (teachers/presenters), coordinators and assistants serve in various aspects of the initiation process. The Hospitality Team hosts social events and those wishing to share their baking talents are most welcome. As members of the parish please invite, pray for, support, and encourage those seeking to join our faith community.
RCIA for Children
Volunteers work with a team of people to assist unbaptized and uncatechized children over the age of 7 through a process of initiation into the Catholic faith. This process includes the formation of a basic understanding of the Catholic faith and preparation to receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist). This team also works with older children (3rd grade and above) who are baptized but need preparation for Reconciliation and/or Eucharist.
Parish Life Commission
Our Mission: The Parish Life Commission is dedicated to providing and promoting fellowship and community within St Joseph Parish.
Members of the Parish Life Commission meet once a month to direct the social activities of the parish. These activities are meant to foster a feeling of community among our parishioners. Membership is open to all interested parishioners. Volunteers are needed for each event.
50+ Mass & Potluck
The 50+ Mass & Potluck is open to men and women who, having reached the wisdom years of “50-plus,” gather on the third Tuesday of each month, September through May. They begin with Mass at noon in Mary’s Room followed by a potluck lunch and fellowship.
Our Anniversary Mass and Dinner is for parishioners celebrating each five-year milestone of marriage, or 50+ years of marriage. This Mass and dinner celebration includes a renewal of vows during the 5:00pm Mass and a parish-hosted dinner for couples and their immediate families in the Parish Center. It is held each year in the fall.
Coffee & Donuts/Pizza & Pop
Coffee & Donuts is held each weekend except on holidays after the 9:00am and 11:00am Masses in the Gathering Space. We serve coffee, juice, and donuts (freewill donations are accepted). Volunteers are needed to pick up the donuts on Sunday morning and set up, and to serve and clean up. Pizza & Pop is served once a month after the 5:00pm Mass. Volunteers help to set up, serve, and clean up.
Ladies Advent Evening of Reflection
This social and spiritual activity gives us an opportunity to stop for an evening and enjoy one another’s company and to spend some time reflecting on the meaning of Advent Time. Held on a weekday evening in early December we gather with prayer and then enjoy tea, dessert, and conversation at our table, followed by a guest speaker. This event is held in the Gathering Space of our Country Church. Each table for eight has a hostess who agrees to provide the decorations and the desserts for seven other women. The hostess may choose to fill the table through personal invitation or allow others to sign up to be at the table. The Parish Life Commission provides white tablecloths, tea, and punch for each table.
Mother-Daughter Tea & Style Show
This event is held on a Sunday afternoon in the spring and is open to all women of the parish. We welcome the youngest of women to the most mature. Our time is spent in conversation and enjoyment of the fine art of high tea followed by a style show of the latest fashions modeled by women and girls of our parish. Volunteers are needed to chair this event as well as to serve on the cooking, decorating, set up, and clean up committees.
On a Sunday in late summer, parishioners gather at the Festival Pavilion and grounds at the Country Church after 11:00am Mass for fellowship, food, and fun in the sun with your St. Joseph Parish family.
Saint Joseph Spirit Weekend
We celebrate this the weekend closest to March 19, the feast of “St. Joseph the husband of Mary.” In addition to a special liturgy, a spaghetti dinner is prepared and hosted by volunteers, and other spirit activities celebrate the community of our parish family.
This community-building event, held annually the third weekend in July, is an opportunity to witness our faith, to serve our neighbors, and the Dexter area in a spirit of hospitality. Ten percent of Festival proceeds are tithed to local charities. To be successful, the Festival needs the help and hands of everyone! Volunteer sign-ups are held in the weeks leading up to the Festival. Those interested in chairing/coordinating an activity at the Festival can sign up on the stewardship form.
This dinner, hosted by the Pastoral Council, is held once a year after the 5:00pm Mass to welcome our new parish members. New parishioners have the opportunity to meet Pastoral Council members and parish staff and tour the parish grounds and facilities in the Village.
The goal of the Music Ministry is to use music “to assist the worshiping assembly in expressing and sharing the gift of faith, to heighten the liturgical texts, to bring joy and unity to the celebration, and to unveil a dimension of meaning and feeling which words alone cannot yield.” Music in Catholic Worship
All choirs and ensembles (except for the Resurrection Choir) begin in September and end by Pentecost (end of May). It is always easier to join at the beginning of the season when everyone starts together and is on the same page. We hope that you will consider joining us this year for a fantastic season!
If you have any questions or concerns about joining one of these groups, please contact the parish office at 734-426-8483.
Music Ministry Prayer Team
St. Benedict wrote, “every time you begin a good work, you must pray to God most earnestly to bring it to perfection.” Do you love to pray for others? Please support the parish music ministry by joining our prayer team. You will be contacted occasionally with general and specific prayer requests
The Contemporary Ensemble is a group of vocalists and instrumentalists who learn contemporary praise and worship music. Any high school students and adults are welcome to sing and/or play an instrument. The Contemporary Ensemble rehearses every Wednesday night at 7:00pm in the Country Church and sings/plays at Mass twice a month. They also play for the 7:30pm Christmas Eve Mass, the 7:00pm Ash Wednesday Mass and the 12:00pm Easter Sunday Mass. We currently have guitar, bass, drums, bandola, trumpet, and saxophone, but we are always looking for more instrumentalists! We are also in particular need of more male singers, although anyone who is interested in joining (females too!) is always welcome!
Hand Bell Choir
The Hand Bell Choir welcomes all adults high school and older to ring. This unique and challenging experience is a fun way to make music and to ring with a great group of people. The Hand Bell Choir rings at Mass every four to six weeks and also participates in the Christmas Day Mass, Holy Thursday Mass and one of Easter Sunday Masses. They rehearse on Monday evenings at 7:00pm in the Country Church. No previous experience is required, but being able to read music is a helpful skill to have (although it is not required).
The Resurrection Choir is a group of singers who sing during funeral Masses. This group will gather 45 minutes before a funeral Mass to prepare. If you are available during the mornings (funerals are typically at 11:00am) and are interested in singing, please consider joining the Resurrection Choir. This is a wonderful ministry that requires little time and gives back to the community.
St. Joseph Choir
The St. Joseph Choir is a group of adult singers (high school and older) who sing every weekend at Mass. They sing at 11:00am Mass, except once a month they will sing at the 9:00am Mass, and they rehearse on Thursday evenings at 7:00pm in the Country Church. The St. Joseph Choir sings many different styles of music including (but not limited to) traditional hymns, classical songs, gospel songs, jazz songs, contemporary songs, and praise and worship songs. Most pieces are sung in four-part SATB harmony. The St. Joseph Choir sings at 11:00pm Christmas Eve Mass, Holy Thursday Mass, the Good Friday Liturgy, and the Easter Vigil Mass. The goal this year is to have 30 singers (yes, that’s right!) by the end of the year. More than anything, it is a great group of people to be with and we have a lot of fun singing, praising God, and learning new things! We hope that you will consider joining us!
The Youth Choir at St. Joseph is a group of energetic kids who love to sing! This group rehearses on Thursday evenings at 5:30pm at the Country Church. We are in need of enthusiastic and energetic kids who love music to be a part of the Youth Choir! We have a ton of fun and learn some great music. We hope you’ll join us!
Charitable Activities and Social Justice
Our Mission: Confident that the Spirit of God abides with us, our Charitable Activities and Social Justice Commission aims to follow Jesus’ mandate that we be salt for our communities in family, work, and citizenship. We strive to inform and offer the challenge of living in justice and charity. Particularly, we aim to be in solidarity with those on the margins of our society.
Help with hospitality and check-in at periodic blood drives held in the Parish Center in cooperation with the American Red Cross.
Just being present for those who grieve is the manifestation of some corporal and spiritual works of mercy: to comfort the afflicted, to bury the dead, to pray for the living and the dead. St. Joseph Parish volunteers are needed in the following areas:
- Eucharistic Ministers
- Fill in at those times when family or friends of the deceased are not able to assist in the distribution of the Body and Blood of Christ at the funeral Mass.
- Hospitality volunteers welcome guests at funerals and wake services and serve coffee and water during visitation in the Gathering Space.
- Adult Altar Servers
- These volunteers serve at parish funerals both in the Village and Country Church.
- Funeral Lunches
- Volunteers are needed to make phone calls, set up, cook, serve, and clean up after a funeral lunch. Others are needed to bring salads and desserts for these meals.
Team leaders are needed to be on-site to coordinate the luncheon. Training provided!
Plant, cultivate and harvest fresh produce, and share with Faith In Action to help those in need. Volunteers work as their schedules allow; as little as once a season and as much as every week a season.
Serving the Face of Jesus
An outreach ministry available to all parishioners that provides meals and/or housecleaning for those recovering from an illness or injury. Also connects drivers for those who need transportation to Mass or appointments.
A facilitated peer group support program for adult grief recovery in the Catholic tradition. Training is provided. Joseph’s Family is not an immediate response program.
Ministers to the Sick and Homebound
Parishioners visit and take communion to the sick and homebound.
Moms in Need
Basic items needed for a baby are donated by parishioners and collected during May and then taken to Family Life Services and Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County. Help is needed to deliver these gifts.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Make lap robes, shawls, or afghans of comfort for the VA hospital and those in need.
Proceeds help those in need. A volunteer is needed to manage this ministry. Please contact Dcn. Randy Desrochers if you are able to help reinstate and run our recycling program.
The parish Social Outreach programs help those in need in Washtenaw County and beyond by sponsoring trips to St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen in Detroit, and the Delonis Center in Ann Arbor, serving families in transition at Alpha House, packing food for Feed My Starving Children and Food Gatherers.
Parish-wide donations to Lenten Food Drive (food and paper products given to county food pantry), Christmas Giving Tree and Mitten Basket (gifts and new mittens are given to various service organizations such as Catholic Social Services, Riverview Nursing Home, S.O.S., Problem Pregnancy and the Homeless Shelter). Help is needed to deliver these gifts.
These men and women assist with the care and maintenance of our grounds and buildings. They work together on remodel projects, light bulb changing in the church and Festival grounds preparations. This commission is open to all men and women of the parish who like to work with their hands.
Guild of Gardeners
A group of parishioners, young and old, who help maintain the landscape at both church sites. Work days are scheduled during the spring and fall. Some volunteers are needed to water the plantings during the summer.
A dedicated crew of people who come once a week to clean the Country Church and the Village Church. This includes dusting, washing inside windows, straightening book racks and making our worship space ready for weekend Masses. Volunteers are scheduled on a rotating basis. A thorough annual church cleaning is done in the fall just before the season of Advent.
Our annual spring plant sale helps generate funds for landscaping needs on the country grounds. Help is needed preparing, donating, setting up, selling, and cleaning up the day of the sale.
Spring/Fall Cleaning of Grounds
Scheduled on Saturdays, anyone is invited to join in caring for the church grounds after the long winter and to help put the landscaping to bed before another long winter. One Saturday in the spring we gather to clean the cemetery before the Memorial Day liturgy.
Building Care and Maintenance
Help perform routine maintenance on the church buildings, parish office, and parish center.