Flash: ON   August 21, 2017 
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Volunteer in the Welcoming Ministry
In Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis says that “an evangelizing community is filled with joy.” (Chapter I, I.24)  The St. Bartholomew Welcoming Ministry goal is to spread joy by helping all who come to our parish feel welcomed and appreciated.  When stated in this way, all parishioners are, or should be, members of this ministry.  Anyone can participate, simply by smiling and saying hello to those around us at Mass and introducing oneself to those who are strangers.
 
The first project of the Welcoming Ministry is to begin welcoming visitors, newcomers, and parish members at a Welcome Station, to be located in the church narthex near the west entry doors.   The station will be identified by a large, colorful welcome banner and will be staffed by volunteers before and after each weekend Mass.
 
An Opportunity to Become Involved
We are looking for volunteers now.  If you are a man or woman of any age who enjoys greeting and conversing with those around you, you most likely will be perfect for this ministry.  The primary duties of Welcome Station volunteers are to offer a friendly welcome to those who stop at or pass by the station, to provide printed information about St. Bartholomew Parish and its ministries and activities when requested, and to answer questions that might be raised by those stopping at the station.  Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?  But think of the gratitude and the smiles that those being welcomed will experience.
 
Our goal is to have at least two volunteers present for each Mass.  They would be present at the station 20 minutes before Mass and for 15 minutes after the end of Mass.   Volunteers may be scheduled as often as they wish.  However, it is expected that a person should serve at least one shift a month.  Volunteers can select the Mass(es) (times) at which they would like to serve.  They can choose to work at the Mass they typically attend. 
 
The Welcome Station has been operational since early October.  Since then a number of persons new to St. Bartholomew Parish have visited the Welcome Station to obtain information and have questions answered.  Parishioners also have enjoyed the additional welcomes offered by the station volunteers.
 
 If you would like to volunteer or obtain further information, please contact Mike Keogh at (812) 376-3955,
mekeogh@yahoo.com,  JayDee Edgell at  (937) 572-9885, trevsgram02@gmail.com, or Sheri Read in the parish office at 379-9353 Ext. 232, sread_stb@yahoo.com.  Other members of the welcoming ministry organizing committee are Mike and Chris Grunden, Judy Richardson, Paul Hengesbach, Pat Perry, Jane Pugh, Gabriela Martinez, Paula Noriega, and Arturo Sanchez.
 
All are invited to volunteer, but we are especially interested in you if you are not currently involved in a parish ministry.  This is an opportunity to do something that comes naturally (smiling and talking), won’t require much time or preparation, and will result in making our church a more welcoming place for all.  We’d love to have you volunteer.  The more the merrier.
 
If you are interested in becoming a Welcome Station volunteer and wish to sign up, click here to do so.
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