Lay Eucharistic Ministers
Lay Eucharistic Ministers assist with the distribution of the wine and bread during Holy Eucharist services and also lead the congregation in prayers and Bible readings. At Good Shepherd, LEM's (as they are called), assist as Acolytes and occasionally, as Readers when the assigned Readers are not available.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers must be confirmed communicants of this church in good standing who are licensed by the Bishop for a period of three years. The requirement of licensure points to the extraordinary nature of this ministry. LEM's handle holy things and are intimately involved with those to whom they minister as they feed them with the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. An unspoken and biblical requirement of this ministry is that those so called to serve at the Lord's altar will themselves be faithful in worship and in nourishing their own interior, spiritual life (Eli's sons were disciplined for failing to be faithful in the discharge of their duties, see 1 Samuel 2). The commissioning service for Lay Eucharistic Ministers in the Book of Occasional Services infers that those who are called to this ministry will be a wholesome example in their spirituality and conduct.
When Jesus served the Lord's Supper he first took a towel and wrapped it around his waist, then washed his disciple's feet. When you serve the wine, and perhaps even the bread, when you carry the cross or God's Word to the people, you are serving as Christ served. May this ministry truly be an offering to our Lord, who said, "Take this bread...take this wine" and said, "this is my Body...this is my Blood." Amen