We are a congregation of the one holy catholic and apostolic church. We are Episcopalians, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion that traces its ministry through the Church of England back to the very Apostles!
People of every race, from lands around the world; people of mixed marriages from many religions -- Protestants, Catholics, Jews and Muslims -- everyone is made to feel at home in this faith community. We believe we are the place Jesus spoke of in Matthew 13: 31-32:
"The kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."
WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE!
St. Bartholomew's has active vocal and bell choirs. The vocal choir participates in every 10:00 Sunday service from September through June, as well as at other special occasions during the year. The musical director is a paid staff member. The choirs periodically present special programs during services. St. Bartholomew's often incorporates the musical talents of parish members who play the flute, violin, or trumpet, particularly during the Christmas and Easter seasons.
There are two active Bible study groups that meet evenings at the Church. One is led by a lay person and the other by our Deacon, Art Knight. A study class is held after the 9:00 Sunday service for parishioners while the children are in Sunday school. The subject of the class is usually the Sunday readings from the service. In addition, there is an adult forum centered on social issues held after the Sunday service.
Circle of Prayer
The Circle of Prayer is a group of parishioners, both men and women, who pray daily for any requests they receive. This is not a structured group with scheduled meetings, yet is an effective mode of spiritual expression.
The members of the Altar Guild give of their time and talents each week to prepare the Lord's altar and house for worship. They are responsible for the beautiful flower arrangements that adorn the altar each week as well as being the caretakers of the silver and linens.
Through the Men's Club, the men of the parish share social, religious, and recreational experiences. Breakfast meetings are held one Saturday each month. In addition, each month the members get together in the parish hall to make casseroles for the area mission. The Men's Club also sponsors recreational and social events throughout the year which support various church property and outreach projects. Ladies' Appreciation Night, the Summer Steak/Chicken Barbeque, Oktoberfest, and spaghetti dinners are a few of the annual Men's Club sponsored social events
One of the most distinguishing traits of the Church is the warmth and sociability of the membership. The Fellowship Committee enhances this social life and members help with the Sunday morning coffee hour which takes place after the services. They also sponsor a number of activities throughout the year. Although not sponsored by the Fellowship Committee, one of the highlights of the year is the annual Parish Picnic, which is held the first Sunday of June on the parish grounds. Parishioners attend share in a barbeque, and enjoy a day of fun and fellowship.
St. Bartholomew's parishioners have always been committed to aiding those in the community who are in need. Today, those efforts are continued through programs that include serving breakfast to the homeless and those in need at St. Paul's Church in Camden; and preparing Christmas baskets for over 100 area families who would otherwise have no holiday meal. The Church also sponsors Boy Scout Troop 170. The troop, which numbers over 35 boys, meets every other week at the Church as it has done for more than 20 years.
St. Bart's Bunch Youth Group is made up of students in 6th through twelfth grade and has as its purpose the development of a social teenage group with a Christian outlook. The program has three main focuses: social activities, Christian outreach and Christian development. Youth activities have included movie and pizza nights, bowling parties, baking St. Nicholas cookies, live Nativity, Christmas Caroling Caravan, hosting the Shrove Tuesday Mardi Gras, Maundy Thursday lock-in/Seder/Movie, Easter egg hide, Market Street Breakfast, parish picnic.
St. Bartholomew's parish holds a number of fund-raising events throughout the year with funds going to outreach programs.
The Church is located on a five-acre site in Cherry Hill Township, Camden County, New Jersey. Built in 1963, it is contemporary in design. The exterior is brick and stucco; the interior is finished in natural woods, brick and stucco. The Church building consists of two floors totaling 15,000 square feet. It includes a freestanding altar, a narthex and sacristy. Seating capacity is approximately 500. A large parish hall with an adjoining, fully equipped kitchen exists in the undercroft. The parking lot has capacity for about 100 cars.
Attached to the Church is a brick building, which was completed in 1967. It consists of two floors totaling 7,700 square feet and houses the church offices, the rector's study, a chapel, several rooms for Church School and nursery on Sundays and separate rooms for the Thrift Shop and Pre-School use during the week. In the rear of the property is a two-story, 2,400 square foot, four-bedroom house with basement, which is currently used by the sexton and his family.
St. Bartholomew's parish is made up of approximately 386 families. It draws its members from more than 30 zip codes in the greater Cherry Hill area. On an average Sunday, approximately 245 congregants fill the pews for either the 8:00 a.m. or the 10:00 a.m. service. The Church School is conducted between the two Sunday services.
The St. Bartholomew's Vestry is made up of 12 parishioners who serve a 3-year term as members of the steering committee for the parish in addition to Senior & Junior Wardens. Each member of the Vestry serves as a chairman or co-chairman of one or more of the committees that help the parish function: outreach, fellowship, finance, stewardship, youth ministry, property, worship and Christian education.
In addition to the rector, the paid staff includes a secretary, a music director, and a sexton. Two deacons also worship and serve at St. Bart's.
Sunday Worship Services
There are two Sunday services at St. Bartholomew's. The early service begins at 8:00 AM. There is no music at this service. The second service is held at 10:00 AM. The majority of the parishioners attend this service. There is full service music with choir, and one lay Eucharistic minister, two lay readers and four to five acolytes assisting at this service. During the summer months of July and August, the schedule changes to one service at 9:00 A.M.
Holy Baptism is usually administered within the Sunday Eucharist. If you want to receive the sacrament of Holy Baptism, or wish for your baby or young child to be baptized, please contact the church office at 856-424-2229. Each candidate for Holy Baptism is to be sponsored by one or more baptized persons. Sponsors of infants, or godparents, along with the parents, present their candidates, and make promises in their own names and take vows on behalf of the candidates.
Those baptized at an early age are expected, when they are ready and have been prepared, to make a mature public affirmation of their Baptism and to receive the laying on of hands by the bishop. Confirmation and reception into the Episcopal church is also available for adults. At St. Bart's, the bishop usually visits once a year. In advance of the Bishop's visit, confirmation instruction is provided. If you have questions, or wish to be included in the next confirmation class, please contact the church office at 856-424-2229.
Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God. In the Episcopal Church, at least one of the parties must be a baptized Christian. In the case of a divorced person wishing to marry, please contact the rector for information and counseling. A wedding information sheet is available below for your convenience. This should be completed before meeting with the rector. A fee schedule is available, including the fees for all weddings, as well as the cost for weddings for non-church members.
Ministries to the Sick
If you or a family member is ill or hospitalized, please notify the church office. We minister to the sick in many ways.
- Holy Unction is offered every Wednesday morning at the 10 am Eucharist
- Healing Eucharists, with laying on of hands and prayer, are offered on the third Sundays.
- Lay Eucharistic Visitors take Holy Communion to those that are unable to attend church each Sunday and/or Wednesday.
- Clergy visits are available both at the hospital and at home.
- Intercessions (part of the Prayers of the People) on Sunday mornings will be included for 4 weeks, unless other arrangements are made with the office.
- The Circle of Prayer is a group of men and women who pray daily for those who are in need of pray. The Circle of Prayer takes confidentiality very seriously. For more about contacting the Circle of Prayer concerning intercessions or becoming a member of this important ministry, contact the church office.
- St. Bart's is a loving, generous family. If you need assistance, please let us know how we can minister to you.
Most importantly, please let the church office know that you are ill. We can't help if we don't know what you need!
OPPORTUNITIES FOR PARTICIPATION
The first Sunday of each month has been designated “Youth Sunday”. Our young people read the lessons, offer various musical selections on a variety of instruments, sing in the choir, and serve as ushers.
SOFT AND QUIET AREA
A special area in the left transept has been designated and outfitted as a special place for children to relax and enjoy themselves with their parents. This enables parents to sit more comfortably as they remain in church and participate in the liturgy.
TODDLER & PRE-K ROOM (Olive Keen)
An infant and toddler nursery is available on Sunday mornings beginning at 9:00 and during the 10:00 service. Infants and toddlers are cared for by Olive Keen, long-time parishioner, mother of five and grandmother of six.
YOUNG EXPLORERS SUNDAY SCHOOL (Lisa Mollan)
St. Bart's Young Explorers program seeks to create and foster a loving and nurturing environment for children in grades PK-6 in which every child can develop a committed, living relationship with Jesus Christ and grow in his love and knowledge. The curriculum provides sound biblical teaching oriented to the children's unique needs. In addition, several special activities are held throughout the year. Classes meet each Sunday at 9:00 A.M.
ST. BART’S BUNCH (Youth Group / Nana Wilmont & Paige Douglas)
Students in grades 6-12 have the opportunity to come together for the development of a social teen group with a Christian outlook. The program has three main focuses: Christian growth and development, Christian outreach and social activities. Youth Group activities have included: Hay rides, baking and distributing St. Nicholas cookies, Christmas Caroling Caravan and Party, Parish Mardi Gras, Maundy Thursday lock-in, bowling parties and “A Closer Walk Christian Youth Retreat”. St. Bart’s Bunch meets regularly.
CONFIRMATION CLASS (Win Henderson)
Seventh and eighth grade students are involved in a two-year course of study in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Confirmation curriculum has been developed by the Episcopal Diocese of Albany. Classes meet each Sunday at 9:00 A.M.
FLOWER GUILD (Suzanne Espinosa)
The ministry of the Flower Guild makes the church a place of beauty where we can all encounter God. Weekly volunteers prepare the floral arrangements for use at the Altar.
MEN’S CLUB (Terry Adams)
The Men’s Club is the unifying body of men at St. Bartholomew’s. The men have as their purpose service to our parish through activities and fellowship. Through the Men’s Club the men of the parish share social, religious and recreational experiences. Each month the members get together in the parish hall to make casseroles for an area mission. The Men’s Club also sponsors recreational and social events throughout the year which support various church property and outreach projects. Ladies’ Appreciation Night, Oktoberfest and spaghetti dinners are a few of the annual events sponsored by the Men’s Club.
WOMEN’S GROUP (Evelyn Biney)
The Women’s Group unites the women of St. Bartholomew’s. through a program of worship, study, service, activities and fellowship. Through the Women’s Group the ladies of the parish share social, religious and recreational experiences. Each month the members get together to plan activities and fundraising activities. The Women’s Group also sponsors recreational and social events throughout the year which support various church property and outreach projects. Bus trips, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, cookie sales are a few of the annual events sponsored by the Women’s Group
The purpose of the Vestry is to manage the business and maintenance of the parish. The Vestry consists of 12 parishioners elected for 3 year terms. Three Vestry positions are opened by rotation each year. Each member of the Vestry serves as Chair or Co-Chair of one or more of the committees that help the parish to function -- outreach, fellowship, finance, stewardship, youth ministry, property, worship and Christian education.
MINISTRIES IN THE LITURGY
Description: The acolyte ministry includes assisting the priest and deacons during the worship service. Children, young people and adults, ages 6 and up, are invited to be trained and serve on the altar as acolytes. Acolytes serve as crucifers, torch bearers and occasionally banner bearers or thurifer. Training sessions are scheduled quarterly on first Mondays. The required sessions are generally one hour in duration.
Qualification: This ministry is open to all
Coordinator: Ven. Lynn H. Johnson, Archdeacon
Responsibilities: Acolytes are responsible for attending quarterly training sessions, taking care of their vestments, and honoring their scheduled commitment to service by arriving on time and participating in the service.
Description: The ministry of the Altar Guild is to prepare the Altar and Sanctuary for worship services.
Qualification: This ministry is open to all men, women and young adults
Coordinator: Gwyn Hicks
Responsibilities: Guild members are responsible for the care of the vessels, linens, vestments and supplies that are used in the celebration of the Eucharist. Members set the stage for every service being certain that the Sanctuary is prepared. All are urged to consider service on the Altar Guild as an act of devotion for our Lord.
EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS (formerly Chalice Bearers)
Description: This ministry is composed of volunteers who are trained and commissioned to assist clergy on the alter during regular and special services to the congregation. This is a ministry for lay people who feel a special calling to administer the Communion elements at celebrations of the Holy Eucharist.
Qualifications: This ministry is open to all men and women.
Coordinator: Rev. Art J. Knight, Deacon
Responsibilities: Eucharistic Ministers administer the communion cup, lead the recitation and responses in worship and represent a solemn and outward visible sign of lay persons’ role in our church.
EUCHARISTIC VISITOR (formerly Lay Eucharistic Ministers)
Description: The ministry of the Eucharistic Visitor is to share communion with those unable to attend church services. Lay volunteers, who are trained and commissioned, are sent by the congregation to visit the sick and shut-in of the parish with bread and wine consecrated at the Sunday service.
Qualifications: This wonderfully special ministry is open to all men and women
Coordinator: Rev. Art J. Knight, Deacon
Responsibilities: Eucharistic Visitors should have a conviction of the need for this ministry and be nonjudgmental, patient, supportive, and comfortable with the frailties of life. Eucharistic Visitors should be able to make their visits pleasant and enjoyable (and possibly helpful) to those they are visiting.
Description: Lay people who feel a special calling to read the Scriptures are invited to participate in this ministry. Lectors are trained by the parish and licensed by the Diocese.
Qualifications: This ministry is open to all men, women and young adults
Coordinator: Suzanne Moore Darms (scheduling – adults) Paige Douglas (youth instruction)
Responsibilities: Lectors study and review assigned Scripture lessons. Lectors may assist at Sunday morning worship services as well as mid-week, morning and evening services during special seasons and occasions during the year
Description: Choir, handbells, instrumentalists. There is something for you! The Ministry of Music at St. Bartholomew’s is an offering of praise through song and instruments. Parishioners are encouraged to share their musical talents/skills/desires with the congregation
Qualifications: This ministry is open to all.
Coordinator: Peter Homan, Music Minister
Responsibilities: Participation in the worship services (particularly the 10:00 A.M. service). Choir rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings. Other musicians meet as scheduled individually.
Description: Ushers demonstrate the ministry of hospitality. Ushers serve on Sundays and at other services to facilitate our worship
Qualifications: This ministry is open to all.
Coordinator: Earle Hicks
Responsibilities: Ushers meet, greet, and seat worshippers as they arrive and enter the Sanctuary. Ushers distribute service bulletins, collect and receive the offering, count the worshippers present and assist with direction at communion.
CIRCLE OF PRAYER (Morgia Polatsek)
The Circle of Prayer is a group of parishioners, men and women, who pray daily for any requests they receive. This is not a structured group with scheduled meetings yet is an effective mode of spiritual expression.
MINISTRY OF CARING (Marise Smith)
Are you ill? Can’t get out or get around? Want something from the store? Need an errand run? Need a ride to church? The ministry of these volunteer parishioners, these “willing workers” is to provide helping hands to those in need of such services. The weekly Minister of Caring is listed in the church bulletin or you may call the church office for assistance.
MARKET STREET BREAKFAST (John & Jill Weber)
On the first Sunday every other month, as part of a coordinated and rotating ministry, parishioners volunteer to prepare breakfast for the homeless and hungry in the Camden. City Area. The activity is coordinated by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Camden.
PARISH PANTRY (Carolyn Gage)
“Fill ‘er Up!!” The Big Red Barrel, always needs filling. The collection of canned and dry goods is an on-going ministry that provides food to the needy. Donated food items are also used to make food baskets for distribution at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY (Jill Weber)
Knitters and crocheters come together on Wednesday morning to put their experience, skills and talents to the creation of shawls, hats and scarves. The items are blessed during a worship service and distributed to sailors at the Seamen’s Institute, and to parishioners, friends and the community that may be lonely, ill, depressed, and/or shut-in.
THE BUGLE (April Rugletic, Editor)
The newsletter of St. Bart’s is compiled, edited and published monthly. Articles may be submitted by both Clergy and parishioners and are due the 10th of each month for publication the following month. The newsletter is mailed to all parishioners.
THRIFT SHOP (Olive Keen)
The ministry of recycling outgrown, clean reusable clothes and other items is met through this “Repeat Boutique”. Volunteers staff the shop during its weekly open hours.
INTERFAITH HOMELESS OUTREACH COUNCIL (IHOC) (Jean Astman)
The parish supports this ministry and organization in a variety of ways: -- the sale/purchase of supermarket gift cards (ShopRite, Acme, Superfresh) -- Pack-A-Sac - filling backpacks with a variety of school supplies, socks and underwear for homeless children -- Adopt-A-Box - filling shoeboxes with toiletries and sundry items for needy families (spring)
NEW VISIONS CASSEROLES (Maurice Anderson)
This parish ministry meets on Wednesday mornings at 8:30 to help prepare casseroles for the New Visions Homeless Day Shelter in Camden. The shelter provides breakfast and lunch for men women and children in need.