Ministry and Outreach at St. Mary's


All Christians are called to give of themselves in ministry. To this end St. Mary of the Hills provides countless opportunities for service and outreach to the community and to the world. Members of our congregation possess a wealth of talent and enthusiasm, and opportunities exist for any level of commitment – from one-time projects to regular weekly or monthly jobs. We invite you to join with the members of our congregation who seek to serve Christ in others by means of these ministries.


 Pastoral care is available to all members of the congregation for day-to-day issues as well as in times of personal crisis. Preparation for the pastoral rites of baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial is offered to individuals and their family and friends. Our clergy offer spiritual direction, ongoing guidance, and dialogue for individuals interested in deepening their spiritual life. They are also available to come and anoint you with oil for healing and to pray with you prior to your surgery and to visit you during recovery.


Liturgical Guilds

Chalice Ministers: Those who assist in administering Holy Communion. For more information, please contact Valerie Purcell.

Lectors: Members who present the Old and New Testament Readings, as well as lead the congregation in the reading of the Psalms. If you would like to volunteer as a Lector or want more information, contact Kathy Dacchille.

Acolytes: Young people in middle and high school who serve as torchbearers, banner bearers or crucifers. Training in provided. For more information, contact Michelle Curry.

Altar Guild: The Altar Guild is responsible for preparation and maintenance of all of the altar linens and vessels. Members commit to several hours of laundering and ironing linens, polishing silver, and setting up all of the weekly services. For more information about the Altar Guild and how you can get involved, please contact Sue Sweeting

Flower Guild: Volunteer members of St. Mary’s who arrange the Altar flowers for Sunday services and Holy/Feast days. Training is available for this much needed ministry in our Parish. Contact Patty Patella or Gale Buchanan  for more information.


Stewardship and Pledging

 All Christians are called to contribute a portion of their time, talent and treasure toward the work of the Church. The easiest way to give to St. Mary of the Hills is to become involved with one of our specific ministries, and to make a financial pledge. Pledging is crucial in enabling the Church to plan its ministries in advance; it provides a stable financial base for the support of our programs. Pledging also reflects our prayerful response to God’s call to be good stewards of our material possessions.

Each fall during the Stewardship Campaign, members of the Church are asked to make their pledges. Those joining the Church during the year can pledge at any time by filling out a pledge card and returning it to the Church Office. Pledges can be paid weekly, monthly or annually, in cash or by check.

For information on pledging, please contact Valerie or Peter Purcell. 



Outreach Activities

 For more information about Outreach activities, please contact Gary Gloster.

Tour of Homes

Sponsored by the St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Churchwomen, this highly successful all-volunteer community-wide event annually raises over $50,000 for as many as 25 local area charities and includes home tours as well as a variety of other fund raising activities on the church grounds. Visit the Tour of Homes page on our site.

Hospitality House

St. Mary’s provides volunteers to help prepare and serve meals for this local facility which offers homeless and emergency winter shelter for individuals and families located in Boone.  The church also provides the "Back-on-your-feet" Boxes program, which supplies basic items for people leaving the shelter to establish their own housing. For more information on these programs, contact Susie Morgan.

Second Harvest

Members volunteer to help collect salvage food from the Blowing Rock Food Lion and Woodland’s Barbeque for use at Hospitality House. 

Hunger Coalition, Hospitality House, and Blowing Rock Cares food pantries

Parishioners are asked to bring canned food or dry goods to the church and place them in the Foyer basket each Sunday.  Concerted food drives are made through "Bags of Hope" - once a month, parishioners take grocery bags home, fill them with suggested items, and return them the following Sunday for delivery to one of our local food banks.

Missions Committee

Part of the work of St. Mary’s is mission. With the continued growth and diversity of the parish, outreach activities have expanded beyond the boundaries of Watauga County and the surrounding area. For several years beginning in 2004, St. Mary’s provided ten volunteer parishioners from the Church for a cross-cultural mission to Panama to assist with work for the Episcopal Church in Panamas.

Habitat for Humanity

St. Mary's was one of the original Covenant Churches that began HfH in Watauga County.  Volunteers participate in Habitat’s “Building on Faith” program, a joint program of area churches working together to help low-income families. ReStore, Habitat’s store is in need of volunteers to help keep the store operating. They will also happily accept donations of gently used items (furniture, building supplies, electric fixtures, etc.). The ReStore is next to the Deep Gap Food Lion on 421, east of Boone.

Heifer Fair

Heifer International is an organization that provides animals, trees and training for recipients all over the world to help people grow their own food and become self-sufficient. The annual Heifer Fair held in November and hosted by St. Mary’s is an important contribution from the church to this effort. Sunday school classes and other church groups offer refreshments and fun, along with the opportunity to 'purchase' an animal to give as a gift. The goal of this event is to have enough animals sponsored to buy an Ark for the program each year.

Recycle Your Eye Glasses

Parishioners provide their discarded prescription glasses to be distributed to those who need them.

Recycle Your Cell Phone

The program helps the clients of the Watauga County OASIS (battered women’s shelter). Phones are re-programmed for contact to 911 and provided to women at risk.

Environmental Ministries

For more information, please contact Lynn Coulthard.

Spring & Fall Clean up Days

This fun work day sponsored by the Landscape Committee follows Sunday services in late April or early May depending on the weather. The parish community unites to weed, plant and mulch the grounds of St. Mary’s in preparation for the spring and summer season. A picnic lunch on the grounds celebrates a job well done.


Ministries of Hospitality

 Newcomers Committee

We warmly welcome newcomers to St. Mary’s and extend the resources which are ours to share: a simple place of prayer and meditation that is open daily, a priest for sacramental and pastoral needs, a congregation with a healthy, participatory worship and an ongoing parish life which welcomes visitors wherever they find themselves on their journey in faith. 


These outgoing and dedicated individuals are the church’s front line in our ministry of hospitality, welcoming visitors and offering assistance and information. Volunteers serve at Sunday services and are available for special events. If you would like to serve as a greeter or want more information, please contact Sabine Miller.


At all services ushers welcome visitors and congregation members, pass out service programs, take up the collection, guide people during communion, and straighten up afterward. Contact Garland Myers for more information.

Foyer Groups

Get to know members of St. Mary’s through informal in-home gatherings with small groups of fellow parishioners. Dinner, fun and fellowship are exchanged as each hosts an evening in their home. If you are interested in participating in a foyer group, sign up in the Church foyer. Contact Charlene Barham and Betsy Williams for more information.

Coffee Minute

Join members and guests for coffee in the foyer following the 8:00 am service and in the Parish Hall following the 10:10 am service. All visitors are welcome and are encouraged to fill out a visitor card, available in the pews..


Men’s Breakfast Group

For information on meetings, please contact Orian Carter.

ECW – Episcopal Church Women

The Episcopal Church Women is an organization within the Church which unites all women through worship, service, study and fellowship. Each woman of St. Mary of the Hills is a member of ECW and is welcome to participate in any and all of its programs, usually the first Tuesday evening of each month. ECW is central to decisions about use of the funds raised through the Tour of Homes for outreach to various organizations in the area. For more information, please contact Suzanne Miller.

Daughters of the King

A religious order for women in the Episcopal Church,  the Daughters of the King meets at 4:45 on the 1st Tuesday of each month in the church library.  Daughters of the King is a ministry designed to inspire women through daily devotionals and also through various events that meet both the spiritual and relational needs of women.  Currently we are studying the book Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening.  All women and girls of the church are welcome to attend.  For more information please contact Mary Ellen Raulerson or Michelle Curry.