Transfiguration supports a wide variety of active ministries and committees. Whatever your gifts and interests, there are opportunities to serve. If you have an idea for a new ministry or activity, contact one of the wardens.
- Altar Guild
- Daughters of the King
- Green Team
- Military Support Project
- Prayer Blankets (and Hats for the Homeless)
- Food Pantry
- Shower the Shelter
- Meal Prep and Delivery
- Card Ministry
- Alternative Christmas Gift Market
- ReVive Christmas Baskets
- Memorial Garden
- Buildings and Grounds
- Children and Youth
- Parish Life
- Day Care Board
The choir currently consists of ten volunteer members (three of whom also play the guitar on some Sundays, providing some musical variety), but new voices are always welcome. Members of the choir offer their musical gifts during the 10:00 service from fall to spring. Rehearsals are during the hour prior to the 10:00 service.
Our parish pianist and our volunteer music director have worked together for seven years. The music director and rector collaborate to select choir anthems from our vast choral music library and hymns from four sources: the 1982 Hymnal; Wonder, Love, and Praise; Lift Every Voice and Sing; and Alleluia 111.
Contact Bev Opelka for more information.
The Altar Guild prepares for worship at each liturgical celebration by coordinating the linens and implements used at the altar. Membership is open to any member of the congregation. Members are divided into four teams, and each team serves one week of every month. Teams prepare the linens and vessels used for all liturgical services at the altar, coordinate banners and hangings for each liturgical season, display flower arrangements, and provide continuing care for vestments and linens. Volunteers from the entire congregation join the Altar Guild in deeper cleaning and decorating on two workdays each year, one at Advent and one before Easter.
Contact Sharon Fritz or Kathy Madden for more information.
Daughters of the King
The Order of the Daughters of the King is a lay order for women of the Episcopal Church and women in churches with the historic Episcopate, founded in 1885 by Margaret J. Franklin at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Sepulcher in New York City. Transfiguration’s own St. Monica’s chapter of this international sisterhood currently has eight active members. Daughters follow a Rule of Life, which commits them to a ministry of prayer, study, service, and evangelism. We welcome new members to join us, and everyone is welcome to ask us for prayers.
Although we offer each other fellowship and encouragement, Daughters of the King is not a club. DOK empowers women to reaffirm their baptismal vows and explore their spiritual gifts for the glory of God and the spread of Christ’s kingdom. Lifting up our community of faith in prayer helps us to know and love each other. St. Monica’s chapter meets at least once a year for a group service project, but it is an independent group that encourages members to get involved in whatever ministries speak to them. We stay in touch through regular email conversations and updates to our prayer list. The Diocesan, Regional, and National branches of DOK offer opportunities for quiet days, retreats, and a triennial convention.
Contact Katherine Hamann for more information.
The Green Team is made up of volunteers who weed, plant, mulch, and prune on the church property. Anyone is welcome to join us in enjoying and maintaining the beauty of God’s world while getting fresh air and exercise (and only occasionally poison ivy). Everyone who attends church or passes by can appreciate God’s love for us reflected in creation.
Contact Sue Burke for more information.
Military Support Project
The Military Support Project aims to support the needs of active military service members, veterans, and their families. Past projects have included Postage for Pennies, a fundraising effort to support the cost of care packages sent to military service members overseas; a collection of monetary donations for Friends of Fisher House, Illinois, a local non-profit home on the Hines VA Hospital campus that provides free lodging and meals to military families during medical crises; and a collection of monetary donations, clothing, and household goods for the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation. Most of these projects aim to involve parishioners twice a year on or near national holidays such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day. In addition, we include the military service members in our church family in our intercessory prayers each Sunday and post their pictures on a bulletin board at the church.
Contact Elizabeth Durbin or Pat Jonikaitis for more information.
Prayer Blankets (and Hats for the Homeless)
In the last twelve years, Transfiguration parishioners have made hundreds of prayer blankets and sent them around the country and even around the world. The prayer blanket ministry takes requests for anyone in need of prayers for healing, but also for those who would appreciate some celebratory prayers. We have made prayer blankets for baptisms and graduations and to bless recipients beginning new ventures. We also make them to give a prayerful hug to people experiencing serious illness or grief or struggling with addiction or trauma. We make each blanket for a specific person at someone’s request. Blanket recipients may be parishioners or their family members, friends, or co-workers. There are no restrictions on recipients, and we ask nothing in return.
We select fleece fabric in colors and patterns that speak to each recipient and select prayers and readings that seem apt for the person’s circumstances. A small group meets as needed to cut out the blankets, pray over them, and tie the first knots in the fringes. Then we bring the blankets into church for a blessing. The entire congregation is encouraged to tie knots to complete the fringes and say a prayer with each knot. The blankets are delivered with an explanatory letter from the whole parish, telling each recipient, “You are covered in prayer.”
We put our leftover pieces of fabric to good use as well. Once a year, we invite anyone who is interested to meet and cut out simple fleece hats, which we then sew and donate to the homeless.
Both of these ministries are open to anyone interested. We send out notifications to the members on our email list when we have several blankets (or hats) to make, and anyone interested and available is welcome to join us to assemble blankets and hats. Donations to the ministry to help defray the cost of materials are always welcome as well.
Contact Katherine Hamann for more information.
Transfiguration’s food pantry ministry assists six local pantries on an ongoing basis. Parishioners bring non-perishable food to church each Sunday, and a parish volunteer delivers donated items to the pantries every two weeks. The pantries we assist are very grateful for our donations, and parishioners are steadfast in their support, going above and beyond our regular donations to fill the food pantry baskets to overflowing when we learn of specific needs or particular items in short supply.
Contact Cheryl Ryniak for more information.
Shower the Shelter
Our Shower the Shelter ministry collects and delivers food and toiletries on a monthly basis to RespondNow, a charitable organization working to alleviate hunger and prevent homelessness for people at risk in more than 22 south suburban communities, including Chicago Heights, South Chicago Heights, and Ford Heights—areas stricken with the highest levels of poverty and unemployment in all of suburban Chicagoland. Our food donations benefit the food pantry at RespondNow, and the toiletries benefit RespondNow clients who need temporary lodging due to fire, eviction, or other crises. RespondNow also participates in our Alternative Christmas Gift Market.
Contact Diann Durbin for more information.
Meal Prep and Delivery
The Outreach Committee provides a meal ministry to those in need within our church family. A group of dedicated volunteers prepare and deliver home-cooked meals to those experiencing health issues, a death or illness in the family, or happy occasions, such as the birth of a new baby.
Contact Bea Hiznay for more information. Contact the church office with requests for meals.
Through our card ministry, we send personalized get well cards, sympathy cards, and “thinking of you” cards to provide comfort to those in our church community who are experiencing illness, injury, or loss, as well as to members who are homebound.
Contact Sheila Rossi to get involved, or to request a card for an individual or family.
Alternative Christmas Gift Market
Transfiguration hosts an annual Alternative Christmas Gift market. Each year, a committee carefully selects eight charitable organizations meeting a wide variety of needs (e.g. food banks, veterans’ organizations, medical charities, Episcopal charities, homeless shelters, and animal rescues), where parishioners can “shop” at coffee hour on several Sundays in Advent by making donations at the $5, $10, $15, or $25 levels to the charities of their choice. For each donation, the participant receives a decorative card with the organization’s name, a brief description of its mission, and an example of an item or service that the participant’s donation has made possible. These cards can then be given as gifts.
Parishioners can give meaningful, memorable Christmas gifts to their loved ones while helping those in need. These gifts keep us in mind of the true meaning of Christmas: the redemptive, restorative work for which Christ came into the world and in which he invites us to participate.
Contact Sue Burke for more information.
ReVive Christmas Baskets
Transfiguration has been involved with the ReVive (formerly Cathedral Shelter) Christmas Basket Program for many years. Each year, we receive the names of Chicago area families who are unable to provide Christmas gifts for each other. We usually request around 50 families, ranging in size from single persons to eight or nine. ReVive provides information about each family, including ages, clothing sizes, and items on their wish lists. Parishioners then choose a family to shop for and purchase, wrap, box, and deliver gifts to the church, where ReVive picks them up on a designated date in early December. Each family also receives a Jewel gift card to assist them in purchasing food for Christmas dinner.
For more information, contact Helen Fitch or Cheryl Ryniak.
The Memorial Garden committee maintains Transfiguration’s Memorial Garden, a reflection space where the cremated remains of members and loved ones can be interred. Committee members plant annuals each spring to augment the perennial plants and trees, replace perennial plants as necessary, and place memorial/commemorative bricks in the garden path. Roger Carlsen of Ephram Forge in Frankfort, IL designed and executed the cross at the center of the garden, based on the cross above our altar. The cross was installed in May 2004.
The committee holds very few formal meetings and does not require a large time commitment from its members. Instead, almost all of its work is hands-on in the garden. We plant in the spring and weed the garden during the summer months with the help of the Green Team.
Contact Helen Fitch or the church office to get involved with the committee, or for information about interment in the garden or the purchase of memorial/commemorative bricks.
Buildings and Grounds
This group handles the wide variety of issues that arise in the care and upkeep of the four generations of buildings on our grounds and special projects to beautify and improve our church and day care facilities. B&G takes on renovation projects; painting, flooring and cabinetry replacement; plumbing and electrical issues; and other concerns, as well as coordinating repairs and construction schedules.
B&G also works with our yard maintenance and snowplowing providers and contractors hired for special occasional projects (for example, to remove trees; repair, seal and stripe parking lots; clean gutters; and perform general exterior upkeep).
For more information, please feel free to contact B&G Chair Cathi Ratay.
Children and Youth
Transfiguration’s Children & Youth Ministry Committee (CYMC) oversees our church school program, communion instruction, confirmation program, and Sunday morning nursery, as well as planning special activities and service projects—not only for our young people but for our whole congregation. Our annual events include the church picnic in late spring, the back-to-church-school luncheon at the end of the summer, the Halloween party (with help from our Parish Life committee), the Advent service project, the Lenten outreach project, the church school Christmas program, and Christmas coffee hour. The committee meets roughly every other month and always welcomes new members.
For more information, contact Debbie Trapp.
The Parish Life Committee develops and organizes social events and promotes fellowship. We try to involve the whole congregation in fun activities and events throughout the year, including theater outings, Trivia Night, Cookie Exchange, magic shows, themed dances, and musical performances. Three or four times a year, church members host Over 21 evenings in their homes, with attendees providing appetizers and desserts. BYOB! Anyone over 21 is welcome. The committee strives to plan a variety of events to appeal to members of all interests and all ages. Parish Life welcomes new members and new ideas.
Sunday morning coffee hour is another important opportunity for the whole church to gather for fellowship with new faces and old friends. The church provides coffee and supplies, and volunteers can sign up to provide simple food, snacks, and juice on a Sunday of their choice. On special Sundays, holidays, and church events (such as baptisms), the church provides a sheet cake and festive decor.
Please contact Bea Hiznay or any Parish Life member for more information.
Day Care Board
The Palos Park Episcopal Day Care and Learning Center is a preschool and day care facility, with before- and after-school care for elementary students in the Palos Park school district. Housed at the Church of the Transfiguration, this business and ministry is wholly owned and operated by Transfiguration.
With approximately 75 students and 15 staff members, our Day Care is an important ministry and outreach to surrounding communities, providing quality childcare to our students and employment opportunities to our staff. We also provide scholarships to qualifying families and accept state aid for eligible students.
Begun after another preschool vacated our buildings in 1984, PPEDC&LC is a strong and vibrant part of our lives at Transfiguration. Transfiguration’s relationship with PPEDC&LC is beneficial for the day-to-day operations of the church and the good of the entire Transfiguration community. This relationship also helps to fund major projects in and around our buildings.
The congregation elects a Board comprised of church members to three-year terms at the Annual Parish Meeting. The Board meets quarterly with our Day Care Director.
For additional information, please feel free to contact Board President Cathi Ratay.