Stepping Out in Heels to Serve
DIANNA APREA IS VERY CANDID about how serving as an usher was quite outside of her comfort zone. “For someone who does not like attention, taking this on, especially the offering part of it, was a challenge in the beginning. It took me probably six months before I wasn’t a nervous wreck.”
Dianna has been attending WEFC for 27 years. She and her husband, Mark, found the church soon after they got married. Dianna had been involved with teaching Pioneer Girls (similar to Boys’ Brigade) with her sister in the church where she grew up. At WEFC she has served in the ministries of Girls Alive, Nursery, and teaching preschool age Sunday School. In May 2015 she began to serve at WEFC in a brand new way. Dianna became the first female usher at WEFC.
Dianna admits that there’s so much more to ushering than she had thought When going through the role of the usher, she enumerates the tasks:
“We stand in the front or the back of the church 15 minutes prior to each service, welcoming people and handing out bulletins. We pay attention to see if someone seems uncomfortable, we try to help them find a seat, especially when the sanctuary fills up. Sometimes we walk up and down the side and main aisles to help guide people to their seats. We shut doors in the back once the pastor begins to speak, and open them when people may enter again. We take the offering, walking upstairs into the balcony area as well. We do an attendance count from the balcony. The offering is then taken to a place where cash and envelopes are separated and put in a safe.
Dianna became the first female usher because it had come up at church that there was a need for more ushers. It was decided that women would be welcome to serve also. Head usher, Bob Briggaman, alerted his community group to the need, and asked those in the group if they might be interested in serving. He then asked Dianna if she would consider. Dianna response was consistently, “I’ll think about it. I’ll pray about it.” Over the next week she didn’t see any reason not to try it, so she agreed.
“I was a bit nervous about being the first woman. It’s not usual for me to be the first at anything. It’s kind of out of character,” Dianna recalls. She was willing to try it though, noting, “God could be telling me that this is something He would want me to do.” Dianna is grateful for all of the help and support she has received from the ushers and from the church in general.
The feedback she personally has received has been positive. Some women have said to her, “Oh, it’s great to see a female usher!” An older gentleman confided in her that the church needed female ushers. There are now three women who serve on the monthly ushering teams. Kathy Briggs and Gwen Clark are the other two.
Dianna has to pay extra close attention when passing the offering plate while wearing heels. She laughs, remembering that the first time she wore heels she was afraid she was going to trip on her shoe while walking up the aisle. That’s something the men don’t have to think about.