Washington D.C. Center of SRF Volunteer Service Teams

The Washington D.C. Center of S.R.F. is maintained with the help of many volunteers who serve on numerous service teams. Information about these teams is listed below for those interested in volunteering. All are welcome to serve!

Bhakti Team – The Bhakti team plans, provides, prepares and serves Indian food (including room setup and cleanup after event) for these special events: Paramahansa Yogananda's Birthday Social, Fundraising Event, Monastic Visit, Volunteer Appreciation Social, Center Tour Dinner with the Monastics.

Bookroom – The Bookroom Team serves in three capacities. The cashier uses a computer program to record the sales of books, tapes, gifts, and other items from the bookroom and SRF catalog. The donation volunteer counts the donations from the different services, fills out a financial summary report and makes the bank deposit. Inventory servers take inventory and help maintain the free literature.

Caring Friends – The Caring Friends Team provides spiritual and emotional support for Center members who are in need of assistance due to illness, loss of a loved one, disability, birth of a child, aging, or other crisis situations; Volunteer devotees are available to help with home and hospital visits, fellowship through phone calls, emails and prayer. All those who would like to volunteer for service in Caring Friends are welcome. The “Caring Friends Team” meets quarterly and closes their meeting with a healing service. “Caring Friends” volunteers provide services as their individual schedules permit.

Cleaning – The Cleaning Team is responsible for regular maintenance cleaning of the Center. Their cleaning duties include vacuuming, dusting and cleaning as needed in the chapel, entry foyer, bookroom and upstairs social room and cleaning of bathrooms. They also help with special annual cleaning projects such as cleaning windows, blinds and walls.

Flowers and Room Setup - The Flower Team volunteers are in charge of preparing flower arrangements for the chapel and entry foyer for services at the Center and for special events such as Monastic Visits. They are also in charge of preparing the special room setup and flower arrangements for the commemorative services..

Fund Raising – The Fund Raising Team researches, develops and helps implement ideas to raise funds for the Center’s Building Fund, which funds renovation of the building.

Greeters – The Greeter’s duties include greeting, welcoming and answering questions for newcomers, visitors and other members before and after Sunday and special services. They also admit latecomers to the chapel services during periods of chanting and are stationed in the entry foyer during the services. Greeters are scheduled only for Sunday morning and special commemorative services.

Kirtan Group – The Kirtan group play traditional Indian instruments to accompany devotional chanting at commemorative and meditation services that include kirtan. The group is composed of devotees who play harmonium, tambour, tablas, bells and other traditional Indian percussion instruments. They practice at a designated location.

Maintenance – The Maintenance Team is responsible for assuring the regular general care of the Center building and property, to make certain it is in good repair. This includes maintaining and repairing the Center building proper including electrical, lights, sound system, electronics system, heat, air conditioning, plumbing, physical structure, carpeting, furniture, etc. and securing yearly inspection/maintenance for gas, fire extinguishers, air conditioning, etc.

Monastic Visits – The Monastic Visits Team provides for the needs of the monastics when they visit the DC Center, including transportation, food, supplying and cleaning the monks’ rooms at the Center, planning special outings, and other needs of the monks.

Recycling – The Recycling Team plans, coordinates and oversees all recycling at the Center, including during everyday trash, potlucks, and special events.

Social Events – The Social Events Team is in charge of all socials held by the Center. Their duties include setting up, organizing and cleaning up for the monthly potluck luncheons as well as for other special social events. They also help prepare festive food, decorate the social room and arrange for entertainment for several special occasions during the year.

Ushers – The duties of the Ushers include ushering, operating the sound system and passing donation baskets at services as well as arriving ˝ hour before service to open the Center and prepare the chapel. preparations include turning on the lights, sound system, and heat or air conditioner and opening doors/windows for ventilation. The Usher is also responsible for closing the chapel after service.

Volunteers for Service Days – Volunteers assist with various tasks during Service Days, which occur as needed on Saturdays, usually two or three times a year. Tasks involve those related to the renovation (carpentry, painting, other simple construction tasks), cleaning (see Cleaning Team) and maintenance (see Maintenance Team).

Elected Volunteers

To serve as an Officer, Council Member, Service Reader, Sunday School Teacher or Sunday School Assistant, a devotee must be a Kriyaban, elected at the annual spring election and approved by Mother Center. Those interested in serving in any of these positions should contact the Center Coordinator for more information.

Managing Council – The Center’s Managing Council consists of the three officers listed below and four at-large members. The Council meets approximately once per month and plans, schedules and guides the Center’s activities. It guides the Center’s budget and expenditures of funds, establishes and guides service teams, maintains liaison with the teams, maintains communications with SRF Mother Center, and plans General Business Meetings of the Center as they are needed..

Center Coordinator – It is the duty of the Center Coordinator to see that the various activities of the Center are harmonious and in accordance with guidelines from Mother Center. The Coordinator acts as presiding officer at all Center business and Council meetings (or appoints another officer to act in his/her stead.) All Center reports and correspondence sent to Mother Center must be initialed by the coordinator.

Secretary – The Secretary is in charge of maintaining regular correspondence with Mother Center, unless done by the Coordinator. This officer also takes brief minutes at all Center business and Council meetings and sends a copy to Center Department. The Secretary also maintains a file of all correspondence with Center Department and fills out a general report to send to them twice per year.

Treasurer – The Treasurer is responsible for the complete accounting of all Center funds and for all deposits to and expenditures from the Center’s accounts. The Treasurer submits an annual financial report to Center Department at the end of the year and also makes a monthly accounting report to the Council.

Managing Council Members-at-Large – These devotees serve in many different capacities, as needed, including serving as liaisons to service teams, and have a vote in all managing council decisions. Council members at large may also serve concurrently as service readers, whereas Center Officers normally do not.

Service Readers – Service Readers lead services at the Center according to the guidelines in the SRF service manual. The reader is sometimes also the chant leader/ harmonium player but this is optional as another volunteer is often scheduled to lead the chants. The Harmonium Player does not need to be elected.

Sunday school Teachers – Sunday School teachers lead classes for children ages 4-12 and a teen class for Individuals ages 13-19 in our upstairs room at the Center. The teachers introduce the children to the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, meditation and devotional chanting and illustrate spiritual principles through group creative activities and crafts.

Sunday School Assistants – Assistants help Sunday School teachers with Sunday School activities as mentioned above.


Washington DC Center of Self-Realization Fellowship
4911 Niagara Rd., College Park, Md 20740
Phone: 301-345-4172
SRF Website www.yogananda-srf.org