A bit of background of your altar guild director: I was baptized, confirmed and married in the same church. During my youth the only time I ever saw a woman in the sanctuary was when I saw the altar guild preparing the altar. In those days, there were no girl acolytes, no female lay readers, no female chalice bearers or lectors, and no females were ordained as priests. When asked to be on the altar guild 25 – 30 years ago, to my mind I was following in my mother’s and grandmother’s footsteps. I was living out a legacy. This is what the women in my family did, they served on the altar guild. That heritage was my connection and my motivating force. It was a good time to be in the altar guild in the early 1970’s. It was a time of change; the church had a trial prayer book; the altar was moved from the wall; the priest began to face the people. The holy Eucharist became normative for worship. I learned a lot at the time, “I am lucky to be born when I was born! I’m having a really good time learning, something that my mother and grandmother didn’t”.
Our Altar guild has an annual bake sale, along with other get togethers and we love it. (and we don’t wear gloves and hats). There is not a business meeting at these sessions, though Fr. Bob will join us often. He may quite often have a request and we have never turned him down. He always tells us how very grateful he is for us.
In the early days of the church, the duty of caring for the altar and sanctuary was the concern of the priests and attendants. Nuns now do the work in certain parts of the world. Although the altar guild was primarily a women’s ministry, members today are of an age and gender.
The Altar Guild was an important element in the following celebrations during the course of 2017. Memorial services, some for our members or their family member, confirmation, memorial service for the Vietnam veterans (which we have many within our congregation), the usual services for Lent/Easter and four Christmas services; on Christmas eve 9:00 a.m., 4:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m. and a morning service on Christmas day. We were so blessed this year, as there was a very special five year old young man, who wished to have his lego man given to baby Jesus as his gift to him. Needless to say, we were all so touched by this love for Jesus.
Altar guild is also the flower guild, being sure flowers are on the altar for those who request them for: anniversaries, thanksgivings, memorials, birthdays, etc. There is a flower chart on the bulletin board in the narthex that you can view at your leisure and select any date you wish. There can be more that one person on any given Sunday. Our meetings are held monthly, normally the first Saturday of the month at 11:00 a.m. in the church. Meetings last one hour. The meetings are informational and for preparations needed for our Sunday services. There are special church seasons that require us to come together for seasonal preparations.
Should you wish to join our ministry, you would be serving with a partner once a month at either the 8:00 or 10:00 whichever is your choice. We are a ministry that enjoys working together and lovingly preparing the Lord’s table for the Eucharist celebrations and other services. We look forward to having you be a part of our Altar Guild ministry. At our bake sale we cleared about $450 and these funds are used to purchase linens, wine, silver vessels and any other item needed.
Respectfully submtted, Ruby A. Seyffert, Altar Guild Director