Setting a reverent stage for the services at St Michael’s is a time-honored blessing for those who do this work. It has gone on for centuries in the church, and we in the Altar Guild at St. Michael’s continue the traditions, enjoying the beauty of our nave while we prepare the altar. I get a sense of joyful expectation in preparing for the coming together of the people of God for Eucharist. There is a familiar routine in the “work” if you will, but it is the spiritual experience that keeps us working together, and makes one loyal to this ministry. And sometimes it is a spectacular experience.
We in the Altar Guild know each other as loyal friends to this service and to each other; and we trust each other. We have a routine and procedures, and there is a finite end to each session of work. The sacristy is fairly small and in this setting we get to know and support each other well. It is a gift to spend time with each other and at the altar in this way.
I am the leader of the Altar Guild, and have been for quite some time. I organize, and try to make things simple, yet am flexible when incorporating change. I do some of the flower arrangements but mostly I work with a local florist. I make sure all the “work” time slots are covered in the schedule. I also make sure the large altar linens are clean and available. Robin Baxter orders supplies for us. Barb Adams maintains our procedure documents. Sandra Phaup likes ironing the smaller linen pieces. Dave Wright is a good trainer for our newcomers. Others provide their time and ideas also: Monica Dinan, Cathey Dugan, Laura Bennett, Leslie Stubbendieck, Diane Rickey, and Laura West. We have an online signup to help track who is doing what.
We’re looking for more folks to join us no matter how infrequent. We work Saturday mornings and again on Sunday mornings both between and after the services. If you want to join us for any of these times (not necessarily both days), we would love to have you. Just talk to one of us and we will work together on getting you trained (on the job training is best) and incorporated into the routines as you are available.