The work of the Altar Guild is one of the key ministries in the life of the St. Andrew’s community. Altar guild prepares our sacred spaces; the sanctuary and chapel, for worship. Altar Guild is responsible for arranging the altar for the Eucharistic meal and puts in place all the accompanying items used in our liturgies according to the liturgical calendar (i.e. candles, glass- and metal-ware, linens, banners and other furnishings). At the end of each service, their work involves either a transition to the next service or the return of items to their passive placement. Participation in this ministry involves one Saturday (less than a few hours of set-up) and one Sunday (about 30-45 minutes of clean-up) a month. Additional help may be requested at Christmas, Lent and Easter seasons. For the time being, the work of the Alter Guild will be modified to meet current COVID guidelines. If you are interested in serving, please contact Levana Fletcher at levanafletcher@gmail.com.

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On March 7, I was asked by Fr. Rich to facilitate a process to consider how we might organize the work of the Altar Guild. This gathering was in advance of our long-time Altar Guild leader, Carol Glasser’s plans to step away from her role in this ministry after Easter. Our gathering in early March was on a dreary day in the library with the Altar Guild members who were available to join us, and the word COVID was on the far periphery of any conversation. In that process, the group reimagined how the work of the Altar Guild could be organized differently. We considered what the Altar Guild does, how the work could be distributed differently, what gifts might be needed for certain aspects of this ministry, etc. This was a thoughtfully developed idea with an implementation plan in formation.

And then COVID happened and so much changed.

While we still believe the plan developed out of this process to be the next best step for the Altar Guild, it too will need some modification to adapt to the needs of returning to the building for worship during this pandemic. It is important to note that our return to any form of in-person worship is still being considered. 

You may have questions about this new plan for the Altar Guild. We will be sharing more information around this plan next month. For now, the invitation is for you to consider how you might offer your gifts in ministry once we are back together. And specifically, are you called to serve on the Altar Guild?

Now, you may have some preconceived notions on what it might mean “to serve on the Altar Guild.” Remember, we are seeking a multitude of gifts from our whole community with a new plan for how those gifts plug in and manifest in faithful ministry. We are seeking our youth and those who are young at heart; new parishioners and friends that have been at St. Andrew’s for a while; and she/her, he/him and they/them. We also need to recognize that this will be a “work in process” as we move through the unknown that the COVID landscape has set before us.

Next month, we will outline more about the foundation of the plan and highlight the variety of opportunities that may connect with your call to serve. Until then, if you have questions or think you might be interested in this ministry when we return to in-person worship, please email me at klkrash@comcast.net, as I am acting as a transition coordinator to help launch and organize the Altar Guild on this new path.

Karla Koon

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