"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness...."
This line from Psalm 96 has always seemed particularly appropriate to the Episcopal Church. We have always treasured our worship spaces (many are quite beautiful, including St. Dunstan's). We love pageantry, colorful hangings, fresh flowers, gleaming silver and brass, glowing candlelight. We treat the Lord's Supper, rightly, as we would treat a dress-up dinner at home.
I'm always reminded of this when we prepare for Thanksgiving dinner at home: we pull out treasured table linens, inherited silver, and favorite china. We arrange our fresh flowers. The main thing is, of course, the people who are gathered - to celebrate, to remember our blessings, to give thanks to God. But some need to work in the kitchen to make it all happen!
Our beautiful liturgies require care and preparation, just like dinner parties at home. That's where our Altar Guild comes in. These faithful folks make things beautiful for all of us, week after week. They work in the room off the altar called the sacristy - a kind of prep kitchen. Without the Altar Guild, the bread and wine would not be provided, chalices would go unwashed, the candles would burn out, the silver and brass would be tarnished, and the linens would be a mess. And we wouldn't know what season it is because the altar hangings would never change! Fortunately, many who serve find this hands-on ministry very meaningful and spiritually enriching - a kind of prayer to God through action.
Today we honor our Altar Guild, which is down to two people at the moment. We need at least 10 people, each serving one Sunday a month, to share this ministry and cover all our services, serving 1 year terms. We'll explore this important ministry this Sunday.
Worship is the first privilege and duty of the church. All our ministries spring forth from our worship. How can you serve God and your congregation in worship here? JBM