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Needlework kneeler_Featured

Recently I was asked “Do you still do needlepoint?” The next question was “Why?” This started me thinking — why, indeed, do I still do canvaswork when I now am a senior citizen with the usual arthritic aches and pains, especially in my hands [...]

pentecost

The first half of the liturgical year is a mad dash — and nobody knows this more than the altar guild. But once the summer schedule is done and you’ve put up the green frontal, you can pour yourself a glass of wine [...]

christdisciplesservice

“Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve” [...]

spirituality

The spirit in which your altar guild lives ripples out to affect the feel of the whole congregation [...]

baptism-ascension-feature

You are the preparers and keepers and transmitters of some of the coolest stuff we have in The Episcopal Church [...]

Child4

My greatest joy serving in the office and role of bishop is to bring children deeper into our worship. What I find, more often than not, is they will teach me, long before I can teach them [...]

barnabas

It was a privilege, and a pleasure, to speak with members of the National Altar Guild during General Convention and to share a few things about my favorite, and possibly the most under-rated, character in the New Testament [...]

trinity_feature

“The beauty of holiness” is a familiar phrase to most Episcopalians. Keynote speaker, Sr. Suzanne Elizabeth from the Community of St. John Baptist explores the meaning of these words and how they shape our lives [...]

gayflagstainedglass

As I have made my way around small sacristies over the past ten years, they have come to symbolize the importance of respecting one another and our differences by graciously making space for one another [...]

prayer2

When we offer ourselves to serve at the altar, we are offering ourselves to God as a living prayer. The sun is up by the time I begin the Great Thanksgiving, but my prayer does not end with the Amen; it continues with the awareness of God’s love and offering myself through the day [...]

votives

Years ago I was challenged by members of the congregation over an issue I call “Holy Waste.” As things like this often happen in congregations, it all started innocently enough [...]

BeautyFeature

The ministry of the altar guild makes me think of beauty. Our ancient forbearers said that the purpose of life is to know “the good, the true and the beautiful.” Sometimes we are vaguely apologetic for the “trappings” of the church, yet beauty is indispensable [...]

Maryandmartha

A school friend of mine once jokingly remarked that it was not until he was a teenager that he learned that all girls were not named either Mary Martha or Martha Mary! Both of these women have places in our liturgical calendar and are honored by the church [...]

NAGA Logo for feature

When we think about hospitality and welcome in churches, we most often think of greeters, ushers and newcomers committees. But the fact is that the first work of hospitality comes in the ministry of the altar guild — long before anyone walks into the church for the celebration of the liturgy [...]

JohnBaptistFeature

Often I hear the altar guild being compared to Mary and Martha but most of the women that I have met have a John the Baptist streak [...]