My Altar Guild Ministry

As a young girl, I preferred to play with Tonka trucks than to host a tea party with dolls. Until recently, I still wasn't much interested in hosting parties.

I say "until recently" because now I find myself offering my home for gatherings, including the latest extended-family Thanksgiving dinner. So what has brought on this change?

I think the joy I've found serving on Altar Guild has contributed to my newly discovered desire to entertain people in my home. I see the role of Altar Guild as helping host an extended family Thanksgiving meal each week.

Another word for sharing the bread and wine during the worship service is Eucharist, which means Thanksgiving. Here, God's people, the great extended family of humanity, gather to give thanks for God's creation and promises of salvation, and then, in the sharing of the meal, are united in the receiving of Christ to be the Body of Christ in the world.

Wow! How powerful is that?! Since this is really God inviting us to the table, I humbly and gratefully serve to prepare for the meal and clean up afterward, just as I do for a nice dinner party in my home: candles on the table, flowers for decoration, clean table linens, polished silver ware, food and drink.

So if I wasn't naturally drawn to being "the hostess with the mostest," why was I initially interested in doing those kinds of tasks with the Altar Guild? I think the answer, ironically, goes back to the days when I was playing with Tonka trucks.

I was around 7 when I went through the preparation for my First Communion. In those days, young children received a blessing rather than the elements during Communion. To prepare for my First Communion, I had homework, which involved family discussions at the dinner table. This was very memorable for me since, though we were all invited to share about our day during dinner, I perceived our usual table conversations to be dominated by my oldest sister. So when the discussion was about our Christian faith and the role of communion and not about my sister's social life, I appreciated a subject that was equally important to all of us.

Having this conversation at the dinner table was especially appropriate since our family dinners had an element that gave it a sense of importance; we always ate with the Royal Danish silverware and it was my responsibility to place it on the table in preparation for the meal.

Along with this consistent use of the silver was the consistent meal blessing "Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen." So, we were like other households that reserved the silver for an important guest, but we invited our guest, Jesus, every night.

In my preparation for my First Communion, I was struck how Communion was much the same as our family dinner.

So now I set the table for my church family to share a holy meal. Serving on Altar Guild has reminded me that as we are refreshed and strengthened by this meal, we are to share Christ with the world. I realized that to do this sharing, I could extend my Altar Guild ministry outside the church by inviting people to my home and sharing meals and conversation there.

So that's the story of how the Tonka truck tomboy came to enjoy polishing silver and washing glasses.

Everyone is welcomed to serve on Grace’s Altar Guild, please contact to volunteer.

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