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Transitions And Thanksgivings

Chrissie and I attended the semi-annual Altar Guild meeting today.  In years past, the meeting was part of a luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. after that morning's crew had completed their work setting up for Sunday services.  Summer crews tend to complete their work earlier, so today was a brunch starting at 10:30 a.m.  It was lovely, with good food and wonderful fellowship.  The earlier start leaves a good part of the afternoon to do other things.  (While I blog, Chrissie waits for the last Harry Potter book to arrive).  

I am one of three men on the Altar Guild; one is away this week as part of Grace Church's mission trip to the Our Little Roses ministries in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and the other is hosting a joint yard sale with his wife and mother.  Today, I was the "token male" to the Guild, or as some of the ladies put it, 'David with his harem'.  (Ahem)  Anyway, I am active on the Guild - a current Crew Leader and 2x past President; Chrissie is also a past President, but now serves an ad hoc role supporting me when I'm Crew Leader, or to chip in on special days or liturgies.  Today, she was the 'guest' of the incoming President as thanks for being one of the adults to shepherd her grandson and others on the recent J2A Pilgrimage to Germany.

These semi-annual occasions to gather the Guild include a meeting/brunch on Saturday and a Corporate Communion on Sunday.  They are times when we pause to acknowledge our transitions in leadership and offer thanksgivings for those who have guided our efforts.  At Grace Church, the Altar Guild is probably the best example I see of "succession planning".  Each president serves for six months, either for Christmas or Easter, and there are "presidents in waiting" for the next two liturgical seasons, along with other officers and chairs of various committees.  It truly is a lovely example of Christian Community in Action.  

As our outgoing Easter 2007 President passed the keys to the incoming Christmas 2007 President, we also took time to offer thanksgiving for our wonderful Assistant Rector, Anne+ , who leaves us the end of the month to move to Massachusetts.  I was Senior Warden at Grace when she was ordained a Deacon before starting with us, and later when she was ordained a Priest.  Bob+, our Rector who is currently 'on sabattical', joined us today to thank the Guild for caring for him and our parish through our work, but also to help us say Thank You to Anne for her ministry among us.  We have helped form her in her priesthood as she has learned with us, and we have been richly blessed by her presence.  Transitions and Thanksgivings.  That is what we celebrate today and tomorrow. 

(P.S.  I learned the person I hoped would convene my Parish Discernment Committee [she is on the Guild] said 'Yes'.  Yeah!!)