Who prepares the altars for worship at the General Convention?
Each day at the 79th General Convention, we celebrate Eucharist together. The National Altar Guild Association handles all the preparation for these and other services. It is an enormous undertaking and teams of NAGA members are hard at work behind the scenes just as they usually are in our parishes, missions, and cathedrals. Imagine putting together just the elements for 3000 people. It looks a little bit like this:
Each and every day, hundreds of volunteers are giving themselves to the faithful work of making sure that this General Convention comes together. Among those volunteers here from the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast is Mrs. Dianne Walters.
Walters is a member of the Church of the Nativity in Dothan. She has previously served as the Vice-President of the National Altar Guild Association. On Thursday, she will be installed as the president of that organization at a 10 a.m. Eucharist at the Church of the Good Shepherd, here in Austin. I asked Walters to offer some thoughts about the work of the NAGA while she was here to highlight the work they are doing.
Here is what Walters shared: The National Altar Guild Association (NAGA) began their work on Tuesday, July 3rd as we unpacked and cleaned the 100+ chalices and baskets to be used at the nine communion stations during the 10 days of 79GC. Hundreds of purificators, cases of wine and loaves of bread were all made ready for the opening Eucharist on Thursday, July 5. Three thousand people were communed in 15 minutes! We were off to a great start.
NAGA serves as the Altar Guild for each General Convention. Teams of about 25 serve each day to prepare the high altar and all the communion stations. We also tend to all the Bishop’s vestments…which makes for lots of steam pressing especially before the “Parade of Bishops”!
National Altar Guild meets at the same time as GC and we have our own schedule of workshops, keynote speakers and field trips. We began our week of activities with a Eucharist and Blessing of the Hands and continue through the week, ending with an installation service for the new officers.
Look for us in the blue aprons as we work behind the scenes of the 79GC to do the “work you have given us to do.”
NAGA President Elect
Church of the Nativity, Dothan