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“In Christ’s name we gather, whose life makes us holy, whose love is the tether that binds us in one.

By Christ’s own invitation we come for the bread of heaven, the wine poured for our salvation we gather to share.

With praise and thanksgiving to God ever living, in love and in serving we offer our lives.

In Christ’s name we gather, whose life makes us holy, whose love is the tether that binds us as one.” 

~ Author unknown
Dianne Walters, President

We often sing this “Song of Praise” at our church and as we sang it on Easter Sunday (wearing masks and social distancing) it hit me that this pretty much sums up our lives over the last year. Then upon further reflection I decided that this verse also sums up my term as President of NAGA. When I was installed almost three years at our Triennial meeting in Austin, I chose “the Sending” as my theme…send us out to do the work you have given us to do.

My first message after that meeting I challenged you to “come to our ministry with joy…because in the Eucharist we find our anchor, we find our home” — the work we have been given to do. I know it has been difficult to find the joy this last 14 months, but it has been our love for our shared altar guild ministry that has been the “tether that has bound us as one.” It was working in our parishes to find new and safe ways to celebrate our Eucharists in an untraditional manner. It was learning new ways to communicate by virtual means, Zoom meetings. We continued to set the stage for growth, good exchange of ideas and strengthening our bonds with our parishes, Bishops and Dioceses and each other. We did exactly what Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said in his address to us in Austin, we continued our altar guild ministry to help the people of God to worship God.

I am sad that we are not able to renew our friendships and exchange shared experiences and ideas this summer in person in Baltimore. Our Vice President, Albe, has planned a wonderful virtual meeting for us and I bid you each to join us and participate in the programs she has planned. There is much to be explored and learned in our “Journey with Jesus.” Albe has included all the details and more information on the meeting in this Epistle:

It has been such a pleasure to represent you and our legacy of the National Altar Guild Association these last three years. All the members of the board have risen to the challenges presented to us in extraordinary ways, and I thank them. It was my honor to visit and meet with so many of you whether in person or by virtual means. I cherish each of the fingerprints you have added to my soul and your love and your support have been my tether.

As I began three years ago by remembering the words from a song by Lanny Wolfe, “Surely the Presence of the Lord, was in this place” I would like to close with … 

“In love and in serving we offer our lives, In Christ’s name we gather, whose life make us holy, whose love is the tether that binds us as one.”

Blessed be, Dianne

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