SOMETHING'S HAPPENING HERE . . . AKA "THE ALTER GUILD" AND ITS VISION
At St. Margaret's annual retreat on February 14-16, 2020, Molly Blackwell shared her vision of a Meditation Garden behind St. Margaret's with Peggy Twyman, Becky Doiron, and Jean Faria Loupe. We were all in. The group met on February 25, 2020, at Brew Ha Ha's and began plans to reclaim the existing outdoor altar, refurbish it and create a Meditation Garden for the congregation and community.
The Vestry authorized the exterior altar transformation work on February 28, 2020, and the newly dubbed "Alter (change or cause to change in character or composition, typically in a comparatively small but significant way) Guild" began its work during the spring. With axes, pruners, chain saws, shovels, and gallons of Roundup, the land was cleared, revealing the altar Molly and others had built years ago when the back of the church property was an open field.
The Alter Guild took pictures, discussed modifications, took notes, and donated the funds to clear the land, haul away the detritus' piles from the property, and keep the back yard mowed. A statue of St. Francis of Assisi was placed near the altar. Two benches have been built and donated. A flower garden was planted with the help of St. Margaret's children. A locked prayer box has been attached to the tree closest to the altar with plans to install a plate that urges visitors to "[L]eave your burdens here."
This past week, the Alter Guild purchased wood and weather-sealed it to build a bridge over the area that collects water in the back yard. Plans are to weather seal the existing benches, build new benches, rebuild the existing altar with additional bricks and a new wood surface, build a wooden cross, and set it behind the altar. When the weather cools, the Alter Guild plans to plant azaleas and other shade-loving plants in beds around the alter. The Bishop graciously has agreed to consecrate the altar when finished.
The plans also include the creation of a large labyrinth and Stations of the Cross, apart from the altar. However, the broader vision shared by the members of the Alter Guild is to open this space up to the creativity and generosity of the entire congregation.
When you walk back to see the progress made, you will experience the quiet of this sacred space. We invite the members of St. Margaret's to participate in the creation of this sacred space. Plant a shrub, put up a bird feeder, build a bench, donate to the Meditation Garden fund, provide supplies listed in our "wish list."
It is our hope to witness all manner of life events and emotions expressed and shared in this sacred space with God and each other.