Altar Guild - Part 2

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Charlie Altar Guild

Servant becomes the served in an unexpected way

By Kerry Baldwin

If you recall our story about Dandy Zgola last week, well, Charlie’s path to the Altar Guild came about differently. Over the years, Charlie had visited Our Saviour three times but for him, church just “didn’t stick yet” because he wasn’t “feeling the pull of God.” 

Then, about four years ago, Charlie decided to become an official member. It had been a long time since he was a member of a church so decided to become reconfirmed, joining the Our Saviour confirmation class. 

Until then, Charlie had just been coming to Sunday service and then leaving. He described it as “I was there and kind of going through the motions. It just hadn’t grabbed me yet.”

During the confirmation class, people came in to share about various ministries, including Theresa Meyers, who joined to talk about the Altar Guild. Charlie decided he was ready to take the next step in his faith. He recalls, “I said ‘I’m going to get more involved’ and as I did, it drew me in and suddenly I felt like now I get it! I wasn’t just hovering around the periphery anymore. I swooped on in and let it engulf me. And that was such a difference.”

Charlie knew Theresa and, since he wanted to get involved, decided to join Altar Guild. “I thought the Altar Guild would be easy but it was really hard. I’m an engineer so I am technically oriented and precise and there’s a lot of precision to Altar Guild. Things are supposed to be arranged a certain way. There’s a lot more to it than I ever imagined.”

And how has serving on Altar Guild impacted Charlie? “My life changed but I don’t think it was any one thing. Back in 2017 I was pretty much in despair and I was just one of those lost people searching. I noticed when I came back to church, as many people do when they are hurting, that they turn to God. It’s unfortunate it takes something like that to bring us to God but I was one of those people.”

But this time, involvement made all the difference. “Suddenly my life turned around. I stopped praying ‘Hey God, will you do this for me?’ I stopped asking for things and I started trying to listen. The prayer I said the most was ‘Show me the path you want me to be on.’ When I started doing that my life turned around and it was like this gradual rolling over a hill and coming down and everything was OK.’ 

When Charlie’s focus switched from asking God for things to asking God ‘What do you want for my life?’, Charlie’s life reached a turning point. 

And then he broke his foot, requiring surgery to repair it.

“The thing that scared me about getting the operation had nothing to do with the operation itself. It was being by myself and facing this alone.”

But it turned out to be exactly the opposite. “Even before the operation, people were praying for me - even before! Father Joe called me and said he’s praying for me. The day of the operation I had my shepherd (Cynthia Montello) praying for me. She’s been an angel and has been checking on me. Flower delivery dropped by and brought me flowers a week later. I had offers from people to deliver meals and to have my lawn mowed. I was on the prayer list and I knew people were praying for me. Even Father George showed up at my house on his very first week to give me communion.”

Very soon, Charlie recognized that he was not going through this alone. “The family of Christ was there supporting me and that, of all the things, made me feel so wonderful. I know various different groups exist but I was not aware of the depth that they are supporting people in need and they got me through it. I wasn’t by myself, not at all. It was the very exact opposite.”

Charlie is now getting back on his feet and is able to return to his Altar Guild schedule. “The community of the church, all these various different parts of it all came together to support me and that just made me feel amazing.”

If you would like to learn more about joining the Altar Guild, contact Theresa Meyers at theresa.meyers1130@gmail.com.

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