Meeting:  With a skip in your step, bring your ideas, and a willingness to join us in projects, to the next Altar Guild meeting on Wednesday, March 12 at 6:00 p.m.  The meeting will end before 7:00 p.m. allowing everyone ample time to attend the evening Lenten Service.  All are welcome!
Lenten Lunch: Immediately following the 11:00 a.m. Lenten Service on March 26th the Altar Guild will be serving a variety of meats and cheese for sandwiches.   Cake will also be available, along with a lot of fellowship and conversation.   Everyone is always welcome!
Chancel Flowers:  This year the Altar Guild will again be taking flower orders for Easter.  Order forms will be placed in the bulletin beginning Sunday March 16th.  Please remember that the flowers enhance the beauty of the sanctuary, they provide a nice way to honor or remember loved ones and, after the 11:00 a.m.  Easter service, they can be taken to decorate your home.  Please consider ordering one.  Last date to order the flowers will be Sunday April 6th.
Confirmation:  As in the past years, the Altar Guild is purchasing Bibles for each confirmand.
Church Lighting:  By now, you have noticed how much brighter the lights are in the sanctuary.  Many thanks to those who installed them.  The Altar Guild is pleased to have been one of the organizations that helped defray the cost of the new lighting.
Portals of Prayer:  The Altar Guild covered the cost of Portals of Prayer for the next three months.   If you aren’t familiar with the Portals of Prayer, it is a quick-read, daily devotion booklet that helps focus on Christ in these increasingly hectic days.  They are always available at the back of the church.
Paraments:  For Ash Wednesday, March 5, the Altar Guild will have changed the parament color to Black, which is used only twice annually; on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday (“Black Friday”).  There’s no mistaking its message.  Black is the absence of light.  Its use as parament calls for somber reflection on the cost of our salvation.  Without Christ’s sacrifice on the day that the sky turned dark, as the sun hid itself, there would be no Bright Light and no New Life.
On the other Sundays in Lent the Altar will have purple paraments.  Purple, like black, is a penitential, rather than festive, church color.  The forty days of Lent use this deep, rich color to represent somberness and solemnity, penitence and prayer.  In the world in which Jesus lived, purple (violet) was a cherished and expensive color because the dye used to make it was painstakingly acquired by massaging the neck of a Mediterranean shell fish which secreted a special fluid.  As a result, the dye was afforded only by the wealthy and was often used exclusively for royalty.
Jesus wore purple only once; when the Roman soldiers mocked and tormented the “King of the Jews.”  Scriptures record that they placed a “purple garment” on Him in order to ridicule and belittle the claim that He was a monarch.  So purple is used during this penitential season of Lent as a vivid reminder of the contempt and scorn He endured, and the subsequent sacrifice He made for our eternal salvation.