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Write down for the coming generation what the Lord has done, so that people not yet born will praise him. – Psalms 102:18

The Sanctuary Guild

By Cathy Ward

The Sanctuary Guild is a group of dedicated church attendees who are responsible for ensuring our Sanctuary and Chapel are in pristine condition for worship services on Sunday mornings. As the church has grown, the duties have grown. From three people in 1986 to 36 volunteers in 2023, this faithful group of volunteers work throughout the week in the quiet beauty of sacred spaces to prepare for Sunday Worship.

Affectionately called “Pew Duty”, it began in 1986 when Nan Small recruited Jane Hill and Betty Lee Kennedy to help her keep the Sanctuary (now Moore Chapel) and the Chapel (now Bride’s Room) neat and tidy. This effort continued until the Sanctuary Consecration Service on September 29, 2002, which required the addition of volunteer support, growing the guild into a much-needed group of volunteers. Jane Hill was the first Chairperson of the Sanctuary Guild and still serves as a volunteer today.

The Guild, with its 36 members, is organized into four teams of nine volunteers. There are nine sections to “pew duty” every week – 74 pews on the main Sanctuary floor, the upper and lower Transepts, the Balcony, and the Chapel. This dedicated group goes through every pew and ensures adequate numbers of Prayer Request Cards, Giving Cards with envelopes, and pens are in the pew pockets. The Guild makes certain Hymnals, Bibles, laminated cards and Red Ritual of Christian Fellowship books are in the correct position and that nothing else is in the pew racks.

It is a volunteer job that quietly gets done during the week when no one is watching. But the next time you walk into the Sanctuary, take a moment to look at the care and precision evident in each pew. Maybe you have never thought about it but consider the ease in which you reach for a hymnal, or the Bible, or submit a prayer request. Someone helped to make your worship experience more sacred.