The Trinity Altar Guild is “a ministry of faithful people who serve with reverence, devotion, and attention to detail that may be acceptable unto the Lord. To serve in the Altar Guild is a privilege of the highest order.”


This is the formal description of this important ministry. Recently, 12 of the 16 Altar Guild members were together to explain their involvement in the Altar Guild. “I always admired the women in the Altar Guild. They were wonderful women!” was one response to why a member joined. “I wanted to be a part of something with the church.” “It’s all behind the scenes and I wanted to join when I retired.”

“I love it!” “What could be more important than preparing the altar for Communion?” These answers are testament to the devotion shared by the Altar Guild members.

Some of the responsibilities have changed over the years, but the main duties consist of the following: dust the altars in the sanctuary and chapel, order and pay for baptism towels, change linens, prepare Communion (including buying the grape juice and making the Communion bread), prepare Home Communion kits, and take care of the acolyte robes, washing and mending as needed. In the past, the Communion glasses were made of glass and the Altar Guild had to wash them by hand. “It’s changed throughout the years. We’re getting older. It’s gotten a little easier,” one Guild member said.

Another area that falls under the Altar Guild’s realm of responsibility is putting on the luncheon for the Kings and Queens (or band royalty) for Band Fest each year. They prepare the luncheon, make salads and cookies and come the day before to make sure everything is ready for royalty the day of Band Fest. Trinity has been hosting Band Fest royalty for over 25 years, even holding the interviews here.

Most of the members have been in the Altar Guild for ten years or more with two members (Marlene Freudenberg and Audrey Warner) having the most longevity. These two women also serve Communion at Good Shepherd once a month. Men and women are welcome to join Altar Guild. In fact, Tom Dettmer is the one male in the group currently and just might appreciate a little company.

As President of the Altar Guild for 15 years, Julie Sanchez has everything under control and loves to serve in this capacity. Her fellow Guild members praised her for the work she is doing. “Julie is a super organizer and leader. Anything you need…Julie helps!” exclaimed one member.

Sanchez shared the reason Altar Guild has meant so much to her. Like many other women, she watched her own mother participate in the Altar Guild and thought she would like to follow in her footsteps someday. It so happened that her mother died when Sanchez was nine years old. The Altar Guild always celebrated around Christmas with a big meal at the Holiday Inn, where the members dressed up and invited the pastors to join them for the meal. For two or three years after her mom died, Sanchez said she and her sister were invited to this special dinner. This is just one example of how Altar Guild members took care of each other like family…and they still do.

Another Guild member shared her “why” she was a part of Altar Guild. She shared that she joined after her husband died. “They pretty much helped me through all that!” she said. And then to lighten the mood, Marilyn Strandberg, one of the newest members, said that when she and her husband moved back to Mason City and Trinity, she “flunked bells and crochet…so quilting was out. And no one would want to taste my cooking…but I can talk!”

She joined Altar Guild and found it to be a great way to serve the church. The Altar Guild is always looking for more hands. “It’s easy!” one member exclaimed. “Nobody ever does it alone. Two or three people work together!”

Another member chimed in, “We know WHY we do it…it’s a sacred thing to do and we’re doing it for the Lord.” Julie Sanchez made sure to add, “We don’t try to push people to join.” And then Mary Galazin said, “On the other hand…there’s Nancy Rockman. She called me and said, ‘Altar Guild is meeting Monday night at 7:00. I’ll pick you up!’” And Galazin has been a member ever since.†

Current Altar Guild Members

Members Pictured Above:
Patty Flatness, Linda Nolte, Amy Dodge, Audrey Warner, Nadine Pals, Marilyn Strandberg, MaryLou Britven, Mary Galazin, Glea Brunner, Marlene Freudenberg, Julie Sanchez, and Nancy Clarke
Members Not Pictured:
Tom Dettmer, Linda Hunt, Mary Wicks, and Nancy Rockman

Altar Guild meets the second Monday of each month at 9:30 AM. Call Lou Ann Rossler in the Trinity office for more information – 641-423-0536.