Altar Guild  News


2009 Annual Report, submitted by Marilyn Cooper (thanks for stepping up, again)

We started 2009 with 16 members, down from 26 the previous year. Shu Shu Clowers is now our Director and with her we have 6 members, period. Having one service on Sundays has made it possible for our 6 members to keep the Altar polished and clean and set for each service.

We had very generous parishioners replace some of our lost items. Those items include the alms basins, some of our hangings and several of our small linens.

In 2009 we had 3 homes. First we were in the room at the end of Quin Hall, spacious but very little work surface. Then the kitchen in Molhusen, so much a improvement, but it took a wagon to haul our delicate vessels to set up for the service whether it was in Jinkins Hall or the Church. And then finally back home to our Sacristy. It has been so wonderfully redone. It has enough cabinets and drawers to securely store all our new and old vessels and linens.

To me, being on the Altar Guild is a most rewarding experience and truly a labor of love. Hopefully this coming year more people will have recovered enough from the storm to come back and join us. This wonderful Church we have needs our time and care.


Altar Angels
By ShuShu Clowers

After fifty years of nursing around the world I am settled in Galveston. Hurricane Ike took my work-place and my home but not my resolve to remain a part of the Galveston community and an active member of the Grace Episcopal Church family. We have moved to a new place with new “stuff”, less than before, as we too have accepted that we need less.
In times of change, new doors open. Being at home, I was able to take care of Stan when he had his surgery, which required he be at home for over six weeks needing to depend upon my assistance. The transition has also given me more time to give to Grace Church and when I was asked to take on the leadership of the Altar Guild Angels, I gladly accepted. This responsibility and work gives me great satisfaction and enables me to spend more time helping put Grace Church back on her feet.
All of the Altar Guild Angels have been very supportive; however, we are few due to the dispersal of some of our Angels. As members of the Grace family re-establish on our Island home, hopefully we will swell in numbers and reach our normal four teams of three Angels. Until then, a big thank you to all Altar Angels, God bless all of our Angels.
(Note: if you are interested in Altar guild work, see ShuShu or Fr. Paul)


March 13, 2009:

Many thanks to Marilyn Cooper for stepping up after Hurricane Ike to organize the Altar Guild. Her dedication to the Lord's altar is inspirational and deeply appreciated. She has stepped down from leading the charge after Shu Shu Clowers agreed to take the reins and run the show. Being treasurer and AG director both was too time consuming for someone working a 40+ hour a week job to make a living. Thanks again Marilyn for your sacrifice and hard work these past 6 months. R



2008 has been an eventful year for the Altar Guild as it has been for everyone.

We lost so many precious things due to Ike, including our Director, Anne Jinkins.

At this time we do not have an appointed Director, but rather all our members are trying to be watchful of special needs for the Altar; most especially during this past Christmas season and the upcoming Easter season.

We began the year with 26 full and part time members. Mostly due to the storm, we now have only 16 members. Sadly, only 6 of our members are able to give their full time attention to the Guild as others, who may or may not live on the Island now, focus on damage to their homes and businesses.

As a result we are reduced to three teams. This membership shortage and storm related responsibilities requires us to help out each others’ teams regularly. Meaning we may for a period of time be working every week.

The vessels, linens, vestments and hangings we have left have been laundered and polished and are back in use. A special thanks to Nancy and David Wilkes for saving so many items from the Sacristy after the storm and making sure they were cared for. And a special thanks also to Cathy Gould. She has not only helped us with our regular duties, but has made sure our order of needed items is filled and has even made new purificators and lavabo towels for us!!

Personally, I think our biggest loss of items is our Alms Basins. They were not only beautiful, but have passed through the hands of Grace Parishioners for so many years. The wooden basins we are using now are on loan from Trinity and need to be returned soon.

This next year we will need many items replaced, namely some of our hangings and vestments. The colors bled badly in the flood waters. We have pink doves!

And hopefully some of our absent members, or new people interested in helping the Altar Guild, will be able resume participation and bring back their loving care to our Altar.

Marilyn Cooper



Galveston’s Loss is Port Lavaca’s Gain
Cummins new marine agent for Calhoun County

PORT LAVACA, TX — Rhonda Cummins began her duties as Calhoun County’s new County Extension Agent – Coastal and Marine Resources for Texas Sea Grant Extension at the beginning of March.
“I am so excited to be back in Calhoun County,” Cummins said. “When I decided to leave here to pursue a master’s at Texas A&M University, I was looking for a career that would allow me to combine my experiences as an educator with my love for boats and water. Having the opportunity to work for Sea Grant and AgriLife is a dream come true.”

She is scheduled to receive her master’s degree in Marine Resources Management from Texas A&M University in May, and has a B. A. degree in English from East Texas State University. She also holds a Master’s license to operate 200-ton passenger vessels (US Coast Guard Master 200 Ton License) under motor, steam and sail and is a licensed Able-Bodied Seaman. Cummins served as an education officer, purser, able seaman and chief mate aboard several different sailing vessels on the Pacific and Great Lakes, giving dockside tours, teaching sessions on 18th century merchant ships and sailing, and conducting educational field trips at the various ports of call. She also was the captain of the Galveston Historical Foundation’s 81-passenger tour vessel, conducting educational and historical tours of Galveston Harbor for school groups and the public. “We are excited about having someone with her background and experience for Calhoun County,” said Dr. Robert Stickney, director of the Texas Sea Grant College Program. Texas Sea Grant is a component of the National Sea Grant College Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is one of a network of 31 University-based programs in coastal and Great Lakes states. Through a partnership of industry, government and higher education, Sea Grant sponsors and promotes programs aimed at the understanding, wise use and stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources to develop and maintain a sustainable economy and a healthy environment.

Rhonda was a dedicated member of Grace Church during her time here. She developed our web site, was handy at fixing anything broken on our campus, is a member of the Grace Foundation Board, and served as the Altar Guild Director. We are sorry to lose Rhonda from on-going activities here at Grace, but know her heart will always be a part of us, and we wish her well on this new endeavor.

Thanks, Jan, for your kind words. And many thanks to everyone who stood by me and helped me reach this goal.