One of the many things I learned from my former priest is that the Altar is the rector’s responsibility, no matter how capable and wonderful his Altar Guild may be. Mine is definitely both. As the rector of Christ the King Anglican Church, I’m making it a habit to be a working member of our team, since the Eucharist is an integral part of the ministry to which God has called me.

One of the great pleasures of this ministry is beautifying the Altar with flowers, symbols of the Edenic nature of the Eucharist. Christ is the way back to the Garden, even the way forward to a greater Eden. The various floral arrangements throughout the seasons of the liturgical year reflect the multilayered meaning behind Christ’s finished work to provide a way back to the Father, for a world He loves unreservedly.

So, it was my privilege to find and purchase flowers this last Sunday for our makeshift Altar, while our new one is under construction. I decided to stop off at one of the several florists I pass by on the way from my home to the parish. I quickly pulled into the driveway of a quaint, little shop called That’s Amore Flowers…. and am I glad I did. The owner, Giorgia Nicholas, just opened the shop three months ago and has only lived in the States for three years. She left her hometown of Trieste, Italy, and brought her passion of flowers with her. Both Giorgia and her little flower shop on W Grand, near Oak Park Blvd in Grover Beach, are beautiful.

She struggles with her broken English, but her delightful smile reveals her eagerness to create something beautiful for each of her customers. I’m glad I found Giorgia’s shop and I hope her store thrives in the months and years to come. She has my business, that’s for sure. And thank you, Giorgia, for creating two beautiful arrangements that helped our parish to worship well yesterday.

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