As a symbol, Congregational / United Church of Christ folk talk about an "altar table" for worship and Episcopal folk like an "altar". As a result, the design became a “gate leg table altar”.
The walnut and alder woods symbolize the way our two bodies of believers blend together. The glue is like the common love we have for Christ, the respect we have for each other and the great potential we have when we work together for the common good and to glorify God.
The gate legs are like a prayer gate opening to anyone who enters our sanctuary for prayer, meditation, praise, celebration and thanksgiving.
Each side of the altar top folds down to create a smaller altar table when we have a large gathering and need more space.
We know that the real church is not the building, but rather those who gather to share God’s love in common experience.
Lao Tze said that spokes in a wheel become useful because of the space created between them. The clay in a pitcher is useful because of the hollow space it creates. Doors and windows are used for their emptiness. Thus we are helped by what is not, to use what is. And so it is with the spaces that are created by the altar’s form. The negative space created by the form of the altar is a symbol of God’s love and unseen presence among us. This space also symbolizes the creative power of the Holy Spirit that can change us and challenge us to come together, do good works and glorify God.
Think on this when you come to the sanctuary. May it help you connect with God as you go on your own spiritual journey.