The custom at St. James’ has been to organize all the ministries which support the offering of the Liturgy into guilds:
The Women’s Guild is an exception insofar that it is nonliturgical.
A guild in the life of a parish is bound together by a corporate rule of life. This rule, or pattern of commitment, has elements which are common to every guild. One element is prayer. Members of a guild commit to regular prayer with one another and private prayer, both for the members of the guild and the work of the guild.
A second element has to do with commitment. This begins with a probationary period of service which may culminate with a rite of admission into the guild. Also, there is liturgical provision to give thanks & recognize whenever a member leaves a guild.
A third element is fellowship. Every guild makes opportunities for fellowship so that we may grow in our love for one another in Christ. All guilds at St. James' are open to both men and women.
The fourth element has to do with service. Each guild needs to be very clear about the work of God which is entrusted to it. Every member is serving Christ and is aware of God’s grace which brings joy and responsibility. We may be helping the parish and the work of the Church, but serving in a guild, most of all, is a privileged way of directly serving Christ.
Therefore it is part of a sacred trust.