Creating an altar and using ritual items is also a way that we direct our hearts and minds to be present and attentive to Spirit during our time together. These tools aren't necessary all of the time, but we find that practicing with them helps us to get beyond our chattering minds and immediate consciousness to something deeper, something more true, a thread that binds the sacred and mundane together as one in our lives.
As a Christian I'm hesitant to also call myself a Pagan. Frankly, I'm hesitant to apply any labels at all to my spirituality and identity. But this much I claim, in our little group I am met with both good Spirit and good Community. Meaning, this group, too, is one of my gifts from the Divine.