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Monday, September 30, 2013

Great Planning Leads to an Outstanding 2013 VGEC Conference

In this blog post, Craige DeMoss, verger at Grace Episcopal Church in Spring Hill, TN, helps the rest of us understand the challenge of being on the team responsible for planning and preparing a conference for 188 vergers, all of whom have a passion for liturgical logistics in the EpiscopalChurch

Led by Scott Smith of Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville, Craige and twenty-three other dedicated vergers of the Diocese of Tennessee spent hundreds of hours of planning, in group-think sessions, arrangement trade-off discussions, and detailed checklist pruning to put on a world-class conference experience for all who travel to Nashville during this week  to celebrate the VGEC’s 25th year.

Craige says the Right Reverend John C. Bauerschmidt, Bishop of the Diocese of Tennessee, has always been a champion for the work done by vergers throughout the diocese. Bishop Bauerschmidt will be celebrating at the Festival Holy Eucharist on Sunday morning, October 6th. The Very Reverend Timothy E. Kimbrough, Dean and Rector, Christ Church Cathedral, will preach on Sunday and also lead a session on Friday, entitled "The Customary for Tabernacles, Aumbries, Oils, and Sanctuary Lights". These leaders demonstrate that the clergy in the Diocese of Tennessee very much appreciate the value of vergers in the parish church. By the way, this year, more clergy than ever before are registered to attend the Vergers’ Conference.

As you can see in these working-session pictures, the Host Committee, has worked hard, and is totally determined that every detail of every event is carried out in grand style. You’ll know the Host Committee members by their red shirts decorated with the conference logo printed above the left pocket. Have a question? Ask any host committee member!

The event chairpersons have stepped up to the plate for the past 12+ months of planning to assure your trip to Nashville will be memorable. All of the suggestions from past conferences were audited to identify the conference qualities desired by the membership. You’ll find that each suggestion was addressed and actively incorporated into an appropriate spot on the agenda. A good example of a challenging event (for logistics fans) is the Thursday evening transport of 200+ visitors to and from St. George’s Episcopal Church, site of first Annual Conference of the VGEC in 1989, for three events: a choral evensong, a full dinner and the first of two conference group pictures.

As the committee worked assembling the registration packets this past Saturday, they were counting the hours until the first registrant arrives at the church in downtown Nashville to claim a conference packet.

Who will be the first VGEC traveler to pin on a conference badge, then find and thank everyone in a Host Committee red shirt for their work over the past year?

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