|Michael Faircloth, Junior Verger with the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of the Diocese of Texas at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd|
Joe Sturdevant, Verger & Master-of-Acolytes at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in
Tomball, TX, comments on Michael Faircloth, a fourteen year old Junior Verger, serving there, who followed his sister, Brittany, now a freshman at Sam Houston State University, as an acolyte when he was nine years old.
Joe's voice beams when he says that, "Michael has been exceptionally alert, dedicated, and focused since he first began to serve. Because of his mastery of the (acolyte and verger) disciplines, he is respected by other acolytes of all ages. He is inquisitive, always interested in why we’re doing something, especially if we’re putting in a change. And while he is at all times respectful, he doesn't hesitate to give quiet hand directions to an adult Eucharistic Minister – but ONLY when it is needed. They often will wait for his signal – but that applies to all our junior vergers as well.“
His mother, Heather Faircloth, commented on Michael’s involvement in the liturgy, “Michael serves as verger once or twice a month and often fills in at the last minute when needed. My son is one of the most conscientious and compassionate people I know. I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom. I have heard similar comments from other members of our congregation. He thrives in this role of responsibility."
Michael told me that his definition of a verger is, "...the person responsible for quietly keeping the church service running smoothly". He likes the idea of other young people serving as long as they can handle the responsibility, can lead others in a positive way, and can think on their feet. The other acolytes, Eucharistic Ministers, and on occasion even the clergy look to him if something out of the ordinary or unexpected occurs.
As many other Junior Vergers are, Michael, a freshman at Klein Forest High School, is
active outside of church. He plays the cello in Klein Forest's Philharmonic Orchestra and is raising a steer as member of the school’s chapter of the Future Farmers of America (FFA).
Recently, he was honored to be the lead verger when the Bishop of the Diocese of Texas, Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, visited the church.
At Good Shepherd, Michael is joined by two other Junior Vergers: Ashley Hailey, and Brianna Wilson. Look for another Verger's Voice article covering the ministries of these, and other Junior Vergers later in the year.