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Friday, May 23, 2014

Maple Leafs and "Take Homes"

Maple leafs galore and Burlington on Lake Ontario

By Ken Holloway, verger at St. Richard's Episcopal Church in Round Rock, TX

When I travel I always like to take something special home with me. I guess that I want to feel, taste and even smell the memories triggered by those "Take Homes".

During my 20 year Air Force career, I spent just over 2 hours in Canada. We landed a little before midnight at a Canadian Air Force base and I met a fellow in the pilot's mission planning area at Base Operations. We completed our business, shook hands, and saluted smartly, sealing the deal. Our plane lifted off at about 1:45 AM  headed for Colorado Springs. I still have the Canadian Air Force lapel pin he gave me to commemorate our completion of an agreement between our countries.

Your VGEC Board of Directors recently met in Burlington, Ontario with our 2014 VGEC Conference hosts Terry Hughes and Ritchard Taylor. Apart from the formal business meeting, the Board visited the the Parish of St. Luke's, the conference host church plus all the venues for the many scheduled events, classes and celebratory functions, including Christ Church Cathedral in Hamilton, AND they stayed at the official conference hotel, the Waterfront, and sampled some prime Canadian cooking. The 2014 Conference dates are September 25-28.

I asked Scott Smith what he observed / experienced on the trip. He said, "Burlington is a mid-size city which is definitely cosmopolitan in atmosphere. The hotel is right on the water just at the edge of the downtown area. I saw an antique clock store just across the street that I'll be investigating in September! Our breakfast was the usual continental fare, much like what the Holiday Inn in Nashville offered, and with a comparable room but a lower room rate. The Hotel pub and restaurant were really good too. Take time to walk around the village square. I can't wait to do it again." 

The village square in Burlington

What about your very own 2014 VGEC conference experience "take-home" possibilities?

1. Start by experiencing the beautiful liturgy of the Anglican Church of Canada. It's a little different from our 1979 Book of Common Prayer and the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England. You'll like it. Take it home to your church family.

2. In addition to St. Luke's Parish, Christ Church Cathedral in Hamilton has a prominent display of heraldry - family and clan shields - which you'll see on Sunday morning at the Solemn Festival of Eucharist. Retired Bishop Ralph Spence (Fellow of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada) leads our 4th Session on Friday September 26th, "Historical Significance of Flags and Banners in the Church". This is a must attend session. A delightful experience and journey through the ages of flags, banners and coats of arms in the church. Take it home to your children or grand children.

3. Verger 307 - Expect a far different take on this class for experienced vergers. David Jette and Bob Mikrut have some significant surprises planned. Take it home and put it into practice.

4. Verger 101 - Duke DuTeil is intent on bringing more hands-on activities to this "must" class for new or fairly new vergers with renewed focus on recruiting, training, and mentoring. Take it home to your new or candidate vergers and senior LEMs.

5. The trip to Niagara Falls is guaranteed to impress. You can't take it with you, but you'll never forget the views from the Canadian side. Plus the September 25-28 dates hold the promise of fall foliage for those of you who don't normally get to enjoy that natural splendor.

Maybe you'll take home some ideas which you can use to hone your liturgy customary collection. You may meet another verger who has a similar size parish and be able to establish an ongoing interchange of ideas and reference brain-picking ("...what do you do when the Bishop shows up without his chaplain?") It's possible that a previous acquaintance will be renewed. You may get to shake hands with someone whose comments you see on the V-List . You'll be certain to bring home pictures of Niagara Falls, St. Luke's and the waterfront. Those pictures will jog your memory and you'll savor your (much more than 2 hour) visit to the land of the maple leaf because your "Take Homes" will be tied to your Burlington 2014 experience.
Register online today and call 905.681.5400 for hotel reservations with VERG as the discount code!

Abstract: There are many great reasons to come to Burlington September 25-28 for the 2014 VGEC Annual Conference. In this vergersvoice.org blog post, Ken Holloway reports on a recent board meeting in Burlington with first-hand experiences and explores some of the take away items that you might expect from the upcoming conference. Register online and make your hotel reservations today!

Please share your stories about about your own verger ministry and experiences with [email protected].

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