Friday, May 30, 2014

VGEC Guild Shop - Stellar History and Sky-High Future


The Early Years - Bill Gleason and the VGEC Guild Shop committee meet to plan on-line retailing future.
(Can you spot Bill, holding forth on "high church" accouterments?) 


By Barry Norris, VGEC board member and verger at The Church of the Holy Spirit, Harleysville, Pennsylvania

Bill Gleason, one of the original VGEC founders and President Emeritus, opened the VGEC Guild Shop in 1989. Bill has served for 25 years as the merchandise manager, product designer, purchasing agent, accountant, shipping clerk, director of manufacturing and shopkeeper. Under his guidance, the Shop grew from the initial few items to the present day-vestments, clothing, jewelry, and accessories. He recently announced his retirement as manager of the Guild Shop effective May 31, 2014. Bill also recently retired from UPS and his wife Helen will be retiring from Vanderbilt University in June. When you see Bill and Helen at the VGEC Conference in Burlington, ON this September 25-28 - let them know what a great job has done! And ask him about his many interesting Guild Shop tales.


Bill's influence on the institution and identification of the VGEC and our Guild Shop was one of visionary formation and daily dedication to furnishing the world's vergers with what they needed to further the ministry, tell its story, appreciate its heritage, and advertise their ministry.

I have helped Bill with the Guild Shop for a number of annual conferences and as a member of the VGEC Board have been the liaison for Guild Shop Committee the past year. Effective June 1, 2014 I will take over the day to day operations. We will continue to run the Guild Shop as-is while the Guild Shop committee works to evaluate additional options. We are planning a survey of the membership to ask what products everyone would like to see. 
If you have experience in on-line technology and/or retailing and are interested in helping develop new features and products for our on-line store, please contact me at [email protected].

Did you know your registration for the 2014 Annual Conference on September 25-28, can be obtained directly from the Guild Shop?

In Clothing, our shirts for women and men
, in long sleeve and polo styles, (especially the set of 6 liturgically colored golf shirts), continue to be very popular. They are often ordered as presents by verger spouses when celebrating personal or family milestones.

In our VGEC Processional Gear department, the Verger's Chimere has quickly found a steady following. The VGEC 6" Seals, both machine embroidered and beautifully hand-embroidered styles make handsome additions to our verger vestments.

In the Verger Jewelry department, the men's and women's signet rings, featuring the boldly engraved VGEC seal, are both distinctive and uniquely symbolic. A wide array of additional jewelry items is also available.


It is quite possible several new and fun specialty items like the cups that turn purple, maybe some "notable" pens, and newly designed paper weights will be added to the Guild Shop.

The Guild Shop is a huge part of the VGEC Annual Conference, coordinating online registrations and being present throughout the meetings with updated information about how to purchase what you need for your verger ministry. At this year's conference in September we will not be able to carry many samples into Canada because of costs associated with bringing items across the border. Don't worry-we will be there with several computers to help you place your orders on-line.

CM Almy and Whippell's will also be showing their goods along with the Guild Shop this September and will face the same limitations on the number of physical items they can bring. But we will definitely have a good time exploring and talking about the many items that we use in our ministry.


Please contact me if you are interested in joining the Guild Shop Committee as we move into the our new season!
Register online today and call 905.681.5400 for hotel reservations with VERG as the discount code!


Abstract: The VGEC Guild Shop has a long history of great service, product selection and pricing. What changes are in store for your shop? As Bill Gleason retires from 25 years of operating the Guild Shop next month, Barry Norris shares a few of the future plans for VGEC on-line Guild shop retailing.

Send us story ideas or requests, notes on your verger experiences or fully developed stories about your own verger ministry to [email protected].

3 comments:

  1. May 1, 2014
    Dear Members of the Vergers’ Guild of the Episcopal Church:

    It is with abundant joy and heartfelt thanks, wishes, and prayers, that I announce my retirement, effective May 31, 2014 from the VGEC Guild Shop as Manager, after 25 years of faithful and loving duty to the Vergers’ Guild of the Episcopal Church. My wife, Helen, and I have also announced our retirements from our daily duties at Vanderbilt and UPS. We are looking forward to some travel, and extended time with our daughter and granddaughter in Denver.

    I want to assure everyone in the VGEC that the Guild Shop will continue to run smoothly and efficiently for the ecclesiastical needs of our members. The Board and Officers of the Guild are already working on plans and further developments of the Guild Shop. The Guild Shop has been one of the most visible and on-going parts of the Vergers’ Guild since day one in 1989.

    It is also a pleasure for me to not have to attend to or be actively involved in the continued development and growth of the Guild after 28 years of work and service to our inception, association, and national and international recognition. I thank all of our members, past, present, and future for your help, assistance, thoughts and prayers as the Guild has grown from a few dozen interested individuals in the late 1980’s, to well over 1,000 members today.

    But all this being said, I will continue to be a Verger, in my own parish, where ever I am, for this association of like­minded and interested vergers, and always interested in our ministry to our clergy and parishioners in our missions, parishes, cathedrals, dioceses. The Verger has proven to be the support, glue, and thread that keeps our own individual congregations together; and we will continue to be so.

    Be strong, carry on, may the Virge be with you, and remember: Sertivas per Cultu et Cultus per Sertivatem. God Bless you all, keep that Virge pointed forward, and thank you for allowing me all these years of services to you, to our
    church, and to Our Lord.

    Blessings, Prayers, and Peace be with you Always!!!
    With all my love, support, and continued Best Wishes,

    Bill
    William Hooper Gleason
    President Emeritus / Guild Shop Manager
    Vergers’ Guild of the Episcopal Church

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bill - Great luck on your new adventures! Don't think you'll be too far away from my phone or email because I'm not letting you go far! - Scott

    ReplyDelete
  3. When Bill Gleason was created, the mold was thrown away....no replica anywhere so don't even think about any duplication! God's blessings always. From a deacon who can say, a la Telly Savalas..."Who loves ya baby?"

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comment. We will review your comment and approve to the blog just as soon as possible. We try to get to all emails within a few hours. If you need help, please contact Ken Holloway at [email protected] Thank you for your interest in the Verger's Voice blog!