Welcome to the Vergers Voice, the official news blog of the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church. Also known as the VGEC, we are located on the web at vergers.org and facebook.com/vergerguild the #1 online resources for vergers world-wide.

For information about submitting news and announcements to the blog, click HERE or contact [email protected].

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Advent Wreaths

Now that's an Advent Wreath!

By Ken Holloway, News Manager, VGEC

In exploring Advent Wreath customs, I found so much written about them that I just had to do what all systems engineers do: decompose the subject to its lowest-level elements, start with those fundamentals and try to pick the best comments and illustrations for this week's blog.

If you google "episcopal church advent wreath," then click on "Images," you will see many versions of our wreaths showing the individuality of local parish custom. Clever ideas include using the paschal candle stand to support the wreath, using votive candles, a hanging wreath, and a giant (easily ten feet in diameter) suspended wreath.

The Episcopal Church says that the Advent Wreath is, "A circle of greenery, marked by four candles that represent the four Sundays of the season of Advent. An additional candle is lit as each new Sunday is celebrated in Advent. Advent wreaths are used both in churches and in homes for devotional purposes. The candles may be blue, purple, or lavender, depending on local custom. Some Advent wreaths include a white candle in the center known as the "Christ Candle," which is lit on Christmas Eve."

The Rev. William Saunders, a Catholic priest, has written, "The History of the Advent Wreath" for the Catholic Education Resource Center. In it, he says, "The mood of Advent is expressed in the liturgical color, purple. It depicts a feeling of quiet dignity, royalty and repentance. Purple was the traditional color of a king’s robe; the coming Christ as King of kings. Advent, like Lent, is a time for solemn and sober thought about one’s sins, leading to repentance. It denotes a quiet time for watching, waiting and praying for Christ to come again, personally and universally. An alternate color for Advent is blue, the color of hope."

In Advent, we have "...joy in hope. Advent stresses not so much fulfillment as anticipation of fulfillment: the Lord is coming! Christians have great expectations of Christ’s coming again. As a family looks forward to a son returning from a war and as a bride anticipates her wedding day, so a Christian looks forward with joy to Christ’s coming. It is the quiet joy of anticipation and not the joy of celebration of a past event."

So the fundamental elements of Advent wreaths are the color of the candles (blue, purple, red, white or lavender), using a pink candle for the 3rd Sunday in Advent (or not), adding a white or gold "Christ Candle" in the center, what the base looks like, and how to display the wreath. Can we try to make this a more complex subject than just celebrating Advent? We Episcopalians do try! Read on...

Why the pink candle for the 3rd week? The Rev. Tim Schenck, Rector of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Hingham, MA, comments, in part, "First of all, we refer to the Third Sunday in Advent as Gaudete Sunday because the introit for the mass begins “Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete” meaning “Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say rejoice.”

While much of the penitential nature of the season has been lost in favor of hopeful expectation, some of the readings still do sound this note. The Third Sunday has traditionally been a respite from the penitential themes of Advent and emphasizes instead the joy of the coming of the Lord.

"Thus many view the pink candle as emphasizing joy. As with most things liturgical, however, there is no consensus. Some associate the candle with Mary and perhaps there’s confusion because “Mothering Sunday” — the Fourth Sunday in Lent — is the other occasion for rose-colored vestments. This is a slight misnomer, however, because Mothering Sunday refers not to Our Lady but to an old practice in England where the rich gave their servants the Sunday off to go home and visit their mothers. Indeed, Mary appears in the readings for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, not the third. And, yes, some parishes light a pink candle on the Fourth Sunday of Advent rather than the Third, further muddying the waters."

The Church of England, in its document addressing Advent, comments, "The Advent Wreath has four red or blue candles in a ring around a white or gold candle. Alternatively, there may be three purple candles, reflecting the liturgical colour for Advent, with a pink candle for the Third Sunday, when rose-pink vestments are traditionally worn. The first candle is lit on Advent Sunday; additional ones are lit, one on each Sunday, and the white or gold one on Christmas Day.

"The new candle each week may appropriately be lit during the Prayers of Penitence. In this case the material entitled ‘Prayers of Penitence at the Advent Wreath’ is used. Alternatively, the candles may be lit after the Gospel Reading, before the Peace, or after Communion, where the prayer(s) used at the lighting becomes a natural Post-Communion prayer. All five candles may appropriately be alight during services through the Christmas season.

"There are several traditions about the meaning or theme of each candle. The scheme that accords best with the Common Worship Principal Service Lectionary is:

  • Advent 1 The Patriarchs
  • Advent 2 The Prophets
  • Advent 3 John the Baptist
  • Advent 4 The Virgin Mary
  • Christmas Day The Christ

"Each of the four Sundays then reminds us of those who prepared for the coming of Christ. ‘The Patriarchs’ can naturally focus on Abraham, our father in faith, and David, the ancestor in whose city Jesus was born. ‘The Prophets’ gives an opportunity to reflect on the way the birth of the Messiah was ‘foretold’. John, who proclaimed the Saviour, and Mary, who bore him in her womb, complete the picture."

You can observe that there is not a succinct summary of the church lore around the subject of Advent Wreaths! Our sincerest prayer is that your parish family embraces Advent with anticipation of the coming of Christ, no matter what color your candles.

Abstract: What is the history of Advent wreaths? What do they symbolize? Does it matter what color the candles are? What about that pink candle? For a simple seasonal symbol of faith, the Advent Wreath is much discussed and opined upon. Let's take a look at our traditional ellipse of evergreen, adorned with candles (of many varieties and meanings).

Friday, November 13, 2015

VGEC and FOCCUS Pilgrimage to Canterbury and the County of Kent - July 2016

"A view of the Cathedral-Church of Canterbury in Kent"  by J. Johnson 1654

By Ken Holloway, VGEC News Manager with the Rev. Matthew Corkern, VGEC Chaplain

Subtitled, "A Journey of History, Art, Architecture, Literature, Politics and Religion", the 2016 extended learning experience led by our VGEC Chaplain, The Reverend Canon Matthew T.L. Corkern, is finalizing reservations and travel arrangements for the trip to England during the first ten days of July 2016. This pilgrimage is a joint event through the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church (VGEC) and Friends of Canterbury Cathedral in the United States (FOCCUS).

Fr. Matthew is a veteran pilgrimage leader, with significant knowledge of Anglican history. With his pilgrimage experience, you'll find yourself living a tableaux filled with all things Anglican and British. He summarizes this year's itinerary:

"Ancient places tied to St Augustine; vineyards and forests of the Tudor kings; laughter in country-pubs and seaside villages; medieval prophets and pilgrim sites at Chaldon, West Malling, Chilham and Barfreston; the great country-houses and gardens of Kent at Penshurst Place, Walmer Castle, and Churchill’s Chartwell House; Chagall Glass in Tudeley; RAF Folkestone Museum and the White Cliffs of Dover; intimate experiences to explore art, architecture and worship with the scholars and parishioners of our mother-cathedral; Baptismal Renewal at the oldest parish church in England; as well as people and events in and around the cathedral city of Canterbury during Kings’ Week."

Matthew's focus for VGEC travelers is spot-on: "Each setting will allow for an experience not only of learning but also of tranquility... a respite from the frantic pace of modern life... and a chance to joyously laugh with kindred souls!" But please, no virges and no hats!

Fr. Matthew's dedication to pilgrimage ministry is summed by his pledge as Pilgrimage Chaplain and Tour Organizer, "I personally guarantee this spiritual-cultural sojourn, and look forward to sharing this wonderful occasion for faith and fellowship. I feel extremely blessed to be traveling 'The Pilgrim Pathways in Canterbury and the County of Kent' with each of you."

Scott Smith, president of the VGEC has attended several of the VGEC/FOCCUS pilgrimage events over the past several years. He added, "I first went to Canterbury with the FOCCUS group led by Fr. Matthew in June of 2009. I can honestly say that this was one of the most significant experiences of my life. I was the only verger on that trip and I was able to spend time with Chris Crooks, Vesturer and and Head Virger at Canterbury and his team of professional vergers. Words simply cannot describe how much I learned on that one trip, not only about the workings of the Cathedral, but also about how life is today and how it might have been along the Pilgrams' Way so many years ago."

You can contact The Rev. Matthew Corkern at [email protected]. Prices, details, and an expanded itinerary can be found HERE.

Abstract: The Annual VGEC Pilgrimage series for 2016 is entitled The Pilgrim Pathways in Canterbury and the County of Kent . This terrific travel-learning opportunity is in the final stages of planning and reservations, with just a few openings remaining.

Friday, November 6, 2015

He Was a Verger All Along

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Rector, The Rev. Marnie Keator, The Right Rev. Dr. Douglas J. Fisher, Bishop of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, and Bill Hattendorf, VGEC

By Ken Holloway, News Manager, VGEC

Bill Hattendorf, the first verger at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, wrote to me recently, offering to write a Vergers Voice blog article about his lifetime of growth in personal ministry and commissioning as verger. He skillfully tells us about the many roles at St. Andrew's he has filled, and how he discovered, although not overtly, that he had been a verger for a long time before his rector suggested they make it official.

"I’m not a cradle Episcopalian. I was baptized a Lutheran, and confirmed a Methodist - with my Sunday school and confirmation classmate Hillary Rodham. The church where I grew up, in suburban Chicago, was “high Methodist,” with lots of ritual and pageantry, but when we moved south before high school, the style there was decidedly “low Methodist.” In college, I found the Episcopal church was more like what I grew up with. But I didn’t formally join until my formerly Catholic wife and I went church-shopping and fell in love with a small Episcopal church nearby, St. Andrew’s in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. I may or may not have been elected to the vestry slightly before I was “received,” and it wasn’t long before I was trained as Lay Eucharistic Minister and Acolyte and then Lay Worship Leader.

"Somewhat concurrently, I joined a few others from my congregation and from the Episcopal church across the river for Education for Ministry (EfM). It was an important piece in my spiritual journey and eventually I became a mentor for the group. I was particularly fascinated by the church history sections of years three and four and how it all came together.

"And at some point, not long after becoming senior warden, the senior LEM that had been doing the rotation lists moved away and I inherited that function. I found myself training new folks for the Sunday job functions, and I was always making sure the right folks had shown up on Sunday morning to read or serve. When I read about the Vergers Guild and the VGEC Training Course, my rector, The Rev. Marnie Keator, and I decided it was a no-brainer that I should join the guild and take the course. I’m not sure how the verger duties fit into my personal Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but but they sure help fill my need for liturgy and pageantry!

"I wondered if getting so involved in the mechanics of the liturgy would detract from my spiritual journey and my ability to worship every Sunday. But I’ve found that for me, verging is a big piece of my journey puzzle – just like EfM and our post-EfM book group, the International Order of St. Vincent, and being a licensed Lay Worship Leader. Happily, I find that my verger involvement not only doesn’t detract from my spiritual journey but rather heightens the experience for me.

"During the VGEC training course, I was asked, "What keeps you in your church?" As I looked inside, I realized there were several things:

  1. No matter how crazy my week has been, I know I can get centered again in church on Sunday.
  2. I feel I can be as close to God in a whole bunch of situations other than church, but I feel a much stronger connection to God and Jesus than I did years ago because of the experiences I’ve had at St. Andrew’s.
  3. The church community has become family over the years. Sure a couple of people drive me nuts from time to time, but what family is exempt from that?
  4. I love ritual and nobody does it better than the Episcopalians.
  5. I love playing a role in the ritual and I can do it almost every week at St. Andrew’s.
  6. We’ve gone through some trials and tribulations as a parish (moving from mission to parish status almost a decade ago) and I think we all have an elevated sense of loyalty to the church and to each other having survived the process.

"The training course also asked, "What do you see as your unique ministry in you parish?" Certainly my personal ministry is ever-evolving. From my early days at St. Andrew’s, my ministry has included:

  • just fitting in
  • singing in the choir
  • being a source of calmness
  • being a peacemaker
  • dealing with finances and budget
  • running meetings (I was a long-term senior warden)
  • scheduling the lay minister rotation
  • contributing through the Sunday offering
  • recording our vestry minutes as Clerk
  • praying for people on our prayer lists as part of our prayer ministry
  • attending budget and worship committees
  • baking for the Christmas bazaar and special Sunday events
  • checking to see that we have who we need to play their parts in the Sunday services
  • just being a dependable member of the community.

"There are not many vergers here in Western Massachusetts, and our Bishop, The Right Rev. Douglas Fisher, said that I was the first verger he had commissioned anywhere. I am paving the way as the first verger in our church, and it was great to be honored by the bishop’s participation, as we also received four new members into the congregation. Some months earlier I had begun creating my own virge, but when the Fellow’s Virge arrived in the mail a couple of weeks before the commissioning liturgy, I put the project aside for another time. (We’ve talked about turning it into a beadle pole to use for “state occasions” but we’ll see...)

"Away from church, I’ve spent most of my career in alumni/advancement field for schools and other educational institutions. My wife and I take after our parents and volunteer for lots of good causes, and I’ve been especially involved in veteran groups of late, including the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Warrior Connection, and Ruck-Up Veterans Outpost. I’ve been a trustee for Habitat for Humanity, the Chi Psi Executive Council, Music in Deerfield, YMCA, Wilson Pond Association; advisor to WNMH-FM Radio, a Cubmaster, youth soccer coach, and trombonist in local symphony orchestra and musical theater pit band.

"I do follow a spiritual discipline, in that I do pray daily. I have at least one conversation with God just about every day. While I don’t necessarily open a Bible daily, I do read spiritual and religious-related material almost every day. Yes, I contribute monetarily to the life and mission of my church.

"The VGEC Training course was wonderful. My rector, the Rev. Marnie Keator, encouraged me in my studies, answered lots of questions, and we learned some things together. When the course wanted a history of the church included, I wasn’t satisfied with the standard three paragraphs that were usually hauled out when such a thing was needed. I spent several months going through all the files I could find in the office and in old boxes on top of closets in the sacristy. Old newspaper clippings, unlabeled ancient negatives, town histories, and a series of hand-written notes all came together to form a new 20-page history of the church, which I distributed to our congregation at our annual meeting.

"Rev. Keator appointed me verger several years ago, but it seemed appropriate to both of us to wait for formal commissioning until I had finished the training course. It took me longer to complete than I expected due to open heart surgery, but I’m back at full strength now. We had a bishop visitation coming up, and our rector thought it would be cool to have him participate in the process. My chimere and Fellow’s virge arrived in plenty of time. There were no baptisms that morning, but there were four receptions after the sermon. And then, between the receptions and the peace, the bishop, rector, senior warden, and our congregation commissioned me to serve as the first verger of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church of Turners Falls, Mass."

How many of you reading this article realize that you have been "verging" long before being designated and commissioned as the parish verger? If you, like Bill Hattendorf, were very involved in your parish church life before you became a verger, then took the initiative or were invited by your clergy to formalize your role, write to me and let us tell your story.

Abstract: Were you a verger for a long time and didn't realize it? Many of us can answer "yes" to that question. Bill Hattenfield, of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, belongs to the "I-finally-discovered-that-I-have-been-a -verger-for-years-club." When you read what he has done and still does at church and in the community, you'll either identify with him or feel very tired indeed.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fellowship of Saints in a Chalice and Paten

Historic Custom Crafted Chalice and Paten at Trinity Episcopal Church Baytown - Photo by Grady Hicks

By Eileen Brightwell Hicks, Head Verger, Trinity Episcopal Church, Baytown TX

As we all do, I ask questions about our church and the components of our liturgy. I recently heard this story from Trinity's 85+ year history concerning the gold chalice and paten we use almost every Sunday.

The story comes from the late Rev. P. Walter Henckell, rector of Trinity for 33 years (1939-1972) and was transcribed in 1976 by Gary Garner who is active in the altar guild at Trinity. I am so glad to have this story to add to my own verger library. The actual dates of these events have not been documented but many key points have been verified by contemporary members of Trinity.

“One of the most interesting and rewarding projects, and one in which so many participated, was the acquisition of the gold chalice and paten. At an Altar Guild meeting, I made the suggestion that we collect gold and have it made into a chalice and paten. I recalled how in the Diocese of Alabama, when the Rev. William G. McDowell was elected as Bishop in the early 1920’s, that the diocese collected gold for his pectoral cross and chain. I remember that my father contributed his mother’s wedding ring. As a youth I was not certain that I would have given it. Thinking back, however, what use would the ring have been to any of my family?

“So when we made our appeal to the congregation of Trinity for gifts of gold we asked not only for scrap gold but for meaningful items. We wanted the chalice and paten to have meaning. In the “News Letter” each week we ran the names of those who made gifts of gold. We received all sorts of scrap items-gold dental inlays, spectacles, fountain pen points, pieces of chains, rings without sets, an umbrella handle, etc.

“On the other hand we received so many lovely and meaningful things. One lady sent her beautiful locket which still had her picture as a young lady and that of her husband (deceased). There were exquisite wedding bands. One man took his wedding ring from his finger and put it in the collection. There was one heavy and unusual gold chain which was an heirloom. There were several fine watches, both ladies' and men’s. I hesitated to mail the lovely antique and valuable items, lest they escape the melting pot, so I beat up items with a hammer.

“One lady wrote letters to some of my friends. I recall that one lady in Midland, Texas, collected gold from the members of Trinity Mission, where I served while rector of Big Spring. She had her jeweler melt down the gold and sent us a small bar of gold.

“In addition to the gold we asked for stones to be inset. I recall a beautiful ruby which was used in the center of the cross on the base of the chalice. We received opals and several diamonds. In addition one gentleman was most generous in giving a good many amethysts.

“We wanted to be sure that our gold was actually used. Several firms wanted to give us credit for the gold but not use it. Finally we located a firm in Patterson, New Jersey, the George Payne Company, which assured us that our gold would go into the chalice. The chalice and paten would be manufactured in England.

“Finally we had enough gold and in time the chalice and paten arrived. They were indeed things of beauty and a joy forever. A great deal of love, and meaningful gifts, and happy memories went into the project. Whenever I celebrated Holy Communion with the chalice and paten I felt a special blessing realizing how many had made them possible, and the love and memories in them. The words “the fellowship of saints” took on an added meaning.”

As we celebrate All Saints Day this week, let us recall those who now live with the heavenly company and remain anchored in our hearts, much as the love and dedication of those at Trinity Episcopal Church who put a part of their lives into making the cup and plate we use to celebrate our Lord's life.

Abstract: This week's celebration of All Saints reinforces the anchors of our hearts by commemorating those in our families, our congregations and our communities who have died to human life and are re-born to eternal life with our Lord. Along each of those life paths lies a story. In the spirit of All Saints, we learn about a very special chalice and paten which, after 50+ years, continue to be treasured in weekly use by the parish family of Trinity Episcopal Church, Baytown, TX

Friday, October 23, 2015

Vergers Voice Week Off

The "Line Up" at Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis on Sunday, October 4, 2015, for the 10:00am Festival Eucharist

By Ken Holloway, News Manager

Union Rule: The News Manager and the Vergers Voice publication team are granted a couple of weeks off-time during a calendar year.

Update: This is one of them.

All of the photos in this edition of Vergers Voice can be found, with a couple of hundred others from the 27th Annual Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, in our 2015 conference album on Flickr HERE. You can also see the whole VGEC Flickr site at photos.vergers.org.

See you next week with a special All Saints' Day themed edition.

In faith,
Ken, Eileen, Michael and Scott

Photographs by Bill Gleason, Tim Hamilton and Ken Holloway

Abstract: The Vergers Voice Autumn "Week Off" Edition is packed with photos from our 27th Annual Conference in Saint Louis. See you next week with a Special Edition with strong ties to All Saints' Day.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

VGEC 27th Annual Conference in St. Louis

The attendees of the 27th Annual VGEC Conference following Sunday Eucharist at Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis

By Ken Holloway, News Manager

Over one hundred and sixty of us arrived in St. Louis expecting big things at our 27th VGEC Annual Conference. Boy oh boy, the talented Christ Church Cathedral host team led by Shug Goodlow fulfilled our expectations and then some!

First, the settings at Christ Church Cathedral and the Union Station Hotel were stunning. Our agenda was well timed and populated with maybe the best lineup of verger learning experiences ever. Evensong on Thursday night was a treat for our eyes and ears. Later, the wonderful Christ Church Cathedral host team served a delicious fried chicken dinner (with all trimmings). As we shared supper, the New Life Gospel Choir, led by Jermaine Manor shook our souls with a selection of songs punctuated by Mr. Manor's exultation of accentuated lyric. Plus there was a visit from Fredbird, the St Louis Cardinal's mascot who kinda shook up the gospel choir as he joined them in praise. In another area fantastical balloon animals, some with LED lights inside the balloons were fabricated to the delight of young and old.

We returned to the hotel for compline, a weary good night and 40 quick winks.

After Morning Prayer, James Armstrong, head verger at Carlisle Cathedral in Cumbria, England and president of the Church of England Guild of Vergers presented a fascinating historical perspective of the verger ministry, showing photographs of many vestments and instruments dating back many years. No keynote speech has been more directly related to the story of how vergers evolved to our current practice of a ministry of assistance and hospitality.

Next, the Verger 101 and Verger 307 sessions spent an amazing three hours on principles and practices of small churches and large. Thanks to Duke DuTeil, Bob Mikrut and Cindy Ware, with many comments from those gathered, relating personal experiences, sources of materials and humor of the ministry experience.

We learned so much about the Theology and Practical Use of Incense at the Verging-in-Depth session. Scott Smith, Head Sacristan at Trinity Church, Wall Street, NYC led the session. John Whitaker presented, "Heavenly Fragrance and Transfigured Light - Swinging Incense through the Ages" which was written by VGEC Chaplain, the Rev. Matthew Corkern. John stepped in for Matthew who had to cancel his trip to the conference due to illness. Margaret McLarty displayed her collection of 40 or more lighters used to call acolyte's attention to proper care of the incense coals. We went outside on the hotel steps and fired up 3 versions of incense so that all could sample the difference in aroma.

Other Friday sessions included presentations by representatives of Christ Church Cathedral, starting with The Role of Cathedrals by the Very Reverend Mike Kinnman, Dean, The Partnership between Vergers and Clergy, led by the Rev. Amy Chambers Cortright, Vicar, Using Social Media to Spread the Word, led by Bren O'Conner, and Including Youth in Worship: Moving from Tokenism to Partnership, led by Elle Dowd, Diocesan Youth Missioner for Teens.

Friday night, we were dazzled by the light show projected on the ceiling of the palatial lounge of the Union Station Hotel.  A live dance band accompanied a very well prepared dinner. The evening was topped off with a series of presentations of achievement, especially noting those awarded status as Fellows of the Guild, having completed the Guild Training Course. Then a swing dance lesson led to more music and dancing to complete the evening.

"Fellow of the Guild" awardees present at the conference celebrating completion of the VGEC training course

Morning Prayer started Saturday morning. Next was the annual business meeting. Three board members were elected: Cheryl Cantrall, Duke du Teil, and Vyonne Carter-Johnson. Spokane was announed as the site for the 2016 Annual Conference and Atlanta as the site for 2017.  The morning educational sessions included Young Adults in Liturgical Service and Beyond, led by The Rev. Mike Angell, Rector of Church of the Holy Communion, University City, MO, and the excellent Philip Quaqe and the Early History of Black Anglicanism, led by Dr. Sylvester Johnson, Professor of African American Studies and Religious Studies, Northwestern University.

Saturday afternoon, a wonderful set of optional activities and time for sightseeing gave us a welcome opportunity to hold a variety of conversations and learn a great deal more about St. Louis in person.

Sunday morning we began the ten o'clock Eucharist by vesting and processing before the choir to our seats, comforted by the hospitality of the entire Cathedral staff.  The Rt. Rev. George Wayne Smith, Bishop of the Diocese of Missouri presided and preached, officiating over two baptisms and very graciously citing the verger ministry in his sermon which, of course, was centered on new life in Christ as witnessed by the Sacrament of Baptism.

After the departing procession, as we assembled for the group photograph, we began to realize that three and one half days had raced by while we greeted old friends, made new ones and learned from each other. Thousands and thousands of photographs were taken and will eventually be posted in the VGEC Flickr account. Use #VGEC27 in your FaceBook search bar to see several hundred photos posted during the actual conference. Make sure you like, comment, and share while looking at the photos on Facebook or in Flickr!

We'll meet in Spokane, Washington September 22-25, 2016, to learn, to celebrate, and to re-dedicate ourselves to our diligent practice of the ministry of the verger in the Episcopal Church. Dallas Hawkins, our Spokane host treated us with a welcome video including comments from the current mayor of Spokane and the bishop of the Diocese of Washington. Registration will open January 2016 for the 28th Annual Conference.

Abstract:  The 27th VGEC Annual Conference was simply grand! It's hard to cover all that we experienced in even a longish blog, so read this account and click on the links for pictures and video.

Friday, September 25, 2015

On the way to St. Louis!

The 27th Annual Conference of the VGEC starts on Thursday, October 1, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri

Compiled by the VGEC Communications & Technology Committee

Most of those coming to St. Louis for the start of the VGEC Annual Conference are probably flying into Lambert-St. Louis International Airport as part of the more than 12 million travelers who use the airport every year. Our number of people coming may not be large for the city, but everyone's arrival and what happens after that is very important. (Editor's note: with 163 registrations, this conference is slated to be our #2 conference for number of attendees - that's news-worthy in and of itself!)

In our last blog post before the 27th Annual Conference (#VGEC27), we asked some of our members about what their journey to St. Louis is going to look like.  We will also be taking a quick peek at what our online presence will look like for those unable to attend.

Getting there

"I actually get a leisurely start to my travel day on Wednesday," quips Board member Michael Sanchez. "Typically, I prefer to take red eye flights, but it just so happened that the flight options have me leaving Portland International Airport in the late morning."

That's where the leisure ends, though. "I'll get in just after 11:00 p.m. that night. It'll be a long day and an early morning, but I love it. The conferences always are such an invigorating experience that I'll hardly notice my lack of sleep... that is, until I get back home!"

VGEC member David Barr is flying from Denver International Airport.  He comes to us having had a busy week:  several church services during the week, acolyte training (with 50 people), the first meeting of the Colorado Chapter of the VGEC, a funeral, and a planning of a Pontifical Mass for the Society of Catholic Priests.  He's thrilled to be joining us in St. Louis, but we hope he gets a quick nap on the flight over. 

VGEC President, Scott Smith, will be flying with our Chaplain, the Rev. Matthew Corkern, from Newark Liberty International Airport. But those plans were in danger of falling through. According to Scott, "Matthew had some health concerns that almost caused us to drive, but thanks be to God he is feeling better! That drive from Summit, NJ to St. Louis, MO is about 14 hours. Let's pray for the continued health of our chaplain!!!"

When asked about his travel plans, VGEC member John Montreville Denton says, "I am excited to be taking a MegaBus for the first time! After a little research, this is the easiest way to get to the conference from Memphis without having to pay for valet parking. Better yet, the bus stop in St. Louis is just around the corner from the hotel! I can't wait to see everyone next Thursday!"

William H. Gleason (Bill), VGEC President Emeritus, is driving from Denver to St. Louis.  That's an 851 mile, 12 hour drive.  He will be stopping in Kansas City / Overland Park KS area overnight. He likes to drive, as can be attested to, from Bill and his wife Helen's earlier trip this spring: 7300+ miles from Denver to Nashville to New England and back to Denver in 3 weeks; and then he and Scott Smith driving from Denver to Salt Lake City for the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church.  

Scott, Michael, Matthew, and Board member Terry Hughes, and several others will be taking the MetroLink light rail from Lambert - St. Louis International Airport to their hotel. 

Scott says, "Matthew and I will absolutely catch the Metro from the airport to Union Station, as it's incredibly inexpensive and a really nice way to go."

Terry adds, "MetroLink costs $2.50 for a regular fare and $1.25 for seniors.  Just follow the signs as you are exiting the airport. You are getting off at Union Station. It's just a 5 minute walk from the station through indoor mall connected to the hotel."

Speaking of the hotels, keep in mind that the conference hotel is the St. Louis Union Station (a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel).  This is where most of our sessions are taking place (see conference agenda for more details).

However, there were several attendees that weren't able to secure a room at the conference hotel.  Board member Cheryl Cantrall explains, "We will be staying at the Drury Inn Union Station across from the conference hotel as there was 'no room in the inn' for us."  Vergers are taking over two hotels—we hope St. Louis is ready for us!

As you can see, we are all literally coming into St. Louis by plane, train, and automobiles! However you're getting there, be ready for a few days of sessions, fellowship, and all things verger.

Online coverage

We know everyone can't make it for a variety of reasons, so the Communications and Technology Committee will be working hard to make sure you can still feel like you're a part of the action.

"What's nice about our conference coverage is that we're going to be on overtime on Facebook and our Verger's Voice blog. This helps us to keep a digital record of our conference, but also helps to include those who aren't able to be there with us," says Michael Sanchez, Communications and Technology Board Liaison. "The better our team can show the folks at home what we're doing, the better record we have of this conference. It's a win-win for everyone."

We plan on there being a lot more Facebook activity! Michael goes on, "Pictures are how we can best show what's going on at any given moment during the Annual Conference, and we plan on posting lots of them.

"Another thing we're excited about is using hashtags for all our social media posts this year. If you're on Facebook, when you are on your newsfeed, you can type in #VGEC27 into the search bar and see all the posts on Facebook that have #VGEC27 attached them. It's a cool way to find something quickly, and with everyone posting #VGEC27 on Facebook, you'll be able to see all the VGEC official posts as well as posts from individual members. This will be our most high tech conference yet, and we hope that everybody with a smartphone will join in on the fun!"

New to all this hashtag business?  Not a problem.  Come find Michael during the conference and he'll get you all caught up.

Be on the lookout for special Vergers Voice articles, too. For those who enjoy reading more detail, this is where we can get more in-depth into the conference goings on. Keep checking the Verger's Voice for hot-off-the-presses articles about this year's Annual Conference.

We're just six days away from our Annual Conference.  However you're getting there, we offer our prayers for safe travels.  We're excited to see you for the biggest verger event of the year!

You still have time to click the big red button to register for the 2015 Annual Conference opening on October 1st and running through noon on the 4th, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Abstract:  As we prepare to descend into St. Louis, we examine all the different ways that conference attendees are getting there.  We also take a look at how we'll be bringing the conference to those who won't be there with us. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

In Saint Louis, I most want to...

Our group photo taken at the 26th Annual Conference last year in Burlington, Ontario, Canada

By Ken Holloway, VGEC News Manager

Wanting to know what vergers expect to find and do at our 27th VGEC Annual Conference, which begins just 12 days from today, I asked a number of our members what they thought. A quick round of telephone calls and a bushel of emails pushed this week's Vergers Voice to capacity in record time. Here is what we heard:

Shug, what special something have you prepared for us in St. Louis?
Shug Goodlow, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis - our Conference Host

"The reception at the hotel on Friday night has a light show surprise that will be memorable and following that, be alert for something that will tickle your funny bone while providing elegant liquid refreshment. On Friday night, at our banquet, our musical entertainment will be preceded by a demonstration of fancy footwork aligned with the native St. Louis music from the New Clapper 5.

"I am so looking forward to greeting everyone and sharing our St. Louis ambiance and hospitality."

Hey Scott, what are you looking forward to in St. Louis?
Scott Smith - Trinity Wall Street, NYC, and President, VGEC

"I always look forward to seeing long-time friends and making new friends who have joined the verger community. The VGEC is a surprisingly tight group and we all tend to get along quite well, so it’s always a joy to be able to spend time together and share our common experiences in this ministry.

"As many of you may know, our 2015 conference Chair, Shug Goodlow, is extremely active in the local theater community of St. Louis. I suspect that the entertainment this year will be phenomenal, and there is no telling what kinds of surprises she and her committee have up their sleeves. Above all, it’s just a great time for vergers to be among friends and experience worship and fellowship together.

"I also look forward to the sermon by Bishop Smith, as he is a remarkable preacher and teacher and great friend to the verger ministry and the VGEC."

Here's a link to the Conference agenda (PDF) that you can download and read on the plane or train or at a gas station or McDonald’s.

Josh, as a new VGEC member what has your attention as we approach October 1st?
Josh Taylor - St Luke’s Episcopal Church North Little Rock, AR
(BTW Josh answered my query in 5 minutes, icing the "I'm on top of it" award.)

Josh says, "This will be my first conference, and I am very excited. I would like to meet more vergers from across the country and learn ways to both provide a more comfortable atmosphere for worship in our parish as well as provide more support to our clergy and ministry leaders. I would like more advice from more experienced vergers and other new vergers like myself."

Michael, as an old timer and a Board member, what does St. Louis hold for you?
Michael Sanchez: Christ Church Episcopal Parish, Lake Oswego, OR

Michael, replies that he most wants to:

"Talk shop!  Meeting with fellow vergers to talk about our ministries is one of my favorite things to do at Conference.  Since I'm the only verger in my parish, and we don't have a diocesan chapter (yet!), this is an extremely valuable opportunity for me to learn and share ideas with others.

"Worship!  Since I am always at the same church week after week serving, it's nice to be able to--as my dear friend and long time LEM Kathy says--"sit in the cheap seats" for once.  I love the VGEC motto:  service in worship and worship through service, but it sure is nice to "worship through worship" every once in a while.

"Be a part of something special!  I love how vergers from all over the country and the world come together to share ideas how to serve our churches better.  This is the best opportunity for vergers to gather, and I always come out with fresh ideas, a renewed sense of commitment to my ministry, and a heart full of love for my fellow vergers."

So Lindsay, why are you coming to the VGEC conference this year?
The Rev. Lindsay Hills, Assoc. Rector, The Episcopal Church of St. Matthew, San Mateo, CA

"I am most particularly interested in how we liturgically incorporate youth and young adults into worship, and worship leadership.  Our parish is growing and changing and as our liturgical ministries grow and change, we are beginning to think that a verger role could help our liturgy grow even more. I'm excited about learning strategies for implementation, recruiting, and sustainability of this important ministry. I served in the diocese of Missouri for a year in campus ministry, so I am delighted, to get to come "home"!

Judyth, what will you take away from our St. Louis conference?
Judyth Wilson - St Elisabeths Episcopal Church Memphis, TN

"I'm an new verger and I'm excited about the conference so that I can learn exactly what my duties should be and to talk with more experienced vergers as to how things are handled in their church."

Rich, you've been to a number of conferences, what are your expectations for our 27th?
Rich Lammlin, St John’s Episcopal Church, Essex, CT

"I love the tours of the areas that are part of the conference which allows me to see areas of the country I might not have ever visited.  Another highlight is getting to know my fellow vergers from across the country.  My ultimate favorite though is the Sunday Eucharist with all of us in procession."

Cheryl, having helped host a prior VGEC Conference, what will you do first in St. Louis?
Cheryl Cantrall - All Saints Episcopal Church, Lakeland, FL

"I always like getting to meet the first time attendees.  It is fun getting to know them and seeing why they decided to come for their first conference.  And for the others regulars just being able to get caught up with what has happened in their lives over the past year."

Jerry, as an experienced verger attending for the first time what do you want out of the 3 days?
Jerry Lowe - Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati, OH

"I’ve served as Head Verger at Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati, since 2002 (on and off depending on clergy). This will be my first VGEC conference. Our new dean, The Very Rev. Gail Greenwell, a remarkable dynamo, came to us a little over a year ago and asked me to establish and enlarge the verger ministry. So, it’s been a busy year developing a corps of 6 vergers. I’m pleased to say that the Dean Gail has been most complimentary of all our efforts. I’ve spent 40 years as a professional stage director and arts administrator. As you might expect, I see the responsibilities of the verger in theatrical terms—stage management, production coordination etc.

"I long to see other vergers at work (I’ve seen a number but never had a chance to meet or talk with them). That’s what I hope for at the conference.  I want to expand my view. I want to see how far our work as vergers can grow. I want to hear stories and tell stories and laugh with others who understand the liturgical nightmares and hysterical moments we all must experience.

"I hope I can leave St. Louis with a brain full of new ideas and great possibilities. Just look for the tallish balding guy with silver gray hair and beard and a constantly moving mouth. I look forward to meeting you."

Clarence, do you have specific goals for the 2015 VGEC Conference?
Clarence Woods - St Andrew’s by the Sea Church, San Diego, CA

"Because this will be my first VGEC Conference I have no specific goals to be realized in St. Louis. I am going to St. Louis with an open mind anticipating a great experience. I have a full schedule for Friday's sessions. I look forward to attending:
  • Session 1 Exploring the Verger Ministry for the New Verger (since I am new)
  • Session 2 Verging in Depth-Holy Smoke!
  • Session 3 The Partnership Between Clergy and the Verger Ministry
And on Saturday, I want to hear Dr. Philip Quaque on “The Early History of Black Anglicanism.”

*   *   *

And so it goes. We gather to share, to learn, to worship, to make new friends, to enjoy our host city and church, to thank our conference leaders for a job well done and to build memories together.

Want to know who else is going to be in Saint Louis at the VGEC Conference? Just follow this link.

You have 18 days to click the big red button to register for the 2015 Annual Conference opening on October 1st and running through noon on the 4th, in St. Louis, Missouri:

Abstract: Looking forward to the 2015 VGEC Annual Conference, we poll the delegation to discover why vergers, new and not-so-new want to gather for conversation, learning, worship and good fellowship every year. Maybe some of the comments we received will ring a bell with you. You can even be a "walk-on" registrant in Saint Louis. Hoping to see you there.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Reflections on 9/11

A portion of the window above the high altar at Trinity Wall Street. Photo by Richard Upjohn

By David Jette, Head Verger, Trinity Wall Street, Retired

Ken Holloway asked me to offer reflections on September 11, 2001, a day I will remember as long as I live. As many of you know I retired this year after thirty years as head verger of Trinity Wall Street and witnessed at very close range the events of that tragic day for our country. It was primary day in New York on that Tuesday and consequently I arrived in Manhattan via the Staten Island Ferry just past 9:00am, a bit later than usual. Upon arrival in Lower Manhattan the crowds of commuters were all gazing at the fire spewing from the North Tower of the World Trade Center uncertain as to the cause. The answer to our question was quick in coming. Screaming over our heads at a very low altitude was the second jet aimed for the South Tower. I will never forget the sight and sound of impact. Rushing up Broadway to Trinity Church I was assured that everyone in our two church buildings and our office building were safe and unharmed. It is interesting to note that Rowan Williams, soon to be named Archbishop of Canterbury, was in Trinity’s television studio being interviewed. His experiences of that day would later appear as Writing in the Dust, a profound commentary on the events of 9/11.

Along side the Reverend Stuart Hoke, a staff priest, and Owen Burdick, our music director,we put together an impromptu prayer service with hymns for the fifty people who had assembled in the church. Never have the words of Isaac Watts', O God our Help in Ages Past, rung so true. With the collapse of the South Tower, the building shook as during an earthquake and I remember distinctly looking at the figure of Jesus in the high altar window and saying to myself, “is this the end?” From the brilliant light of early morning Lower Manhattan was plunged into midnight darkness in seconds. A few people remained in the church through the destruction of the North Tower. Despite the fright and horror of those minutes I remember Owen looking at me and Stuart and saying, “We have praised the Lord, now it’s time to get the hell out of here!” We laughed, knowing he was right and gathered our wits and quietly escorted those still in the church to a transformed Broadway. Debris everywhere was ankle deep. I finally made it home by 1:30pm that afternoon and remained glued to the news. We all were learning of the downed jet in rural Pennsylvania which was intended to hit the United States Capitol and the plane which crashed into the Pentagon. The staggering loss of life that day seemed a harbinger of untold acts to come. Somehow our geographic and military security ultimately could not protect us from wanton acts of terror and destruction.

As I think back on those days, I now cringe at some of the mindless jingoistic statements uttered by many of our political leaders. Though understandable at one level, historians will ultimately help determine the wisdom of our responses. The Church, of course is not bound by rules of engagement and foreign policy; rather we follow the urges of Scripture and the pleas of the Holy Spirit to determine how we as Christians respond to these kinds of events.

Trinity Church transformed Saint Paul’s Chapel (part of the parish, five blocks north of Trinity), as a welcome and relief center to the thousands engaged in rescue and rehabilitation for eight months following the attack. Working with the Seaman’s Church Institute and the General Theological Seminary, thousands of volunteers working in teams all day and night provided the daily necessities and pastoral needs of everyone working at the World Trade Center site. Everything from food, clothing, medical care and importantly pastoral counseling was offered free of charge. Most of the supplies were freely donated or paid for from a special budget set up by the parish to assure that all needs were met. The Chapel was literally covered inside and out with thousands of messages and banners sent from all over the world. Although not removed from the realities of our nation and immediate neighborhood, we were not prompted exclusively from notions of patriotism alone. A paraphrase of Saint Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) sent to us by the youth of a South Carolina parish, guided our work. “Love bears up under anything and everything that comes; its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances and it endures everything.”

It is important to remember that the 2001 Vergers Guild Annual Conference, scheduled for late October 2001 in Overland Park, Kansas, went on as planned. Many conversations there shared varied but similar stories of the new security rules in force at all our airports but nearly a hundred vergers attended. I felt then and still do that it is important and vital that we gather even in the shadow of massive tragedy. Despite the wondrous and various ways we can now communicate electronically, nothing compares with face to face conversation—it is the essence of community, and much needed.

What about today? It is the custom of many parishes to host special worship events on the anniversary of 9/11 and this is meet and right in the language of the Prayer Book.  But our witness must always exceed the mere offering of our beautiful buildings as venues for religious and civic events. Our willingness to proclaim the Gospel removed from the relative safety of our church buildings must continue.  The question of how we take Jesus’ message of love and reconciliation with us at all times is the challenge and, let’s face it, as Anglican Christians we are not always comfortable with this directive! I shared a quote from Saint Teresa of Avila with the vergers in Overland Park fourteen years ago. It formed the text of a small banner at the entrance to Saint Paul’s in the months following 9/11. “For those working amidst the dust of angels, God has no body on earth but yours; yours are the only hands with which he can do his work; yours are the only feet with which he can go about the world, yours are the only eyes through which his compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world.” Teresa’s words ring true today as they did centuries ago. On this anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, pray for peace and reconciliation, be in community with each other and reach beyond the sure and comfortable and live the Gospel of Christ.

David Jette's speech to the  2001 VGEC Conference is located here. Really worth watching!
The 2001 October edition of the Vergers Voice  is also historic. - Ed.]

You have less than 3 weeks to click the big red button to register for the 2015 Annual Conference being held October 1-4, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri:

Abstract: David Jette, retired head verger at Trinity Wall Street shares his experience of September 11, 2001, along with thoughts of how we can proceed with our spiritual lives in the context of peace, reconciliation and community. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

John Campbell Reporting from Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln, UK

Magna Carta 800th anniversary celebration dinner held in the Lincoln Cathedral nave this summer.
800 guests joined 30 cathedral hosts.

By John Campbell, Overseas Liaison Officer, Church of England Guild of Vergers and Dean's Verger at Lincoln Cathedral

August is over and it seems that the church has rested, liturgically at least, although for us in Lincoln the tourist and culture season has continued with a run of fourteen performances of "Jesus Christ Superstar," a series of lectures celebrating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, and a concert by the National Youth Choir and even touching the hem of "Steam-Punk." We have had a rich and balanced diet for the happy band of pilgrims who have passed our way.

But when we reflect on the liturgy of August we find we also have a rich and balanced diet reflecting on the company of heaven who have been received out of the flesh. Commemorations have included: three priests, a deacon, a king, a mother, two monks, a nun, a friar, three bishops, an apostle, two female social reformers, the founders of the Salvation Army, John the Baptist and the Mother of Jesus.

Biblical figures, notable converts, 19th and 20th century reformers, missionaries, and a 20th century martyr: 800 years of clerical notables are brought together to form a canopy under which we can reflect and ponder the discipleship of these individuals. I wonder, when the annuls of the twenty first century are completed, what the inheritance of present day disciples will be adding to that canopy which covers and brings us together in time and space. [With apologies to GJK]

For an update of happenings within the Church of England Guild of Vergers lookout for the next issue of The Virger soon to be distributed. If you are not on my distribution list and you wish to secure your e-copy kindly forward your email details to [email protected].


John G. Campbell, FBGU, FCEGV
Overseas Liaison Officer CEGV
Dean’s Verger Lincoln Cathedral

You still have time to click the big red button to register for the 2015 Annual Conference being held October 1-4, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri:

Abstract: The Church of England Guild of Vergers (CEGV) Overseas Liaison Officer, John Campbell, Dean's Verger at Lincoln Cathedral reports on the summer of 2015 in the city of Lincoln, UK and on recent happenings at Lincoln Cathedral. The CEGV is offering a free PDF copy of their fine magazine, The Virger, so send John your email address to receive one.

Friday, August 28, 2015

VGEC Techie Tour

VGEC online resources are at your fingertips and vergers are pressing our buttons all over the world

By Michael Sanchez, VGEC BOD and Co-chair, Communications and Technology Committee

The Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church is committed to having an online presence that is robust, easy-to-use, and accessible to all our members. Often I receive questions about the differences between the various online tools that we have available. I want to take a moment to describe them individually and show how they relate to the “big picture.” So roll up your sleeves and let's get going.

Membership email list

When you sign up for membership in the VGEC, you are automatically added to this list. It is our first way of reaching out to you, the membership, with the latest news about the Guild, upcoming conferences, and other information. We use the email service MailChimp and average one mass email per week. That’s usually letting you know about the latest Vergers Voice blog post that we’ve published. The Communications Committee, which oversees this list, is very careful not to send out too many emails per week. We want every message you receive from us to be something you want to read and not just toss in the e-junk pile.


Our website is a great resource for anyone interested in the verger ministry. It is a storehouse of information about all things verger. We hope that you use it and use it often! Don't miss our Document Library. Fellow vergers have submitted dozens of example customaries, checklists, liturgies, glossaries, bulletins, and more. Apart from our Document Library, you can find the latest on conferences, VGEC chapters, Guild leadership, and other information about the ministry we love so much. See vergers.org


MMS stands for our “Membership Management System.” Once you’re a member of the VGEC, you can use MMS to view your membership details, renew your membership, update your information, upload a directory photo, print out your membership certificate, and search our membership database. As an added bonus, we have a beautiful Membership Directory that members can download as a PDF to your desktop/laptop computer, mobile phone, or tablet. It’s updated daily so you’ll always have the most current information available. You can search VGEC members by name, city, and/or state, which is really helpful if you’re going to be visiting another city or church and want to find a friendly face. See membership.vergers.org

Vergers on Facebook

The VGEC Facebook page is our online "conversation around the water cooler." This is a fun, free, easy way to socialize and connect with other vergers from all around the world. Every Wednesday until our Annual Conference in October, we’re featuring VGEC Annual Conference photos from years past, and every Sunday we have our “Sunday check-in,” where vergers get to share about their day in church. Sometimes we hear some funny stories about something an acolyte may have done during a service, and other times, we hear about medical emergencies and other unexpected things that happen. During Holy Week/Easter as well as Christmas, we have more frequent check-ins to allow for more conversation around these active times of year for vergers. Also, during the week, we may also post important announcements or something funny that we see or that you send us. See facebook.com/vergerguild

Vergers Voice Blog

The Vergers Voice is our online news publication. Think of it like you would any online news site, except this news site deals primarily with verger related topics. We post a new article every week, and all 174 past articles (as of today) are fully searchable. See vergersvoice.org

The V-List

The V-List is a Google-based forum moderated by the VGEC to facilitate email communication among some members and interested people. There are about 200 members of the V-List who can send, receive, and respond to messages. The V-List is typically used for questions, and participants benefit from having vergers of all experience levels read and respond to these questions. The increased activity on the facebook.com/vergerguild page has made the V-List a less used resource, but there are those who still love using it! See vergers.org/join/vlist

PDF Edition of A Course of Training for a Verger

We have launched a brand new 2015 edition of the training course with a completely updated and rewritten course and a reduction in cost. As part of the update, Training Advisor Duke DuTeil took the time to make the course available online as an electronic PDF thus eliminating the need to ship the course materials. In addition, he made the PDF such that participants in the training course could enter their course material directly into the PDF. This makes taking the course much easer and submitting the course work back to the VGEC could not be easier: email the completed PDF! See vergers.org/training

VergerTV channel on YouTube

VergerTV is a growing feature that we’re excited to offer in the VGEC! VergerTV is a YouTube channel—think of it like a channel on your regular television. Instead of turning on your television to go and catch a sports game or cooking show, you go to VergerTV to see verger-related content. We currently have videos of past conference sessions, eucharists, and interviews. We also post other videos that might be interesting to vergers: for example, we have 3 videos that show the virge-making process, which is definitely worth a look! Our goal is to post even more content in the coming weeks and months, so do make sure to check back to see what’s new. See youtube.com/vergerTV


The archives have recently had a lot of attention with new governing documents and complete back issues of the printed and digital edition of the Vergers Voice. All the archives are searchable making it very easy to find something even if you don't know the year you need. See archives.vergers.org

As you can see, there are many ways the VGEC keeps our membership informed, entertained, and engaged. The Communications & Technology Committee is a very active group and we are always looking for more folks to join in the fun in helping to keep things running, both in front and behind the scenes! Contact committee co-chairs Eileen Brightwell Hicks or Michael Sanchez if you’re interested in finding out more about how you can help.

See you online!

You still have time to click the big red button to register for the 2015 Annual Conference being held October 1-4, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri:

Abstract: Which button do you push for the membership directory? How do we cover all the news and make it available to the largest number of folks interested in verger ministries? VGEC online resources are at your fingertips.