|The got vergers? sign rises high above the exhibit hall floor in 2012 at the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church|
What exactly is General Convention?
This is not the easiest question to answer. If you review www.generalconvention.org, you find that the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church will convene in Salt Lake City from June 25 through July 3, 2015 and you see some other obscure looking links to various materials. You likely will find it hard to figure out exactly what GC really is. On further digging, we found this: "The General Convention is the governing body of The Episcopal Church that meets every three years where work is carried out by deputies and bishops representing each diocese." The actual description is longer, but this gives you a pretty good thumbnail sketch.
For the VGEC, General Convention is the premier event opportunity for the guild to reach a large number of church members and clergy from across the country.
According to Scott Smith, VGEC president, "Since 2009, the VGEC has been present in the exhibit hall at General Convention and it has become a very important way that the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church can share information about the ministry of the verger and how our work for welcome, for organization, and for service can benefit all sizes of parishes from small to large."
So what is the exhibit hall and how does this all work? First, take a look at some of the photos of the VGEC's booth in 2009 in Anaheim, California and in 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. You will see that our participation has been growing in what we are able to talk about and how we are able to present the ministry to everyone who attends.
Margaret McLarty, VGEC immediate past president and chair of our General Convention Committee, reported during the February VGEC virtual board meeting that, "We have obtained a very good location in the exhibit hall for our booth this year. It is in a central corner location, just across the aisle from and very near to the entrance from convention registration. I am very excited about our location this year." Margaret provided the board with a copy of the 2015 exhibit hall floor plan showing the location of the booth.
What will our message be at this year's convention? According to Michael Sanchez, VGEC board member and liaison for the Communication Committee, "This year we are focusing on how we all can work with our clergy to learn how to be better vergers. With our fully revised national self-guided training course, as well as a wealth of online shared resources, the VGEC is poised better than ever to help spread the verger ministry throughout the Episcopal church and the world-wide Anglican Communion."
How can we all help? Scott adds, "We are thrilled to be taking part this year and we call on all members of the VGEC to consider coming to Salt Lake City to help staff our booth. General Convention is long - nine days by our calculation - but no one is expected to staff the booth for the entire time. We need a small cadre of committed volunteers to help in telling our story, answering questions about the verger ministry, and cheerfully distributing VGEC memorabilia to convention delegates and visitors."
As part of the VGEC exhibit hall team, your badge will give you free admission to the exhibit hall. Not only will you meet the most interesting people from all over the world in the most congenial setting imaginable, you can also tell verger stories all day long! If you are a delegate or alternate delegate to GC please consider volunteering with us. VGEC will provide lunch and snacks for the booth workers during ther shift.
Sign up to be a Exhibit Hall Volunteerand we will contact you with additional details. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].
We'd really enjoy hearing about your General Convention experiences when we meet in Saint Louis for the 2015 VGEC Annual Conference. You see, your presence at both events brings a premium return to the VGEC because you will have "been there and done that" as a messenger of Christ.
Register for the 2015 Annual Conference being held October 1 to October 4, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri by clicking on the big red button: