|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 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.