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Friday, August 14, 2015

Get to know your VGEC Board Nominees - 2015 Conference

A few past VGEC Boards - What will the future hold?

By William White, VGEC Vice President and Chair of the Nomination Committee

We will be electing three board members at our Annual Conference in St. Louis during the business meeting, on Saturday morning, October 3rd. The leadership of the guild is defined in the VGEC Bylaws and is based on the vestry model in which each year three of the nine board members are elected to serve a three-year term. When the new board is established at the annual conference, it immediately elects its officers: a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. Those officers serve a one-year term and may be re-elected at the next conference or the board may choose to elect different officers.

The three board members who have expiring terms are Cheryl Cantrall, Duke DuTeil, and me, Bill White. Since I have served for two elected three-year terms, I am not eligible to stand for election again. Both Cheryl and Duke have agreed to stand for election to another three year term.

Your Nominations Committee submits the following seven candidates for your consideration. Our sincere thanks to all these VGEC members willing to stand for election to leadership positions.

We asked each to write a Statement of Interest so that you have ample opportunity to get to know them before the election. Their full biographies and Statements of Interest can be found at archives.vergers.org in the 2015 Board Nominations folder.

In alphabetical order, here are condensed versions of their statements:

Cheryl Cantrall, VGEC Membership Committee Chair and Secretary of the VGEC Board, All Saints’ Episcopal Church – Lakeland, FL

I was born in Kentucky and came to Florida more than 30 years ago. A former Baptist turned Episcopalian, I have been a member of All Saints’ in Lakeland, FL over 30 years. My husband, Matthew and I have two children, and eight grandchildren. I have worked in the Home Health field over 20 years.

I have been our Church Administrator, Sunday School Director, Lay Eucharistic Minister and Visitor Trainer, Lector, Warden and Vestry member. Besides being a verger for 12 years I am currently the Wedding Coordinator, an Altar Guild member, Worship Council Director, D.O.K, member and I do the scheduling for numerous Subdeacons and Chalice Bearers. I became a Fellow of the Guild at the 2013 Nashville Conference.

Since 2009 I have served as VGEC Membership Committee Chair (which is not an elected board position). I was appointed to the Board in 2013 to fill a 2-year term with the adoption of our new bylaws and vestry model for the board. In October, 2014, I was elected Secretary of the Board and I am in charge of all minutes and parliamentary procedures.

We have made many changes in the way we process memberships and have a strong online presence in many aspects of our membership management. Two visions I have for the future of the VGEC are to bring as many parishes on board as possible and to reach out to those vergers who are not part of our guild. Our goal as a board is to maximize membership revenue while offering the absolute best services we can to our membership.

Thank you for the privilege of being nominated.

Vyonne Carter-Johnson, Grace Episcopal Church, Houston TX

I am honored to be asked to serve on the VGEC Board of Directors. I have served as treasurer for the Diocese of Texas Vergers Guild for the past 4 years. St. Louis will be my fifth VGEC Conference. I hope to use my experiences to help new vergers in small churches; especially when they are the first verger in their church. Edith Wharton said, "There are two ways of spreading light - to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." I want to be the mirror and help others with their ministry.

I was born in New Orleans, LA. I was educated at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Houston. I have worked for a major oil company for 39 years as a Human Resources professional.

I love, I pray, I worship, I give offerings, I try to serve others. I pray daily giving thanks for two people and two events that turned my life around and tested my faith. The people are my husband, CL and my mother, Celina and the events are the death of my father and cancer. During these trials my mother, my husband, and God were what sustained me.

I am also a member of Rainbow (a Christian choral group), Cursillo teams and  other diocesan committees.

I have obtained every layperson’s license the Diocese of Texas issues, except Evangelist. I was installed as a verger on October 4, 2009. I have served on the Vestry -- been Senior Warden and Secretary of the Vestry.

David S. Deutsch, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

I was a television director for 38 years, working for the Public Broadcasting Service which was called Educational TV when I started my career as a camera operator in 1962. I directed hundreds of educational, music, and news productions. When I left the director’s chair on September 26, 2003 never to return, I had been directing the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer since 1995.

My verging career truly began in 1999 when I was asked to join the newly created verger team at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Capitol Hill. In 2004, I became the head verger at St. Mark’s — a position I still hold. I became a volunteer verger at the Washington National Cathedral in July 2003. I continue to serve at the Cathedral to this day.

I graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2010 with a Master of Theological Studies which is the academic degree. My thesis is titled “Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick—with Love: The Emerging Ministry of the Verger. The thesis is available to all on the VGEC website. I have agreed to participate in writing the history of the verger in North America for the VGEC.

My interest in the VGEC is threefold:
  • I enjoy the annual conferences because it is a time of camaraderie and sharing experiences.
  • I am interested in making sure that we vergers are aware of our history. We should travel toward the future knowing from whence we came.
  • I feel that we should understand both the theological and spiritual underpinnings of our calling as well as the importance of strong lay leadership as a foundation for the future success of the Church.
As is said in the Bible, “Here I am.”

Claude "Duke" DuTeil, VGEC Treasurer and Training Advisor, St. Richard's Episcopal Church, Round Rock, TX

I wish to continue my service on the Board of the Vergers' Guild of the Episcopal Church. I believe that the Vergers' Guild is the best vehicle for expanding the knowledge of this ministry and knowledge to this ministry throughout the Episcopal Church. I trust that my service these past 5 years on the Board has been to that goal and I believe there is more to be done and I wish to be a part of that.

I became a verger in the Diocese of Dallas in 1994 and have served in parishes in Dallas Texas, Seattle Washington DC, and Round Rock Texas. In 2007 I was called to be the Head Verger at the Washington National Cathedral. I served there until my retirement in 2014. At that time I moved back to Round Rock Texas and resumed serving as a verger in the parish I left when I went to Washington.

I have served on the VGEC Board as the treasurer for the past five years. I brought the books into the 21st century with electronic records and a detailed chart of accounts so we know exactly where funds in the guild come from and where they are going.

In 2014 as I was retiring from the Washington National Cathedral, the board asked me to take on the role of Training Advisor for the Guild. I was also asked to update and/or revise the Verger's Training Course. I completely rewrote the training course and converted it from a printed book into an Electronic PDF format so that one can read and respond to questions on-line.

It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve on the Board for the last five years and I look forward to serving a second elected full term.

John Townsend, Church of the Good Shepherd, Nashua, NH

I see the VGEC as a vital and growing ministry within the larger church, not only as a ministry of welcome, but also as a ministry to the vergers themselves.

The support, education, fellowship and shared experiences offered to me as a new verger have been instrumental to the continued growth of my faith. If I can offer but a small portion of that experience to new members, by introducing them to the Guild and its resources, I will feel the satisfaction of sharing my faith, perhaps not with words, but with actions.

I am a cradle Episcopalian, born and raised in the Diocese of New Hampshire, baptized at Christ Church, Exeter, confirmed at St. Christopher’s, Hampstead where I began service as an acolyte and chorister. Many years later, after returning to New Hampshire from four years in Spain, I joined the Church of the Good Shepherd in Nashua NH, where I became active in parish life, serving on the Fellowship Committee, a three year term on the Vestry, and becoming a Eucharistic Minister, a Eucharistic Visitor and Acolyte Master for the Youth Acolyte Corps.

I was appointed Verger on Palm Sunday of 2001. I completed the Vergers’ Training Course, and became a Fellow of the Guild in San Diego in 2009. I have since worked with the Altar Guild and the Lead Eucharistic Minister to revamp and modernize the customaries for the Altar Guild, Eucharistic Ministers & Visitors and the Acolyte Corp. I am also mentoring a new verger, who is working to complete the Vergers Training Course. I also serve as a Delegate to the Diocesan Convention, and to the Southern Convocation of the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire, where I recently presented a program on the Verger Ministry.

Cindy Ware, Christ Church Cathedral, Lexington Kentucky

I am delighted and honored to be a candidate for the Board of the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church!  I would enjoy helping with plans for the Annual Conferences. (St. Louis will be my sixth!)

I grew up in northern Indiana, and have been an Episcopalian all my life. I have been a proud resident of Lexington, Kentucky, for 30 years, working the last 20 as an independent Long Term Care Insurance broker. My husband, Jim (who is also a Cathedral verger) and I have been members of Christ Church Cathedral since our marriage in 1986. We have one son, Daniel, who is an architect in Lexington.

I have been involved with most of the possible volunteer activities at Christ Church Cathedral over the years: Vestry member, Altar Guild member and Director, Pastoral Care Team member, Prayer Shawl knitter, ECW Treasurer for six years, Flower Guild member, Eucharistic Minister, and Verger. I will graduate from EfM (Education for Ministry) next May, and I am looking forward to my fourth-year studies.

I became a Fellow of the Guild in 2011, and shortly thereafter was asked to be Head Verger of the Cathedral. We quickly identified and trained several new vergers, bringing our current corps to nine vergers strong. Next I assured that our checklists and customaries for all services were accurate and up-to-date so that anyone who comes after me will know exactly how we have planned our services. I strongly believe that succession should be seamless!

If elected, I hope to use my excellent organizational skills and my ability to work as part of a team to help the Vergers Guild grow to its full potential. I think our new frontier might be to make some of our materials and website attractive and useful to our brothers and sisters in Spanish-speaking areas of the United States and Central American countries.

John T. Whitaker, Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville, TN

I appreciate the opportunity to stand for election to the Board of the VGEC. I see the role of a Board Member is to serve and support our Guild membership so that we may better serve our parishes and the church as a whole. As the Westminster Catechism says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

As a VGEC Board Member, I feel that my professional and volunteer experiences would help me to contribute to financial oversight and board governance.

I was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee as a Presbyterian, and discovered the Episcopal Church when
attending Sewanee. Today, I am a Mortgage Banker of twenty years with the same bank in Nashville. I have served as a President of the Nashville Association of Mortgage Bankers, and am currently on the Board of the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee. I am the husband of Anne Byrn Whitaker, and father of Kathleen (25), Litton (21), and John, III (17).

  • The University of the South, Sewanee; BA, English Literature
  • Georgia State University, Atlanta; MBA, Marketing
Anglican Formation
  • Confirmed December 2nd, 1992 at St James in Thrapston, Northamptonshire by Bishop William Westwood, Bishop of the Diocese of Peterborough (UK)
  • Parish Church Council (Vestry), St Mary the Virgin, Higham Ferrars, Northamptonshire, 1993
  • Graduate Education for Ministry (Sewanee School of Theology), May 2000
  • Secretary, Episcopal Churchmen of Tennessee Conference, 2009-2010
  • Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville, TN: Lay Reader & Eucharistic Minister 1995 – Present
  • Verger/Sacristan/Thurifer, 1997 – Present
  • Two vestry terms, three Discernment committees, Audit Committee, Sunday School Teacher, and Treasurer for the 25th VGEC Conference Host Committee in  2013

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: Every year the VGEC elects three of its nine board members to serve, using the vestry model of rotating three-year terms. This is your opportunity to get to know the candidates for the VGEC Board election, coming up on Saturday morning, October 3rd in St. Louis, Missouri.

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