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Friday, March 11, 2016

2016 VGEC Annual Conference Sept. 22-25 in Spokane - Registration begins NOW

The Right Reverend James Waggoner, Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane, celebrating the Eucharist at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
By Ken Holloway, News Manager, VGEC, with Dallas Hawkins, VGEC 2016 Annual Conference Chair

Vergers, clergy, and all who are interested in the verger ministry are cordially invited to experience worship in the American Pacific Northwest this September by attending the 28th VGEC Annual Conference. Dallas Hawkins, his committee and the clergy and staff of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist are looking forward to welcoming us to Spokane, Washington, September 22-25, 2016There will be a drawing for a $200 Apple gift card for eligible vergers who register and pay before May 1, 2016 so do not delay in registering.

Located on the Spokane River west of the Rocky Mountain foothills in eastern Washington, Spokane is 92 miles (148 km) south of the Canadian border, approximately 20 miles (30 km) from the Washington–Idaho border, and 280 miles (450 km) east of Seattle along Interstate 90. The city and wider Inland Northwest region is served by Spokane International Airport, 5 miles (8 km) west of downtown Spokane. According to the 2010 Census, Spokane had a population of 208,916, making it the second largest city in the state of Washington.

One of the few things out of Dallas’ control is the weather. Thankfully, Spokane weather in September is generally very pleasant and moderate with low rain fall and sunny warm days and cool evenings. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? Plan on visiting Seattle, Portland or Vancouver BC, Canada, while you are out in Spokane. Bring your family and friends and make it an extended stay of it in the area and enjoy the beautiful and scenic Pacific Northwest. Visit the Spokane Visitors Center for more exciting vacation ideas.

Dallas reports that the conference hotel is the historic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane which consists of three properties. Most of our block of rooms are in the brand new Davenport Tower.  It is across the street from the main historic hotel, and available at the same reduced rate of $139.00 (before taxes) per night. Call the specific hotel 800 number for your reservations citing the "2016 Verger Guild of the Episcopal Church Conference" to assure that you get our special room rate. Phone numbers can be found on the 2016 Spokane page on vergers.org or you can click here to book your room directly.

The main historic Davenport Hotel is located at 10 South Post Street, Spokane, WA 99201. It is called "Washington’s grandest hotel". Whether it’s the soaring architecture, award-winning amenities, rich history, or simply its proximity to nearby Spokane attractions, this distinguished hotel has welcomed film stars, explorers, writers, politicians and other luminaries for more than 100 years.

Many attendees will be delighted to hear that delicious breakfasts, snacks and beverages will be provided for us every day, either at the Cathedral or at the hotel.

We'll have a welcome dinner on Thursday evening hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane and Bishop James Waggoner at the Cathedral. An Italian themed home-cooked meal will be provided by St Monica’s Guild. We'll also enjoy a solemn evensong with St.John’s Choir.

Friday morning's Session 1 features the Verger 101 Training session or the Verger 307 discussion session. Session 2 will be a guided tour of the Cathedral by exemplary Master Tour Guild, John Creed.

Immediately after lunch on Friday, Dallas is excited to announce our Keynote Speaker, The Rev.Dr. Louis Weil. Rev. Dr. Weil is the James F. Hodges and Harold and Rita Haynes Professor Emeritus of Liturgics at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. He will be speaking on The Importance of Liturgical Ritual.

The afternoon will be rounded out with two more concurrent sessions including Verging in Depth: Mastering the Daily Office led by Scott Smith, Head Sacristan at Trinity Wall Street and President of the VGEC and the Rev. Matthew T. L. Corkern, Rector at Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit, NJ and Chaplain of the VGEC. Option 2 will be a presentation by Cathedral Dean, the Very Rev. Bill Ellis, Dean of the Cathedral.

Your evening will be free for exploring Spokane with your new verger friends.

You'll undoubtedly look forward to an outing on Saturday afternoon to Lake Coeur d’Alene Idaho, with a 90 minute private cruise on the lake plus some time to explore the town of Coeur d’Alene and the wonderful Coeur d’Alene Resort Hotel. Before we go on this fun trip we will have the annual Business Meeting and elect three new board members.

The semi formal awards and Fellows recognition banquet will be at the historic Davenport Hotel on Saturday evening. Jacket and tie is requested for the gentlemen, dresses or semi-formal attire for the ladies. Black tie is optional and tuxes or dinner jackets will be available in advance from Mr. Tux at a reduced rate for those who wish to reserve one. More details will be put on the 2016 Spokane web page as they become available.

Review the agenda, travel and hotel details and conference registration details on vergers.org. This page will be updated regularly as more details become available.

Dallas Hawkins and his committee hope you will mark your calendar, call one of the the Davenport Hotels, and start researching travel plans to Spokane. Make your travel reservations soon and press the red button below to register for the conference today.

Don't forget about the early registration drawing for the $200 Apple gift card. Your registration must be complete by May 1 at 11:59 PT to qualify for the drawing. Board and host committee members are not eligible.

Click the big red button to register for the 2016 Annual Conference opening on September 22nd and running through noon on the 25th, in Spokane, Washington.

Abstract:  Our September 22-25 VGEC Annual Conference count-down clock is ticking. Several highlights and links about the conference, plus our big red "Register Online" button are available now.

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