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Friday, April 15, 2016

Verger Commissioning in Hawaii

The Very Rev. Walter Brownridge, Dean of St. Andrew's Cathedral in Honolulu, with Duke DuTeil representing the VGEC after the installation of Roth Puahala as Head Verger and Ann Hansen as Assistant Verger on April 3rd.  Photo by Susan Hays
By Claude “Duke” DuTeil, VGEC Training Advisor.

On Sunday, April 3rd, two new vergers were commissioned at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Roth Puahala was commissioned as Head Verger and Ann Hansen was commissioned as Assistant Verger.  Both Roth and Ann are members of the Hawaiian congregation and serve at both Hawaiian and English services at the Cathedral. They join the more than 1800 members of the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church serving in churches across the United States, Canada and several other countries.  Notice Roth’s verger regalia in the photo. The ceremonial tapa-like kihei (Hawaiian one-shoulder cape) that he is wearing he dyed and made himself.

I was blessed to be present and represent the Guild at this commissioning service because I was in town visiting grand kids over spring break. I also serve, along with the Dean, on the Board of Directors of a non-profit homeless ministry founded by my father in Hawaii 38 years ago.

Have you been commissioned at your congregation?  If not, talk it over with your Rector, Vicar, Dean, or Priest in Charge. The Guild has a sample commissioning service, on our website, in the Document Library, that can be used in its entirety, or you and your clergy are welcome to adapt or modify it to meet the specific circumstances and liturgical style of your congregation. The Guild can also provide a commissioning certificate to be presented to commemorate the event. A request for a commissioning certificate should be sent to either the Guild’s Membership Committee at [email protected] or the Training Advisor at [email protected]. We would need the name of the individuals being commissioned and the date of the service.  The certificate will be sent to you in a printable PDF.

Depending on the date and location of your commissioning, a member of the Board of Directors of the Guild would like to be present. Members of your board are scattered around the country and will travel modestly to attend if their schedule permits. Should a board member not be able to attend, any member of the Guild can represent the VGEC and present the commissioning certificate as a reminder of the love and support of your colleagues in the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church

Vergers and clergy have questioned whether an individual needs to complete the training course in order to be commissioned a verger in their congregation. Let me clear this up; you are a verger when your Rector, Vicar, Dean, or Priest in Charge says you are! The training course is a valuable tool that can help you in your ministry but it is not a requirement for being a verger. There are currently 1,891 active members in the Vergers Guild. Of those, 365 have completed the training course, becoming "Fellows of the Guild". For more information the training course, see vergers.org/training.

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. The conference is the most popular and anticipated activity of the VGEC every year - please join us!

Abstract:  How does one become "commissioned" as a verger? Duke DuTeil, VGEC Training Advisor, reports on a commissioning service in Honolulu, Hawaii and details the framework for a commissioning service.

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