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Saturday, April 23, 2016

VGEC Board Meets in Spokane for 2016 September Conference Preview

VGEC Board of Directors meeting in Spokane (L to R) Michael Sanchez, "Duke" DuTeil, Dallas Hawkins (2016 VGEC Conference Chair), Vyonne Carter-Johnson, Scott Smith, Barry Norris, Richard Parker, Cheryl Lee Cantrall

By Richard Parker, Secretary to the VGEC Board of Directors

The VGEC Board of Directors met in Spokane Washington on April 14-15 for its mid-year meeting and to review the plans for the 2016 Annual Conference. The meeting was hosted by the vergers of the Cathedral of St. John The Evangelist the host parish for the conference this year.

Cathedral Head Verger Dallas Hawkins met us at the historic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane on Thursday. The hotel staff told us some of the history of the building and showed us the rooms we will use during our stay in September. The hotel was built in 1914 and has been completely renovated. Attendees of the conference in September will no doubt be amazed at this historic hotel.

After the hotel tour, the board convened a business session to review the agenda for its meeting on Friday. We then walked just a few blocks to the Guilded Unicorn - an appropriately named restaurant for the Vergers Guild - for dinner. There we met and dined on extremely tasty shared small plates with vergers from the Cathedral. It was a great time of fellowship for the board and the host committee.

The board meeting was held at the Cathedral on Friday. Dallas met with the board again, and along with several members of his team, reviewed the plans for the Annual Conference. The board went over each planned event for the conference. The times for the breakout sessions were also discussed. The conference host committee has done an excellent job in organizing the entire conference. Please review the planned events in the online agenda for complete details.

Next we toured the Cathedral and the meeting rooms. Plans were finalized for the Sunday service. Our former Presiding Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, will be our guest and keynote speaker and she will celebrate on Sunday. Dallas showed us the vesting area and the procession path. The board then enjoyed lunch served by the host committee. Most meals for the conference will be in the Great Hall of the Cathedral which is a fantastic location!

After lunch, the board met in another business session to further discuss business items. The board heard various committee reports and talked about some upcoming ideas and priorities. One significant change will be in the Guild Shop. For several years, the shop has been run on the web as an Amazon web store. Amazon has announced that they would be closing their web store system and that shopify.com was their migration partner for new web stores. So beginning in May, the Guild Shop will have a new look and a new home. Stay tuned for more news on that soon!

As the shadows lengthened and the evening approached, the board ended its business and prepared for the evening meal. Dallas and his wife Kathy along with Cathedral Verger and Sr. Warden, Bob Stevens, hosted the board in the Hawkins' condo community room for a wonderful meal and good Episcopal fellowship.

As the day concluded, the board felt very secure in the knowledge that the 2016 Annual Conference will be a great event for all who attend.

Please make your plans and reservations to be in Spokane. You will not be disappointed!

Looking forward, Terry Hughes, chair of our Annual Conference Committee sends this important update on planning for future Annual Conferences:

Have you, your church, parish or diocese ever considered hosting a Vergers Guild Annual Conference? The Annual VGEC Conference is a wonderful opportunity for learning and fellowship with fellow vergers and the Guild is always looking for new locations throughout the United States and Canada to hold the conference.

We are currently accepting inquiries or proposals for the years 2019, 2020 2021 and beyond!

The VGEC has an Annual Conference Committee and is developing a VGEC Annual Conference Planning Guide. Annual Conference committee members are available to assist you and answer any questions you may have regarding hosting a conference.

Over the past few years the conferences have been hosted in larger cities and cathedrals with much fanfare. The Guild would like to see some smaller churches and parishes apply to host a conference too. If your town or city is within reasonable distance to an international airport and if you have a church that would hold 200-250 people, a local hotel with sufficient rooms for 150 -200 people, and space to hold the general meeting, seminars and a banquet, we would love to hear from you.

Your local Tourism Board/Chamber of Commerce is a great resource for providing you with the names of local hotels and banquet facilities as well as information on local attractions for vergers and attendees to visit.

If you are interested and are attending the 2016 Annual Conference in Spokane, please approach a member the VGEC Board or you can contact Terry Hughes, chair of the Annual Conference Committee through e-mail at [email protected].

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. Register by midnight PST on June 30, 2016, to be eligible for the drawing for a $ 200 Apple card! The conference is the most popular and anticipated activity of the VGEC every year - please join us!

Abstract: Your VGEC Board of Directors is working on final plans for the 2016 Annual Conference, hosted by Dallas Hawkins, committee chair, the vergers of Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Spokane, Washington and the parishes of the Diocese of Spokane. Read about the Board meeting held in Spokane this past week...and an overview on how to host a VGEC Conference at your parish.

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