Saturday, August 6, 2016

Verger 307 - Keep Calm and Ask a Verger

At the VGEC Annual Conference in St. Louis in October 2015, Bob Mikrut and Cindy Ware leading the "Verger 307" Workshop

By Bob Mikrut, Head Verger at Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr, PA

When questions come up just before the service or during planning meetings, we always encourage our congregations, worship teams, acolytes, altar guild, musicians and (sometimes) clergy to, "Ask a Verger!" But when we are stumped or encounter a situation new to us, who do we vergers consult? Answer: "Ask another verger!"

I reside in Philadelphia where I am Head Verger at Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr, in the western suburbs. I have co-conducted this workshop since the 2013 Conference in Nashville. Co-presenters with me have included past VGEC past-president and retired Head Verger from Trinity Wall Street, David Jette, and Head Verger Cindy Ware, from Christ Church Cathedral, Lexington, KY. Joining me this year to co-present is David Barr, Dean's Verger at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Denver, CO.

We expect questions will abound in the Verger 307 workshop, one of two very informative workshops scheduled for this year’s VGEC 28th Annual Conference in Spokane, Washington, September 22nd through 25th. This conference session features the chance for vergers to talk to other vergers about situations that occur during liturgy, between service participants, or even staff and or clergy. V-307 is for the “well-seasoned” verger, someone who has experience under his or her belt (or chemiere), in any size parish. As a bonus, we have extended the length of the session this year to 90 minutes because it seems we never have enough time to talk!

At past conferences, there was always Verger 101 which is designed to provide a time for those new to the verger ministry to ask questions and talk about what we do as vergers, but many of us felt that we wanted to ask the more experienced vergers about some of the finer points of our ministry. So, at our 25th Anniversary Conference at Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville, we decided to take action to address the requests for conversation among experienced vergers. Thus, Verger 307 was born.

This workshop consists of question and answer discussions, using pertinent questions that we have heard in previous sessions which work well for many problems or situations that occur for vergers. These questions will be available to session attendees very soon so that you can be ready to discuss them. We will also be asking for new questions and circumstances that occurred in your parishes when you didn’t quite know “what to do” or asked, “did I do the right thing?” We will soon send out a survey to all participants of 307 to collect those questions for consideration to be part of the session. Who knows, your question might take precedence over one from past sessions!

If you have not registered for Spokane, there is still time to register, there are still rooms available, and it is never too late to sign up to attend the Verger 307 workshop! Conference Registration is available through the VGEC Guild Shop using the big red button below. If you are registered for Verger 307, we look forward to seeing you in about six weeks.



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 VGEC activity every year - please join us!




Abstract: Even as experienced vergers, we often have questions about the verger ministry in general. Three years ago, in Nashville, we added a discussion and conversation session for vergers who had been in practice for three or more years. Please send us all of the topics you want to hear discussed during the Verger 307 Training Seminar at this year's VGEC Conference in Spokane, September 22-25.

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