Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday Events at the 2017 VGEC Annual Conference: Engaging Workshops and Business Meeting

The Atlanta Presentation at the 2016 VGEC Annual Business Meeting in Spokane, Washington

By Chuck Dale, Chair, VGEC 2017 Annual Conference Committee

All events for Saturday, October 14th, are scheduled at the Marriott Marquis. You will not have to go outside unless that is your desire. The VGEC will have a quiet suite of meeting rooms on the Atrium level for our meetings.

First will be Morning Prayer followed by the very important VGEC Annual Business Meeting at 8:45 am. Everyone is invited to attend the business meeting and vote for three new board members. The VGEC board and committees will report on progress made during the year and plans for the future. These reports include:
  • Annual Conference
  • Chapter Development
  • Communication and Technology
  • Episcopal Church Relations
  • Finance
  • General Convention
  • Governance
  • Guild Shop
  • Membership
  • Nomination
  • Training
Elections for three VGEC board members will also take place and requests for nominations will be coming soon in another Vergers Voice blog post. Consider becoming more active in your VGEC!

After a morning coffee break, the first two workshop sessions will be conducted. Lunch will be on your own. You may eat at any of the restaurants in the hotel or walk a few steps to the food court for a variety of food options. The afternoon will feature four workshop sessions.  After these sessions, there will be Evening Prayer. You will have ample time for rest and relaxation, meet with friends or explore Atlanta before the reception and banquet on Saturday night. Details to be provided in a future issue of the Vergers Voice blog.

10:30 am to noon

Session 1 Option 1 - Verger 101

Facilitated by Duke DuTeil, VGEC Training Advisor, this session explores the Verger Ministry for the new verger and is specifically designed to support the new verger as you embark on this ministry. This session is only for those who have been vergers three years or less or first-time conference attendees. Topics will include:
  • I thought being a verger was all about wearing robes, holding virges, and processing through the nave...
  • What is meant by "Ministry of Welcome?"
  • Soldiering On: Dealing with mistakes so no one notices.
  • Hands-On: Carrying the virge, what to wear when, serving in the background, working with your Altar Guild, volunteer coordination, being the boss/servant at the same time.
  • Is the VGEC Training Course for me?

Session 1 Option 2 - Topics for the Experienced Verger

Facilitated by Scott Smith, VGEC President, this always interesting session is for conference attendees who do not fit the qualifications for Verger 101. More information on this session is coming soon.

1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

Session 2 Option 1 - Celebrating Liturgical Time

Lecture by The Rt. Rev. Neil J. Alexander, Dean, Sewanee School of Theology, and the retired Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta, on his recent book "Celebrating Liturgical Time: Days, Weeks, and Seasons, a commentary on sacred time as expressed in the rites of the Book of Common Prayer." Bishop Alexander provides an excellent study of the fundamental shape of the liturgical year and offers the reader an insight into the spirituality of the liturgical calendar.

It is a must read for all vergers and recommended for your library of reference books. Copies of this book will be available for purchase during the Conference. Bishop Alexander has graciously agreed to be available to personally autograph copies for attendees.

The Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, Th.D, D.D., was appointed Dean of the School of Theology on June 26, 2012. He is also professor of liturgy and the Charles Todd Quintard Professor of Dogmatic Theology.  He was elected the Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta and served from 2001 to 2012. During his time as bishop, he focused on growing new congregations and ministries and developing an efficient communication strategy for the diocese.

Bishop Alexander has served in a variety of parish settings and has taught at The General Theological Seminary, Yale University, Drew University, and Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. He has been a board member of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation and a faculty member and chaplain of the Preaching Excellence Conference of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation. President of the Board of Directors of the College for Bishops, he also serves as the chair of the board of the Archives of the Episcopal Church.

Bishop Alexander is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Moravian College, and the University of South Carolina. He earned a master of divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and a doctor of theology in liturgics from The General Theological Seminary.  He is the recipient of two honorary doctorates.

The author of numerous publications in the fields of liturgics, homiletics, sacramental theology, and pastoral practice, his most recent publication is "Celebrating Liturgical Time: Days, Weeks, and Seasons", the focus of this workshop.

Session 2: Option 2 - Revising the BCP and Hymnal

Discussion led by the Dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip, The Very Rev. Samuel G, Candler, Member of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of the Episcopal Church. Vergers will be able to join the Episcopal Church’s discussions on possible revisions to the Book of Common Prayer and the Hymnal. Dean Candler will offer both historic and contemporary perspectives.

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) has proposed offering the 2018 General Convention with four options regarding the possible revision of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

The options are:
  • Revision of the prayer book beginning after the 2018 General Convention;
  • Creation of a book or books of alternative services beginning after the 2018 General Convention, with no accompanying revision of the prayer book
  • A postponement of the decision on the prayer book and supplemental resources until the completion of a church-wide conversation on liturgical theology and practice during the 2018-2021 triennium
  • A step back from liturgical revision and a commitment to exploring the theology of the current prayer book in greater depth.
However, even these proposals are not at all certain. This forum will certainly add to the discussion.

In October 1998, Sam became Dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip, the second largest Episcopal congregation and the largest cathedral congregation in the United States, with a membership of approximately 7,000. After receiving his B.A. degree, cum laude, from Occidental College, in Los Angeles, California, he graduated magna cum laude from Yale University Divinity School (and Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, its Episcopal component). In addition to his liturgical interests, he writes poetry and plays jazz piano. He is a frequent teacher and preacher in both the United States and in the wider Anglican Communion, speaking regularly on Anglican identity, faith and reason, and the role of religion in matters of science and environmental sustainability.

2:45 pm to 4:15 pm

Session 3 is a repeat of the two options from Session 2, enabling conference attendees to attend both options in whichever sequence they prefer

Session 3: Option 1 - Celebrating Liturgical Time

Session 3: Option 2 - Revising the BCP and Hymnal



More Top 10 Reasons to attend the Atlanta Conference
  1. Discover the essence of Southern Hospitality.
  2. Walk down the world-famous Peachtree Street.
  3. 57 streets called "Peachtree.”
  4. Run through Centennial Park’s Fountain of Rings.
  5. Home of Gone with the Wind – but we’re still here.
  6. It’s smarta to use MARTA.
  7. Coca Cola is the elixir of life.
  8. A midnight snack in Atlanta in the nearest Waffle House (and there's one not far from the hotel)
  9. Witness Atlanta’s horrific traffic from the comfort of your hotel.
  10. A snow flurry in Atlanta is the literal end of the world – an imminent Snowpocalypse.


The 2017 VGEC Annual Conference will take place in Atlanta, Georgia from October 12th through October 15th.  We hope you can join us!  Click the big red button to register today.  You can also read more about the conference and book your hotel.

Abstract: October 14, 2017, Saturday, will be a busy and fun day in Atlanta at the 2017 Annual Conference with the Annual Business Meeting, four different educational sessions, and lunch on your own. 



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