Welcome to the Vergers Voice, the official news blog of the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church. Also known as the VGEC, we are located on the web at vergers.org and facebook.com/vergerguild the #1 online resources for vergers world-wide.

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Are You a Card Carrying Verger?

Duke DuTeil had old VGEC membership cards from 1996 to 1998 which influenced the new card design for 2017
By Cheryl Cantrall, Chair Membership Committee ([email protected]) and Michael Sanchez, Board Liaison, Communication and Technology Committee ([email protected])

Some of you reading this will soon become card-carrying members of VGEC. At the registration desk for the 2017 VGEC Annual Conference in Atlanta, the first batch of modern day membership cards will be presented to attendees. Other members will have their cards mailed to them as they renew, or join VGEC.

It seems like a simple change - smaller piece of paper, portable, durable, etc. but it has taken years of work by the VGEC Board, the Membership Committee, and the Communications and Technology Committee to make it happen. And like most things, the idea of membership cards is not new for VGEC. Treasurer and Training Advisor Duke DuTeil currently still has his old membership cards from the previous century! So the cards obviously have value and staying power.

According to Cheryl Cantrall, Chair of the Membership Committee, membership certificates are currently processed and distributed via mail by her. Renewing member certificates are produced on a bi-weekly basis - printed, signed, and a welcome letter is produced and signed. Then all items are packaged, addressed, and mailed, by her. As few as five or as many as fifty certificates might be mailed out at the same time. As one might imagine, this is a bit labor intensive.

The new card was designed during a recent board meeting
Michael Sanchez, Communications and Technology Committee Board Liaison, and Cheryl were asked to look into the possibility of getting membership cards produced and mailed instead of certificates. As Michael says, "We can all agree that certificates are wonderful for the first time that we receive one in the mail. But after renewing your VGEC membership for a couple of years, they tend to not be as appreciated, and they take an incredible amount of time and effort to produce and mail."

After the spring 2017 board meeting in Atlanta, Michael said the technology side of things really got started, beginning with a mock-up of what the card needed to look like. "We used the membership certificate as a guide, because we did want it to resemble that in a few ways. After lots of editing, talking, and more editing, we had something to take to the graphic designer in Portland, Oregon, who helped make our mock-up a reality."

The new card will be the UV Varnished Card with 4 color printing on the front and 1 color on the back. Initially 1,500 cards will be ordered for ongoing imaging. The cards will have the members name, FGEC following the name if appropriate to indicate that the member has completed the Training Course and is a Fellow of the Guild, "Member Since" date and expiration date. The back of the card will have the Verger's Prayer.

The new card production proof was just approved days ago!!
Cheryl added, "The beautiful part of this is that MMS, the Membership Management System of the VGEC, will automatically generate an email each week late on Sunday night that will contain the prior week's renewals and member-requested card regenerations. This email will go to the card printer located in West Palm Beach, Florida so the cards can be produced, packaged, and mailed each week to new and renewing members."

For new Lifetime Members of the VGEC, high quality signed and sealed membership certificates will continue to be printed, signed, wax sealed, and mailed. It's important to remember that all members may print their own membership certificate at any time from MMS. All new and renewing members will also receive an email containing the certificate PDF.

VGEC President Scott Smith commented, "I am really excited that we are radically simplifying this part of the membership process. It's part of the work we have been doing over the past few years to reduce the amount of manual work that goes into our volunteer jobs for the VGEC. When we are not spending our time with tactical things like printing, mailing, posting and doing repetitive manual tasks, we can focus on other more strategic (and exciting) projects that will enable us to expand and become a much better and more meaningful organization."

Even though the process of developing the new cards sounds like a very short process, it's taken VGEC quite a long time to get everything into place. The board is really proud of the work that went into this and they all hope you will enjoy being card carrying members of your Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church!

Did you know that you can submit your own story about the verger ministry for possible inclusion in the Vergers Voice blog?

We are always looking for interesting topics, ideas, and creative ways of demonstrating the power and enjoyment of being part of the fellowship of the VGEC and our ministry of service.

If you have any ideas, or if you would like to take your turn at writing a post and sharing ideas, send them to [email protected]!

Abstract: Some of you reading this will soon become card-carrying members of VGEC! At the registration desk for the 2017 VGEC Annual Conference in Atlanta, the first batch of modern day membership cards will be presented to attendees. Other members will have their cards mailed to them as they renew, or join VGEC. The cards signify a multiyear project finally coming to fruition.