Thurl Headen, FVGEC
The Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, Portland, Maine
My name is Thurl Headen and I am the head Verger at the Cathedral Church of Saint Luke. I’ve been a Verger here for seven years and asked to be head Verger two and one half years ago. I’m fairly new to the Episcopal church and from the first time upon seeing a Verger at Saint James Cathedral in Chicago, I said to myself, “that’s what I want to be”. Not even knowing what a Verger was and the rich history of vergers. We moved to Maine and my husband and we became members of The Cathedral Church of Saint Luke. The then head verger David Savage, a fellow of the guild had his eyes on me and invited me to join the Verger guild. It is truly a calling and I am so blessed to have this ministry and the people that I serve with. I tell my Vergers that our guild is a ministry of welcome. We are there to create a safe place for people to come and be. To let God meet them where they are or to find what it is that they may have come in search of. In my duties at the cathedral I oversee the Eucharistic Ministers and the acolytes. I am responsible for the training of the EM and acolytes. And to some extent I work with the Christian Education director as most of the pre-teens and teens serve at the altar. They are more inclined to serve as acolytes than go to Sunday school. Sadly this is the state we are in. I also work closely with the Altar and Flower Guilds to keep up to date on events at the Cathedral. I also work with the Bishop’s office and his Administrative Assistant Barbar Martin. I assist the Bishop anytime he is at the Cathedral. I serve as the Bishop’s Verger. Also, when we have convention either in Portland of Bangor, I am responsible for creating a worship space in the respective venues. I do wear many hats and I do my best to take care of myself. I am slowly developing a spiritual practice. As we all know, during service we do not have a chance to really partake in the service. As I said, I do love what I do and the joy I receive from my ministry.