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.

For information about submitting news and announcements to the blog, click HERE or contact [email protected].

Saturday, October 29, 2011

VGEC Appoints the Rev. Matthew T. L. Corkern Chaplain

October 29, 2011 - At the annual conference of the Vergers’ Guild of the Episcopal Church (VGEC) held at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio, the Reverend Matthew T. L. Corkern was named chaplain by Guild president Margaret McLarty. Fr. Corkern was also recently called to serve as the 13th rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit, New Jersey.

According to McLarty, “The Guild chaplaincy is a very important part of our organization and we could not be more pleased with this appointment. Matthew has a history of actively supporting the ministry of the verger as he has served in various parishes. When we gather at our national conference, it is fulfilling to have such a dedicated chaplain offer support for this unique ministry.”

Fr. Corkern is a graduate of Yale Divinity School with concentrations in Anglican liturgy and spirituality from the Institute of Sacred Music. He has served as Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, in Mobile, Alabama; Canon Residentiary at Christ Church Cathedral, in Nashville, Tennessee; and Associate Rector at St. John’s Church, in McLean, Virginia. He is the father of the Guild’s youngest verger member, Preston Coke-Corkern.

“I am honored to have been named Chaplain of the VGEC and I look forward to working with the board and membership providing spiritual leadership and support. I foresee my duties to help proclaim the Guild’s message of service and hospitality throughout the Episcopal  Church,” said Fr. Corkern.

In addition to fulfilling the typical roles of chaplain for over one thousand members of the VGEC, he will be teaming up with David Jette, Head Verger of Trinity Parish in New York City, to plan a 25th Anniversary pilgrimage to Great Britain in 2013.  Over the past ten years, Fr. Corkern has led twenty-three pilgrimages to the British Isles and Western Europe. The vergers’ pilgrimage in June 2013 will be a spiritual and cultural journey across northern England beginning  with a retreat on Lindisfarne and continuing with visits to the cathedral communities of Durham, York, and Lincoln.

Additional information on the VGEC 2013 Pilgrimage will be available soon at vergers.org.

For additional information, please contact Scott Smith, Communication and Technology Officer of the Vergers’ Guild of the Episcopal Church at [email protected].

23rd VGEC Annual Conference held in Cleveland, Ohio

October 2, 2011 by Melanie Neal, VGEC News Correspondent [email protected]

2011 23rd Annual Conference Cleveland, OH
The 23rd Annual Conference of the Vergers’ Guild of the Episcopal Church (VGEC) was held Thursday September 29 to October 2, 2011 at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio. Over eighty vergers and guests attended from around the country including Canada. Ed Metz, Trinity’s Verger Emeritus and his wife Pat were conference hosts for the weekend and were supported by a large number of Trinity volunteers.

The conference began Thursday evening with a choral evensong presented in the Nave by the Cathedral Choir under the direction of Todd Wilson, Director of Music and Worship. Duke DuTeil, Head Verger from Washington National Cathedral, followed with a brief presentation about the damage from the earthquake weeks prior and the evening concluded with a dinner in Cathedral Hall.

Holy Eucharist was led Friday morning by the Rev. Canon Will Mebane and the conference continued with several workshops, group discussions, tours, and meetings throughout the day. Session topics included Verger 101 for new vergers, planning and coordinating special services such as the Feast of St. Francis with blessing of the animals, recruiting and training lay ministry volunteers, technology and the ministry of the verger, and the verger’s role in helping provide hospitality in the church. A reception hosted by the Very Reverend Tracey Lind, Dean of the Cathedral, concluded the evening’s festivities. Many vergers convened back at the hotel in the Guild Hospitality Suite provided by Guild Shop Manager, Bill Gleason.

Saturday began with Morning Prayer led by the Rev. Matthew T. L. Corkern, Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church of Summit, New Jersey and the newly appointed Chaplain for the VGEC. The business meeting of the VGEC board and general membership followed during which Pat Allen, head verger from Christ Cathedral in Lexington, Kentucky was elected to serve a second three year term as vice president.

The highlight of Saturday night was the Medieval Feast which began in Cathedral Hall and culminated in a multi course festival dinner in the nave of the Cathedral. Many of the vergers came in costume, there was a roasted pig presented to VGEC president Margaret McLarty, and an evening filled with music, dancing, and celebration. Margaret concluded the evening with the presentation of many new lifetime membership certificates as well as the certificates and virges presented to several vergers who completed the training course this year.

Sunday morning concluded the conference first with a special Dean’s Forum entitled “On being a Verger” (clickHERE to listen to the podcast) followed by “The Vergers’ Parade” (click HERE to watch on VergerTV) with all vested visiting vergers following a bag-piper through the courtyard and into the nave for a special 11:15am Festival Choral Eucharist. Following the Eucharist, the vergers assembled in the Piazza for the official conference photograph.

The 2011 event was a great time for old friends to see each other and for new vergers to meet. The next conference will be in Lakeland, Florida and is hosted by All Saints Episcopal Church from Thursday October 11 until Sunday October 14, 2012. The 25th Anniversary Annual Conference of the VGEC in 2013 will be held where it all started back in 1989 in Nashville, Tennessee.  We hope that you will be able to join us for both of these events. More information about all VGEC conferences can be found at vergers.org/conference.

Photos of the 2011 VGEC Annual Conference are located HERE.

Contact [email protected] for more information.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Guild Shop Site Launched with Six Liturgical Golf Shirts

September 22, 2011 - The Vergers' Guild of the Episcopal Church announced today a new online storefor the Vergers' Guild Shop. This new site has more products and better photos than ever before.

Guild Shop Manager Bill Gleason reported that a new set of six liturgically-colored VGEC golf shirts is available at a reduced price. "To celebrate the launch of the new site, we're offering the new liturgically-colored set of six golf shirts for $150 through the end of 2011 which is $25 off the normal price. These shirts are great for working behind the scenes at your parish or showing your support for the VGEC anywhere you go," said Gleason. The golf shirts are also available individually for $35 each.

The new site was built on the Amazon Web Store e-commerce platform that allows the VGEC to organize and display verger-related products in a much more professional and pleasing way. The store is organized with a new department structure that includes Conference RegistrationsAccessoriesClothingJewelry, the Training Course, and a newVerger Regalia department focusing on beginner verger-related items.

According to VGEC President Margaret McLarty, "We are very pleased to have launched this new site as part of our overall web presence for the guild. Our ability to offer VGEC-branded items, conference and course registrations, and entry-level verger regalia items is very exciting for our membership. With the new site, everyone can see and explore the breadth of items that we offer much better than before."

The new site also includes the ability for purchasers to write reviews of products that they have ordered, allowing all VGEC members to learn more about the products before making purchases.

Visit the site today at vergers.org/shop.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Verger's Update From National Cathedral

Sunday, September 4, 2011 by Claude "Duke" DuTeil

Earthquake... Hurricane... If we see locusts and frogs anytime soon the cathedral may be looking for a new head verger!

The Washington National Cathedral took a big hit on Aug 23, 2011 when the massive earthquake in Virginia shook the east coast. The Earthquake did millions of dollars damage to the Cathedral - pinnacles have fallen, others are turned, the central tower is severely damaged (engineers will not allow ringing of the tower bells), buttresses are cracked, stones have fallen (one punched a hole in the roof), and mortar is loose and falling. Engineers, architects, and stone masons are still inspecting so the full extent of the damage is still unknown. Fortunately hurricane Irene merely skirted DC and did not aggravate the damage to the cathedral.

A spirit of interfaith cooperation sprang to life as the cathedral has closed its Nave until at least September 9th.
This has all been a lesson in cooperation from which people on the other hill in DC might well learn.

Currently there is a fence around the cathedral that will probably be in place for a year or more as work begins to repair the towers. An inch by inch inspection is being done on the ceiling of the nave. The plan is to string mesh safety nets at the clerestory level in the nave and transepts. Once the inspection is completed and the nets are in place we likely be cleared  to open the nave for services. The hope is that this will be accomplished in time for the 9/11 memorial weekend events and services to be held at the cathedral.

For additional information, pictures, and to help in the restoration of this national treasure, please seedcquake.nationalcathedral.org.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Parishes Struggle in Wake of Hurricane Irene

From North Carolina to Maine, Episcopalians joined their neighbors to clean up in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. The Episcopal News Service reported that parishes along the storm path suffered various levels of damage and many Episcopal Church congregations in dioceses along the east coast canceled their Sunday services on Aug. 28 because of predictions that Irene would hit that day.

According to David Jette, Head Verger at the Parish of Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan, "We shut our doors and canceled all Sunday services for  perhaps the first time in our 314 year history. I can say with absolute verity that this has never happened in my 26 years at Trinity." The rector and vicar of Trinity chose to close both Trinity and Saint Paul’s Chapel at 6:00pm on Saturday with no re-opening until Monday at 7:00am. Jette added, "Trinity was spared the worst of the winds but with the heavy rain, August 2011 has turned out to the be the wettest month ever in New York City."

A report came in through the V-List from Richard Lamlin of St. John's Episcopal Church in Essex, CT that power outages were common throughout the region. He posted on Monday, August 29th, "My town of East Haddam was clobbered by Hurricane Irene. I don't expect power before the weekend. I managed to get out to a friend's home with power and hot water and coffee!  The church in Essex escaped harm, but still has no power. Keep us in your thoughts!"

Feel free to post any additional information that you might have about this event on facebook.com/vergerguild.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

VGEC Yearbook and Conference Deadlines Approaching

The new 2011 Vergers' Guild Yearbook will be closing for publication on Saturday September 10, 2011. If you have not already done so, please go tomembership.vergers.org and login to upload your photo for the yearbook. To see samples of the hundreds of photos already uploaded for the VGEC Yearbook, click HERE.

As of today, there are 36 days left until the National Eucharist and Conference of the VGEC at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio. Early registration for the conference also ends on Saturday September, 10, 2011 so please register today. The cost of registration is now $200 but will increase to $225 after September 10th.

The deadline for applying for a scholarship to help defray the cost of the conference is September 1, 2011. For more information, click HERE or contact VGEC President Margaret McLarty.

Reservations at the conference hotel are available through September 15, 2011.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

National Cathedral Damaged in Earthquake

For a complete report from National Cathedral, click HERE.
According to Richard Weinberg, a spokesman for the cathedral, the Washington National Cathedral sustained damage to its central tower. Stones fell from three of the tower's four pinnacles.

Other reports indicated that three pinnacles on the 30-story-high central tower had broken off and were lying in the grass. "A fourth is leaning," said Weinberg. "There was other minor structural damage to buttresses and smaller pinnacles."

Weinberg added that the building was immediately evacuated and there were no injuries, he said.

Cathedral Head Verger Duke DuTeil reported via text message at 2:52pm EDT that he was OK.

David Deutsch reported the he was "...in the Washington National Cathedral when a minor earthquake occurred. The whole stone edifice was rocking. Nothing fell down, off, or in though. But pretty wild. The tourists fled outdoors. This was roughly 2:45pm."

Click HERE for a first hand account from the grounds of the Cathedral.

Friday, August 5, 2011

VGEC 2011 Conference Brochures in the Mail

Watch your postal mailbox for a VGEC brochure with complete information about the Vergers' Guild 2011 Conference and Eucharist scheduled for the weekend of September 29 through October 2, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. This brochure has been produced in conjunction with thevergers.org web site and facebook.com/vergerguild page to keep everyone informed about the upcoming conference.
According to Ed Metz, Verger Emeritus at the host parish of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio, "This is going to be a great opportunity for Vergers from all parishes to come together for fellowship, learning, and getting to know fellow vergers from around the country and the World."
The conference organizers this year have worked hard to produce a large number of verger-related workshops and sessions that should be of interest to many. More information about the conference is available atvergers.org/conference/2011.
In addition to being mailed to over 1,000 active members of the VGEC, the brochure was also sent to over 7,000 active rectors, Deans, and Bishops throughout the Episcopal Church. Margaret McLarty, president of the VGEC added, "This is part of our ongoing effort to spread the good news about the activity and growth within the ministry of the verger to all who might be interested within the national church."
More information is available vergers.org on facebook.com/vergerguild.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vergers' Guild Celebrates 1,000th Member

The Vergers' Guild of the Episcopal Church, the leading source of information, resources, and fellowship for those who serve in the ministry of the Verger, is celebrating its 1,000th active member who joined the VGEC this year.
Bill Stowell, Verger at St. George's Church in Middlebury, CT was notified by VGEC President, Margaret McLarty, that he was the Guilds' 1,000th member. "I am thrilled not only to be a new member of the VGEC, but also that I've somehow made the active membership pass the 1,000 mark," said Mr. Stowell. "Our parish recently started our Verger ministry so this is all very new and exciting for all of us."
St. George's, a parish with about 150 active members, was founded in 1958. Bill's family was among the original church members and he was the first person confirmed in the church. He was an active acolyte during his school years and after serving 24 years in the Navy he returned to Middlebury in 1988 and once again became an active member at St. George's. In addition to being an usher, lector, and LEM, he has served as Vestry member, clerk, treasurer, and Sr. Warden.
The Rector Dr. William Hardwick worked with the vestry recently to authorize a the establishment of the new ministry of Verger at St. George's to assist the clergy with liturgical planning and execution and volunteer coordination. When Dr. Hardwick approached Bill about serving as the first verger for the parish, Bill said that he would be honored to serve and that he, "...looked forward to assisting Fr. Bill in making sure the services run smoothly each week."
The Vergers' Guild of the Episcopal Church congratulates Bill and the parish as they embark on this new ministry of service through the ministry of the Verger.
For more information about the Vergers' Guild of the Episcopal Church, see vergers.org or follow us on FaceBook atfacebook.com/vergerguild.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Summer 2011 Trip Planned by The Mace Chapter

The Walter Mace Memorial Chapter of the Vergers' Guild of the Episcopal Church has invited Vergers from the United States for a special event from June 8th until June 15, 2011 to tour one of the more historical areas of England.
The week-long event has been described as an "...unhurried tour of historic churches with lectures from local experts."
The trip begins at Hereford Cathedral located on the banks of the River Wye. The Cathedral is said to contain some of the finest examples of architectural excellence from Norman times including a shrine to St. Thomas of Herefordand an early English Lady Chapel.
Cost for the tour will be $1400 not including transportation from the U.S. to Hereford.
For further information contact:

Richard V. Evans, President
Walter Mace Memorial Chapter, VGEC
309 Fannin Drive
Hewitt, TX 76643
[email protected]