2018 Denver, Colorado

The Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church will gather in Denver, Colorado, in 2018 for our 30th Annual Conference.  Saint John's Cathedral and Saint Andrew's Church, Denver, and the Barry Bowman Chapter of the VGEC will serve as our hosts. This is an exciting opportunity to learn more about the verger ministry, spend time in fellowship with vergers from around the US and the world, and to enjoy a number of worship opportunities together.
We are thrilled to announce that our Keynote Speaker is Nadia Bolz-Weber, the founder of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado, and author of two New York Times bestsellers including Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People (Convergent, 2015). As the Church changes and evolves in this century, the ministry of the Verger will evolve with it.

Please visit denver.org for more information about Denver and surrounding areas.

Conference Highlights   Use #vgec30 to tag your Facebook posts while in Denver

  • Keynote speaker:  Nadia Bolz-Weber on Friday
  • General Convention in Depth: Every big liturgical thing that happened at General Convention; what it might be saying about the Episcopal Church, and what it might be calling us to do with the Rev. Winnie Varghese, Director of Justice and Reconciliation, Trinity Church Wall Street and the Rev. Canon Broderick Greer, Canon Precentor, Saint John's Cathedral
  • Verger 101: Exploring the Verger Ministry for the New Verger with Duke DuTeil, VGEC Training Course Advisor and Retired Head Verger, Washington National Cathedral 
  • Verging in the 21st Century: Where are we?  Developed for seasoned Vergers led by Ian Thompson, Verger and Sacristan of Saint John's Cathedral, Denver, Colorado
  • Young People in the Verger Ministry: Living into our motto with Jennifer Carr, Head Verger of Saint Aiden's, Boulder, Colorado
  • Verging in Depth - Information Coming Soon
  • Denim & Diamonds 30th Anniversary Verger Recognition Dinner and Entertainment
  • Verger Exhibit Hall including the Vergers Guild Shop and Hospitality Suite
  • VGEC Annual Business Meeting and board elections on Saturday morning
  • Choral Evensong featuring the full choir of Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church on Thursday night beginning at 5:45 pm 
  • Cocktail Reception Thursday night at the Warwick Hotel beginning at 7:30 pm
  • Festive Choral Eucharist with the Procession of Vergers on Sunday at Saint John's Cathedral

Quick Links

General Information


Thursday, September 20-23, 2018

Host Parish

Saint John's Cathedral and Saint Andrew's  Episcopal Church, Denver, Colorado

Parish Location

Saint John's Cathedral
1350 N Washington St, Denver, CO 80203
Phone: +1 (303) 831-7115

Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church
2015 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO 80205

Phone: +1 (303) 296-1712

Conference Contact Information

David Barr, Host Committee Co-Chair
[email protected]
Phone: +1 (720) 394-2096

Steve Tilson, Host Committee Co-Chair
[email protected]
Phone: +1 (507) 261-2280

Bill Gleason, Registration Coordinator
[email protected]
Phone: +1 (615) 812-9440

30th Annual Conference Event Host Committee

Registration is Closed - Register for the 2018 VGEC Annual Conference Online

Registrations made through Thursday, August 29, 2018 are $225.00 per person.

Registrations made after Thursday, August 29, 2018 are $275.00 per person.

Registrations must be made by Monday, September 10, 2018 as all conference plans for transportation, food, and logistics must be set by that date.  We cannot accept on-site registrations. All registrations must be made online through the VGEC Membership Management System in advance.

We hope that spouses/partners will also register for the conference to attend many conference events. The cost for all conference attendees (members and spouses/partners) is the same because the expenses (transportation, food, entertainment, etc.) are the same for everyone. For this reason too, we cannot price individual parts of the conference.

Register for the Conference Online

You must be a member of the VGEC to register for the conference. If you are not a member, sign up for a free 6-month trial membership at try.vergers.org.

VGEC Members can register online by logging into the membership system at membership.vergers.org or click the Big Red Button above.

If you need assistance with your registration or conference preferences, please contact [email protected].

After registering online, you will receive a confirmation email with further instructions.


Cancellations are NO LONGER AVAILABLE as the deadline of Monday, September 10, 2018 has passed.

Requests for cancellations must be made by the registration deadline of Monday, September 10, 2018. Send your cancellation request to [email protected].

Conference Hotel - The Warwick Denver

The Warwick Hotel Denver is the official conference hotel for the 2018 VGEC Annual Conference.  The hotel is an ideal location that connects Denver's vibrant downtown area and offers a true urban retreat in the Mile High City. 

Enjoy the views of the Denver skyline from the balcony of your room which blends warm, local charm with modern luxury. The hotel has fresh Coloradan cuisine at Randolph's Restaurant and Bar. Other state-of-the-art amenities include a fitness center, heated rooftop pool and complimentary use of Warwick Bicycles.

Hotel Contact Information

1776 Grant Street Denver, CO 80203
+1 303-861-2000
[email protected]

Hotel Rates

The Hotel is pleased to confirm the following guest room rate of $195.00 per night (single or double occupancy)  for conference attendeesThese rates are subject to the appropriate state and local taxes in effect at the time of our meeting.  The tax is 14.75% per room night which makes the effective rate $223.76 per night.

These rates are offered for Tuesday, September 18 through Tuesday, September 25, 2018, two days before and two days after the official dates of the conference.  

The Hotel is providing conference attendees several concessions over the official dates of the meeting:  
  • Discounted overnight Valet Parking at a rate of $24.00 with in and out privileges.
  • Discounted Valet Parking for non-overnight guests at a rate of $10.00 during meetings with no in and out privileges. 
  • Complimentary standard WiFi in all meeting and guest rooms. 

Hotel Reservations

The deadline to make all hotel reservations was August 29, 2018 and is CLOSED. After this date, the Group's Room Block will be released and reservation requests received after this date will be accepted on a space and rate availability basis. If the Group rate is not available after August 29, 2018, the prevailing rack rates will apply for any reservations.

Phone Reservations

Phone: 800-525-2888 or +1 (303) 861-2000
Group Code: 0919VG

When making reservations, guests should identify themselves as part of the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church by using Group Code
0919VG and should have a credit card ready to guarantee the reservation. All reservation requests must be received by the Reservation Deadline of August 29, 2018.

Online Hotel Reservations

Making reservations online is another way to process your hotel reservation but there have been some glitches. Click the button below to try to make online reservations. There have been ongoing problems with the online registration calendar stating there are no rooms available - there are rooms! It is better to call the hotel 800 number with the Group Code: 0919VG - and be persistent!

Arrival and Departure Times

The Warwick Hotel's check-in time is 3:00 p.m.  and the Checkout time is 12:00 Noon.  Exceptions to this may be made based upon availability at the discretion of the Hotel.


The Conference Agenda information is stored in a shared Google Calendar at agenda.vergers.org.  You can subscribe to the calendar agenda.vergers.org on your cell phone or computer so you can take the agenda with you. This is very handy during the conference as you can have the agenda with you wherever you are and it will always be up to date.

The agenda is under development and is subject to change until September 1, 2018.

Sessions and Events

Note: This information is is subject to change until September 1, 2018 when all sessions and events will be finalized.
The 2018 Conference of the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church has a large array of sessions and events planned all of which focus on the Church in the 21st Century in various ways. This will be a great opportunity for teaching and learning as a verger in God's church. If you have any ideas for the topic presenters, please send an email to [email protected].

Sessions and Events - Quick Links

Keynote Speaker

Nadia Bolz-Weber

Nadia Bolz-Weber is the author of two New York Times bestselling memoirs: Pastrix; The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint
(2013) and Accidental Saints; Finding God in All the Wrong People (2015). She is an ordained Lutheran pastor (ELCA) and the founder of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado, a quirky congregation she served for over 10 years. Nadia travels domestically and internationally as a speaker and has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, On Being with Krista Tippett, Fresh Air, CNN and in the Washington Post, Bitch magazine, More magazine and The Atlantic. International media coverage includes BBC World Service, The Guardian, and magazine features in Germany, Poland, and Switzerland. Her upcoming book, SHAMELESS: A Sexual Reformation will be released in January, 2019.

Here's what people are saying about Nadia

"Nadia Bolz-Weber has probably done more than any other pastor in recent times to poke therapeutic fun at the misdemeanors and flaws of overly-churched Christianity and Christians. The passion behind her words, however, is as deeply pastoral as it is God-drenched and liberating....thus the affection as well as the respect that attend her and her work wherever she goes." - Phyllis Tickle author of The Great Emergence

"Unforgettable, hilarious, insightful, self-effacing, ironic, and Lutheran - not words that go together every day. Pierced and tattooed, theologically deep, a mom, a fire-and-Pentecost progressive preacher, a stand-up comic ... also an unlikely list of descriptors. A gifted writer, a liturgical acrobat, an honest and outspoken sinner-saint, the person you should invite to your next event where you need a deep, engaging, and surprising speaker - I could only be talking about Nadia Bolz-Weber." - Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity

"Nadia Bolz-Weber is what you'd get if you mixed the DNA of Louis C.K., Joey Ramone and St. Paul. She is by far my favorite tatted-up, cranky pastor ever." - A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

General Convention in Depth

The Armenian Rite for the Celebration of Holy Cross Day, the Way of Light, Contextual and Expansive rites, and every other big liturgical thing that happened at General Convention; what it might be saying about the Episcopal Church, and what it might be calling us to do.

The 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church considered prayerbook revision and responded to requests for pastoral responses from throughout the church in the form of prayers and music. The Convention both said no to prayerbook revision for now, and authorized dioceses to begin to develop, use, and gather together liturgies in our diverse contexts. The Committee on Prayerbook, Liturgy, and Music also moved 30 resolutions expanding and confirming the observation of Saints Days and authorizing new liturgies for the use of the Episcopal Church. Join us for a conversation about what this might mean for us.

This session is lead by the Rev. Winnie Varghese, Director of Justice and Reconciliation, Trinity Church Wall Street and the Rev. Canon Broderick Greer, Canon Precentor, Saint John's Cathedral.

Verger 101

Exploring the Verger Ministry

With Duke DuTeil, VGEC Training Advisor and Retired Head Verger, Washington National Cathedral

Specifically designed to support the new verger as he or she embarks on this ministry. It is 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?

Note: This session is for newer vergers and for first-time conference attendees.

Verging in the 21st Century

Where are we?

With Ian Thompson Sacristan and Verger of Saint John's Cathedral, Denver

Designed for the seasoned Verger, join Ian Thompson, Sacristan and Verger of Saint John's Cathedral, as we explore our unique heritage and ministry within the church. As Vergers, we are not just ceremonial leaders but are leaders within our church's ministries and communities.

Let us gather to reflect, question, and reimagine the role of the verger. Topics will include:

  • Where we began
  • Who are we now?
  • Our ministries' successes and challenges
  • The verger's wider role.
  • The role of small parishes and large parishes.
  • How are we changing?  
  • Imagining the future role of the Verger.

Note: This session is for more experienced vergers and for those who have previously attended Verger 101.

Young People in Verger Ministry

Not all heroes wear capes and not all vergers wear chimeres

With Jennifer Carr, Head Verger, Acolyte Master, St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, Boulder

The work of a Verger encompasses more than just carrying a virge on Sunday mornings. Vergers serve their parishes and communities in a variety of ways unique to their communities. Topics include:

  • Meet young people and students in Boulder and other parishes who are helping to shape the church in the 21st century
  • Hear about the ways these young people have reimagined and revitalized many ministries in our parish
  • Presenters will share why these ministries are important to them and why they decided to get involved
  • We’ll wrap up with a discussion about how other people, both young and old, can be encouraged to join our work in the church and how Vergers can help facilitate that growth

The Episcopal Church Welcomes You

How does your Parish remain Open, Welcoming, and Inclusive and Still Keep the People Safe?        

With Steve Tilson, Verger, St. John's Episcopal Church, Boulder and Lieutenant Bill Finch, Retired, Denver Police Department

Come and hear from two large inner city parishes. Learn about their experiences of developing a comprehensive Security Plan. Join Steve Tilson, verger at Saint John's Boulder and Bill Finch, retired from the Denver Police Department, as they lead us through their parish's development of their own security plans.  At the bottom of this page is a pdf of a presentation for Prevention and Intervention training for St John's Cathedral. Please review it before this workshop and come with questions!

Topics to include:

  • Is church security really necessary? Google church shootings for some research
  • How to develop a common sense Security Plan while striving to remain warm and welcoming 
  • How to care for the least among us - and those in need - in a pastoral and safe way
  • How to handle difficult situations with grace. What if grace does not work?
  • What are small parishes practicing and how is this different from large parishes?
  • Open discussion and sharing of ideas: what has worked and what has not

Denim and Diamonds 30th Anniversary Banquet

Banquet Dress: Denim & Diamonds                                                                                                                                              

We're celebrating our 30th Anniversary! Out here in the new west that is Denver, we'll hold the ultimate western birthday party. And vergers know how to dress up! This is a party where you wear anything and everything western. It's OK to wear your favorite jeans, western wear, and boots for this function, but don't forget the BLING: rhinestones and other embellishments are strongly encouraged.

Denim & Diamonds is not a literal description of the clothing pieces but more of a look. The diamonds element refers to clothing pieces and accessories that dress up the casual, denim pieces: think clothing with rhinestones, sequined fabric, gemstone bracelets, earrings, necklaces, a sparkly bag, satin jacket, heels. Go for a little flair somewhere in your outfit and join us for a fun evening!


Each year, the VGEC provides a limited number of scholarships to cover $175 of the registration expense. These scholarships are made available through the Mark Emory Graham Scholarship Fund. They are intended to develop the ministry of the verger and will be considered for:

  • Youth vergers
  • New vergers
  • First time Annual Conference attendees
  • Those with a financial need

The scholarship covers a portion of the registration fee but does not cover transportation, lodging, additional food, or other expenses.

Apply for a Scholarship

You must be a member of the VGEC to apply for a scholarship and to register for the conference. If you are not a member, sign up for a free 6-month trial membership at try.vergers.org.

VGEC Members can apply for a scholarship by logging into the membership system at membership.vergers.org and starting the registration process. You will be able to apply for the scholarship online.

Please contact [email protected] if you have questions about the scholarship or the application process.

Transportation and Maps

Airlines and Flights and Trains

The best source of travel information for Denver is:

Transportation from Airport to Hotel

Options to travel from Denver International Airport to the Warwick Denver are:

  • Denver Airport Rail to Union Station at a current cost of $ 9.00 for a 37 minute ride. You will still need transportation from Union Station to the Warwick Hotel and Uber is available. There is currently a $10.00 coupon for Uber on the Union Station website!
  • Rental Car Providers at Denver International Airport


Conference Resources and Communication

In addition to this web site, we use other methods for communicating about the conference:

  • agenda.vergers.org: Subscribe to the online conference agenda at agenda.vergers.org using your cell phone so you can carry that with you.

  • Facebook: We use Facebook as a central place for all of us to post photos, facts, and everything else about the conference as it is being planned and during the conference. We use the hashtag #vgec30 (named for the 30th annual conference) on all posts so they are easy to find when searching.

  • The Vergers Voice blog: The vergersvoice.org blog will be covering all aspects of the conference before, during, and after. All members of the VGEC are automatically signed up to receive the blog. Click HERE for more information.

  • Flickr: Along with Facebook, we use Flickr as the permanent storage place for all of the photos from the conference (photos are taken by professional photographers and by many conference attendees).

File Attachments

Files associated with this conference are available below. Please contact [email protected] if there are any modifications that might be made to this page which would be helpful. We appreciate all feedback!

Eileen Brightwell-Hicks,
Sep 12, 2018, 1:02 PM