Diocese of Atlanta Chapter
Vergers from the Diocese of Atlanta pause for a photo at their July 7, 2018, Summer Assembly at Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville. The Rev. Canon Richard Callaway is center and The Rev. Dr. Stuart Higginbotham to his left is Rector of Grace Episcopal. Attending Vergers bought items in support of Family Promise of Hall County. Photo: Bill Monk For complete detail, click here: www.vergeratlanta.org
The Mark Emory Graham Chapter in the Diocese of Atlanta was chartered in 1992, soon after the inaugural Conference of the VGEC. In 1996, the chapter was named in memory of Mark Emory Graham, Treasurer of the VGEC and a verger at All Saints' Atlanta, who was instrumental in promoting the ministry of the verger in the diocese and in the founding the local chapter.
There are over 275 active vergers (100 are members of the VGEC) serving in 60 parishes in the Diocese of Atlanta. The chapter is one of the guild's largest and most active providing support to parishes in middle and north Georgia. The MEG Chapter conducts two Diocesan wide meetings annually. The business meeting is conducted at our Summer Assembly in June. We have a midterm Winter Assembly in January. One of our Bishops attends nearly every Assembly. The meetings are hosted by local parishes and are rotated among the vast geography of middle and north Georgia so that every verger in the Diocese has an opportunity to attend a meeting reasonably close to their home.
The MEG Chapter was the Host of the 29th Annual VGEC Conference in Atlanta, October 12-15, 2017. The highlight of the Conference was that The Most Reverend Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, joined us at St. Luke's in service, in worship, and in conversation. There were 274 paid attendees. Three worship services were offered, each with a different bishop offering the homily, and were recorded and archived on the VGEC web site for future viewing.
The vergers of the MEG Chapter are active participants in the life of the Diocese. At the Annual Diocesan Council, vergers serve as tellers during the business meeting, lead the worship service and perform other duties as directed by the Bishop and staff. Vergers also serve as hosts for several Diocesan meetings whenever called upon by the Office of the Bishop. The MEG Chapter sponsors the Bi-Annual Acolyte Festival.
A major activity is helping individual parishes to establish active and capable teams of vergers, devoted to assisting the clergy by relieving them of tasks which interfere with their pastoral role. There is no one scenario which can apply to all parishes, or to the particular styles of ministers, so an individual program of training has to be established for each parish concerned. The Training Chair coordinates with other vergers to provide effective training when requested by a parish.
All vergers in the Diocese of Atlanta are members of the chapter without voting privileges. Voting Chapter membership dues are $20 per year. Members of the chapter are encouraged to join the VGEC, however, it is not a requirement for chapter membership. Vergers from other dioceses for whom no local VGEC chapter exists are also welcome to participate and join the chapter.