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Officer and Assignment Descriptions

Vice President

The person elected as Vice President of the Academy undertakes a four-year commitment to the Academy as Vice President, President, Past President and Past-past President. Each year has it own particular tasks, official and unofficial.

  • The Primary explicit task of the Vice President is to prepare and present the Keynote address at the annual meeting of the Academy. The nature of this address has been as varied as the vice presidents themselves. There have been historical and philosophical addresses; there have been multimedia presentations. Some have considered matters external to the Academy; some have explored issues at the heart of the Academy’s life. Feedback from the members over the years indicates only that all styles are appreciated by some and not by others. The best advice to the Vice President is to present a piece of herself/himself in whatever form suits the topic and the person.

  • The primary implicit task of the Vice President is to apprentice in the ways of running an annual meeting. The Vice President participates in the meetings of the executive board, oversees the style of action of the board as a whole and especially of the President, and thinks forward to the following year when the task will become hers/his.

  • The Vice President becomes President at the end of the annual meeting. The outgoing President thanks the litany of folks who have helped with the meeting just ended, and then present the new President, who in turn thanks the out-going President, congratulates the newly elected officials and thanks all who put their names in nomination. Later, the out-going President gives the new President the “files” - - i.e. all materials that the out-going President received from his/her predecessor. Thus the torch is passed.


The primary explicit tasks of the President are to chair the Academy Committee, to guide the preparations for the annual meeting, and “preside” at the meeting itself.

The first tasks of the new President are:

  1. to secure the dates for the March and June meetings of the executive board [the date for the March meeting, which is always held at the site of the next annual meeting, is somewhat dependent on the hotel contracted for the event] and

  2. to appoint various committees as required by the By-laws, e.g. membership, nomination, et. al. In practice this latter involves ensuring that the committees are formed by those who chair them [Past-past president for nominations, Delegate for membership, etc.]

The President chairs the executive board, and together with the board prepares the schedule for the next annual meeting, guides the selection of the Berakah award and the topic for the Plenary session, lines up extra-curricular activities [e.g. field trips,] ensures the conduce of Academy worship and the provision of other worship activities as appropriate. As the year progresses the President works closely with the secretary, or whoever is the primary negotiator with the hotel. The President may also call upon the Past President for wisdom and assistance.

At the annual meeting, the President meets with the Academy Committee for a final run-through, ease-the-panic session.  The President greets visitors and new members at a social provided for them. The President is joined at this session by members of the Academy Committee and past presidents who can attend, who may say a word or two about the Academy and the various seminars. After the evening worship, the President officially opens the annual meeting and gives due welcome to all who are gathered.  As the meeting progresses, the President chairs the business meeting, introduces the Vice President to present the Keynote and the presenter(s) for the Plenary session, presents (or arranges for someone to present) the Berakah award, and in general oversees all plenary sessions. The President may be joined by the Vice President in conducting the closing prayer, though the torch will be passed at that point.

An implicit task of the President is to be “overseer” of the Academy for one year. The exercise of this work is unpredictable, and depends on extraordinary circumstances that may arise either within the Academy or outside the Academy. Oversight combines human presence, pastoral sensitivity, imagination and organizational skill. Extraordinary events, of course, are not addressed by the President alone, but in concert with the executive board and others as well as circumstances demand.

The Past President

At the conclusion of the annual meeting, the President becomes the Past President, which is an office of the Academy as well as a temporal inevitability. The Past President continues on the executive board and is officially charged with the “Visitor list” for the annual meeting. The Academy requires prospective members to participate in at least one meeting in Visitor status. Prospective members need to be advised of the various seminar groups, the expectation of participation in the groups, and the role of such participation in their eventual application for membership. Implicitly as well, the task of Past President is to offer real, imagined or pretended wisdom to the President.

The Past-past President

The final year of this sequence is that of the Past-past President. No longer a member of the executive board, the Past-past President serves as chair of the Nominations Committee, introduces the nominees at the annual meeting and oversees the election process. When that task is completed, the Past-past President is acquitted, and returns to the enjoyment and honor of simple membership.


The Secretary of the Academy is responsible for the upkeep of the roster and for the minutes of all meetings both the annual meeting and the Academy Committee meetings.

The Secretary is also responsible to provide the Academy with regular Newsletters by email. The Secretary has several responsibilities concerning the Annual meeting of the Academy. The Secretary prepares and updates the master schedule for the meeting, prepares nametags and other materials for members and visitors, and registers participants at the meeting.

The Secretary also answers all inquires concerning the Academy and forwards them to the proper Academy Committee member.


The Treasurer of the Academy is responsible for all financial matters. In addition to collecting and posting dues yearly, the Treasurer is responsible for keeping the Academy accounts, both checking and savings, for investing funds appropriately and for filing appropriate tax information with the State of Indiana.

Delegate for Seminars

This delegate serves as a member of the Academy Committee for a two-year term. The specific task of the delegate for seminars is to facilitate the workings of the various seminars. The delegate for seminars is to communicate the work of each seminar to the Academy at large via Newsletter and web site. This delegate is also responsible for coordinating the set-up of seminar rooms at the Annual Meeting and of presiding over the conveners’ dinner at the annual meeting.

Delegate for Membership

This delegate serves as a member of the Academy Committee for a two-year term. The primary task of the delegate for membership is to provide the Academy with a slate of candidates for membership each year. The delegate serves along with two ad hoc members at large on the Membership Committee. The committee meets in September and makes decisions as to the qualifications for membership offered by individuals who have attended at least one annual meeting as a visitor and who have completed the packet for membership application. The Delegate for Membership also provides Academy Committee leadership to ensure the full inclusiveness of the Academy.

Other Assignments

Exhibits Coordinator for the North American Academy of Liturgy

The Exhibits Coordinator contacts potential exhibitors: publishers, supply houses, vestment manufacturers, etc. in the early fall, inviting them to exhibit at the January annual meeting. Invitation should include cost, set-up detail, dates and times, hotel information, etc to the extent known.

When vendors respond to the invitation, the Exhibits Coordinator addresses the following items:

  • Receive registrations, including fee, from exhibitors. Forward monies to Academy treasurer; confirm registrations with exhibitors.
  • Forward information for confirmed exhibitors to Academy president for invitation to host reception.
  • Serve as liaison between hotel and exhibitors for any special needs.
  • Work with hotel staff in assigning exhibit area, noting requirements for individual exhibitors.
  • Welcome, greet and assist exhibitors with set-up and relationships to hotel staff.


The Conveners provide leadership for the Seminar groups, facilitating the goals set out in the mission statement of each Seminar. This work is carried out in three distinct areas:

  1. at the Academy meeting itself
  2. in preparation for the Academy meeting
  3. in follow-up after the Academy meeting

The term for Seminar Conveners is generally to be three years. When appropriate, the Convener facilitates the naming of a new convener.

Responsibilites during the Academy Meeting

The Convener’s task during the Academy meeting is to facilitate the work of the Seminars. This includes making sure that the proposed agenda for the Seminar is carried out; that participation by all members is encouraged; that time is spent generating future projects and plans. The Convener also encourages the submission of major papers to the Proceedings, and other papers to the NAAL website.

In addition, the Convener is welcoming of visitors, especially those expecting to apply for Academy membership. Academy policy requires prospective visitors to contact the Past President for credentials prior to attending an annual meeting. See the Visitors' application for more information.

The Convener will be asked to write a recommendation for those visitors applying for membership. Such letters are submitted to the Delegate for Membership by September 15.

The Conveners attend a pre-Academy dinner with the Seminar Delegate in appreciation of their work and to discuss any issues that need to be addressed within Seminar Groups or by the Academy Committee.

Responsibilities prior to the Academy meeting

The Convener solicits papers from the Seminar participants and distributes them to the other Seminar members. Because of copyright concerns and provisional nature of many papers prior to the meeting, papers will be distributed via email to the Seminar members only and not published on the NAAL web site prior to the Academy Meeting.


The Convener provides a report to the Seminar Delegate in view of the summer Academy Committee meeting. This is a preliminary report of plans and needs for the upcoming Academy meeting.

October 1

The Convener solidifies plans for the January meeting and communicates the agenda to the Seminar Delegate in order that the agenda may be printed in the Academy meeting program. The Convener also solicits audiovisual equipment needs from the Seminar participants and communicates these needs as well as the projected Seminar numbers to the Seminar Delegate.

Responsibilities after the Academy meeting

February 15

The Convener prepares a summary of the Seminar’s work and submits this to the editor of Proceedings. The Convener also encourages Seminar participants to submit their work for publication either in Proceedings or on the NAAL website.

Meeting Manager

The Meeting Manager provides continuity in the long-term contract with the hotel and support for the Academy President who has primary responsibility for planning the annual meeting.

Responsibilities in the winter

In the winter, following the annual meeting, review the summary of meeting evaluations to address the following items:

  • Identify concerns to be addressed in planning the next meeting.
  • Identify strengths to be continued.

Responsibilities in the spring

In the spring, prior to the next annual meeting, address the following items:

  • Work with the President to arrange an on-site meeting of the Academy Committee in late spring. During this meeting, meet with the Academy Committee for the portion of the meeting that discusses hotel arrangements.
  • In consultation with the president, review the contract and schedule of events with the new hotel.
  • Obtain catering menu and policies and procedures from new hotel and provide copies for President and Treasurer.
  • Contact coordinators of pre-meetings to determine their meeting needs.

Responsibilities in the fall

In the fall, prior to the next annual meeting, address the following items:

  • Make arrangements with the hotel for meals, breaks, meeting rooms, and exhibit space, consulting with the President, Delegate for Seminars, coordinators of pre-meetings, local committee, and others as needed.
  • Monitor room block and paid registrations.
  • Reserve sleeping rooms for Academy Committee at the Annual Meeting. In consultation with the President, assign complimentary rooms and upgrades. Maintain list of GoldCard numbers for Academy Committee members.

Responsibilities during the annual meeting

During the annual meeting, address the following items:

  • Work with the hotel to ensure smooth flow of the meeting.
  • Address any hotel issues that arise.