growing in service with the St. Paul’s Vestry
Vestry members will be elected at the Annual Parish Meeting on Sunday, March 8, 2020. The floor is open for nominations until Monday, February 24, 2020.
What is a Vestry?
The Vestry are the lay leadership of the Church, empowered to act as trustees of the parish in all matters concerning its corporate property and the relation of the parish to its clergy. The primary responsibilities of these leaders are to administer the temporal affairs of the parish, elect and call the rector, and properly maintain the church and all other buildings and grounds belonging to the parish.
The Vestry are fiduciaries. A fiduciary is “a person to whom property or power is entrusted for the benefit of another” (Dictionary.com). A Vestryperson’s fiduciary responsibility means the trust and confidence placed in a person’s ability to conduct public affairs of the Church for the common good according to one’s conscience. “Persons elected to an office or to a representative body are never sent to a meeting to represent, defend, or vote for a position established by those who elect them or the group they are to represent. Persons are to be elected because it is believed that they can think for themselves and deal openly with complex matters. They are also to be spiritually mature enough to listen for the leading of the Spirit so as to be set free to vote their conscience. No proxy votes are acceptable. Decisions must be reached by those who have been party to the conversation and prayer of the body called upon to consider a matter of concern” (John H. Westerhoff, A People Called Episcopalians, Harrisburg: Morehouse Publishing, 1994, p. 35-36).
Most importantly, Vestrypersons are men and women who have responded to the baptismal call of all laypersons to “represent Christ and his Church; to bear witness to him wherever they may be; to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world according to the gifts given to them; and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church” (BCP 855).
What are the requirements for Vestry leadership?
All Vestry members must be confirmed communicants in good standing:
- Have been Baptized
- Have received Holy Communion at least three times during the preceding year
- Have been confirmed or received into the communion of The Episcopal Church by the laying on of hands by a Bishop
- Have been faithful in corporate worship during the preceding year
- Have been, as the canons of the Church say, “faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God”
- At least 18 years of age
- Members of the parish for at least 6 months
- Financial contributors of record to the parish during the preceding 6 months
What are the ongoing expectations of Vestrypersons?
The ongoing expectations of Vestrypersons are that they act as leaders who exemplify our Rule of Life (Growing in Relationships, Growing in Service, Growing in Christ) by:
- Being faithful in attendance at corporate worship
- Being faithful in attendance at Vestry meetings
- Being among the first each year to turn in a financial commitment card
- Being present at major church and school events
- Being faithful in daily prayer, praying regularly for God’s guidance, and understanding that their spirituality informs their fiduciary responsibility to the parish
- Being aware of and involved in parish Christian education programs, fellowship, and service opportunities
- Working cooperatively with the clergy, staff, the school Board of Trustees, and other lay people in the St. Paul’s Community to form an environment of mutual respect and trust
- Being open and welcoming to all people and being at the forefront of showing hospitality to newcomers
- Understanding that they are called to active leadership in the parish even when their term on the Vestry ends
What should I do if I want to submit my name or another’s name for nomination?
If you would like to submit your name or another’s name for nomination, please complete the accompanying form and submit it to Lori Lavelle, Parish Administrator, in the church office on or before February 24, 2020.