In the Episcopal Church authority is balanced on every level of church life. On the local, diocesan, and national levels there are roles and responsibilities given to ordained leaders and other duties given to lay leaders in our church laws. Clergy are responsible for the spiritual care of congregations. Vestries or mission councils (or bishop’s committees, in the case of congregations which are not financially self-sufficient) are elected lay leaders who are responsible for the temporal affairs of the congregation.
So the work of the Vestry is to:
- Partner with the clergy to fulfill the mission of the parish, creating a common vision
- Raise and disburse the financial gifts to God for the work of the Church
- Maintain the church’s facilities in trust for the Diocese
- Call the rector.
At St. Stephen’s have norms we expect Vestry members to follow to fulfill the canonical requirements. Member of the Vestry will:
- Be regular in worship attendance
- Pledge and give financially for the support of our ministry
- Attend and participate in all Vestry meetings: monthly on the third Tuesday of the month from 6-8 p.m., Vestry orientation for new members, Vestry retreat, joint meetings with the School Board of Trustees
- Offer leadership for ministry initiatives
- Actively support the decisions and direction discerned by the Vestry
- Uphold the Vestry Covenant.
On Sunday, January 10, at 9:30 a.m. in Pecore Hall the nominees for Vestry will engage in a conversation with our wardens. This is an opportunity for you to listen to the nominees as you discern whom you will vote for at the parish meeting on January 24 at noon. Unlike the political primaries, we are not seeking the most charismatic individuals with great hair. We are listening for the calling of God. Come with open ears as we listen to these courageous leaders who offer themselves to Christ’s service.