Church leaders always have to look a little bit beyond the current season to anticipate what’s coming down the road, even as we try to stay in the present moment of Advent, and get things in place for Christmas. Sometimes the job is premised on both the now and the not yet.
As we finish 2023, Vestry is looking to the Parish Annual Meeting on January 28 or 2024, where we elect new members, and parish representatives to diocesan functions, as well as review the year.
That’s why this Advent we’ve been featuring talks by our outgoing Vestry members, Nancy Ironside, Linda Toia, and Dave Kipphut, on what it means to be part of this leadership team, as they work to raise candidates to fill new Vestry positions.
Every year a set of three-year Vestry terms are completed. Parishioners will elect three to four new Vestry members to three-year terms at the Annual Meeting Jan. 28 of 2024. In addition, empty or vacated seats may also be filled. There are two such vacancies this year, one for a one-year term, and the other for a two-year term.
The Vestry meets monthly on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. to see to the business of the parish – monitoring the parish’s health in its ministries, finances and buildings and grounds. Its members serve as liaisons with various parish ministries and committees and keep abreast of their activities. They approve hiring and staff evaluations. As parish leaders Vestry members are people whom parishioners can talk to about their ideas and concerns about the ministry and direction of the parish.
In 2021 Jeanne Robson, our parish archivist and historian, wrote a helpful overview of what the vestry does, which you can read here.
A committee of outgoing Vestry members and non-vestry members is currently recruiting a sleight of candidates to run for new and open positions. Once candidates are in place, we will feature their pictures and biographies in the parish newsletter. They will also be included in the annual report, which will be released to parishioners two weeks before the parish annual meeting.
At the Annual Meeting, parishioners also elect the Accounting Warden, who will serve a three-year term. Mike Reeve, who has been our interim accounting warden for several months, has agreed to run for the full three-year term.
Annual Meeting is not just a time to select parish leadership. The Episcopal Church is structured to ensure that decisions are made in a democratic way, with voting from both clergy and lay people. So parishioners will vote for delegates and alternates to attend Diocesan Annual Convention in late October, as well as delegates to the annual deanery meeting. This makes sure that St Peter’s is represented in decision making in our diocese.
Finally, the Annual Meeting gives us an opportunity to look back on the previous year and celebrate our ministry and mission. Committee reflections will be featured in the Annual Report.( Deadline to submit reports to Charlese is Jan 12 – but the sooner the better.)
We will say farewell to leaders who are stepping away from committees and Vestry and welcome those who are taking on new responsibilities. This year, both my senior warden and people’s warden will be finishing their terms on the Vestry, and I will be appointing new wardens in January.
If you are interested in learning more about being on the Vestry, or about any of these other positions, please contact Linda Toia, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dave Kipphut, email@example.com, or Nancy Ironside, firstname.lastname@example.org.