"Rooted in love, growing through God's grace, and reaching out to all."
What is the Vestry?
It is a group of members of the church who are charged with handling the business of the church. They are elected at the annual meeting of the parish and serve a three-year term. The business includes personnel, finances, property management and maintenance, as well as oversight over all committees and projects falling under the church’s responsibility. The Vestry provides the secular leadership needed to operate and manage the church. It also advises the Rector on issues regarding the parish community. The Vestry depends upon having a variety of people with different backgrounds, personalities, and skills—reflecting the diversity of the parish.
Why would you want to be on Vestry?
This is a way to help the church and the congregation live into its mission statement and care for the world. It is a way to share your skills and to learn new ones. Being on Vestry gives a person an opportunity to see the church from a different perspective than that of someone sitting in the pews. It also provides a person with a way of growing in their faith and serving the church.
What do vestry members do?
Vestry members act as liaisons to various committees under the headings of the Worship & Music, Operations, Faith Formation, Outreach, and In-reach. The primary role of the liaison is to serve as the communication link between the ministries and the Vestry. With their partners, they divide up the responsibilities between themselves and communicate with the chair or point person of each ministry on a regular basis through in-person conversations, phone calls, or emails. At scheduled vestry meetings, the liaisons give a brief review of what has occurred and/or what is planned by each group. Members may choose an area that they feel comfortable with based on their life experiences or training. Liaisons may also choose an area in which they might like to gain insight and grow as well. The liaisons are appointed by the Rector based on discussions the Rector has with the vestry members.
Liaisons also act as Vestry Steward on assigned Sunday services. They announce the list of birthdays and anniversaries for the coming week, lead the birthday prayer, and read announcements as needed. They also assist the clergy and the ushers in greeting people before and after the service.
Vestry members are representatives of the congregation and should be responsive to their concerns and questions. They are available to any member of the congregation to hear their concerns and thoughts, bring them to the wardens and the vestry, and to ensure that a response is communicated back to those members of the congregation.
Vestry members also take turns leading opening devotions at the monthly meetings. All members participate in discussions, voicing opinions, and helping the vestry make decisions.
Each vestry member has a "buddy" who keeps them informed of vestry business when they are not able to be present at a meeting.
What do you gain from being a Vestry member?
As a vestry member, you will be an integral part of a dedicated group of people working for the good of St. Peter’s. In helping lead our church family, you have an opportunity both to serve and to grow. When personnel, finances, and property issues are discussed, your perspective and input are valued. You will develop a better understanding of the “business” of the church, and gain insight about the Episcopal Church and our greater community. Whatever strengths and skills you bring to the vestry, you may well leave with more than when you first arrived. Through listening, reflecting, and working with one another, you will cultivate relationships with fellow vestry members. Whether you have served in the past or new to this role, you are invited to become a candidate for the vestry.
Are you interested in learning more about serving as a vestry member?
Please speak with any of the Wardens or Members of the Vestry.