Dear fellow St. Mary’s parishioners,
Do you have a passion pulling you towards action? Do you feel a calling to do something, change something or be of service? We are excited to share with you that the Vestry has been redesigned to give you the power to do this. The goal of the redesign is to disburse power to the people, to allow for people’s passions to flourish and to implement activity & action to support the interest.
How did we get here?
The vestry redesign began the fall of 2015, with some coaching help from a member of Bishop Prior’s staff, Amanda Ziebell Finley. After some conversation about the need for change, we spent our January retreat working with her to establish just what a vestry is required to do (actually a short list) and what we have adopted to do over the years (quite a long list). In the spring a small group (Catherine N, Tom E, LeeAnne, Airika C, and me) pondered and fussed with strategies and org charts, coming up with this proposal which was pondered and voted on by the elected vestry, to be ‘test driven’ for a year and evaluated.
We wanted to put as much power in the hands of as many people as possible. In the old model, people deferred to the authority of the vestry to approve new initiatives or get affirmation for ongoing ones. In reality, we can do more of the work that God has given us to do, the more nimble we can be to respond to developing needs, and the more people can experience leadership of something close to their heart.
1) find some friends and work as a team, 2) communicate the project and its outcome through the weekly email, 3) don’t spend money that isn’t approved in our budget, 4) all things at St. Marys are open to all people, and 5) it must fall within our Baptismal Covenant.
Isn’t it necessary according to church canon (law) that there be a vestry?
The tasks that are required by canon (1. Make sure Sunday services happen, 2. Don’t run off the rails financially, 3. Keep a priest, and if you don’t have one, find one, 4. Make sure Safe Church rules are followed, 5. Make sure the building is insured) will still get done, but by a smaller committee we will call the Canonical Committee.
Oh no! Who will make sure what needs to be done gets done?
There will still be leaders who take care of special events, stewardship, newcomers, parties, etc. There will be job descriptions and support and consistent communication strategies. And to make sure nothing falls through the cracks, different members of the Canonical Committee will keep an eye out over different areas to make sure.
Who will be on the canonical committee? How are they chosen?
There will be 2 wardens, the finance person, the Buildings and Grounds person (because they oversee such a large portion of our budget), all of whom will be elected by the congregation; the priest, the deacon, and 2 ‘at large’ members who will be chosen by the others, to make sure we have a balanced, diverse group.
-Dana Buffie-Gleason, one of the 2 wardens