Being a Vestry member at St. Paul’s is an honor and a privilege but also a great responsibility. As you consider making a nomination for a candidate or allowing your name to be placed in nomination, please consider just what it means to be on the vestry at St. Paul’s.
Christopher Webber writes in The Vestry Handbook that a Vestry member has three primary responsibilities. The first two managerial responsibilities are to take care of the parish finances and to take care of the parish buildings. The third is “to choose individuals to fill various positions of parish leadership and representation: the election of a rector, the choice of delegates to the diocesan convention, and the selection of other individuals as the diocesan canons and parish bylaws may stipulate. All these responsibilities are defined by the laws of the church that are called ‘canons.’”
The Canons of The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina state that “The vestry of a parish shall be the trustees, shall have charge of all the secular concerns thereof, shall hold the property belonging thereto, and shall be authorized to collect, invest, and disburse its funds and enter into contracts on its behalf.”
And according to the bylaws of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, “All the temporal interests and affairs of this church shall be governed and controlled by the vestry, which shall be composed of nine vestry members who shall be nominated and elected as provided in Article III, Sections 4 and 5” (Article II, Proposed Bylaws of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church). Our bylaws state that “Any adult, confirmed, enrolled communicant in good standing is eligible to serve on the Vestry (Article III, Section 3 of the proposed bylaws for a definition of the terms).
A person seeking election as a St. Paul’s Vestry member should take seriously the commitment he or she is seeking. Every person nominated for the Vestry should prayerfully consider whether he or she is able or willing to shoulder the responsibilities that come with the position, which may include (but not be limited to) the following:
That said, however, there are few positions that can be more rewarding and fulfilling than the Vestry. Members help to lead the church through the present and into the future, forging friendships not only with each other but also with the clergy and other parishioners.
Vestry members are chosen by a majority vote of those attending the annual parish meeting held on the second Sunday in November. They may be nominated ahead of time or from the floor on the day of the meeting.
Both nominators and nominees must be confirmed (or received), enrolled adult communicants in good standing at St. Paul’s.
One of the following procedures must be followed to nominate someone for the Vestry.
To nominate a person in advance and have his or her information published in a special edition of A Potpourri:
To nominate a person from the floor at the Annual Parish Meeting:
8:00 a.m.: Holy Eucharist
9:30 a.m.-10:15: Christian Formation (Sept-May)
10:30 a.m.: Holy Eucharist
3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.: Centering Prayer (Nave)
8:00 a.m.: Morning Prayer followed by Centering Prayer (with Holy Communion on Feast Days)
5:30 p.m.: Unction/Holy Eucharist
12:00 p.m.: Noonday Prayer