The vestry of an Episcopal church has three primary responsibilities.
The first two are managerial: to take care of parish finances and the parish buildings. The third is to choose individuals to fill various positions of leadership and representation: the choice of a rector, the choice of delegates to the diocesan convention, and the selection of others as the diocesan canons may stipulate. The vestry also serves as an advisory council to the rector who by church law is the parish’s chief liturgical and pastoral officer.
The vestry consists of lay members of the church elected by the congregation at the annual parish meeting which happens in July. The vestry of St. Brendan's church currently has eight elected members. Each year, the congregation elects the Senior and Junior Wardens, Secretary and Treasurer, and other members of the vestry. Vestry members normally serve a three year term and must be members in good standing of the parish.
The vestry meets each month to review and approve normal monthly operational expenses of the church, receive reports from various committees, plan and approve capital improvement projects, and attend to concerns within the parish. Click below for Annual Report.
COMMITTEES - A Call for Everyone to Join a Committee!
With the beginning of the new year, all members are encouraged to join and participate in the work of at least one committee for the year. This is where the
real activity of the congregation takes place. We are a small congregation and it
is essential that members fill these committees adequately so the burden is truly shared. The commitment being sought is for one year.
There are a large number of committees: Buildings and Grounds, Worship, Pastoral Care, Education, Outreach Allocation, Outreach Programs and Projects Finance and Stewardship. You are welcome to join any of these committees. Please contact the applicable person listed below to volunteer and be advised when the next meeting of the applicable committee will take place.
Buildings & Grounds (Skip Greenlaw)
Worship (Pete Dane)
Pastoral Care (Anne Burton)
Education (Pete Dane)
Outreach Allocation (Skip Greenlaw)
Outreach Programs and Projects (Jo Jacob)
Stewardship (Woodley Osborne)
Finance (Pete Dane)
The Vestry for the most part has delegated responsibility and authority to these committees to self govern and self execute its activities. So it is critical that these committees be filled by a sufficient number of people to deliberate and carry out the tasks it sets for itself.
Committee meetings are open to all members of the community. All members are encouraged to participate in one or more committees. Each committee has a member of the vestry who serves as a liaison.
Click here to download current rules for Formation and Operation of Committees
BUILDING AND GROUNDS COMMITTEE
This committee is responsible for the maintenance and repair of all real estate and improvements thereon. It is responsible for building maintenance and reviewing at least annually insurance line items in the budget. It has authority to expend amounts set forth in the annual budget for building maintenance. It shall maintain and update a list of needed or desirable repairs and improvements. Membership is unlimited.
The Education Committee will initiate, review, and recruit leadership for, any educational activities in the Congregation.
The Finance Committee is chaired by the Treasurer and shall prepare a proposed annual budget for consideration by the Vestry, coordinating its timing with the work of the Stewardship Committee. In addition, it will report to the Vestry, at least quarterly, regarding the financial condition of the parish, in the process recommending any changes or amendments to the annual budget as in its judgment appear necessary or appropriate. The Committee shall also conduct annual audits of the Congregation’s finances in accordance with Diocesan requirements. The Committee will submit a written report to the Congregation prior to its annual meeting.
GIFT ACCEPTANCE COMMITTEE
Membership and governance is set forth in the Gift Acceptance Policy adopted December 17, 2013, as amended.
Membership and governance of the Investment Committee (of the Endowment) is subject to the provisions of the Declaration.
The Vestry will appoint as Chair for the applicable year a member of the Vestry who will not be serving on the Vestry for the succeeding year. Two members will be persons who are not on the Vestry.
The Outreach Allocation Committee determines the fair distribution of the outreach budget taking into account the overall goal of the Outreach Committee and based upon current crisis, present needs, and past obligations. It is responsible for the determining expenditures on the “Outreach” line item in the budget. The chairman of this committee is not a member of the vestry.
PASTORAL CARE COMMITTEE
This committee is responsible for identifying, organizing and coordinating such pastoral support to members of the Congregation that it determines lay members of the Congregation can effectively provide.
The Vestry each year will appoint the members of the Personnel Committee which shall include at least two non Vestry members. The Committee may hold executive sessions to deal with matters it deems need to be conducted privately.
The Vestry each year will approve the appointment of the Chair of the Annual Pledge Drive Sub-Committee. The Stewardship Committee is responsible for oversight of all fundraising activities conducted in the congregation, and the recruitment of persons to conduct such activities, including but not limited to, the annual Pledge campaign planned giving, Capital Campaign initiatives and single purpose fund-raising.
The Worship Committee, in conjunction with the Priest in Charge, Supply Priest or applicable clergy, will initiate, review and implement all liturgical activity in the Congregation including any substantial changes proposed to the existing liturgical life of the Congregation. It will pursue initiatives to deepen the liturgical experience of the Congregation. It will be responsible for overseeing activities commonly referred to as Altar Guild, greeters, lectors, lay conduct of Prayers of the People, and Lay Eucharistic ministers.