Note: I'm on vacation until August 22, but I prepared this letter to post automatically while I'm away.
It's vestry nomination time! Our vestry plays an important role in the leadership of our church. When I'm facing decisions for which I need wisdom, a sounding board, or practical or spiritual support, I turn to vestry. They are incredibly prayerful, capable, and wise, and I could not be more grateful for them!
This fall, we'll elect two new vestry members as Jenni McSwain and Nancy Sung end their terms (I am going to miss these women, and I'll say more about their contributions later this fall). We are accepting vestry nominations through Sept 1, 2023. To nominate someone to vestry, just send their name to email@example.com. You are welcome to nominate yourself if you are interested in serving.
Below are details about vestry service, but if you have questions, feel free to reach out to me or any vestry member to learn more: Nancy Sung (warden), Tom Pienaar (warden), Kaitlin Conway, Jenni McSwain, Jared Noetzel, and Kim McKnight.
What are the qualifications for vestry?
Incarnation's bylaws stipulate that vestry members must meet the following criteria:
Be a mature Christian committed to the orthodox doctrine, discipline and worship of the church, not one who has recently come into faith.
Worship God in church regularly on Sundays;
Lead an active prayer life;
Know and continue studying the Bible;
Be known as a cheerful giver not only of money but of time;
Have family relationships that reflect strong Christian commitment;
Be a leader;
Bring some skill to the Vestry which would be useful to the Church;
Have enough time to be able to serve effectively as a vestry member; and
Make a commitment to put vestry service high on the list of personal priorities.
In addition, the canons (rules) of our diocese require vestry members to be members of our church and received or confirmed in the Anglican Church (or willing to be; read about confirmation here).
All that said, you do not need to know whether someone you nominate meets these criteria. Our nominating committee will sort all of that out with each candidate. For now, we just want to hear who you would recommend and trust to be part of the leadership of our church in this next season.
What do vestry members do?
Vestry members meet one evening a month for 2-3 hours. The first portion of each meeting is a meal together, a helpful way of anchoring all our business in relationships of trust, affection, and respect. All vestry members must also attend a one-day retreat/orientation in late fall to get to know one another better and onboard new members. During some seasons (e.g., hiring new staff, budgeting processes, location moves, policy updates and changes), vestry may also have work to
Vestry is responsible for the "temporal matters" of the church: finances, facilities, policies, and more (many of these matters are carried out by staff, but overseen by vestry). They oversee our annual budget process, keep a close eye on our finances, help interview potential hires, scout out new facilities, serve on committees, make the final decision on all grants recommended by our outreach team, and so much more! You can read more about the roles of vestries, wardens, staff, and the rector here.
But these temporal matters are simply the practical outworking of our mission as a church, and so above all, vestry participation also calls for prayer, humility, spiritual maturity. Our vestry also prays, reads, and fasts together as we seek God's guidance.
Please reach out if you have any questions, and send nominations for vestry to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sept 1!
With love - from vacation!