As you may have seen, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church will hold its annual meeting on Sunday, January 29 after the 10:30 service. So what exactly is the annual meeting? And what in the world are we voting for?
We've got most of the information in this post!
Annual Meeting and Vestry Explained
Each January, the parish meets for its Annual Meeting. At the annual meeting, parishioners aged 18 and older vote for members of the Vestry, the governing board of the parish, and delegates to the Diocesan Convention, a gathering of all parishes in our diocese, the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas. During the Annual Meeting, parishioners receive the slate of vestry and delegate candidates with their biographical information, along with an Annual Report that contains a financial report and a review of parish activities and ministries during the past year. Usually, everyone gathers for lunch during or after the Annual Meeting. Child care is provided for children in elementary school and younger. This year all voting will be done in person.
Vestry: governing board of the parish, consisting of the rector and elected lay members. As per Diocesan Canons a person must be 18 yrs and older and a communicant in good standing* to serve on Vestry.
*communicants in good standing are the three c's - "confirmed, contributing, and (taking) communion".
St. Andrew's vestry meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 5:45 p.m. Unless the vestry is in executive session, members of the parish are welcome to attend as observers.
The vestry’s primary responsibilities include:
● oversight of the parish’s finances and buildings,
● choosing individuals to fill positions of leadership and representation (i.e. the rector, most officers of the vestry)
● serving as an advisory council to the rector, who by church law is the parish’s chief liturgical and pastoral officer.
● St. Andrew's vestry consists of the rector plus fifteen lay members elected by the congregation at the annual parish meeting in late January. Adult communicants in good standing* are eligible for a term of three years. The terms are staggered so that each year five members retire from vestry and five new members take their places.
The rector is the presiding officer of the vestry. Other officers include:
● the senior warden, who serves as the vestry chairperson in the rector’s absence
● the junior warden, who is chiefly responsible for the oversight of building and grounds
● the clerk of the vestry, who handles the minutes and vestry correspondence
● the treasurer who presents financial reports
● the chancellor who serves as the attorney for the parish
● The clerk, treasurer, and chancellor are chosen by the vestry from among the members of the vestry or the congregation at large.