Vestry “Job Description”
The vestry is the parish council of lay persons, elected by other active members of the parish, who, with the rector, have responsibility for the care and control of church property and the transaction of the business of the congregation. At St. George’s, the vestry is also a group that helps the rector, other clergy, staff, and commissions to discern and carry out the vision of where God is calling us as a congregation. There is “business” to which we must attend, but there is also a lot of joyful sharing and growing in faith and love. As your rector, I hope that vestry members will see their service as a holy ministry and an opportunity to be part of listening for God’s guidance for our parish. – The Rev. Joe Hensley, Rector of St. George’s
There are requirements about vestries and their members set forth in both the canons (rules) of The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia which have to be met, in addition to some expectations that we have at St. George’s, for service on the vestry.
A candidate for vestry must:
- Be an adult, confirmed communicant in good standing. (see below)
- Be at least 16 years of age.
- Be faithful in weekly worship (attending regularly)
- Contribute financially to the parish and support the vestry statement on stewardship (see below)
- Have been confirmed in The Episcopal Church or received into the church after having been confirmed in another denomination.
- Be a registered member of St. George’s (either by confirmation/reception here or by letter of transfer from another parish).
- Attend monthly vestry meetings (the third Wednesday of each month) beginning December 18, 2019.
- Attend the annual vestry retreat week-end January 17-19, 2019.
- Serve as a liaison to at least one vestry commission (see list below).
- Understand the legal, canonical responsibilities of the vestry (see below).
- Subscribe to the Declaration of Conformity to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. (see below).
- Receive “Safeguarding God’s Children” sexual abuse prevention training (online or in person: to increase our parish’s overall awareness about promoting a safe environment)
“In Good Standing” (from Episcopal Church Title I Canon 17.3) All communicants of this Church who for the previous year have been faithful in corporate worship, unless for good cause prevented, and have been faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God, are to be considered communicants in good standing.
Doctrine of Conformity (from the canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia [11.8])
“I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and I do yield my hearty assent and approbation to the doctrines, worship, and discipline of The Episcopal Church; and I promise that I will faithfully execute the office of Vestry member of St. George’s Church in Region One in the City of Fredericksburg, according to my best knowledge and skill.”
The Episcopal Church Canons state that: “the Vestry shall be agents and legal representatives of the Parish in all matters concerning its corporate property and the relations of the Parish to its Clergy.” (Title 1 Canon 14.2)
Vestry Stewardship Statement
We the vestry of St. George’s Episcopal Church, recognizing our baptismal covenant and the duty of all Christians to work, pray and give for the spread of kingdom of God, hereby commit to the following:
- We will offer our time and talent as church leaders and encourage others to join with us through service on committees, commissions, ministries and missions of the parish and diocese.
- We will treat each other compassionately and respectfully, be open to the opinions of others, and be prayerful in considering issues and in making decisions.
- We will be good stewards of parish resources. We will ensure that those resources are used to further the work of the Church and will be open and honest about how those resources are expended.
- We will be leaders in giving of our financial resources and, with God’s help, will live into the tithe as the minimum standard of giving.
May God grant us the grace to live into these promises.
Vestry commissions (formal ministry oversight groups with a liaison from the vestry who attend meetings and report back to vestry twice a year). All ministries at St. George’s should fit under the heading of one or more of these commissions.
Stewardship, Worship and Music, Pastoral Care, Adult Christian Education, Fellowship, Communications, World Mission, Children’s Formation, Newcomers, Outreach, Youth, Connections
Vestry committees (working groups under vestry leadership). These committees assist the vestry in carrying out its canonical mandates (see above). Finance (chaired by a vestry member), Buildings and grounds (chaired by junior warden). Personnel (senior and junior wardens are members).