St. George’s will gather for its annual meeting to elect the next class of vestry members on Dec 9 at 10:00 a.m. in the church nave at a combined meeting and worship service. There will be no 9 or 11:15 services. We will still hold the 7:45 and 5:30 services but voting will only occur at 10. The meeting and service are open to everyone.
Why are we shifting to a different format this year?
The main business of the annual meeting is electing four vestry members for 3-year terms. Our Episcopal church canons (laws) require us to “elect” vestry members. Many of us have struggled with this process as it means some people are chosen while others may feel rejected. Selecting church leaders is rightfully a spiritual discernment of whom God is calling, not a popularity contest. Conducting the election in the context of a worship service will set a more prayerful mood. Last year we offered voting opportunities at all the services. This was really stretching the limits of how the Diocese expects us to conduct the election. We will only vote during the 10:00 a.m. service and meeting this year. And again, I hope that it will bring an enhanced sense of discerning God’s will together.
The canons stipulate that only registered members of the parish, in good standing (actively attending and financially contributing) are eligible to vote. If you are not sure if you are registered, please contact the church office asap. We operate the election on the honor system. If you are not eligible to vote, we ask that you participate by praying during the election portion of the service while others fill out their ballots.
By combining the meeting with our principal worship service, I hope that we have a greater sense of participation as a whole congregation than we have had at separate meetings in Sydnor Hall. I encourage as many people to attend as possible from all the services so that we can see and pray with one another. Some have expressed concern that the children in the service may get restless. We will provide a special activity for kids to do during the announcements which will be somewhat extended but not too much. We are spreading out elements of the meeting throughout the service, so that it will flow along. There will also be fewer reports as we have had at other annual meetings. My hope is to have a meeting in February 2019 to give a true “annual report” of 2018.
As always I welcome your feedback and ideas. As we try a new thing, I pray God blesses our meeting and gives us wisdom and grace as we worship and give thanks for St. George’s and the opportunities we have to serve, care, learn, pray, give, and grow together.
Your rector and brother in Christ,