Program Job Description – Vestry

Last updated: January 4th, 2015                        Back to Job Descriptions page

Program:

Vestry

Mission:

In partnership with clergy and staff, the vestry provides leadership and management of parish affairs to further the mission of the congregation

Vestry Contact:

NA

Members:

See the Vestry page.

 

Responsibilities:

Senior Warden

<See separate Wardens job description?>

Junior Warden

<See separate Wardens job description>

Treasurer

<See separate Treasurer job description>

Clerk

<See separate clerk job description>

Vestry Member

  • Provide leadership:
    • Demonstrate a love of God and a commitment to following Christ
    • Discern and articulate the congregation’s mission.  Empower and encourage the congregation to live out that mission
    • Ensure effective short and long-term congregational planning
    • Ensure adequate resources and effective stewardship
    • Establish and monitor programs and services
    • Communicate with the congregation and establish a visible presence for the parish in the wider community
  • Manage parish affairs:
    • Ensure effective budgeting, resource allocation and setting of objectives
    • Establish structures, policies and procedures
    • Responsible for hiring, training, evaluation and compensation of staff
    • Monitor parish progress vs. plan and take corrective action as needed
  • Attend:
    • Weekly worship services
    • Congregational event
    • Monthly vestry meetings
    • Yearly vestry retreat
    • Annual Meeting
  • Execute canonical responsibilities:
    • Act as agents and legal representatives of the Parish in all matters concerning its corporate property and the relations of the parish to its clergy
    • Ensure that standard business practices are observed
    • When a parish is without a rector, the officers of the vestry are responsible for the continuation of worship, including the calling of a new rector
    • Submit nominations of persons for holy orders

Calendar:

Monthly

  • Hold vestry meeting (currently 3rd Tuesday of each month)

Jan.

  • Approve  final budget
  • Review vestry and officer job descriptions and update

Feb.

  • Elect new vestry members at Annual Meeting
  • Hold vestry retreat

Mar.

  • Oversee audit of previous year by FinCom audit committee
  • Form Gala Committee

Apr.

  • Hold annual review of Buildings and Grounds projects

May

  • Ensure Stewardship Committee is formed

July

  • NO VESTRY MEETING

Sept.

  • Ask for budget requests from all committees

Nov

  • Review strawman budget

Dec

  • Review draft budget
  • Ask for annual reports from all committees

References:

The Vestry Resource Guide
 All Saints’ Parish Bylaws
Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
Canons of the Episcopal Church

Useful Info:

The vestry is the body that provides the overall leadership of the congregation and manages parish affairs.  The vestry is not, however, a board of directors or a senior management team.  The vestry is a sacred ministry charged with helping the parish to discern and fulfill its mission.  As such, it is important that vestry members develop a trusting relationship with each other, with the rector, and with members of the congregation.  The work of the vestry is done in close partnership with the rector (or priest-in-charge).  The rector is responsible for the spiritual and worship life of the parish while the vestry is responsible for the temporal affairs of the parish.  In practice, the vestry and the rector act as a team to manage all aspects of parish life.At All Saints’, the vestry consists of 9 members and 4 officers.  The officers are Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer and Clerk.  The role of a vestry member includes the following:

  • You commit to serving a three year term (unless elected to serve out a shorter term created by the departure of a current vestry member).
  • You attend the Annual Meeting which takes place after the 10 pm service on a Sunday in late January or early February.  Your election to the vestry is voted on at this meeting.
  • You attend a Vestry Retreat which usually occurs in Feb.  This retreat takes place over a Friday evening and a Saturday until about 2pm.  It may involve an overnight stay if it is done off-site.
  • You attend a monthly vestry meeting on the third Tuesday of the month.  (If you cannot attend in a given month, you must inform the Junior Warden that you will be absent.)
    • Before the vestry meeting there is a shared supper.  Once a year, you will be asked to host the meeting which means that you provide the food.
    • The meeting is facilitated by the rector.  You should engage in discussion and provide your input and insight to the issues under consideration.
    • You are asked to serve as the vestry contact for one or more programs.  These are usually programs you are already involved with.  At the vestry meeting, you will be given a chance to report on any significant happenings with that program.
    • At the meeting, we decide who should get thank you notes from the vestry. You will be asked to sign up to write thank you notes once a year.
  • You lead the congregation by example which includes:
    • Attending weekly worship services
    • Attending parish functions and fellowship events
    • Engaging in discussion with parishioners to understand their concerns
    • Supporting the parish with a financial pledge