In the Episcopal Church, the Vestry is the group of lay members elected by their fellow parishioners to serve with the Rector (head priest) as the leadership and governing body of the Church. Through monthly and other special meetings, the Rector and Vestry are responsible to set and oversee the vision of ministry for the Church, and to conduct the business of the Church as required by Canon or civil law. All committees, commissions, or other church groups and their ministries come under the oversight of the Vestry. Vestry members are espected to....
Attend regularly scheduled meetings of the Vestry (the 3rd Thursday of every month)
Pray daily for the church and its ministry
Support and encourage the staff and Rector
Maintain responsible communication (which excludes gossip or hearsay) with the congregation
Participate in special events and gatherings of the parish as best as possible
Serve on one of four Oversight Committees of the Vestry
Attend three leadership training sessions offered by a “consultant” or the Rector
Be a Pledging member of the parish
As much as possible, be a visible participant in regular worship of the parish
2014 Vestry Members
ROBERT BARBER (2014)
ELLEN DOBBINS (2015)
WENDY DUNIGAN (2016)
ELIZABETH HILLS (2015)
NANCY MULLER (2015)
DUSTY PARKER (2014)
BETSY RACKOFF (2016)
WILLIAM RAVENEL (2016)
PAUL SYKES (2014)
JOE SYLVAN (2014)
JAN VAN NORTE (2015)
NICOLE WATTS (2015)
(Note: The years above indicate the final year of each Vestry Member's elected term.)
LAY PASTORAL CARE (formerly “Inreach”): Provides services to those within the parish; visiting the sick, hospitalized and homebound; providing meals, etc. Includes fundraising events, such as the annual BBQ, to serve the needs of parishioners. CHAIRS: Ellen Dobbins and Dusty Parker (overseen by Senior Warden).
PARISH LIFE: Provides oversight of all parish events, such as Foyer Groups, Tea Time, Blessing of the Animals, Parish Picnic, Blessing of the Backpacks, etc. Includes new member incorporation, hospitality, and all communication instruments, such as the website, The Deacon, and e-blasts. CHAIR: Nancy Muller (overseen by Senior Warden).
WORSHIP AND MUSIC: Includes recruitment, retention, and training of Ushers; oversight of Choir, Acolytes, Altar Guild, Flower Guild, Visiting Clergy, Prayer Team, and Lay Eucharistic Ministers. CHAIR: Nicole Watts (overseen by Rector).
CHRISTIAN FORMATION: Manages Youth and Adult formation and education, Sunday School, Adult Bible Study, Adult Forum, and Confirmation. CHAIRS: Elizabeth Hills and Robert Barber (overseen by Junior Warden).
MISSION (formerly “Outreach”): Identifies and supports St. Stephen’s work in the greater community outside the parish. Includes participation in mission projects as well as fundraising to support mission work. CHAIRS: William Ravenel, Betsy Rackoff, and Wendy Dunigan (overseen by Junior Warden).
ADMINISTRATION: Attends to Annual Meetings, Vestry Recruitment and Training, Sabbatical Leave, By-Laws, Finance, Personnel, Buildings and Grounds, and Long-Term Planning. CHAIRS: Paul Sykes and Elizabeth Hills (overseen by Senior Warden, Junior Warden, and Rector).
BERNARD “BEN” MACK, CHANCELLOR & BY-LAWS (Non-Voting)
VIRGINIA ARTHUR, VESTRY RECORDER
BRIAN HUSSAIN, TREASURER & FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIR
The Responsibilities of Vestry Members
• Provide a welcoming presence to visitors at services, wearing an identifying name tag
Serving on the vestry is a call to a sacred ministry. As the governing board of our church, it requires the application of baptismal vows to business experience in carrying out the mission and ministry of our congregation.
To be eligible to serve on the vestry, one must
• Be a confirmed or received member of the Episcopal Church enrolled as a member of the parish, 18 years of age or older
• Have been regular in attendance at church services in the year preceding election
• Made and maintained a financial pledge or have been a contributor of record in the year preceding the election
A vestry member is expected to
• Participate in the monthly vestry meeting held on the third Thursday at 6:00 pm
• Pledge financial support early in the stewardship campaign
• Serve as agents and legal representatives of the parish in all matters concerning corporate properties and the relations of the parish to its clergy
• Ensure that standard business methods as outline in canon law will be observed
• See that worship continues when a parish is without a Rector, and to call a new rector
• Serve as a leader of standing committee, such as Finance, Outreach, Personnel, Communication, Education, Hospitality, Pastoral Care, Building/Grounds, or Worship
• Serve on a rotating service schedule as a greeter and lock up the church afterwards
• Elect delegates to attend the annual diocesan convention
• Participate in the annual vestry planning retreat in February
• Write committee reports for the web site, Deacon, and annual report of the parish
• Respond in a timely manner to all vestry-related business, preferably via e-mail
• Work with the Rector to develop the spiritual life of the congregation
• Learn about the governance and responsibilities of the vestry
• Support, attend, and volunteer in as many parish events as possible
• Be enthusiastic and fair, and respect the dignity of every member of the parish
Please click below to download minutes from Vestry meetings.