Running a church is no easy task.
On the one hand, Church of the Holy Communion is the religious home base for more than 1,200 people. It provides worship and fellowship opportunities for disciples of all ages, weddings and funerals, community service and Christian formation. And, lately, it has been doing all of these things online and in other new, socially-distanced ways!
On the other hand, Church of the Holy Communion is a non-profit organization with almost $2 million in annual revenue; 31 employees; 50,000 square feet of facilities; and a multi-dimensional partnership with St. Mary’s Episcopal School, one of the largest and most prominent independent schools for girls in our region.
Jesus said that one hand should not know what the other hand is doing, but Holy Communion’s vestry makes sure to keep track of both. Members of the vestry are spiritual leaders and temporal leaders all rolled into one. They make sure that Holy Communion stays focused on its core mission while also ensuring that its business practices are sound and sustainable.
“Serving on the vestry is not an easy job, but it is a hugely rewarding one,” said Fr. Sandy Webb, reflecting on the eleven different vestries with whom he has served as a priest. “Any one parishioner can have a huge impact on the future direction of her parish by serving on the vestry.”
Vestry members with experience in philanthropy set the stage for success in our recent capital campaign. Vestry members with experience in business developed the strategy that let us expand and enhance our staff in recent years. Vestry members with experience in listening and reflection discerned our statement of mission priorities and the strategic plan that followed.
“The vestry is also my closest group of advisors,” Fr. Sandy added. “They are the people to whom I turn when I need advice, or when I need to get a sense of what the congregation is thinking and feeling.”
Vestry member Liz Crowder is serving as chair of the 2021 vestry nominating committee. “In the coming year, Church of the Holy Communion will be thinking a lot about reentry, health and safety, and technology. If you are someone who has a special skill set that lends itself to these issues, we need you to consider serving on the vestry.”
The work of the vestry nominating committee is to assemble a list of parishioners that would serve our church well on the vestry, either now or in the future. All parishioners are able to recommend themselves or others for this important work. Vestry nominees must be members on the rolls, givers of record, confirmed, and eighteen years of age or older.
Vestry members serve for three-year terms and five seats come available every year. The vestry will draw from the names assembled by the nominating committee to create a slate of five people who will bring the particular suite of gifts and skills that Holy Communion needs at this creative and challenging time.
The slate that is curated by the vestry will be presented for election at the Annual Parish Meeting in January. In accordance with Holy Communion's by-laws, additional nominations from the floor can be made at the Annual Parish Meeting.
- Parishioners are encouraged to nominate themselves as well as others to serve on the vestry.
- The nominating committee seeks diversity of perspectives among its vestry members. We are looking for a cross-section of people of diverse age groups, genders, and Sunday service attendance. We also encourage the nomination of parishioners who have recently joined Holy Communion from other faith.
- Time Commitment: The vestry meets once a month, and meetings last from 1-2 hours. Vestry members are expected to prepare thoroughly for vestry meetings and participate actively. Vestry members are also expected to serve on the committees and task forces that advance the vestry’s work in between meetings.
- Vestry Retreat: The vestry historically gathers for a retreat at the beginning of each year. Attendance is required. While the pandemic may require a change of plans, the dates for next year’s vestry retreat are currently set for February 5-6, 2021.
To make a nomination, please contact any current member of the Church of the Holy Communion vestry at your earliest convenience.
2021 Vestry Nominating Committee
Liz Crowder, Chair