About the Vestry
The canons of the Episcopal Church establish the vestry as the legal governing and decision-making body of a parish church, consisting of the rector and elected lay representatives. The canons provide that the rector is responsible for the conduct of services and for teaching the faith to children and adults, and the vestry is responsible for approving budgets, making policy, approving expenditures and property management. There are some parallels with the responsibilities of corporate directors. Just as a key duty of a board of directors is the selection of a chief executive officer, a key responsibility of the vestry is selecting, or calling, the rector with input from a parish search committee and the bishop in the process and ultimately the bishop’s approval of the candidate selected.
The Old Donation vestry consists of 12 members serving staggered three-year terms. Each year, the term expires for four vestry members, and four new vestry members are elected at the annual parish meeting held at the beginning of the calendar year. The vestry elects a senior and a junior warden.
At Old Donation there are committees called Commissions, appointed to oversee and conduct the various aspects of parish life and work. Vestry members serve as Commission Liaisons to coordinate and help further the responsibilities of the individual Commissions. The Vestry members, and each member’s Commission Liaison responsibility, are listed (along with their phone numbers and email addresses) on the back page of each Sunday’s service bulletin.
We are working in year three of a new 5 year plan that was developed and agreed upon at the end of 2008. This plan establishes direction, based on a year long discernment process done by the Long Range Planning Committee and the vestry. Their question was: what is God calling for us to be and do in the next 5 to 10 years.