Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Vestry

As we approach our annual meeting at St. Columba’s we are working on plans, budgets and yes, the vestry election. The vestry and the work the vestry accomplishes in a parish are important. We all know the vestry is about the business of the parish. Traditionally this has meant things financial. If you read the canons, they set up a dichotomy between things spiritual and things financial. The clergy handle spiritual and the vestry handle temporal.

I am not sure the split has ever been a terribly helpful way of approaching parish ministry. The separation of spiritual and temporal strikes me as artificial and patently false. Conceptually, the separation conspires to make the vestry like any other board, and I don’t believe that is meet or right.

At St. Columba’s, the vestry and clergy work together to shape and enliven the ministry of our church. Our spiritual commitment dictates how we do our business, because the Spirit is at our core. At each vestry meeting, a member of the vestry offers an opening reflection. It has been an important way to know one another and remember what we are about as a vestry. Members of the vestry often speak of what they have gained through their service.

I see the vestry as a group of spiritual leaders, gathered to do the work of the Church. We are responsible for the physical aspects of the life of the community. The life of the Church is about much more than buildings and budgets. We seek to be faithful.

The red doors on the church symbolize the presence of the Holy Spirit. Clergy and vestry seek the Spirit’s presence in our parish. I hope you will consider offering your gifts for the service of your parish.

1 comment:

Pat said...

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