An Annual Parish Meeting of the Church for the election of Vestrypersons, presenting annual reports, and the conducting of such other business as the Rector and Vestry deems necessary shall be held in the first half of the year.” These words from our Bylaws may sound dry, but they call us into an important part of our life together as a church family. The Annual Meeting gives us the opportunity to be together, to review the Lord’s faithfulness from the past year, and to look ahead to God’s future for Immanuel in the coming year.
It is also a time of prayer and discernment. One important place of discernment is the election of our next Vestry Members to succeed the outgoing ones. (Please remember to review the candidates’ biographies and begin praying now.) Here’s how the Election will proceed:
1. Immediately after the service, we’ll enjoy the usual hospitality and food provided by the Fellowship Committee. During that time, “Eligible Voters” must stop by the table under the monitor in the Narthex to receive their ballots, but will not yet mark the ballots. Wait for prayer!(Our Bylaws define a “Eligible Voters” as “those Members of the Church who are eighteen years or over, who are also recognized by the Rector as regular worshippers at the Church, and who are known by the Treasurer as regular contributors.” For the past several weeks we have had signature sheets available in the Narthex for you to verify your eligibility. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact Alan Clark, Sr. Warden and Chair of the Nominating Committee, as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
2. At the ringing of the bell, we’ll regather in the Nave to begin the Annual Meeting. After the Call to Order, our Registrar, Becky Ragon, will announce whether we have the necessary quorum (“one-fourth of the votes entitled to be cast”). Provided we have the quorum, the Senior Warden/Chair of the Nominating Committee will introduce the Candidates. I’ll then call the congregation to a time of silent prayer, listening for the Lord’s guidance.
3. After praying, Eligible Voters will mark their ballots, which will then be collected by the Ushers.
4. As the meeting continues, the Registrar and two non-Vestry members (Tyra Harpster and Randy Murch) will count the votes.
5. At the conclusion of the Annual Meeting, the Registrar will certify the vote, and I will announce the results.
6. We’ll then pray through a brief liturgy to decommission the outgoing Vestry Members, and commission our newly elected Vestry Members.
In between casting your ballots and announcing the results of the election, you’ll hear reports from several leaders in our Immanuel community, and I’ll conclude by sharing what the Lord is conveying to me for our priorities and focus for 2024. The Annual Meeting will run no longer than one hour. I strongly encourage all of you to attend.
As I think about being together with you, I’m reminded of Paul’s words about the Thessalonians: “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.”
Your Pastor in Christ,