This past Monday evening, your new Vestry met for the first time. Our outgoing Vestry members shared their gratefulness for the past years of service, and offered wisdom for the future. We then expressed our gratefulness for them, prayed for them one more time, and waved as they logged out of Zoom.
And then our continuing Vestry members – Kent Avery, Jim Ewart, Barbara Finney, Rich Garon, and Cheryl Timmons – welcomed our new vestry members – Alan Clark, Karen Groat, Phil Westcott, and George Wright.
The first actions of the Vestry were the unanimous approval of my appointment of Rich Garon as Senior Warden, and the nomination and unanimous election of Phil Westcott as Junior Warden. (Both of these are annual appointments.) We are grateful to these two men for their humility, wisdom, and readiness to serve.
Another important activity was our review of the “Vestry Covenant”, which includes this statement:
The Vestry of Immanuel is a community of leaders who are committed to the successful fulfillment of the Calling and Mission of our church. We will work diligently for a unified understanding of where God is leading Immanuel. When we disagree, our discussions will be open to difference. We will speak to one another with love and grace. We will assume positive intent. We will work prayerfully and intentionally together to discern God’s plan and path. Once we have settled on an outcome, we will present a unified front to the parish.
I include it here as a reminder to you of the role of the Vestry, and the importance of your prayer and support. While their work includes important decisions and activities regarding the finances, programs, and structures of the church, their purpose is rooted in the vision and mission of Immanuel. The charge given in The Rector and the Vestry (a book we studied together this past year) articulates this well:
You have been…elected to be a faithful steward of this God-blessed, Christ-centered, Holy Spirit-empowered, faith-based, longest-lasting world-changing enterprise. This is the work you are to do.
Would you commit to praying regularly for our Vestry, and to be on the lookout for ways to encourage them?
Your Pastor in Christ,