Vestry Elections and Delegate Selection on June 4th

By: 
Mary LoSardo

Each year, elections to the vestry take place in conjunction with the annual meeting. This year's meeting is on Sunday, June 4th.  Delegates to the annual diocesan convention (held each January in Parsippany NJ) will also be selected.  

To help folks understand what the vestry does and the commitment entailed, we've developed a brief description. (This also appears in the brochure The Vestry: Serving God and the Trinity Family,  availbe in the narthex of the church.)

What is a Vestry?

In formal terms, “The vestry is the legal representative of the parish with regard to all matters pertaining to its corporate property” (www.episcopalchurch.org).

First and foremost, the vestry members help define and communicate the mission of the parish and support that mission by word and deed.  

Vestry members are also called upon to ensure effective management of resources and finances.  They play an important role in parish planning and organization.  Finally, they are responsible for selecting a new rector whenever the position is vacant.

The presiding officer of the vestry is the rector and vestry members are elected at the annual meeting. There are two wardens. The senior warden leads the parish between rectors and is a support person for the rector. The junior warden often has responsibility for church property and buildings. In general, a vestry also has a treasurer and a secretary or clerk.  A non-vestry member may fill the position of treasurer.  

Membership on the vestry is a serious commitment of time, talent and treasure, but it is also a rewarding experience.  It is an opportunity to work together as a team, growing a vibrant community and committing to be a follower of Jesus in prayer, words and actions.

What does it mean to be a member of the Trinity Vestry?

Vestry members play an active role in ALL parish activities.  Many serve on one or more committees (Buildings & Grounds, Personnel, Hospitality, Programs, Fundraising) and participate in the various Parish ministries.

The members of the Vestry are also officers and trustees of the Windmill Alliance (WMA) and are expected to attend Board meetings and provide support for its activities.

Vestry meetings begin at 11:15 AM on the second Sunday of the month and are held from October through June.  These meetings generally last about an hour and cover reports on programs, finances and various parish committee activities. The September meeting is held on a Saturday.  It is a lengthier meeting and involves workshop activities.  

The wardens serve a two-year term; the other members of the vestry serve three-year terms.  Vestry elections take place at Trinity Parish’s annual meeting  (June 4th this year).  At this meeting, we will be electing a Senior Warden and two vestry members.

If you would like to learn more about serving on the Vestry, consider

  • Attending one of the next vestry meeting
  •  Reviewing the minutes of the most recent Vestry meetings posted on our parish website.
  • Talking to Father Greg or a current vestry member

Also, you may wish to consider serving our Parish by joining one of the  following committees:

Parish Committees   (as of April 2017)

Audit:  Completes annual audit for the Diocese; members must NOT be members of the Vestry for the year being audited.

Buildings and Grounds:  Reports on issues affecting the physical plant; obtains bids from contractors and recommends actions to be taken.

Finance:  Reviews parish finances and budgets, preparing the annual budget and presenting it to the vestry for approval. 

Fund-Raising:  Plans, organizes and administers such activities as the annual  parish dinner, casino bus rides, and the like.

Hospitality:   Plans and organizes fellowship events, such as the quarterly potlucks and Easter brunch.

Stewardship:  Encourages parishioners to share their time, talent and treasure throughout the year.   

Personnel:  Defines job responsibilities for parish staff members, assists the rector in selecting candidates for open positions, and recommends salary adjustment to the vestry.

Programs:  Develop activities in response to needs identified by Trinity members.