Role of the Vestry
The Vestry is the elected lay leadership of our church that acts under the bylaws of our parish. Prior to the merger of both parishes into the current single All Saints and Ascension parish, each parish had its own governing body. At All Saints, the five member governing body was the Vestry. At Ascension, the Bishops Committee consisted of five members that governed their parish.
At the Annual Meeting of the unified parish on January 28, 2018, the united congregation voted to keep all ten of these people to collectively become the new Vestry of the unified Episcopal Church of All Saints and Ascension. To ease with transition, all ten of these people agreed to remain in office until 2019. From this group of ten, the Priest-in-Charge appoints a Senior Warden per our bylaws.
In general, the duties of the Vestry include responsibility for management of parish assets, decisions regarding financial obligations and contractual matters, participation in congregation meetings. Other duties are to be in compliance with applicable federal and state laws, and with the Canons of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Missouri.
Vestry members also serve as liaison between the parishioners and the clergy and parish staff. While clergy is responsible for a congregation’s spiritual and pastoral needs, parishioners with concerns about parish management or upkeep should bring them to a member of the Vestry. And when the time comes, it is also the responsibility of the Vestry to call a Rector who, among his or her other duties, serves as the chairperson of the Vestry.
Specifically, according to the by-laws of the Episcopal Church of All Saints and Ascension, the duties and responsibilities of the Vestry shall be to:
- take charge of the property and/or assets of the parish
- attend to and regulate all its temporal concerns
- provide for the support of the Rector/Priest-In-Charge
- in the case of Rector/Priest-In-Charge disability, death, retirement, resignation or removal, to obtain a replacement as soon as possible (with the advice and consent of the Bishop)
- act as helpers to the Rector/Priest-In-Charge in whatever is appropriate to the laity, for furtherance of the gospel and mission of this parish. (Note: It is understood always that the spiritual concerns and “best interest” of the Parish are under the exclusive direction of the Rector/Priest-In-Charge, in subordination to the Ecclesiastical Authority and Laws of the Diocese of Missouri).
- be the fiduciary, agent and legal representative of the Parish in all things and matters concerning its corporate duties and responsibilities, and proper management of the Parish’s property/assets. (Note: No mortgage, encumbrances, acquisition or conveyance of any interest in real property belonging to, or that may be acquired by the parish shall be made without two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the Vestry, and the prior written approval of the Bishop, by and with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee of the Diocese).
- make a full report to the membership of its proceedings and a complete statement of the financial condition of the Parish at each Annual Meeting of the Parish.
Vestry Members for 2018
- Betty Brown
- Walter Fox
- Michael Griffin (Sr. Warden)
- Sondra Harrell
- Prince Thomas (Jr. Warden)
- Annie White (Parish Clerk)
- Gaylard Williams
- Margarett Williams
- William Young