Annual Parochial Meeting This Sunday
We will hold the Annual Parochial Meeting (APM) this coming Sunday, January 26. Fortunately, this year the weather promises to be kinder to us than often has been the case at the end of January.
This Sunday we will have
only one service at 9:30
runch will follow, then the business meeting. We hope to be finished in short order so as not to take more of your Sunday than necessary. Childcare will be provided.
Why is attendance at the APM important? Well it’s the same question as why is it important to vote in elections. The answer is, our democracy requires it of us. The Episcopal Church has a constitutional structure that shares authority and responsibility equally between lay and clerical leadership. While the rector is responsible for the ordering of worship and the administration of the sacraments, preaching, teaching, and pastoral care, lay leadership is responsible for finances and physical buildings and environs. While shaping the vision for the community relies heavily on continual consultation with the membership, it is to the rector and vestry that ultimate responsibility for decision-making lies.
Although it can be a matter of deep regret, the APM can’t do much about the rector but it is responsible for the election of church officers and new members to the vestry – the parish’s governing board. This year we will take time to thank John Bracken as he stands down after five years as Junior and then Senior Warden. During that time, John's model of servant leadership has guided us through a time of demanding transitions. David Brookhart will become Senior Warden and we will elect Cathy Bodner as the new Junior Warden. In addition, we will elect a slate of ten new vestry members, five of whom are new to the parish in the last two years. This will double the size of the 2020 vestry from that of 2019.
The election of new lay leaders and the reception of the budget are the two key responsibilities of the APM. By reception of the budget I don’t mean approval - that is the responsibility of the vestry. Gone are the days of long and elaborate financial presentations! At the APG Mary Gray, our current Treasurer, will present the budget as a narrative supported by key slides. The meeting will then be asked to receive the budget. In this way leadership ensures public transparency in the way we get and spend our money and also opens itself to questions from the membership. In addition, the APM receives written reports on the previous year’s activities from the church wardens, treasurer, and church ministries leaders. The rector presents a state of the parish address during the sermon time, a written copy of which is included in the report handouts.
This year, Peter Lofgren as supervising architect will give a short presentation on the recent completion of the church restoration and David Brookhart will outline a process and timeline with regard to moving into a capital campaign. One pleasure reserved to me is to be able to thank the outgoing vestry members for their service.
Do please make an effort to attend worship and APM this Sunday. I look forward to seeing you then.