Jane McGuire, Rector’s Warden • David Odegard, Vestry Warden
Nancy Searles, Clerk • Ann Petersen, Treasurer
Susan Blasco, Assistant Treasurer
Karen Cobb, Natty Plunkett, Albert Gonzales, Bill Kirtley, Stacy Moses,
David Odegard, Kathleen Moore, Robin Swift, Jennifer Kepesh, Liz Fitzgerald,
Michiel Bourdrez, and Cori Hetzel
Cathy Bailey, Teresa Neudecker, Barbara Koenig, and Dale Lange
A VESTRY COVENANT
St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(Adopted May 2016 and updated February 2018)
Called by Jesus Christ into communion with him and community with one another, we are committed to following his new commandment that we should “Love one another as he has loved us” (John 16:12). To that end, and in service to his church and the world, we covenant together as the rector, wardens, officers, and vestry of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church that we will seek to order our common life according to the following values:
Our common spiritual life
In order to make Vestry service spiritually rewarding and an opportunity for growth, we will begin each meeting with prayer, reflection, and five minutes of meditation to maintain a focus on the spiritual as well as on the practical side of parish life. Vestry may enter five minutes of silence in order to “slow down” to listen to Holy Spirit.
We will seek to remain grounded in scripture as we consider the various issues that come before us, the priorities we set, and the decisions we make.
To support and encourage one another both in our work together and in our individual lives, we will hold each other, and the parish at large, in regular prayer.
Our personal relationships
We will endeavor to be always kind and caring to one another, sharing our pastoral concerns and burdens, and holding each person in an unconditional positive regard by assuming the best of one another.
We will seek to create open conversational space so that all may speak and share their unique perspective and insight, and we will hear one another with an active, deep listening.
We will engage in lively discussion and debate on issues as necessary. We will acknowledge and, when possible, incorporate the wisdom of dissenting voices and differing opinions so that we can speak with a unified public voice supporting the Vestry’s common decisions and efforts.
We resolve to maintain a sense of humor in the conduct of our business, taking things lightly rather than ponderously, while also being aware of the impact our decisions have on the parish and individual lives within it.
We will provide opportunities for fellowship among ourselves, and seek to know one another as friends and colleagues.
We will be ready to help as we are able, and will follow through on the commitments we make in order to build a culture of trustworthiness and respect.
We will acknowledge our mistakes, bearing with one another in all things, and endeavor to learn from the experience with a spirit of forgiveness.
Our commitments to the parish
By agreeing to serve on the Vestry, we recognize the privilege and opportunity to live into the Gospel.
We are invested in service to the parish as a whole, and pledge to do so in a spirit of humility, honesty, transparency, and integrity that will maintain a congruity between our words and actions.
We will seek to lead by example in faithfulness, in generosity, and in celebration as we freely share our time, abilities, and resources.
We will seek to communicate openly and readily with the parish, making available minutes of our meetings and reporting regularly on important and relevant issues.
We will participate in the wider life of the parish as each of us is able and has interest and ability, especially its regular worship life.
We will respect appropriate confidentiality by taking our concerns to God in prayer, and seek to avoid triangulation of communication.
We will endeavor to maintain an attentive ear to concerns and ideas of the parish, and strive to make an accurate reporting of them to our fellow members.
We recognize the interdependence of all 60+ ministries and will strive to be mindful for the needs of all.
We will have an equal regard for the value and importance of each person in our community, as well as the newcomer, believing that in Christ “all lives matter.”
Knowing that we are charged with seeking the best for the whole parish, we will seek to maintain that focus and perspective, working to be educated and informed on matters that affect the congregation.
Our agreement on practical matters
We are mutually committed to regular attendance at Vestry and other committee meetings, agreeing that regular meetings of the Vestry will be held the third Sunday of each month from 12:30 to 2:30 pm.
To facilitate effective meetings, we will come prepared, having read any documents sent out in advance as a consent agenda. Time is allocated for questions only so that sufficient time is reserved for other agenda items that require deliberation. Presenters are encouraged to avoid restating everything already presented in the written report. We will also make any documents for which we are responsible available in a timely manner, but no later than by noon on the Friday preceding a meeting of the Vestry.