Patrick Reilly, Rector’s Warden • Evangeline Wells, Vestry Warden
Nancy Searles, Clerk • Evelyn Hanneman, Treasurer
Bruce Roach, Assistant Treasurer
Beth Arthur, Sharon DeLand, Marian Frear, Tom Harmon, Gary Jacobson, Michelle McKenzie,
Teresa Neudecker, Margie Polito, Bruce Roach, Bill Robinson, Evangeline Wells, and Georgia Will
Michiel Bourdrez, Bill Kirtley, Luri Owen, and Jennifer Kepesh
A VESTRY COVENANT
St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(Adopted May 2016 and updated February 2020)
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 & All Angels Episcopal Church that we will seek to order our common life according to the following values:
Our common spiritual life
In order for Vestry service to be spiritually rewarding and an opportunity for growth in “making faith a way of life,” we will begin each meeting with prayer, reflection, and meditation
to “slow down” and listen to the Spirit to maintain a focus
on the spiritual as well as on the practical side of parish life.
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 always to be 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-some ministries in the parish,
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 usually be held the third Sunday of each month from 12:30 to 2:30 pm,
with lunch provided by the members on a rotating basis.
To facilitate effective meetings, agenda topics can be proposed to the Rector or Wardens. Agendas and meeting documents are sent out in advance of the meeting; as participants we will come prepared, having read them. When topics require longer discussion time on the agenda, some written reports not requiring Vestry action may stand as submitted. Presenters are encouraged to avoid restating content already presented in the written report.