Job Descriptions and Parish of the Epiphany Vestry Policies taken from the 2018 Vestry Orientation Book
The most recent Parish of the Epiphany By-laws can be found here
VESTRY JOB DESCRIPTION (3-year term, unless completing a term underway) The work of the vestry has two faces, leadership (both spiritual and temporal) and management. The vestry engages in short and long range planning and reviews the congregation’s mission, programs, staff and facilities. The vestry strives to ensure adequate resources and effective stewardship to accomplish our mission. The vestry keeps the congregation informed about their work and encourages clear and direct communication. The vestry is also responsible for the congregation’s visible presence in the wider community. Vestry members are encouraged to see themselves as spiritual and evangelical beings and as co-creators of ministry with the rector and other staff members. Vestry members should be able to make the following time commitments: vestry meetings (generally the third Wednesday of each month), committee work, vestry retreat, annual meeting, weekly worship services, and congregational events (taking care to seek out old friends and new). Vestry members must generously give of their time, talent and treasure if they expect other members of the congregation to do so.
WARDEN JOB DESCRIPTION (2-year term; up to 3 consecutive terms) The wardens are elected members of the vestry and provide leadership to the vestry and to the congregation. In addition to presiding at vestry meetings and the vestry responsibilities noted above, the wardens meet regularly with the rector to review the life and work of the congregation, plan ahead, anticipate and resolve problems. Frequent emails are common. Wardens are available to discuss any and all concerns with the rector and with members of the congregation. Wardens are expected to attend services and most church events. Wardens also support and assist the rector, doing whatever needs to be done, and they take special care for the personal well-being of the rector and his family. Wardens are accountable to both the rector and the parish. The wardens sit on the executive committee.
CLERK JOB DESCRIPTION (1-year term; up to 5 consecutive terms) The clerk is an elected member of the vestry with the responsibilities and time commitment noted for vestry. In addition, the clerk distributes agendas and minutes from previous meetings prior to each vestry meeting, takes minutes at each vestry meeting, corrects and finalizes the minutes, and sees to it that they are signed and appropriately posted. The clerk also posts the notice for the annual meeting and takes minutes and recaps vestry meetings for the 3 Crowns newsletter and writes official notes from the parish when directed to do so. The clerk sits on the executive committee.
TREASURER JOB DESCRIPTION (1 year term; up to 6 consecutive terms) The treasurer is an elected member of the vestry with the responsibilities and time commitment noted for vestry. In addition, the treasurer is responsible for the weekly oversight of collections and deposits, periodic payment of bills, and monthly generation of accounting reports. The treasurer must ensure that the congregation’s financial operations are in accordance with canons, bylaws, state and federal laws, and that bills are paid in a timely fashion. The treasurer chairs the finance committee and oversees budget development. Monthly reports are submitted to the vestry and an annual financial report submitted to the congregation at the annual meeting. The treasurer sits on the executive committee.
ASSOCIATE TREASURER JOB DESCRIPTION (1-year term; up to 6 consecutive terms) The associate treasurer is an elected member of the vestry with the responsibilities and time commitment noted for vestry. In addition, the associate treasurer is a member of the finance committee and assists the Treasurer with the duties described above. The associate treasurer sits on the executive committee.
CONVENTION DELEGATE JOB DESCRIPTION (1-year term) The two convention delegates represent Parish of the Epiphany as voting members at the annual Diocesan Convention and the occasional special convention. Convention is held on a Friday-Saturday at the beginning of November, often in the Boston area, sometimes farther away. Prior to convention there are evening forums held in various locations at which delegates can learn about and discuss the elections and resolutions to be considered by the convention. If one of the convention delegates is unable to attend convention then a convention alternate will be asked to attend as a voting delegate. The two convention alternates may choose to attend convention as non-voting members.
These Policies have been adopted and modified by the Vestry to supplement the Parish Bylaws (to see the Parish's By-laws please click here) and to provide an orderly basis for Vestry and Parish operations. The Parish Bylaws and the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese are the governing documents under which these Policies exist, and conflicts between Vestry Policies and those documents will be resolved in favor of the latter. These Policies may be amended or supplemented at any time by Vestry vote. It is recommended that all Policies be reviewed periodically, at least every five years, to ensure that they remain consistent with Parish practice and the governing documents.
1. Vestry Role and Responsibility
A. Membership The vestry of the Parish of the Epiphany comprises those officers elected to represent the members in governing the affairs of the Parish in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, and the By-laws of the Parish, plus the rector. As many as three of the fifteen elected members of the Vestry may be at least sixteen years and less then twenty years of age at the time of their election. Vacancies will be filled following provisions of the Parish Bylaws, Article III, Section 3, Elections. Approved November 20, 2013
B. Expectations The vestry seeks to promote full communication between parishioners and the clergy and officers of the Parish, to model responsible participation in all aspects of Parish affairs, and to develop a fair and informed view on Parish-wide issues. During their terms of office Vestry members will: attend monthly Vestry meetings and serve on at least one Parish committee; participate in key activities of the Parish, including worship services; participate in annual pledging of their financial and human resources, including stewardship activities; participate in special events during the church year; bring concerns of Parish members and their respective committees to the attention of the vestry.
C. Responsibilities In addition to the responsibilities of the vestry and its members set forth in the Bylaws, the vestry will hold and annual retreat at which, among other matters, the roles of the Wardens, Treasurer and Associate Treasurer, Clerk, committees, and Vestry are discussed.
D. Meetings Except in cases on emergency, notice of Vestry meetings will be provided to all Vestry members at least forty-eight hours in advance. All Vestry meetings are normally open to members of the Parish. A quorum for conduct of business is defined in Article XI of the Bylaws. It is policy, however, that at least one of the following be in attendance: Warden, Treasurer, or Clerk . A lesser number may adjourn a meeting. Members may attend meetings and vote by telephone, provided that only the members physically present will count toward the quorum.
E. Electronic Votes Electronic votes may be taken between physical meetings of the Vestry for the purpose of resolving discrete time-critical issues — either previously discussed in a physical meeting of the Vestry or not requiring discussion — that need to be addressed between meetings. Electronic votes are called at the discretion of a Warden or by any officer of the Parish with the concurrence of a second officer. Multiple electronic votes may be active concurrently, but an electronic vote may not be active during a physical meeting. The motion to be voted on shall be distributed to the entire Vestry by the party calling the vote. That information shall contain, at a minimum, the text of the motion and the name of the person proposing the motion. The starting date shall be the date that the vote is called and, unless otherwise specified, the ending date shall be 10 calendar days after the starting date. The first voter to respond with an affirmative vote to the motion will be listed as the second for the motion. All votes shall be sent to the person proposing the motion, with a copy to the Clerk. The quorum for and number of votes needed to approve an electronic vote shall be the same as for an in-person meeting. If the required number of votes to assure the result of the vote has been received, the officer calling the vote may then announce the result. All votes will remain open until the end date of the vote or until all eligible voters have voted, whichever comes first. The final tally of votes shall be recorded and announced by the party calling the vote; however, specific votes by individual members shall not be included. Results of all electronic votes between physical meetings will be recorded in the minutes of the next Vestry meeting. Approved January 18, 2011
F. Executive Session From time to time, specific circumstances (e.g., sensitive personnel or legal matters) may warrant that some portion of a vestry meeting be conducted in executive session. Executive sessions provide a venue for handling issues that are best discussed in private, for fostering robust discourse, for strengthening trust and communication, and for ensuring confidentiality. Executive sessions enable the vestry to manage itself. They are, by definition, exclusive to vestry members, but others, such as professional advisors, may be invited to join for part or all of the session. The minutes of the regular meeting state when the vestry goes into executive session and when it comes out. Separate minutes of an executive session are maintained and include votes to convene and adjourn the executive session as well as reports of any action taken, with names and details omitted, as appropriate, to protect the confidential nature of the action. Executive session minutes do not include details of deliberations. Executive session minutes are not approved as part of the regular minutes, nor are they posted publicly. Instead, they are reviewed by two additional members of the vestry, usually the wardens or a warden and the rector, and maintained in a secure file in the rector’s office. Approved July 16, 2014