Sunday, February 6, 2011

Report from the Vestry Retreat

At the 10:30 service, Lou gave a report on the Vestry retreat just concluded. For the benefit of those who were not there, I offer a bit of a summary here. No doubt, you will be hearing more through official channels in good time.

Lou mentioned a list of what he called “success stories” that the Vestry discussed. My own list might differ from (and be shorter than) Lou’s list, but I do think that two items deserve special notice. One was the resurrected Canterbury Choir. I look forward to hearing this children’s ensemble, which has sung at the 8:45 service and is to sing at the 10:30 at some unspecified time.

I don’t know just what successes can be attributed to the group working to make church friendly for special needs children so far, but I do think the initiative is both clever and pastoral. Of course, we will have to wait to see what becomes of it.

Lou also listed five objectives for the Vestry for the coming year. I list them here without giving much detail. I’m sure we will be learning more as the year progresses:
  1. Improve Vestry functioning. This includes improving communications with parishioners, “keeping Christ at the center” of Vestry deliberations, and working through consensus. (This last item is worrisome; “consensus” sometimes involves intimidating minorities. We’ll have to see how this works out in practice.)
  2. Continue to be a welcoming church.
  3. Improving our financial health. A finance committee has been formed to help keep finances on track.
  4. Respond to the feasibility study with a new proposal for a capital campaign. (I hope there is an opportunity for parishioners to have some influence over what this campaign looks like, but I fear another take-it-or-leave-it surprise.)
  5. Celebrate the parish’s 175th anniversary. (Curiously, we celebrated our 150th anniversary in 1987—the parish was founded in 1836—apparently one year late.)

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