Serving on a vestry is an important ministry for the health and well-being of a church. It can bring with it questions and challenges, as well as rewards. The Diocese of Maine wants to help helps wardens and vestries find resources necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. Wardens and vestries are also encouraged to share ideas and to help one another.
1. Subscribe to The Dio Log (diocesan email newsletter) so that you will receive information about what’s happening around the diocese.
2. Watch your email for the Weekly Newsletter for Clergy and Lay Leaders for important business and finance items and highlighted resources. (If you need to get on this mailing list, please have your priest or senior warden let us know.)
3. Attend a Town Hall led by Bishop Brown and staff. Church officers, priests and leaders will receive the Zoom invitation to these meetings. The invitation includes the agenda. Not receiving invitations? Let us know.
4. Please help the Diocese of Maine keep its information up-to-date. Let us know if there have been changes to your contact information since your church’s Annual Meeting.
The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) Vital Practices offers great resources for you!
1. Here is the Vital Practices website where you can subscribe to their mailings.
2. Here are some free, online webinars from ECF Vital Practices – including Vestry Orientation and Senior Warden’s Ministry: Mission Impossible?
3. Subscribe here to the free monthly newsletter ECF Vital Practices, which includes Vestry Papers. Sign up everyone on your vestry for this great resource.
4. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at ECF Vital Practices, the Alban Institute has other resources of interest.
5. The Vestry Resources Guide handbook has basic, helpful information. It’s written by ECF and available for purchase or check with the diocesan office about borrowing a copy.
1. Search this website. You’ll find links to diocesan resources and information on many topics – including finance, forms and due dates, clergy compensation, insurance, governance, stewardship, etc.
2. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please email Canon Barbara Martin (207-772-1953 x125).
3. Network with other Wardens. You can contact former Senior Warden Fred Fowler. Or to find other wardens simply look on another church’s website. Click here for a map of Episcopal churches in Maine by town.
1. Where can I find statistics about my church?
Charts about your church’s membership, participation and giving over the last 11 years are here – at the Episcopal Church Center’s “Studying Your Congregation and Community” project. All information comes from your annual Parochial Reports. It’s a great tool for helping you to see trends.
2. Who is eligible to serve on a Vestry?
From the Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine: Canon 21, Section 1 – Of the Election of the Vestry: “No one shall be elected a Warden or a member of the Vestry who is not a lay communicant in good standing, and a stated contributor to, and worshipper in, the parish for which he or she is elected. No one shall be elected a Warden who is not of full legal age, or a member of the Vestry who is not at least 15 years of age. Wardens and members of the Vestry shall meet the eligibility standards of the laws of Maine. In every Parish, a majority of the members of the Vestry shall be persons of full legal age.” (Look at your congregation’s Bylaws for other restrictions.)
3. Who is eligible to serve on a Bishop’s Committee?
From the Constitution of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine: Article VIII, Section 2: “There shall be in each Mission a Bishop’s Committee consisting of lay persons as follows: one or two wardens, a clerk, a treasurer, and at least two other members, elected by the members of the Mission. No one shall be an officer who is not a stated contributor and worshipper at its services. No one shall be elected a warden who is not of full legal age. No one shall be elected to any other office who is not at least fifteen years of age. All officers shall be communicants in good standing. The Committee shall consult with the Bishop about the welfare of the Mission.” (Look at your congregation’s Bylaws for other restrictions.)
3. How does our vestry go about making congregational by-law and constitution changes?
As a first step, please be in touch with Cn. Terry Reimer at (207) 772-1953 x134 who will work with your church to have changes approved by Standing Committee.