St. John's News

Seeking Vestry Nominees for 2020

Parish bylaws designate the immediate past senior warden to chair the next year’s nominating committee, which develops a slate for the vestry election and delegates to diocesan annual convention. The wisdom of this process is that coming fresh off vestry gives good insight about the skills and interests that the church needs.

It is an honor to be elected to parish leadership, meaning we often elect people who have earned that privilege by what they’ve done previously. But the vestry needs people who are engaged in the future ways that St. John’s will serve its members, the community, the denomination and diocese and God’s realm.

It may be that we need you, now. Consider this an invitation to nominate someone who you admire and believe will contribute to the work of St. John’s. That could be yourself - don’t be shy about self-nominating!

The bylaws and church cannon say simply that to serve on vestry or as an annual convention delegate an individual must be: 18 years or older, a confirmed Episcopalian, active in regular worship and a current-year pledger of financial support. St. John’s requires a minimum of two years between vestry terms.

Beyond those simple requirements, consider these facts about St. John’s and the skills we need:

  • We have about 1,800 members with a wide variety of reasons for being affiliated with the parish.They all require some sort of care in creating and nurturing relationships that sustain us through unpredictable lives. To do that, St. John’s has 48 active groups that are focused on activities and support, which are managed by steering committees of the vestry.
  • Our core mission is the worship of God and a typical Sunday attendance is nearly 500 people. To serve them it takes hundreds of people who provide music, lay ministry, preparation of the altar, chancel and nave and hospitality. All of those functions fall under vestry-connected committees.
  • We occupy a big campus of buildings, parking lots, gardens and a playground, all with daily activity. We need people with property management expertise and respect for century-old structures.
  • The parish operating budget annually tops $1.6 million and the vestry needs financially literate people who can lead us through the complexity of managing the budget, allocating money wisely and ensuring we are planning for the future.
  • About 86 percent of this year’s budget is supported by annual contributions, mostly pledged by parishioners. Stewardship activities need people with good communications skills to craft messages about the church’s financial needs.
  • St. John’s is one of Roanoke’s leadership churches, meaning we often step up to responsibilities outside our walls. Vestry members guide our outreach efforts to where we can make the best impact.

The nominating committee is working this summer so we can present a slate of eight to 10 candidates for December’s vestry election and 10 to 12 delegates for next January’s annual convention.  If you can suggest people we should consider, please contact one of us: Sarah Boxley Beck, Gates DeHart, Ann Garst, John Levin, Lawrence McConnell or Christie Wills. Call or email us by Aug. 1, please.

-John Levin