Serving on the Vestry is more than just “doing the business of the church.” For me, it has been a deeply meaningful and spiritual experience that has helped me grow and strive to improve in every aspect of my life.
First, there is a significant Biblical element. The Vestry is a body of 12 lay people, just as Jesus called 12 disciples who were lay people from all walks of life; fishermen, a physician, and a tax collector, who came together to do God’s work. The Vestry, too, is made up of folks from all walks of life who are called to come together to do God’s work and to take care of God’s gift to us: the Church.
Second, while there are tasks and business for the Vestry to do, for me there is a high level of sanctity in serving on the Vestry. The decisions we make as a Vestry are far-reaching. They affect the faith life of the members of the Body of Christ. This makes me think hard and pray harder. I have never prayed so hard for the faith life of others as I have when I have served on a Vestry.
Third, while there are buildings and budgets, clogged toilets and raccoons running rampant in the sanctuary that we have to think about, much of the time spent by the Vestry is spent on visioning. What does God want Trinity to be 5 years from now? What about 10 or 30 years from now? I see this as an exercise in faith because it requires thinking about the legacy we will leave for our children and our children’s children. We may not be around to see it. This is truly God’s work.
Finally, when I was asked to run for the Vestry and eventually elected, my first thought was, “this is going to be a long 3 years.” I had served on another vestry in a different church and while it was rewarding, it felt too task oriented. Poring over the fine details of the budget on a long January night just wasn’t my ball of wax. Serving on the Vestry at Trinity is different. While we do handle the mundane, much of Vestry meeting time (well over half) is spent on The Bigger Picture. It is a chance to step back and talk about the bigger issues affecting us as a church. Whether they are global, national, local, or Trinity-specific issues, everyone on the Vestry is given a chance to speak and be heard in a respectful way. This requires active listening and it makes me examine my own life. How can I be a better leader, a better businessman, a better husband, a better father?
Serving on the Vestry at Trinity has been a true faith journey. This year as Sr. Warden has been a true walk in patience, prayer, and perseverance. I have learned how to better listen and respect the opinions and feelings of others. I have developed a deep appreciation for our clergy. I have grown in my faith. I have learned. Life is a journey where one learns from experience and becomes a better person along the way. Serving on the Vestry at Trinity, I can easily say, has played a large part in my journey.
If you are interested in hearing more about the positive impact serving on the Vestry has had on my life and faith, I would be happy to talk about it with you. Email me any time!