The Restoration vestry has been considering two changes to our vestry selection process:
- The creation of a Vestry Discernment Team which would be populated with the current, outgoing members of vestry. In addition, there would be provision to add 3-4 team members who are former vestry or servant leaders in the parish. The team would have not less than 3 and no more than 7 participants.
- The selection process would result in a smaller slate that exactly correlates the number of vestry candidates to the number of vestry openings. The congregation would be asked to affirm the work of the vestry discernment team by a simple yes/no vote on each candidate. New vestry members would require a 2/3 majority of yeses from the voting members of the congregation.
Why has the vestry been considering these selection process changes?
As we surpass 600 attendees each week and move past 400 adult members, we have grown to a point where it is difficult for the members of Restoration who participate in the vestry election to effectively know the candidates for vestry. Many people were voting based on name or face recognition from the bio book.
Thus, in a desire to be more strategic as we grow and in recognition of the importance the vestry plays in our goal setting and financial plans, the vestry thought it would serve Restoration to have a process that was centered on the work of a discernment team.
We presented this at the parish meeting on October 9 and invited your feedback on the proposals.
Thank you for your feedback!
Since the parish meeting, I have heard from people who think the proposed changes are a great idea and people who are strongly opposed to them. There are people who have suggested ‘tweaks to the tweaks’ and people who have asked for more time to think about the changes. There really is a wide range of response to these proposals.
Because of the diversity of responses and the strength of feedback, I and the wardens met today and decided to not move forward this year with discussions about changing the vestry election process from the way it is currently described in our parish by-laws.
We could decide to bring it up again in the future. But fall 2016 does not seem like the right time to pursue this change. So we will proceed with our vestry election in the manner that we have conducted it for the last seven years.
This is how the election will proceed this year:
- As usual, the slate will be set by the out-going members of the vestry. There will be no additions to this team.
- Nominations will be open until October 23. What makes a good nomination? You give us the person’s name, contact information, and a short paragraph describing why you think they would be a good vestry member. What spiritual and vocational gifts have they demonstrated while serving at Restoration? Send all of that helpful information, here.
- The slate will have more candidates than open positions, assuming sufficient qualified nominees agree to stand for election. As we have in the previous 7 years, the ‘slate team’ (from #1) will choose which nominees become candidates.
- Candidates will be asked to complete a vestry discernment questionnaire by October 30. The answers to these questions will be published in a vestry bio book that is available to the congregation (in hard copy and as an email attachment) on November 6. We hope that the candidates will be available after Sunday services on November 6 and Nov 13.
- Members will vote by paper ballot on Nov. 13 and Nov. 20. Are you a member? Have you signed The Big Green Book? On October 23, we will have our next membership Sunday. Kat can help you through the process.
- New vestry members will be announced by blog post on Nov. 22.
Thank you for your feedback. It was good to hear from so many of you this week.
Restoration has experienced so much grace and kind favor from God. We have so many resources to share with our broader community. We are excited about this next chapter of our life and we are humbly asking God to guide us with all wisdom and courage into it.
Thanks for being with us.