Vestry members are lay people elected by the congregation at its annual meeting to serve three year terms. The Vestry, a term originating in the ancient church as a place where vestments were stored, and where lay leaders of the congregation might meet with the rector, is charged with supervising the temporal business of the church in accordance with the church's By-laws. Vestry leadership is provided by a Senior Warden and Junior Warden, who are elected by the Vestry each year for one year terms of office. A Treasurer, responsible for the financial activity, and a Register, who serves as the Secretary for the Vestry, comprise the other officers of the parish, and are elected by the vestry for one year terms. Various committees and commissions are established to conduct both the temporal and spiritual activities of the parish, staffed by lay persons called to the specific areas of ministry.
Emmanuel Greenwood’s current Vestry is composed of twelve lay persons, whose terms expire as indicated:
Thomas P. Duke, Senior Warden
Stephen M. Hawkes, Junior Warden,
Mary Elizabeth (M.E.) Via, Register
Alexander (Sandy) C. von Thelen, Treasurer
Elizabeth E. Askew
Cass L. Cannon,
Anne R. Dagner
E. Carter Elliott
Barbara T. Fuhrman
Frederick P. Hitz
J. Barrett (Barry) Jones, Jr.
Katherine T. Merhige
Lea K. Robinson
John A. Sanderson
Below excerpted from the Emmanuel Way Newsletter, April 2013 by Delores Smith
The senior warden acts as the “rector’s warden,” serving as the senior elected lay member of the parish. In addition to the general expectations of all members of the vestry of Emmanuel, the following items specifically pertain to the duties of senior warden:
- Monitors all vestry committees. In doing so, the senior warden assists these committees in their work so that they are prepared to report at vestry meetings.
- Helps plan and organize the annual Every Member Canvass.
- Ensures that a lay delegate attends certain “extra parish” activities, such as: The Annual Diocesan Council, The Region XV Council (which meets quarterly), The Annual Wardens’ Conference
Perhaps the most important duty of a senior warden is to accept his/her election as a commitment to God through Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Greenwood.
In addition to the general expectations of all members of the vestry of Emmanuel, the following items specifically pertain to the duties of junior warden:
- Oversees the physical plant of the church buildings and grounds. This includes, but is not limited to:
• The upkeep and operation of the church’s heating plant and air conditioning system. (maintaining a list of repairmen for each system and contacting them as necessary as well as following through on their work.)• The capital improvements (painting, gutter work, etc,) as well as all repairs and general maintenance.
• The inspection of all on-site property on a quarterly basis, including cemetery and all buildings.
• The handling of any continuing “nuisance” problems, such as replacing burned-out light bulbs, repairing leaky faucets, and ensuring the general cleanliness of the church property and buildings.
- Oversees and supervises the work of the sexton.
- Oversees the seasonal jobs of lawn mowing, fertilizing, leaf removal, and snow removal
- Requests all the assistance needed from other vestry members and members of the congregation to accomplish these duties.
The junior warden is truly invaluable to the operation of our church. It is a widely held belief among Episcopalians that a junior warden is guaranteed a place in heaven!