March 14, 2005

God Help Us All.....

The blood-red sunrise you might have seen this morning, together with the reports you might have heard concerning an unusual spike in the number of births of two-headed calves, are subject to a ready explanation: Yesterday I was elected to the Vestry of my Church.

Several readers have asked what the function is of the Vestry in the Episcopal Church. Well, here's a handy-dandy Palie Vocabulary Sheet that will help fill you in. Basically, the Vestry serves as the governing and policy-making body of the Parish. Not to orgle about it, but this is a pretty big deal.

I am still very surprised that I was even nominated, much less elected, feeling as I do that I am hidiously unqualified for the position. I also was surprised at the demographics of the elections as a whole. There are fifteen lay members of the Vestry altogether, who serve three year terms in staggered classes of five. In past years, there have generally been one or two "young people" on the Vestry who, although the Church tries to discourage it, were generally viewed as representatives of the interests of the younger crowd. The majority of the members were typically much older and more established. This year seems to have been different. Five slots were filled in yesterday's elections and all of the candidates for them were roughly my age. It strikes me that this is going to change the profile of the Vestry as a whole pretty significantly.

Given the convulsions the Episcopal Church is going through and is likely to continue to experience over the next few years, this should be an interesting ride. If nothing else, this new position gives me the opportunity to actually try and do something about shaping the course my Parish takes, rather than just sitting on the sidelines and snarking about it. Which also makes me wonder a bit. The local clergy are all quite liberal, (as is about half of the congregation) and there is a standing joke about the iron-fisted way in which our Rector rules the Parish. My traditionalist bent is pretty well known. I have to believe that if the Rector had wanted my nomination quashed, he could have done so pretty easily. Why he didn't is what makes me wonder. Perhaps there is some Machiavellian undercurrent, perhaps not. If so, I'll be sure to report it. If not, I'll be sure to make one up.

Posted by Robert at March 14, 2005 12:00 PM

Given the convulsions the Episcopal Church is going through and is likely to continue to experience over the next few years, this should be an interesting ride.

Especially if they find out about you and Steve.

Posted by: Bill from INDC at March 14, 2005 12:07 PM

Palie? When I was a lad, we always called 'em Piskies...

Posted by: dave s at March 14, 2005 12:50 PM

You're right - if the rector didn't want you on, he would have squashed your election. Perhaps, if you're in a liberal parish and you're orthodox, or traditional, he's trying to present a more balanced board for his bishop - either out of conviction that it's necessary for the good of the church, or purely political manueverings on his part to make it look as though he's listening to the orthodox. (Sorry for the cynicism, but as a vestry member myself, church is politics since we are "of the world.")

A couple of traditional Anglican blogs, if you don't already know them, are Titus One Nine ( and the MidWest Conservative Journal ( They'll keep you up to date on all you'd ever want to know about the national Episcopal church and the Anglican Communion worldwide. Good luck on your 3 years - may it bring you to deeper faith.

Posted by: branford at March 14, 2005 01:04 PM

Maybe it just means you ain't as young as you think . . .

Posted by: The Colossus at March 14, 2005 01:04 PM

Apparantly Bill isn't up on the national ECUSA goings on, or he'd have thought Steve was your "ace in the hole" for vestry membership.

I can't wait to hear how yours works. I declined when nominated for several reasons, chief among them that the vestry is responsible for so much businessy stuff, and I don't have a great deal to offer there. But we also knew that we were moving, so I didn't want to commit and then leave. Plus it's not really fun unless you have some bizarre desire to embody a cross between Donald Trump and Phyllis Schlaffly, so there you go.

Posted by: tee bee at March 14, 2005 06:49 PM

The Colossus beat me to it -- its not that they're electing more younger people, its that you're aging into the bracket that gets elected. Ha! Ha ha ha ha... not looking forward to MY birthday this year so I have to laugh at you. Its your Christian duty.

An aside to your readers: not a single bio mentioned God or Christ, though a few touted being cradle 'Piskies (I believe that Robbo did not even though he is, points to Rob!). Of course, now I know where they got their degrees and where they work or worked. One even mentioned the proximity of her house to the church. Zheesh.

Posted by: Marjorie at March 15, 2005 04:27 PM

Hey we just had a usialy bright meteor going over here in the west coast in was said to be unsialy bright and long kind of like the opening to WAR OF THE WORLDS

Posted by: lonesome loon at March 17, 2005 03:52 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?