AVAILABLE ON AMAZON: The Rector & The Vestry, by David Roseberry

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The Importance of the Vestry

The Vestry, or whatever that group of laypeople is called in your church, is an integral part of the Anglican way of leading and developing congregations. Vestries are not incidental to the life of the church. But neither are they the focus of the life of the church. Vestries serve the church and its mission in service to Jesus Christ as its Lord. The idea of having a Vestry of lay members of the church is common to all Anglican congregations.

What is NOT common at all is a clear understanding about what a Vestry is supposed to do. Many people who are currently serving on a Vestry, or who have been nominated to serve, are new to the Anglican Church. Some may never have heard of a Vestry. The average person in the pews or chairs can figure out what a bishop is, who his Bishop is, and what he is for. The same is true for the role of Rector or leader in a church. People are familiar with that duty. But many people who are deeply committed Christians and ardent worship attenders, even those who are cradle Anglicans, do not really understand the role and responsibilities of a Vestry in a congregation.

The Goal of This Book

The goal of this book is to describe the role of the Vestry at a comprehensive level. I hope this will be helpful to those who are considering serving or who have been elected to serve on a Vestry. I offer this book with the hope to create a common understanding of what a Vestry is equipped and canonically capable of doing. Serving on a Vestry for a typical three-year term is not an honorary position. It is, and should be, ministry. It is an important ministry and is needed now more than ever.

If you are on a Vestry or are considering serving in this capacity, I hope you will read this book cover to cover. There are no unimportant aspects to the role of Vestry. Your experience and your gifts, time, efforts, prayer, and energy can make a critical difference to your church. That is my belief and my hope. And, as you understand the import of this ministry, I know it will 4 strengthen your church and increase your faith in Jesus Christ. May every page and every chapter help you assist your church to fulfill its mission.

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Endorsements for The Rector & The Vestry

I loved, LOVED this book. We will use this book from now on as a gift to incoming vestries, and it will be our handbook for vestry orientations. I appreciated all the personal illustrations, both successes and failures. As a Rector, this book was a real page-turner, both to gauge my own experience, affirming what we’ve been doing, and challenging with new ideas in others. I will recommend this to my bishop as a resource for all the churches of the diocese

The Rev. Al Zadig, Rector, St. Michael’s Church, Charleston, SC

Canon Roseberry’s book is a comprehensive, yet concise, look at the scope and function of a Vestry in the Anglican church. It should be placed in the hands of every vestry person to understand their role. I wish I had a book like this book 40 years ago.

Dr. Ron Bosher, former Sr. Warden for many parishes

I am new to the Anglican Church, new to serving on a Vestry and I am now the Sr. Warden! This book has been a great resource for me and my role in the church. If the Rector doesn’t get copies for the rest of the Vestry, I will!

Chris Lipper, Sr. Warden, Redemption Anglican Church, Frisco, TX

The Rector and the Vestry is a goldmine of great counsel, practical advice, background explanations, personal anecdotes, and sound teaching that I highly recommend. I plan to use it for my Vestry every year.

The Rev. Alan Hawkins, COO, Anglican Church in North America

I came into the Anglican Church from a parachurch / Evangelical background. There were reliable books and guides to help me learn Anglican History, Sacramental Theology, and the Book of Common Prayer. There was nothing that helped me grapple with the unspoken assumptions that governed the roles of the Rector and the Vestry. I am grateful to the Rev. Canon David Roseberry for his friendship over the years and this vital resource. It is the fruit of decades of leadership in the local church combined with a keen, broad awareness of the issues facing Anglican Churches today. I am privileged to serve a congregation where many have a similar story to my own. I plan on reading through this with our Vestry and future Vestry candidates to help us see how the Rector and the Vestry work well together to support our broader mission.

The Rev. Daniel Adkinson, St. Thomas Anglican Church, Athens, GA

As a church planter, I’ve been looking for the information in this book for years. What a resource! The wisdom and practical advice that David Roseberry distills from his years of ministry is invaluable. Every church planter, every rector, and every vestry member needs this book. Thank you for writing this book, David! It’s a gift to the Church and I will be using it as my vestry training manual from now on.

The Rev. John G. Wallace, Rector, Apostles-By-the-Sea Anglican Church, Rosemary Beach, FL

Receiving and reading your manuscript has been a “God send” for me. It has answered many questions and clarified confusion regarding my roles and responsibilities as both a member of the St. James Vestry and as Senior Warden. What a blessing (and I hope a benefit to the rector and congregation) that I am reading this at the beginning of my term.

David Chapman, newly appointed Sr. Warden, St. James Anglican Church, Newport Beach, CA
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Table of Contents

  • INTRODUCTION
  • YOUR CHURCH
  • WHAT IS ANGLICAN POLITY?
  • WHY CHURCH SIZE MATTERS; FOUR SIZES OF CHURCHES
    • THE HOME SCHOOL
    • THE GRADE SCHOOL
    • THE HIGH SCHOOL
    • THE COLLEGE
  • THE FIVE ROLES OF THE RECTOR
    • LEAD THE VISION
    • BUILD THE TEAM
    • PROVIDE FOR THE PEOPLE
    • MAINTAIN ACCOUNTABILITY
    • DEVELOP STEWARDSHIP
  • THE WORK OF THE WARDENS
  • THE ROLE OF THE VESTRY
    • PROTECT THE VISION
    • SUPPORT METHODS AND MEANS
    • UPHOLD THE FINANCIAL INTEGRITY OF THE CHURCH
    • SUPPORT THE RECTOR AS SPIRITUAL LEADER
    • MODEL A STRONG COMMITMENT TO GENEROSITY
  • FINANCIAL CONCERNS
    • DISCRETIONARY FUNDS
    • RESTRICTED AND DESIGNATED FUNDS
    • PRUDENTIAL RESERVE
    • COMPENSATION
    • FACILITIES
    • INSURANCE
    • CHILD PROTECTION
    • BY-LAWS AND POLICIES
    • LEGAL
    • BANKING
  • BEST PRACTICES
    • HAVE EFFECTIVE MEETINGS
    • COMMIT TO ANNUAL VESTRY TRAINING
    • REVAMP THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING
    • PUT YOUR WEDCAP ON
    • ANNUAL VESTRY RETREAT
    • ALIGN VISION, PROGRAM, AND BUDGET
    • A FINAL LOOK
  • APPENDIX 1—STARTING NEW VESTRIES
  • APPENDIX 2—SEARCH PROCESS OVERVIEW
  • APPENDIX 3—THE RECTOR’S EVALUATION
  • APPENDIX 4—CANONS EVERY VESTRY SHOULD KNOW
  • APPENDIX 5—WHAT IS A MEMBER?
  • APPENDIX 6—FORMS, RESOLUTIONS, AND RESOURCES
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