The members of the new Parish Vestry are being commissioned to office in our Eucharist, today. It is therefore appropriate for us to discuss what is expected of Vestry persons who are called to this ministry in the Church, and what is required of the congregation on whose behalf they serve.
As you know, the Parish Vestry is a group of persons, some elected by the congregations of St. George's and St. Barnabas, as well as some appointed by the Archdeacon, to serve as a trustee body in the interests of Christ's mission and work. Such persons have special responsibilities, namely: to spearhead decision-making for the Parish, so that the Mission and Ministry of Christ may be continued, to mobilize the resources of the church for activi- ties, projects, property and personnel, to execute the mandates set by the Diocesan Synod, and to exercise good stewardship over the flock of Christ committed to their cure.
This means that the Vestry and Clergy must work together for the physical and spiritual welfare of the Parish. Therefore the Church cannot be at odds in terms of its work and min- istry. This is why the involvement of every member of the Vestry in the life and witness of the Parish is of paramount importance, in order to make Christ known in his saving work. Every other goal in parish life must be regarded as being subordinate to this. Most of the work of the Vestry should be done through Standing Committees made up of members of the congregations, who have been asked to assist in various areas. It is highly desirable that the Chairpersons of such committees should be Vestry persons. Such committees should range from Worship and Evangelism, Christian Education and Youth to Fund- raising and Maintenance.
In this way, the Vestry will see itself as God's team at the local level, with members sup- porting each other in this great work, and having a lively commitment Christ and his cause. We are called to serve Christ first, and all else is merely a matter of the means and meth- ods we use in fulfilling our Christian vocation. Congratulations to all the Vestry persons!
With best wishes for a bright and prosperous New Year from the Archdeacon, and the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of St. Kitts, and their families.