We began with a short prayer that we recited together. After our opening prayer, we spent a few minutes discussing the Gospel reading for the following Sunday. That bit of prayer and study set the tone. We also ended our meeting with prayer so that the whole meeting happened within the context of prayer.
Our first real item of business was to discuss how we as a Church are living out our baptismal covenant. We used a document provided by the diocese that asks a series of questions, based on the baptismal covenant, that are designed to help us assess the spiritual health and vitality of our parish. Our last item of business was to reflect on our mission statement. As a result, our business began and ended by asking deep questions about who God is calling us to be and how we are responding to God’s call.
In between, we wrestled with technical questions about the maintenance of our property. What do we need to do to sell the rectory, and how much will that cost? Should we have a car-park constructed, and would we have to repair the parking lot first? Those are important questions. The decisions we make on those question will effect our financial situation for years to come. I am happy to report that your vestry took those questions seriously and worked hard to answer them responsibly and faithfully.
Given the complexity of some of the property questions we face, and their significant financial implications, it would have been easy for the vestry to focus only on them. I am proud of our vestry for not doing that, for taking the time to approach these questions in the context of prayer and deep reflection on our mission as God’s people.
Our vestry is a reminder to me of what the Christian life is supposed to look like. All of us face whatever issues and challenges we face. But we will face those issues and challenges more effectively if we put them in the context of prayer and never lose sight of God’s call. I am grateful to our vestry for the example they set for all of us.