This year, I am serving as both your Senior Warden and a participant on the Vestry’s “subteam” that’s focused on Communication and Transparency. Consequently, I’ve signed myself up for a monthly blog entry about what the vestry is up to and what’s going on in the administration of Emmanuel. What follows is my first entry. You’ll be hearing from me again in late May.
The Vestry last met on April 24. We spent some of the meeting with a recap and discussion about our wonderful Holy Week and Easter celebrations. All of us were delighted by the diversity of Holy Week services, the beauty of the sanctuary (thanks, Flower Guild!), and our robust musical offerings (great job, choir!). We were especially happy to see so many faces in the pews, both familiar and new, young and not-so-young. As compared to last
year, when everybody was just emerging from Covid shut down, it truly felt like “Emmanuel!” – God with us - joyful and together, in celebration of our Lord’s resurrection. Additionally, we discussed ideas to engage more people in Holy Week offerings and how to appropriately balance our resource expenditures with our participants. If you have thoughts or ideas, please share them!
We also spent quite a bit of the meeting deliberating on the recommendations of our Communications and Transparency Vestry subteam, which has been hard at work over the last couple of months.
Here are some of our ideas to better engage and inform our community –
1.) Website Improvements: Make some improvements to the Emmanuel Church website so that it is easier to use and to find information that members or potential members might be seeking. For example:
· Bring commonly used tools (like the link to our Breeze member directory) to the top of the cover page.
· Expand the “staff” listings to also share information about volunteer leadership. Add names of our Vestry members and pictures of our wardens, bookkeeper, and Treasurer.
2.) Regular Blogs from Diversity Participants: Invite more voices into our communications with weekly Blog entries (like this one) that can be linked to from our newsletter.
· In addition to my Vestry updates, you’ll be seeing monthly finance updates from Sue Stiles (our Treasurer), Pastoral reflections from our rectors or guest rectors, and rotating voices to provide updates on recent activities, upcoming events, and ministry groups.
· If you’d like to contribute a blog entry, please contact myself or Rev. Elizabeth!
3.) Process Improvements: Help keep the website current and relevant by engaging more people and groups to regularly review and inform it.
· I may approach some of you to solicit your help in a new quarterly review and feedback process. I promise that it won’t be particularly difficult or time consuming.
· We’re also interested in finding volunteers with interest or experience in making website updates so that we can lighten the load on Emmanuel staff. Let us know if you’d like to get involved.
4.) Vestry Goal Transparency: Lastly, we’ll be adding a new page to our website about our 2023 Goals, our 3 Vestry subteams (Forming, Nurturing, and Communicating), and our activities and progress to date. This will keep us accountable and allow all of you to connect with us when you have feedback or ideas to improve our efforts.
Thanks for reading this update and please let me know if you find it to be helpful.
The next Vestry meeting is scheduled for May 23rd. In it, we’ll be hearing from the Vestry subteam that is focused on member engagement and formation. The 3rd subteam, focused on supporting members, pastoral care, and outreach, will provide their update in June. We’re also working closely with Emmanuel’s Finance Committee (managing our budget) and the Space Committee (looking at our campus and facilities), but you’ll be seeing direct blog updates on both of these topics in the next few weeks.