January 16th, 2019

Why have an annual meeting?

I’m SO glad you asked! Annual meeting, at the mention, seems like one of those meetings that should’ve been an e-mail, instead. However, with regard to this coming Sunday’s gathering, that isn’t the case.

Sunday will mark the 51st annual meeting of Episcopal Church of the Resurrection. As Episcopalians, we love our traditions—sure, but this time allows us to come together and talk about:

o   the state of our church

o   the goings-on of the previous year

o   the financial aspect of last year and the budget for 2019

o   giving thanks for members’ roles in ministry

o   selecting new members for vestry by vote

o   selecting delegates for Diocesan Convention (Meta-annual meeting with all churches around the state)

o   possibilities for improvement/growth during the upcoming year

While we’re a faithful group of rag-tag counter-culturists, we still have a duty to see to the ‘business of the church’. 

In my life I’ve seen some pretty long annual meetings—some going for more than two and a half hours. That isn’t the case, here. Typically (after having done one meeting J) our meeting should last around an hour…or less.

What to expect:

We’ll gather in the Parish Hall shortly after service for food and fellowship—as always. This Sunday, bring a dish to share for a potluck! After we finish eating, we’ll settle in and get started. We’ll say a few prayers, then jump into reports from the Sr. and Jr. Wardens. “What do THOSE people do?” you ask? The Sr. Warden is—best described—the Rector’s confidant, counselor, and ally. As Sr. Warden, that person is expected to conduct the business of vestry meetings in the absence of the Rector; be available for discussion about multiple issues within the church concerning the building, programs, upkeep, financial decisions, and overall vision of the Rector; and, most importantly, to ‘steer the ship’ in the prolonged absence of a Rector. Basically, if I were to get very sick or otherwise have need to be away for a long period of time, the Sr. Warden would act as leader of the Vestry and ensure that the business aspect of the church and its integrity are maintained. The Sr. Warden is selected at the discretion of the Rector, but with much input from both the out-going Sr. and the current vestry. I’m beyond pleased with Ann Zuk as the incoming Sr. Warden, as I know that she brings with her invaluable insight, a faithful heart, and a keen mind. The transition from Ed Sanchez to Ann Zuk is, in my mind, a natural evolution. Ed has been, and shall continue to be, my friend (thanks, Spock). He has proven to be an invaluable asset in terms of ‘steering the ship’ for many years without a full-time Rector, and has also been a close ally and confidant for which this Rector is unfathomably grateful. Thanks, Ed. For everything.

The Jr. Warden acts in many of the capacities of the Sr. Warden, and, in the absence of both the Rector and the Sr., acts with the authority listed above. However, the main focus of the Jr. Warden is to concentrate on physical plant needs (the building, both inside and out) and to maintain the upkeep and continuous improvement of the facility. This position is elected by popular vote at the annual meeting. This year, I’ve asked Tom Ruder to allow himself to be nominated for our next Jr. Warden. Tom brings with him handy-man-esque experience with the added bonus of a level-head. Tom will also be part of ‘the meeting of three’ prior to any vestry meeting; this is to plan the meetings, discuss sensitive issues (if there are any) and lend insight to upcoming needs/projects of the church. Accepting this position is a great responsibility and takes a lot of time to maintain. I appreciate Tom’s willingness to step into the large shoes of Pete Woodward (our out-going Jr. Warden and confidant of mine). Tom will undoubtedly serve with dignity and passion. As for Pete, he will be missed. You’ll hear in his report about the massive undertaking that he…undertook…upon accepting his role as Jr. In the last years, Pete has overseen MULTIPLE projects to perfection, all while maintaining a sense of grace and patience. Thank you Pete, I’ll miss you in the meetings, but I promise to continue to plague you over OU football.

Both of these positions will serve for two years.

 After those reports, we’ll review last year’s income/expense report (the treasurer’s report) and view the vestry approved budget for 2019.

 Then we’ll begin the elections of Jr. Warden and vestry. This is the governing body of the church, with me as its chair. We discuss multiple different issues during our meetings and decide the best way to enable this church to continue to grow and thrive. This year’s nominees are Debbie Horton and Lance Straughn. I have faith that these two individuals will serve well and will be valuable to the proceedings of ECOTR over the next three years.

 We’ll close with some shenanigans and then with prayer. That’s it! I hope this answers any questions you might have had prior to the meeting and I look forward to spending this time with each of you. Thank you for making this place such a welcome and warm environment within which we worship and bring others to Christ.


Fr. Sean+