December 2, 2015

December 2015 Editor’s Letter: Practical Matters

Advent: A time of preparation; a time of waiting. And, for our congregational leaders, especially those responsible for parish administration, time to make a master list and check it twice. First, for all of the seasonal events and services, next for all the ‘end-of-the-calendar-year’ related administrative tasks: year-end reports, “closing out” 2015’s financial matters, vestry elections, annual meeting planning, etc.

In the December Vestry Papers, we continue to share articles and stories covering some of the practical aspects of church leadership, with emphasis on the role of and providing support to parish administrators – be they employees or volunteer, full or part time.

Our articles include:

In “Strong Administrators = Strong Church,” Kathleen Hall invites us to “remember the roots as we celebrate the harvest,” naming the people responsible for parish administration as a key part of a congregation’s root system. She also shares some of the ways she, and others in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, help support and nurture those who serve in parish administration.

The opportunity to meet periodically with their peers can be a lifeline for parish administrators' and treasurers. The popularity of the annual diocesan church administrators and treasurers’ conference – and participants’ request for more networking time – prompted diocesan staff Nancy James and Ann Turner to schedule informal gatherings around their diocese. “Administrator’s & Treasurer’s Lunches” provides others with a roadmap for setting up their own networking events.

In “Managing Resources, Part 2: Administration,” Nancy Davidge and Susan Elliott focus on the administrative aspects of congregational leadership, looking at topics such as insurance, reporting, property management, human resources (employees and volunteers), and safeguarding our communities.

"Why Policy Matters” by Lisa Meeder Turnbull invites congregational leaders to consider the stewardship of structure and governance as a framework supporting the mission and vision of your congregation.

We encourage you to think about how the ideas presented in this and every issue might provide an impetus for evaluating and reflecting on what you might learn from the experiences of others. To help in your discernment, at the end of each article we offer a list of the resources related to the topic. If you have a resource you’d like to share, please email me with the link or add it to the site using the Your Turn feature.

If you are interested in seeing our Spanish language content, please visit our searchable index for our Spanish content here.

Please share this issue of Vestry Papers with your colleagues and to invite them to subscribe to ECF Vital Practices and Vestry Papers. Subscriptions are free; new subscribers are asked to fill out a short registration form to have Vestry Papers and ECF Vital Practices content delivered twice a month to your email inbox.

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