Vestry and Committees
The vestry is the governing body of St. James Episcopal Church. It is responsible to the members of the parish for the administration and governance of the parish and for the care and maintenance of our facilities.
At the January Annual Parish Meeting, four new members are elected to serve three year terms. A former Vestry member who has been out of office for at least one year may be elected for a new three year term.
2013 Vestry Officers
- Senior Warden - Nan Cowan
- Junior Warden - David Stout
- Secretary - Lena Nealley
- Treasurer - Jim Green
Class 2011 – 2014
- Margo Campbell email@example.com
- Nan Cowan firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elaine Linstedt email@example.com
- David Stout firstname.lastname@example.org
Class 2012 – 2015
- Melissa Hendges email@example.com
- Susan Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mark Parson email@example.com
- Ed Proctor firstname.lastname@example.org
Class 2013 – 2016
- Patti Bostwick email@example.com
- Carrie Cardinale firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marianne Ganiard email@example.com
- Dante Lanzetta firstname.lastname@example.org
The Vestry meets at the Church on the second Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. Any member of the parish is invited to attend these meetings. Vestry decisions and actions are regularly reported in minutes available to any member.
The volunteer committees of St. James support and enhance the work of the parish. Each committee has a Vestry liaison and a chairperson. Committee chairs are selected and approved by the Vestry. Committee membership is formed each year in January with work taking place February through January. Whether you are new to St. James or are a longer-term member, we invite you to join a committee of interest. We welcome your skills and ideas. It’s a great way to meet fellow parishioners and be a part of the St. James family. The church office will be happy to put you in touch with any committee (activity or guild) representative.
Building and Grounds
The Building and Grounds committee is responsible for the physical plant of St. James. This includes oversight of maintenance and repairs and recommendations for building improvements.
The Bylaws committee is responsible for the formulation and amendment of bylaws to aid the organization and government of the Vestry and Parish in coordination with the Diocese of Michigan.
The Communications committee focuses on sharing news and information about the good works of St. James, internally to the parish family and externally to the community-at-large. We work closely with the Vestry committees to ensure that everyone in our parish family knows what’s happening at St. James and when and how they can participate. We also communicate the shared love and vitality that defines our parish with those who may be in search of a warm and welcoming family church.
Information is communicated electronically via the St. James website, weekly email updates to parishioners, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The Light of St. James, distributed at Sunday worship services, and the Spirit of St. James, mailed to parishioners monthly (September –June) are two print information sources. They are posted to the website also. Welcome brochures for visitors are available in the pews.
At St. James, we believe that the pursuit of knowledge is a life-long endeavor for all Christians. The role of the Christian Formation Committee is to provide learning opportunities for all of our parishioners, children, youth and adults. Our goal is to ensure that everyone in our congregation, as well as our friends and neighbors in the larger community, all have a rich variety of opportunities to grow in their Christian faith. The responsibilities of the Christian Formation Committee include the Sunday School, Youth Group Programs, the Nursery, and Adult Education. The committee welcomes all parishioners who seek an active and spiritually rewarding volunteer experience.
The Personnel committee is responsible for implementing the policies and procedures outlined in the St. James Episcopal Church Personnel and Policies Procedures Manual. They are responsible for job descriptions, compensation and Letters of Agreement for all parish personnel in accordance with the Diocese of Michigan.
The finance committee is responsible, in partnership with the Treasurer, for the financial operations and fiscal policies of the church. Preparation of the annual budget and expenditure review are two of the major functions of this committee.
New Member and Fellowship
This vitally important committee is charged with promoting, nurturing and growing the membership of St. James. We do this by creating and implementing plans and programs focused on providing visitors with a rich, rewarding and memorable spiritual experience. The committee also focuses on inspiring our parish family to share with friends and visitors alike the many opportunities for spiritual growth offered at St. James. In addition, the New Member and Fellowship Committee is responsible for maintaining a roster of well-informed greeters and after-worship hospitality hosts to welcome visitors and to maintain communication by creating a meaningful, on-going personalized dialogue with everyone who graces us with their presence. The Committee also engages in a variety of other initiatives to strengthen and grow the membership of St. James. These include:
- Identifying new opportunities to expand and enrich the important first impression that St. James makes with visitors and guests
- Providing newcomers who wish to join St. James with the information and spiritual guidance they need to become active members of our Christian Family.
- Inviting both prospective and active members to participate in our Church’s rich variety of spiritual and social activities
- Reviewing the guest book on a regular basis, and making certain that all questions and inquiries are answered in a timely manner with personal phone calls, emails and in-person visits
The Outreach committee is responsible for providing grants and volunteers for church missions. Sunshine Community Preschool, Mariners Inn, Lighthouse PATH, South Oakland Shelter, and Baldwin Center are a few recent fund recipients. Funds are allocated, with Vestry approval, based on review of grant proposals, site visits, and opportunities for parish participation.
St. James provides volunteers for several funded organizations including the Baldwin Center, Crossroads and South Oakland Shelter. Volunteer activities include:
- Baldwin Center – Pontiac based, the Baldwin Center feeds, clothes, educates and empowers those in need. St. James volunteers serve lunch to homeless and low income residents.
- Greenfield Union School - Committed St. James volunteers provide weekly tutoring to elementary school children during the academic year at this Detroit public school.
- Crossroads of Michigan – St. James volunteers prepare and serve meals at the Soup Kitchen of this Detroit social service agency.
- South Oakland Shelter – A rotating emergency program for homeless persons, SOS engages 60 partner congregations. St. James volunteers work with the First Baptist Church of Birmingham to prepare meals and provide other services during the week selected.
- Santa’s Helpers – Food and gifts are provided to over 50 families selected from area human service organizations. Generous St. James parishioners adopt a family or provide financial donations for this holiday project.
The endowment fund of St. James, called the Parish Fund Committee, supports the ministries of the church today and ensures long-term resources for generations to come. The committee provides oversight to the investment, withdrawal and usage of the assets within the Parish Fund. It is comprised of five members who are appointed by the Vestry, with each member serving a five-year term.
Parish Life and Pastoral Care
The Parish Life and Pastoral Care committee supports the work of clergy and staff. The committee plans and implements a number of activities to enhance parish life including visits to hospitalized parishioners, keeping in touch with parish members unable to attend worship services or other church activities, support groups for those who have lost a family member or friend, weekly prayer cycle notification, and memorial and funeral receptions.
The Stewardship committee is responsible for encouraging financial support from the parish for the ministry of Jesus through St. James Church. To encourage generous and joyful giving, the committee develops special presentations, prepares an annual Ministry Focused Budget booklet, and communicates information and stewardship stories throughout the year.
For planned giving, the committee is responsible for promoting the stewardship of accumulated personal assets by encouraging parishioners to make gifts to the Parish Fund in their wills and other estate planning vehicles. In addition, the committee recognizes all memorials and gifts submitted to the parish.