Ministry of the week: Serving on the vestry

By Donna Olendorf
Senior Warden

Donna OlendorfBeing a vestry member is a way to offer your unique God-given gifts to the congregation of Grace Episcopal Church. This 12-member board meets monthly and is responsible for church property, financial oversight, and human resource responsibilities.

Vestry work is always done in partnership with the rector, but our authority lies in different spheres. Daniel is responsible for the spiritual life of the congregation: Worship, Education, Pastoral Care, and Parish Staff all fall under his jurisdiction. The Vestry is responsible for the business side of church operations, including finances, buildings and grounds, and the relations of the parish to its clergy. Daniel is the spiritual leader and we are the legal agents; together we provide leadership for Grace.

There is tremendous flexibility in how vestries are structured and Grace follows many of the most common conventions: The Sr. Warden serves as the “rector’s warden,” while the Jr. Warden is the “people’s warden.” Grace also has a Clerk, who takes minutes and is responsible for correspondence and a special executive known as the “Keep,” whose job it is to remind us that this is a sacred ministry and that practical concerns should never overshadow our spiritual mission.

Members are elected at the annual meeting in January and serve for a three-year term. Each year four members rotate off the board and four new members are elected to take their place. If you are interested in serving on this sacred ministry, please contact Donna Olendorf at for further information.