Our new Parish Council met for the first time last week. Formerly known as “Vestry”, this committee of parish leaders has changed more than its name. Its elected members will now be offering direct support for the various programs of our parish.
St. Stephen’s is a dynamic congregation with a lot happening all the time. Amidst the busyness, individual programs can lose their focus, and volunteers can burn out. So each Parish Council member will oversee one particular area, offering support to the volunteers, assessing strengths and weaknesses in the program, and acting as a liaison.
These areas are: Children and Youth (including the implementation of the Child & Youth Task Force recommendations and support for our programs for young people); Outreach (including Inn from the Cold, Feed the Hungry, and Chapel ministry); Community & Fellowship (including newcomer ministries, Dinners-for-Eight, and pastoral follow-up); Hospitality & Pastoral Care (including care for seniors, Sunday coffee hour, and special events); and Stewardship (including stewardship campaigns, investment management and budget planning).
Meanwhile, the Wardens will continue to act as “point persons” for the areas that traditionally fall to the Corporation, including Finances and Building & Property; and the Rector continues to oversee Worship and Spiritual Formation and to offer support for special programs and events.
Dariel Bateman, People’s Warden, is guiding the process as we grow from an advisory board model to an active working board. We are well served by Dariel’s vision and energy and by the dedication of our new Parish Council.