Resources for Episcopal Church Workers in South Dakota

Remember 99% of us never grew up wishing we would end up on a Vestry or Bishop's Committee. It is important to be kind to anyone that serves and to remember we do not all have the same gifts.

Senior Warden

Steward or guardian and servant of the congregation. Be a good listener, delegate, engender trust in relationships, and keep oneself spiritually and physically whole.

There are some traditional models for the sharing of responsibilities between a senior and junior warden. 1.  One is for the senior warden to serve as the "rector's warden," with the junior warden being the "people's warden" -- a division that goes back to the earliest days of the Anglican church to cover situations when a congregation and a rector could not agree on the candidates for warden, so the rector appointed one and the congregation the other.  2.  Another tradition has the junior warden overseeing buildings and grounds, while the senior warden takes on other aspects of parish life. This is based on the second model with the following responsibilities.



Legal with regard to property and contracts - This I consider the various reports due throughout the year and securing clergy.

Review clergy contracts and offer reflection - This is securing clergy and figuring mileage for Treasurer.  The going rate is $100.00 per service plus mileage at the going rate for that.  This is also trying to encompass the needs of the congregation with the pocketbook of the church.


b. Review written documentation - This is the reports again, not all written up by me but generally I will review them.


c. Conduct annual meeting


d. Conduct Bishop Committee meetings


Canons - Always a thrill but I pick one thing per year and try to implement it in a way that conforms more to the canons.


By-laws - Still working on these, tweaking and altering to make it fit our church.


Budgets - Always working on these although so much is out of my hands.

Planning documents


Minutes - Collect them and approve at meetings.


Fiduciary responsibilities

Assist Treasurer in their needs to complete necessary paperwork

   Sign forms when required


Responsible to congregation

a.  Hear complaints

b.  Get issues on the table

c.  Agree to disagree

d.  Monitor pulse of congregation

e.  Keep vision statement current

f.   Keep mission statement current

g.  Program development and implementation

h.  Responsible to the Bishop and other clergy

i.   Review life and work of the congregation, plan ahead, anticipate and resolve problems

j.   Keep positive attitude, learn from mistakes, give thanks for everyone else, celebrate achievements

k.  Discuss concerns and maintain confidentiality


Controversial Issues

1. Focus on issue not person

2. Speak for yourself, not others

3. Observe, don't interpret

4. Define, explore the issue, brainstorm, evaluate, act and carry out.


In Paul's letter to the Phillipians 4:2-7 he has a couple of gals fighting about who knows what. He suggests using gentleness. I take this as meaning, don't knock their heads together but be as kind as possible.


Here are some great links that might help