At one time in my life, vestry meetings were simply dreadful to me. Long periods of church members fighting over how resources were to be used, what color to paint the parlor, who could be granted permission to have a luncheon in the parish hall, whether weddings could use pink flowers or only white, these were the items that dragged out and were hotly contested. (Aside from arguing over resources, those examples are all anecdotal. I've never actually heard a vestry argue over those things, but you get the point)
For a long period in my life, I thought the same of church governance. I regarded our endless bickering over everything that meant nothing and nothing that meant everything as one of the worst things about the church. Over the years, I have come to realize that when governance is focused on mission, it becomes less of a pointless labor and more of a joyous deliberation. As much as I get frustrated with some of what happens at General Convention, and even our Diocesan Convention, I am excited that through the leadership of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and our own Bishop Russell we have begun to formulate our legislation around mission and ministry, rather than around maintenance and scarcity.
Through the intentional work of both of these leaders, we have begun to turn the ship away from lamenting over what we cannot do and toward a vision of a future that excites and motivates and inspires. We have allowed the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to guide us instead of the ghosts of the nostalgic past. This episode of our video update is with David Quittmeyer. David has long served on the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB & F) for the General Convention. For David, that work has always been about creating mission and ministry through the budgetary process. David explains below in his own words the ways in which that ministry, which many find tedious, brings him joy and reaffirms the ministry of the church to him.
Church members like David abound in the PB & F committee. They are hard at work at adapting the draft budget presented by The Episcopal Church's staff into a roadmap for the great ministry that is unfolding before us, inviting into the creative role with God in Christ. The video is a little bit longer than some others, but I hope you enjoy it.