Equipping for Ministry

Our Guild Room, Location of Much Planning & Equipping!
Our Guild Room, Location of Much Planning & Equipping!

All Governance ministries are ultimately overseen by the Vestry. Formal Commissions are the creation of the Vestry and report regularly to them. The Rector attends Commission meetings as requested and able.

Endowment Commission

Statement of Purpose: The Endowment Commission assists the Vestry in selecting an Investment Manager and then monitors, reviews, and corresponds with the manager to be sure the funds are prudently invested. They also oversee distributions from the funds in compliance with the approved Spending Rules of the Parish and in accordance with the purposes and distribution policies defined in the St. John’s Episcopal Church Consolidated Endowment Fund Policies and Guidelines. See more information on our Endowments online here, including our Endowment Fund Policies and Guidelines.


  1. To encourage, receive and administer bequests in a manner faithful to the loyalty and devotion to God expressed by the donors and in accordance with the canons of the Episcopal Church, the canons of the Diocese of Western Michigan, the policies of this Parish, and socially responsible choices.
  2. For the Building Endowment Fund and the Music & Fine Arts Endowment Fund each to reach the minimum invested threshold of $10,000.
  3. To educate the parish with regard to our Endowment Fund purposes, policies, and practices.
  4. For our total invested funds and promised bequests to reach at least one million dollars.

Membership: The Committee shall consist of three (3) regular members, all of whom shall be communicants in good standing of St. John’s Episcopal Church.  They shall be appointed by the Vestry at or before the December meeting, for terms that will begin in the following calendar year.  Additionally, the Rector, Senior Warden, and Treasurer shall be ex-officio members of the Committee without votes. At most, one member of the Committee may be a current member of the Vestry. No member of the Committee shall be employed by the parish. Except as herein limited, the term of each appointed member shall be three (3) years. The Vestry will stagger the terms of members to maximize continuity over time. No member shall serve more than two consecutive three (3) year terms. After a lapse of one (1) year, former Committee members may be reappointed. In the event of a vacancy on the Committee, the Vestry shall appoint a member to complete the unfulfilled term. Upon the completion of the term, that person would be eligible for reappointment to a normal three (3) year term. Members of the Committee shall serve until December 31 of the year in which their term ends, so long as a successor is appointed and begins work by that time.

Finance Commission

Statement of Purpose: This Commission exists to advise the Vestry on any matters related to their fiduciary responsibility to the Parish .


  1. On an annual basis, to receive budget requests, analyze giving and other income data, and from these to create a balanced budget to recommend to the Vestry in advance of each calendar year. 
  2. On a monthly basis, to meet in advance of the Vestry meeting to conduct a careful review the previous month’s financial statements, highlighting any important information or matters of concern that might require the Vestry’s action. This review, along with any recommendations from it, are then included in a Treasurer’s Report which is presented to the Vestry for their consideration.
  3. On a regular basis, to utilize the Parish Mission and Vision Statement, along with our Five-Year Plan, as guiding documents for the stewardship of this parish’s financial resources so that our community’s shared goals guide our growth and decision-making.

Membership: The Commission is comprised of three ex officio members: the Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and Senior Warden. The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer should have both experience with financial/business concerns and a strong sense of the spiritual implications of a congregation’s stewardship. Additionally, the Commission often submits to the Vestry a fourth person who is a Communicant in Good Standing  of the parish and also has both financial experience and spiritual wisdom. The Vestry may then elect that person to a one-year term, ending at the Annual Meeting. That fourth member is generally appointed to discern a possible calling for future service as the next Assistant Treasurer/Treasurer. With all the members of the Commission elected by the Vestry following the Annual Parish Meeting, the Commission is thereby accountable to the whole parish community for the fiduciary recommendations.

Property Commission

Statement of Purpose: To ensure that our historic church is adequately maintained, with recommendations regarding the property and plant being made with a concern for the longevity of ministry, environmental impact, and our Parish Vision and Five-Year Plan.


  1. To ensure that the Building Fund Budget each year is adequate to current capital needs and required savings for future significant expenditures, with some years using prior reserves to undertake these significant projects.
  2. To participate in our current Capital Needs Discernment and Capital Campaign, ensuring that this process addresses any issues with the building.
  3. To increase parishioner participation with special building and property projects throughout the year.

Membership: This ministry is overseen by the Vestry and is comprised of parishioners who have a passion for our physical plant and an interest in its upkeep. It is chaired by either the Junior Warden or Senior Warden, depending upon how they decide to divide their duties.

Sesquicentennial Commission

Statement of Purpose: This ministry organizes, presents, and celebrates the rich history of our parish, working to prepare us for the future. The commission recognizes our history of social activism which continues today, and seeks to ensure that our parish will make a difference in the community for many years to come.


  1. To inform the congregation and our broader community about the history and ministry of this parish,celebrating and honoring our traditions.
  2. To create an organized digital archive that may be accessed and updated in the future.

Membership: This ministry is overseen by the Vestry, assisted by the Sesquicentennial Commission, comprised of a diverse group of parishioners, both “cradle Episcopalians” and those who are new to our parish. The Commission oversees the work of various sub-committees who are working on a variety of projects related to our Sesquicentennial anniversary in 2016. Following 2016, this temporary Commission will be reorganized into a permanent Historical Commission.

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