Grace Notes


Annual Meeting Next Week
Next Sunday (January 23) Grace Church will hold its Annual Meeting.

A lot of mythology has accrued to the Annual Meeting over the years (as to vestries, by-laws and the like). But much of that mythology has more to do with tradition than with Canon or New Jersey State Law.

There is nothing in the Constitution and Canons about Annual meetings, for example. There are a few lines about the fact that members of the vestry and wardens must be selected in accordance with State or Diocesan law, but not anything about Annual Meetings as such or even that such elections must take place at something like an Annual Meeting.

The Canons of the Diocese of Newark don't seem to mention Annual Meetings, either. It's in the By-Laws of Grace Church (which must be in line both with national and diocesan Canons and with the laws of the State of New Jersey) where we find the details about the Annual Meeting.

According to our by-laws the Annual Meeting shall be held on the Second Sunday after the Epiphany (we miss it by one week). Notice must be given by an advertisement near the church door 10 days in advance of the meeting and by the Rector announcing it the two Sundays prior at some point during worship. The rector is to preside at the meeting, or a warden if the rector is absent, or a member of the vestry if neither rector nor wardens is present. The presiding officer is to judge the qualification of voters, receive the votes cast and declare the results of elections.

So, who may vote at the Annual Meeting? According to the by-laws (which take their cue in this from diocesan Canons) "persons entitled to vote at any meeting of the Parish shall be:

  1. Baptized;
  2. At least 16 years of age;
  3. Of good moral character;
  4. Adherents of the Protestant Episcopal Church;
  5. Regular attendees at the services of the Parish, for six (6) calendar months before the meeting; and
  6. Regular contributors for 6 months to the current expenses of the Parish. The record maintained by the Treasurer of contributions showing dates of contributions, is sufficient evidence as to the qualifications of a voter for section (6)."

I note with gratitude that it only takes three qualified voters to make a Quorum! I'm not sure if anyone has ever been disqualified from voting in an Annual Meeting. Most places assume that those in attendance will vote only if in good conscience they meet these qualifications. I can't imagine, as presiding officer in most cases, deciding to disqualify someone for something like sections (3) or (4), but maybe it's happened at some point (though I'm sure never at Grace Church).

Finally, a Nominating Committee is appointed by the presiding officer at each Annual Meeting for the purpose of nominating potential vestry members for the next meeting. Though we also elect other officers (to Diocesan Convention, District 9 representation, etc.) at our Annual Meeting, these elections, strictly speaking, are not provided for in the by-laws.

This year we will hold a special meeting just prior to the Annual Meeting (a notice has been posted and also published in the bulletin for a few weeks) about a change in the by-laws regarding the size of the vestry (an attempt to get the size of our vestry in line with that of vestries in similarly sized parishes), but don’t worry—it shouldn't add any significant time to the proceedings. As is our custom, the meeting will take place over a pot-luck meal. If you are able, please bring a dish. If you are not able, please come anyway and enjoy each others' food and fellowship and take your place in the councils of the Church.

--Father Rhodes

PICK UP THE Diocese of Newark’s Newspaper "The Voice"... The January 2011 issue of the Voice, 24 pages filled with pre-convention news as well as feature articles and photos from around the diocese, is now available. You may pick up a print copy from the narthex or download it from the diocesan website here. (The paper will no longer be mailed directly to your home.)

PLEDGE CARDS... Thank you to everyone who has pledged to God’s work at Grace Church in 2011. If you have not yet made your pledge to Grace Church for 2011, please do so as soon as possible. Extra pledge cards are in the narthex. Thank you!

2011 OFFERING ENVELOPES... Please be sure to pick up your 2011 pledge envelopes from the narthex.

ANNUAL MEETING... Sunday, January 23rd following the 10 am Mass. Bring a dish to share for the potluck lunch.

ANNUAL REPORTS... A reminder that reports of various committees must be in the church office no later than Tuesday, January 18th. Thank you!

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. COMMEMORATION... sponsored by the Westwood Clergy Council, will be held Sunday, January 16 at 4 pm at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 22 Sand Rd., Westwood.

THANK YOU TO ALL WALK-IN-DINNER PARTICIPANTS... On Thursday, January 6, Grace Church served a dinner of barbecued chicken, macaroni and cheese, green beans, salad, bread, peaches, cookies, and beverage at Bergen County’s Housing, Health and Human Services Center in Hackensack. According to the official count, we served 81 persons, including twenty take outs. Thank you to all who prepared food, contributed items, or went down to Hackensack to serve the meal. As in the past, the meal again witnessed to what God's grace means. Several of the participants thanked us especially for the meal. Our next Walk-In-Dinner is scheduled for Thursday March 3, 2011. It is never too early to volunteer. Those who want to participate should speak to Jim Freeman during Coffee Hour or call him. The main menu item in March will be ziti with meat sauce.

REMEMBER FOOD FOR FRIENDS THIS WINTER... Winter has set in with a vengeance and should be with us well into March. The statistics concerning those who have been unemployed for over a year and are losing faith and hope is very disturbing. Many of these persons may be turning to food pantries to make ends meet. Please help St. Paul’s help people in serious need. The Food Pantry especially welcomes high protein items, such as beans and canned meats. Otherwise, their wish list asks specifically for tuna, cereal, peanut butter, rice, coffee, and pasta. Alternatively checks may be drawn in favor of St. Paul's Community Development Corporation and marked Food Pantry. Please send checks directly to St. Paul's at 451 Van Houten Street, Paterson, NJ 07501.Thank you.

2011 CALENDARS... New calendars are available in the narthex. Please help yourself!

Ministers of the Assembly

January 16January 23
MP Officiant and LEM (8 am)John SchneiderAndy Smethurst
Lay EucharisticLeslie BisdaleDebbi Geller
Ministers (10 am)Larry SundenMary Sunden
LectorBill HafemannMiriam Colwell
Intercessor (Prayers)Andy SmethurstRandall Scott
Chief ServerBen MartinWarren Hirstius
AcolytesTyler MarshallJustin Hirstius
Dylan MarshallDebbi Geller
ThuriferEvans RoacheKate Landi
UshersMickey HafemannJim Cloke
Bill HafemannPat Landi
CountersJim FreemanJanet Delaney
Aki OkunlolaCookie Smethurst
Altar GuildLouise DowdiePat Landi
Daisy ToppinChris Scott
Coffee HourDaisy ToppinLouise Dowdie
Theresa OkunlolaPatty Sayre