Governance and History
St. John’s Bylaws
In addition to the national and local Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church and our Diocese of Eastern Michigan, St. John’s is governed by its bylaws. Bylaws may only be changed by a meeting of the congregation specifically stated to consider such. The most recently adopted set of Bylaws (February 19, 2017) may be viewed by clicking here.
Vestry – Our Elected Leadership Board
Our bylaws state a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 12 members may serve on St. John’s Vestry in a given year. With our Rector, they oversee resource development, people, property and money to support the mission and ministry of our church. They give voice to and help shape a shared vision of St. John’s.
Vestry elections are conducted each year to replace the outgoing class (each class is made up of 3-4 individuals and regular terms of service are 3 years). Regular meetings occur on a set monthly schedule.
The two Vestry Wardens are elected officer positions within the Vestry. They assist the Rector in managing this group’s work. The other officer, the Vestry Clerk, is responsible for meeting minutes and, along with the wardens, may act as a signing authority on documents required by external agencies.
The Treasurer has been a past position appointed by Vestry to manage external accounts and oversee the work of the church’s bookkeeper. In advance of, and at the January 29, 2017 annual meeting, it was announced that the traditional work of the Treasurer could be split among several individuals and that Business Manager responsibilities would be added to the job description, and carried out by, St. John’s hired Bookkeeper. Denise Isenbarger currently carries out Bookkeeper and Business Manager duties.
The Finance Committee (endowment fund oversight), Buildings & Grounds chair, as well as lay leaders across our ministries, are charged with responsible and faithful stewardship of St. John’s resources. They may take assessments or recommendations regarding their work to the Vestry as appropriate. Some also submit and receive approval of their budgets and/or expenses through Vestry.
This group of elected St. John’s leaders is charged with researching and finding grant opportunities to award from St. John’s Episcopal Church endowment funds. Our Endowment Committee consists of 9 individuals (3 classes of 3 individuals with 3-year terms of service). To learn more about the good work of St. John’s Endowment Committee, click here.
Annual Report, Meeting Notes
Our Annual Report is traditionally compiled each January and contains details on the many ministries of St. John’s Episcopal Church. You may review the report electronically here or request a printed copy from the parish office.
When it approaches, we’ll post an Annual Meeting page with logistics, deadline, and nominating information. In recent years, St. John’s has held its annual meeting on the last Sunday in January.
Each fall, we send representatives to our Diocesan Convention and report back the relevant items for congregations. Please visit this Diocesan Convention page of our website for more.
St. John’s parish was organized in 1870, three years after the first Episcopal services were held in Midland, MI. 2017 marked 150 years of The Episcopal Church in Midland and we are proud of the “Celebrating In Community” held throughout that year. Visit our Sesquicentennial page to learn more.
Our first church was an old barn, dragged across the ice of the Tittabawassee River, and set on a lot at the corner of Larkin and Cronkright Streets. By the middle of the 20 th century, worshipers were crowded in the pews and all available basement space, including a remodeled coal bin, couldn’t accommodate the Sunday school children.
Our current church (designed by Alden B. Dow, son of the Dow Chemical Company’s founder) was built in 1951 with the first services conducted in August 1952. As we entered the 21 st century, funds from a capital campaign, St. John’s endowment income and parish families allowed for extensive renovation of the chancel and the construction of our Griswold House Ministry Center. The generosity of our past St. John’s families provided for much of what we enjoy today in both worship and parish programming: acoustical and lighting improvements, air conditioning, choir/ music rooms, a youth lounge, conference rooms for Bible studies & meetings, as well as staff offices.