In order to appreciate the work of the Missions Committee, it might help to recall the general structure of Saint James. The congregation is the ultimate decision making body of the congregation. They delegate to the Vestry the responsibility of administering the month to month work of the congregation. The five standing committees oversee the ministries of the congregation, shepherded by a pastoral advisor: worship, youth, evangelism, stewardship & education.
These 5 standing committees are usually chaired by an elder who is a member of the Vestry and staffed with volunteers involved and interested in that area of the church’s work. They report to the Vestry. They meet as needed to monitor the work under their supervision and to initiate new efforts. They each have a budget with which to work which is set by the congregation at its November Budget meeting.
The Missions Committee is elected by the congregation directly and reports to the congregation. As a courtesy and for preliminary feedback, they may report to the Vestry before reporting and bringing their recommendations to the congregation. They survey missions so at the November congregational meeting they can recommend 12-14 missions for the congregation to support in the next year. Once those missions are approved by the congregation, the Missions Committee oversees the support of those missions and reports to the congregation what those missions are doing. Sometimes, the congregation has direct contact with the mission fields we support by sending its pastors there or by having mission trips to the location.
Saint James has supported mission trips or pastoral visits to our fellow Christians in India, Juarez, Russia, and the Czech Republic. The Missions Committee reserves “Unexpended Mission Funds” so that if an emergency arises, they can recommend helping the recipient with that reserve fund. One example is the recent allocation of $10,000 from the fund to support the street project in Petrozavodsk and $3,000 to earthquake relief in Nepal.
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