Spend some time in any Anglican church and you may feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of a British murder mystery. You’ll hear the pastor called ‘vicar,’ ‘rector’ or ‘parish priest.’ You’ll hear references to churchwardens, the undercroft, and other odd terms. The STAFF page will help you navigate some of the people in the parish and what their titles mean.

Clergy

In a local Anglican church, you’re likely to run into two kinds of ordained ministers: a deacon and a priest.

In Anglicanism, a deacon is an ordained position. A deacon takes vows to “encourage and equip the household of God, to care for the stranger, to embrace the poor and helpless, and to seek them out, so that they may be relieved,” (BCP 478). You may also see a deacon read the Gospel lesson, prepare Communion, and preach.

Not every parish has a deacon. But in our context every priest has also been ordained as a deacon, so his pastoral leadership flows out of a servant’s heart. The word ‘priest’ simply means elder, presbyter. He vows “to teach, to warn, to feed, and to provide for the Lord’s family, and to seek for Christ’s sheep who are in the midst of this fallen world, that they may be saved through Christ forever,” (BCP 489). Depending on the type of congregation he serves and on his tenure, the priest is also either a vicar or rector. A vicar is appointed by the bishop for a defined period to foster the life of a parish. A rector is a tenured senior pastor of the congregation, called by the parish.

We won’t bog you down with other titles...but be warned, there are more!

Vestry

The Vestry is made up of members who are elected by the congregation to form the governing body of the parish under the oversight of the priest. They work in tandem with the priest to facilitate the financial side of his pastoral vision for the parish. The Vestry keeps the church building maintained and open for you to visit! At St. Andrew’s, our Vestry Members do double duty (or triple!) by acting as liaisons or leaders of parish committees.

Wardens are special members of the vestry. They hold the highest, non-ordained offices in the parish and act as guardians of the parish. There are generally two wardens, called the Senior Warden and the Junior Warden. The Senior Warden advises and supports the priest, and if the priest should keel over, the Senior Warden is in charge. The Junior Warden is most directly responsible for the care of the church property.

Rich Gabrielson

Deb Marrer

Dori Church

Joan Mueller

Wayne Davison

John Smales

Staff

With this category you’re probably in more familiar territory. The staff is composed of skilled people who are hired and overseen by the parish priest - and paid by the Vestry.

Craig Johnson