At all levels of the church, decision-making is shared by bishops, clergy, and lay people. At the church-wide level, The Episcopal Church is governed by General Convention, a bicameral legislative body that meets every three years. For more information on church-wide governance in The Episcopal Church, click here.
In the Diocese of Oklahoma, we are led by our bishop, The Rt. Rev. Poulson Reed. We are governed by elected leaders on our Diocesan Council and Standing Committee, according to our Diocesan Constitution and Canons. Our Diocese meets in an annual Diocesan Convention to learn, take counsel, and make decisions for the diocese. Each congregation and institution also has its own governance, shared by clergy and lay leadership in partnership with our diocese.
At the individual church (or “parish” as it is called in the Episcopal church) level, St. Augustine’s of Oklahoma City is governed by its own by-laws and the leadership of the Rector, Father Joseph Alsay (aka Father Joseph or Father Joe) and the church’s governing body, called the Vestry. The Vestry is composed of the Rector, the Senior Warden, the Junior Warden, the Treasurer and nine other lay voting members. The Senior Warden is responsible for the overall leadership of the Vestry, promoting the general interest of the Parish and ensuring the proper administration of the Parish. The Junior Warden is responsible for matters concerning the building and grounds.
Each voting Vestry member serves a three-year term with a maximum of two consecutive terms. The Vestry Clerk and the church Registrar serve as non-voting members of the Vestry. The Vestry meets monthly to assist the Rector in promoting the general interest of the Parish, and ensure that all things needed for the orderly worship of God and for the proper administration of the sacraments are provided at the expense of the Parish.