I'm not sure quite how it happened, but I've been elected a member of the Vestry of the Church of the Holy Apostles. I'm not even sure what a vestry does - although I know that it's part of the pride of the Episcopal church's inclusion of laity in decision-making, the term still has a Trollopian quaintness about it for me - but I understand this will be an interesting time to be part of the "lay leadership" of the church. We have a new rector/associate director of the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen (CHA is enmeshed with HASK), and all other senior positions - the associate rector's as well as that of the director of HASK and the main administrator - will turn over in the next year. Turn over or change: both parish and soup kitchen have been hit hard by the economic downturn... I'm happy to be of help in addressing all this (if I can indeed be of help) but I'm also glad in my capacity as a scholar of religion to have a chance to see this kind of change from the inside.