Canon 07 Of Parishes and Vestries
Every congregation shall belong to the Church in the diocese in which its place of worship is located. Every congregation of this church shall be incorporated within the state where it is located.
The formation of a new parish or the reception of an existing one is left to the action of the Diocesan Convention acting with the recommendation of the Bishop and the Council of Advice. The Bishop may offer episcopal oversight until the action of the Diocesan Convention.
Every parish shall, if possible, own its own property and have control over it and neither the diocese nor this Church shall have any equitable interest or trust estate therein. For the purposes of his office, and for the full and free discharge of all the functions and duties pertaining thereto, the Rector shall, at all times, be entitled to the use and control of the church and parish buildings with the appurtenances and furniture thereof.
The Rector of the parish shall be chosen by the vestry with the consent of the congregation and the Bishop and said Rector shall be subject to all the provisions of these canons. In every case, the Bishop shall license the credentials of the priest chosen to be Rector before he is canonically instituted.
The vestry of the parish is the governing board chosen in accordance with the laws of the state, diocesan canons and its own by-laws. Except as provided by the laws of the state or of the diocese, the vestry shall have legal responsibility for the temporalities of the parish, serving as the agent and the legal representative thereof. The vestry shall be a part of the Board of Directors of the parish corporation. The Rector shall always be a member of the vestry and its presiding officer, having both voice and vote.
Each parish shall define the qualifications for the members of its vestry in the parish by-laws.