April 11, 2011 Stated Session Meeting
Attending: Elders Lynne Hoerter, Marcia Ladd, Stephanie Miller, Michelle Morehouse, Ed Park, Vicky Raymond, Chuck Rickard, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), and the Rev. Mindy Douglas Adams (Moderator).
Excused: Jack Zollinger (Treasurer). Guests: Rachel Stevens, Karen Meredith
The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas Adams at 6:30 p.m. A quorum was present. Mindy welcomed the Deacon representative, Karen Meredith, and newly-elected Elder (but yet to be installed), Rachel Stevens. Michelle led a word-share-prayer devotion using Revelation 3:20 followed by prayer.
Approval of Agenda. One addition was made to the agenda which was approved by common consent.
Concerns and Celebrations. Concerns and celebrations were shared.
Leadership Development. "Can Leaders Cultivate Humility?" from the FastGrowth.biz blog was discussed and everyone agreed that the humility of leaders is important as groups work together, something we should all strive for.
Approval of Minutes. The minutes of the Stated Session meeting of March 14, 2011, and the annual meeting of the Congregation on April 3, 2011, were approved with one typographical correction.
Correspondence. Letters from Cedepca in Guatemala and the Board of Pensions Assistance Program were shared. A thank-you note from Rosy Robson, our student intern, for our gift to her was shared. A flyer from Salem Presbytery’s Stewardship Committee about "One Step Further" inviting our participation was shared.
Pastor’s Report. Mindy announced that she has been given a $3,000 grant from the Board of Pensions to support her sabbatical this summer. She enjoyed her weekend of vacation and got some much-appreciated rest and relaxation.
Treasurer’s Report. In Jack’s absence, Jerry gave the report. The Balance Sheet, Revenue and Expense Report, and Restricted Funds reports were distributed prior to the meeting. A new account on the balance sheet reflects funds now on deposit with the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program, required for our loan. Combined with Salem Presbytery’s funds, we have met the required 5% invested to qualify for the loan. A new liabilities line, Excess Cash Received, reflects retained earnings. Revenues are tracking well and expenses are being carefully managed.
Outreach. Michelle reported on a meeting of the North Chatham County Community Churches at which an event was planned for May 21, at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Area agencies will have representatives on hand to provide information to all attending churches in hopes of improving communication between and among agencies and local churches. Mindy and Michelle also reported that the hunger event, "Until All Are Fed," held at Pittsboro Presbyterian April 3 was a wonderful event. Mindy asked if other times or days might be better for CITP members, who were low in attendance at the event. People agreed that the timing of the event was fine. The event on immigration held March 20, was also excellent. Most of those who attended were from CITP. Michelle again stated that a new Outreach Chair as well as new committee members are needed.
Communication. Stephanie also reiterated the need for more members of the communication committee. She is working on a press release about the Walton Grant and our beginning construction to send to the News and Observer.
Membership. Jerry asked about the possibility of working with Lynette Hawkins (Beyond Marketing Group and Awesome Insight) on ways to grow the church membership. Mindy suggested this might be something we could do with other small churches in the area and that the membership committee may want to pursue it.
Ed was welcomed back after his time in Korea. The committee had not met since his return and he had no report. Mindy reported that officer training has gone well with three joint training sessions already held. One more, with Elders and Deacons meeting separately, will be held before Ordination/Installation on May 15.
Jerry reported that the results from the Time and Talent forms that were in the stewardship packets have been compiled and sent to committees. He has drafted a letter that will be enclosed with the upcoming quarterly contribution statements, letting people know of the challenges and headwinds ahead. The committee plans to make regular financial reports for the newsletter and website. Jerry is also working on the letter to Capital Campaign donors offering them the opportunity to opt out of the tithe to mission/outreach. It will be assumed that those who do not reply agree to have a tithe of their gift used for outreach. The FAB committee will begin looking at projected expenses associated with the new building as they start the budget planning process for 2012.
Personnel. Marcia reported that as a result of the Time and Talent survey, Bob Hoerter has now joined the Personnel Committee.
Vicky said everything is going well. Mindy asked her to remind people of the deadline to register for the Montreat Music and Worship Conference.
Building Planning Committee Report. Lynne reported that there had been a meeting at the site earlier in the day with officials from Chatham County. Bruce Raymond was there representing CITP. Vicky reported that the officials had cautioned us that there may be some concern expressed over the cleared land and that we should prepare our congregation and friends that about 2 acres will be pretty raw looking once it is initially cleared. Vicky was unsure whether Bruce actually had received the permits. Stephanie suggested it would be good to have a rendering of the building on a sign near the construction site. She and Lynne will work on that. Once we have the site permits, we can then apply for the building permit. We have yet to sign a final contract with the builder, C.T. Wilson, but Lynne said Don Rorke and Bruce Raymond are working on the final draft and it should be ready for attorney review and signing this week. Depending on the weather, we hope to complete construction around Thanksgiving or in early December. Keith Shaw is compiling a listing of the "green" aspects of the project.
Lynne moved that Chapel in the Pines use the $40,000 Walton Grant for "construction costs for the church." Marcia seconded the motion. Jerry spoke in support of the motion and distributed a spreadsheet showing projected loan draws and cash flow. There was brief conversation about perhaps adding some of the construction details that had been removed (such as the wood flooring, stonework, and even the educational rooms). It was agreed that we are working on a very tight budget, even with the grant, and should be cautious at this time. Mindy asked for a vote on the motion which passed unopposed. She instructed the Clerk to prepare the form to return for Presbytery approval and return to the Office of Mission Program Grants of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She also asked that Lynne and Mary Donna join her in writing letters to the Walton family thanking them and sharing some of our good news stories.
Loan Financing. Jerry elaborated on the spreadsheet he distributed and said that if all goes well, we should have three years of mortgage payments on hand at the end of construction and when all Capital Campaign pledges have been paid. Stephanie asked when the loan closing will occur. Jerry and Lynne detailed the various pieces that still need to be submitted and expressed confidence that the closing will happen within a week or so.
Ed asked about the designated gifts list that the Furnishings Committee has compiled and the ambiguity of the form. Mindy suggested that wording be added to the form indicating that contributions toward the purchase of the items will be accepted and that the choice of specific items will be made by the committee, not the donor.
A suggestion was made that the names of the people serving on the Building Committee and on the Furnishings Committee be added to the website.
Presbytery Commissioner. Mindy called for a vote to affirm the email vote taken earlier to elect Mary Donna Pond as Commissioner to the April 9 meeting of Salem Presbytery. The Session unanimously affirmed that email vote.
Presbytery Report. Mindy and Mary Donna reported on the April 9 meeting, including descriptions of the worship service, the action taken to approve Amendment 10-A to The Book of Order, and remarks from Rev. Hector Rodriguez about Hispanic ministry in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) They both agreed it was a very good meeting.
Wedding and Building Use Policies. Mindy told the Session we have had an inquiry about a wedding for 2012. It was agreed that we need to begin work on policies for both weddings and for use of the building. Lynne suggested that Phyllis Greene and Emily Smith be asked to work on this. Mary Donna volunteered to work with them. Mindy suggested we request copies of policies used by other small churches to help in the process of developing ours.
Guest Preacher. Mindy said that Samara Joy Nielsen, whom the Session had approved to preach on May 29, is now unable to be here. Mindy asked that the Session now approve the Rev. Lori Pistor, former Associate Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Durham, as Guest Pastor on May 29. The vote was unanimous to approve the Rev. Pistor.
The next Stated Session meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 9, 2011, at the Douglas home in Briar Chapel. Lynne will give the opening devotion.
A Seder meal will be provided on Maundy Thursday at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church with several of the north Chatham churches participating. The Good Friday service will be hosted by Chatham Community Church and will be held in their space at Cole Park Plaza.
Following prayer, the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
Mary Donna Pond, Clerk
Approved by Session May 9, 2011