April 19, 2021 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Virtual Stated Meeting April 19, 2021 7 PM
Present – : Barbara Amago, Greg Behr, Paul Bolig, Tom Crosby, Keith Glidewell, Paul Harrell, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer), Serena Zum Brunnen
Guest: Karen and Brownell Johnston, Cynthia and Henry Schaefer, Tim White
Andrew called the meeting to order at 7 PM. Session met with new members, Cynthia and Henry Schaefer and Karen and Brownell Johnston. They introduced themselves and said why they were attracted to Chapel in the Pines. Andrew then asked session to introduce themselves and what committee they represent. They will officially join the church this Sunday at 11AM. Andrew asked the new members if they had any questions, hearing none, Andrew thanked them for their presence and told them they were free to leave.
Paul Harrell opened with a devotion. Andrew offered prayer concerns, and asked others for prayer concerns on their minds. Paul Harrell opened the meeting with prayer.
Andrew then asked for motions on the agenda. Greg moved to approve the agenda, it was seconded and approved unanimously. Andrew then called for a motion to approve the consent agenda. Greg moved to approve, it was seconded and passed unanimously.
Consent Agenda-Please read these items in advance. They will be voted on as a group without discussion unless someone pulls a particular entry from the Consent Agenda
- Approval of Session minutes – Stated Meeting 3/15/21
- Approval of Committee Minutes – Building and Grounds 3/16/21, Fellowship 4/6/21, Deacons 4/5/21, Worship 4/11/21, Personnel 4/13/21, Christian Education 4/12/21, Finance and Administration 4/15/21
- Approval of Staff Minutes – 3/18 & 4/18/21
- Correspondence – Chatham Habitat Update
Pastor’s Report Andrew drew session’s attention to his Moderator’s report. He reached out to the Hispanic Liaison about the possibility of Chapel in the Pines hosting a vaccination event through the Chatham Health Department. We’re partnering with them to help provide subsistence for folks with people in need. We’re also hoping to get translation help with expanding our food offerings with the Farm at Penny Lane and Breakaway. He’s hoping we can move forward soon. Paul Harrell asked if they are still offering money for DACA, Andrew will find out.
Staff is going to try to record the outdoor services for 2 weeks and see how well it will work so they can upload it to the U Tube which will keep them from having to do the recorded services. They are going to continue to offer the 10AM service until after the vaccines are available to those 16 and under. He asked for questions, there were none.
Andrew shared the results of the survey for the retreat. One of the respondents said they would participate only if everyone has been vaccinated. Mary said that was her comment and she is not going to be with people inside who are not vaccinated. Most respondents are willing to meet inside. Serena asked if we can do a hybrid meeting to honor everyone’s preferences. Andrew indicated that would be doable. Paul Bolig asked what Andrew meant by a hybrid. Andrew indicated we could project an image from a laptop onto the wall. Bruce said they do scout meetings in that hybrid fashion, the audio side of the hybrid, however, cannot always be uniform. Greg asked if we could shift to an outdoor option. Barbara asked if we could all bring laptops and be on zoom and in person. Andrew would like the retreat to involve a lot of dialogue and interaction; that is difficult to do without seeing one another. Mary asked if we could ask anonymously if people are comfortable saying they’ve been vaccinated and if so they have been. Andrew will get out a google form with that question.
The majority responses to the retreat survey was for the one day option.
After deducting $2,833 to partially pay for our monthly mortgage payment from the operating surplus we still had a “net” operating surplus of $5,754 for the month of March. This represents the third month when revenues exceeded expenses. With most of the members who pay their annual pledges in the early months of the year having completed their pledge it is expected that operating expenses will pick up and operating revenues will slow resulting in our historic pattern of running mostly small monthly deficits the rest of the year. This has typically resulted in the surplus being much smaller by year end again. The surplus thru March is currently at about $76,500 which is almost the same as it was last year at this time.
There was $50,000 transferred from our bank account to our PILP investment account this month. The result will increase our interest earnings by around $650 per year. Jerry asked if there were questions, none were noted.
Committee/Task Force Reports/Actions
A. Building and Grounds
Bruce indicated that Building and Grounds has put in long hours examining filtration systems and is probably coming to session with a recommendation to purchase a system that has been designed during Covid, to filtrate against Covid. The system is LED based and does not emit mercury or ozone, like some of the other filtration systems, but Building and Grounds wants to do a little more digging, including getting a firm installation cost from Boer Brothers and one for ongoing expenses. He wants Tim to look at the system from an insurance perspective. Bruce asked if there were any questions, there were none.
B. Christian Education
Serena explained that with the graduation of our current intern, Vance Stiles, there is a void in Youth ministry. That is an important part of Vance’s ministry, and we cannot assume our next intern will be so inclined. Hence we need to hire staff 4 – 5 hours/week, mostly on Sunday afternoons and evenings @ $500 per month. The new staff member’s purpose is to co-lead weekly youth activities designed to foster the faith development of middle and high schoolers involved in the life of the church. The job description for this position is contained in the pre-session packet.
With Vance’s departure, Serena’s committee is asking session to
Move to provide a church-wide Love Offering to honor and celebrate the work of Vance Stiles with Chapel in the Pines.
It was also noted that Joelle is going to put together videos for Vance’s time with us to give to him. After very little discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Serena indicated that the playground needs to be “spruced” up. Christian Education wants to start with mulching it and offered the following motion
The Christian Education Committee moves to spend $900 for playground mulch, monies coming from the Memorial Fund.
Jerry indicated those monies are available. Andrew called the question, the motion passed unanimously.
Mary indicated that the consensus of her committee was that we need to watch the situation in North Carolina and the US overall carefully. It will be particularly important to see what happens with COVID-19 rates now that schools in Chatham County are reopening. We should not make any promises, or set a precise date, but now that immunization is available to all people 16 and older, we could hope that by sometime in the summer we could return to the sanctuary. Some in her committee wondered why the rush to meet inside? There is a concern that we do not want to create two churches – one for old and one for young.
She also indicated that for indoor worship, many things would have to change, including communion, seating, the need for registration, ventilation. Socializing would need to be done outside. The outside family service, 10 AM, would continue until children can be vaccinated. The Committee stressed the importance of people feeling welcomed. She thinks there is work to be done in getting people comfortable with the work we have done to return safely inside.
Andrew said Mary needs more input, asked each elder to reach out to Mary to give input. Andrew and Mary will work on a form to send out to the elders in advance of the early May meeting, and she will come to that meeting with input from those forms. Barbara reminded the group of our previous motion about not meeting in person until there are significant and sustained improvements in our area.
D. Finance and Administration
Paul Bolig indicated his team has looked at the church’s security system and feels it needs to be upgraded. He offered the following motion for the committee
The Finance and Administration Committee recommends that Session approve the upgrading of the current security system at Chapel in the Pines and the costs associated with this enhancement.
He said the upgrade is Wi-Fi-enabled, and would add two (2) cameras, each with a microphone and speaker that would cover the entire front courtyard (60 feet during the daytime; 15-20 feet at night) allowing staff to communicate with anyone at the door from a safe location within the building before allowing that person entry. The cost of the upgraded equipment, including the additional cameras plus the installation, is $707. The new monthly cost of the security system would be $110, an increase of $28.50 above the current monthly cost.
Mary asked about surveillance of the church grounds when groups are meeting in the church. Bruce talked about using the cameras by the ushers during services to monitor what is going on in the front of the church. The motion passed unanimously.
Andrew called on Greg to present his motion, he presented
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church will add its name and support to the Medicaid expansion efforts organized by Care4Carolina.
Greg explained that he has become involved in this humanitarian effort to close the healthcare gap in North Carolina and feels it is the right thing to signal our church’s support of these efforts. Andrew asked for a second, it was offered. Greg asked if there were questions, there were none. The session voted unanimously to approve the motion.
Andrew indicated that on the April 18 prayer zoom between Mt Zion and Chapel in the Pines, Oronde Ash, a friend of Andrew’s and native of St Vincent gave a presentation about the destruction in St Vincent from the recent volcano eruption. A flyer describing the destruction was contained in the pre-session packet. Oronde asked the prayer meeting participants if each of our churches would be willing to collect clothes and other items for the volcano victims in barrels to be sent to St. Vincent. He asked if someone would make a motion to
Authorize 2 barrels to be placed in the Fellowship Hall for donations to St Vincent volcano victims
Serena made the motion, it was seconded by Paul Harrell and passed unanimously after limited discussion. Bruce said putting them in the Fellowship Hall is not practical, they should be under the porch in the front of the church.
Bruce amended the motion to read
Authorize 2 barrels to be placed on the front porch for donations to St Vincent volcano victims
The amended motion passed unanimously.
Andrew indicated when the budget was drawn up, we did not have a High School Youth Group. We do now and they want to go to Montreat, he asked someone to make the motion
Chapel in the Pines will pay for 1/2 of students’ registration fees and one adult registration for the Montreat High School Youth conference this summer, the total cost will be $1400. The monies that are being asked for from the church is $580.
Serena made the motion, Paul Bolig seconded it. Andrew asked for questions. Paul asked where the monies are coming from, it was not budgeted which is why the motion is needed. Jerry believes the money can be found. Paul Harrell indicated there is some monies that might be used from Mission and Service, he will ask his committee. The motion passed unanimously.
Andrew is also proposing that session hold an additional meeting on the first Monday of the month from 7 PM – 7:30 PM dedicated solely to reopening procedures. Individual committees are working hard. Things shift quickly. He wants us to have the flexibility to authorize decisions without having to resort to email votes. He asked someone to make the following motion.
Hold an additional session meeting, the first Monday of the month at 7 PM, as long as needed.
Bruce made the motion and Barbara seconded it. Paul Bolig wanted to make clear this will only happen until we meet in person. Bruce can see it going on after we meet in person for as needed. Paul Bolig amended the motion to read
Hold an additional session meeting, the first Monday of the month at 7 PM, these will go on for l month after the sanctuary is opened for worship.
It was seconded and passed unanimously.
Andrew indicated, he would hold these meetings to a half hour and their focus would be solely on the transition back to in person worship in the building. After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Andrew said there is a Salem Presbytery meeting May 11, via zoom and asked if someone is willing to attend. Paul Bolig volunteered
He asked for a motion and a second to
Elect Paul Bolig to Represent Chapel in the Pines at the May 13 Salem Presbytery meeting
The motion was offered and seconded; it passed unanimously. Finally Marcia asked each elder to review their component of the Manual of Operations and get any changes to her before the next meeting.
There being no further business, Andrew ended the meeting with a prayer at 8:40 PM.
Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals
Since the last stated meeting on March 15, 2021, the Lord’s Supper was performed virtually on March 17, 24 and 31; April 7 and 14. The following new members, Ann and Doug Feicht, Cynthia and Henry Schaefer and Karen and Brownell Johnston, will officially join the church on May 2, 2021. There were no baptisms, weddings or funerals.
Clerk of Session
Approved session May 17, 2021