April 20, 2015 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, April 20, 2015 – Narthex

Attending:  Elders Kristin Lavergne, Stephanie Miller, Jeff Morehouse, Fred Royal, Bob Warren, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond, (acting clerk), and the Rev. Mindy Douglas (moderator).

Excused: Heather Bogan, Monty Brekke, Butch Smith, Tina Stark


The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas at 7:00 p.m.  Mindy led the opening devotion, a discussion of her sermon the previous day on "hope," ending with prayer.

A quorum was present and all absences excused.  Pastoral concerns were shared.  There was no leadership development.  Mindy welcomed Mary Donna as acting clerk in Marcia’s absence (elected at the previous meeting).

Approval of Agenda and Consent Agenda

Jeff moved acceptance of the consent agenda items; Kristin seconded the motion which passed unopposed.  The following items were on the Consent Agenda:

a.       Approval of minutes – stated session 3/23/15

b.      Committee minutes – Building and grounds 3/17/15 and 3/24/15; Worship 3/29/15; Children & Youth 3/22/15 and 4/12/15

c.       Correspondence – Board of Pensions, Karla Koll, Jill Hamlin, Union Seminary, UNC Medicine

d.      Salem Presbytery’s Committee on Preparation for Ministry inquiry forms for Libby Boehne

e.      Summer 2015 intern, Indhira Udofia, faith pilgrimage document

Mindy added a report from Children & Youth Ministry Committee to the agenda.  Stephanie moved approval of the agenda, Jeff seconded, and the motion was approved.

Pastor’s Report.  Mindy noted that there were 195 people in worship on Easter Sunday.  Mindy shared a note from Libby Boehne thanking Chapel in the Pines for its support through her Inquirer process.  Mindy read parts of an email from Jill Hamlin thanking Chapel in the Pines for welcoming her so warmly when she attended worship some months ago.  She said the inclusiveness of the congregation was transforming for her.  Stephanie urged that the email be shared with the congregation.

Committee Reports

Finance and Administration.  In Heather’s absence Jerry reviewed the financial report for the first quarter of 2015.  The church has a surplus, is within budget on spending, and is in overall good condition financially.  Several people are paying their pledges in full early in the year, a few are using their credit cards through the Mission Exchange program of the Presbyterian Foundation.  Income from the Strobilus series will offset some expenses, such as piano tuning.  Stephanie made an inquiry about some adjustments to 2014 accounting for easier comparisons between years.  Jerry will work with Janet to make those adjustments.

A discussion of designated giving and the acknowledgement thereof was tabled until the next meeting.

Worship.  Stephanie brought the following motion from the committee: 

that Session approve Will Sibert, Sandy  Williams, Lee Strange, Minnie Sue Douglas, Bill dePrater and Mickey dePrater to serve as celebrant for communion at Tuesday evening silent services (Open Spaces) when neither Mitzi nor Mindy are available to do so.

The motion was approved without dissent.

Stephanie made a request to adjust the 2015 budget to add $500 to the liturgical arts line to cover the cost of fabric used in the sanctuary at Easter.  After discussion, the Session decided to not increase the budget but to allow the Worship Committee to use funds from other lines in their budget to cover this cost.  Funds will be added in the liturgical arts line in future years.

Stephanie noted that a typographical error had been made in the church operations manual calling the Liturgical Arts Subcommittee a "committee."  She asked the Session to approve the correction of this error in the Operations Manual as well as in all other places where such an error appears.  Jeff seconded Stephanie’s motion which passed unopposed.

Personnel.  In Butch’s absence, Mindy brought the following motion from the Personnel Committee:

that Session approve increasing the housing allowance component of Mindy’s effective salary by $9,000 from $24,000 to $33,000 and reducing the salary part of her effective salary by $9,000.

After a brief explanation that this move resulted in no net increase, Mindy left the meeting.  Stephanie assume the role of moderator.  There was brief discussion and the motion was passed unanimously.  Mindy returned to the meeting.

Children and Youth Ministry.  A letter from Debbie Sears regarding the difficulty of getting Sunday school teachers was discussed.  Stephanie noted that many members have come from large churches with large staffs and lots of parents/members to share the responsibilities of teaching.  Bob noted a lack of support from time to time for those who have offered to teach.  It was agreed that everyone will speak to or email Debbie and let her know that the Session shares her concerns and is hoping to find ways to solve the problem.  A search committee will be formed soon to begin the process of finding a part-time educator who might help solve some of the aspects of this dilemma.


Nominating Committee.  Stephanie reported that the committee has identified Al Schalk to fill the third spot for ruling elder.  Al is an ordained ruling elder.  He will be presented at the congregational meeting on April 26.

Committee Responsibilities Task Force.  Jeff said the group has intentionally not met since the last Session meeting, as they were waiting for all the committee input to be submitted (deadline was this meeting) but would be meeting the next day to review submitted material.  He noted that 6 of the committees have completed the questionnaire/survey and encouraged the remaining committees to submit something to him as soon as possible.



Acknowledgement of email vote to call congregational meeting for April 26, 2015.  Bob moved that the Session acknowledge this action and that it be recorded in the minutes.  Jeff seconded the motion, which passed unopposed.

Intern Love Offering.  After brief discussion, it was agreed that paid interns shall not receive love offerings.  Mindy reported that the intern lay committee will provide cake on Nick Anderson’s last day, May 3.

Stephanie asked what is done when people who regularly attend worship have been absent for a while.  Mindy said she and/or Mitzi typically call on those who have stopped coming.  Deacons may also make inquiries.  There is contact by the Membership Committee during the annual review of the rolls, but perhaps a more intentional method should be implemented.

Stephanie asked if a date has been set for the Committee/Volunteer Recruitment Fair.  No date has been set.

Stephanie asked if there will be a Session retreat in 2015.  Mindy indicated that there would be one.

The next stated Session meeting will be May 18 at 7:00 p.m.  Jerry Wehmueller will give the devotion. 

A motion to adjourn was made and passed.  Mindy led a closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.


Respectfully submitted, 



Mary Donna Pond, Acting Clerk

Approved by session 5/18/15