April 21, 2014 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting: April 21, 2014 – Adult Classroom


Attending: Ruling Elders Monty Brekke, Cindy Massey, Stephanie Miller, Jeff Morehouse, Fred Royal, Tina Stark, Rachel Stevens, John Walkup, Bob Warren, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer), and Teaching Elder Rev. Mindy Douglas (Moderator)



Mindy Douglas called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  She noted there was 100% attendance and thanked everyone for attending.  Mary Donna gave the opening devotion using Psalm 23 and a lesson on shepherding and leadership, closing with prayer.  Concerns and celebrations were shared.

Leadership Development.  Mindy reviewed statistics and trends in David A. Roozen’s "A Decade of Change in American Congregations 2000-2010."  She reported that the recent Congregational Planning Survey has been analyzed and she will share the results with the Session.  She asked each person to bring to the next meeting a list of three things they find intriguing in the results.  She and others shared concerns regarding the survey, including its length and the inability to stop before finishing and return to complete the survey at a later time.

Approval of Agenda and Consent Agenda:  Three items were added to the agenda:  approval of Rosy Robson and other PCM students to preach and lead worship on April 27, a change of date for the May Stated Session meeting, and the calling of a congregational meeting May 4 to elect one Elder to the Session and a member of the Nominating Committee.  It was moved and seconded that the agenda be approved as revised.  The Consent Agenda was approved, as follows:

a.       Approval of Minutes:  Stated Session Meeting February 17, 2014; Called Session meeting February 23, 2014; Annual Congregational Meeting February 23, 2014; Congregational Meeting  March 9, 2014

b.      Committee minutes – Children and Youth Committee-February 2014; Building and Grounds Committee  Minutes – February 18, March 4, March 18 2014, Outreach Committee 04-10-14;

c.    Correspondence:  Chatham Literacy Council, PILP, the Rev. Fran Olson, Chatham Habitat for Humanity, Chatham County Together

Jeff asked that in the future, the Clerk name documents in the Session Packet so that they might be more easily connected to agenda items.

Pastor’s Report.  Mindy celebrated the wonderful Holy Week services and thanked everyone for their gifts and work to make the services so meaningful.  Celebrating Maundy Thursday and Good Friday with Evergreen UMC was a positive experience.  Mindy reported she is completing another term in her D.Min. studies and the new term will begin the week of May 19.  She also shared that we will have a new seminary intern for the summer, again at no cost to us, thanks to our partnership with Evergreen UMC.  Mindy asked that Mary Donna poll the current Intern Lay Committee to ascertain if they would like to again serve with the new intern.


FAB Committee.  Jerry reviewed the Treasurer’s Report for the first quarter of 2014.  Although revenues were slightly up, expenses were substantially higher than 2013.  Cautious optimism was expressed.

Jerry reported that Consecration Sunday appears to have been successful.  A total of 79 pledges were received – 10 more than 2013 – and total pledges are up.  Seventy percent of those who pledge in 2013 increased their giving level for 2014.

A motion from the FAB committee to change its name to "Finance Committee" was amended to rename the committee "Finance and Administration Committee."  The motion passed.

As the consideration of the 2014 budget began, John asked that Mindy leave the meeting briefly.  A discussion of staff compensation followed.  The Personnel and Finance Committees will meet to hammer out the details of adequate compensation vs. limited funds.  Mindy returned to the meeting.  A discussion followed over the decision to cut some committees’ funding to 2013 spending levels.  Priorities were discussed, including the addition of a Christian Education position, the need for work on the bio-retention ponds, and advertising opportunities.  John called the question.  The vote to end discussion of the motion passed.  The vote to approve the 2014 budget as proposed by the Finance and Administration Committee was decided on a 6 to 4 vote.  The budget was adopted at $284,352.  Jerry reminded committee chairs to come to the Finance/Administration committee with any needs not covered by the budget and if funds become available, those requests will be considered.  It was also noted that the 2014 budget does not include a draw from reserve funds.

A motion to establish the Chapel in the Pines Endowment Fund, using an initial $5,000 gift donated for such a purpose, was passed unopposed.

Jerry reported the committee is exploring online giving through the Presbyterian Foundation, the fees for which are 3.5% of donations made through this method.  Bob suggested consideration of the online giving feature through ACS.  Jerry asked the Session to approve the use of online giving, the particulars of which will be worked out in committee.  The vote passed unopposed.

Cindy explained that work is going forward on Estate Planning.  A representative of the Presbyterian Foundation will be here on May 25 to lead an estate planning seminar.  Letters will be sent inviting congregational participation.  Chuck Rickard, Stan Campbell, and Jerry Wehmueller are working on this.

Personnel.  A motion to receive love gifts for Rosy Robson and Libby Boehne was approved.  These women will be recognized and the gifts will be given to them during worship on May 4.

Due to her daughter’s very serious health problems, Nana Morelli has had a difficult time working all of her hours for the past several weeks.  Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, the work of the church continues to be done.  But with the future uncertainties, Mindy asked the Session to consider a motion to pay Nana Morelli for 25 hours/week regardless of how many hours she is able to work for a period of three months (April 21 through July 2014).  The motion was made by Fred and seconded by Stephanie and passed unopposed.

Communications.  Bob shared a post card from Chatham Community Church announcing their community work day.  Mindy reminded the Session that Chapel in the Pines combined with CCC some years ago for "The Church Has Left the Building."  The Session agreed this would be a wonderful opportunity for us and asked Monty to take the idea to the Outreach Committee.

Outreach.  A motion from the committee to release $5,000 from the 2010-2012 capital campaign to XDS (Cross Disability Services) to be used toward the purchase of a mobile health care unit was discussed.  Rachel expressed concern about this project and asked that a detailed plan be submitted and studied prior to approval of this expense.  Jeff asked if it would be possible to get the church logo put on the vehicle.  The motion was defeated and Outreach was asked to get further details and return with the necessary assurances.

A second motion, to allocate the local outreach portion of the 2013-2015 capital campaign as follows: 20% to Farm at Penny Lane, 20% to Chatham Literacy and 10% to Circles (contingent on satisfactory report from each of these organizations) was discussed.  Clarification of the term "satisfactory report" was requested.  Monty explained that the committee is requesting reports from these groups, to which we have given funds in the past, before additional funds are given.  Specific requests for funds from these organizations have been made, but they were all time-sensitive and we were unable to respond to those requests at those times.  Upon voting, this motion passed.  Monty explained that the other 50% will be made for Global Outreach and a request will be forthcoming.


Committee Evaluation Team.  Rachel reminded committee chairs that an evaluation questionnaire has been distributed and results are needed by May 15.

Nominating Committee.  John reported that Butch Smith has agreed to fill the final Session slot for the class of 2017.  Stephanie Miller will serve as the Session representative on the Nominating Committee.  A Congregational Meeting is needed to elect these two people.

Strategic Planning Committee.  John reported that Bob Hoerter had agreed to be the chair of this committee.

John also reported that he has resigned from Salem Presbytery’s Church Growth and Transformation Committee.


New Session Members.  The Clerk was asked to invite newly elected Session members to attend the May Stated Session meeting.

Articles Establishing the Chapel in the Pines Endowment Fund.  The articles were approved as submitted.

Endowment Fund Policy on Gifts, Contributions, and Solicitations.  The policy was approved as submitted.

Commissioner to May 17 Presbytery Meeting.  Mindy explained that the Commissioner will be presented with a check from the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program (PILP) at this meeting.  John, Jerry, and Mary Donna all said they might be able to attend, but no commissioner was elected.

Guest Preachers.  The Session approved Dr. Mary Louise Bringle (Mel), chair of the New Hymnal Committee, to lead worship and preach on May 18 as we dedicate the new hymnals.  The Session also approved Rosy Robson and other Presbyterian Campus Ministry students from UNC to lead worship and preach on Campus Ministry Sunday, April 27.

Congregational Meeting.  The Session approved calling a Congregational Meeting following worship on May 4 to elect one Elder to the class of 2017 (Butch Smith), and to report the Session’s delegate to the Nominating Committee (Stephanie Miller).

Changes of Meeting Dates.  The Session approved changing the dates of the May and June Stated Session meetings to May 12 and June 9.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned with prayer at 9:20 p.m. 


Remember to pray for our church each day at noon.

Next Stated Session Meeting – Monday, May 12, 2014

Presbytery meeting –    Saturday, May 17 (Saturday), Bethany Presbyterian Church (Graham)

April 27 – Presbyterian Campus Ministry Sunday

May 18 – Hymnal dedication service

June 6 – Pentecost/Officer Ordination & Installation


Respectfully submitted,


Mary Donna Pond, Clerk of Session


Approved by Session May 12, 2014