August 17, 2015 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, August 17, 2015, Narthex

Attending: Ruling Elders Heather Bogan, Monty Brekke, Al Schalk, Lynne Hoerter, Barbara Strange, Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer), Marcia Ladd (Clerk), and Teaching Elder Mindy Douglas (Moderator)
Absent: Kristin Lavergne, Fred Royal, Archie (Butch) Smith
Guest: Stan Campbell


The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas at 7:00 p.m. Mindy led the opening devotion, ending with prayer. Concerns and celebrations were shared.

Leadership development: Mindy lead a discussion on the article "Five Secrets of Church Re-Vitalization," reminding the session of the parallels between a re-vitalization project and a new church development. There was discussion about the components of CITP’s vision, including growth, involvement in the community, welcome, diversity, and a higher level of engagement. The session discussed ways CITP already honors its history and new ways we can do that. The session mentioned types of innovations that have occurred at CITP, including a new children’s Sunday school model and the Strobilus Arts Series. They evaluated programs which might not be yielding the desired results, while still required a great deal of effort. All agreed that Strobilus was something new that was bringing the congregation and community together in some new and exciting ways. Mindy reminded the session to take note of the final point in the article about forgiveness and repentance, two ways of living together that are always relevant for the church.

Approval of agenda and consent agenda

It was moved and seconded that the agenda be approved.  The consent agenda was unanimously approved, as follows:

  1. Approval of minutes – Stated session 7/20/15

  2. Committee minutes – B&G 6/30/15; Stewardship 8/9/15; Web Site Re-Design 8/11/15; Children and Youth 7/12/15, 8/9/15

  3. Deacons’ minutes 7/13/15

  4. Correspondence – Communities in Schools thank-you letters, letter from Stephanie Miller

Pastor’s report.  Mindy indicated that for family reasons, effective immediately, Stephanie Miller would resign from her term on session and her role as Worship Committee Chair. Since Stephanie is also session representative on the Nominating Committee, Mindy asked for a volunteer to serve on that committee. Heather agreed. Monty made a motion to elect Heather, Lynne seconded it and the motion passed unanimously. The Nominating Committee will begin their work to find a nominee to fill Stephanie’s unexpired term (through May 2016) as soon as possible.  In anticipation of the work of the Nominating Committee, Al made a motion to have a Congregational Meeting on September 20, with the purpose of electing a person to fill the May 2016 unexpired term on the session.  Monty seconded it, and it passed unanimously.

Committee reports

Building and Grounds

The Committee presented the following motion

A 8"x10" brass plaque should be placed near the cross in the Sanctuary that reads "The cross above was fashioned from a pine tree that stood where the church now stands, December 2011"

There was discussion that this plague represents a piece of history that needs to be recorded, and hence is different from other plaques. After a discussion about the size and placement of the plaque, the session decided they needed a working policy on plaques in general.  With that in mind, the motion did not pass. The Clerk was asked to convey to the Building and Grounds Committee that session is not opposed to the idea of this plaque, but will be developing a policy that will guide them in any and all plaque requests.  This motion will be revised after a policy is in place.


The Personnel Committee presented the following motion for consideration:

No member of the congregation be hired as an employee of the church. The only exception to this policy is the grandfathering of Ms. Demitris "Peaches" McIntyre who was an employee of CITP serving in the church nursery prior to becoming a member of the church. We would also grandfather Nana Morelli who is a long time church employee if she desired church membership.

Upon reviewing this motion, the session voted against it and asked the Personnel Committee to rework this motion so that it would be in a form to be incorporated into the Personnel Manual. The names of individual persons should not be included in policies and procedures.

The Committee brought an additional motion:

Janet Askew will be moved from hourly to salaried compensation effective upon approval.

Mindy clarified that this is being requested because as Janet has gotten better at her job she is actually being penalized financially since it takes her less time and this should make her compensation more equitable. Heather moved we amend the motion to read:

Janet Askew will be moved from hourly to part time salaried compensation upon approval.

Monty seconded the amended motion. There was a question about the effective date, so Lynne made a motion and Jerry seconded it to amend the amended motion to

Janet Askew will be moved from hourly to part time salaried compensation effective August 8, 2015.

This amended motion passed unanimously.

Mindy and Barbara reported on the Director of Christian Education search. The search committee had strong applicants and out of the different candidates determined to hire Brenda Robinson, a retired school-teacher who worked as part-time DCE in two Presbyterian Churches for around a dozen years.  She came with wonderful references. Brenda was interviewed via Skype and her energy was infectious. The DCE job was offered to her and she accepted it. She is currently living in Florida and looking for a place to lease near the church.  She plans to be in attendance at the Children’s Sunday School kick-off on August 30, 2015 and will begin work with us as soon as she can move from Florida (hopefully mid- September).

There was discussion of using the funds left over from the educator (DCE) funds (2015) to hire one of the other candidates and pay him on an hourly basis to teach adult classes. Barbara made a motion that

We hire Michael DePue on a temporary hourly basis for Sundays and Tuesdays, fall 2015, to teach adult classes for $20 an hour, a maximum of 6 hours a week.

Monty seconded the motion. Jerry indicated that for this year, but not ongoing, it is in the budget to make this temporary hire. The motion passed 5-1.  


Jerry went over the July financial reports, which show a positive balance of income over expenses.  The current surplus is due to several members paying their pledge in full earlier in the year and he anticipates that expenses and income will balance out in the fall.  The overall financial state of the church is healthy.   

Heather indicated the Stewardship subcommittee has been planning the fall campaign. The theme will be the same as 2014, "God’s Children: Our Future." The kickoff is planned for October 11 with Dedication Sunday on November 11. The kickoff will highlight the children singing "Jesus Loves Me." One packet will be sent to the congregation immediately following the kickoff Sunday. The subcommittee is also planning a potluck luncheon on Dedication Sunday. Mindy is working on finding a guest preacher.

Heather asked Stan, chair of the Capital Campaign Subcommittee to present their tentative plans for that campaign early next year. It is Stan’s strong feeling that the amount of money raised in the upcoming campaign will be substantially enhanced if the campaign includes a focused giving target like the fellowship hall. There are two couples who will fund a challenge grant of $400,000, to be matched by donors. It is his plan to do a church wide effort for the campaign. The large majority of the money will come from a few people. Twenty percent of the people at CITP give 70% of the dollars. The goal for the debt reduction component of the campaign is to reduce the debt through 2021 and going forward from there the mortgage payments would be made out of the operating budget. There is also a chance of paving the parking lot with this campaign. Heather made the following motion

Approve the proposal for the 2016 capital campaign based on a goal of $800,000 – $400,000 pledged already by 2 couples for the fellowship hall construction and $400,000 to be matched by the congregation for debt reduction.

Lynne seconded the motion. The campaign will be in the second quarter of 2016 to be completed by Memorial Day, payout will be over a four year period. Projected time frame for construction is 2017. The motion passed unanimously.

Mission and Service

Monty asked for session’s consideration of the following motion

           To designate Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services as the recipient of the local portion of the Peacemaking offering.

There was minimal discussion and the motion passed unanimously.

Monty explained that Will Sibert came to session earlier and asked for seed money to start his trauma ministry. Session approved $4000 for this purpose, $2000 of which was distributed in the spring of 2015. Will has recently reported on his progress which should trigger the release of the other $2000. Monty covered highlights of Will’s report contained in the pre-session packet. He presented the following motion from the committee

To approve the release of the remaining $2,000 from the 2010-2012 capital campaign to Will Sibert’s BEE World ministry.

There was minimal discussion and the motion passed unanimously.


Mindy indicated we needed to finalize our plans for the volunteer fair on August 30th. All agreed to come on Saturday, August 29, between 3 and 5 p.m. to set up. Suggestions for each table include a wish list if a committee is looking for someone to fill a role. Pictures are also good, anything that tells people what that committee does. There will be a 40-45 minute service that day. The Mt. Zion tutoring students will be at CITP to sing for the service. At the end of the service we will encourage people to come to the tables to ask questions and sign up. Al reminded everyone that we had pre-printed sheets for the last Volunteer Fair on oversized paper that had the title of each committee at the top, a brief description of that committee’s work and a sign-up sheet/grid at the bottom where individuals could indicate their name, email address and gifts/talents/interests. Jerry offered to get these printed for any committee chair who gets him copy for their form by Tuesday the 25th.

Mindy reported that the worship staff recommends two services on Christmas Eve, at 5 and 7 p.m. Lynne made a motion

That Chapel in the Pines hold two worship services with communion on Christmas Eve; a family friendly one at 5 and a candlelight one at 7pm.

Barbara seconded it. The motion passed unanimously.


Session Meetings

Mindy drew session’s attention to the document included in the packet on whether or not to hold "open" or "closed" session meetings.  Heather made a motion to table this discussion until more members are present. Lynne seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.

The next stated session meeting will be September 28 at the 7pm. Lynne Hoerter will lead the devotion.

As the business of the meeting was concluded, Mindy led a closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at 9 pm.

Respectfully submitted, 

Marcia Ladd, Clerk


Remember to pray for our church each day at noon.

New Member Sunday  8/23/15

Volunteer fair August 30 following church

Congregational meeting September 20, 2015

Next stated session meeting September 28, 2015 7 PM Lynne Hoerter has the devotion


Approved by Session October 19, 2015