August 17, 2020 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Virtual Stated Meeting August 17, 2020 7 PM
Present – : Barbara Amago, Greg Behr, Paul Bolig, Keith Glidewell, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), Jenifer Larson, Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer)
Excused Absence – Pat Chappell, Paul Harrell
Andrew called the meeting to order at 7 PM. Jerry opened with a devotion, ending in a prayer.
Andrew offered prayer concerns.
Andrew asked for motions on the agenda. Barbara moved to approve the agenda and consent agenda, it was seconded and approved 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 7/20/2020, Email vote 7/22/2020, Called Meeting 8/3/2020
- Approval of Committee Minutes – Building and Grounds 8/4/2020, Christian Education August Meeting, Personnel 8/5/2020, Finance and Administration August, Deacons 8/4/2020, Stewardship July and August
Pastor’s Report Andrew reminded session that we will have a budget meeting on August 24, 2020 to discuss the budget for the following year. Everybody needs to send their proposed budget numbers ahead of that meeting to Jerry and Marcia. Andrew has started his Stephen Ministry training.
Even though our monthly expenses exceeded our monthly revenue by a little over $12,000 I think we have a fair probability of breaking even for the year. Our members and friends continue to loyally support the church financially in a very generous and committed way. Jerry expects the next several months will be similar and we will gradually “glide into break even.”
Clerk’s Report – Marcia distributed proposed modifications to the Time and Talent sheets in the wake of Covid, and asked for comments. The elders seemed satisfied with the amendments and asked the clerk to pass it on to Stewardship
- Finance and Administration –
- Paul Bolig turned session’s attention to the Wish List contained in the pre-session packet. One item, the cameras for worship streaming has been removed from the list. Finance and Administration is merely the keeper of the list; items can be added from elsewhere. He asked that each committee look at the Wish List and make any changes they want or need.
- in a review of the procedures for cash management. Paul offered the following motion to session
Insert the following language as item f. in the church’s Cash Management policies in the Manual of Operations
- A payment request (Disbursement voucher ed. 1/2017 or newer) should be completed and signed by the requestor with attached receipts and approved/signed by the appropriate authorizer(s) before a reimbursement check is issued by an authorized person to the requestor. Exemptions to this provision would be regularly scheduled bills, such as mortgage and utility bills. A memo from the Treasurer to the Office Manager providing authorizations to pay these bills throughout the year. (Approved session 8/17/2020)
There was minimal discussion and the motion passed unanimously. Nathan Kotecki has made some changes to the voucher, Jerry will run those by Janet then share it with session. He felt there needs to be a voucher anytime someone is seeking reimbursement.
- Personnel – Greg handed in that Personnel, with some help from Christian Education offered the following motion
Personnel re-tracts our previous position on nursery workers and asks Christian Education to take their recommendation to session.
After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
- Christian Education – Jennifer offered the following motion on the heels of Personnel’s motion
The two main nursery workers will be paid $65 per week through the end of the 2020 calendar year.
Paul Bolig said that he would vote for the motion, but he felt compelled to talk about the fiduciary responsibility he feels as the elder on Finance and Administration and he requested that his colleagues consider that one’s viewpoint as a Christian allows for a range of views on issues they might face as elders. Mary said she sees the stark contrast between a fiscal decisions she would have made in her business career vs making those decisions for the church. Jennifer said during these times we need to pay attention to who needs what kind of help now. She feels a responsibility to care for the nursery workers. The motion passed unanimously. Then, Jennifer said that attention would be paid to the nursery workers in the plan for the 2020-2021 year in Christian Education. Andrew took a point of privilege and said he would like to hold a fall retreat to talk about basic principles of dialogue – how do we have the tough conversations and what are our expectations around those decisions.
- Andrew drew session’s attention to the Interim Media Protocol that Communication and Technology wants in place until they have the band width to go over the rather comprehensive protocol that Greg developed.
- August Presbytery Report – Mary reported on the following decisions made at the August meeting on the 15 The meeting was very short, but had 200 participants. Highlights include a very well done worship service. Instead of having the ordination candidate do a separate sermon, but was rolled into the main sermon. The Presbytery has been in dire financial straits, the offices were sold and the staff is being pared down and decentralized, divided into 5 neighborhoods. The Presbytery has decided to make our Presbytery a Matthew 25 Presbytery.
- Andrew indicated that we are moving forward with a relationship with the YMCA to use the Fellowship Hall as they care for 20, mostly elementary students, when the school year starts. They will occupy that space from 7:30 AM until 6:30 PM weekdays. Cleaning protocols have been agreed to. Bruce offered the following motion
B&G moves to have the CitP’s Building Use Agreement revised to include the revisions suggested by Tim White in his email of August 6, 2020; to have the final document reviewed and revised as necessary by a currently licensed attorney. In addition in regards to the YMCA’s use of the CitP’s Fellowship Hall that all attorney determined special insurance needs and or COVID19 cleaning/use policies be supplied in writing as part of the agreement to allow the YMCA’s use of the facility.
After clarification on what we are requiring from the YMCA
- Signed Building Use Document
- Description of Activities
- Hours of Operation
- Cleaning Protocols
The motion passed unanimously.
- Doctor of Ministry Andrew asked the elders to turn their attention to document 1 in the pastor’s report. He would like session to approve the time it will take for him to work on his Doctor of Ministry in Creative Writing and Public Theology, through Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. His request is the approval of session for Andrew to commit the necessary time to the program to complete it in three years beginning June, 2021. This will include:
- Each year: continuing education leave for two weeks in order to complete two separate one-week intensives with a cohort of students and faculty in January and June
- Part-time: two, ten-week online programs of writing workshops.
Andrew’s rationale for taking this on is the growth that will be required of the church over the next 10 years and his need to grow his pastoral outreach.
Paul Bolig moved
That session approve Andrew’s use of his time over a three year period, starting in June of 2021 to pursue his Doctor of Ministry.
The motion was seconded. Mary asked if this would take the place of his continuing education time; his answer was that it would. The motion passed unanimously.
- Anti-racism The goal is for Chapel in the Pines to make a public witness in our immediate neighborhood that we are a community that stands for anti-racism. Andrew is asking each elder and their committee to develop one, or more, specific strategies in support of the overall goal to make a public witness for anti-racism. Each strategy will be linked to one, or more, of the three “W’s” of our Church’s mission statement (Welcome, Worship, and Witness) and will utilize the following format:
- The strategy will be quantifiable. This will allow for adjustment of the strategy, if necessary.
- The strategy will include dates for periodic progress reports.
- The strategy will include the responsible parties.
- The strategy will include the necessary resources, if any, to carry out the strategy
Andrew went onto say that he believes the time is now for this work, and that the primary goal of doing this work is to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). And he also thinks that, at a time when we cannot gather, a unified focus on a current issue will energize our congregation to make their faith meaningful and relevant. He will supply the email list of the folks on the 21 day journey and then let them know who is on session.
Bruce asked for a time table, Andrew thinks that will bubble up from the committees.
Mary made a motion
To adopt the Anti-Racism plan laid out in the pre-session packet
The motion was seconded. Mary modified the motion to read
Chapel in the Pines will make a public witness in our immediate neighborhood that we are a community that stands for anti-racism.
Session requests that each of the standing Committees develop one, or more, specific strategies in support of the overall goal to make a public witness for anti-racism. Each strategy will be linked to one, or more, of the three “W’s” of our Church’s mission statement (Welcome, Worship, and Witness).
It was seconded and passed unanimously.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned by Andrew with a prayer at 8:40 PM.
Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals
Since the last meeting on 7/20/2020, the Lord’s Supper was performed virtually on July 26, August 2, 9 and 12. There were no new members, weddings, baptisms or funerals.
Clerk of Session
Approved by Session September 21, 2020