August 8, 2011 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, August 8, 2011 – Evergreen United Methodist Church

Attending: Elders Lynne Hoerter, Marcia Ladd, Cindy Massey, Michelle Morehouse, Vicky Raymond, John Walkup, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), and the Rev. Mitzi Lesher-Thomas (Moderator). Excused: Forrest Johnson, Rachel Stevens, Jack Zollinger (treasurer)
Guest: Susan Pierson, Deacon representative


The meeting was called to order by Mitzi Lesher-Thomas at 6:35 p.m.  A quorum was present.  Cindy Massey led the evening devotion using a reading from "Can You See the Highest?" by Oswald Chambers.  She led the group in prayer.

Mitzi welcomed Susan to the meeting.  A motion to approve the agenda was approved by common consent.  Concerns and celebrations were shared.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT.   The Session discussed "In Living Color" an article from the Big Tent event of PC(USA). 

MINUTES.  The minutes of the July 11, 2011 Stated Session meeting and the July 25, 2011 Called Session meeting were approved by common consent.

CORRESPONDENCE.  There was no correspondence to share.

PASTOR’S REPORT.  Mitzi thanked the Session for its patience with her during Mindy’s absence.  Marcia moved that the Session’s enthusiastic expression of appreciation for Mitzi’s leadership be reflected in the minutes.  The motion received unanimous endorsement.

TREASURER’S REPORT.  Jerry walked the Session through the Balance Sheet and report of revenues and expenses through July 31.  No budgeted reserves have been needed thus far.   Revenue was slightly short in July but YTD is still positive.  We have taken the first draw on the construction loan.  Capital Campaign donations are adequate to cover expenses for 2011.  John asked if it would be possible to have a list of non-member donors who contributed to the early "Dirt Fund" in an effort to thank them and keep them involved.  Jerry and Cindy will work with Janet to determine if this can be done.


Community Quadrant 


Circles Initiative.  Michelle continues to stay involved with the development of this program.  A poverty simulation is scheduled for Tuesday, August 30, at 4:00 p.m.  and informational meetings are scheduled for October.  Training is underway for leaders of this initiative.

Interfaith Ministries for Chatham County.  This project no longer exists.  It transformed into another group.  Efforts are underway to try again to get an interfaith ministry back on track.

Alternative Gift Market Fair.  Michelle asked if there was interest in doing another fair and there was general support and enthusiasm to do it again.  She will work on scheduling space and hopes it can be scheduled earlier than last year’s event, perhaps the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Michelle raised the question about the use of the Capital Campaign tithe.  She asked whether funds would be available for use by Outreach at the end of each year or would they only be available when the campaign ends.  The Session needs to decide this matter.  Outreach will develop a list of possible uses for the funds.  The FAB committee will research the current status of the tithed funds and will analyze the financial needs of the church relative to the early allocation and spending of the tithe.  This topic will be on the agenda for the September Session meeting.

Education Quadrant – no report

Fiduciary Quadrant   

Staff/Personnel.  Mitzi  was asked to leave the meeting while the Session discussed a personnel matter.

Finance/Administration/Budget (FAB).  Jerry reported that Jack Zollinger and Bob Hoerter have had conversations with our insurance company about changes to our insurance policy as we move into our building.  The company encouraged us to add an endorsement clause to our policy to cover sexual harassment and sexual abuse and to develop policies regarding these matters..  They also suggested that we develop a policy regarding background checks for staff, volunteers who work with children, etc.  Cindy will take this matter to the FAB committee for consideration.

Stewardship.  Dale Chodorow will co-chair with Jerry the stewardship drive in the fall for the 2012 budget.  Jerry will get budget worksheets to committee chairs soon so planning for the next year can be done.

Worship Quadrant

Vicky reported that Jeremy has been purchasing music for the choir to use.  A transitional plan will be ready soon for consideration as we think ahead toward worship in a new space.


Lynne noted that several security features are incorporated in the new building, such as windows in all doors and a toilet in the nursery area.  She celebrated the wonderful timber raising ceremony on Saturday and said the pace will really pick up now with panels, roofing, windows, etc. and an expectation of being enclosed by the end of August.  Wiring is being run in the office/classroom space.  The furnishings committee has prepared displays showing the fabrics and colors being selected.

LOAN FINANCING REPORT.  A cash flow analysis was distributed prior to the meeting.  Marcia thanked Jerry for the good work he is doing to stay on top of the financial details.


Presbytery Meeting Report.  Mitzi and Vicky reported on the meeting of Salem Presbytery July 19.  Vicky accepted on behalf of the church a certificate for the Walton grant.  In the afternoon, she attended a session on the "missional church."  She shared some of the ideas and insights from that session.

John asked members of the Session to communicate to him perceived needs on committees and in other church leadership roles.  It was agreed that involvement in Outreach is needed.

Mary Donna reported to the Session that the new Chatham Community Church is currently in some turmoil and that both of the pastors have left that church.  She asked that we be sensitive to the members there who might be coming to our church in the next weeks or months.

The next Stated Session meeting will be September 12 at the Douglas home.  Forrest Johnson will give the devotion.   The next Presbytery meeting is October 15 in Boone.  Lynne Hoerter expressed interest in going.

Marcia moved adjournment.  Mitzi led a closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, 

Mary Donna Pond, Clerk


Approved by Session September 12, 2011