December 10, 2012 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting: December 10, 2012 – Adult Classroom

Attending: Ruling Elders Lynne Hoerter, Forrest Johnson, Cindy Massey, Rachel Stevens, Jeff Morehouse, Tina Stark, John Walkup, Bob Warren, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), and Teaching Elder Rev. Mindy Douglas (Moderator).


Mindy Douglas called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Jeff Morehouse led the opening devotional, about hope and hopelessness, reminding us to hope in God.

Several elders shared pastoral concerns.

Leadership Development.  The Session discussed the chapter in Stanley Ott’s book, Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church, on vision and expectations.  All agreed that God has a vital future in store for Chapel in the Pines and that we all need to continue to be active in participating in that vision and not becoming stagnant or a slave to our programming.

Approval of Agenda and Consent Agenda:  Items approved on the consent agenda were:

  • Minutes of the Stated Session Meeting of 11-12-12; Congregational Meeting of 11-18-2012; Joint Session-Deacon meeting of 11-17-12
  • The Meeting Agenda was approved.

Pastors Report.  Mindy lifted up the annual officer retreat as a highlight of the past month.  She thanked John Walkup for preaching on the Sunday following Thanksgiving, giving her the opportunity to rest and be with her family.  She also commended Mitzi Lesher-Thomas and the Stephen Ministers for the service of hope which was well attended and much appreciated. 


FABS Committee.  Jerry reported that stewardship season has gone well and he expects, when all pledges are in, the budget for pledges will be met.  Lynne asked when he would give a report to the congregation on the results of the campaign.  Jerry said he wanted to give people a couple more weeks to return their pledges but he will give a report soon.  At the January session meeting, he hopes to have a clearer picture of our financial outlook for 2013 and will then work with committees and staff to adjust the expense side of the budget, if necessary.


Salem Presbytery Church Grown and Transformation Committee.  John, who now serves on this committee, gave a report on the history of new church development over the past few years in this presbytery, which has not been good.  Chapel in the Pines is a notable exception.  He stated that churches supported by a large "parent" church have the greatest chance of surviving and thriving as a new congregation.  John stated that in a successful new church, the pastor will make around 100 visits a year to prospective members.  In order to do that, the pastor needs a lot of help and support from members of the Session and the congregation.

John made the following motion, which was seconded by Lynne:

  • Move that the Session try a "One Call" approach for the next six months
    • Mindy calls the most appropriate Session member for any "Non-Pastor" item needing action
    • Called session member "Accountable" for the item (monkey).
    • Called session member either:

§  Activates committee members to handle the item (feed the monkey)  OR

§  Calls the session member most able to handle the item

§  Item "Owner" reports back to Accountable elder AND to Mindy

      o Accountable elders maintains action logs

      o Review results in July 2013.

A discussion over the pros and cons of this model ensued with some voices stating that it was not necessary.  A vote was called with 5 yes, 3 no, and 2 abstaining.  Mindy asked those voting no or abstaining to explain why they were not in favor of the motion.  Everyone affirmed their willingness for Mindy to call on them whenever there was something they could do to help.

Nominating Committee.  Susan Pierson has resigned her position as Deacon.  Rather than try to rush to fill the vacancy, the Nominating Committee will add a fourth Deacon to the slate which will be presented to the congregation in the spring.


Adam Hughes resignation.  Bob asked for an update on finding a new pianist and also asked what will be done to recognize Adam’s service.  John reported that one applicant has been invited to an interview/audition and will meet with the choir soon.  Because of the demands on church musicians at this time of year, there have been few inquiries, but we expect that may change following Christmas.  The choir will recognize Adam, a love gift is being received for him from the congregation, and he will be recognized during worship on his last Sunday, December 30.


Reminders.  Mindy noted several reminders at the end of the agenda: 

  • Remember to pray for our church each day at noon
  • Read chapter 4 of Stanley Ott’s book, Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church,  for January Session meeting
  • Next Stated Session Meeting – January 14, 2013
  • Presbytery meeting – Tuesday, February 12, 2013 – location TBA

Mindy closed the meeting with prayer at 8:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Mary Donna Pond, Clerk of Session


Approved by Session January 14, 2013