December 14, 2009 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, December 14, 2009–Hoerter home

Attending:  Elders Lynne Hoerter, Marcia Ladd, Wes McGraw, Stephanie Miller, Michelle Morehouse, Ed Park, Chuck Rickard, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk),  Jack Zollinger (Treasurer), and the Rev. Mindy Douglas Adams (Moderator).   Excused:  Vicky Raymond


Mindy Douglas Adams called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.  Chuck Rickard led an opening devotion using a reading by Barbara Sanders and scripture from John 1:14 followed by prayer.

Leadership Development.   Those present discussed chapter 8 of E. Stanley Ott’s Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church in which examples of implementing changes are described.  Members of the Acts 16:5 Vision Team talked about their work.  Mindy reported that Pat Chappell has resigned from the team and that Lynne Hoerter and Woody Shearin have joined it.

Concerns and Celebrations; Agenda Approval; Approval of Minutes; Correspondence.  Celebrations and concerns were shared. The agenda was approved by common consent after two additions were made.  The minutes of the November 15, 2009, Called Session meeting and the November 9, 2009, Stated Session meeting were approved following a motion by Marcia Ladd, seconded by Michelle Morehouse.  Correspondence from Salem Presbytery and Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services were circulated prior to the meeting.  A letter from member Richard Palmer, requesting that he be moved to the inactive roll, was considered.  Michelle Morehouse moved that his request be granted, with regret.  Chuck Rickard seconded the motion which passed without dissent.

Pastor’s Report.  Mindy reported that she is feeling more balanced, having let some of her external board responsibilities go.  She reported on a meeting of the Committee on Theological Education in San Francisco, saying it was a good experience.

Treasurer’s Report.  Jack distributed the Balance Sheet and Report of Revenues and Expenses through November 2009.  Revenue has increased; however the bills for rent of the school have yet to be paid since we still have not gotten invoices, despite repeated requests.  We are hopeful that end-of-year giving will be good and we will end the year in the black.



Outreach.    A written report from the Outreach Committee was circulated prior to the meeting.  The Committee moved that the Session approve a "Call to Covenant with God for the Care of the Environment," also circulated prior the meeting.  There were several questions regarding the recommendation to establish an Outreach sub-committee for Eco-Stewardship.  Stephanie expressed concern over creating a new committee when we already have several vital committees that need more members.  The Session all confirmed that the Covenant is something the church should do, but there was concern about the specific recommendations.  Nevertheless, the motion passed unopposed, and Mindy asked the Outreach committee to proceed to incorporate the suggestions of covenant into their work as well as other aspects of the church.

Communications.  Stephanie reported that after getting a design for a sign for the Lindley’s land, obtaining written approval from the Lindleys to mount the sign, and making one final check with the Chatham County Sign Ordinance enforcement officer, she learned that the ordinance has been changed and that it now only allows signs to be mounted on property owned by the sign’s owner.   County Commissioners have been reviewing the ordinance for several months and no resolution is in sight at this time.  Stephanie will check again with the Enforcement Officer in February.  Someone asked if we might put the sign on our own land and move it later if the ordinance changes.  Mindy noted that the size of the sign would make movement difficult once it was installed.

Education.  No report.


Building Planning.  Lynne reported that the committee will meet in January to review the survey of the congregation on the feasibility of a building campaign.

Stewardship.   The campaign for 2010 pledges is going well.  We are at $210,957 with 9 households that have not yet pledged. 

Finance/Administration/Budget (FAB).  Jerry and Jack described the recommendations made by the auditor following the review of the church’s books through December 31, 2008.  Jerry moved that checks for $1,000 or more that are not either budgeted funds or Session-approved expenses must have two signatures.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.  Although it was recommended that Fixed Assets be reflected on the financial statement, it was agreed that inventories of church assets should be made and kept up-to-date, but at this time they do not need to be shown on the financial statements.  The recommendations for additional review of payroll and bank reconciliations were accepted and the Treasurer will perform both.  At the end of the report from the auditor, Jack pointed out that the review only covered the last seven months of 2008, from the date the church was chartered through the end of the year.

2010 Proposed Budget.  Jerry reported that the FAB committee felt it was too early to begin making any adjustments to the proposed budget at this time, awaiting the arrival of additional pledges.  They will review the pledges and budget at their January meeting.  Concern was expressed over the increase in cost for use of space at the school.  Jerry and Mindy will review those increases to be sure we are being properly invoiced.  We may need to re-think space utilization in order to save money, perhaps combining 2 classes into one large room or using the nursery space for a class.  Chuck asked if alternative meeting spaces to North Chatham School were being investigated.  Jerry said the FAB committee has investigated several places but there is no other space that is appropriate and other spaces actually charge more than the school charges, even with the recent increases.

Worship.    A written report was circulated prior to the meeting.  Stephanie Miller moved adoption of the proposed communion dates for 2010.  Jerry seconded the motion which passed without dissent.



Six-Year Plan.  Lynne asked quadrant leaders to update their portions of the six-year plan and send corrections and additions to John Walkup.



January meeting date.  Mindy is unable to meet on the second Monday in January; she will be in Atlanta with her annual preaching group gathering.  After discussion, a motion to meet on January 25 at the Wehmueller’s home was made, seconded, and passed.

February meeting of Salem Presbytery.  Mindy asked for a volunteer to be elected as commissioner to the February 6 meeting of Salem Presbytery in Salisbury.  None of the elders present offered to go.  It was suggested that since the meeting is on a Saturday, Vicky Raymond might want to attend.  Mary Donna will check with her.

Nominating Committee.  Mindy explained the procedure for putting in place a Nominating Committee to present a slate of officers for election.  Marcia nominated Chuck Rickard and Harriet McGraw as the two elders to serve on the Nominating Committee.  Jerry seconded the motion which passed unanimously.  Chuck will be the moderator of the committee and will contact the Deacons about their nominee for the committee.  He will also invite Bart Holtz, Pat Chappell, and Nathan Campbell, at-large members of the previous Nominating Committee, to be nominated to serve again.  Michelle moved and Jerry seconded a motion to call a Congregational Meeting for February 14, 2010, to elect the Nominating Committee and approve the Pastor’s terms of call.  The motion passed without dissent.  Stephanie moved and Michelle seconded a motion to call a second Congregational Meeting for March 28, 2010, to elect officers.  That motion also passed without dissent.  Mindy serves as an ex-officio member of the Nominating Committee.

Guest Preachers.  Ed made a motion that we invite The Reverend Minnie Sue Douglas, Mindy’s mother, to preach one Sunday at Chapel in the Pines.  Stephanie seconded the motion and suggested she be invited to preach on Mother’s Day.  The motion passed unanimously.  Mindy also requested approval for Paul Ransford to preach on January 17, 2010.  Stephanie made the motion, Jerry seconded it, and it passed without dissent.

Called Session Meeting.  Michelle moved that a Called Session Meeting be held on Sunday, December 20, at 9:30 a.m. for the purpose of receiving Will Pierson into membership following the completion of confirmation classes.  Lynne seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Gift for School Supervisor.  Mary Donna asked if the Session wanted to give a Christmas gift to Peaches Smith who works as the School Supervisor and arranges our use of the school space.  Chuck moved that we give Peaches a $50 cash gift.  Wes seconded the motion which passed unanimously.

Stephanie moved adjournment.  The motion was seconded and passed.  Following a time of silence, Mindy led a closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.


Respectfully submitted, 



Mary Donna Pond, Clerk                    Mindy Douglas Adams, Moderator

Approved by Session January 25, 2010