December 14, 2020 Session Virtual Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Virtual Stated Meeting December 14, 2020 7 PM
Present – : Barbara Amago, Greg Behr, Paul Bolig, Pat Chappell, Serena Ebhardt, Keith Glidewell, Paul Harrell, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer)
Andrew called the meeting to order at 7 PM. Serena opened with a devotion.
Andrew offered prayer concerns, and asked others.
Serena offered a prayer. Andrew then asked for motions on the agenda. Barbara moved to approve the agenda, it was seconded and approved unanimously. Andrew then called for a motion to approve the consent agenda. Paul Bolig moved to approve, it was seconded and passed 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 11/16/2020, Email Vote 11/24/2020
- Approval of Committee Minutes – Deacons’ Meeting 11/18/2020; Stewardship Minutes 12/3/2020, Stewardship Update 12/4/2020; Personnel 11/24/2020; Building and Grounds 11/17/2020; Membership 12/8/2020, Finance and Administration January 14, 2020, December Staff Meeting
- Correspondence – Thank you from Union Theological Education Fund, Thank you for Union Seminary contribution
Pastor’s Report Andrew drew session’s attention to the 3 documents contained in the Pastor’s Report folder in the pre-session packets. He asked the elders to do their annual report and possibly include goals in the report. He spoke about how the church has innovated and grown during the pandemic, really pivoting to virtual forms of interaction. He asked that each committee meet monthly at a regular time, take minutes and submit them. He talked about how 2021 will require more focus, in terms of communication, personal connections and community outreach. He wants each elder to attend one Zoom meeting a month. He wants each elder to reach out to new members indicating an interest in their committee through their “Time and Talent” responses, even if the committee doesn’t have something for the volunteer to do. Andrew plans on re-formatting our newsletter and working on what seems to be in disarray on our website. He asked that in their January meetings each elder share with her/his committee members the names of volunteers, the task(s) they have agreed to serve, and their response to the Matthew 25 question. Then, ask the same Matthew 25 question to each member of your committee. Before the next session meeting on January 18, he asked that each elder share with Andrew all the volunteer names and Matthew 25 answers with Andrew. He will collate the responses and share at the next stated meeting. Bruce asked about the Mission and Service retreat, Andrew indicated they were still trying to nail that down.
The November revenues were $35,272 which was almost exactly what was given in November last year ($35,727). The surprise was the continued strength of the non-pledge giving. This month the non-pledge offering was over $8,800. With still a month to go, the non-pledge revenue is $14,000 over the annual budget. There are a number of people giving online that are not familiar to either myself or Andrew. They might be folks who listen to our services online and then are motivated to give online. To make the annual pledged budget we would need to receive $55,545 in pledge payments during December which seems like a challenge. On a year to date basis our total revenues are 5.2% higher than at this time last year which is an amazing accomplishment.
This month’s expenses were $35,360 which was about $4,000 more than was spent last November. This was all due to the increased Personnel and Administrative cost as most of the committees have incurred many expenses since the covid closing of the church. Spending of the Mission & Services budget picked up this month as it always does this time of year. The only other major expenses were the telephone expenses, online processing fees, and an ad that was paid for the 2021 Orange/Chatham Visitors Guide.
The high phone cost was caused by installing a VOIP phone service to replace the AT&T service. The AT&T service would not operate with the new optic fiber cable we had Spectrum install so we were forced to go with VOIP. Several pieces of equipment needed to be purchased for the phone service. The existing phone number was just transferred from AT&T to the new service last week and the phones now work with VOIP. The security system which operates via the phone lines will be switched over next week when an ADT tech can come by.
The high online processing fee has been discussed before. Over half of the fee shown is offset by members and friend adding the 3% to their gift that is an option. It can’t be shown as a negative expense in that particular account and still give the member’s credit on their statement so Janet shows it as non-pledged income.
Our cash flow remains above $300,000 as of the end of November which is excellent. We are also continuing to show a surplus of $55,031 year to date through November I am projecting about $62,000 in expenses in December so unless revenues are really low we will show a surplus again this year in spite of being closed for 9 months during the year. The surplus could be as high as last year’s surplus.
- Finance and Administration
Paul indicated there are no adjustments to the Wish List. Paul drew the elders’ attention to his first motion which essentially transfers financial record keeping from the Finance and Administration Committee to the Treasurer and asked them to vote on
Modify the Remembrance Garden policy so the Treasurer and not the Finance and Administration Committee is responsible for the financial records and contracts for the Columbarium niches
There were very few questions. Building and Grounds has no problems with this. The motion passed unanimously.
Paul then told the elders that Jerry wants to retire as Treasurer July 1, 2021, but is willing to stay around as Assistant Treasurer until the new Treasurer is comfortable. He asked the elders to vote on the following motion
The Finance and Administration Committee proposes that CITP establish the position of Assistant Treasurer, with the duties of Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer to be determined by those two individuals, and those descriptions, once approved by session, to be added to the Manual of Operations.
Pat wondered if the Assistant be permanent or temporary. Her reservation is another church member knowing congregants giving history. Jerry feels there are a number of duties that would remain with the Treasurer to keep this from happening. As Jerry ponders splitting up the duties, those duties would remain with the Treasurer. Bruce expressed reservations about voting on a motion about jobs that have not been defined. The motion passed with on declination.
There was a question about the status of the Stewardship, the church has received 84 pledges and anticipates more pledges. There has been a problem with mail delivery. Mary asked how many pledges are online, Jerry said maybe about 25% of them. There was discussion about how people can check to see if there online pledges are received.
Andrew talked about the calendar, and the drive through service. Andrew discussed the sealed juice and bread pairs that are gluten free, from TruVine. It would be the first service of the year. Pat asked if folks would be eating their communion when given, Andrew suggested they would wait until they drive off. Serena offered to help administrate best practices. Mary expressed reservations about Andrew speaking with each car. She suggested people might pick up the communion offerings. She also suggested staggering communion sessions. Greg suggested folks bringing their own elements to the service and take them in their cars together. Andrew will go back to the staff with these ideas. Paul wondered if Andrew had an idea how long he would hold outside services, Andrew’s going to hold them until people vote with their feet.
Brief update from Nominating Committee
They will need to fill an elder and deacon position now, and are already looking at the full slate for the spring.
Andrew asked for a motion to pass the resolution of appreciation for Susie and Ed Park as they move to Burlington, Greg made the following motion
The session of CitP authorizes the resolution of appreciation for Ed and Susie Park contained in the session packet
It was seconded and passed unanimously.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned by Paul Bolig with a prayer at 8:05 PM.
Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals
Since the last stated meeting on November 16, 2020, the Lord’s Supper was performed virtually on November 18 and 25 and December 2 and 9, 2020. Sarah Thomson, Benjamin Tupper and James Tupper joined as new members on November 29, 2020 and James Tupper received the sacrament of baptism on the same date in worship. There were no weddings or funerals.
Clerk of Session
Approved by session 1/18/21