December 15, 2014 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, December 15, 2014, Narthex

Attending: Ruling Elders Heather Bogan, Monty Brekke, Stephanie Miller, Jeff Morehouse, Fred Royal, Archie (Butch) Smith, Tina Stark, Bob Warren, Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer) Marcia Ladd (Clerk), and Teaching Elder Rev. Mindy Douglas (Moderator)
Absent: Kristin Lavergne


The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas at 7:00 p.m. Heather Bogan led the opening devotion, ending with prayer. Concerns and celebrations were shared.

Leadership development: Mindy lead a discussion on the work of Committees for Leadership Development. There are broad differences in how committees operate, while pure consistency is not necessary, it would be preferable for each committee to have at least 5 members and meet at least every other month. A recommendation was made that we replicate the meeting held at the school several years ago where each committee was identified, explained and people were given the opportunity to sign up for the committees. Also perhaps each committee should offer a state of the committee report periodically in session meetings. The problem of burnout was raised by several chairs.

Approval of agenda and consent agenda

It was moved and seconded that the agenda be approved as revised.  The consent agenda was approved, as follows:

a.       Approval of minutes:  Stated session meeting 11/17/14; called session 11/16,14, 12/14/14; Congregational meeting 12/14/14

b.      Committee minutes – Finance 11/23/14, Children and Youth November, 2014, Pianist Search Committee Minutes 11/30/14

c.       Correspondence:  Carrboro United Methodist, Next Church 

Pastor’s Report.  Mindy discussed the recent personnel actions taken at the General Assembly, information about which was included in the session packet. Four staff were placed on administrative leave while an investigation is conducted about fund allocation.

She reminded everyone what was expected for the Annual Report from each Committee Chair. Nana will send each chair last year’s report and the time frame for when the 2014 report will be due.

Committee Reports


Butch indicated that the search committee, as shared in the minutes in the session packet, was working on replacing the accompanist. When the search is narrowed down auditions will be held during choir practice presumably in January. Three, possibly four candidates have been identified. Jay’s last service will be the 28th of December; an interim accompanist has been identified through the end of January.

Children and Youth

Tina described briefly the discussion concerning childcare coverage, especially in the nursery, contained in the minutes of her committee’s November meeting. She presented the following motion from the committee:

that there be a requirement for childcare coverage that one paid sitter be in attendance at all times and a second  designated adult be immediately available in the church proper at all times.

The motion was amended to remove the term designated adult and read as amended:

that there be a requirement for childcare coverage that one paid sitter be in attendance at all times and a second adult be immediately available in the church proper at all times.

Heather seconded the amended motion. It passed unanimously.


Stephanie explained that the Worship Committee was asked by Mitzi in consultation with Mindy to make the Open Spaces alternative worship service an ongoing service. It is having light, but devoted attendance. Stephanie brought the following motion from the Worship Committee:

                That the Open Spaces alternative worship services transition from a pilot to an ongoing service.

The motion passed unanimously.


Monty wanted session to be aware of several things. The first is that Will Sibert is undertaking a new program and the committee is discussing how to support him. He anticipates bringing this to session in January.

The committee is close to developing recommendations for the expenditure of funds from both capital campaigns. These should come in January also.

Monty was approached by a congregant recently about allocating some of the outreach portion of the capital campaign funds toward Christian Education. The committee was opposed to this because Christian Education for our church’s children does not constitute evangelism.  Monty solicited session feedback. There was consensus among session that they are supportive of outreach’s position.


Bob is planning to install a speaker in the narthex over the holidays. He is also getting an additional lavaliere speaker, and is working on improving the audio for speakers from the podium. Finally he will be modifying the Wi-Fi password.

Finance and Administration

Jerry reviewed the November financials which were very positive, and he indicated he anticipates a break even for 2014.

Heather presented the latest Stewardship update, we are 8 ½% above last year with pledges close to $270,000 for 2015.

Based on the number achieved in the recent Stewardship Campaign and the worksheets included in the pre-session packet Finance offered the following motion for the2015 operating budget

That the 2015 operating revenue budget be set at $300,000.

The motion passed unanimously.

The bio retention pond motion was tabled until more specificity is received on the costs. There was a question concerning where the monies would come from. Jerry indicated that there are only two potential sources, operating or mortgage reserves.

Heather indicated that the Finance decision reported earlier to not develop a Donor Book required session approval so Finance offered the following motion

That the church not create a Donor Book with a list of names of all contributors to Capital Campaigns and other gifts designated for the church facilities.

Jeff asked whether a book already existed. It does not, the motion passed unanimously.

Heather brought the following two options concerning end of year staff bonuses to session:

                 Option #1              Option #2

Mindy      = $100 (net)         or $125(net)

Mitzi      =    $100                    or $125

Nana    =      $100 (net)         or $125(net)

Janet    =      $100 (net)         or $125(net)

Jeremy   =    $100 (net)        or $125(net)

Jay        =      $100 (net)          or $125(net)

Dennis =     $50 (net)            or $60(net)

Peaches   = $50                           $50

Catherine Brekke =   $300

Approximate cost    =   Option #1 = $1095   (budget = $1075)

Approximate cost    =   Option #2 = $1267

Finance offered the following motion:

That Chapel in the Pines gives end of year staff bonuses in line with Option Two.

The motion passed unanimously.


Strategic task Force/Building and Grounds

Stephanie questioned the work of the Strategic task force. That work has not progressed. Stephanie indicated that here is confusion over the disposition of the wall hangings in the Narthex which are supposed to be under the purview of Building and Grounds. There is question now that Building and grounds appears to be asking Liturgical Arts to remove the hangings in the Narthex. Fred is going to remind Building and Grounds that session decided to take down the hangings in the Narthex and Building and Grounds needs to take care of it

Finance and Administration

There was a question on what the time table is for a professional audit, it will be done again in 2017.


Winter Visual Arts Show

Session was referred to the proposal in the packet for the Winter Visual Arts Show. Mindy indicated that Jan Rickard had asked about doing a visual arts presentation again. Mindy asked her to work in concert with Nathan Kotecki; the two of them developed the proposal contained in the session packet.  There was discussion about who would be selecting the art work, Mindy indicated that Jan would do that in consultation with others. Session voted unanimously in favor of this idea.

Session was referred to the proposal in the packet for the Yoga program. Mindy gave a brief background of the history of this proposal. There was question about where at CITP it would be conducted, the consensus was that it would be in the Narthex. Stephanie indicated that this is inconsistent with our Building and Use Policy and that the policy needs to be modified before accepting this proposal OR we could use the Strobilus model of "suggested donations." There was also discussion about the spiritual component of the program. It was decided that Mindy would approach the instructor about conducting a yoga program using a suggested donation model where 20% of the donation is retained by CITP

Approval of Lee Strange as preacher for December 28 service.

Stephanie moved we approve Lee Strange to preach on the 28th, Fred seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.

Monty asked that we continue discussion of the Christian Educator position. There was discussion about how we determine what we can adjust to afford at least a 10 hour a week Christian Educator. Jerry indicated that if each committee only budgets what they spent in 2013 that would give us the $12000 needed to hire a 10 hour a week Christian Educator. Finance was asked to determine several scenarios that would indicate ways to get those Christian Education dollars. They were asked to bring those potential scenarios to the session meeting on the 19th.

The next Stated Session meeting will be January 19 at the 7pm. Kristen Lavergne will lead the devotion.

As the business of the meeting was concluded, Mindy led a closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at 905 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, 


Marcia Ladd, Clerk

Approved by Session January 19, 2015


                            Remember to pray for our church each day at noon.

                            Next Stated session meeting  January 19 at 7 pm