December 17, 2018 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting and Joint Deacon and Elder Meeting

December 17, 2018

Attending: Ruling Elders: Barbara Amago, Pat Chappell, Paul Harrell, Paul Isom, John McDowell, Maggie Reif, Terry Rudolph, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer), Teaching Elder Rev. Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator); Board of Deacons: Heather Honeycutt, Gail King, Susie Smith, Garrett Southerland, Barbara
Strange, Sally Wehmueller

Absent: Karen Atkins, Stan Campbell, Elizabeth Poirier, Braxton Malan, Madeline Schalk, Vince Walker

The meeting was called to order by Andrew at 7:00 PM at the home of Lee and Barbara Strange. Paul Isom delivered the devotion, ending in a prayer.

Approval of agenda and consent agenda
Pat made a motion to approve the agenda and consent agenda. The motion was seconded by Terry and was approved unanimously. The consent agenda includes the following:

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

  1. Approval of session minutes – Stated meeting 11/19/18, Email vote 11/9/18
  2. Approval of committee minutes – Conversations on Race 11/27/18, Finance and Administration December 2018
  3. Correspondence  – Chatham Literacy request for support, Invitation to Lystra Baptist Church Love Feast, Presbyterian Mission and Casa Maderna thanking CitP for our support, Thank you from Chatham Literacy for support

Pastor’s Report

Andrew indicated that he wanted to schedule a pot luck in January with Elders and Deacons to being discussion about “is God calling us to be?” He spoke a little about the pilot Duke Divinity internship program that Christian Education is moving that Chapel in the Pines submits an application. Finally he addressed the question of plowing our parking lot. Bruce has not done so because of the expense and because until Great Ridge becomes a state road it will not be plowed. Building and Grounds is looking into buying a plow attachment to the riding mower that Bruce will use to plow the parking lot going forward. Jerry indicated that the plow attachment for the riding mower was between $300 and $400, and monies left over from the new parking lot could be used for the purchase. It was understood that Building and Grounds would make sure the parking lot was plowed going forward.


Treasurer’s Report

November results were similar to those of the past several months.  November revenue was up slightly from previous months but for a different reason.  The monthly pledged income was lower than the most recent months while non-pledged income was significantly higher.  The primary reason for the unusual higher income was a single large gift from one of our newer members.  Although the total monthly revenue was somewhat higher, it still did not completely cover our December expenses.  The result was a “loss” of some of our current year surplus of about $3,700.  On a year-to-date basis, our year-to-date financial activity still shows a surplus of slightly less than $4,000 going into the final month of the year when taking out the $7,000 we used for the new parking lot.

The parking lot did come in slightly below the $22,000 allocated to it.  With the wheel stops and sign just put in, the total project came in with a $500 surplus.  Part of the surplus ($300) will be used to do preventive maintenance we did on the riding lawn mower that was donated by John Walkup.

The fire alarm problem we have experienced for the past three months or so was seemingly resolved by installing a new cellular based alarm communicator last week.  The cost for the new equipment was about $1,000 which will not be billed until next year.  This will save us about $900 annually by not needing two dedicated phone lines to the alarm system.

Year End Estimate

December expenses should be about $31,600 based on my calculations.  The two yearend expenses that cause higher monthly expenses are the year-end gifts of appreciation and higher Mission and Service expenses to meet their budget.  This will bring our total expenses for the year to a little more than $330,000 (plus the $7,000 for the lot).  This is about $8,000 over the  operating expense budget.  The reasons for the over expense budget have been explained throughout the year.  To  break even for 2018 we will need to receive $27,600 or slightly more in December.  We historically do receive more gifts in December as some members make their annual pledge payments.  Since we have a little over $30,000 in unpaid pledges at the end of November after deducting ones that will not be paid, the $27,600 amount for December revenue sounds reasonable if not conservative.  I expect to at least break even for the year based on what I am seeing.


2018 should be another good year for Chapel in the Pines finances.  We were able to absolve the extra expenses needed for moving expenses, severance pay for Lynn Stall, increased hours for the DCE, and more admin expenses from increased membership/attendance.  The pattern of our expenses was different this year from our historical spending pattern with the new pastor.  This new expense pattern should be reflected in a more accurate budget for next year as we start the budgeting process.


Committee Reports


Finance and Administration

Jerry indicated the Stewardship Campaign has received $325,500 in pledge commitments and expects that more will trickle in, this is the first time the campaign has exceeded the targeted amount.

Finance and Administration and Personnel bring the following motion to the floor

If there is an operating surplus at the end of the year, session approves the church’s payment of half of the Taylor-Troutman’s dental bill for 2018, approximately $820

Jerry indicated the entire dental bill will be include in the 2019 budget, but since there is probably going to be a surplus and because Andrew has not used all his ancillary expense allocations, the two committees thought as a gesture of good will paying half the expense in 2018 would be appropriate. There was little discussion and the motion passed unanimously.

The two committees also brought the following motion to the floor

Increase the salary adjustment for staff to 3% for 2019, budget permitting

There was minimal discussion and the motion passed unanimously, with a resounding endorsement of our staff and all of their hard work.

Finally, Finance and Administration determined that it was appropriate to accept the gift of the cross from Bill Lawrence’s sister and moves

To accept the gift of the cross from Bill Lawrence’s sister, Peg, and to refer to Worship the decision of its placement.

Pat wondered whether it is appropriate to accept it without knowing where it’s going so it wouldn’t “get lost in the shuffle,” session was rather adamant that would not happen and will eagerly await Worship’s report. The motion passed unanimously.


Christian Education

Duke Divinity is piloting a new model for their internships that encourages interns to recognize the importance of community connections and embedding in the community once they’re in a ministry position.  They want them to see beyond just preaching-pastoral care-focus on your own church.  They estimate that the intern will use about 20% of his/her time in the community, using the church as “home base” to launch into these community partnerships.  Starting this summer they’re going to pilot this idea in Pittsboro and in Saxapahaw.  Any churches in Pittsboro applying for and receiving who are willing to take this approach will have their interns paid for by Duke during this pilot period.  They’re looking at this summer as the first pilot phase.  Applications for the interns will come out in January. The interns are for 40 hrs./week from late May through July.  There may be the possibility of future intern placements using this model during the academic year.

The staff sees this as an incredible opportunity to be part of shaping theological education in a way that fits with how CITP approaches ministry…as a community endeavor.  It also could help sharpen and support the work that our M&S committee is doing.  Basically, it feeds the Divinity School and Chapel in the Pines in ways that extend beyond what a typical intern placement might do. Paul Isom offered the following motion

Approve the submission of an application to Duke Divinity School for the summer intern pilot program.

The motion passed unanimously.

Andrew took the time to ask everyone to participate in a champagne toast looking backward at a wonderful year and forward to a bright new one

The business of the meeting being over, Andrew closed the meeting with a prayer at 7:40 PM.


Lord’s Supper, Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

Since the previous stated meeting on November 19, the Lord’s Supper was celebrated once on December 3. There were no baptisms, new members weddings or funerals.

Respectfully submitted,

Marcia Ladd, Clerk

Approved Session 1/14/19



  1. Next stated session meeting January 14, 2019. Pat Chappell has the devotion
  2. Pray for our church each day at noon.