December 20, 2021 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting December 20, 2021 7 PM
Present: Greg Behr, Paul Bolig, Tom Crosby, Keith Glidewell, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Tim White, (Treasurer), Serena Zum Brunnen, Sarah Whitney
Deacons: Jerry Douglas, Jim Harllee, Mary Donna Pond, Vicky Raymond, Melissa Staples, Leigh Walker, Lee Werley, Peggy Wilkerson, Emily Williams, Polly Williams
Excused Absence: Sara Botelho
Andrew opened the meeting at 7 PM with a prayer.
Order of the Day
Andrew asked Keith to report on the More Light Task Force. We are planning to roll out education on LGBTQiA+ and ultimately joining More Light as an outright expression of who we are. The “education” will start after the first of the year, with informational seminars, books and sermons to inform the congregation of relevant LGBTQiA+ issues. The congregational survey pointed very strongly to being more expressive of our position.
Andrew asked Serena to outline the charges from Paul Nixon. She started by identifying the following bullet points:
- To create outdoor spaces for worship, fellowship, and education;
- To have spaces that are multifunctional, versatile, and could engage all members of the congregation, including intergenerational activities;
- To specifically upgrade the children’s and youth facilities to make younger families feel welcome.
Our desire to attract new members is hand-in-hand with the effort to deepen the faith of existing members, refreshing and inspiring all of us to make a difference in the larger community.
For those of us who were not around to contribute to the scrolls in the beams and see them rise, this will be another opportunity to allow the newbies to invest and see our work come to fruition, bringing our souls closer as we work towards the goal, — and feeling that we are leaving a legacy for the future.
Bruce was asked to talk about the outdoor spaces, he catalogued the outdoor amphitheater, upgrading the playground, and making an outdoor pavilion and the convertible picnic benches, in the playground and under the pavilion. Andrew indicated that as a result of the Vitality Team’s work with Paul Nixon, they are recommending to session to move ahead with the expansion of our outdoor facilities. The Task Force’s plan details four new Outdoor Ministry Spaces: amphitheater, pavilion, Remembrance Garden gazebo and children’s outdoor ministry space. You will see the diagrams and figures in the report. Stan will head a donor campaign, he wants to raise half of the money up front and ask for matching gifts. The giving can be toward a specific project or unrestricted gift toward the goal. There will also be the option of dedicating 10% of the gift to a charity. Andrew envisions all the many ministries in these new outdoor spaces, including:
*Worship services with our congregation and with other churches
*Fellowship time after services and during the week
*Weddings, vespers, and funerals
*Bible and book studies
*Art, poetry, and prayer groups
*Men and women’s fellowships
*Youth, children’s and parents’ groups
*Art events and concerts
*Community events hosted by non-profits
*Service projects for the larger community
The Team will work on the order for how the monies will be allocated. If the goal is met for one of the projects, any overage for the first project can go to another project. This effort will not take on more debt; it is an investment in the present. The spaces will also be used by the larger community. We have a third of the money raised for all four of the outdoor spaces already. Stan has characterized this as a quieter campaign, and part of the messaging will be to let newer members be more of a focus as contributors. Paul asked about the upper parking lot project, Bruce indicated it is already to go with permitting. The money is set aside. Jim Harllee asked about putting a temporary structure where the pavilion will be. Bruce was not in favor of that. Mary wanted to know who they could send suggestions to, Andrew indicated that Bruce and Serena would be good to recipients of suggestions.
Marcia received input about masks from several committees. There was pretty much unanimity that the current policy was appropriate, although for small groups in the Fellowship Hall if everyone is in agreement, folks would like to go unmasked. Based on that input she asked someone to make the following motion
Consistent with Committee input, masks will be required in worship and other areas of the church buildings, but in the Fellowship Hall for smaller groups (12 or less), if all members of the group agree masks do not have to be worn.
Paul made the motion, it was seconded and passed unanimously.
November represents the 11th month or 92% of our year. Total Revenues YTD of $404,967 are 88% of budget. Total Expenses YTD of $355,154 are 81% of the expense budget. November expenses were higher than revenue by $11,002. When we combine Restricted Accounts income of $123,959 YTD, total income is $528,926. Income” Cash balance to fund operations remains at a healthy level.
Our cash balance stands at $282,804, $15,282 less than last month and $30,009 lower than last November. Our Total Liabilities are essentially our mortgage with minimal Current Liabilities.
Serena offered a Devotional, then the Deacons were excused.
Approval of Agenda and Consent Agenda
Andrew asked for approval of the agenda. Greg moved to approve the agenda, it was seconded and passed unanimously. Paul wants to pull the session minutes from the Consent Agenda and indicate that April works during both services. That change will be made. Mary offered a motion to approve the consent agenda with the change in mind, it was seconded and approved unanimously.
- Approval of Session minutes – Stated Meeting 11/15/21
- Approval of Committee Minutes – Mission and Service 11/21/21, Deacons 12/6/21, MAC minutes Farm at Penny Lane 11/3/21, More Light Task Force 11/30/21, Finance and Administration 12/16/21, Christian Education 12/13/21
- Staff Meeting Minutes – 12/5/21
- Correspondence – Thank yous from Communities in Schools, Hispanic Liaison, Four Baptist Church of New Orleans, Fuel Up, CORA, Presbyterian Hunger Program, Presbyterian Disaster Relief Fund, Food Bank of Eastern NC, Church World Service, CEDEPCA, YMCA of the Triangle, Church World Service
Committee/Task Force Reports/Actions
Christian Education Serena indicated her committee wants to extend the Interim Children’s Assistant through January to cover the time period before the 2022 budget is approved. She asked session to vote on the following motion
CE moves to extend the Interim Children’s Assistant position through January at a stipend of $500/month.
There was minimal discussion and the motion passed unanimously.
Finance and Administration
Paul deferred to Tim to discuss the budget development process. For the budget development process, Tim asked the elders to think of any refinements to your Operating Budget components for final Session approval in January.
The process will be: this Dec request to you for refinements, F&A review of the updated budget at their Jan 13 meeting and Session vote Jan 17th. The date of that meeting was later changed to January 24. Tim will need any of the elders’ refinements by Jan 8th so he can send out to F&A early. There are other items that will appear on the 2022 budget that are over and above the Stewardship Goal. That budget will be debated in the January 2022 meeting.
Paul indicated F&A will bring the 2022 budget to the January stated meeting. Paul has a signup sheet for the different chairs to do a Ministry Impact Story during both worship services in a month.
Paul indicated he wanted to change the Finance policy for designated gifts to be consistent with our current practice. Hence, he offered the following motion.
Finance and Administration recommends to Session that the following statement in the Finance Policies and Procedures (Designated Gifts) portion of the Manual of Operations be modified as follows:
Occasionally CITP will receive a gift from a member, friend, or organization that is outside the normal pledging process and is not on the Wish List. These gifts usually come with a description of how the gift should be used: gifts of cash without such a description will go to the operating budget are placed in the restricted Memorial Gifts Fund.
Paul asked Tim to offer the subsequent motions. Tim asked if there were any questions about the Record Retention Policy the elders had received a week ago. He offered the following motion
Finance & Administration recommends approval of the new Records Retention Policy.
Tim introduced it at the last stated meeting. Sara asked Marcia to ask Tim about how the disposal will be made of hard copy documents. Tim said it will be commercially shredded.
Mary amended the motion to be:
Finance & Administration recommends approval of the new Records Retention Policy. F & A will ensure secure disposal of old documents through commercial shredding.
The motion passed unanimously.
Finance & Administration recommends to Session the line item budget be presented at a meeting open to members and friends prior to approval. This promotes transparency in the budget process. It is not intended to change any of the Session’s discussion and approval process.
Sarah wanted us to offer this starting in 2022. She feels the time frame is too compressed. Mary wondered if we could do a zoom meeting and people could put their questions in the chat box. Serena doesn’t want this to be a forum for changing the budget. Tim was thinking this would be done January 9, 2022 before it is approved by session. Andrew wanted us to move the January stated meeting to the 24th. Tom is in favor of doing the meeting for the 2022 budget. Andrew called the question, the motion passed unanimously.
Keith asked the elders to consider the following motion
To accept Matt and Elizabeth Maise into membership on January 9 along with the baptism of their son, Henry.
After minimal discussion, it passed unanimously. He then asked them to consider
To accept Jane Ann Mallon into membership at Chapel in the Pines
.Again it passed unanimously after minimal discussion
Communication and Technology
Tom indicated that we have reached a size where we need an employee dedicated to operating our audio visual equipment. The process has grown too large for volunteers. Hence, he offered the following motion
Establish a part time Audio Visual Coordinator paid @$25/hour, not to exceed 3 hours each Sunday without supervisor’s permission
It will be a W2 employee. The supervisor is the Communications Chair. The person could be managed by the Office Manager. Tom will take that up with Nana.
The motion passed unanimously.
Motion that session endorse the CITP task force report on The Outdoor Ministry Spaces and create a Giving Opportunity Team to present to the congregation in 2022.
It was seconded and passed unanimously
Keith indicated his Task Force needed a 2022 budget to pay speakers, buy books and do promotional “advertising.” The total ask is $2000. The session voted unanimously to approve this.
Andrew, in Bruce’s absence, gave a brief report on the November Presbytery meeting. The November meeting of the Salem Presbytery was held on Nov. 16, 2021 via Zoom. There were 181 participants. Paul Sink was the Moderator for the meeting and David Vaughan was the Stated Clerk.
The meeting was called to order shortly after 9am by Paul and a morning denotational service followed with communion. The morning service was led by the Rev Jodi Lingan.
David Vaughan then established we had a quorum and had the previous meeting’s minutes approved
Barbara Smith presented the Transitional General Presbyter report. After the last Salem Presbytery meeting in August, participants were asked to comment on the “Elephants in the Room” presentation. This presentation was dealing with the poor financial position of the Salem Presbytery due to mis-management. The comments were posted in the packet. In general, most responded with sadness and the need for transparency.
Committee on Representation:
2022 Rev. Ruth Lenger (HR)
2024 Rev. Emily Larsen (St. Andrews)
2024 Elder Colby Hall (Reid Memorial)
2024 Elder Avys Massey (St. Paul, High Point)
2024 Rev. Casey Riker (Jamestown).
The motion passed unanimously.
The Executive Council presented the 2021 Actuals through September 2021. We still have a negative balance ($297,032); however this the best Salem has been in 6yrs and we are making progress towards a positive balance. The 2022 Budget is 6% lower than 2021. The 2022 Budget was passed.
Sarah moved to change the January meeting until the 24th. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15.
Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals
Since the last session meeting on November 15 2021, on November 2, the Trunnell’s – Amy and Madelyn presented to the congregation November 28. There were no memorial services, baptisms or weddings. Communion was served virtually once on at the Contemplative Service on November 22 and Virtually on December 1, 2021.
Clerk of Session
Approved by Session 1/24/22