December 2008 Stated Session Meeting

Stated Session Meeting, December 11, 2008

Camden Governors Village Apt. Community Room


Attending:        Stan Campbell, Lynne Hoerter, Wes McGraw, Marcia Ladd, Stephanie Miller, Michelle Morehouse, Ed Park, Chuck Rickard, John Walkup, Mindy Douglas Adams (moderator), Mary Donna Pond (clerk), Jack Zollinger (treasurer).     

Guest:  Samara Joy Nielsen

Mindy Douglas Adams called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Lynne Hoerter read a devotion story about Charlie Brown and Jesus from a Chicken Soup book reminding us that the gift of the Christ-child is for everyone.

A Look into the Book.  Mindy shared copies of the 2009 Mission Year Book and showed us the various components of that annual publication which lifts up the work and workers of the Presbyterian Church for prayer and study.

Approval of Minutes.  The minutes of the November 13 Stated meeting and the November 16 Called of the Session were approved by common consent.

Correspondence.  Mary Donna shared several items:  notification from the Endowment Board of University Presbyterian Church of an $800 grant to purchase a projector and screen; a letter from missionary Karla Koll in Guatemala; a letter from UNC Presbyterian Campus Ministry welcoming our involvement and support; and a request from the General Assembly Council to identify a new missionary to support (this has already been done).

Pastor’s Report.  Mindy said she enjoyed time away with family over Thanksgiving and is now busily preparing for Advent, Christmas and the end of the year.

Treasurer’s Report.  Jack distributed Revenue and Expense reports and the Balance Sheet as of November 30, 2008.  Income is a little behind and expected spending for December will likely result in a deficit for this year.  Stan Campbell was asked to make a special appeal in worship asking those who have yet to fulfill their 2008 pledges to do so if they are able.  John asked if deferred spending would help and Jack responded that 2009 also looks lean so such action probably would not help.  Ed inquired if the Treasurer needs Session approval to use Reserve Funds; Mindy responded that he does need such approval and if use of those funds is necessary, such action can be taken at the January meeting.  Michelle inquired as to the procedure for recovering sales tax.  Mary Donna explained that only purchases made directly by the church qualify for sales tax refunds.  North Carolina does not give tax-exempt numbers to churches; churches pay the tax and file for refund of such taxes on a quarterly basis.  When possible, individuals should get items purchased through the church in order to save on the tax.


Community.  A written report had been distributed and no Session action is required at this time.  Michelle reported on the recent activity of the Take and Eat Food Pantry which is working hard to meet the increasing needs of the community.  The goal of providing Thanksgiving meals to all households was met.

Education.  A written report outlining the classes for the beginning of 2009 had been distributed.  Wes lifted up the opportunity to attend the workshop “Practicing Faith with Children,” to be held in February and noted that several people have already registered.  Theology on Tap is going well.  Michelle asked how many people are current attending Sunday school classes.  Mindy estimated 20 to 25.

Fiduciary.   A written report had been distributed.  There was extended discussion of the status of the purchase of property.  Marcia placed a call to Cindy McWilliams but Cindy was not available to give an update.  Unanimous sentiment was expressed that we do everything possible to close on the sale by December 31.  Stan distributed a handout reporting on the pledge campaign for 2009.  To date 13 member households pledged the same amount as 2008, 21 member households increased (total increase from 2008 is $22,580.80), 5 member households decreased (total decrease from 2008 is $11,100), and 9 new pledges were received (total new amount is $14,460).  Four households have indicated that they will pledge.  Estimating the total for those pledges, Stan projected a total amount of $197,425 in pledges for 2009.  Based on that figure, the Session worked to pare down the 2009 budget.  Mindy and Samara were asked to leave during a discussion of cuts in the Personnel lines.  When they returned, the Session voted to approve the 2009 budget at $235,008.  Lynne expressed a desire that we might reinstate some of the cuts if income improves for the year.  Chuck expressed gratitude on behalf of the Session for the work Stan has done to bring us to this budget and the leadership he provided in making it happen.  Jack reported from the Finance Committee that the church is not required to file a 990 form.

Worship.  John reported.  The Session unanimously approved the schedule for serving The Lord’s Supper in 2009, as distributed.  A proposal was discussed to move the Christmas Eve service to an earlier hour.  After a reminder that some people must work until 5:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the proposal was withdrawn.  The service will remain at 7:00 p.m.  It was noted that we need new nametag holders and Mary Donna said she will ask Nana to order more.


Acts 16:5 Initiative.  Mindy again asked for the Session to commit to involvement in the Acts 16:5 Initiative being offered through Salem Presbytery.  John moved that we commit to the program and the Session approved without dissent.  John and Susan Walkup, Ed Park, Lynne Hoerter hope to attend the workshop in February.  It was suggested that others be invited to attend, including the Coxes, Rachel Stevens.  Michelle also indicated she would like to attend if possible. 


Nominating Committee.  Mindy asked the Session to create a Nominating Committee to present a slate of officers, to be elected in March, trained, and installed on Pentecost Sunday.  The Book of Order specifies the members who constitute a Nominating Committee:  two elders, only one of whom is actively serving, one actively-serving deacon, and four at-large members.  We moved that the following comprise the committee:  Chuck Rickard, Harriet McGraw, Phyllis Greene, Nathan Campbell, Bart Holtz, Pat Chappell, and Bryan McWilliams.  Michelle seconded the motion and those people were elected by the Session.  Mindy will ask them to serve.  Alternates elected were Cindy Massey and Bill Dengler, at-large, and Joan Zollinger, Deacon.

Next Meeting.  There will be a Called Session Meeting to receive new members on December 14.  The next Stated meeting is January 22, beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Stan will confirm that we can meet in the Community Room of the Camden Governor’s Village Apartments.   Marcia Ladd will lead the devotion.  Mary Donna Pond will be away for the January meeting; Marcia Ladd volunteered to serve as Acting Clerk for that meeting. Ed Park asked that we address the need for a new Building Committee at the January meeting since the Property Acquisition Committee will have complete its work.Following a time of sharing pastoral concerns, Mindy closed the meeting with prayer.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Donna Pond, Clerk of Session 

Approved by Session January 22, 2009