December 9, 2013 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church

Stated Session Meeting: December 9, 2013 – Adult Classroom

Attending: Ruling Elders Monty Brekke, Cindy Massey, Jeff Morehouse, Tina Stark, John Walkup, Bob Warren, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer), and Teaching Elder Rev. Mindy Douglas (Moderator)

Excused absence:  Stephanie Miller, Fred Royal, Rachel Stevens

Guest:  Karen Atkins



Mindy Douglas called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. She welcomed Karen.  Mindy explained that Tina would be arriving late and would therefore give a closing devotion.  Mindy then prayed an opening prayer.

Pastoral concerns and celebrations were shared.

Request to create a staff position, Director of Christian Education for Children and Youth.  Karen and John explained the need for this position – that the number of families with children is increasing, that our current Youth leader, Rosy Robson, will be graduating, and that better coordination and theological content is needed for children and youth of the church.  Tina’s report (in Session packet) stated that Children and Youth Ministry is working with Personnel to find a way to create such a position.  When asked how many hours per week might be required, Karen opined that twenty hours should be adequate.  Mindy noted that the campus ministry at UNC has received a grant that may enable them to provide a college student to work with us in youth ministry at no cost to us.

Leadership Development.  Mindy asked each person to think of three words that define Chapel in the Pines, then to select two from the list of words the group compiled and explain why those two were essential.  The group agreed that “welcome,”  “community,” and “witness/mission” were most important.  Mindy encouraged the Session to find ways to continue to strengthen those areas.

Approval of Agenda and Consent Agenda:  Two items were added to the consent agenda:  Minutes from Building and Grounds for 11/19/13 and approval of the congregational Annual Meeting on February 23 to receive the annual report.  John asked that the Annual Meeting item be removed from the consent agenda.  The agenda was approved with those changes. Items approved on the consent agenda were:

a.       Approval of Minutes:  Stated Session Meeting 11-09-13, Called Session meeting 11-17-13

b.       Building and Grounds Committee meeting minutes 11-4-13 and 11/19/13 – information only

c.        Guest Preacher – The Rev. Mickey dePrater, December 29, 2013

d.       Correspondence – (letters from Family Health Ministries and University Presbyterian Endowment Board)

Pastor’s Report.  Mindy briefly reported that she loves the season of Advent!  


FAB Committee.  A written Treasurer’s Report was in the Session Packet as well as financial reports.  Jerry briefly reviewed the highlights, noting that we appear to be in good shape financially.  He brought a motion from the FAB committee to approve sending funds in the poinsettia/lily account to the Take and Eat Food Pantry.  The motion was approved.  He reported that University Presbyterian Endowment Board has granted us $2,024 toward the installation of a hearing assistance loop.  A few additional gifts, designated for this purpose, have been received.  He moved that funds from an undesignated gift from the Smith Foundation be used to complete the necessary funding for the loop.  The motion passed unopposed.  A third motion, to use funds from the Smith gift to cover the additional $1,300 still needed to pay for hymnals, was withdrawn following conversation about the use of undesignated gifts rather than waiting to receive hymnal dedications.

Cindy, Jerry and Mary Donna briefly reported on plans for Consecration Sunday.  Lynne Hoerter is chair of the Consecration Sunday committee.  A timetable is now set and Consecration Sunday will be celebrated on March 1 with a luncheon following worship.  Sam Marshall has agreed to be the guest preacher.  The Session, committee members, and spouses will have dinner with Reverend Marshall on Sunday, February 23.  Further details will be shared as they are developed and finalized.

Jerry reported that FAB is holding off on developing a budget until Consecration Sunday, following the philosophy of such a stewardship plan.  He asked that all committees hold their spending at the 2013 levels for the first quarter of 2014, until a budget can be formulated and approved.  Any special needs above 2013 levels should be brought to the Session for special approval.

Membership/Fellowship.  John distributed post cards that were designed and mailed to 2500 homes proximate to Chapel in the Pines.  He asked Session members to share them with friends and neighbors.  He also shared new notecards using the art work approved for use in our new logo.  The cards will be used to write notes to visitors.


Salem Presbytery Church Growth and Transformation Committee.  John reported on the deliberations and actions of the committee.  Funds are depleted so they are thinking of other ways to help, such as inviting neighborhood churches to assist other churches with repairs to their building, providing workshops for pastors to strengthen preaching, and other ideas.


Date and Time for Stated Session Meetings.  A chart of results from the Session survey was in the Session packet.  John changed his response to include all Mondays.  Mindy noted that the third Monday had the most positive responses.  Jeff moved that Stated Session meetings be held at 7:00 p.m. on the third Monday of the month.  Monty seconded the motion which was approved unopposed.  The next meeting will be Monday, January 20, 2014.


Overture 024.  An overture to the General Assembly from Heartland Presbytery in Missouri was included in the Session packet.  The overture offers authoritative interpretation of section W4.9 of the Book of Order, clarifying the kinds of weddings that may be performed by Teaching Elders.  Mindy explained how overtures are offered and the procedures for their approval and adoption.  Monty moved that the Session approve sending Overture 024 and the rationales listed to Salem Presbytery in concurrence with other congregations that approve it.  John seconded the motion which passed without opposition.

Annual Congregational Meeting.  John moved that the Annual Congregational Meeting be held on February 23 for the purpose of receiving the 2013 Annual Report and also approving the Pastor’s Terms of Call.  Jeff seconded the motion which passed following brief discussion.

Jerry asked Mindy to leave while the Session discussed Christmas bonuses.  He explained that the staff bonuses, included in the 2013 budget, had been allocated.  Mindy has told him that she did not expect a bonus since the Session had increased her educational expense line to help with her D.Min. costs.  Nevertheless, Jerry moved that the Session approve a $100 bonus for Mindy; Jeff seconded the motion and it passed unopposed.  Mindy returned to the meeting.

Tina closed the meeting with a devotional reading from Our Daily Bread using scripture from the book of Jonah.  It highlighted how God works through both good and bad in our lives to shape and form us.  She closed with prayer.


Remember to pray for our church each day at noon.

Next Stated Session Meeting – Monday, January 20, 2014

Salem Presbytery Meeting – Tuesday, February 4 – Westminster, Greensboro

Submit committee report for 2013 Annual Report


With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted, Mary Donna Pond, Clerk of Session


Approved by Session January 20, 2014