February 11, 2013 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting: February 11, 2013 – Adult Classroom

Attending: Ruling Elders Lynne Hoerter, Forrest Johnson, Rachel Stevens, Jeff Morehouse, Tina Stark, John Walkup, Bob Warren, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), and Teaching Elder Rev. Mindy Douglas (Moderator). Excused absence: Cindy Massey


Mindy Douglas called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Bob Warren led the opening devotional based on a Wendell Berry poem, "Manifesto:  The Mad Farmer Liberation Front," written in 1973.  Bob then led an opening prayer.


Several elders shared pastoral concerns.


Leadership Development.  The Session discussed the fifth chapter in Stanley Ott’s book, Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church, "Shifts Concerning Congregational Program."  The group talked about the importance of assessing needs and growing in directions that respond to the needs, taking the pulse of the congregation regularly and empowering new leaders.  There was also discussion of best practices for assimilating newcomers into the life of the church.


Approval of Agenda and Consent Agenda:  Two items were added to the agenda (Nominating Committee report and calling a congregational meeting in New Business). Following these changes, the Meeting Agenda was approved.  Items approved on the consent agenda were:

  • Minutes of the Stated Session Meeting of January 14, 2013 and the Called Session Meeting January 20, 2013
  • Final report of the Operations Task Force
  • Correspondence. Thank you letters from Chatham County Literacy Council, CORA Food Pantry, Chatham County Together, and Chatham Habitat for Humanity.
  • Annual report from the Membership Committee


Pastor’s Report.  Mindy shared her grief at the loss of two dear friends recently.  She then showed several slides from a presentation on theological education funding.  Mindy serves on a committee that is considering this important topic and she wanted the Session to know current circumstances and challenges.  She also reminded everyone to open and close committee meetings with prayer.



FAB Committee.  In Cindy’s absence, Jerry gave the report.  He asked if anyone had questions about the year-end reports for 2012.  The church ended the year needing to draw only about $4,000 from reserved despite originally budgeting a draw of substantially more.  Mindy led the Session in a prayer of thanks to God for the generous hearts of the congregation and the careful stewardship of the church’s finances.  Jerry then turned to the proposed budget for 2013.  He stated that one adjustment to the previously distributed proposed budget – an increase of $300 for Youth and Children Education – brought the total proposed budget for 2013 to $273,944.  An estimated draw from reserves of just under $10,000 is needed to balance this budget.  The FAB Committee moved approval of this budget and the Session’s vote was unanimous to approve it.  John Walkup commented that it would be wise to apprise the congregation of the church’s financial situation and the Session requested Jerry to make such reports in weekly emails, in the 2012 Annual Report, and also at a congregational meeting.  It was also suggested that the budget be posted in the login-only section of the church website.

Fellowship.  Tina reported that the committee was planning to have a brunch on Palm Sunday rather than on Easter Sunday this year.  The Session voiced no objection to this change.  Tina also mentioned plans for a Pentecost Pig Pickin’; however cost may pose an obstacle to this.  Mindy suggested a basket for contributions.  Bob Warren mentioned he knows someone who might be able to help with this.  Everyone agreed it is a good idea.  Mindy noted that there is a distinction between Fellowship and Membership in that the Fellowship Committee’s events should focus on opportunities for members, friends, and others who are already a part of the congregation to get together for fun and fellowship whereas the Membership Committee should be responsible for bringing newcomers and non-members into the church’s life.  Mindy reminded committee chairs to have the minute-takers "sign" the minutes so we will have that on record.



Salem Presbytery Committee on Church Growth and Transformation.  John reported on the work of this committee and asked for any thoughts or suggestions others may have that would be helpful to the committee.

Nominating Committee.  Mindy reported that the committee is nearly finished with a slate of nominees:  2 members of the Nominating Committee, 3 Elders, and 4 Deacons.  They hope to have a flyer with photos and bios available for the congregation soon.


OLD BUSINESS.  There was no old business to discuss.



Annual Statistical Report – Financial information.  Lynne moved and Rachel seconded the approval of the financial figures for the report to General Assembly and the figures were approved without dissent.


Congregational Meeting.  Mindy stated that a meeting of the congregation is needed to receive the report of the Nominating Committee and to elect officers and members of the Nominating Committee.  She suggested March 3.  Jerry moved such a meeting be called, Rachel seconded, and the Session approved.



  • Remember to pray for our church each day at noon.
  • Ash Wednesday worship service will be at 7:00 p.m. on February 13.
  • Read chapter 6 of Stanley Ott’s book, Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church, for March Session meeting.
  • Next Stated Session Meeting – March 11, 2013
  • Presbytery meetings – Rachel will serve as commissioner to the February 12 Presbytery meeting in Winston Salem. The next meeting will be Saturday, May 4, 2013 – location TBA


With no further business meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.  Mindy closed the meeting with prayer.


Respectfully submitted,

Mary Donna Pond, Clerk of Session


Approved by Session March 11, 2013