February 13, 2012 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, February 13, 2012 – CITP Adult Classroom
Attending: Ruling Elders Lynne Hoerter, Forrest Johnson, Marcia Ladd, Cindy Massey, Michelle Morehouse, Vicky Raymond, Rachel Stevens, John Walkup, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), Jack Zollinger (Treasurer), and the Rev. Mindy Douglas Adams (Moderator).
Also attending: Karen Fisher, Deacon representative
The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas Adams at 6:30 p.m. and a quorum was present. Lynne Hoerter read Psalm 97 for the opening devotion which ended with prayer. Several items were added to the agenda and it was approved. Pastoral concerns and celebrations were shared.
Leadership Development. An article by Mark DeVries, "Investment Drives Results," was discussed with a focus on youth ministry. All agreed that youth ministry for CITP needs to be clearly defined and that the Session and the rest of the church need to be involved in making youth ministry work. The Session will provide a meal for one of the youth group evenings and Forrest Johnson, who serves on the youth ministry committee, will let us know which date.
Approval of Minutes. Minutes of the January 9 Stated Session meeting and the Called meetings on January 21 and 30 were approved with corrections.
Correspondence. Thank you letters were distributed from: Chatham Habitat for Humanity, Operation Homefront, Chatham County Together, Chatham Literacy Council, Midwives for Haiti, and Carolina Tiger Rescue. A note from Chapel Hill Chinese Christian Church was circulated thanking CITP for giving the pulpit, chairs, and table that came from North Raleigh Presbyterian Church.
Pastor’s Report. Mindy reported that there had been a lot of work involved in the dedication service but that she was very pleased with it and will never forget that day. She attended a meeting in Chicago working to develop Hispanic/Latino/Latina leadership in PC(USA). She will attend a meeting of "The Next Church" at the end of February, and will lead a workshop at this conference in Dallas.
Treasurer’s Report. Jack distributed the balance sheet and revenue & expense report. Because the 2012 budget has not been approved, no 2012 budget figures appeared on the report. The 2011 budget was planned to use $35,000 from operating reserves; however, the shortfall was only approximately $15,000 at year-end.
Community Quadrant. Lynne reported that Membership is updating the church photo directory and new photos are being taken as well as photos of new members added. Fellowship has made the transition to our new building smoothly and has in place monthly leadership for providing fellowship following worship throughout the year. Michelle reported for the Outreach committee that we are sending funds to Guatemala to purchase hymnals and Bibles. We received a grant from Salem Presbytery’s Hunger Program but it was less than previous grants. It is greatly appreciated and needed. A new group, the Chatham Interfaith Collaborative, is forming to help link non-profit groups and churches in our area and facilitate communication. Mindy brought a special request from a group in the area that wants to hold a fund raiser – a benefit concert – to help a family whose son fell from a holiday parade float and was seriously injured. The family’s health insurance does not cover the costs of home health care and other treatments the boy needs. Marcia moved that CITP offer our building for the event and, should our building not be needed, that we provide music (by our choir or a soloist) and refreshments for the event. Michelle seconded the motion and it passed unopposed. Vicky agreed to speak with Jeremy about the choir participating in this event. The Community Quadrant will "own" this project but Worship will also be involved with the music.
Education Quadrant. Rachel reported that the quadrant had met and discussed structure for educational opportunities as well as the need for teachers, especially for elementary age children. The quadrant will monitor growth and activity in the next few months and will meet again next quarter for continued planning and discussion.
2011 year-end. Jerry reported that not all of the 2011 expenses are in yet so the final year-end report is not complete.
Stewardship. Pledges for 2012 are substantially lower than the proposed budget. The same number of pledges were received for 2012 but the amount is almost $26,000 lower. Mindy noted that a substantial financial gift was received in January 2011 and included as a part of the pledge amount, so the difference in actual pledges is not as great as it seems. Letters have been sent to the 8 households who have yet to respond to the stewardship campaign.
2012 Budget. Four committees were asked to reduce their budgets for 2012 by $1,000 each. Vicky expressed dissatisfaction with the percentage of cut to the Worship budget and suggested an across-the-board reduction. Jerry explained that in order to maintain Outreach at the desired level and the fixed costs for personnel and administration, an across-the-board cut would not work. There was discussion about a cash flow problem and Michelle suggested that the payment schedule for Outreach payments might be delayed in order to help cash flow. The budget was sent back to the FAB committee with a request to more evenly distribute the necessary cuts.
Worship Quadrant. Vicky reported that the Quadrant met in January and that things are going well. She made the following motions to set the times for special services: Ash Wednesday, February 22, 7 PM; Maundy Thursday, April 5, 7 PM; Good Friday, April 6, 7 PM. Her motions were seconded and each date and time was approved on separate votes. Mindy asked for reactions to a plan to serve Easter brunch on tables in the sanctuary and to clear the tables but leave them in place for worship. The session expressed no objection to this plan.
Building and Grounds. Jerry reported on the status of approval for the bioretention pond which should be given soon. CT Wilson has agreed to assist with improvements to the parking lot, but due to the upcoming work on the Remembrance Garden, final improvements will be postponed.
Loan Report and Construction Update. Jerry distributed a cash flow analysis showing that current funds will allow for approximately 32.6 months of mortgage payments. Lynne asked if new members are being given an opportunity to contribute to the Building Fund. Jerry and Stan Campbell have a plan to invite those new members who have joined since the capital campaign to make a building donation. Lynne suggested that pledge cards in new member packets might include such an opportunity.
Remembrance Garden. A written request from the Remembrance Garden committee was distributed prior to the meeting. The request included four action items. They were resolved as follows:
- Request to name the garden "The Ruth Mammen Remembrance Garden" – motion defeated
- Request to place a plaque in the garden reading "The Remembrance Garden was created by a donation from Edwin Mammen in honor of his late wife, Ruth Mammen" – motion approved.
- Request to post an acknowledgement somewhere in the church of the members of the garden committee and landscape architect – motion defeated
- Request for undesignated memorial gifts to be put into the Remembrance Garden Fund to complete the garden, to repurchase columbarium niches, and to maintain the garden – motion defeated
Mindy will convey the Session’s decisions to Jan Rickard who chairs the Remembrance Garden Committee. Rachel suggested that guidelines for use of undesignated memorial gifts be written and approved by the Session for future guidance. John asked which quadrant the Remembrance Garden came under; Mindy said it is under Building and Grounds in the Fiduciary Quadrant.
Presbytery Meeting Report. Mary Donna reported that Salem Presbytery’s finances are precarious and that campus ministry, prison ministry, and outdoor ministry are all being phased out. She also reported that a nice tribute and video presentation of our building dedication was shared at the meeting. It was good to have something optimistic and positive at the meeting.
Wedding fee reduction. A request from Lakyn Turner and Keith Marwitz for a reduction in non-member wedding fees has been made. After some discussion, Marcia moved that we not approve this request to reduce the fees. Lynne seconded the motion which passed without dissent. John asked if there might be circumstances in the future for which fees could be reduced. It was agreed such requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Shortfall for Arts Festival artists. The love offerings received to date are not sufficient to cover the commitments to David LaMotte and Little Windows, with approximately $1,200 still needed. Marcia moved that the funds currently in undesignated memorial gifts be used to cover the shortfall, along with whatever remains from the 15% of the love offering designated for expenses after reimbursements are made.
Monthly committee meetings. Everyone agreed that holding committee meetings following worship on the last Sunday of the month worked well in January. There was some discussion about lunches, and it was agreed people may bring their own bag lunches and the Clerk will provide some light snack food at each meeting.
Annual Statistical Report. Work sheets for the Annual Statistical Report were distributed. Rachel moved approval of the report, Lynne seconded the motion, and it passed without dissent.
Annual Meeting of the Congregation. Vicky moved that the annual congregational meeting be set for March 25, the purposes of which are (1) to receive the 2011 Annual Report, (2) to approve the pastor’s terms of call, and (3) to elect officers. Michelle seconded the motion. Lynne asked if that date gives the Nominating Committee enough time to find a slate of officers. John stated the date is fine for the committee. The date and purposes were approved without dissent.
Operations Manual Task Force. Mindy suggested the following names to serve on a task force to compile a Manual of Operations, as required of all churches in the new Form of Government: Forrest Johnson, Marcia Ladd, Cindy Massey, Mary Donna Pond from the Session and Doug Carson, Joe Hammond, Chuck Rickard at-large members. Forrest, Marcia, Cindy, and Mary Donna agreed to serve. Jerry moved that this task force be created, Michelle seconded and the motion passed. Mary Donna will contact Doug, Joe, and Chuck to ask them to serve.
Given the late hour, three of the agenda items were tabled to the March meeting: discussion of a quorum for Session meetings; setting a regular new member Sunday; and establishing a Task Force to address environmental issues.
With no other business to discuss, Mindy led a closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Mary Donna Pond, Clerk
Approved by Session March 12, 2012