February 14, 2011 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, February 14, 2011, 6:30 p.m. – Douglas Home
Attending: Elders Lynne Hoerter, Marcia Ladd, Michelle Morehouse, Ed Park, Vicky Raymond, Chuck Rickard, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), Jack Zollinger (Treasurer), and the Rev. Mindy Douglas Adams (Moderator). Excused: Stephanie Miller, Ford Heath. Guest: Chris Rickard
The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas Adams at 6:30 p.m. A quorum was present. Mindy welcomed the Deacon representative, Chris Rickard. Vicky led a Word-Share-Prayer devotion using Isaiah 55:11, God’s Word Will Not Return Empty and ended with prayer.
Approval of Agenda. The agenda was amended to remove approval of the C.T. Wilson contract and to include a report on the February Presbytery meeting under Old Business. The agenda was approved as revised by common consent.
Concerns and Celebrations. Mindy shared concerns and celebrations known to her and others present shared their concerns.
Leadership Development. "Setting Priorities as a Leader" by Adam J. Copeland was the topic for leadership discussion. It was agreed that it is best to create ministries by using the gifts and talents within the congregation, rather than forcing activities and ministry when there is no one with the needed gifts to lead such activities, letting members’ gifts, talent, and enthusiasm lead the church.
Approval of Minutes. The minutes of the Stated Session meeting of January 24, 2011, and the Called Session meeting of February 6, 2011, were approved with minor corrections.
Correspondence. Thank you letters from Rape Crisis and Family Violence Services and Church World Service were circulated.
Pastor’s Report. Mindy reported on her time in Texas with the Six Agency Leadership Initiative of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Both Minister and Elder representatives attended and represented a diversity of gender, age, race, and geographical location. The group gathered for the purpose of exploring leadership issues in the 21st Century Church.
Treasurer’s Report. Jack went over the Balance Sheet and the Revenue and Expense report for January 2011. Pledge payments for 2011 made in 2010 are reflected in the report making the pledges for January larger than usual. At this early point, the financial situation is in good shape.
Community Quadrant – Outreach: a new chair is still needed for the Outreach Committee. Michelle announced that the next Feinstein Challenge will begin in March.
Education Quadrant. Ed reported that the new Cafe class studying Esther and Ruth is going well and that Fran Olson’s class on the Old Testament was well received. The Seekers have begun a study of immigration issues. Ed requested approval to use $200 from Operating Reserves as a gift to Rosy Robson for her good work with the Youth program. Not all of the funds in the 2010 budget were used and have already been moved to the reserve fund. After brief discussion, the request was approved.
Fiduciary Quadrant. Jerry said the Finance/Administration/Budget Committee (FAB) would like to enclose a letter along with quarterly contribution statements as a means of communicating to the congregation about the church’s finances. It was suggested that the same letter also be included in the newsletter which would reach beyond just people who have pledged. It was also noted that Nana is working on a spreadsheet to report the results from the Time and Talent survey forms.
Jack recommended a way to approve expenditures as we move forward with our building project. The FAB committee made the following motion: The Treasurer is authorized to pay invoices that have been approved by the architect and the chair of the Building Planning Committee as well as invoices forthcoming under signed contracts. The motion carried without dissent.
Mindy reported that at the February Presbytery meeting, church were informed of the serious financial challenges the Presbytery faces. Several churches have folded their per capita dues into their Presbytery benevolences. Those per capita funds pass through Presbytery and are paid to the General Assembly. Salem Presbytery has asked that an amount equal to each church’s per capita dues be added to the annual Presbytery benevolence payment. Although sympathetic with this need, the Session agreed that we are not in a position in 2011 to do this. Jerry was asked to include this increase as a goal for the 2012 budget.
Worship Quadrant. Vicky reported that registrations for Montreat Music and Worship conference are lagging a bit this year.
Building Planning Committee Report. Lynne suggested that the earlier motion outlining procedures for payment approvals covers the payment for septic design paid in July.
Lynne distributed a summary of expenditures from the Property/Building Funds which was helpful to the Session in staying abreast of that work.
The contract with Dreaming Creek has been signed. Negotiations continue with C T Wilson and the final cost is still being negotiated. Lynne expressed some frustration in trying to get the cost to a level we are comfortable with. She shared a modified design which would eliminate about 1,000 square feet from the building. We are waiting to see what impact such a reduction in size would have on the cost. Lynne suggested that if C T Wilson is not able to get to a price we are comfortable with, we may need to change builders. All agreed the Building Planning Committee could make the best decision on that matter and just asked that the Session be kept informed of any developments/changes.
Loan Financing. Jerry made the following motion: "to approve holding a minimum of two additional consecutive three-year capital campaigns, run by a professional campaign service, immediately following the current campaign until the loan is paid off." After answering a few questions and comments, the vote was taken. It passed with one dissenting vote.
Jerry reminded the Session that we will need to have a savings account with PILP as our part of the investment program of the loan.
Nominating Committee. Chuck reported the following slate of nominees to be presented to the congregation at the February 27, 2011, congregational meeting:
Elder – 2-year term, through May 2013 – Forrest Johnson
Elders – 3-year terms, through May 2014 – Cindy Massey, Rachel Stevens, John Walkup
Deacons – 3-year terms, through May 2014 – Barbra Carson, Susan Pierson, Woody Shearin
Mindy said a nomination brochure would be ready for the congregation this Sunday with brief bios of the nominees. Mindy also noted that traditionally officers have been ordained and/or installed on Pentecost Sunday. This year, Pentecost is June 13 and Mindy will be on sabbatical. She asked that the installation/ordination be moved up to either May 15 or May 22. The Session approved making such a move.
April Presbytery Meeting Commissioner. None of the elders present were able to attend the meeting of Salem Presbytery on April 9. Mindy will check with Stephanie to see if she can go. Jerry said he might be able to do so but did not have his calendar.
Capital Campaign Tithe. Given the late hour, a continuation of this discussion was deferred until next month’s meeting.
Report on February Presbytery Meeting. Lynne reported on the votes taken which approved the adoption of the New Form of Government for the Book of Order and approval of including the Belhar Confession in the Book of Confessions. She also reported that the Rev. Jim Rissmiller preached. Jim will retire as Associate Presbyter on July 1.
Annual Report. Committees were reminded to submit reports to Nana for the 2010 Annual Report by February 28.
Annual Statistical Report. Several people questioned some of the figures in the financial portion of the report, particularly the per capita figure. The Session approved the report with the contingency that Jack and Jerry would verify with Janet that the financial figures included in the report.
The Church Has Left the Building. Chatham Community Church is working with North Chatham School to plan some service projects for the school and will do those projects in lieu of worship on either May 15 or May 22. Chapel in the Pines has been invited to partner with them and help with the projects instead of having worship and Sunday School that day. Jerry moved that we join them in this project, Vicky seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. It was suggested that the $1,000 grant we received for environmental improvements at the school might be used for this weekend work.
Elder for March Deacon’s Meeting. Jerry volunteered to attend the March 21 Deacon’s meeting as the Elder representative.
Elder in the Narthex schedule. A schedule of assigned Sundays was distributed. Elders were asked to find a replacement (does not have to be an installed officer) if unable to serve on the assigned date and to let Nana know of the change. Nana will be asked to provide a list of those in the congregation who are ordained.
Guest Preacher Approval. Samara Joy Nielsen, a former intern with CITP, will be in the area for Memorial Day weekend. Mindy requested approval for Samara to preach on Sunday, May 29. Marcia made the motion, Michelle seconded, and it passed without dissent.
Lynne asked who would serve as Moderator during Mindy’s sabbatical. Mindy said that Salem Presbytery may approve Mitzi to serve and that Troy Lesher-Thomas has also agreed to be moderator if/when needed.
Lynne reported that our building now has a street address. It is 314 Great Ridge Parkway, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.
The next Stated Session meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 14, 2011, at the Douglas home in Briar Chapel.
Following prayer, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
Mary Donna Pond, Clerk
Approved by Session March 14, 2011