February 6, 2022 Called Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Called Session Meeting February 6, 2022, 2PM
Present: Paul Bolig, Sara Botelho, Tom Crosby, Keith Glidewell, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), John McDowell, Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Tim White, (Treasurer), Serena Zum Brunnen,
Absent: Sarah Whitney
Andrew opened the meeting with a brief prayer. Mary moved to approve the agenda, it was seconded and unanimously approved. Stan is moving along with the project for outdoor ministry. He is enlisting a group of ambassadors to spread the enthusiasm. He asked the elders to make a gift of any amount to the campaign, and wants to be able to say all leadership has given to the campaign.
Marcia drew session’s attention to the Financials to be used in the Statistical Report contained in the pre-session packet. The church sends them annually to the Presbytery. She asked someone to make the motion
Approve the Financials for the annual Statistical Report
Sara made the motion, it was seconded and passed unanimously.
Andrew then called on Bruce. He made the motion
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church should be truly welcoming to Pack 951 by serving as the Pack’s Charter Organization
It was seconded. Andrew opened the discussion. Bruce made several points: Within a Pack there are the “key three” (required to be chartered within BSA): A Cub Master (adult that leads the Pack); a Committee Chair, and a Charter Organization Representative (COR). The COR must be a member of the CO and acts a liaison between the Pack and CO. This individual would be a church member and a member of the Pack which would give the church an inside track to the Pack.
The CO provides a home for the Pack and encourages BSA’s values within Pack. By providing a home the CO would provide space for the Pack to meet, and a place to store the Pack’s belongings. If CitP so chooses it could provide a place for the Pack’s financial account to reside (Pack checking Account). The pack could choose to open its own independent checking account.
Cub Scout Pack would be a complement to our growing youth program, provide more community outreach and provide a home to a youth organization that shares CitP vision of Welcome, Worship, Witness. There is another individual helping Matt with running the Pack. Bruce spoke about the difficulty of having the Council be the CO for the Pack, especially because the Council would micro-manage the Pack.
To address any concerns, Bruce made the following points that BSA has put in place to prevent future sexual abuse
- All existing leaders have gone through a criminal background check by a nationally recognized third party. All new leaders also go through the same process
- BSA checks the three required references per adult leader
- BSA maintains a database of past sexual offenders and checks every new adult leader against the list.
- Every leader is required to take Youth Protection Training every two years.
- All youth are shown a Youth Protection video every two years which shows youth what to be aware of and how to report any suspicious activity
- Two-deep leadership is required at all BSA functions
Bruce then asked for questions. Sara asked about the liability risk to the church. BSA has a general liability insurance and the church has a liability coverage and a sexual misconduct clause. Sara wondered if a Pack member gets hurt at the church or on a trip. Bruce said BSA’s policy should cover that type of instance. Mary asked if we become a CO would we come under the current class action suit, the answer is no. Paul asked if CitP would be asked to be the CO for the Boy Scouts, the answer is no, they already have a CO. Paul asked if the current Boy Scouts chose to come to CitP would the question have to be re-considered. It would have to be re-considered.
Paul asked to be recognized and offered a substitute motion from Finance and Administration:
The Finance and Administration Committee recommends to Session that Chapel in the Pines enter into a host and guest relationship with Cub Scout Pack 951 using the CITP facility use agreement. This arrangement potentially reduces CITP’s financial and fiscal risks compared to the BSA charter agreement
Paul indicated that his Committee had spent a long time on developing this motion. Paul then asked Tim to talk about the insurance issues, and why F&A thought the building use agreement made more sense. Tim thinks the key point is what is the amount of risk we as a church are willing to take? Presbyterian polity would not give us cover from entities above us. The BSA coverage doesn’t specifically say they are covered for sexual misconduct, which gives Tim pause. The church policy does have sexual misconduct coverage which would cause our insurance to be called into a disagreement. The United Methodist Church and PCUSA denominations are recommending that churches should go the facility use agreement. Tim feels it is the cleaner, safer way to go.
John mentioned that the BSA was not very welcoming to the LGBTQIA community, and John asked how that held up against the church’s goal of becoming more inclusive. Bruce indicated that the BSA is open to all, even to girls. Bruce asked if we do a facility use agreement, could the Pack store their possessions, Tim thinks it would be permissible if it was spelled out in the agreement. Paul asked what the risk would be to the corporate officers. The BSA insurance covers the trustees, officers and staff of a CO. The church insurance also covers officers and staff. Bruce wanted everyone to understand that if we do a facility use agreement, the Pack still needs to find a CO. Sara wondered if down the road we would not want to be a CO could we drop that designation. That would be possible at any point in time.
Andrew then asked for amendments to the substitute motion. There were no amendments. He asked for a vote on whether the substitute motion should replace the original motion. The elders voted 4 (Sara, Bruce, Mary and Serena) to 3 (Paul, Tom and Keith) not to replace the original motion with the substitute motion.
Then Andrew drew the elders’ attention to the original motion, and called the question. Mary said it was consistent with our church’s mission. The elders voted 6 (Sara, Tom, Keith, Bruce, Mary and Serena) to 1 (Paul) to accept the first motion.
Andrew turned his attention to Mary. She offered the following motion from her committee
Worship Committee proposes that the sanctuary be reopened for worship on Sunday February 20, with appropriate spacing between worshippers (families or other pods); a requirement that masks be worn by any congregants over 2 years of age, ; and live streaming for people who are not comfortable worshiping in person.
She indicated that her Committee had watched the numbers very closely and feels it is safe to meet in the sanctuary, socially distanced and masked. They have debated this in person with the staff and via email. The rates for positivity are coming down sharply. A vaccinated, boosted congregation should be safe, but also offering the opportunity for livestreaming. Mary indicated we need to be very careful about masking the entire time, even worship leaders. She suggested the ushers should be vigilant about members of the congregation keeping their masks on. The Committee didn’t want to “require” vaccines, but advise that attendees are vaccinated. Paul asked if the staff and committee were both in favor of having worship leaders maintain their masks. Paul asked to add the sentence with the acceptance of worship leaders when they are leading worship. There was no second, hence the amendment failed. John asked about the church having N95 masks. Andrew indicated he has received 500 such masks, and they will be made available to the congregation.
Mary wondered when we could stop wearing masks, she’s thinking the rates are dropping precipitously and should be able to drop masking in the near term. Paul asked that the Worship Committee could address unmasking worship leaders at their upcoming meeting. Tom offered a friendly amendment.
Worship Committee proposes that the sanctuary starts reopening for worship on Sunday, February 20, with appropriate spacing between worshippers (families or other pods); a requirement that masks be worn by any congregants over 2 years of age ; and live streaming for people who are not comfortable worshiping in person.
Mary accepted the amendment. Andrew called the question and the amended motion passed unanimously.
There being no further business, Andrew adorned the meeting at 3:40 PM.
Marcia Ladd, Clerk
Approved by Session 2/21/22