January 18, 2021 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Virtual Stated Meeting January 18, 2021 – 7 PM
Present – : Barbara Amago, Greg Behr, Paul Bolig, Serena Ebhardt, Keith Glidewell, Paul Harrell, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer)
Andrew called the meeting to order at 7 PM. Andrew opened with a devotion. He asked any elder who was willing to share their committee’s goals. Serena started saying that Christian Education wants to be meaningful and gainfully engaged with all levels of Christian Education. Paul Harrell expressed that personally his goal is to reconnect with various local not for profits. Apparently, we can work with Chatham Literacy remotely. Mary indicated she wanted to give an update, Worship is in the process of renewing. They are looking at the membership of the committee and adding members and clearly defining the committee’s roles so it doesn’t overlap with staff. Barbara indicated Fellowship’s goal is to resume after worship fellowship in 2021. Greg said Personnel’s role is to become more engaged with the staff. Keith indicated that Membership wants to be as welcoming over whatever virtual means, to make members and guests feel welcomed. Andrew encouraged the elders to continue the conversation on goals with their committees throughout the year
Andrew offered prayer concerns, and asked others for prayer concerns on their minds.
Andrew then asked for motions on the agenda. Paul Bolig moved to approve the agenda, it was seconded and approved unanimously. Andrew then called for a motion to approve the consent agenda. Paul Harrell moved to approve, it was seconded and passed unanimously.
Consent Agenda-Please read these items in advance. They will be voted on as a group without discussion unless someone pulls a particular entry from the Consent Agenda
a. Approval of Session minutes – Stated Meeting 12/14/2020. Email Vote12/9/202
b. Approval of Committee Minutes – Deacons’ Meeting 12/7/2020 Personnel 12/8/2020 & 1/2/21, Christian Education 1/11/21, Building and Grounds 1/12/21
c. December Staff Meetings
d. Correspondence – Habitat for Humanity request, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance thank you, Community in Schools thank you and Presbyterian Mission and Engagement thank you
Andrew drew session’s attention to his report. The broad preference for worship outside is in cars in the parking lot; the broad preference for a focus for our local community support is food insecurity. Andrew asked for ushers to volunteer and direct traffic He is also working on using the pastor’s discretionary fund to perhaps help some families who may be about to lose their housing.. Andrew is working on ways to pull back families with young children who have not been as engaged, understandably, during the pandemic. He is also hoping to involve younger parents in more leadership roles. He will work with Fellowship and Membership to maybe get older members as mentors to work with newer, younger members.
As the result of the great financial support of the congregation during the year and the under spending of the committees during the pandemic, we operated at a surplus of around $66,000. That was the result of being $33,816 under expense budget, $16,752 over revenue budget, and a planned surplus in the budget of $15,456. The surplus will be put in a restricted account so it is available for use on some of the church’s missions. There was also discussion on using it to reduce some of the debt on the buildings and work on deciding the best use for the money over the next several months.
Cash flow also improved for the full year ending at $340,246 which was $37,295 higher than at the start of the year
A. Christian Education
Serena indicated that after conversations with her committee and with Finance and Administration, a decision had been made that the church would not need in person child care in 2021. Given this, Andrew has re-doubled his efforts to connect with families of younger children, and requires Christian Education to imaginatively think through new ways to connect. Serena emphasized the need to lead the way.
As a follow up to Christian Education’s decision about child care. Greg offered a motion concerning their compensation:
Personnel takes the advisement of the Christian Education Committee that they will no longer need nursery care in 2021 and will remove that payment line item from the personnel budget as of February 18, 2021. When Chapel in the Pines reconvenes requiring nursery care, our workers will have right of first refusal for the positions.
He indicated that Personnel made the conscious decision to continue to pay the nursery workers throughout 2020, even though they did not work for the bulk of that year, and it was no longer fair to ask the church to continue to pay them.
Given the viable prediction that they would not be needed for the remainder of 2021. Keith asked if reformatting the nursery workers jobs. Andrew indicated it had been looked at and was not feasible from the perspective of other staff members. After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Greg mentioned the Organization Chart contained in pre-session packet that really formalizes the relationships staff already has. The goal is to map this out for future growth.
C. Finance and Administration
Paul Bolig drew session’s attention to the proposed 2021 budget from Finance and Administration. It includes a slight increase in revenues and expenses, the increases in spending is almost entirely in personnel and increased loan payments. He asked session to vote on the following motion
The Finance and Administration Committee recommends to Session approval of the proposed 2021 budget as submitted by the Treasurer and the Finance and Administration Committee
Paul asked if there were questions about the prepared budget. Mary asked about properly paying the people who are working to make the video happen? Paul’s and Andrew’s answer was “yes.” The increase is attributable to Zach Terry’s compensation, the new fiber optic cable expense, increase in property insurance, workers compensation, compensation for an outside audit firm and a few other bits and pieces. The motion passed unanimously.
Paul and his committee have asked for proposals to contract with an accounting firm for periodic external audits. Based on the proposals received, Paul offered this motion
to recommend to Session the hiring of Ward & Foust to review the financial records of Chapel in the Pines Church by completing an Agreed Upon Procedure as described in their engagement letter dated December 19, 2020.
Paul was queried as to when the next audit would be, he indicated early 2021. After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
He turned session’s attention to the Finance and Administration’s next motion. The 2020 surplus was in excess of $60,000. To use that money he offered the following motion:
The Finance and Administration Committee recommends to Session that any surplus from the 2020 budget be placed into a restricted account with the intention that these funds be used to support community needs (to be better defined) later time.
If the monies are used to increase the mortgage, that motion doesn’t indicate that. The motion was modified to read:
The Finance and Administration Committee recommends to Session that any surplus from the 2020 budget be placed into a restricted account with the intention that these funds be used for community or other church needs (to be better defined) at a later time.
Andrew indicated that this would be in reserve for the Matthew 25 initiative, paying down the mortgage or other needs. After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Marcia indicated that the next Salem Presbytery meeting will be on February 9 and conducted virtually. Keith offered to represent the church and made the motion
To select Keith Glidewell as the Chapel in the Pines representative to the virtual February 9 Salem Presbytery Meeting.
It was seconded and passed unanimously
Marcia asked session if they had a chance to look at the draft Statistical Report and asked for a motion to approve it. Paul moved and Greg seconded it.
To approve the 2020 Statistical Report that Nana has drafted in conjunction with several others.
The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
The next item is to set a date for the Annual Congregational Meeting. It was done virtually last year and will be virtual again this year. We allowed for nominations from the floor up to 6 PM the night before the meeting. We need to decide to whom the floor nominations are sent. I would propose we schedule the meeting for Sunday March 14 and 1, to give people time to get home from outside worship service. Greg moved
To set the 2021 Annual Congregational Meeting for March 14 at 1 PM.
The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Finally and I ask this with a heavy heart, we need to accept Pat Chappell’s resignation from session. Greg moved
To accept Pat Chappell’s resignation from session and express with regret our deep for her service.
Barbara asked for details on the resignation. It was seconded and passed unanimously.
Accept the Annual Report as submitted to session in the pre-session packet.
Any changes should be sent directly to Nana except if it is within a committee’s report it has to go back to the Committee (any changes need to go through the committee but with all deliberate speed)
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned by Andrew with a prayer at 8:10 PM.
Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals
Since the last stated meeting on December 14, 2020, the Lord’s Supper was performed virtually on December 16, 23 and 27 and January 3, 6 and 13.November 18 and 25 and December 2 and 9, 2020. There were no new members, baptisms, weddings or funerals.
Clerk of Session
Approved session 2/15/21