January 23, 2023 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting January 30, 2023 7 PM

Present: Paul Bolig, Tom Crosby, Karen Fisher, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), Jeff Olson, Bruce Raymond, Barbara Strange, Andrew Taylor-Troutman, Tim White, (Treasurer), Serena Zum Brunnen

Absent: Jerry Wehmueller, Sarah Whitney

Andrew called the meeting to order at 7. Tom offered a devotion; Andrew asked for prayer concerns, they were offered and Tom closed with a prayer. Andrew asked the participants to go around the room and read The Covenant of Presence. Andrew asked for a motion to approve the agenda. Jeff moved to approve the agenda, it was seconded by Bruce and passed unanimously. Andrew asked for a motion to approve the consent agenda. Serena offered a motion. It was seconded by Bruce 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 12/19/22
b. Approval of Committee Minutes – Membership 1/10/23, Personnel 1/3/23, Finance and Administration 1/25/23, Christian Education 1/9/23, Building and Grounds 1/10/23, Worship 1/12/23
c. Head of Staff Report
d. Staff Meeting –
e. Correspondence – Card from Catherine Hare; Thank yous from Chatham Food Pantry, CORE, Theological Education Fund, CEDEPCA, Chatham Literacy, Love Chatham, Learning Trail, Chatham Y, Communities in Schools

Pastor’s Report
Andrew has been out of town working on his doctorate January 16 – 28 and on vacation during his children’s spring break March 25 – 31, and for the confirmation retreat March 17 – 19.

Jeannette has finished her training with Teresa. Nana is still working with her, and together they have successfully put together the Statistical Report for 2022 and the Annual Report, which session will vote on during this meeting. The Christian Education staff is awaiting budget approval to implement staff changes.

Dennis Dalke will be out until spring as a result of his surgery. However, his replacement, Johnny, has done an excellent job and is available until Dennis returns.

Andrew noted that the church has really extended its reach with 3 services, counting the live streaming. He notes that the church is maturing, implementing the Outdoor Ministry Project and moving into being a Program church. Jeff noted that we have faithfully lived into Paul Nixon’s recommendations and really walked into those recommendations. Several elders commented that we have really lived into our generosity in spades.

Clerk’s Report
Marcia indicated that session needed to approve the Annual Report. She said it was included in the packet in the Annual Report Folder. Jeff said there needed to be the following additions, and offered them as a friendly amendment to the final report.

Please make the following changes in the footnote:
$64K needs to $65K $22K needs to be $23K
and please delete the sentence: “Final official CITP … this was written.”

She asked if there were any questions. There was minimal discussion, and she asked for a motion. Jeff moved
To approve the 2022 Annual Report with the noted amendment.
It was seconded and passed unanimously. Marcia indicated that the January meeting is typically when we adjust the dates of any session meetings that do not allow the accountant time to generate the numbers from the previous month. No adjustment is needed in 2023.
Marcia indicated we would like to hold the Annual Congregational Meeting to approve the Annual Report, new terms of call for the pastor on February 26 immediately following worship. We will hold a later Congregational Meeting to elect officers and the Nominating Committee. She asked for a motion.

Paul moved:
To hold the Annual Meeting of the congregation to approve the Annual Report and new terms of call for the pastor and offer an update on the Debt Reduction Plan.

It was seconded and passed unanimously.

The following is the list of committees and their members

Tom Crosby, Bob Warren, Deb Rogers, JonPaul McClellan, Sarah Daniels, Emily Williams, Ben Tupper.

Building and Grounds
Bruce Raymond – Chair and Structural Engineer
Karen Atkins – Secretary
Kevin Odell, PE – BioPond and Civil Engineer
Bart Holtz – Building Maintenance
Dana Staats – Landscape Architect
Greg & Page link – Remembrance Garden

Finance and Administration
Robert Betley, Paul Bolig (Session Representative), Stan Campbell, Joyce Brennan, Brownell Johnston, Andrew Taylor-Troutman, Jerry Wehmueller (Chair and Assistant Treasurer), Tim White (Treasurer), and Jack Zollinger

Sarah Daniels
Minnie Sue Douglas
Braxton Malan
Mary Roodkowsky
Vicky Raymond
Barbara Strange (chair)

Welcome & Membership Committee
Karen Fisher, Chair
Marcia Ladd
Millie Kabrick
Leslie Strohm

Fellowship Committee:
Barbara Amago (trying to get off), Jan Herboth, Braxton Malan, Sarah McCormick, Celia and Peter Poon, Deb Rogers, Tim and Lynn White

Christian Education
Blisse Adams
Karen Atkins
Todd Adams
Emily Smith
Lynn White
Emily Williams
Serena zum Brunnen (Chair)
Joelle Brummitt-Yale (DYM)
Jordan Horn (CCM)
Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Pastor)
Sandy Williams (Exploring Together)

Thangam Aramugham
Marcia Ladd
Betsy Szczypinski
Jerry Wehmueller (chair)
Sandy Williams

Mission & Service:
Todd Adams, Barbara Amago, Paul Harrell, Mike Mannshardt, Jeff Olson (chair), Leslee Shell, Susie Smith, Beth Vazquez

Treasurer’s Report
2022 ended with a positive Operating Budget result. Income and expenses were both under budget with income higher than estimated and expenses lower. Our CITP community was responsive with their pledges and giving. Committees and staff are again to be thanked for managing expense in last quarter.

Total Revenues are $468,611 or 95% of budget and $15,195 more than last year. Pledge receipts year-end are 97% of budget. Non-pledge offering is 76% of budget. Open Plate Offering is 219% of budget. Month-to-date total revenue is $43,414 vs “avg” budget of $41,000, improving for a third month.

Total Expenses are $445,714, 91% of budget. December MTD revenues are lower than expenses by $7,600. Buildings & Grounds was over budget due to issues which had to be addressed such as the HVAC and fire alarm systems as well as a tree at risk of falling.

Restricted Accounts:
The Pastor’s Discretionary Fund balance is $11,355. The fund provided $17,208 in 2022 to assist at least 38 individuals and/or families in Chatham County with their serious financial issues. Members and friends contributed to the fund $19,309. The Alternative Christmas Market was a success with almost $4,900 raised. Surplus Carryover is $19,930. Surplus balance will be approx. $1,900 after reserved amounts are considered. Permanent Endowment finished the year at $6,491.

Balance Sheet:
Our cash balance stands at $563,189. This is $37,652 higher than last month. Income from pledges, other receipts and donations to restricted funds were key contributors.

Cash Management:
Operating expenses cashflow again improved in December due to pledges and other giving, higher interest income and restricted account contributions. Operating expense “cash cushion” is positive with 1 month funded (at target). See exhibit.
Project for Outdoor Ministry Spaces (POMS) Report @ 12/31/2022:
Pledged/Donated: $245,164 (89) One new pledge.
Paid to-date: $243,529 (99%) [87 of 89 donors have paid in full or partial] Spent to-date: $ 48,090
Obligated Costs: $ TBD Permits

Mission Pledges: $3,545 (9) Corrected from last month
Paid to-date: $3,545 (100%) [9 of 9 have paid in full] Spent to-date: $1,625

In summary, Tim wanted to say 2022 was a year of generosity blended with budgetary caution in an uncertain economy. Generosity was realized in a variety of ways (rounded):
$460,750 Operating Budget pledges and giving. (Other income added $7,860.)
$243,530 Project for Outdoor Ministry Spaces payments.
$ 57,000 Outreach donations – those gifts beyond Mission’s operating budget.
$761,280 was contributed for CITP’s operations, future and outreach!

Operating Budget ended the year balanced. However, income was lower than budgeted due to economic realities limiting pledge fulfillment and “non-pledge” giving. Committees and Session thoughtfully conserved spending in the 4th quarter.
– Budgeted income: $491,000; actual $468,610.
– Budgeted expense: $491,000; actual $445,714.
– Expenses (excluding mortgage) included Personnel 71%, Mission 10%, Administration 14% and Committees 5%. While the financial aspect for committees may seem small, staff and volunteers were key contributors to the value and cost savings of our programs, worship experience and buildings & grounds upkeep.

Debt Reduction Initiative: Session gave the go ahead to pursue a new loan with a substantially lower principal to replace the current mortgage. $155,000 in contributions have been committed with $15,520 paid as of 12/31/22. Debt Reduction gift requests will occur January and February with desired pay-in date by March 1. The PILP loan application is in process. Tim’s desired application submission date to PILP is early February. The congregation will vote on the new loan prior to its finalization.

The target to raise was $60,000. We have exceeded that amount by $7,000 so far. Tim indicated that more money we take in, the more we will lower the debt. This will help us lower the budget deficit, and it will also increase our outreach capability. There was mixed feelings about going to the whole congregation and asking for money to help lower the debt. Bruce thinks we’ve been to the well too many times It became the consensus that we should celebrate exceeding the goal in an announcement to the congregation, and anyone who wants to can join in, thus turning it into a very “soft sell.” To give a little history
• In December of 2011 we took out a 20 year mortgage of $964.000
• In December 2022 there is $510,000 remaining @ 3.9%
• In May of 2023, the rate will increase to ~5.5%
• In January of 2023 our payment is $5,732/month
• In May of 2023 it will be ~$6,630/month

There is $63,000 left in the Pillars of Faith Campaign for mortgage payments, once that is depleted those payments will need to come from the operating budget. The Debt Reduction Plan has been vetted with the PILP and they are onboard to help our church.

The new loan will come under a lower interest rate. It will be a 10 year loan, that only has the capacity to change after 5 years. Tim plans to submit the loan application February 1, with approval probably the end of February. He will ask for approval from the congregation at the 2/26 Congregational Meeting. If he doesn’t have all the information from the PILP, he will ask for congregational approval for a loan no higher than “x.”

Budget 2023: 2023 Budget draft reviewed in Session 8/29. Session will review and approve January 30th.

Finance and Administration
Paul indicated he has two motions from his committee. The first allocates the remainder of the 2022 surplus

The Finance and Administration Committee recommends that Session approve the disposition of the 2022 budget surplus of $22,897 as follows:
• $10,000 to Surplus Carryover to fund either the Debt Reduction or POMS “overruns” (if any) (Budget Line # 810531)
• $ 1,710 to the M&S General Outreach (MSGO) restricted fund (Budget Line # 812111)
• $11,187 to the Operating Budget Reserve (New OBR $76,969 = $65,782+$11,187) (Budget Account 2Y1000)
He asked for any questions. The motion passed unanimously.

The second motion is: The Finance and Administration Committee recommends that Session approve the proposed 2023 budget and that the budget be reviewed in April.

Tim indicated he favors balancing the budget in January based on “as is,” and a desire to not count our chickens before they hatch. In April/May once we know the facts of the new loan, we can revise expense section & approve an amended budget.

2023 Budget has been updated: Latest pledges & Tim’s estimates of other income lines are included in the draft. The Schwab interest will help the church budget. Tim is not counting on a full year of significant interest since balances will diminish with POMS and mortgage outflows/pay off. Administration budget has been updated to reflect actual 2022 expenses as well as $300 budget for Computer Equipment for Teresa at her request, it had been $0.

Jeff indicated that Mission and Service is coming out a little worse in updated budget, but he’s willing to “live with it.” He asked that Tim flip the amounts in More Light to $1000 and Earth Care to $1200. Tim noted the Worship and Music Conference was taken out of Personnel, and put where it belongs in the Worship budget. Tim noted the Capital Replacement budget needs to be built up more quickly to $22,000. He indicated there will be a celebration for the completion of POMs and has put $500 in the Fellowship budget to cover that.

Personnel will receive a 4% increase 3/1, but will not include new employees or folks paid on an hourly basis, e.g. AV Operator and nursery workers. Joelle will go down to 17 hours on 3/1. Nana was working 25 hours a week, Teresa is working 12, this may increase after another several weeks. The new music person that will be addressed later in this meeting will take 6 of the “old Nana hours.” Another Admin person might be added later as our financial situation is clarified and we see what functions still need to be filled

Personnel Budget includes 25 hours/week total inclusive of Teresa’s, 2nd Admin new position and new 9:15 “Music Man.”
• Nana’s hours were 25/wk plus 10/wk “equivalent” cost for her benefits (35 hrs total equivalent).
• Tim has not included the extra 10hrs/wk expense in the budget.
• If the three positions use all 35 hrs/wk, then the Personnel budget will increase $14,000 rounded ($13,000 x .0765 FICA) which will affect further budget balance maneuvering.

Nursery Workers & Video Production are placed in Program Staff since they are now W-2’s.

The motion passed unanimously.

Paul walked the elders through pledged amounts showing an almost $46,000 increase in 2023 over 2022. The pledge totals for 2022, $422,340 and 2023, $422, 510 were almost identical. He thinks we have some work to do.

He then covered the pledge given history and noted in 3 out of 4 times, the pledged giving after a capital campaign were smaller than the year of the campaign and noted 2023 pledging was down from 2022.

Barbara indicated that her committee makes the motion as follows
The Worship Committee in conjunction with the approval of Personnel and Finance and Administration recommends that Session approve the addition of the position of Early Service and Children’s Choir Leader. This position is expected to require about six hours of work per week. The position description was contained in the pre-session packet.

This addition is necessary to meet the growing numbers of children among our ranks. The motion passed unanimously

Barbara indicated the second motion from Worship is
in conjunction with the approval of the Personnel committee and the Finance and Administrative committee recommends the approval to hire, contingent on his passing of a criminal background check, a Mr. Seamus Kennedy. The compensation for the offer will be $25 per hour for approximately 6 hours per week. His resume was included in the pre-session packet.

Barbara indicated that she, Andrew and Braxton interviewed Seamus and he is perfect for the job and is fine with the 6 hours per week. He is a Middle School teacher. Serena knows theater people who speak very highly of Seamus. He plays the guitar, has led outdoor music and comes highly recommended by Jeremy. They were afraid that he would be snatched up and wanted to offer him the job before someone else took him. The motion passed unanimously.

Her committee asked session to consider the following motion:
to hold two services on Easter (9:15 and 11:00) due to concerns about Covid levels and the potential for increased attendance.

After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously

Finally, she wanted session to know that the Worship Committee has decided to have communion on these days – both services on Easter Day, on Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services will be held in conjunction with Mount Zion Baptist Church. Chapel in the Pines will host Maundy Thursday and Mount Zion will host Good Friday. In addition, the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated Pentecost, Christ the King Sunday, Christmas Eve, and the first Sunday of every month.

In Jerry’s absence, Marcia said Personnel wants to honor the work that Nana has done during the transition to Teresa, but she doesn’t want any money. The Committee has decided to compromise and offers the following motion

In lieu of paying Nana Morelli directly for the service she provided in the training of the new office manager at Nana’s request the Personnel committee is recommending a $1,000 donation be made to the Kaitlin E. Morelli Endowed Scholarship in Nursing. The Treasurer recommends these funds come from the Memorial Fund account (Acct #8108280).”

Nana is fine with this resolution. After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Mission and Service
Jeff indicated that to remain as Earth Care Congregation, PC(USA) requires that we reaffirm our Earth Care resolution that was originally passed two years ago. The deadline for passage is February 2023. The motion reads a s follows

Mission and Service moves that the Session of CITP approve/pass the attached Earth Care Congregation resolution.

Jeff pulled up the Earth Care Pledge for the elders to read. After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Welcome and Membership
Karen drew everyone’s attention to the following motion

Moved to welcome Jack Donovan, Phyllis and Dave Harwood, Kris and Jerry Swenson and Sue Ulrick into the life of Chapel in the Pines.

After little discussion, the motion passed unanimously. Karen also told the elders that a new button is going on the website that will help visitors get information they need about the church and our activities.

Ongoing Business

Karen Fisher volunteered to attend the February 21 virtual Presbytery Meeting. Marcia asked for a motion. Barbara moved

To elect Karen Fisher to serve as the church’s official representative at the February 21 virtual meeting of Salem Presbytery.

The motion was seconded and passed unanimously

New Business
Andrew indicated Sarah Whitney’s committee would like to reinstate the second Sunday lunch and he wants session to weigh in on whether or not these lunch can be an exception to the church’s mask policy. It is difficult for Sarah’s Committee to make plans when the situation around Covid at the time of an event is not known. There seemed to be consensus that we would not have a February second Sunday potluck, and maybe give session another month and wait until May.

There being no further business, Andrew closed the meeting in prayer at 9:20 PM.

New Members, Baptisms, Memorial Services and Weddings
Since the last session meeting on December,19 2022 There have been no new members, memorial services, weddings or baptisms.
Respectfully submitted,

Marcia Ladd,
Clerk of Session