January 24, 2011 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, January 24, 2011, 6:30 p.m. – Galloway Ridge
Attending: Elders Lynne Hoerter, Marcia Ladd, Stephanie Miller, Michelle Morehouse, Ed Park, Vicky Raymond, Chuck Rickard, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), Jack Zollinger (Treasurer), and the Rev. Mindy Douglas Adams (Moderator). Guest: Karen Fisher
The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas Adams at 6:30 p.m. A quorum was present. Chuck led a Word-Share-Prayer devotion using James 1:3. Those present considered how testing produces endurance. He closed with prayer.
Approval of Agenda. The agenda was amended to include approval of a congregational meeting for election of officers. The agenda was approved as revised by common consent.
Concerns and Celebrations. The group shared pastoral concerns and celebrations. Karen Fisher was welcomed as the Deacon representative for the meeting.
Leadership Development. The group discussed Peter Steinke’s article "Avoiding Mission Drift." The group agreed it is important to know the church’s mission, to state it clearly, to re-visit it from time to time, and to make sure everything the church does pushes that mission forward. Everyone in the boat needs to be rowing in the same direction. Mindy reminded the Session that the building we are planning is a tool to implement our mission but it should not replace the vision of our mission.
AT THIS TIME, THE SESSION RECESSED AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES CONVENED. Marcia Ladd, Chair of the Trustees, called the meeting to order and recognized Jerry Wehmueller. Jerry explained that one piece of the loan application to the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program is a Resolution adopted by the Corporation. Mary Donna Pond read the resolution:
WHEREAS, the Corporation desires to borrow money from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Investment and Loan Program Inc. (the "Program") in the amount of $964,000.00; and
WHEREAS, the Corporation holds fee simple title to the property to be used as security for the loan;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Corporation is authorized to enter into a loan with the Program evidenced by a first Mortgage/Deed of Trust and Promissory Note in the amount of $964,000.00 for the purpose of construction and that the officers as listed on the attached Affidavit/Certificate of Incumbency marked Exhibit A are authorized to sign the loan document on behalf of the Corporation.
Lynne moved that the Trustees adopt the resolution; Jerry seconded the motion, which passed on a voice vote without dissent. Marcia asked if there were other business for the Trustees to consider. Hearing none, she approved adjourning the meeting of the Trustees by common consent.
Approval of Minutes. With minor typographical corrections, the minutes of the December 13, 2010 Stated Session meeting, the December 22, 2010 and January 23, 2011 Called Session meetings, and the January 9, 2011 Congregational Meeting were approved.
Correspondence. Thank you letters from Chatham County Literacy Council, the school counselor at North Chatham School, Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services, and a note from Mindy on behalf of the staff for Christmas bonuses were distributed prior to the meeting.
Pastor’s Report. Mindy’s annual preaching group convened at a retreat center near Greensboro this year. There was a strong emphasis on spiritual direction and she was enriched by the week with colleagues. The planned trip to Guatemala has been cancelled for this year. In February, Mindy will attend the Six Agency Leadership Initiative in Dallas at the invitation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to discuss leadership in the church.
Treasurer’s Report. The Balance Sheet and Report of Revenues and Expenses through December were distributed prior to the meeting. Jack noted that we have an excess of cash on hand and he will be working with Janet to move the cash to an account that will earn some interest. Jerry suggested we might want to put some cash into the PILP investments as a part of our loan package. We ended 2010 with a small surplus – approximately $5,600. This was in part due to some expense belt-tightening and generosity on the part of several members who oversubscribed their 2010 pledges. The inability of Salem Presbytery to give us any funds in 2010 contributed to the lower revenue figures.
Outreach. Michelle shared a summary of the funds raised by the Simple Gifts Alternative Gift and Fair Trade Market in 2010. A total of $3,643 was raised for 13 programs and agencies, most of which went to the Take and Eat Food Pantry.
Education Quadrant. Ed reported that his committees are beginning to think about how the church education programs might change when we have our own building. Mindy reported that the combined Youth groups from CITP, Evergreen, and Lystra had a very successful gathering last month and the leader/interns are planning for the next one.
Stewardship. A summary report of the campaign for 2011 pledges was distributed. Both the number of pledging units and the total amount of pledges are down from 2010, but when the one-time gift of $25,000 for 2010 is factored in, the total amount pledged is not significantly lower. Several families are experiencing difficulties and are simply unable to pledge. Only 1 or 2 indicated that giving to the building campaign resulted in a lower annual pledge.
2011 Budget. With no future funds from the General Assembly, any growth in the 2011 budget will require the use of Operating Reserve funds. The proposed budget from the FAB committee recommends budgeting $35,541 from Operating Reserves to balance the budget at $253,686. It is hoped that as new people come to the church, the draw from reserves may well be reduced or eliminated. The motion to adopt the budget came from the FAB committee and did not require a second. After brief discussion, Lynne called the question and the vote to approve the budget passed unopposed. Jerry also moved on behalf of the FAB committee to approve moving the excess revenue from 2010, in the amount of $5,622, to Operating Reserves. This too was approved unanimously.
Personnel. Marcia requested approval of the 2011 Holiday schedule which had been distributed prior to the meeting. The Session approved the schedule without dissent. Marcia said that the committee is completing Mindy’s annual review. She recommended that the Session approve a 3% salary increase for Mindy, the amount of which is already included in the newly-approved budget. The raise was approved unanimously.
Vicky reported that a new Music Spoke leader is being sought. She also emphasized the need for help with communion preparation. Mindy explained how plans are being made to share worship leadership with Evergreen, Mt. Gilead, and Chatham Community Church for Special Services throughout the year. Mt. Gilead will host a Seder meal on Maundy Thursday (April 21, 2011). Lystra Baptist plans to have an Ash Wednesday service (March 9); Chatham Community Church plans to host a service on Good Friday (April 22). And we hope to be able to host the community Thanksgiving service in our new building in November. The Session expressed "kudos" to the choir for its growth and its wonderful music leadership.
Building Planning Committee Report.
Lynne said an update has been posted on the website with progress reported. She plans to also report regularly on the "green" features of our building. Final figures from subcontractors are being submitted and we should have a more realistic cost figure soon. Bruce Raymond has generously volunteered to be the "go-to" person for the construction work. He plans to visit the site daily, to photograph and document the work, and to maintain an accurate set of plans for archival purposes. The plan is to begin construction in March and a ceremonial groundbreaking celebration is being planned for February 19 at 11:00 a.m. Lynne recommended that a Transition Team be recruited to prepare us for opening our doors and all of the changes that will occur. The team should have representatives from all of the quadrants and spokes. Joan Zollinger is chair of the Furnishings and Interior Committee and John Walkup is chairing the Audio/Visual and Acoustics Committee. Ed asked that the furnishings committee consider purchasing items made from recycled materials.
Jerry reported that he is assembling all of the paperwork necessary to finalize our loan application.
Chuck reported that a strong slate of nominees for Elder and Deacon is coming together. When the congregation elects new officers, it will also elect a Nominating Committee. The Session needs to appoint two elders to that committee: one currently serving as an installed Elder (who would be the chair of the Nominating Committee) as well as one other Elder. Session members were asked to prayerfully consider serving in this way.
Commissioner to Presbytery meeting. Lynne Hoerter volunteered to serve as Commissioner at the February 8 meeting of Salem Presbytery and was elected by acclamation.
Capital Campaign Tithe to Outreach. There was a lengthy discussion about tithing to a mission project from the Capital Campaign. Although the intention to tithe from the campaign was clearly stated in the campaign materials, some contributors did not understand this to be the plan and are now disturbed that the money they intended to be used for the building will be tithed to a mission/outreach project. Mindy and Michelle suggested consideration of the following: think of one quarter of the tithe as use of the new building for outreach and mission programs, leaving a remainder of $60,000 to disburse in order to meet the tithe, and use a graduated schedule to make those outreach donations, beginning with a smaller amount in the first year and increasing through the following years until the full amount is contributed. Michelle suggested several outreach programs including a well in Sudan and a Habitat for Humanity house in Chatham County. Concern over the cost of the building and our ability to actually afford the building we are planning was expressed. After much discussion, Chuck suggested that a decision on tithing be postponed until the February 14 Stated Session meeting, at which time we should have more reliable information about construction costs. Everyone agreed this is a very difficult decision and that both sides of this matter should be honored.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Offering. Marcia moved that a special offering for the MLK Scholarship be received for 2011 and 2012 on the Sunday before the MLK birthday holiday. Michelle seconded the motion which was unanimously approved. [Following the meeting, Mary Donna found in the April 2010 minutes that the Session approved annually receiving this offering.]
Congregational Meetings. The Session approved a Congregational Meeting on February 27 for the purpose of electing a new class of Elders and Deacons and electing a Nominating Committee. The Session also approved setting March 27 as the date for the Annual Meeting of the Congregation. In preparation for that meeting, quadrant and spoke chairs are asked to write their reports for 2010 and submit them to Nana by February 28 in order to prepare and distribute the report prior to the meeting.
Devotion for next meeting. Vicky will lead the Word/Share/Prayer opening devotion at the February 14 meeting. The meeting will be held at the new home of Minnie Sue Douglas at 62 Serenity Hill Circle in Briar Chapel.
Following prayer, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.
Mary Donna Pond, Clerk
Approved by Session February 14, 2011