January 27, 2020 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting January 27, 2020 – 7 PM

Present: Barbara Amago, Stan Campbell, Pat Chappell, Keith Glidewell, Paul Harrell, Paul Isom, John McDowell, Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer)

Excused Absence: Marcia Ladd (Clerk of Session)

Meeting Time at 6:30 PM to speak with new members

Elders convened at 6:30 to meet prospective members Jim and Jackie Walters. The group shared their roles with CITP and learned about the Walters’ faith journey and family history.

Andrew called the stated meeting to order at 7:00 PM. Stan was approved to serve as acting clerk for this meeting.

Point of Order – Christian Education
Paul Isom introduced the following motion:

Approve the Child Youth Protection Policy included in the pre-Session packet.

Tim White and Jim Harllee were available to answer questions. Finance and Administration asked Jim and Tim to look at our coverage; it was not where it should be so it’s going to be increased and the policy is going to be a stand-alone policy.  After more discussion, the motion passed unanimously. Andrew asked Christian Education, on behalf of Session, to serve as screeners for the Screening Review Committee (SRC) to review qualifications of all applicants to work with children or youth and to oversee the appropriateness of the behavior of those who are working with children and youth. Andrew asked Session to designate the Head of Staff to select the staff member to serve on the SRC.

Pat Chappell provided a devotion and, following concerns and celebrations, offered a prayer.

Pat moved to approve the agenda; it was seconded and approved unanimously. Paul Isom moved to approve the consent agenda; it was seconded and unanimously approved.

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 12/16/19, Email Vote 12/17/19
b. Approval of Committee Minutes – Christian Education Meeting January 2020, Membership Meeting 12/15/19, Deacon’s Meeting 1/6/2020, January 2020 Finance Meeting, Re-certification as an Earth Care Congregation
c. Correspondence – CORA Thank you, Invitation to 1/15/2020 interdenominational conference on dealing with inhumane practices targeted at people of color, Thank you from Community in Schools

Pastor’s Report

Andrew expressed appreciation for Session’s input into this year’s budget and the success of last year’s. He and the staff are planning worship for Easter and Christmas Eve 2020. Even though Andrew was unable to attend Stephen Ministry training, the program will get off the ground this year. Andrew is working on the Lent Retreat and two upcoming classes he will be teaching. He is also working hard to get the new food pantry off the ground at the Farm at Penny Lane which will have a soft launch on March 10, opening two Tuesdays a month serving the former Take and Eat patrons.

Clerk’s Report

Stan turned Session’s attention to the Clerk’s Annual Questionnaire and Statistical Report and asked them to vote on the motion-

Approve the Clerk’s 2019 Questionnaire and Statistical Report submitted to the Presbytery.

The motion passed unanimously.

He then asked the Elders for any changes they want to note to their component of the Committee Matrix; he passed around the existing matrix and asked each member to make the necessary changes.

Finally, he passed around a signup sheet for Elder in the Narthex for 2020 and asked Session to fill in their names and pass it back to him.

Clerk’s report shows that membership was up in 2019.  Attendance for the year was up to 8,299 from 7,249 in 2018, which was an average attendance of 151 per Sunday.

Treasurer’s Report

Even with the December loss of $13,732, the church ended up the year with about a $40,000 surplus of revenue over our expenses. Overall, it was an excellent financial year for the church.  All good signs!  Jerry answered questions about the final 2019 financials and Session expressed congratulations for a great financial year. 

Finance and Administration

Stan drew Session’s attention to the document in the pre-Session packet describing the Flexible Spending Plan – Medical FSA, Dependent Care FSA and Pre-tax Premium Summary. It is administered by the Presbyterian Church and is a program many Presbyterian churches are enrolled in. He asked Session to vote on the following motion-

Approve enrolling Chapel in the Pines in the Board of Pensions’ Flexible Medical Spending account and their Dependent Care account programs.

After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Stan indicated Finance and Administration had spent a great deal of time discussing how to manage the 2019 surplus as requested by Session. He explained the recommendation from the committee on how to allocate the monies and asked Session to deliberate on the following motion-

Approve the expenditure of the approximate $40,000 budget surplus in the following manner – 10% (~$4,000) be provided to Mission & Service as seed money for a food pantry at the Farm at Penny Lane that is under consideration as a joint project with CORA to help replace the food pantry at Evergreen, that $1,075 be allocated for new nursery furniture needed for safety purposes, and that the remainder be placed in a restricted account for future unforeseen circumstances that Session can tap when needed (approximately $35,000).

He entertained questions with Jerry’s help. The motion passed unanimously.

There was discussion about following through with a contribution to Salem Presbytery based on their request for assistance, as was discussed at the December Session meeting when a motion was offered by Paul Harrell to prayerfully consider a contribution to Salem Presbytery in recognition of its support in the establishment of Chapel in the Pines.  At that meeting, there was consensus among the Elders and Deacons that some amount of our surplus should go to Salem Presbytery.  After discussion at this meeting, Mary moved

that $4,000 of the 2019 surplus be allocated to Salem Presbytery

The motion passed unanimously.

Finally, Stan drew the Elders’ attention to the 2020 budget in the pre-Session packet and presented the following motion

Approve the Finance and Administration’s budget included in the pre-Session packet, allowing for adjustment based on Personnel’s decision on compensation in early February.

He asked Andrew to step outside. He asked John to tell the Elders what Personnel is considering: John indicated they were considering adjusting Andrew’s compensation further. There was extensive discussion about this.  No action was taken pending a formal motion from Personnel at a future meeting. The motion to approve the 2020 budget passed unanimously.


Mary asked for input on what the Elders thought should happen at Easter in terms of number or even type of service. There was general agreement that given how well attended our Christmas Eve Service was, we should probably plan for two services.  Andrew, the staff, and Worship will continue to work together to determine a plan for that special day.


Keith indicated that Membership had just conducted the rolls review which happens every January. Essentially, making sure the rolls accurately reflect who is a church member. Based on the review, he offered the following motion-

At their request remove Kent Norgren and Fred Royal from the rolls of Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church PC (USA)

Keith indicated both had moved away. The motion passed unanimously.

Mission and Service

Paul Harrell drew Session’s attention to the statement from Binkley Baptist included in the pre-Session packet, abhorring the humanitarian crisis on the border of the US. He took a little time to clarify how this statement was generated. He asked Session to approve-

Authorize Chapel in the Pines to be a signatory to the statement that Binkley Baptist Church is publishing in a half page ad in the Raleigh News and Observer and the Durham Herald abhorring the humanitarian crisis on the border of the United States.

After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Ongoing Business                                                    

Andrew asked if there were any Elders who could represent the church in Clemmons for the Presbytery Meeting on February 18.  Mary and Bruce volunteered to attend.

John made a motion to-

Elect Bruce as an elected commissioner and Mary as a guest representative to Presbytery for the meeting on February 18 in Clemmons, North Carolina.

The motion passed unanimously.

Stan brought to the attention of Session a Finance & Administration motion from December that was delayed from the December meeting because of his absence.  That motion was to change the wording in the operations manual to read as follows (see motion below; every fifth year instead of every third year; and to establish 2020 calendar year as the first of every five years going forward)-

The financial review subcommittee reviews financial record keeping processes and activities annually.  The financial review is conducted by qualified members with the members changing annually.  Every fifth year an external accountant or CPA will conduct a financial review, starting with calendar year 2020 (review occurring in the first or second quarter of 2021).

There was discussion about our church growing rapidly and the concern to be mindful of good financial practices.  Stan explained the reasoning behind F&A’s request based on limiting the costs associated with formal audits (approximately $5,000) to every five years and based on the advice of a CPA visited by Stan and Jerry three years ago who recommended a financial review by members of the congregation instead of a formal audit (which can be costly and not necessarily needed for small churches).

Following the discussion, Session voted to change the wording of the motion to-

The financial review subcommittee reviews financial record keeping processes and activities annually.  The financial review is conducted by qualified members with the members changing annually.  Starting with calendar year 2020 (review occurring in the first or second quarter of 2021), a formal audit by an outside accountant will be commissioned.  Based on that person’s report, Session will determine if a formal audit should occur every third or every fifth year going forward.

New Business

Andrew said we needed to set a time for the Annual Meeting of the Congregation to vote on the Annual Report, the incoming class of Elders and Deacons and any changes to Andrew’s Terms of Call. The date was set for after worship on March 22.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned with a prayer by Andrew at 9:05 PM.

Lord’s Supper, Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

Since the last stated meeting on December 16, 2019 the Lord’s Supper was performed on January 5 and on January 13 and 27 in Open Spaces. There were no new members, memorial services, baptisms or weddings.

Respectfully submitted

Stan Campbell, Acting Clerk

Approved session 2/17/2020