January 30, 2012 Called Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Called Session Meeting, January 30, 2012 – Chapel in the Pines Adult Classroom


Attending:  Elders Lynne Hoerter, Marcia Ladd, Cindy Massey, Michelle Morehouse, Vicky Raymond, Rachel Stevens, John Walkup, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), and the Rev. Mindy Douglas Adams (Moderator).  

Guests:  Jan Rickard and Ed Mammen from the Remembrance Garden Task Force


The meeting was called to order with prayer by Mindy Douglas Adams at 6:30 p.m.  She stated the purpose of the meeting was (1) to hear an update from the Remembrance Garden Task Force and (2) to approve members of the Nominating Committee and call a congregational meeting to elect them.

Remembrance Garden.  Jan and Ed showed new design drawings for the Remembrance Garden incorporating some necessary changes from the original design to reduce costs and improve grading and other landscaping requirements.  She circulated photos and described particulars including the proposed water feature.  Electrical outlets will be installed but no lighting is included in the first phase.  The cost of US-made materials for the columbaria is nearly double that of the Chinese product which the proposed company uses. 

Jan pointed out the area of the garden where ashes could be buried or scattered and shared that markers will be installed to record such interments.  Mary Donna recommended using granite engraving rather than bronze for such markers.

John questioned the laws regulating cemeteries in North Carolina.  Jan responded that churches are not covered by the same laws that regulate private and municipal cemeteries.  She also stated that a fund will be established to cover the costs of maintenance and upkeep for the garden.  She reiterated that people will have three options for the disposition of ashes:  in a columbarium, buried in the ground, or scattered uncontained in a section of the garden.  She also confirmed that no church budget funds are being used for the garden as the needed funds have been donated.

Marcia expressed objection to the columbaria as being "not us." 

The committee plans to buy back unwanted niches at the same cost paid.  Only members, or family members of members, or former members of Chapel in the Pines may have their ashes interred in the garden.  Room for expansion, when necessary, is planned.

Jerry moved that the Session approve the revised design of the garden.  Michelle seconded the motion.  The vote passed with one abstention.

Discussion turned to the matter of allowing East Coast Granite to use the church name and photos of the garden in their promotional materials in exchange for a discount of the price.  Jan had sent the company a revised agreement, incorporating many of the concerns expressed by Session members at the January 21 Called Session meeting.  A copy of the revised contract was distributed prior to the meeting.  Cindy Massey expressed her opposition to allowing advertising of any kind by a company.  Several people objected to one clause that stated that the church may offer a statement "encouraging other church to consider inclusion of columbaria within their memorial gardens."  The Session approved the contract, minus the above clause, with one opposing vote and one abstention.

The Session thanked Jan and Ed for their work.

Nominating Committee.  Mindy described the timetable for nominating, electing, training, and ordaining/installing new officers.  Although a Nominating Committee was elected in February 2011, the committee has had no work to do this year.  Furthermore, no active Elder currently serves on that committee, as required in the Book of Order.  John Walkup, active member of the session, agreed to serve on the committee.  John reported that he has contacted all of the current members of the committee.  Bart Holtz, Phyllis Greene, and Harriet McGraw are willing to serve another term.  Jordan Morehouse is away in school and is unable to serve.  Bill Dengler and Chuck Rickard asked to be retired from this committee.  The new Book of Order does not specify that the active Elder serve as chair of the committee.  John said he would like to ask Michelle to serve on the committee and although he has yet to ask him, would also like Nathan Campbell to serve.  Michelle moved, pending Nathan’s agreement to serve, that this new committee be recommended to the congregation.  Marcia seconded the motion which passed unopposed.

Mindy then suggested February 12 as the date of the congregational meeting, allowing 2 Sundays to announce the meeting.  Rachel moved this date, Vicky seconded, and it was approved.

The meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.


Respectfully submitted, 



Mary Donna Pond, Clerk


Approved by Session February 13, 2012.