January 8, 2022 Called Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Called Session Meeting January 8, 2022, 2PM
Present: Paul Bolig, Tom Crosby, Keith Glidewell, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Tim White, (Treasurer), Serena Zum Brunnen, Sarah Whitney
Absent: Sara Botelho and John McDowell
Andrew opened the meeting with prayer. Bruce approved the agenda, it was seconded and passed unanimously. We are having this Called Meeting for session to act on Worship’s recommendation about how our services are held. The Book of Order succinctly states:
W-2.0303 … Ruling elders … specifically, when serving together on session … oversee and approve all public worship in the congregation… determining occasions, days, times, and places for worship
Andrew and Marcia acknowledge that they should have called a meeting sooner for session to consider the recommendation from the Worship Committee.
Mary indicated their committee weighed the counter veiling wishes of those who desire to be in the sanctuary with the data on the virus in our community. She acknowledged that the whole situation is very confusing. She said that her team looked at Orange, Chatham and Durham Counties. She shared the data in a Power Point, describing cases, deaths and hospital capacity and occupancy. The Committee’s rationale was to do as much as possible to reduce the demands on the health care system. Another critical question is how to we create consistency with all the changing conditions. Their thought was for January, which is usually cold, that zoom made sense, and allows everyone to participate. She opened the floor to questions.
Paul voiced a concern about not doing the outdoor service. Other churches are still meeting inside with precautions. He is not arguing for inside service, but would like to have an outdoor service as an option. Serena thought perhaps the peak would be passed by mid-February and that might be the time frame we could work with. She said if outdoors is all right perhaps we should think about outside activities. Sarah indicated that we should continue to offer outside worship. Bruce wondered what the staff feels about inside vs. outside worship. It is difficult to prep both an outdoor and zoom service. Andrew indicated there is hesitancy in the staff to meet inside. There is not a person to operate the AV for several Sundays in January which means several January Sundays cannot be live streamed. Tom indicated they are moving forward as quickly as possible to hire an AV Operator. Sarah is wondering if we just need to stick with zoom and for what time frame. She asked what should be the indicators for re-examining zoom. Sarah thought we should stay with zoom through January and re-assess on the 24th to talk about February. Paul asked if Worship or staff would take the pulse of other churches and why they are still meeting in person. We also need to get the pulse of the congregation for how they want to worship. Andrew has asked the Deacons to reach out to their “flocks” and get their feelings. Their motion is as follows –
To recommend to session that for the immediate time being, there should be one worship service on Sundays at 11 AM, on Zoom. These Zoom services would be available on line afterward. This system will be re-evaluated at the Worship Committee’s next meeting at 5:30 PM on Sunday January 16th, after which the Committee will send any updated recommendations for session to consider.
The motion was modified to read
To recommend to session that through January there should be one worship service on Sundays at 11 AM, on Zoom. These Zoom services would be available on line afterward. This system will be re-evaluated at the Worship Committee’s next meeting at 5:30 PM on Sunday January 16th, after which the Committee will send any updated recommendations for February to session to consider.
After some discussion the motion passed with one dissention from Paul Bolig. Mary then offered her second motion:
The Worship Committee moves that when Sunday worship is conducted by Zoom, communion be included as part of the service. This makes the service far more participatory rather than one-way worship, and also fosters communication among participants.
Andrew asked if anyone wanted to speak, nobody did. Andrew called the question, the motion passed with one abstention from Paul Bolig.
Andrew then called on Tom to share the latest rendering of the main church sign. The picture of the proposed sign was shared. Tom described the materials. He asked Bruce to describe where the sign will be, it will be fairly close to where the existing sign is. It will be 10 feet by 6 feet tall. They plan on starting on the sign as soon as possible. Paul asked if he is approaching from Briar Chapel why couldn’t we place it on the other side. Tim wanted to make sure the sign is placed where your sight is not constricted coming out of the driveway. Bruce indicated that you get more visibility in the place where he has put it. Sight will not be constricted coming out of the driveway. The funds are available to pay for it. Mary made a motion to adjourn, it was seconded and passed unanimously.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:10 PM.
Marcia Ladd, Clerk
Approved by Session 1/24/22