July 11, 2011 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church

Stated Session Meeting, July 11, 2011 – Douglas home

Attending:  Elders Lynne Hoerter, Forrest Johnson, Marcia Ladd, Cindy Massey, Michelle Morehouse,  Vicky Raymond, Rachel Stevens, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), and the Rev. Mitzi Lesher-Thomas (Moderator).   Excused:  John Walkup

Guest:  Woody Shearin, Deacon representative


The meeting was called to order by Mitzi Lesher-Thomas at 6:30 p.m.  A quorum was present.  Jerry Wehmueller led the evening devotion using a quiz that made one think about the condition of the world and the challenge for Christians in addressing injustice, poverty, tyranny.  He led the group in prayer.

Mitzi welcomed Woody to the meeting.  A motion to approve the agenda, with one addition and one correction, was approved by common consent.


Motion.  The Session of Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church approves the 2009-2011 Form of Government as amended of the PCUSA Book of Order as its transitional manual effective July 11, 2011.  Motion made by Marcia Ladd, seconded by Michelle Morehouse, approved by common consent.

Motion.  A quorum of the session shall be the pastor or other presiding officer and one third of the elders, except for the reception and dismission of members, when the quorum shall be the moderator and two members of the Session.  The motion was made by Rachel Stevens, seconded by Lynne Hoerter.  Jerry Wehmueller offered an amendment to the motion, as follows:  Amended MotionA quorum of the session shall be the pastor or other presiding officer and a simple majority of the Ruling Elders, except for the reception and dismission of members, when the quorum shall be the moderator and two members of the Session.  Rachel seconded the motion which passed without dissent.  A quorum, under this new procedure, was declared present.

CONCERNS AND CELEBRATIONS.   Concerns and celebrations were shared including a request for prayers for First Presbyterian Church in Boone whose new sanctuary suffered fire damage just weeks before it was to open for worship.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT.   The Session discussed "A Conversation among Presbyterian Leaders" by David Maxwell, an article about a February 2011 gathering in Dallas, TX, at which church leaders shared ideas about leadership for the church in the 21st century. 

MINUTES.  The minutes of the June 13, 2011 Stated Session meeting were approved by common consent.

CORRESPONDENCE.  Mitzi explained a request from the PCUSA General Assembly Mission Council Research Services to participate in a congregational survey.  Our church has been invited to participate in this study of churches formed in the last 20 years that are growing in membership.  Rachel asked if we could see the survey questions prior to their distribution; she also wondered if we might add additional questions to the ones provided.  Mitzi said she will ask about both of those matters.  The consensus of the Session was that Chapel in the Pines should participate.  Mitzi will return the form indicating our willingness to do so.

PASTOR’S REPORT.  Mitzi invited anyone interested to attend the July 19 meeting of Salem Presbytery in Salisbury at which we will be given the Walton Grant award.  Vicky will serve as commissioner and she and Mitzi will be there to receive the grant award.

TREASURER’S REPORT.  Jerry walked the Session through the Balance Sheet and report of revenues and expenses through June 30.  We have not needed to use any of the budgeted reserve funds are currently our revenue exceeds expenses.  We are right on track with revenue for the year.  Quarterly contribution statements will be mailed along with a letter from the Finance, Administration, and Budget Committee.


Community Quadrant 


Salem Presbytery Hunger Grant.  Michelle has prepared a grant proposal and requested Session approval.  It was granted by common consent. 

Circles Initiative.  A new helping program to fight poverty is being developed by several church in the area, primarily Methodist, and Michelle expressed a hope that Chapel in the Pines will have a delegate attending the planning meetings to see how our church might be involved.  The program is designed to work directly with individuals, building a team around each person to work on very particular needs and issues.

Pentecost Offering.  The local portion of this year’s Pentecost Offering will go to the SNAP program for summertime meals for students who qualify for reduced-cost lunches during the school year.

Mitzi thanked Michelle for her tireless efforts.  She reminded the Session that in the current absence of an Outreach committee and chair, the Session will need to handle all Outreach matters directly.  She invited the Session to dream about the possibilities for good that the church can make happen.  Rachel said that a recent visitor, Kim Bartholomew, has expressed an interest in working with the church’s outreach efforts.

Fellowship.  The Fellowship Committee will provide refreshments at the Timber Raising on August 6 and will host a potluck luncheon on Sunday, August 28, to welcome Mindy back from her sabbatical leave.  Cindy and several others suggested that the Fellowship Committee consider inviting Jeanne Robertson, a humorist and public speaker, to perform in our new building as a community event.

Education Quadrant

Rachel reported that she is working to schedule a meeting of leaders of adult education to finalize plans for the fall.  She also said that resources are needed for Youth.

Fiduciary Quadrant   

Finance/Administration/Budget (FAB).  The new office computer is now installed and functioning well.

Worship Quadrant

Vicky reported that the committee is retooling itself as it thinks about the changes that will occur in the new worship space.  They are rethinking how to coordinate duties such as flowers, ushers, audio/visual, etc. when set-up duties change.

BUILDING COMMITTEE.  [The former Building Planning Committee is now the Building Committee.]

Lynne made the following motion:  "At the suggestion of architect Keith Shaw, Lynne Hoerter as Chair of the Building Committee asked John Walkup to create a chancel cross from timber harvested on our land.  I move that the Session accept this cross, as described in the proposal distributed in this month’s Session packet."  Michelle seconded the motion.  It was asked why this matter needs Session, rather than Building Committee, approval.  Lynne agreed that in most cases, the Building Committee can and should make such decisions but with this particular item, being a gift by a member of the congregation, she thought it best to have the full agreement of the Session.  Following a brief discussion, the Session unanimously agreed to accept the chancel cross.

Lynne reported that construction continues ahead of schedule and within budget.  Floor joists and cement pillars are in place and the slab for the office wing will be poured this week.  Timber company Dreaming Creek will arrive July 25 to begin raising the timbers and an event to celebrate the raising of the last timber will be held on August 6 at 9:00 a.m.  Lynne explained some history of timber frame construction and the "green" qualities of it.

Lynne also reported that Dale Chodorow has agreed to serve as publicist for the construction and transition period.

A list of "sweat equity" projects is being developed that will allow hands-on involvement with the building as well as some cost saving.  Projects include such work as the final cleaning of the building before opening and various carpentry projects.  Plans for construction of the baptismal font and pulpit are underway, in consultation with architect Keith Shaw.

LOAN FINANCING REPORT.  Jerry reported that we have not yet needed to draw funds from our loan but will be doing so when the next payment is made to CT Wilson.  We are holding about $71,000 in cash and expect that to grow to $100,000 as people make additional payments on their capital pledges.  That cash cushion should help to cover non-construction expenses.  Marcia asked about a plan for reserve cash amounts.  Jerry and Lynne agreed to explain that plan at the next Session meeting.

There was no additional old or new business to discuss.  Michelle inquired about the present activity of the Acts 16:5 group.  Lynne said the group has not met for several months but plans to return to action in the fall.  Presbytery leadership for Acts 16:5 is in limbo at this time with the retirement of Jim Rissmiller.

The next Stated Session meeting will be August 8 at the Douglas home.  Forrest Johnson will give the devotion. 

Jerry moved adjournment.  The motion was seconded and passed.  Mitzi led a closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.


Respectfully submitted, 



Mary Donna Pond, Clerk



Approved by Session August 8, 2011