July 17, 2017 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting July 17, 2017

Attending:  Ruling Elders Karen Atkins, Paul Isom, John McDowell, Maggie Reif, Barbara Strange, Teaching Elder Rev. Lynn Stall (moderator), Jerry Wehmueller
(treasurer), Marcia Ladd (clerk)
Absent: Stan Campbell, Lynne Hoerter, Terry Rudolph, Al Schalk
Guests: Katherine Brekke, Denise Noble (intern)

The meeting was called to order by Lynn Stall at 7:10 PM. Denise delivered the devotion, ending with a prayer. Pastoral concerns and celebrations were shared.

Ongoing Business

Lynn invited Katherine to address her concerns about the church not focusing enough attention on children’s issues and how the church is losing/has lost younger families because of that. Katherine started by saying she is not sure most people at Chapel in the Pines understand her perspective as a young mother. When they joined, they were promised that Chapel in the Pines would live out the baptismal vows made by the congregation they attended when their boys were baptized and they were asked to be patient. As an analogy, Katherine indicated Chapel in the Pines had a vision when the church was first starting about what we wanted our music program to be and hired a Music Director and Accompanist when the choir only had 4 members. She continued that if the church could live into that vision, it needs to live into the promise to our children. She indicated she watched her son take communion for the first time, but other than what he learned at home he had no preparation, and Katherine asked how will confirmation work for her children? We need someone with a vision of how we want to raise our children in the church. Barbara asked Katherine what we should do to address her concerns, Katherine said “hire a person with enthusiasm and a plan for the children.”

Approval of agenda and consent agenda

The consent agenda was approved by common consent. It contains the following items:

Consent Agenda

A.   Approval of session minutes – Stated meeting 6/19/17

B.   Approval of committee minutes  – Fellowship Hall Opening Event 7/6/17, Building and Grounds 6/20/17, Deacons 6/26/17, Finance 7/16/17, Communications and Technology Update, Mission and Service 6/4/17 and 7/2/17

C.   Correspondence – Letter from Karen Fisher about supporting children

Pastor’s Report

Lynn spoke about the theologically conservative books that were distributed to most members’ cars during the worship service on the preceding day. Session discussed that there is an elder or deacon in the narthex during the entire worship service responsible for monitoring what is transpiring during the service and while s/he might have seen this individual Sunday, no action should have been taken. Session determined that the elder or deacon would be responsible for locking the side door by the nursery to the outside during worship.

Lynn suggested the church implement a Fourth Sunday Forum to discuss timely issues and all agreed. The first one will be held August 27 at 4PM. The panelists will be retired pastors Mickey dePrater, Bill Lawrence, Lee Strange and Sandy Williams and maybe Minnie Sue Douglas.  They will address the changes that have occurred in the main line churches over the last decades and begin a conversation on what that means for how Chapel in the Pines moves forward. The September fourth Sunday will be the Strobilus Art Show. John raised a question about a conflict with a Galloway standing event from 4-6 on Sunday afternoons, and suggested perhaps we should move the time to 2, Lynn will talk with the pastors who have agreed to be on the panel, but will probably leave it at 4.

Lynn indicated that there is a plaque that is up in the kitchen identifying and thanking those who installed the kitchen cabinets. She will speak to Bart about removing the plaque and the rationale session has always maintained about not recognizing individuals. There were questions about how the church might maintain an historical background chronicle, and Lynn asked Denise to begin work on putting together a book for that purpose.

Committee reports


Jerry presented the June numbers, indicating the church is still operating in the black YTD. June was a good income month, but the church was $6000 over in expenses vs revenues. While expenses were not out of line, the excess can mostly be accounted for by catching up the Presbyterian benevolence. In the budget the non-pledge offering was set aggressively high and it is not running YTD in line with that projection. Jerry will monitor this. The balance sheet is still sound, the $50,000 for the parking lot and another $5,000 for the hearing loop will come out soon, but the church’s cash position will still be sound. We will have a large (~$15,000) refund coming back from the sales tax refund incurred during the building of the Fellowship Hall which will augment the cash position.

Jerry reported on the numbers contained in the pre-meeting packet delineating the expenses for the Fellowship Hall at $429,256 which is only $15,000 more than the original estimate. The unbudgeted hearing loop was $10,731, but did not come from the capital campaign funds. $453,601 is the money from the capital campaign that went toward the project. The Finance Committee will start in earnest to develop a plan for the mortgage payments ($5700/month) to come out of the operating expenses. A major reason for the overage on the construction was the almost $18,000 for the false beams and acoustic work in the hall, neither of which were originally budgeted. Many people helped compensate for these overages with a lot of sweat equity.


Building and Grounds

Karen indicated that, at Jan Rickard’s request, the Remembrance Garden Subcommittee with be a subcommittee of 1 to minimize the administrative work for which Jan has been responsible. She has found it burdensome and wants to free her time to focus on the garden.

Karen also brought the following motion from the committee

That a bullet be added to the Building and Grounds Responsibilities that reads

    • Oversight of remembrance garden subcommittee

And the reference to the Remembrance Garden policies and procedures be labelled Remembrance Garden subcommittee.

The motion passed unanimously.


Barbara indicated that she and Lynn had met with Joelle Brummitt-Yale and offered her a contract, pending session approval, working between 5 and 10 hours per week on children and youth Christian Education. The contract will go through the calendar year, but be renewable after that. Joelle has been responsible for Christian Education at Pittsboro Presbyterian and she was brought to Lynn’s attention by Troy early in Lynn’s ministry with Chapel in the Pines. Joelle has indicated she will be able to be at Chapel in the Pines on Sunday mornings. The committee’s motion is as follows

Hire Joelle Brummitt-Yale as part time Christian Education starting August 1, 2017 at a rate of $25/hour for 5 – 10 hours per week through the end of calendar 2017 at which time the contract may be re-negotiated.

There were several questions, but the motion passed unanimously.

On July 30 right after church, Heather Ferguson will come and do a tutorial about Godly Play for working with children, based on Montessori principles. The in-service will last about an hour and Lynn urged session members to attend and help with the education of our children. Joelle has agreed to come to this even though she does not start until August 1.

Barbara drew session’s attention to Lynn’s letter to the pastors of Evergreen, Mt. Zion, Haw River and Hamlet’s Chapel about the proposed joint tutoring in the school year. She asked if the group had any questions.


Communication and Technology

Lynn introduced the motion from committee to recognize folks who helped with the hearing loop

that session issue letters of appreciation to Alan Roberts and Ed Withers for their kind help with the Fellowship Hall and Sanctuary audio systems

With minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.


New Business

Lynn reminded the elders of the Salem Presbytery meeting on Saturday, August 12 at First Presbyterian Church in Statesville. She asked for an elder to go with her to represent CITP at that meeting.

Lynn has asked Lee Strange to preach on July 23 and Bill Lawrence on August 20. Paul made a motion to

          Approve Lee Strange to preach and lead worship at Chapel in the Pines on July 23 and Bill Lawrence on August 20.

The motion was seconded and passed by common consent.

The custodian has brought to our attention that he is working about an hour more a week to clean the new fellowship hall and we need to increase his pay accordingly retroactively. There is budgeted money to do this and Jerry will take care of it.


Lord’s Supper, Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

Since the previous stated meeting June 18 the Lord’s Supper was celebrated once on July 2nd. There were no new members, baptisms, weddings or funerals.

As the business of the meeting was concluded, Lynn closed with prayer at 8:20 PM.


Respectfully submitted,

Marcia Ladd, Clerk

Approved session August 21, 2017


1.   Next stated session meeting August 21, 2017, Barbara Strange has the devotion

2.   Fellowship Hall Opening Event September 16

3.   Strobilus Art Event September 22-24, Opening Night Reception September 22