July 20, 2020 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church

Stated Session Meeting 7/20/2020, 2020 7 PM


Present: Barbara Amago, Greg Behr, Paul Bolig, Pat Chappell, Keith Glidewell, Paul Harrell, Paul Isom,  Marcia Ladd (Clerk), Jenifer Larson, Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky,  Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer)

Andrew called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM. He opened with a devotion and prayer. Concerns and celebrations were shared. Andrew suggested members write to Susan Cyr this month, in addition to Joshua Ladd.

Andrew asked for motions on the agenda. Paul Harrell moved to approve the agenda, it was seconded and approved unanimously. Greg 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

  1. Approval of Session minutes – Stated Meeting 6/15/2020 and Email Vote 6/17/2020
  2. Approval of Committee Minutes – Building and Grounds 6/16/2020 and 7/7/2020, Christian Education 6/8/2020, Stewardship 7/2/2020 and 7/16/2020, Personnel 7/15/2020, Finance and Administration July, Mission and Service 6/28/2020

Pastor’s Report Andrew indicated that we will hold a separate meeting of session on August 24 to develop the operating budget for the coming year. He asked each committee to carefully, in conjunction with Finance and Administration as appropriate, develop their most reasonable budget. The meeting on the 24th will be to get the budget as close to finalized as possible so Stewardship can use it as a jumping off point. He asked elders to have a committee meeting between now and then to talk about how their committee is functioning in the pandemic. He asked them to present their members with this year’s budget and asked them to go throw each item with an eye to: what needs to be decreased, remain the same, or be increased. The Stewardship theme for 2021 is “Abound in Hope.” He also asked the elders to focus their committees on the question “How can each committee live into abounding in hope?” When you have your budgets please get it to the Treasurer and Clerk by August 17.

Andrew also mentioned, quickly from Bob Warren, they are getting in place the cameras for the services. Also, it looks like Spectrum will upgrade our internet so we can do live streaming. It will increase our monthly costs, but not too much. Mary wondered if there was a possibility of negotiating a lower cost. The time frame is 60 days from when we sign the contract. A site survey has been done. We are going to get a little more information out, then maybe do an email vote on moving ahead with Spectrum. A question was asked about whether there would be damage to the parking lot or side walk. Spectrum told Jerry that they could come through our existing conduit Bruce questioned that, and would want to be present for a site visit.

Treasurer’s Report

June revenues were $19,416 which was the lowest monthly amount for the year and the first month revenues have fallen below $20,000.  Non-pledge income continues to be strong and above this year’s budget.  We can expect non-pledged income will at least be at budget or slightly above the budget by the end of the year .  All the other various income categories are pretty much determined if we continue not worshiping at our church.  Open plate and other income revenue will be about $9500 below this year’s budget.

The focus on the 2020 annual financial results will be on pledged revenue.  At mid-year we are at 53% of our pledged budget.  History tells us we normally receive around 58% during the first half of the year.  Using that metric we would not meet our budget by 5% or $18,000.  These obviously are not normal times however so this metric might not hold.  The Realm Dashboard is helpful here:

There are 14 members in the “no progress” category who have pledged $48,312.  All of them are still active and most normally make their gift toward the end of the year.  I have no reason to doubt this income will come in later this year unless the economy turns significantly worst.  There are 36 members in the last two categories who had pledged $142,130 and have already given all but $21,000 of their pledge so I am confident these members will meet their pledge.  There are 52 members in the “partially filled” category above of which 36 have given 50% of their pledge.  Those members should probably fulfill their pledge.  The remaining 16 members in that category have pledged $62,700 but so far have only given $16,637.  This small group of members will probably determine how close we come to the pledged income budget for the year.  I have checked the list and again all 16 are still active members so I am confident that this group at least will come close to their meeting their pledge.

In summary, my best guess is that we will come within $10k to $15k of making the annual pledged revenue.  When added to the shortfall of other categories of income, I think we will be probably be around $20,000 below our annual revenue budget of $428,000 at $408,000.  Our annual operating budget this year is $412,000 so we will would have a $4,000 loss for the year if we spent our total operating budget.  However, as explained below, since we are not holding events or services at the church we should be below our operating expense budget.


June operating expenses were $27,654 which resulted in a loss of $8237.  Of those expenses $21,652 went for compensation and benefits to the staff.  The only other significant expenses were $2,046 to partially pay the mortgage, $380 to pay the utilities, and $1167 for our monthly pledge to the Salem Presbytery.

In analyzing our expenses for the rest of the year, I believe it is realistic we will spend $21,500 less than currently budgeted for our operating expenses mainly due to not using the church.

Cash Flow:

Our cash position is still very strong at $321,885 although it is down about $12,000 from last month.


The highest probability is that our operating income should just about equal our operating expenses by the end of the year.  We will probably operate in the red each month the rest of the year with monthly expenses exceeding monthly income during the rest of the year.  The exception may be December.  We currently have a surplus of $61,690 as of June which will gradually be reduced to close to breakeven by year end.

To get a hold on the church’s financial future and what is needed to pay off the mortgage by January 2030, Jerry had shared an excel spreadsheet projecting the finances of CITP over the next 10 years. There were seven specific assumptions that were made with the original projections:

  • All personnel and committee expenses will need to increase by 3% per year;
  • The average gift in the future will be $3,700 per pledging unit which is approximately what it was this year;
  • Only 74% of the churches pledging units will actually pledge which is approximately what it was in 2019;
  • The average pledging unit will have 1.558 members again like this year;
  • We will add $9,000 each year to the operating budget to gradually have 100% of the mortgage paid from the budget in 2025;
  • Our Mission and Service budget will be 10% of the total operating budget; and
  • No personnel will be added over this ten year period.

Jerry indicated that it can be used as a long range planning tool. Mary indicated that inflation will not be a factor this year. Bruce asked about reserves for special expenses, e.g. new roof, etc. Jerry has taken that into account.

Clerk’s Report

Marcia indicated that Bob Warren has tested Google Meet, which some folks are already using and feels it is a good alternative to a zoom pro account. Since each person scheduling a google meet will not interfere with anyone else’s google meet and there is no time limit or charge. Bob has offered to be available to help anyone get up and going on that platform.


Greg indicated that as a result of the pandemic, there have been changes to the staff jobs. Personnel is working with Andrew and the staff to draft interim pandemic job descriptions.  We anticipate that by the August or September stated meeting, those job descriptions will be presented to session for approval. Personnel will go over each description with each staff member, and make sure they are doing alright in these unusual times.

Greg indicated Finance and Administration asked Personnel to look at what we are paying our two nursery workers, currently $65/week during the pandemic. Personnel would like to propose the following motion

Starting September 1 lower the two nursery workers’ compensation from $65 a week to $30 a week through December 31, 2020.

Greg explained that Personnel wants to keep them engaged so when we are back in the building, they will be more likely to return. There was some talk of perhaps escrowing the additional $35/week and use those funds to pay them for the extra cleaning and sanitizing that will be required when we are in the building. Pat wondered how the nursery workers will react. Paul Bolig indicated that F&A is in favor of this motion. According to Paul, not everyone on the Finance and Administration Committee was aware we were still paying the nursery workers, and there was some pushback because the nursery workers have other jobs. Paul Harrell indicated these are people who have made a major commitment to our church and wants us to keep paying them @ $65/week. Jennifer agreed, and even offered to increase her pledge to help pay for that. Pat agreed. It is a small amount of our budget. Andrew indicated that when we are ready to bring the nursery workers back, they will have to do a lot of cleaning which will increase their hours. Their jobs will change when we are back in the building. Bruce asked about the custodian and if he is being paid. He has not been onsite at all for several months. This will be brought up as a part of the personnel review process. Jennifer suggested we table this until we perhaps come up with another solution.

Greg indicated that we do not know when we will be back in the building. Being a virtual church requires other expenses. He wanted people to know that. Greg wondered if there are things that the workers can do for the compensation they are receiving. Greg will take the motion back to his committee, and bring it back in August, trying to get other things for them to do. Keith mentioned including doing volunteer work.

Ongoing Business

Andrew indicated we need to elect a Presbyter for the August Meeting of Salem Presbytery. He asked if there were any volunteers.  Mary volunteered. Paul Bolig made the motion

To elect Mary to represent Chapel in the Pines at the virtual Presbytery meeting on August 15, 2020.

The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

Andrew called on Pat to give a report on Covid and her perceptions of what is and will continue to happen as a result of the pandemic. She indicated she was not sure what she should say. In looking at national data, NC is doing better than all the surrounding states. The ICU’s are under control. One hospital has opened a new Covid unit. Nobody has cancelled elective surgeries which is another good sign. Orange is doing a little better than Chatham. She thinks staying in Phase Two for a while makes sense. If everybody wore a mask, the curve would flatten.

Next month we will meet twice, Andrew offered to answer any questions people might have.

Paul Harrell moved to adjourn and it was seconded and passed unanimously. Andrew closed the meeting with prayer. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.

Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

Since the last meeting on June 15, 2020, the Lord’s Supper was performed virtually on July 12 and 19. Joyce Brennan and Tom and Lucie Leuchtenburg became new members on Sunday July 19. There were no baptisms, weddings or funerals.

Respectfully submitted

Marcia Ladd, Clerk

Session approved 8/17/2020