June 13, 2011 Stated Session Meeting
Stated Session Meeting, June 13, 2011, 6:30 p.m. – Douglas Home
Attending: Elders Lynne Hoerter, Marcia Ladd, , Michelle Morehouse, Vicky Raymond, John Walkup, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), Jack Zollinger (Treasurer), and the Rev. Mitzi Lesher-Thomas (Moderator).
Excused: Forrest Johnson, Cindy Massey, Rachel Stevens
Guests: Amanda Briggs (Deacon representative), Bruce Raymond, and the Rev. Fran Olson
The meeting was called to order by Mitzi Lesher-Thomas at 6:30 p.m. A quorum was present. Mitzi welcomed the Deacon representative, Amanda Briggs, and Fran Olson. Marcia led the opening devotion using a favorite prayer.
Approval of Agenda. The agenda was approved by common consent after the addition of one item of new business: The New Form of Government.
Concerns and Celebrations. Concerns and celebrations were shared.
Leadership Development. A lively discussion of Elaine Barnett’s article "Leading in Anxious Times" revealed that anxiety is contagious, hope is a remedy for fear, and every member of the church is led by the Holy Spirit and should be involved in collaborative leadership.
Approval of Minutes. The minutes of the Stated Session meeting of May 9, 2011, were approved by common consent.
Correspondence. Thank you letters from several organizations were distributed prior to the meeting.
Pastor’s Report. Mitzi reminded the Session that she will be working in the office with Nana on Wednesdays unless she is out of town. She shared her cell phone number in the event there is an urgent need to reach her.
Treasurer’s Report. Jack distributed the Balance Sheet and Report of Revenues and Expenses through May. Everything is in good shape. The month of May saw a very good increase in non-pledged checks. Jack stated this was because some members who were unable to pledge have indeed found it possible to give. John asked if the monthly reports could show what the monthly percentage is each month. Jack pointed out that the Presbytery Benevolence is paid in 12 equal monthly payments and thus shows what percentage of the budget has been used through any given month. Jack also reported that the FAB committee had looked into the cost/benefit ratio of taking contributions through credit cards. In addition to the expense involved, there was concern we might not be able to determine to which funds the credit card payments were intended. He recommended we not accept credit card payments at this time.
Outreach. Michelle reported thanked Cindy Massey for her efforts on behalf of the church to procure a $2500 grant from RTI (Cindy’s employer) for the food pantry. The Outreach Committee is working on a recommendation for the local part of the Pentecost Offering received last week. Michelle reminded the Session that her term as chair of Outreach has ended and no new chair has been found. Mitzi noted that any action required on Outreach issues will come directly to the Session for a vote until a new chair is named.
Jerry reported that following the inquiry sent to all who pledged to the capital campaign regarding a tithe to outreach, 17 pledges indicated they do want to tithe their pledge, 22 had no response so it is assumed they also approve the tithe of their gift. Thus, just under $35,000 will be available for the Outreach project at the end of the campaign. A new computer has been purchased for the Office Manager, replacing her 5-year-old sluggish computer. The purchase of the $1,400 computer for less than $500 was made possible by Jim Schultz, a member of UPC and former IBM employee.
The Session discussed a request from Jeremy Nabors, via Mindy, to approve the use of $400 (unspent in the 2010 budget) from Operating Reserves toward the fee to commission an original composition for use at the building dedication. Several questions were asked that could not be answered: Who will own the rights to this composition? Who is the composer? Who will sing the music – choir, solo, congregation? It was pointed out that although the funds were not spent in the instrumental music line for 2010, the overall budget was overspent in 2010. Unspent funds in any individual line can not be assumed to carry over to a subsequent year. Concern was expressed that we have a very tight budget for 2011 with a lot of uncertainty about expenses. John Walkup moved that the work be commissioned and Lynne seconded the motion. John was asked if his motion included the allocation of Reserve Funds and he stated it did not. Jack said that the expense could be charged to the music line and if the line is overspent, an adjustment from another line could be made. It was also suggested that some members of the choir and other music lovers in the congregation could give designated gifts to defray the cost. The vote passed with a show of hands.
Building Planning Committee Report. Jerry distributed a worksheet showing cost and funding for adding 2 classrooms back to the building plans. Lynne excitedly reported that since those figures were calculated, she had received a phone call saying that a donor is willing to give $30,000 for the construction of the classrooms and another $30,000 a year after. Bruce Raymond questioned the funds remaining for contingency expenses and expressed concern that the contingency funds may be inadequate. Jerry moved that CT Wilson be given the go-ahead to add the 2 classrooms to our building plans. John seconded the motion. It was suggested that since the newly pledged funds are specifically designated for the classrooms, we may need donor consent if we have more funds than are needed. Bruce responded that we will not have any leftover funds and he felt donor consent unnecessary. The question was called and the motion passed without opposition. Marcia expressed the Session’s gratitude to Bruce, Lynne, Jerry, and all who are working so hard and smart on the building process.
Jerry reported that we have closed on the loan and have not yet needed to borrow any of the funds available. He expects to get a check from Salem Presbytery for the Walton Grant any day.
OLD BUSINESS – None.
Resolutions of Appreciation. Resolutions of appreciation for Elders Ed Park, Stephanie Miller, and Chuck Rickard were adopted. The Clerk will print and frame them to be presented to each Elder during worship.
Weekly E-News. Mitzi asked that members of the Session consider writing one of the feature articles for the weekly E-News. Mary Donna will sent out periodic reminders and individuals may submit articles directly to Nana.
Devotion Assignments. A schedule for Session meeting devotions was distributed. Mary Donna will remind Elders each month about whose turn it is to lead the opening devotion.
Elder for July 18 Deacons’ Meeting. Lynne Hoerter will represent the Session at the July 18 meeting of the Deacons.
New Form of Government. The churchwide letter concerning the new Form of Government was circulated and discussed.
Fran Olson spoke briefly about her joy that the Session has chosen to construct the 2 classrooms. She affirmed the decision saying it will be so appealing to families who know that our church has planned space for children and families to learn and grow together in faith. Marcia expressed her appreciation to Fran for her years of faithful service both at UPC and now at Chapel in the Pines.
The next Stated Session meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 11, 2011, at the Douglas home in Briar Chapel. Mitzi Lesher-Thomas will serve as moderator.
Following prayer, the meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
Mary Donna Pond, Clerk
Approved by Session July 11, 2011