June 7, 2021 Called Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church

Called Meeting June 7, 2021 6:30 PM

Present: Greg Behr, Paul Bolig, Tom Crosby, Keith Glidewell, Marcia Ladd (clerk), Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (staff), Tim White, Serena zumBrunnen

Excused Absence: Sara Botelho, Paul Harrell, Sarah McCormack

Guest: Paul Nixon

Andrew sent an agenda ahead of time to the elders:

Opening Prayer

– Introductions

– Paul Nixon = review timeline

– Paul Nixon = discuss leadership team

– Questions from elders, including any related to “Building Blocks” doc

– Closing prayer


Andrew opened the meeting with a prayer. He asked each elder to introduce themselves. Andrew then asked Paul to introduce himself. Paul asked if he could have a half hour one on one with each session member to understand their perspectives. He is excited about working with our church to explore what God is telling us to do. He has worked with many different denominations. He is an ordained pastor. He thinks churches are rooted in their community. As a church grows, it is driven more internally. He thinks it’s a good time to help Chapel in the Pines re-root themselves in community. Ultimately his job is to help us find a way forward and be the best church we can be. He’s served in the past at the Presbytery level and as a pastor. He referred to the Building Blocks document he sent us ahead of this meeting, outlining that we will start with data gathering and planning, then an onsite meeting in September and then beyond that is where we go from there. His intent is that at the end of this process we will have a way forward that makes sense to us, understanding that “things happen,” and we may need to be able to pivot into that.

The first thing that has to happen is we have a group of people who will be his sounding board and help him form the recommendations that will eventually go back to the congregation. Usually the group consists of 6 or 7 people with energy and the belief they can help form a vision. Andrew indicated session could come up with 3 or 4 names and then Andrew can offer suggestions to round out the group. Paul would like diversity, the more the group can look like the church the better, but commitment of the participant is critical for inclusion. The group will be called the Vitality Team.

There are 3 tasks the group will need to accomplish

  • An audit of the church where it is – processes, finances, people numbers, participants in church life.
  • Then he will use a tool to gain community insight to figure out the lay of the community around the church and what slice of the community is CitP best prepared to serve. The group will help define who the community is.
  • The third piece is the survey Readiness 360. It is looking for clues in 4 different areas that tell us how ready we are to embrace new people in Ministry –
    • Spiritual practices
    • Relationship habits and experiences
    • Missional alignment (are we doing things that are aligned with what we think is important)
    • Cultural openness in that I am able to welcome people into the space who don’t look like the individuals already in the church.

The Readiness 360 will tell us how prepared we are to do big things and how fast we can move. The first two need to be done in July, the Readiness needs to be done before Paul comes to town, maybe August. The goal is to get at least 30% of the worshipping public to fill out the Readiness 360.

Working with the Vitality Team, Paul will come up with a set of ministry questions or ideas for the church to work on, he thinks 5 is the most they should work on. This helps focuses the church. Then we will populate 5 groups to work on the identified questions. From this will come a group of things we will work on and develop a timeline of implementation. Given the size of CitP, we probably won’t have 5 initiatives. We’re looking at a weekend in September for Paul’s visit: 10th, 11th and 12th.

Bruce asked if the team changes over time, it does not. Paul indicated that in the focus on the weekend, the church would choose how many participants would participate. Andrew asked the participants to each think of 3 people who are positive and should be part of the team, and email those names to him and Marcia within a few days. We’ll report the names back, and he would like the elders to vote on the team at the 6/21/21 meeting. The Vitality Team oversees the planning process, but it is session who endorses the team and the plan. Paul Nixon got off the call.

Tom registered concern about starting early to assemble the folks who would participate in the 5 focus meetings. Serena asked if currently serving deacons and elders should be considered for the Vitality Team, Andrew said that the three individuals the elders choose should be the ones who are best for the role on the Vitality Team, regardless of where else they are serving.  The Vitality Team needs to “woo” the congregation into participation in the planning process. Mary stressed her pleasure with the timeline, and wanted to make sure it was alright with Andrew and his doctoral program. He said he was fine. Andrew asked elders to help end the meeting with one word that comes to their mind, each person present added a word. Then, Andrew closed the meeting with prayer at 7:50 PM.


Respectfully Submitted,


Marcia Ladd,


Approved session 6/21/21