March 12, 2009 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, March 12, 2009–Governor’s Clubhouse

Attending:      Stan Campbell, Lynne Hoerter, Marcia Ladd , Wes McGraw, Stephanie Miller, Michelle Morehouse, Ed Park, Chuck Rickard, John Walkup, Jack Zollinger (Treasurer), Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), and Mindy Douglas Adams (moderator).

Mindy Douglas Adams called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Chuck Rickard led a devotion on feeling anxiety.

Leadership Development.  Mindy used a passage from Ephesians 4 as a Lectio Divina exercise.  Several people shared their reflections.

Concerns and Celebrations; Correspondence; Agenda Approval.  Several people shared celebrations and concerns.   Mary Donna reported that one thank you letter from Chatham Habitat for Humanity has been published in the church newsletter.  The agenda was approved.

Approval of Minutes.  With corrections of minor typographical errors, the minutes of the February 12 Stated Session meeting, February 22 congregational meeting, and March 1 Called Session meeting were approved.

Pastor’s Report.  Mindy distributed copies of Stanley Ott’s Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church, a tool being used with the Acts 16:5 initiative.  She asked Session members to read chapter 1 in preparation for the Leadership Development time at the April 6 Stated Session meeting.  A Vision Team is being formed to work with the initiative; John Walkup, Stephanie Miller, Pat Chappell, Lee Werley, and Ed Park have agreed to serve on the team.  Plans have begun for a Session retreat.  Mindy has invited Stewart Rawson, a Presbyterian pastor who leads workshops on living spiritually balanced lives.  A date of October 2-3 was discussed.

Treasurer’s Report.  Jack reported that work continues on the balance sheet, primarily how to handle the property transactions.  On Revenue and Expenses, we are slightly behind on revenue and on target with expenses.  Michelle requested regular updates on pass-through accounts, primarily those for the food pantry.



Community.  A written report had been distributed.  Mary Donna thanked Stephanie and Si Brewer for pursuing the matter of placing a sign on the Lindley property.  They learned that we may erect a sign with written permission from the Lindleys.  Lynne will ask Joan Zollinger to approach the Lindleys with this request.  Mary Donna also reported that the church directory is progressing nicely and should be ready to publish soon.  She also will be offering coaching to those who want to know more about the website and will be doing a Minute for Mission about it on Sunday.

Education.  Wes reported that classes are going well.  Ed reported that the first book to be used for the Congregational Read will be Jim the Boy by Tony Earley.  A Minute for Mission announcing this will be on March 22.

Fiduciary.   Stan distributed a written report.  There has been a slight increase in 2009 pledges.

Lynne requested approval of $10,000 from the Property Fund to proceed with the Programming phase with design-build firm WKWW, to begin in late April.  Coming from Committee, this motion needed no second.

There were questions and discussion about what we would be getting for this money and whether the timing is right.  Lynne will get specific answers to these questions from WKWW and will communicate them to the Session.  A vote was called and the motion passed without dissent.

Stan reported that the Administration, Budget, and Finance committees propose to merge into a single committee.  Jerry Wehmueller will chair the committee and Cindy Massey will be Vice Chair.  The motion came from committee and did not require a second.  It passed without dissent.

Marcia reported that the Personnel Committee continues to work on finding a replacement for Kim Prendergast, bookkeeper.  The search committee has explored outsourcing the work but found the cost to be prohibitive.

Jack brought a proposed contract from Minor, Anglin & Associates, P.A. to perform an annual audit for four years for an annually increasing fee.  The motion from Committee did not require a second.  Ed asked if such an arrangement would tie the hands of future Sessions.  Jack explained that there is an escape clause.  The motion passed without dissent.  Stan Campbell will sign the contract.

Jack pointed out several adjustments that had been made to the budget:  the addition of new pledges to Current Pledges, breakout of salary lines, new lines for workers comp and Brotherhood Mutual insurance, a line for loan interest, reinstatement of funds to 515125 (previous omitted in error), and adjustment to Deacons lines.  He explained that Personnel had asked for costs involved in giving 4% salary increases and 5% increases.  The difference was very small.  The Session approved adjusting line 501460 (Potential Merit Raises), moving $3,200 to the bonuses line (501450) and setting the Potential Merit Raises at $4,536 (5% rate increase).

Following was a discussion about how to reflect the payment of the loan interest in the Revenue and Expense report.  Interest will be paid from the Property Fund, not the Operating Budget, but Jack felt that this expense should be reflected in the monthly reports.  Mary Donna suggested adding a line in the Revenue section (Property Fund Draw) with an amount equal to the anticipated annual interest payments.  This amount would then be put in the budget against the Loan Interest payments.

Lynne moved that the Session adopt a balanced budget and that the changes reported by the Treasurer be incorporated, with any discrepancy covered with a "Reserves Contingency" revenue line.  Marcia seconded the motion which passed without dissent.

Michelle asked that the description for line 511210 be changed to "Mission Travel" rather than "Youth Mission Travel."

Worship.   John reported on the Ash Wednesday service at Pittsboro Presbyterian and the supper held before the service.  St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church joined CITP and PPC for this service.  Several people commented that it was a very positive experience.  On Maundy Thursday, the three churches will again gather at Pittsboro Presbyterian for a 7:00 service; Troy Lesher-Thomas will preach and our choir will sing.



Nominating Committee:  Chuck reported that the Nominating Committee is close to finishing its work and will meet March 15 to finalize the slate of nominees.  Mindy said that a Nominating Committee Report will be prepared for the congregation prior to the meeting March 29 to elect officers.



Committees.  The Outreach Committee has requested that the Session address the matter of committees, terms, and chairs.  The Six-Year Plan Committee talked about this matter at their March 11 meeting. 

Lynne moved that committees members serve three-year terms and that a member may serve two consecutive terms.  She also moved that committee chairs serve two year terms and that the chair, if not already in place, will be appointed by the Pastor and the Quadrant Leader.  Terms of service will be June 1 to May 31.  Stan requested an amendment to the motion that would require a committee member to take at least 1 year off after serving two consecutive three-year terms before returning to a committee.  Lynne accepted the amendment.  The motion was approved without dissent.

Lynne also asked that Committees prepare updates to their six-year plan spokes, to be presented to the Session at the May meeting at which newly-elected Session members will be invited.  The Session will then approve the new Six-Year Plan.  John explained that items on the Six-Year Plan that have been completed or accomplished will be recorded on a separate page of the plan for historical purposes. There was also a request that committees write a brief description of the work of each committee.  These descriptions will be used for several purposes, including recruiting committee members and for the Stewardship campaign in the fall.  Ed also suggested that the committee chairs write out a brief description of what is done by the chair of each committee.  The Session concurred that this would be useful.

The Session requests each committee/spoke to:

(1)  prepare a brief written description of the mission and purposes of the committee;

(2)  update the current Six-Year Plan, adding and revising things through 2015;

(3)  prepare a description of the committee chair’s responsibilities.

Annual Report.  Session members were reminded that reports of accomplishments in 2008 are due for the 2008 Annual report by May 15.  Committee chairs and Quadrant leaders have been asked for these reports.

Mindy added a couple of items she omitted in her Pastor’s Report.  She and John Walkup attended a preaching seminar in February at which The Reverend Tom Long led a very impressive and inspiring session.  John said it caused him to think about serving communion more often.  In March, Mindy and five others from the congregation attended a conference on evangelism in Sanford.  Michelle said that the focus on fear-free evangelism was very helpful to her.  Wes added that Mindy and three others attended a conference on children and ministry.  All of these opportunities were informative and helpful.

Next Meeting.   The next Stated Session meeting will be Monday, April 6, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the home of Lynne and Bob Hoerter

Mindy reminded the Session of our daily noon prayer time.  She closed the meeting with prayer.  The meeting was adjourned just before 9:00 p.m.


Respectfully submitted, 

Mary Donna Pond, Clerk


Approved by Session April 6, 2009