March 12, 2012 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, March 12, 2012 – CITP Adult Classroom

Attending:  Ruling Elders Lynne Hoerter, Forrest Johnson, Marcia Ladd, Cindy Massey, Michelle Morehouse,  Vicky Raymond, Rachel Stevens, John Walkup, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), and the Rev. Mindy Douglas Adams (Moderator).   


The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas Adams at 6:30 p.m. and a quorum was present.  Mary Donna Pond read Psalm 121 for the opening devotion which ended with prayer.  Several items were added to the agenda and it was approved.  Pastoral concerns and celebrations were shared.

Leadership Development.   Session members talked about leadership opportunities, challenges, and strengths.  Mindy requested that motions and action items, as well as committee and quadrant reports, be prepared and distributed prior to the meeting when possible in order to keep Session meetings from lasting too long.

Approval of Minutes.  Minutes from the February 13, 2012, Stated Session meeting were revised and approved.  Minutes of the Called Session meeting February 12, the congregational meeting minutes of February 12, and the minutes of the joint meeting of Elders and Deacons on November 12, 2011 were approved as distributed.

Correspondence.   None.

Pastor’s Report.  Mindy shared her excitement after attending the NEXT Church Conference in Dallas for two days last month.  The 2013 conference will be in Charlotte March 4-5, 2013, and she hopes many people from Chapel in the Pines will attend as the current and future leaders of the church cast a vision for what the church will become.

Treasurer’s Report.  In Jack Zollinger’s absence, Jerry gave the highlights from the financial reports, stating that although finances are tight, we are in good shape for now with revenues slightly above this time last year and expenses holding steady.  He again asked for a tight hold on spending for the first six months of 2012.


Community Quadrant

Lynne made the following motions and reports:


Annual Roll Review.  The Membership Committee reviewed the roll of active members and recommended that the following names be removed from the active rolls.  Individuals fell into one of the following categories:  (a) has not participated in worship or other church activities and has not made a financial contribution to the church in 2 years; or (b) has specifically requested removal from the active roll.  The nine members recommended for removal from the active membership rolls are: Scott Adams, Robin Bowyer, Silas Brewer, John Herman, Bryan McWilliams, Richard Palmer, Alexander, Lisa, Taylor Scott.  The action was approved without dissent.

New Logo.  A proposed new logo design was presented and discussed.  Forrest asked if the image had been researched to prevent its confusion with similar designs that might be in use.  Others commented that the design did not clearly indicate our mission of "welcome, worship, and witness."  There was a desire for the color green to be included.  The request to approve the logo was defeated in a close vote and it will be sent back to committee for further development.

There has been some confusion over which group in the church is responsible for the worship bags for children.  After discussion, it was determined that the children’s worship bags fall under the Worship Quadrant.  A question about responsibility for the Nursery led to discussion and decision that the Nursery falls under the Education Quadrant.  In short, if it happens in the Sanctuary, it’s Worship; if it happens in the Education wing, it’s Education.


Feinstein Challenge Potlucks.    From March 1 through April 30, all donations to the Take and Eat Food Pantry will be used to match funds from the Feinstein Challenge.  Pot luck suppers will be held April 27 and 28 to help meet this challenge.

Education Quadrant

Rachel reported that Butch and Emily Smith have agreed to be head of the Sunday School committee for the coming year.  There remains a "gray" area regarding the Youth programs and the responsibility for that program within the quadrant.

Fiduciary Quadrant.   

2011 year-end.  Janet Askew has closed the books for 2011. Bottom line – we ended $14,766 in the red, far better than the budgeted $35,000 deficit estimate which was anticipated.  Operating Reserve funds were used to cover the shortfall and $34,628 now remains in the reserve fund.

Stewardship Update.  Two additional pledges have come in, making the total pledges for 2012 $182,600. 

2012 Budget.  The final proposed budget was distributed prior to the meeting.  Approval of the budget was requested by the FAB committee and the Session approved it without dissent.

Building Use.  The following motions were made by the FAB committee. 

  • Building use applications will be reviewed and approved or denied by the Pastor, Office Manager, Custodian, and Fiduciary Quadrant leader. Motion approved without dissent.
  • Local churches and any Presbyterian church (local or otherwise) which applies to use space in the building for meetings (small groups and within the up-to-three-hours time frame) may do so at no cost. Other building use by churches will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Motion approved without dissent.
  • Any organization that Chapel in the Pines supports financially which applies to use space in the building for meetings (small groups and within the up-to-three-hours time frame) may do so at no cost. Other building use by such groups will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Motion approved without dissent.

Building and Grounds.  Jerry thanked those who helped spread grass seed and straw around the bio-retention pond.  Unfortunately, we continue not to satisfy the county inspectors in regard to erosion control and we must now remove the large pile of dirt (being held for use in the Remembrance Garden) in order to pass final inspection.  Negotiations continue on this matter.  Lynne pointed out that if we do not get approval from the county by March 21, there may be severe fines imposed.

Michelle asked about the final cost of the Arts Festival.  Jerry responded that we did not break even on the festival costs, and that additional funds were needed beyond the Undesignated Memorial Gifts previously approved to be used for this purpose by the Session.

Worship Quadrant

Vicky reported that the Quadrant will incorporate the updating of children’s worship bags in the list of quadrant duties and responsibilities.


Loan Financing and Construction Cost Update.  Jerry distributed a handout with updated figures on construction costs and projections of funds available for mortgage payments.  Depending on the outcome of the county’s approval, referenced above, there may be additional costs to add, but overall, the building construction costs were well managed despite several surprises throughout the process.  The Session again expressed its appreciation to Lynne and to the Building Planning Committee for a job exceedingly well done.

It was suggested that New Member Packets include a request for those joining the church to donate to the Building Fund.  Michelle requested that this also include an opportunity to tithe to Outreach from such donations.  Jerry and Stan will continue to work on a form to include in the packet and Mary Donna offered to help format and produce the form.

Dedication Service Offering.  The FAB committee requested that the offering received at the Dedication service be applied to the 2012 operating budget.  The motion passed with one abstention.

Jerry reported that Catherine Lynch from Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program will visit Chapel in the Pines on April 1 to talk to individuals about opening savings accounts with PILP.  Funds deposited with PILP will help the church in terms of interest paid on our loan.  Mindy suggested that Ms. Lynch make her presentation following worship since April 1 is Palm Sunday and a processional is planned for worship that morning, making a Minute for Mission difficult to incorporate into the service.

Remembrance Garden.  Three documents were distributed prior to the meeting for Session approval.  Members of the Session had several questions and concerns, particularly in the "Columbaria Policies and Procedures."  Mindy will take those specific items back to the committee for clarification.  The motion to approve the documents was defeated.


Operations Manual Task Force.  Forrest reported that the Task Force had met and is working on identifying the scope of the task, which parts have already been accomplished and what areas need attention.  He offered 3 motions for Session approval:


We request approval of these items, for subsequent approval by the congregation at its next congregational meeting:


Motion 1

G-1.0501 –  Congregations shall provide by rule the quorum necessary to conduct business.

  • The quorum of a meeting of the congregation shall be not less than twenty percent of the members.


Motion 2

The congregation establishes Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised as the parliamentary authority for congregation meetings.


Motion 3

G-1.0502 – Congregations shall provide by their own rule for minimum notification requirements and give notice at regular services of worship prior to the meeting.

  • Public notice of a congregational meeting shall be given on two successive Sundays. The meeting may be convened following the notice given on the second Sunday.


All three motions were approved without dissent.



Nominating Committee Report.  John reported that Phyllis Greene was elected chair of the Nominating Committee.  A slate of officers has been prepared, as follows:

Elders (Class of 2015) – Jeff Morehouse, Tina Stark, Bob Warren

Deacons (Class of 2015) – Keith Glidewell, Stephen Hudak, Diane Tietz

Deacon (Class of 2014, to fill an unexpired term) – Bob Hoerter



Session Retreat.  John proposed a Session Transition/Planning Retreat, comprised of the current Session, incoming Ruling Elders, Clerk, Treasurer, Mindy, and Mitzi.  The retreat would be May 12 from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and the objectives would be to update the Six-Year Plan, align Elder committee assignments, map out committee staffing needs, identify top critical needs and "synchronize our watches."  Mindy suggested that the Session also review the Mission Statement that the Acts 16:5 group had developed.  John will send Session members that document prior to the April Session meeting.  John also distributed a questionnaire and asked that everyone email him their responses prior to the April meeting.  Everyone was encouraged to participate in this important retreat.

Election of Commissioner to April Presbytery Meeting.  Marcia Ladd agreed to serve as commissioner at the April 14 meeting of Salem Presbytery and was elected unanimously.

New Member Sunday.  Michelle moved that the second Sunday of each month be designated as New Member Sunday. New members would be received by the session on the second Sunday, prior to the worship service and members may join any Sunday, schedule permitting, after being received.  Rachel seconded the motion.  Concern was voiced that limiting new members to only one Sunday a month might feel unwelcoming to some.  Others appreciated the idea of having fewer called Session meetings.  Mindy suggested that she encourage new members to join on the second Sunday, but will make accommodations for those who are unable to do so.  She will also work to have only one new-member Sunday in any given month.  Michelle withdrew her motion with Rachel’s agreement.

Task Force for Environmental Concerns.  Michelle requested that a task force be established within the Fiduciary Quadrant to develop guidelines and act as a resource for environmental stewardship related to the operations and maintenance of the church and its facilities.  Mindy pointed out that this group would serve to accomplish a specific task – a set of guidelines to be used by the church focused on good environmental stewardship and sustainability.  Their recommendations would then be approved by the Session and the task force dissolved.  Cindy made a motion that Michelle’s request be approved and Jerry seconded the motion which was approved.  Michelle will bring a list of names of potential members of this task force to the next meeting.

2011 Annual Report.  A draft of the report was distributed.  Several revisions needed to be made, but the Session was asked to approve the early draft; a final version will be distributed via email for final approval prior to the Annual Meeting.  Cindy moved that the draft be approved, Michelle seconded, and the motion passed unopposed.

Serving Communion to Youth Group March 25Lynne moved approval of a request from Rosy Robson for Mitzi Lesher-Thomas to serve communion to the Youth Group as a part of their breadmaking activities on March 25.  Rachel seconded the motion which was unanimously approved. 

Reminders.  In addition to the reminders at the bottom of the agenda, Mindy reminded the Session of the benefit concert on March 24 at 3:00 p.m.  A review of responsibilities indicated that everything is covered for this event.

With no other business to discuss, Mindy led a closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.


Respectfully submitted, 



Mary Donna Pond, Clerk

Approved by Session April 9, 2012