March 14, 2011 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, March 14, 2011, 6:30 p.m. – Douglas Home
Attending: Elders Lynne Hoerter, Marcia Ladd, Stephanie Miller, Michelle Morehouse, Vicky Raymond, Chuck Rickard, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), Jack Zollinger (Treasurer), and the Rev. Mindy Douglas Adams (Moderator).
Excused: Ed Park. Guest: Mitzi Lesher-Thomas
The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas Adams at 6:30 p.m. A quorum was present. Mindy welcomed the Deacon representative, Mitzi Lesher-Thomas. Mary Donna led a devotion on the paradox of hospitality by Henri Nouwen and ended with prayer.
Approval of Agenda. One addition was made to the agenda which was approved by common consent.
Concerns and Celebrations. Mindy shared concerns and celebrations known to her and others present shared their concerns.
Leadership Development. "Christ Calls, We Respond" by Eugenia Gamble was the article for discussion about Christ’s call on our lives.
Approval of Minutes. The minutes of the Stated Session meeting of February 14, 2011, and the Congregational meeting of February 27, 2011, were approved with one typographical correction.
Correspondence. Letters from Interfaith Ministries of Chatham County and Centro Educativo Francisco Coll Relleno Sanitario in Guatemala were shared. An informational letter from the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) regarding the Christmas Joy Offering was also distributed.
Pastor’s Report. Mindy reported that new officer training is underway. Mitzi is helping with the training. She described an event scheduled for April 3 from 1 to 3 PM with a focus on fighting hunger in Chatham County. The event will be at Pittsboro Presbyterian Church and involves all 5 Presbyterian churches in Chatham County.
Treasurer’s Report. Jack went over the Balance Sheet and the Revenue and Expense report for February 2011. Session members asked that future reports always include percentages. Revenue and expenses are tracking well at this time.
Membership. The committee has performed the annual review of the rolls and does not request any action at this time. All members on the active roll have been involved in the life of the church during the past two years – attending worship, receiving pastoral care, contributing or otherwise remaining active.
Outreach. Michelle requested approval to once again participate in the Feinstein Challenge grant through "Food for Thought" dinners. The motion was approved without dissent.
The date for the "Church Has Left the Building" workday is May 22.
In Ed’s absence, Mindy reported that the prayer group and the theology groups are currently taking a break. New leadership is needed for those groups. During Hugh Chapin’s recovery, the Literature and Spirituality is meeting at Galloway Ridge on Sunday afternoons. There was some discussion about a Sunday School teacher for children. Efforts continue to identify someone who can be there by 9:15 every morning despite the absence of any children. Mindy pointed out that most newcomers do not expect their children to attend Sunday School on a first visit.
Personnel. Marcia reported that Mitzi Lesher-Thomas has been returned to 10 hours/week on a month-to-month basis, depending on revenue for the coming months.
Stewardship. Jerry reported that Stan Campbell has completed his wonderful service as Stewardship Chair. Jerry will take on that duty in the short-term and hopes Dale Chodorow will work with him on the campaign for 2012 this fall. Nana has completed the tabulation of the Time and Talent forms and will be sharing the results with the various committees and leaders.
FAB. An accounting procedure for construction spending is now set up. Funds will be invested with PILP in accordance with the terms of our construction loan agreement.
Vicky mentioned that a couple of the set-up teams are not functioning well and need additional people. Elaine Hudak is working with Nana to improve the balance of the teams. Vicky will work with Phyllis Greene and Emily Smith in their plans for transitioning to the new building. Registration for the Montreat Music and Worship Conference is coming up.
Building Planning Committee Report. Lynne distributed an accounting of spending to-date. Details of a contract with CT Wilson are almost finalized. Permits for site work are underway. In order to save money, Bruce Raymond, working with Fred Royal and Butch Smith, is preparing the Environmental Impact Report which is required for the site work to begin. Work is also underway to get a building permit. The Raymonds have removed the rocks used to erect the Ebenezer in May 2009. They will be returned after the construction is completed. Mindy expressed gratitude to everyone who is working hard to move things along, particularly the members of the Building Planning Committee.
Lynne also reported that the Furnishings Committee has identified chairs and is working on other items to furnish the building. The committee moved that $50,000 be allocated from the building funds to be used by the committee for furnishings. Mindy asked if there were questions or discussion and inquired whether the Acoustics/Sound Committee had been involved in the decision about the chairs. After more discussion, Lynne agreed to ask the Furnishings Committee to share their decision with the Sound Committee prior to placing an order. A vote on the motion was called and it passed unopposed.
Loan Financing. Jerry reported that Dreaming Creek has been unable to secure a performance bond, as agreed to in the contract. They continue to seek a bonding company but PILP has agreed to undertake a review of Dreaming Creek’s finances and references should a bond be unobtainable. Meanwhile, the timber has been purchased, delivered and is in the kiln. Stephanie expressed concern over the inability of Dreaming Creek to obtain a performance bond. Jerry and Lynne both spoke to her concerns with confidence that the company is solid and will be able to perform the work and deliver the product as agreed.
Jerry noted that PILP will need to be added to our insurance policy after the loan closing.
Lynne said she hopes the final contract figures will be ready before the next Stated Session Meeting and when they are, a Called Session Meeting may be needed to approve the contract.
April Presbytery Meeting Commissioner. Stephanie Miller agreed to serve as commissioner to the April 9 meeting.
Annual Statistical Report. The corrected Annual Statistical Report and Janet’s worksheet with the calculations for the financial figures were distributed. The report has been submitted.
Annual Meeting of the Congregation. Mindy will not be here on March 27, the date previously approved for the meeting. She asked that the date be changed to April 3 and the Session approved by common consent.
Ordination and Installation of Officers. May 15 was approved for the ordination and installation of new officers.
Capital Campaign Tithe. Mindy shared with the Session an idea she and the Raymonds had discussed. They proposed that Jerry and Mindy write a letter to everyone who pledged to the Capital Campaign, giving them the option to opt out of the tithe for Outreach. It was suggested that a deadline for responding be given (four weeks) and that a "no response" indicated assent for the tithe to be used for Outreach. The letter will also note that disbursement of the Outreach Tithe will likely not be made until the end of the campaign. Marcia moved the following: people who pledged to the Capital Campaign will be allowed to opt out of having 10% of their pledge used for outreach/mission projects. Jerry seconded the motion which passed without dissent.
Sabbatical Plan. Mindy’s application for a sabbatical grant was distributed. She also circulated a schedule of preachers to cover each Sunday she is away. Michelle moved that we accept the sabbatical plan, Stephanie seconded the motion, and it passed unopposed.
UNC Relay for Life Request. Michelle reported that she has responded to the UNC student who requested our support for UNC’s Relay for Life, explaining that our local ministry primarily focuses on Chatham County so we will not be providing financial support for the UNC program. Chapel in the Pines hopes to have its own team for the Chatham Relay for Life but has yet to identify leadership for this.
Fundraising and Acknowledgement. Mindy shared some ideas that John Walkup has about identifying non-members who have the means to make substantial donations to the building fund. He thinks that Mindy should be a part of these fundraising efforts. There was general agreement that Mindy’s time should not be used in that way. A conversation followed over naming rights and other donor acknowledgements. Michelle made the following motion: A Donor Book will be created to list the names of all donors to capital campaigns as well as records of all other gifts designated for the church’s facilities. Vicky seconded the motion. After brief discussion, the motion carried unopposed.
Baptism. A request for baptism of John Tipton, son of Rachel Fredericks, was approved for May 8, 2011.
The next Stated Session meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 11, 2011, at the Douglas home in Briar Chapel. Michelle will give the opening devotion.
A Seder meal will be provided on Maundy Thursday at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church at 7:00 p.m. with several of the north Chatham churches participating.
Following prayer, the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
Mary Donna Pond, Clerk
Approved by Session April 11, 2011