March 21, 2022 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting March 21, 2022 7 PM
Present: Sara Botelho, Tom Crosby, Keith Glidewell, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), John McDowell, Bruce Raymond, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Tim White, (Treasurer), Serena Zum Brunnen, Sarah Whitney
Excused Absence: Paul Bolig, Mary Roodkowsky,
Andrew opened the meeting at 7 PM. Keith offered a devotion, Andrew asked for prayer requests, they were offered and Keith closed with a prayer. Andrew asked for a motion to accept the Agenda. It was offered by Sara and seconded. It passed unanimously. Andrew asked for a motion to accept the Consent Agenda, below. It was offered by Sara and seconded. It passed unanimously.
Consent Agenda-Please read these items in advance. They will be voted on as a group without discussion unless someone pulls a particular entry from the Consent Agenda
- Approval of Session minutes – Stated Meeting Minutes 2/21/22; Trustees Meeting Minutes 2/21/11
- Approval of Committee Minutes – Building and Grounds 2/8/22, Membership 3/1/22, Deacons 3/7/22, More Light Task Force 3/7/22, Personnel 3/8/22, Christian Education 3/14/22, Worship 3/14/22
- Congregational Meeting Minutes 3/20/22
- Add Karen Fisher’s name to the Mission and Service Committee in the Annual Report
- Correspondence – Thank you from Presbyterian Disaster Relief Fund, Application for Monies from the General Assembly
Andrew talked about the May Retreat, it will be May 7 9AM -Noon. He will hand out an agenda at the next Stated Meeting. Serena volunteered to serve on the Nominating Committee, her candidacy was unanimously affirmed. For POMs there are $178,000+ just budgeted for the construction and not the 10% for Mission and Service. The tours have been going well. He highlighted 4 priorities
- I am working closely with Rev. Larry Neal of Mount Zion and Rev. Brent Levy of The Local Church. With Mount Zion, we will share services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in addition to our weekly Bible study and prayer meeting. Also, we are exploring further action steps in the aftermath of the racist incident at J.S. Waters School with Chatham Organizing for Racial Equity (CORE). We are exploring the possibility of hosting CORE’s Racial Equity Trainings with The Local Church.
- As a direct result of forthcoming POMS plans, I hope to launch a Sunday evening worship series this summer called the Back Porch. The vision is to use the amphitheater and reimagined children’s play space to engage young families in the local community.
- I am actively promoting Austen Hartke’s workshop aimed at advocacy for the LGBTQIA community in our local area. Among the attendees will be Karen Howard, Chatham County Commissioner.
- As we donate the rest of our Afghan refugee supplies to Love Chatham, I continue to look for ways that members of the larger community can use the Hall for All. I’m very excited about the new pavilion as yet another avenue for more community groups to use our facilities and for Chapel in the Pines to become known to more people.
Finally, I will send a congregational email in the morning with what I anticipate will be new Covid safety policies. In light of our most recent activities, including the transgender and anti-racism work, it is important to realize that some congregants will disagree. Therefore, my letter will stress the primacy of love for one another (1 Cor 13:13) as the basis for our unity and our mission.
February represents the 2nd month or 17% of our year. Total revenues YTD of $96,556 were 20% of budget. Total expenses YTD of $55,067 were 11% of the expense budget. February revenues were lower than expenses by $8,154. When we combine Restricted Accounts revenue of $56,353 YTD, total revenue YTD is $152,909.
YTD total revenues were $96,556 vs last year of $122,103. Pledge income for February MTD was $22,843 or $23,538 below last February MTD ($46,381). Non-pledge revenue YTD was $1,431, or 3% of budget YTD, compared to last February YTD of $5,454. There were three larger pledges received last year in January or February that are not yet received totaling $27,200.
Total Expenses YTD were $55,067 vs $50,498 last year. February MTD expenses were $32,092 vs. $41,000 “monthly average” vs $26,916 last February. Personnel Program & Staff benefits costs in February are for both Jan/Feb. Total Personnel expenses YTD are 14% of budget lower than budget since “Other Personnel Expenses” are nil YTD. Administration expenses are 6% YTD. Several administration expenses are at nil based on timing (e.g., Stewardship & insurance). The latest Duke Energy bill has been questioned since a recent bill covering certain past costs over the last four months appears to be inaccurate. A portion of the bill was paid per Duke Energy’s instructions pending their billing department review. The proper amount due is to yet to be provided. Jerry is in contact with Duke Energy. A valid estimate for the potential additional bill is not estimated. If the bill is substantial (e.g., $1,000 or over, it will be recommended to Session to pay the Nov/Dec 2021 portion out of surplus since that bill would have normally been paid in 2021. Most other committees have spent none or a small amount of their budget to-date.
Pastors Discretionary Fund (PDF) balance is $7,396. We have used $2,582 YTD to assist at least six individuals and/or families in Chatham County with their serious financial issues directly or through organizations. Members and friends have given Chapel in the Pines $725 YTD to this fund. Afghan Refugees Resettlement balance is $7,635 with $3,612 donations and $1,023 expenses YTD. Breakaway/Penny Lane Heat & Eat Meals YTD has received $325 & paid out nil for a balance of $325 YTD. Project for Outdoor Ministry Spaces (POMS) balance is $84,000 YTD. POMS Mission giving (“Outreach POMS”) will show a balance in March. Surplus balance stands at $34,988.
Our cash balance stands at $405,371, $38,054 more than last month and $37,751 higher than last February. The increase is affected meaningfully by the POMS paid donations to-date. A $10,000 US Treasury “I” Bond, approved by Session, was purchased 3/1/22 so does not yet show on the balance sheet. Total Liabilities are $556,407 essentially our mortgage balance of $552,786 with minimal Current Liabilities.
We look forward to continued contributions for POMS!
Finance and Administration
Tim indicated that the Finance and Administration Committee wanted to enshrine our long held practice of including 10% of the church’s operating budget for Mission and Service projects and programs. To do that he asked elders to vote on the following motion
The Finance and Administration Committee recommends to Session that 10% of any end-of-year surplus placed in the restricted fund “Surplus Carryover” be allocated for outreach and spent in the following year at the recommendation by the Mission & Service Committee for Session’s approval. This does not include any outstanding surplus balance from prior years.
There were minimal questions, the motion passed unanimously.
Andrew indicated the Worship Committee had been busy working on motions that will bring us back to in person worship. In Mary’s absence, he asked for votes on the following motions
- The Worship Committee moves that Session adopt the following guideline for masking at services. These guidelines should be posted and the rationale be explained. These precautions will continue until vaccines are available to all age groups.
|Mask wearing protocols|
|Early outside service (9AM)||Early service when held inside (due to weather)(9AM)
The levels are determined by CDC criteria. They are specific to focus on hospitalizations. This is an attempt to have one standard for our mask policy. Sara asked that the fact that they are CDC criteria for Chatham County be indicated on the chart. Low, Medium, High will be substituted for the colors, the Low, etc. will be in the appropriate color. There will be a link on the chart to the CDC site. We need to add the word “Sanctuary” to the title “Sanctuary Mask Wearing Protocols.” The question was asked about other groups in the building, session had decided that was up to an individual group. Ushers will be informed ahead of time.
John indicated that there are some staff members who are more conservative than these guidelines. Andrew indicated that there’s frustration from the staff at jumping around on when worship will be held, and this chart alleviates that. Christian Education will suggest masks at the Sacred Art Table and the Nursery. Sara talked about putting magnets on the doors in the different colors.
|Sanctuary mask wearing protocols: COVID-19 Community Levels | CDC|
|Covid-19 Community Levels||Early outside service (9AM)||Early service when held inside due to weather (9AM)||Later service (11AM); livestream|
The new mask policy does begin this Sunday, March 27. Based on the forecasted temperature.
Beginning on April 3, the early service will start at 9:00.
The motion passed unanimously as modified. The second chart reflects the changes outlined by session in the discussion.
The next motion offered is about seating inside
- Seating: Worship Committee moves that the chairs in the sanctuary be restored to their pre-Covid arrangement. This will enable better social distancing as attendance increases.
Bruce indicated Building and Grounds would take care of the chairs in the sanctuary. The motion was amended to read
Worship Committee moves that the chairs in the sanctuary be restored to their pre-Covid arrangement by April 3, 2022. This will be re-assessed if the local CDC level is high.
Andrew will get clarification about the arrangement of chairs for the music program. The amended motion passed unanimously.
The next motion concerns worship times and reads as follows
- The Worship Committee endorsed the recommendation for an early service at 9AM, and a later service at 11AM.
The motion was amended to read
The Worship Committee endorsed the recommendation for an early service at 9AM, and a later service at 11AM starting April 3, 2022.
Serena was concerned about Jordan Horn’s hours, but she thinks that can be worked out. The amended motion passed unanimously
Over the summer there is a need for several guest preachers, to meet that need
- The Worship Committee moves that the following serve as pulpit supply preachers:
- Sarah Daniels, Duke Divinity student, April 24;
- Brittany Kohan, local pastor, May 22
Andrew will be here on April 24. After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Finally with an eye to communion in the foreseeable future
- The Worship Committee moves that Communion be celebrated on the following dates:
- Monday, March 28 at the Contemplative Service
- Sunday, April 10, Palm Sunday
- Thursday, April 14, Maundy Thursday
- Sunday, April 17, Easter, at the two later services
After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Keith indicated that Beth Vazquez had met with the committee and the committee would like to put forward the following motion
That Beth Vazquez be welcomed into the life of Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church with joy and exuberant enthusiasm
After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Keith indicated that the Membership Committee annually reviews the rolls, and reaches out to members who have not worshipped with us or given the church any funds for two years. Before taking anyone off the rolls, members of the committee reach out to the individuals or families in question. Nobody is taken off the rolls without their acquiescence or if they are unreachable. In keeping with this practice, the following motion is offered
Following the 2022 annual review of the roll of active members, the Membership Committee moves that the following be removed from the roll:
Andrew & Andrea Bejcek (moved away)
Karen Meredith (moved away)
Rob Passow (moved away)
Maggie Reif (moved away)
Cynthia and Henry Schaefer (transfer)
Marilyn Shugart (moved away)
Michelle Zanavich (her request)
After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
John drew the committee’s attention to the Lilly grant proposal contained in the session packet. The grant was approved and asks for 3 baskets of money
- Pastor coverage during sabbatical
- Summer concert series
- Earth Care Festival
Several questions were directed to Andrew, the motion passed unanimously.
The Personnel Committee asks that Session approve the Lilly Application Grant, including the proposal for the summer concert series and Earth Care Festival and the designated spending outlined in the grant with supplemental spending to support remaining staff
Andrew indicated the Lilly Foundation wanted “board” approval before the grant application can be submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
Serena indicated that the plans for reopening the nursery are unchanged, planning to reopen April 10 only at the 11AM service with only nursery care for one service. There will be a worker and child mask policy in the nursery. Masks will also be worn at the Sacred Art Table.
Bruce offered session a report on the POMs project, covering the following:
- Contractor budgetary numbers – we were working from industry standards ($/sq. ft., etc.)
- Grading $6k; Contractor – $165K, Design $12K – Total – $183K
- Change – gazebo (like Pavilion) – will add some to cost
- Budgetary numbers only – need construction drawings to get final price
- Design (pavilion & gazebo)
- Final pricing
- Playground – any time
- Parking lot/pavilion grading
- 2nd parking funding & permits in place (pre pandemic)
- Soil left over from parking lots to be placed on back side of berm – aid in mowing
- Amphitheater grading (follows berm work)
- Playground shelter any time once permits in place
- Pavilion, gazebo, amphitheater
Bruce detailed the sequencing for the new features, making an attempt to have the timing compatible. There are somethings that come first, others that have to be stair cased through.
He then indicated that an Implementation Team needed to set in place to manage the design and construction phase of the project. Bruce asked for a motion from the floor supporting the formation of such a Task Force. Sara asked who would be on the Task Force. Bruce, someone from financing, some at large members for communicating with the church, Christian Education. It’s not going to be a large committee. The slate will be presented at the next Stated Meeting
Session approves that an Implementation Task Force (ITF) be formed to facilitate the implementation of the Project for Outdoor Ministries (POMS). The Task Force has the authority to make all decisions during design, permitting and construction phases within the design scope of the project. Any decision that would alter the design concept be brought back to session.
The motion passed unanimously. The church sign could be finished as quickly as this week. It will be landscaped at the workday, so before Easter we will have a sign.
Andrew indicated that the relationship between Mt Zion and Capel in the Pines continues to grow stronger and stronger as the churches ponder entering into some projects together.
There being no further business, Andrew adjourned the meeting with a prayer at 8:30 PM.
New Members, Baptisms, Memorial Services and Weddings
Since the last session meeting on February 21, 2022, Henry Maise was baptized on March 6. His parents, Elizabeth and Matt Maise were joined into membership on that date. On February 20 Sarah, Nick, Claire and Everett Daniel were presented to the congregation. Vanessa, Andy, Olivia and David Shirlen joined on March 13, 2022. There were no memorial services or weddings. Communion was served virtually on January 24 and 31, 2022.
Clerk of Session
Approved Session 4/18/22