March 23, 2020, Joint meeting of Session & Deacons

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church

Virtual Joint Elders and Deacons Meeting March 23, 2020 – 7 PM


Present: Barbara Amago, Stan Campbell, Pat Chappell, Keith Glidewell, Paul Harrell, Paul Isom,  John McDowell, Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky,  Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer), Heather Honeycutt, Braxton Malan, Susie Park, Mary Donna Pond (Moderator),  Vicky Raymond, Madeline Schalk, Susie Smith Barbara Strange, Sally Wehmueller, Emily Williams

Excused Absence: Vince Walker,


Andrew called the stated meeting to order at 7:00 PM. Stan offered the following motion for session to vote on and it was seconded

Following recommendation by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Chapel in the Pines will suspend public gathering in person for Sunday morning worship through May 11.

It was duly seconded. Andrew told the meeting that a UNC Epidemiologist has said the pandemic may be between 6 and 18 months long. The motion passed unanimously. He then asked session to approve of the agenda. Mary Roodkowsky moved

To approve the agenda.

It was seconded. With very little discussion the agenda was approved unanimously.

Pastor’s Report

Andrew talked about the bravery of healthcare workers on the front lines and how especially in a crisis like we are currently experiencing, words matter. Evoking a war analogy provokes fear and violence. Andrew drew attention to 1 Corinthians 12:12 The body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body. Yet, if we conceptualize ourselves as part of the same body where another’s suffering is actually our own, then empathy can lead beyond mere decency to compassion—literally “suffering with” others. And compassion is a form of love. He asked us to approach the virus as a community of love.

Committee/Task Force Plans through Easter by Committee

A. Building and Grounds

Bruce said B & G is maintaining the grounds, they conditioned the floors in the sanctuary. The Remembrance Garden is being weeded and tended to by the Garden Angels. He is going to suggest to Nana that perhaps she can let people know they can come to the church and do some solitary weeding, it is needed all over the church property. The parking lot approval will be going shortly to the County. The company doing the parking lot is still working

B. Christian Education

Paul Isom indicated that CE has had a Zoom meeting. The Exploring Together class is going to continue to meet via Zoom. They discussed ways to continue to have things for children, which is a work in progress, but Joelle will continue to do videos. They are talking about how people can come together to discuss Andrew’s Bible Study. They are brainstorming about ways to connect to isolated members. They talked about ways to use technology to have an interactive Easter experience. There was discussion about the church’s Zoom account. Mary Donna suggested that Nana could keep a schedule of when the account is being used. Andrew will communicate that to Nana.

C. Communication and Technology

The Committee has not made any plans for this time period. Andrew is working on how to improve the streaming service. Pat commended Mary Donna for keeping the web site on target

D. Fellowship

Barbara said there is not a lot going on at the moment with Fellowship. The Team Leaders are keeping up with their members. Barbara plans to get over to the kitchen and get it cleaned out

E. Finance and Administration

Stan indicated his committee has met, they are sending an email to the congregation that we are financially in good shape, but we do depend on open plate contributions. The email will ask that people who normally make open plate contributions to go to the web site to make those contributions online. Stan asked Jerry if he had anything to add. Jerry just re-iterated what Stan said. The church has plenty of cash currently. Last week the church received very few checks via mail. Stan asked if Mary Donna could make the donate on line more prominent. She will take care of that. Mary Donna suggested that Nana should put a link to the donate on line in the weekly email. Stan will take care of that.

F. Membership and Evangelism

Keith said the main concern of his committee is to make sure we are connecting with the new members who joined on the 8th of March and the future new members that were to have joined on the 29th . The New Member Friends have been asked to stay connected to these two groups of new members. The committee also reviewed the attendees for each service to make sure they are getting our communications. Mary asked if we should make a provision for adding new members without being in worship that is probably not sanctioned by the Book of Order, although it is unclear at what point in the “joining” process the new member needs to meet with the congregation.

G. Mission and Service

Paul said the committee’s first action was to give $500 to Fuel up Chatham and $500 to the West Chatham Food Pantry. They donated $2000 to CORA which has seen their weekly clients almost triple and $1000 to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC. They need to re-think the best way to help congregants help with food support, Paul Harrell and Andrew will talk through the best approach to this. There is some concern about having enough volunteers. Keith asked if the pantries have the gloves and masks that they need for handing out food. Nobody had heard if that that’s the case. Andrew will ask Dr. Wallis.

H. Personnel

John McDowell indicated that the main issue that has arisen for personnel is the issue of payment for staff. John, in conjunction with Andrew and Jerry, sent each staff member a letter assuring their payments, but did not put a date on the length of the extension. Staff responded very graciously. John asked if Nana was continuing to work from the office, Andrew answered that for now she is. It was discussed that while she is there, Nana needs to keep the door locked. Andrew will raise that with her.

I. Worship

Mary said her committee has met with each other to plan for Holy Week. The committee is suggesting that the palms could be put outside in water and people could come and get them prior to Palm Sunday. They had talked about having people create something at home and sending it to one person who could put it on the metal cross that we have in the past decorated with flowers. For Holy Week they are thinking about doing virtual communion. Andrew encouraged those in attendance to go to the UPC website and look at what they’ve done, shooting individual scenes and put them together. Zach Terry has agreed to do this for Chapel in the Pines. Andrew is excited about this. With video conferencing, we have the capability to do something for every day during Holy Week.

J. Deacons

Mary Donna said the deacons did meet last week .They primarily talked about what to do with their neighborhood groups, reaching out – emailing, mailing, and checking in. Elizabeth Melton has created the form for volunteer possibilities.


The next stated meeting will certainly be a Zoom meeting in April.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.


Respectfully submitted


Marcia Ladd, clerk

Approved by session April 20, 2020