May 13, 2013 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting: May 13, 2013 – Adult Classroom

Attending: Ruling Elders Forrest Johnson, Cindy Massey, Jeff Morehouse, Rachel Stevens, Tina Stark, John Walkup, Bob Warren, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), and Teaching Elder Rev. Mindy Douglas (Moderator). Excused absence: Lynne Hoerter


Mindy Douglas called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Forrest read Luke 16:10-12 and spoke about how stewardship and faith often begin with little things.  He then led an opening prayer.  Pastoral concerns and celebrations were shared.

Leadership Development.  The Session discussed the eighth chapter in Stanley Ott’s book, Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church, “Implementing the Twelve Shifts.”  For the June meeting, Session members are asked to pick one of the shifts that would be helpful to CITP.  In July, Rachel will lead the group in an evaluation process.

Approval of Agenda and Consent Agenda:  Several items were added to the agenda which was approved as amended.  Items approved on the consent agenda were:

  • Minutes of: the Stated Session Meeting of April 15, 2013; Called Session meeting on May 12, 2013
  • Request for transfer of membership for Ed and Mary Pringle
  • Request to remove from rolls Sally and David Hubby
  • Motion from the Worship Committee: “Following each communion service, the Session authorizes the Worship Committee to prayerfully discard the remaining elements”
  • Thank you letters to St. Thomas Presbyterian Church of Houston for loaning the angel banners and to Wilma Patton for the banners and the logo art she designed
  • Correspondence: thank you notes from Child Care Networks, Karla Koll and CEDEPCA, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Pastor’s Report.  Mindy shared with the Session her insights and understanding of the trends in funding for theological education.


FAB Committee.  Since the bookkeeper has been out due to a family matter, financial reports for April have not been completed.  Jerry has monitored the bank deposits and reported that our cash flow is adequate for current expenses.

Mindy and Bob Warren received a facsimile of an interest rebate check from PILP at the recent meeting of Salem Presbytery.  Jerry moved that the interest rebate on the church mortgage received from PILP in 2013 be used to reduce the mortgage principle.  The motion was seconded and approved without dissent.

PersonnelPianist:  Mindy reported that Jay Pierson has been interviewed and an offer has been made to him to become CITP Pianist.  Mindy shared some of Jay’s background and a conversation followed regarding his compensation.  Forrest moved that an expense account for the Pianist be created of $1,300 annually to be used by the pianist for business expenses.  Jeff seconded the motion which passed unopposed.

Personnel Manual:  Forrest brought a motion from the Personnel Committee to revise the Personnel Manual as follows: 

  • The proposed changes extend some of the manual’s policies from administrative staff to all staff, making the manual more inclusive.
  • Paid annual leave (i.e., vacation) for part-time employees working less than 20 hours per week has been removed from the manual.
  • References to individual contracts have been removed, as no church employees have signed employment contracts.
  • References to the “Leadership Team” in Section XVI, Sabbatical Policy, have been replaced by “Session.”
  • Formatting changes, including adding the updated Table of Contents, to be made by the Office Manager.

Following a few questions, the motion was approved without dissent.

Pastor’s D.Min. Request:  A request from Mindy for support in her pursuit of a D.Min. degree at Duke was received.  Several expressed their congratulations at being accepted into the program.  Following questions, Mindy was asked to leave so that the Session might deliberate.  Some concerns voiced will be shared with Mindy by the Personnel Committee.  A motion to increase the Pastor’s Continuing Education by $2,000 for 2013, 2014, and 2015 was made by Jerry Wehmueller and seconded by Bob Warren.  The motion passed unanimously.  Mindy returned and thanked the Session for its generous support.


Hymnals.  John brought a motion from the Worship Committee to approve ordering 200 hymnals.  Following discussion, the Session approved this motion.  John then asked what color hymnal should be ordered.  Following discussion, John moved that red hymnals be ordered.  Forrest seconded the motion which passed unopposed.

[At this time in the meeting, Forrest Johnson rose to leave (to pick up donated bread for the food pantry).  Mindy noted that this was Forrest’s final meeting as her term on the Session ends before the next meeting.  The Session applauded and thanked him for his service.]

New staff position – Hand Bell Choir Director.  The Worship Committee requested creation of a new part-time staff position:  Hand Bell Choir Director.  He explained that the person would report to the Director of Music Ministry and is currently unfunded.  Following discussion, the motion was approved.

Outreach.  The following motion was brought from the committee by Jeff Morehouse:

The Outreach Committee requests approval to give the local portion of the Pentecost Offering (40%) to Chatham County Together to use for their programs for at-risk children. The motion was passed unanimously.



Meeting of Salem Presbytery on May 4.  Bob Warren went to the meeting as commissioner, replacing Cindy who was unable to attend.  Bob enjoyed the meeting, felt warmly welcomed, and enjoyed the examination of candidates for ministry.  Mary Donna reported that she had taken the 2012 Session minutes for review following the Presbytery meeting and the minutes have been duly approved.


Use of remote audio and video for Session and Committee meetings.  Bob, with Jeff’s assistance, demonstrated how the remote audio equipment works.  A written motion was included in the Session packet, which also included Special Rules and Comments.  Following a few questions, the motion was passed unopposed.  A second motion, pertaining to committee meetings, was withdrawn.

Email voting.  There was a general discussion about using email for time-sensitive, non-controversial matters.  It was agreed that this method of voting should be used sparingly.


Using Google Docs for Session Packets – There was brief discussion about the benefits of using a Google Drive for Session packet documents.  Bob and Jeff will be available to help anyone who needs assistance using this method.

Website Calendar.  Mary Donna reported that anyone who would like to be able to add events to the church website calendar should contact her to get the required access rights.


  • Remember to pray for our church each day at noon.
  • Read chapter 9 of Stanley Ott’s book, Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church, for June Session meeting and select one or two of the shifts for discussion.
  • Next Stated Session Meeting – June 10, 2013
  • Presbytery meetings – Tuesday, August 6, at First Presbyterian Burlington.


With no further business meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.  Mindy closed the meeting with prayer.


Respectfully submitted,

Mary Donna Pond, Clerk of Session


Approved by Session June 10, 2013