May 17, 2021 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church

Stated Meeting May 17, 2021 7 PM


Present: Barbara Amago, Paul Bolig, Tom Crosby, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer), Serena Zum Brunnen

Guests: Sara Botelho, Deb Rogers

Excused Absence: Greg Behr, Keith Glidewell, Paul Harrell

Andrew introduced the elders to Deb Rogers. He asked Deb to tell the elders a little bit about herself and what attracted her to Chapel in the Pines. After she did, each elder introduced themselves and what their roles were with the church. She will officially join the church on June 20, 2021. Andrew asked her if she had further questions. There being none, Andrew told her she was free to leave.

Bruce opened with a devotion. Andrew offered prayer concerns, and asked others for prayer concerns on their minds. Bruce then opened the meeting with prayer.

Andrew then asked for motions on the agenda. Bruce moved to approve the agenda, it was seconded and approved unanimously. Andrew then called for a motion to approve the consent agenda. Greg moved to approve, it was seconded and passed unanimously. The Consent Agenda contains the following items:

  1. Approval of Session minutes – Stated Meeting April 19, 2021; Called Meeting May 3,2021; Email vote May 5, 2021
  2. Approval of Committee Minutes – Building and Grounds April 27, 2021 and May 11, 2021; Membership May 4, 2021; Personnel May 11, 2021, Christian Education May 10 and 17, 2021, Finance and Administration May 13, 2021
  3. Approval of Staff Minutes – May 2 and 16, 2021
  4. Correspondence – Thank you from Faith Connections on Mental Illness

Andrew invoked an Order of the Day to draw session’s attention to the Strike Force Report. Bruce took the lead on this, going over the covenants found in the pre-session packet.  After he covered the promises the church makes to the worshippers, he covered the promises the worshippers need to make to attend. He asked for questions.

Bruce and Serena fielded questions. Paul Bolig asked why the language had been toned down about vaccinations, it is an attempt to advocate in favor of vaccines and not keep people from worshipping based on not being vaccinated. The Strike Force will meet after each service and make modifications based on what occurred during the worship service. Our heating and air conditioning systems are already bringing in fresh air which helps to filter the air the system is generating. Serena sees the filters as an investment in the health of our congregation; there is value in making people feel safer. Tom asked if the units were portable; they are. Bruce indicated we’re all wearing masks to protect the community. Tom suggested we put an FAQ on the website and circulate the information by other means. Andrew indicated we are going to make videos demonstrating what we will be doing in worship. We are transitioning with how to operate, and things will change. Mary made a motion to change the last bullet point

Advocate that eligible people will receive Covid 19 vaccination, and work to provide assistance to…

The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

Mary also made a motion to adopt the indoor and outdoor covenants

The motion was seconded and passed unanimously. There was unanimous appreciation expressed for the work of the Strike Force.

Andrew indicated the second session meeting each month was not necessary. The next session meeting will be June 21, 2021.

Pastors Report.  Andrew indicated he has 26 volunteers signed up for the vaccination event.

Treasurer’s Report


April revenue was $30,413 or 12.5% ahead of April of last year.  This makes our year-to-date revenue a little less than 1% greater than through 4 months of last year.  Year-to-date pledged revenue is 7% ahead of last year while non-pledge revenues is less than last year’s.  This appears to be primarily visitors from last year who did not pledge that are now members and who pledged in 2021.

All in all revenues this year continue to be very positive.


Monthly operating expenses are about what was expected at $32,490.  The biggest budget item is staff salaries which are at 31% of budget through April versus 33% expected through the first third of a year.  The monthly budget is simply the annual budget divided by 12 whereas actually staff raises are given in March so they run a little under budget the first two months and then slightly over budget on a monthly basis the rest of the year.

Online processing fees look high versus budget as usual but as discussed in previous months are mainly offset with many members/friends giving an extra 3% on their online gifts.  This extra amount is recorded as a non-pledge gift rather than offsetting the online processing expense.

Late and banking fees although small look high.  This is the result of checks mailed to the financial company we lease our copier from not getting our last three payments for two weeks after they are mailed.  I have spoken with them and they are experiencing this mail problem with other customers but won’t remove the late fees.  They don’t accept credit cards so the only other option is to have them do an automatic withdrawal from our bank account which I have been reluctant to do.

The Remembrance Garden account was erroneously charged $900 for the playground mulch.  This will be moved to take the funds from the Memorial fund next month

We have used $12,260 from the Pastors Discretionary Fund so far this year to assist 34 individuals and families in Chatham County with their serious financial issues.  However, members/friends have given Chapel in the Pines $14,610 to this fund so the fund balance has actually increased by about $2,300 to $13,948 since the beginning of the year.

The last of the 2016 Capital Campaign outreach funds were paid out this month and now has a zero balance.  The final amount of $759 was sent to the Central American Relief Fund.


April operating expenses exceeded the monthly operating revenues by about $2,000 thus starting our historical financial pattern of small monthly loses during the final 8 or 9 months of the year.  This pattern gradually reduces the large surplus we experience in the first several months of the year. Our cash flow stands at $371,000+ about $5,000 less than last month but still a very healthy amount of cash on hand to fund operations and other projects.


Committee/Task Force/Actions

Building and Grounds Bruce indicated that in order to align the Manual of Operations with how the committee is functioning, he offered the following motion

Insert in Building and Grounds responsibilities in their component of the Manual of Operations after Monitor and maintain building interior…

          Monitor and maintain fire alarm, ADT system, thermostats, *and* solar electric system

There were very few questions and the motion passed unanimously.

Finance and Administration Paul Bolig drew session’s attention to the Updated Wish List contained in the packet. He asked if there were any questions. Finance and Administration is the keeper of the Wish List and any committee that chooses to update it should send the modifications to Paul.

Mission and Service Andrew let session know that they gave their annual gift to UNC Campus Ministry recently and increased the amount from $1000 to $1500 at Campus Ministry’s request.

Personnel Andrew, in lieu of Greg, drew session’s attention to the Scholarship Award letter in the session packet, and session congratulated Andrew on receiving a full scholarship for his doctoral work. He is considered a Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Doctor of Ministry Merit Scholar.

Christian Education Serena drew session’s attention to the playground covenant written by her committee to lay out clear guidelines for the church’s and those using the playground responsibilities. Session indicated its approval of the covenant.

Serena then offered the following motion:

Move to hire Chris Morgan to the position of Chapel in the Pines Youth Assistant beginning August 1, 2021.  The stipend for this position has already been approved at $500/month.


Andrew was part of the interview and was very impressed with Chris. The compensation will come out of the surplus this year and will be budgeted in for next year. Several elders asked questions about Chris’ qualifications. The motion passed unanimously.


New Business

Marcia drew session’s attention to the new devotion assignment. She asked if anyone had a conflict they could find another elder to switch their times

Ongoing Business

Marcia wanted to make sure that everyone had gone over the description of their committee in the Manual of Operations and gotten any necessary changes to her.

Paul spoke briefly about the May 11 Presbytery meeting, summarizing the actions taken.

Andrew took the floor to thank the outgoing elders: Andrew thanked Barbara Amago for her service. He memorialized Barbara with a limerick. Andrew then recognized Jerry for his service as treasurer, and memorialized him with a limerick and awarded him a plaque of appreciation. The resolution of appreciation reads as follows:


Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church

WHEREAS Gerald Leroy Wehmueller has been a member of Chapel in the Pines since July 2008, and

WHEREAS he has served faithfully as a Ruling Elder from 2010 to 2012, and

WHEREAS he has served faithfully as Treasurer since June 2013, protecting the confidentiality of donors, while investing and spending funds carefully, and

WHEREAS he led in creating annual budgets that met the needs of the church and were within realistic giving expectations, and

WHEREAS he was the leader or co-leader of all three Capital Campaigns that raised $2,000,000 to help pay down the mortgage and build the Fellowship Hall, and

WHEREAS he was deeply involved in the planning and construction of the sanctuary/education building and chaired Fellowship Hall construction committee, insuring that the entire parking lot was paved as part of this process, and

WHEREAS he provided great insight into the financial planning and budgetary needs of Chapel in the Pines, and

WHEREAS he advised and implemented changes to data management, administrative needs such as computer and communication technology, insurance needs, and

WHEREAS he was the catalyst for negotiating with Duke Energy and the county for our installation of a solar array, saving the church thousands of dollars and adding to the church’s green initiative, and

WHEREAS he provided guidance, wisdom and encouragement to his fellow Session members while engaged in the strategic planning for Chapel in the Pines, and

WHEREAS he has served as liturgist and lay reader during worship and a regular in passing the peace during our online worship services, and

WHEREAS he could frequently be found pulling weeds, mowing grass, and watering the grounds, and

WHEREAS the Wehmueller Family has given of their time, talent, and financial resources for more than thirteen years to make Chapel in the Pines a vibrant (and solvent) community in which to worship,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Session of Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church, meeting in its Stated Session Meeting on May 17, 2021, does hereby express its gratitude to God for the service of Gerald Leroy Wehmueller and extends to him our prayers and sincere good wishes for Christ’s peace and joy in his life, now and always.


There being no further business, Andrew closed the meeting with prayer at 9:00PM.

Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

Since the last stated meeting on April 19, 2021, the Lord’s Supper was performed virtually on April 21 and 28 and May 5 and 12. The following new member met with session, Deb Rogers, she will officially join the church on June 20, 2021.  There were no baptisms, weddings or funerals.


Respectfully submitted,


Marcia Ladd,

Clerk of Session

Approved session 6/21/21