May 18, 2020 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting May 18, 2020 7 PM
Present: Barbara Amago, Stan Campbell, Pat Chappell, Keith Glidewell, Paul Harrell, Paul Isom, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), John McDowell, Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer)
Incoming Elders: Greg Behr, Paul Bolig, Jennifer Larson
Andrew called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM, with a word of welcome. Bruce Raymond opened with a devotion and prayer. Concerns and celebrations were shared.
Andrew asked for motions on the agenda. Pat Chappell moved to approve the agenda, it was seconded and approved unanimously. Stan moved to approve the consent agenda, it was seconded and unanimously approved.
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 virtually 4/15/2020, Email vote 4/29/2020
- Approval of Committee Minutes – May Finance and Administration, Building and Grounds 5/5/2020, Christian Education 4/27/2020, Mission and Service 4/26/2020
Correspondence – Prayer for CitP’s wellbeing during the pandemic; Lilly Endowment Application; Thank you from Salem Presbytery, Habitat for Humanity and Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina; email of Shirley Lindley’s passing
Pastor’s Report. Andrew indicated that opening the church will not be a one and done occurrence, but rather a soft re-opening in phases. Looking much like the soft re-opening of the country. He would like the church to move ahead with an evening vesper service starting on June 21. Unfortunately livestreaming will not be possible because of the church’s band width, we will, however, be doing professional level videos, the bids for which have come in right on budget for this capability. He asked the elders to volunteer to record a passing of the peace for this Sunday.
Andrew wanted the elders to focus on the vesper service.
- Pat asked about too many people showing up and how do we deal with that. She also suggested that Bruce make marks in the parking lot.
- Bruce thought chalk could be used for marking the parking lot, and to divide attendees for services by neighborhoods.
- Paul Harrell asked about doing the services by neighborhood.
- Andrew said we need extra masks for visitors, he liked the idea of marking on the parking lot. He suggested we need to have ushers to direct the attendees and monitor the flow.
- John McDowell wondered if we should have children in attendance at the service. Andrew said he would have a start time of 7:30 and thought that might self-select families with children.
- Greg suggested we have it at a larger venue on grass.
- Mary thought our parking lot is pretty large. The worship leader will need a microphone. She wondered what we would do about ushers. We will not be passing baskets.
- Jennifer said she thought it important for people to feel welcomed, she does not think turning people away from a church is a good idea. She was in favor of a phased opening. She also thought if parents understood the concern about kids coming to the service, there may not be much or any child attendance
- Marcia indicated that there are some people who can’t park in the gravel lot, Andrew thought the left side concrete lot could accommodate those folks.
- Stan wondered who would want to count the money in baskets, he suggested they should talk about text to give during the service as an alternative.
- Addressing the issue of decreasing views of the recorded service, Paul Isom thought that perhaps when we first started we were ahead of most churches and now there is “competition” out there.
- Keith indicated Judea Reform does a live zoom. Andrew said zoom might be difficult, maybe it could be a platform if the weather is bad. Paul Harrell said at Pittsboro Presbyterian they are doing a combination, video for the service, zoom for passing of the peace and concerns and celebrations. Mary asked if there would be a way to do zoom with breakout groups. She thought perhaps having something more participatory might encourage people to participate at the designated time. Andrew likes the interactive idea. Keith can be the zoom jockey so Andrew can worry about the message and Keith can get the technology set up.
- Keith asked if there was something that could be done to bring the kids in, the consensus was probably not.
Andrew asked for a motion to tentatively move into vespers on the 21st of June. Mary
moved that we move to start vesper services on June 21, 2020.
It was seconded. Pat asked if this was contingent upon us having moved into Phase 3. Andrew said he would want it to be tied to the phasing. The motion was amended by Mary to read
To work toward having a vesper service the first Sunday after Phase after phase 3 comes into effect in North Carolina
The motion passed unanimously. Andrew also welcomed the new elders and said farewell to those going off session. He offered limericks for those who are leaving.
April revenues were about on plan for the month with lack of open plate giving more than made up by stronger than normal non-pledge giving. Personal non-pledge giving of $6,472 was composed of gifts from 11 members and friends. Four were members who had not pledged and gave $450 while 7 were non-members who gave $6,022. Two of those gifts totaled $5,000 which were probably one time gifts.
Pledged revenue is running about historically what we see this year in the first four months. Will we make budget in pledged revenue for the year? Probably.
As you would expect the operational expenses were below plan in April. Personnel expenses were right on budget. The variable administrative expenses such as printing, office supplies, etc were below plan. Utility expenses look high but represent two months payments and not just April.
Every three years our mortgage interest rate is subject to revision in May. 2020 is the third year and it will stay the same $5,732 per month until May 2023.
Cash on hand for April was $333,141 which was also exactly what it was in March in spite of operating expenses exceeding monthly revenues by $1,002 and making a mortgage payment mostly from a restricted account. That shortfall was pretty much made up by a one-time memorial gift (not for R. Greene) of $5,000.
Marcia turned session’s attention to the Committee Matrix and Manual of Operations asking that each elder review their committee and their portion of the Manual of Operations and make any changes that need to be made in advance of the new elders coming on to session. The devotions have been assigned for the coming year and are in the packet. If an elder cannot give the devotion on your assigned time, they are asked to find their own replacement. Marcia offered a mea culpa indicating that when changes to the annual report were suggested, rather than send those changes back to their respective committees she just had session vote on the changes, the committees should have seen them first. Finally, we received a hand written letter today from the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC, it is in the correspondence please take a chance to read it, it will warm your heart.
Finance and Administration
Stan brought three motions to the meeting. The first Paul Bolig talked about that although we are doing well on the finance side, we do not know what the finances will look like in the fall and winter. The other reason for the motion is having worship inside with 150 people will be a long way away, probably until there is a vaccine. The need for the additional lot will not be until that happens. Bruce indicated we do have a set of drawings that have been submitted to the county. Bruce reached out to the Building and Grounds committee and they are in agreement with this motion. The contract cost for the new lot came in ~$20,000. Mary wondered if the paved space is going to become our worship space perhaps we should add the other parking lot, she also thought once things opened up it might be a problem to get workers. Bruce doesn’t think it will be a problem of scheduling to get the lot built once we are back into the 100 people inside in worship. The motion is as follows
that the construction of the additional gravel lot be postponed until more information is known about the re-opening schedule for Sunday worship services.
After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously. The second motionwas
to match a $3,000 gift from a donor that is restricted for the livestreaming project with up to $3,000 from the Memorial Gift Fund so that Andrew can move forward with up to $6,000, if needed, to finalize the project.
Andrew described why he needs this and that the bids have come in on budget. From his team’s work, it looks like the bid will come in at ~$5,000. Pat asked if the sound system for outside services had been factored into that, they have not. Andrew feels it should be a topic for the June 6 retreat.
Stan talked about the help Tim White has been with the church’s insurance. Tim got an inventory done of the church contents which lead to this motion. Bruce indicated that the inventory list is comprehensive and that it needs to reside somewhere for updating and maintaining. Stan thought Finance and Administration would be the likely candidate for that role. Jerry indicated since the Treasurer knows when things are purchased that is where the inventory belongs. Marcia will see where that should reside in the Manual of Operations and send it out for a session email vote.
Recommended for the insurance policy a contents inventory with a limit of $235,000 vs current $351,000.
Stan explained that this had come up as a result of Tim White looking into our insurance. The motion passed unanimously. He also called the elders’ attention to the check list we asked for from our insurance company containing guidelines for opening up.
Building and Grounds
Bruce indicated that when we got the grill it resided in the Memorial Garden, it has been moved to the side of the Education Wing. Christian Education “owns” the grill, use needs to go through them.
- Update on June Retreat our retreat on June 6, 9AM – Noon, via zoom will focus on how we care for members of the congregation and greater community. The elders will answer the questions he sent earlier and have the written answers to the clerk so she can disseminate them ahead of the retreat. Outgoing and incoming elders should all attend.
- Andrew held 2 trainings for the new elders, they are going well and Andrew is enjoying working with them.
- Andrew is anticipating long term visioning by the elders later in the fall, but the path of the corona virus could impact that.
Andrew asked Paul Harrell to present the following motion
That the session of Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church send a written note of condolence to the Lindley family and make a $100 memorial donation in her honor to the designee of her choice
Paul explained that the Lindleys, lifelong members of Pittsboro Presbyterian Church, sold us our land at a reduced cost that really helped get us started. The motion passed unanimously.
Paul Harrell will get Marcia the name and address of the family to whom the letter should be sent. Paul is going to have the monies come from Mission and Service. The motion passed unanimously. Paul indicated that the local portion of the Pentecost offering will go to Communities in Schools. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned with a prayer by Andrew at 8:30 PM.
Lord’s Supper, Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals
Since the last meeting on April 20, the Lord’s Supper was not performed. There were no new members, baptisms or weddings. There was a family service in the Memorial Garden after the untimely death of Ron Greene.
Marcia Ladd, Clerk
Approved Session 6/15/2020