May 22 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church

Stated Session Meeting, Monday May 22, 2023 7 PM

Present: Paul Bolig, Tom Crosby, Karen Fisher, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), Jeff Olson, Barbara Strange, Andrew Taylor-Troutman, Sarah Whitney

Guests: Sarah Daniels

Excused Absence: Alex French, Bruce Raymond, Tim White (Treasurer), Serena zum Brunnen

Andrew called the meeting to order at 7PM and asked Jeff to open with the devotion. He asked for prayer concerns, they were shared. Jeff closed the devotion with a prayer. Andrew asked the participants to go around the room and read The Covenant of Presence. Andrew asked for a motion to approve the Consent agenda. Paul moved to approve the Consent Agenda, it was seconded and passed unanimously. Andrew asked for a motion to approve the Agenda. Paul offered a motion to approve it; the motion was seconded and 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

  1. Approval of Session Minutes – Stated Session Meeting 4/24/23, Called Meeting 4/30/23, Email Vote 5/2/23
  2. Approval of Committee Minutes – Building and Grounds 5/16/23, Finance and Administration Minutes 5/18/23, Personnel 5/2/23, Welcome and Membership 5/4/23, Christian Education 5/8/23, Worship 5/11/23
  3. Congregational Meeting 5/14/23
  4. Head of Staff Report, May 2023
  5. Correspondence – Thank you from Sedgefield Presbyterian Church

Head of Staff Report

Andrew asked if there were any questions about his Head of Staff Report. He reported that Nana is doing well, the tumor has not spread. He then summarized the report, indicating Dennis Dalke is steadily improving and Teresa is back at work after her surgery. Attendance of children on Sunday morning is increasing, and the nursery will be moved from the later service to the 9:15 service because that is where the most kids are attending. Music volunteers are working well at the early Sunday service and the Contemplative Service. AV Participation in the Sunday service has increased thanks to JonPaul’s work. The Member Engagement position has been posted several places and applications are being received, it was recently posted at Duke Divinity. June 15 will be the deadline for receipt of applications.

Clerk’s Report

Marcia asked if there were any questions regarding the revised Manual of Operations. Sarah raised the question about the cross offs on the website for this. Tom’s Committee will take a look at this and may come back to session with a suggestion. There was consensus around the table about not wanting the cross offs on the public facing version on the website. Tom will send out a clean copy for everyone to review. Jeff moved to:

Approve revised Manual of Operations May 2023

His motion was seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Marcia then drew session’s attention to the new Devotion schedule for 2023 -2024, and asked the elders if they had a conflict with a scheduled time if they would initiate a switch and let her know.


Andrew told the elders that Personnel had decided to use the definition of full-time employees at 35 hours/week, and asked them to vote on the following motion:

Approve that the revised Personnel Manual would offer benefits to only fulltime, 35 hours/week, employees

The motion was approved unanimously.

Christian Education

In Serena’s absence, Andrew indicated we have hired a Lead Nursery Worker, Bailey Revels, and the staffed nursery will move to the 9:15 service starting June 4 which is also when Bailey will start. This will be announced in several publications and especially in worship. Mt. Zion VBS would like volunteers to help, all ages will participate in the Bible school.  It will be held June 12 – 16.  6:30 – 8:30 PM.  We are advertising this to our congregation. Dinner will be provided every night.  The Theme will be: Faith Builders – Restoration Ahead.  Sandy Williams has volunteered to teach one adult class at the VBS.  The elders were told that the contact person to volunteer is Deacon Sharon Bynum at 919-240-2177.

Welcome and Membership

Karen told the Elders that Welcome and Membership has met with potential new members, and asked session to approve the following motion:

          Move to welcome into the life of Chapel in the Pines as new members Jenn Abbott, Lindsey and Nicholas Byom. Norah Abbott will be baptized at the service when they join on July 2, 2023.

The motion was approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report


2023 continues with a positive Operating Budget result. Expenses continue less than budgeted. POMS construction starts mid-May. Paul asked if there were any questions about Tim’s report.


Total Revenues are $188,493 or 39% of budget, $16,207 more than last year YTD. Pledge receipts are 40% of budget, vs 36% last year and compared to 33% of the calendar year through April. Non-pledge offering is 20%, less than budget. Open Plate Offering is 40%, above budget. Non-Operating Income is 66%, ahead of budget due to interest from higher invested fund balances in early months (balance is now reduced since certain funds were used in March to pay off the mortgage, income from bank credit card “points” and receipt of our last annual PILP mortgage rate reimbursement. Overall we are in a solid income position to-date.


Total Expenses YTD are $136,808, 28% of budget, up from $126,846 last year and lower than 33% of the calendar year. Personnel is 31% with two positions to be filled and April benefits bill paid in May. Typically, our expenses increase in the latter half of the year.

Restricted Accounts:

Pastor’s Discretionary Fund balance is $6,647 with $3,015 contributed and $7,722 outflows YTD. Six families were assisted. Outreach has a $14,025 balance (net of Pastor’s Discretionary) available for Mission & Service. Some restricted funds have short-term negative balances. Deposits were paid in advance to reserve attendance at upcoming conferences or camps. These will be offset later in the year through participants’ reimbursements or funds transferred from related operating budget funds. POMS construction expenses incurred prior to the new loan closing are offset by the Outdoor Ministry Spaces Project funds with the difference to be covered by expected designated contributions.

Balance Sheet:

Our cash balance stands at $251,338, $2,704 higher than last month. Note the new investment account – New Covenant Funds (part of Presbyterian Foundation) – which was opened April 28 for our Endowment funds. Funds are in their Balanced Growth Fund (balance short-term may increase or decrease).

Cash Management:

Operating cashflow is positive and meets expectations year-to-date. We continue to have a meaningful amount (over $200,000) earning interest for future operating budget expenses, restricted obligations and net worth (Operating Budget Reserves). $15,000 will be moved from PILP to Schwab in mid-May for higher interest. A $5,000 or higher balance will be maintained in our PILP savings account for loan payments as needed and to support this Presbyterian financial ministry.

Budget 2023: April revised operating budget figures will be updated in the May financial report.

Looking Ahead: POMS construction is scheduled to start May 15 on the pavilion and gazebo. Initial construction invoices will be submitted to PILP when received so interest-only loan payments will start soon.

Ongoing Business

Paul represented the church at the May 16 Salem Presbytery meeting at North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church. He indicated the following were highlights of the meeting:

  • Reports received from the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic (pg. 5)
  • The Presbyters’ Welcome and Report (pg. 5)
  • The Stated Clerk Report (pg. 10)
  • The El Buen Pastor New Church Development Report (pg. 12)
  • The actions recommended and approved by the Committee on Preparation and Ministry (pg. 32) and the Commission on Ministry pg.33)
  • The approval of Constitutional Amendments (pg. 59) and
  • The Executive Council Reports (pgs. 60,61, and 74)

Karen asked about the location of the 9:15 service. It will be in the side parking lot behind the Fellowship Hall for now. Sarah’s committee is going take a break over the summer. Starting in the fall, the committee wants to have 2 events a month.  There has also been talk about forming smaller dinner groups. Andrew thanked Paul for his service, since he’s going off session after this meeting. There were several prayer requests shared. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:05PM.

New Business

New Members, Baptisms, Memorial Services and Weddings

Since the last session meeting on April 24, 2023, the Sacrament of the Holy Communion was offered once on Sunday May 7, 2023. Five students were confirmed – Casey Howard Brekke, Johnson Montgomery Brekke, Grace Lee McCormack, Madelyn Reynolds Trunnell and Finn Robert Edward Yale on May 21, 2023. Lisa and Patrick Walston joined the church on May 21, 2023. There were no memorial services, baptisms or weddings.


  1. June 26, 2023 is the next Stated Meeting and Marcia Ladd has the devotion
  2. Pray for our church each day at noon