May 23, 2022 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting May 23, 2022 7 PM
Present: Paul Bolig, Tom Crosby, Keith Glidewell, Paul Isom, Marcia Ladd (Clerk)l, Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky (Moderator), Tim White, (Treasurer), Sarah Whitney, Serena Zum Brunnen
Visitors: Karen Fisher, Cynthia Hilliard, Jeff Olson
Excused Absence: Andrew Taylor-Troutman
Mary opened the meeting at 7 PM. Mary offered a devotion, Mary asked for prayer requests, they were offered and she closed with a prayer. Mary asked the Elders to go around the room and read the Covenant of Presence. Mary asked for a motion to accept the Agenda and Consent Agenda. It was offered by Paul Bolig and seconded. It 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
- Approval of Session minutes – Stated Meeting Minutes 4/18/22, Email Vote 4/22/22
- Approval of Committee Minutes – Christian Education 4/11/22 and 5/9/22, Mission and Service 4/24/22, Deacons 5/2/22, Membership 5/3/22, Building and Grounds 5/10/22, Personnel 5/10/22, More Light 5/12/22, Worship May 5/19/22
- Staff Meeting Minutes 4/24/22, 5/15/22
- Staff Evaluations – Janet Askew 4/20/22
- Correspondence – Prayers from Salem Presbytery, Thank yous from Disaster Relief Fund and CORA, CEDEPCA newsletter, Request for Funds from Directed Mission Support
Mary asked if there were particular questions about Andrew’s Head of Staff Report. There were none
Finance and Administration
Paul Bolig indicated his Committee had looked at the Manual of Operations and proposed the following changes, asking session to approve their motion
Finance and Administration is recommending the following changes to the Manual of Operations
Operating Budget. Most revenue is raised via pledges made during the annual stewardship campaign to cover operating expenses. Once the campaign concludes each year, the Finance and Administration Committee (F&A) is responsible for recommending to Session a budget for both revenue and operating expenses. This budget is informed by committee input provided during the 4th 3rd quarter of each fiscal year that outlines each committee’s suggestions for expenses. Once the budget is approved by Session (usually in January), each church committee is responsible for managing its expenses to its expense budget. The committees have the authority to spend approved funds without further requests or approval from Session. If the committee needs to spend more than what was approved in the annual budget, it must first get approval from Session.
The motion was approved unanimously. Paul then offered his Committee’s second motion on the Manual of Operations
Undesignated Gifts Occasionally CITP will receive a gift from a member, friend, or organization that is outside the normal pledging process and is not on the Wish List. These gifts usually come with a description of how the gift should be used. gifts of cash without such a description are placed in the restricted Memorial Gifts Fund (approved by Session December 2021). An undesignated gift from a member, friend, or organization that is outside the normal pledging process will be designated to the operating budget. Gifts and donations that are given in remembrance of someone who has died, with no specific direction of use, will be placed in the restricted Memorial Gifts fund.
Jeff asked how Restricted Memorial Gifts are spent. Tim indicated it was at discretion of session. Tim is working with incoming chairs to help them understand how to use these funds. The motion passed unanimously.
Paul then offered a motion scheduling 2023 Stated Meetings coming from him personally
In 2023, Session will meet on the third Monday of each month with the exception of January when it will meet on January 23 (4th Monday), May when it will meet on May 22, and October when it will meet on October 23 (4th Monday).
Serena seconded Paul’s motion. Paul offered the following rationale in support of this change. If the first Monday of the month falls on the 1st or 2nd day of the month (this happens three times in 2023), the third Monday falls on the 15th or 16th day of the month. This results in the Finance and Administration Committee meeting on the 11th or 12th day of the month and this is particularly problematic for Janet Askew (the CITP Accountant) to have the financial reports ready by that early in the month.
Bruce offered the following friendly amendment that was accepted by Paul and Serena.
Whenever the 1st or 2nd of a month falls on a Monday, session will meet on the 4th Monday of that month
After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Paul then offered the following motion
The Finance & Administration Committee recommends to the Session that current positions not considered employees be moved to employee status as of June 1, 2022. The positions affected are the Nursery Staff and Video Production Services Staff.
He indicated that from his perspective, there have been ongoing discussion of appropriate categorization. It is recommended by our bookkeeper that all current employees are W-2 employees. Personnel Policy as respects part time staff includes social security participation. (See Section II Working Hours and Employee Status E. Part Time Staff). The financial effect on the budget is approximately $620 to year-end for FICA for these positions which can be accommodated by the current budget’s unallocated amount. The impact for a full year will be around $1000. Unallocated budget funds are currently $1,939 ($2,581 “Net Operating Total” shown at the end of the Operating Budget minus $642 increase to Pastor’s Professional Reimbursement (PPR) 501050 as discussed in March and to be allocated to the PPR budget line).
After several people indicated this is consistent with the law. Paul asked to defer the motion to the June Stated Meeting. He philosophically doesn’t think Finance and Administration should make this decision without including Personnel in the decision making process. Delaying it gives Personnel time to discuss it. Mary suggested it is better to withdraw the motion and offer it next month. Bruce felt we needed to vote on the motion tonight because it’s a matter of legality. Paul Isom is comfortable with introducing the motion tonight because Personnel has discussed and is in favor of this move. Based on that, Paul Bolig feels like he is fine with introducing it tonight. The motion passed unanimously.
Paul Bolig asked session to approve the following motion
The Finance and Administration Committee makes a recommendation to Session that it approve a $1,000 scholarship support for CITP member Sarah Daniels to the Duke Divinity School.
Paul said the rationale for this proposal is that Sarah Daniels, will enroll as a full-time M.Div. student at Duke this fall. This support by CITP will be matched by Duke with a $1,000 “Celebrating God’s Call” scholarship. Sarah hopes that our congregation will serve as her home church to sponsor her ordination through the Salem Presbytery. This support is not merely financial. However, this is a good scholarship opportunity and would make a good faith gesture. The monies would come out of the surplus. After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Paul asked session to vote on the following motion
The Finance & Administration Committee recommends to the Session that $1,336.37 be transferred from restricted fund Memorial Gifts 810280 to restricted fund Outdoor Signage 810252 so expenses are balanced by income and fund balance is zero.
Background: The sign is completed and all expenses have been submitted so the Outdoor Signage restricted fund can be closed. We are blessed that the majority of the fund’s costs were provided by a donor. The $1,336.37 is 10.4% of the total cost which is a small direct cost to the CITP for the sign’s many future benefits. Memorial Gifts is an appropriate source for one-time expense of a new and permanent sign.
The motion passed unanimously.
The Finance & Administration Committee recommends to the Session that the Beverly Chapin estate gift to Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church PCUSA of $18,226.30 be placed in the Outdoor Ministry Spaces Project restricted account (POMS) 812304.
Background: The Chapin family supported Mrs. Chapin’s strong interest in the POMS project. The $18,226.30 to be received in May as well as $128.10 received in April will greatly benefit POMS funding. At this time POMS construction pledges are over $227,000 with an updated estimate of construction expenses of $255,000. Expenses could rise as more details about the construction estimates are known. The gifts will assist meaningfully in getting closer to the expense estimate. There were no restrictions to the gifts communicated by the family, attorney or financial institutions.
The motion passed unanimously.
Marcia wanted to thank Mary and Keith for their service on session as they are rotating off as active elders.
Marcia thanked everyone who sent in updates to their Manual of Operations section. She will send them to Nana and Mary Donna to be incorporated into the Manual. She offered the following motion on session email votes
- Session agrees to make the following change to the Session Email vote description
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church Email Voting Motion: The Session may use email voting in situations where a decision is required before the next session meeting subject to the following rules and procedures:
- Members must keep the clerk informed of their current, working email address. Email votes will only be allowed on subjects that session has already debated during an in person meeting
- All email vote requests should come from the clerk only. All votes go back to the clerk only. The use of “Reply All” is discouraged, but a member can ask the clerk to copy their response to all other members.
- If the clerk is unavailable, then the emails should come from / go back to a designated person.
- The subject of the email should include Email votes will only be allowed on subjects that session has already debated during an in person meeting
- Emails requesting a vote must contain any and all supporting documents. These documents must be in a form readable by all members (e.g. PDF or text format; no Word documents, MAC only documents, etc.). Spreadsheets must be produced in a version accessible by all, or converted to CSV format. Google Drive may be a good way to share the necessary supporting documents.
- If a member has a question regarding the issue to be voted on, then the answer to the question must be shared with all other members.
- All email vote requests must ask for and get an explicit response to be valid. No email vote requests asking only for a dissenting vote will be valid.
- All members shall have at least and at most 2 days to respond.
- Some members may need a phone call or text to advise them to look at their email.
- If a member does not use email, the clerk (or alternate) will call that member to advise them of the vote. The member can then call back with their vote.
- A quorum of the session is required for an email vote outcome to be valid.
- No question can be put to an email vote if any one member has an objection.
- Any decision made by email must be made part of the consent agenda for the next regular session meeting. No separate second vote on the decision will be allowed
Approved by the Session June 10, 2013
Essentially it specifies what types of items may come up for an email vote. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
She then offered the following motion
- Approve re-scheduling the June Stated Meeting to June 27, 2022
This needs to take place so Andrew will not miss two meetings in a row. It was seconded and passed unanimously.
She drew the elders’ attention to the devotion assignments in the pre-session packet and asked that if anyone had a conflict, they switch with someone else.
Finally, she turned to Cynthia and asked Worship to take a look at how we are handling security since we are back in the building, and after that has been determined if Cynthia would bring that back to session, probably in the form of a motion. It may eventually need to be rolled into the Usher/Greeter/Elder- Deacon in the Narthex Duties over which her committee has primary purview.
April represents the 4th month or 33% of our year. Total revenues YTD of $172,486 were 35% of budget. Total expenses of $132,980 YTD were 27% of the expense budget. Total revenues YTD were higher than expenses by $39,506. April revenues were higher than expenses by $6,914.
YTD total operating revenues were $172,486 vs last year of $192,612. Pledge income YTD was $158,018 or $18,542 below last April YTD ($176,560). Pledge income for April MTD was $40,766 or $14,085 above last April MTD ($26,681). Non-pledge revenue YTD was $10,669 or 21% of budget YTD below last April YTD by $1,681. Non-Operating Income “Other interest/rebates” consists of PILP rebates ($3,142) and PILP quarterly interest ($491).
Total Expenses YTD were $132,980 vs $118,238 last year. April MTD expenses were $37,849 vs. $41,000 “monthly non-seasonal average” vs $32,489 last April. Total Personnel expenses YTD were 31% of budget.
Our cash balance stands at $447,051, $4,160 more than last month and $75,674 higher than last April. The increase is affected meaningfully by the POMS paid pledges to-date. Total Liabilities are $547,949 essentially our mortgage balance of $544,905 with minimal Current Liabilities.
Serena said her team had looked at the Manual of Operations and proposed the following motion
Christian Education moves the following changes to the CE section of the Manual of Operations
The Christian Education Committee coordinates the flexible and varied educational opportunities for children, youth, and adults in conjunction with children’s and youth staff.
- Coordinating and ensuring sound theological curriculum for adult programming
- Inviting and encouraging participation in classes, discussion and study groups
- Communicating activities and study series to congregation
- Asking Participants in adult education classes to reimburse the church for study materials. Materials will be ordered and reimbursements collected by the Office Manager. The church will pay for the materials for anyone unable to afford them.
Children’s and Youth Education*
*Note about Children and Youth Protection and Care:
Volunteers and staff working with children and youth are required to comply with the Child Youth Protection Policy (click here for policy statement).
CITP is responsible for our volunteer and staff member’s background checks, job training, Child Youth Protection Policy training and child sexual abuse prevention training. CITP will work with the Pastor, Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries, Personnel Committee and Finance & Administration Committee when hiring staff.
- Arranging and coordinating paid and volunteer nursery responsibilities for infants from birth through age 4 (approved by Session September 2019) on Sunday mornings or at other times as requested by the pastor or session
- Providing in-worship faith formation opportunities for children ages 3+
- Facilitating for Time for Young Disciples during each worship service
- Facilitating Sacred Art Time
- Providing additional faith formation opportunities for children on an as needed basis
- Providing opportunities for youth to engage in faith formation including
- Youth group opportunities Confirmation education
- Camp or service experiences outside of the church
- Providing additional faith formation opportunities
Basically, the changes reflect existing practice and call actions into focus. After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Keith indicated his Committee had met with several potential members and offers the following motion
To receive Rachel and Jim Harshaw and Ryan Bonenburger into membership in the church with exuberance and ask Session to approve them.
After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Mission and Service
Jeff indicated we’ve received a request for using our parking lot to sell native plants, the requester is running a for profit business and needs the income. The use of native plants is an Earth Care issue and that team is very much in favor of using our grounds for that purpose. Jeff suggested maybe the owner could donate some native plants for the church’s landscaping. Bruce indicated that we are already planting native plants. The Building Use Policy does not want to break the precedent in our policy by hosting a for profit business on church property. Bruce thinks we should go back to the Task Force that came up with the process for accepting a building use application and enshrine that process in the policy. Jeff is going to take this request back to Mission and Service and re-visit it later. Jeff would like to be on that Task Force enshrining the Building Use Process, Bruce thinks including Jeff on that Task Force is just fine. To be clear, the consensus was not to allow the native plant sale on church property.
Mary indicated that her Committee wanted to tweak the starting time for the early worship service in an attempt to increase attendance and offered the following motion for session approval
Starting June 5, approve moving the early Sunday worship to 9:15AM and
entitling it the Chapel Service with the goal of increasing attendance. The service will be approximately 45 minutes long.
There was a drop off in attendance when the service was moved back to 9 from 9:30. There was discussion that we are perhaps changing times too frequently. Sarah thinks we are being a bit “too nimble.” Karen suggested call the new time “summer hours.” Mary suggested several Worship Committee members should go to the early service to glean a better understanding of that service. The motion passed with one objection and one abstention.
Mary indicated that Andrew had asked for a guest preacher on June 19, and asked session to
Approve Dr. Tony Hoshaw to preach on June 19, 2022
After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Mary also offered the following motion from her Committee
Bring back the Elder/Deacon in the Narthex for the 11AM Sunday worship service starting June 2022
The motion passed unanimously. Mary also indicated the Committee had decided to start handing out bulletins in an effort to greet attendees and also pass the baskets for the offerings at both services. Worship will also reinstate the information in the back of the pews.
Paul attended the recent Salem Presbytery meeting and offered the following report
Several reports were given, and actions taken, in the meeting including:
- Presbytery dedicated and commissioned seven (7) delegates to the 225th session of the General Assembly.
- A report from the Hunger Committee indicated that, despite the effect of COVID on our congregations, the Pennies for Hunger program continues to be successful.
- Funds in the account increased to over $95,000.
- The program was able to expand its domestic ministries donating over $25,000 to various organizations located within the geographic boundaries of the Salem Presbytery.
- Increased its financial support of a project in Kenya from $20,000 to $30,000 resulting in food support for 150 orphans, an increase of fifty (50) children.
- Started a new project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to hosting chicken farms, the program now supports hosting nutrition farms at five (5) different sites providing food support for three hundred (300) orphans.
- A report from the Designated Presbyter, Jodi Lingan, whose role is to “partner with churches who are serving without installed leadership in order to grow healthy and vibrant ministries of love and justice.” I was shocked to discover that this group is comprised of seventy-two (72) churches in our Presbytery or over half of our faith communities.
- Six (6) new individuals were welcomed into the membership of Salem Presbytery. This included four (4) individuals who are honorably retired Presbyterian Pastors, one individual who will be enrolled at the time of her ordination, and one who is joining one of our churches as an interim Pastor.
- Individuals were encouraged to volunteer to be a part of a Presbytery Committee. A list of those committees will be forwarded to members of Session by me.
- On the occasion of his retirement, celebrated and gave thanks for the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Ronald Lowell Shive
- The budget and Finance Committee provided a report on the current fiscal condition of the Salem Presbytery. This report included the following information:
- The investment account is down $56,000 for the quarter and has been hit hard by market fluctuations.
- Fifty-seven (57) pledges (totaling $526,076) have been made by member churches during the first quarter. This compares to fifty-one pledges totaling $450,826 in the first quarter of 2021.
- The first quarter General Fund Revenue is approximately $11,800 higher than anticipated.
- The first quarter General Fund Expenses are approximately $12,900 less than anticipated.
The most controversial topic of the evening was the Race and Equity proposal from the Peace and Justice Task Force which was approved by the Presbytery. I will forward a copy of that report and proposal to you. Key elements of the proposal include:
- The Salem Presbytery will provide annual Racial Equity training
- The training will be required once every three years for the following individuals:
- Pastors of congregations or those otherwise engaged in a validated ministry within the Salem Presbytery.
- Commissioned Ruling Elders serving a congregation.
- Certified Christian Educators.
- Salem Presbytery Members-At-Large; and
- Presbytery Staff
- Racial Equity training will be provided at least once per year.
- All individuals, mentioned above, have three years to complete the training.
- All individuals, mentioned above, who enter the Salem Presbytery in the future will be required to complete the training within one year of date of hire/start of call.
- This policy is to be written into the terms of call of all who serve within the bounds of Salem Presbytery.
The next Presbytery Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, September 10 and will, hopefully, be held in person at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, NC.
Paul offered the following change to the Manual of Operations about session meetings. Essentially it means that only 5 days notice is needed if someone wants to speak at a session meeting, that notice is not required just to attend.
Session meetings are to be regarded as open meetings. Members or friends of the congregation who wish to attend
speak at the meeting should notify the moderator or clerk at least 5 days prior to the scheduled meeting. Prior notification of attendance is appreciated, but not required. Session may close any parts of a designated meeting in which case the guests would be asked to leave. Should a guest wish to address session, they need to secure an invitation from the moderator at least 5 days in advance of the meeting. (Approved by session 11/16/15)
The motion was seconded. There was minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Cynthia asked if there was a limit to how long elders could speak. It is not currently addressed in the policy. Sarah asked if there needs to be an amendment about sending a representative from their committee to a meeting. There was no general consensus on that question
Paul asked for questions on the POMs report, there were no questions.
Bruce talked about volunteering and what a problem it is. CitP is experiencing difficulty in obtaining volunteers to support the many tasks that make a church function well. Areas such as ushers and greeters for Sunday services has for some time been problematic. Instituting two Sunday morning Worship services and the pandemic have only made the situation worse. The lack of a volunteer pool spreads across all areas of the church; Building and Grounds work days has had fewer volunteers; Communion preparation, lay readers, choir, Sunday service flowers and many other functions have all been particularly difficult to fill. CitP, similar to all churches, relies heavily on volunteers to run smoothly and efficiently. As Paul Nixon noted in his recent report this issue is also becoming multigenerational. The old guard that excitingly started the church is getting older and the new families, as is so common, are very busy with their lives, thus compounding the difficulties.
During the recent Session retreat Jeff Olson noted that one way we can get people excited about serving the church is to find out what excites someone about our church. We all have things that excite us about our church. We need to discover this about each other and help each other to find those volunteer opportunities that make a match. What was also pointed out during the retreat that trying to get people to commit to a task can be off putting. Several times during the retreat it was pointed out that Committee has the word “commit” in it. Some people will be willing to commit to an on-going task while others will not. Bruce distributed forms for each Committee to use to identify what volunteer opportunities they have and Bruce will serve as a clearing house for this information. Andrew will be meeting with Paul Nixon to determine how we match opportunities and people. Jeff added that we be careful about asking people to join a community and not a committee. Tom indicated that when he held the Committee Fair he distinguished between one time sign ups and ongoing opportunities. It was also pointed out that streamlining tasks where possible and keeping tasks simple will likely yield higher volunteer results.
Sarah indicated that her team is trying hard to make Fellowship work. After this weekend they will offer light snacks after each service. There being no further business, Mary adjourned the meeting with a prayer at 9PM.
New Members, Baptisms, Memorial Services and Weddings
Since the last session meeting on April 18, 2022, we received Alex and Kat French and children on 5/8/22 and Rachel and Jim Harshaw and Ryan Bonenburger joining June 12. There were no baptisms, memorial services or weddings. Communion was served on May 1, 2022.
Clerk of Session
Approved Session 6/27/22