May 9, 2011 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, May 9, 2011, 6:30 p.m. – Douglas Home
Attending: Elders Lynne Hoerter, Marcia Ladd, , Michelle Morehouse, Ed Park, Vicky Raymond, Chuck Rickard, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), and the Rev. Mindy Douglas Adams (Moderator).
Excused: Jack Zollinger (Treasurer), Stephanie Miller.
Guests: Barbra Carson, Edith Dengler, Forrest Johnson, The Rev. Mitzi Lesher-Thomas, Cindy Massey, Susan Pierson, Woody Shearin, Rachel Stevens, John Walkup
The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas Adams at 6:30 p.m. A quorum was present. Mindy welcomed the Deacon representative, Edith Dengler, and Mitzi Lesher-Thomas. She also welcomed the newly-elected (but yet to be installed) Elders Forrest Johnson, Cindy Massey, Rachel Stevens and John Walkup and Deacons Barbra Carson, Susan Pierson, and Woody Shearin. She explained that Forrest has been elected to fill an unexpired two-year term and all of the others will be serving three-year terms in office. Mindy also reported that three Elders will have completed their terms at the end of the meeting. She thanked Ed Park and Chuck Rickard and also Stephanie Miller in absentia for their service on the Session and the thoughtful caring leadership they provided.
Lynne led the opening devotion and prayer using Acts 20:1-6 as a text for Word-Share-Prayer.
Approval of Agenda. One correction was made to the agenda which was approved by common consent.
Concerns and Celebrations. Concerns and celebrations were shared.
Examination of Officers. Mindy invited each newly-elected Elder and Deacon to share some of his or her faith journey and to tell one thing learned during officer training that was new or surprising or how he or she expects to use God’s gifts in service to the church. After each person had spoken, Mindy asked the Session if there were any questions. Hearing none, Lynne moved that these individuals be approved for ordination and/or installation. Marcia seconded the motion which passed unanimously. Mindy explained that everyone except John Walkup will be ordained and that all seven will be installed during worship on May 15. She further explained the Stated Session meetings are on the second Monday of the month and Deacons meet every-other month on the third Monday. She further explained that the Clerk of Session and the Treasurer regularly attend Session meetings although neither is currently actively serving on the Session. She invited any of the new people to stay but said they were free to go if they needed to leave.
Approval of Minutes. The minutes of the Stated Session meeting of April 11, 2011, and the Called meeting on May 8, 2011, were approved by common consent.
Correspondence. There was no correspondence to share.
Pastor’s Report. Mindy reported that she will begin her sabbatical on Saturday, May 27. She will work in the office during the week but will not be in worship May 29. The Session has previously approved substitute preachers through the summer; Mitzi and Fran Olson have organized pastoral care teams. Mindy reported that Amendment 10-A to the Book of Order is expected to reach the required 87 Presbytery approvals soon and a gathering to celebrate this milestone is planned. The Covenant Network is planning its national annual meeting to be held in Durham in November 2011. Some members of our congregation are already involved in the planning and others will be recruited in the weeks ahead. The focus of the meeting will be on reconciliation.
Treasurer’s Report. In Jack’s absence, the report was deferred until the Fiduciary Quadrant report.
Outreach. Michelle reported that an offering received at the Hunger Awareness event in April was divided among all of the agencies involved and produced nearly $200 for Take and Eat.
A discussion followed regarding the recent difficulty in recruiting new leadership for several church programs including a new chair for Outreach, members for the Communications committee, and others. Several thoughts were shared: we need to continue to grow so that new leaders will be brought in; we need to remember what discipleship really means; solutions are needed in the area of meeting times (working vs. no-night-meeting members); consider cutting back on the number of activities we are doing. It was agreed that casting a vision rather than recruiting-to-task is a better way of establishing strong leadership. Mindy asked the Session to reflect, pray, read Scripture, and think about this congregational challenge.
Ed reported that the Wednesday Night Bible Study will take a summer break.
Jerry distributed the Balance Sheet and Report of Revenues and Expenses through April 30. Cash flow is good. The first 2 Sundays of May were very strong for revenues. Following some discussion about specific expenditures, Lynne moved that we not renew the Yellow Pages ad at the end of the current contract. Michelle seconded the motion which passed without dissent. Mary Donna agreed to communicate this decision to the Office Manager. Jerry reported that a new three-month contract is in the works to carry us through June/July/August. We will be renting only one classroom which should help with expenses. Reponses to the recent letter sent to Capital Campaign donors regarding the 10% tithe for Outreach are coming in. Janet Askew will compile the results.
Vicky said everything is going well. About 10 people will attend this year’s Montreat Music and Worship Conference.
Building Planning Committee Report. Lynne reported that work on erosion control and bio retention ponds is underway and some trees are being taken down. Jerry and Lynne are traveling to Floyd, VA, to visit Dreaming Creek, the company that is providing the timber framing for construction. A final draft of the contact with CT Wilson (which is based on the standard American Institute of Architects’ contract) was distributed just prior to the meeting. Lynne, Don Rorke, Bruce Raymond, and attorney Guido deMaere have all carefully reviewed the contract and negotiated terms with CT Wilson’s representative. Lynne said the work being done currently is under a "Letter of Intent" which we have with the contractor. She pointed out that June 19 is the deadline for a decision on whether to add the recently-removed classrooms back to the plans. That decision will largely depend on the level of savings we might enjoy in the early phases of construction and site work. Jerry moved that the Session approve the contract and Ed seconded the motion. After some discussion, the Session voted unanimously to approve the contract. Marcia, as President of the Corporation, will sign the final contract after carefully reading it through. Should she see anything in the final version that is of concern, a called Session meeting will be held to consider those concerns. Otherwise, she will sign the contract and bring it to the office for CT Wilson’s representative to pick up. On behalf of the Session, Mindy expressed gratitude to Bruce Raymond, Don Rorke, and Lynne Hoerter for their hard work.
Jerry reported that the loan rate has dropped ¼ % to 4.58% which will result in some savings over the life of the loan. As soon as the contract is signed, the next steps in the loan process can proceed.
OLD BUSINESS – None.
Elder Representative to Deacon Meeting. Marcia Ladd agreed to represent the Session at the May 16 meeting of the Deacons.
Presbytery Commissioner. Vicky Raymond agreed to serve as Commissioner at the July 19 meeting of Salem Presbytery.
The next Stated Session meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 13, 2011, at the Douglas home in Briar Chapel. Mitzi Lesher-Thomas will serve as moderator.
Following prayer, the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
Mary Donna Pond, Clerk
Approved by Session June 13, 2011