November 12, 2012 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting: November 12, 2012 – Adult Classroom

Attending: Ruling Elders Lynne Hoerter, Forrest Johnson, Cindy Massey, Rachel Stevens, Jeff Morehouse, Tina Stark, John Walkup, Bob Warren, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), and Teaching Elder Rev. Mindy Douglas (Moderator). Guest: Jan Rickard.


The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas at 7:00 p.m. John Walkup led the opening devotional, beginning with prayer and challenging the Session to stay on point.

Pastoral concerns were shared.

Special Order Remembrance Garden Request.  Jan Rickard brought four forms for Session approval relating to the Remembrance Garden:  Request for Interment in Remembrance Garden, Request to Sell Purchased Columbarium Niche Back to Chapel in the Pines, Columbarium Niche Contract of Sale from Owner to Church, and Inscription Application for Remembrance Garden Memorial Plaque.  She briefly described the need for each form and responded to questions.  She also said that although the work in the garden will likely not be complete until January, a dedication service is being planned for December 9.  John called the question and the forms were approved.

Leadership Development.  Rachel concluded her presentation on generative boards and the characteristics of boards.  She will compile all of the characteristics and circulate them to the Session for further study, consideration, and possible adoption.  Bob suggested using Stanley Ott’s book annually during officer training.

Approval of Agenda and Consent Agenda:  Items approved on the consent agenda were:

  • Minutes of the Stated Session Meeting October 8, 2012 and the Called Session meeting of October 14, 2012
  • Minutes of the September 27 Outreach Committee meeting and the October 16 Building and Grounds Committee meeting
  • Thank you letters from Circles Chatham and the Presbyterian World Mission

The Meeting Agenda was approved following the removal of a Building and Grounds Committee report and addition of a Worship Committee report.

Pastors Report.  Mindy celebrated the variety of worship services and mission activities in recent weeks:  Presbyterian Campus Ministry Sunday, World Communion Sunday, World Hunger focus, All Saints’ Day.  She also celebrated having so many pastors among our congregation and how she has enjoyed including them in worship leadership.  She circulated a copy of Presbyerians Today in which her article, "Rethinking Leadership," was the cover article.


FABS Committee.  Jerry asked if there were questions about the monthly financial reports.  He briefly reviewed projections for end-of-year 2012 and a report on the Building Fund.  He is optimistic that we will need to draw no more than $16,500 from reserves.  Costs associated with securing the bio-retention ponds have eroded some of the Building Fund.  The Endowment Committee of University Presbyterian Church will recommend to the Session at its December meeting to grant us $4,500 toward those costs.  Mindy asked the Clerk to be prepared to write a letter of thanks to the UPC Session after this occurs.

Worship.  John began his report by sharing an insight he gained at the recent Presbytery meeting:  change needs to start with education.  He realizes that if Chapel in the Pines is to serve communion weekly during worship, the Session needs to understand why and agree to do so and then they need to help the congregation also come to that understanding.  Therefore, John moved to remove the motion, tabled at the October meeting, to serve communion more frequently.  Lynne seconded the motion which passed unopposed.

An active search is underway to find a new pianist.  John asked if Session members know about ways to extend this search, please let him know.

The Worship Committee is becoming concerned that we may need more seating in the sanctuary.  To address these concerns, a slight reconfiguration has been made in the arrangement of chairs.  John asked for reactions to this change.  Jerry noted that the previous arrangement was not in compliance with side aisle requirements for fire safety.  John will make sure the new arrangement conforms to those requirements.

John asked that all committees prepare now for the coming holiday season and make sure that all responsibilities under each committee are anticipated and covered.

John shared a welcome packet from another church with Lynne for the Membership Committee’s information and consideration.

The Officer retreat will begin Friday night, November 16, at 6:00 p.m. with dinner in the narthex.

The Worship Committee submitted a motion that the Christmas Eve service begin at 5:00 p.m.  Mindy asked for comment and questions.  Hearing none, she called for a vote and the motion passed unanimously.


A post card has been designed and printed.  It will be mailed to a very specific target of 750 households located close to the church building.  Mindy thanked Sally and Jerry Wehmueller and others for their work on this project.


A request from NEXT Church for a donation of $2,000 in 2013 was received.  Mindy said she has attended NEXT Church conferences and believes they are doing important work for the future of the church.  In response to a question, she explained that this group had formed following the exodus of a number of churches in our denomination as a way of strengthening and focusing the Presbyterian Church (USA) for the future.  Several Session members said they were not ready to make such a commitment at this time, pending the outcome of the stewardship drive and a clearer understanding of that NEXT Church is doing.  John moved that we not approve this request.  Lynne seconded the motion which passed, with two abstentions.

Mindy reported that a memorial service for Catherine Ragland’s daughter might conflict with the afternoon session of the retreat.  She said she would inform the Session and Deacons if the afternoon session must be cancelled.

Mindy reminded the Session of the Season of Hope service Sunday, November 18, at 4:00 p.m., being offered by the Stephen Ministers and the Deacons for people who look to the upcoming holidays with less-than-merry anticipation.

Reminders.  Mindy noted several reminders at the end of the agenda: 

  • Remember to pray for our church each day at noon
  • Read chapter 3 of Stanley Ott’s book, Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church,  for December Session meeting
  • Officer Retreat – November 16-17, 2012 at Chapel in the Pines
  • Congregational Meeting November 18 following worship
  • Next Stated Session Meeting – December 10, 2012
  • Presbytery meeting – Tuesday, February 12, 2012 – location TBA

Mindy closed the meeting with prayer at 8:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Donna Pond, Clerk of Session


Approved by Session December 20, 2012