November 18, 2019 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church

Stated Session Meeting November 18, 2019 7 PM


Present: Barbara Amago, Pat Chappell, Keith Glidewell, Paul Harrell, Paul Isom, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), John McDowell, Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer)

Excused Absence: Stan Campbell

Meeting Time at 6:30 PM with New Members – Session met with the new member Sue Ellen Holleman. They exchanged stories of what drew them to Chapel in the Pines.

Andrew called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM. Jerry opened with a devotion and prayer.

John McDowell  moved to approve the agenda, it was seconded and approved unanimously. Barbara 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

a.    Approval of Session minutes-Stated meeting 10/21/19, email vote10/24/19

b.    Approval of Committee Minutes – Deacons 11/4/19, Building and Grounds 11/12/19, November Finance and Administration, Worship Minutes 11/17/19, Mission and Service 10/27/19,

Correspondence – Thanks yous for hygiene kits and from Chatham literacy, Annual pre-Thanksgiving dinner at Mt Zion


Pastor’s Report Andrew said he has a clergy coach and will be putting in place some more formal organization structures and meetings. Pat asked what we can do as a church to support his family with the transition. Andrew indicated his goals include working closely with staff and session members to set priorities for 2020 for both individual leaders, committees, and the church as a whole.

Treasurer’s Report October revenues continue at about the same level as the past several months.  Total monthly revenues were $24,686.  All of the various categories of revenues except pledged revenues have already exceeded their annual budget.  Non-pledged revenues are almost double of what was budgeted mainly the result of visitors and new members who didn’t pledge last year.  These budgets were perhaps a little too conservative based on the outstanding stewardship pledges we received last fall. With only two months left in the year, we should wind up with a surplus this year perhaps fairly large i.e. above $25,000 if is recommending to approve the following motion:

Use a part of the surplus to offer up to $600 per staff member in gift cards at the end of the year for a job well done

Because of advice from a CPA the motion was amended to:

Use a part of the surplus to offer $500 grossed up per staff member at the end of the year for a job well done

Pat seconded the amended motion. There was a lot of discussion about where the rest of the surplus will be spent. The motion passed unanimously. Finance and Administration wants to hear what session members might need now and discuss allocation of the remaining surplus. One option is setting aside an amount that the Session will determine based on Bruce’s analysis for major repairs that will be needed to the facility in the coming years. Session would like Finance and Administration to comeback to session with recommendations about spending the residual.

Mission and Service Paul indicated the local portion of the Peacemaking Offering will go to to Chatham Organizing for Racial Equity. He also said that while any “overage” on the Poinsettia funds has for years gone to Take and Eat since Take and Eat is merging with CORA the end of the year, it would go to the Farm at Penny Lane. He told session that Mission and Service would make the Church World Service’s Hygiene Kits an annual congregational event each spring.

Personnel John said the performance review process is underway with all of the church’s staff. Personnel is working with Andrew on staff evaluations. Personnel is meeting with Andrew November 21 to review his self-assessment for the past year and goals for the upcoming year. Andrew is finishing up the staff reviews this week.


Mary described Worship’s new system for assigning ushers. The teams are now on duty for a month, which makes it difficult to participate fully in worship for a longish chunk of time. Several options were discussed. The consensus from the committee was to establish five or six teams, each with a designated Head Usher and regular members for that team. These will rotate weekly through the year.  If a team member cannot serve on an assigned Sunday, that member will be responsible for finding a substitute (a list of ushers will be circulated) and for informing that Sunday’s Head Usher.  Mary will prepare a rota for 2020 and will circulate it in December.

Mary indicated that Worship wants to purchase fellowship pad covers because the existing ones are getting pretty shabby. She has priced them out at around $12, 35 are needed. She offered the following motion

To authorize the Worship Committee to spend up to $500 to replace the existing fellowship pad covers

After minimal discussion the motion passed unanimously.

The committee will not have communion of Christmas Eve. Mary asked for a vote on the next motion

To celebrate communion at the Longest Night service on Saturday December 21.


It passed by unanimous consent. There was discussion about holding a Christmas morning service, a member is going to do a survey to find out what interest there is in that service. It will be launched in January.


Finally, the committee feels strongly that the church should take a stand on gun control and offered the final motion.


For session to reaffirm the Presbyterian policy on guns from the social justice and advocacy group, and to send notice of this reaffirmation to our Senators and Congress members, and to the Chatham County Commissioners. This is because a lack of proper gun control is affecting our children and our worship.


Andrew talked about the social justice nature of this motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mary offered the final motion:

Due to the recent expanded provisions in concealed carry laws in many states that now allow guns to be carried openly, including into houses of worship, we recommend that churches and other entities prominently display signs that prohibit carrying guns onto their property.

Session referred it back to committee.


Keith asked the elders to vote on the following motion


          Welcome Mary Sue Holleman into the life of Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church. 

The motion passed unanimously. She will be joining December 8, 2019.

Ongoing Business

Barbara Amago offered a brief synopsis of the November 12 Presbytery meeting.


Andrew explained that while previously the deacons were only responsible for the fellowship time after a memorial service, a decision was made at the last deacons meeting that they would be responsible for procuring ushers and greeters also.


New Business


Andrew and Nana will be taking time after Christmas, but the office will be closed Christmas week


Andrew indicated that we will hold a joint December meeting with Deacons on

December 16 at 6PM at the Stranges, everyone should bring a hearty appetizer to share and their preferred beverage.


Jerry updated session on stewardship, ~$320,000 has been pledged. They received 82 pledges back to date. Paul Harrell moved to adjourn at 8:55 PM. Andrew closed with a prayer


Lord’s Supper, Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

Since the last stated meeting on October 21, 2019 the Lord’s Supper was performed on October28 and November 11 in Open Spaces and November 3 in worship. On November 17 Donna Ross and Donna Truax were welcomed into the life of the church. Jim Bond’s Memorial Service was held October 27, 2019. There were no baptisms or weddings.



Respectfully submitted



Marcia Ladd, Clerk

Approved by Session December 16, 2019