November 2008 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, November 13, 2008 – Camden Governors Village Apt. Community Room

Attending:      Stan Campbell, Lynne Hoerter, Wes McGraw, Marcia Ladd, Stephanie Miller, Michelle Morehouse, Chuck Rickard, John Walkup, Mindy Douglas Adams (moderator), Mary Donna Pond (clerk), Jack Zollinger (treasurer).   Excused:  Ed Park.   Guest:  Samara Joy Nielsen


Mindy Douglas Adams called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Stan Campbell led a devotion using an article from Presbyterian Outlook on stewardship and God’s abundance.

A Look into the Book (of Order).  Using an article, “Dangerous Elders,” in Presbyterian Outlook, Mindy lifted up section G-6.0304 in The Book of Order regarding the role of Elders in the congregation.
Approval of Minutes.  The minutes of the October 9 Stated meeting and the October 19 meeting of the congregation were approved by common consent.

Correspondence.  Mary Donna shared a thank you note from Mindy’s grandmother for the donation made to Bethany ARP Church in memory of Marshall Douglas.

Pastor’s Report.  Mindy said she is excited about the things happening in this church and particularly the way the church is responding to community needs.  She greeted Samara Joy Nielsen and shared her joy in having Samara working with us.  She reported that Scott Adams has been quite ill but is improving.
Treasurer’s Report.  Jack Zollinger reviewed the Balance Sheet and the Revenue and Expense reports through the end of October.  Although revenues are slightly behind, we remain in good financial shape.  Stan suggested we be thinking about what to do in the event of a year-end shortfall, such as using reserve funds to cover.  Jack said we will have a clearer picture by the December meeting.

Community.  Mary Donna reported.  The Membership Spoke is working on a pictorial directory.  Five new members will join in November and several others are expected to join in December.  Plans are in place for monthly Fellowship events through the spring and are being announced.  Communications is looking at using leftover postcards for another mailing.  Michelle Morehouse reported for the Outreach Spoke.  Take and Eat Food pantry is limiting the geographic area for providing food because of the swell in numbers of people coming to receive food.  In order to avoid conflicts, the Take and Wear Clothes Closet is moving its day for giving out clothing to Saturday.  A new Habitat for Humanity house is underway; our first workday is November 22.  Tutoring continues to go well.  The church will offer a number of giving opportunities as alternative gifts for the congregation to purchase.  A $10,000 grant from Carolina Meadows for the Fuel Up program was celebrated.  Rachel Stevens is working with the Peacemaking and Social Justice committee to develop a model for the committee to use.  John Walkup asked about the plans for the Take and Eat Food Pantry building.  Michelle said Evergreen still has this project in a “hold” status.  Stan asked about the nonprofit status for the food pantry and our official relationship to it and the other partner churches.  If those things can be worked out, he feels that the United Way would certainly be inclined to support it.

Education.  Wes reported.  The schedule for Sunday classes has been set through May.  Mindy reported that the young adult group is going well.  Wes reported that Ed Park will be working on a congregational “read” program whereby a book will be selected and the congregation will be invited to read it, then attend an event to discuss the book.  This will begin in 2009.

Fiduciary.   Stan reported.  We have employed a new vendor to process payroll at a lower cost and with better service.  It was decided not to purchase the new Accounts Payable module for ACS at this time.  Marcia reported that we are getting close to finalizing all the paperwork to close on our loan and to purchase the property.  We expect to do so in early December.   Stan reported that the inclement weather policy and procedures are being reviewed and are in place in the event of bad weather causing a cancellation of worship.  The Administration Committee will be exploring options for an alternative worship space in the coming weeks in the event we can no longer use North Chatham School.  Mindy and Samara were asked to leave while the Session discussed staff Christmas bonuses.  After assurances from Jack that the budget can cover the budgeted bonuses, the Session agreed that no change was required and that Jack should take necessary steps so that bonuses are paid.  Mindy and Samara returned.  Stan distributed a revised 2009 proposed budget noting a few minor adjustments.  He asked that any additional revision requests be forwarded to him before the December meeting.  If the results of the pledge campaign are good, we hope to adopt the budget at the December meeting.  If not, cuts will need to be made.  Mindy and Samara were again briefly excused.  Stan noted that a new line in the personnel section will be added with the pool of money for staff salaries.  Those increases will not be assigned to the individual staff members until the annual reviews are conducted and the Personnel Committee recommends a salary increase.   Stephanie asked about the possibility of paying pledges using automatic drafts or credit cards and whether the use of ACH drafts by UPC had been beneficial.  Mary Donna responded that few people use ACH at UPC and the costs are substantial.  The expectation that the automatic drafts would help with cash flow has not proven to be substantial.  Mindy reported that UPC’s Endowment Committee is recommending to UPC Session an $800 grant to Chapel in the Pines to purchase an LCD projector.  Mindy shared a letter from Salem Presbytery asking for a 2009 pledge from Chapel in the Pines.  A handout showing the anticipated giving to the Presbytery was distributed and following brief discussion, it was approved.  The Clerk was asked to send in the pledge.

Worship.  John reported.  A Christmas Eve service will be held at North Chatham School at 7:00 p.m.  The service on December 14 will feature special music by the choir.  The Worship Committee requested approval to serve communion on November 23, 2008, Christ the King Sunday.  The motion was approved.  There was discussion about ways to serve communion including ripping bread from the loaf, purchasing communion ware for passing the elements, and having additional stations for intinction.  A consultant will visit with us to give advice on improving our sound system at a reasonable cost.  Wes asked about using a microphone during the congregational concerns and celebrations.  Mindy responded that doing so would take a lot of time.  John reported that the Inclusion Committee is finalizing plans for the 6-week class being offered in January and February.  Responding to a suggestion at the retreat, John said that the choir members scattered throughout the congregation helps to strengthen congregational singing.  In an effort to be more visitor friendly, more of the service components will be included in the worship bulletin, such as the creeds, etc.  Michelle asked if more use of instrumental music is an option and John said Jeremy hopes to do more of that.  Mindy reminded everyone of the community Thanksgiving service on Sunday, November 23, at 4:00 p.m.  We are invited to bring canned food and clothes hangers as well as an appetizer to share following the service.

Meeting of Salem Presbytery.  Lynne Hoerter reported on the October 21 meeting in Blowing Rock.
Acts 16:5 Initiative.  Mindy reported that a two-day worship on the initiative will be held in Winston-Salem in January and invited anyone interested to attend.

There will be a Called Session Meeting to receive new members on November 16.

The January Stated Session Meeting will be Thursday, January 22.

A date for the Guatemala Mission Trip has been set – the week of April 25, 2009.  More details will be coming soon.

Mindy has purchased four light-weight folding tables to use on Sundays.

Next Meeting.  The next Stated meeting is December 11 and will be held at the Community Room of the Camden Governor’s Village Apartments, beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Food will not be available so members should eat before the meeting or are welcome to bring something to eat.  Lynne Hoerter will lead the devotion. 
Following a time of sharing pastoral concerns, Mindy closed the meeting with prayer.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Donna Pond, Clerk of Session

Approved by Session December 11, 2008