November 21, 2016 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, November 21, 2016 Narthex
Joint Meeting Elders and Deacons

Attending: Ruling Elders Karen Atkins, Heather Bogan, Lynne Hoerter, Maggie Reif, Terry Rudolph, Al Schalk, Archie (Butch) Smith, Barbara Strange, Teaching Elder Rev. Lynn Stall (Moderator), Susan Cyr, Gail King, Joshua Ladd, Mary Donna Pond, Garrett Southerland, Peggy Wilkerson, Jerry Wehmueller (treasurer), Marcia Ladd (clerk)
Absent: Chick Biddulph, Elizabeth dePrater, Kristin Lavergne, Mitzi Lesher-Thomas, Kenny McIntyre
Guests: Lee Werley (Transition Team member)


The meeting was called to order by Lynn Stall at 7 PM. A quorum was declared.  Al led the opening devotion, ending with prayer.

Lynn indicated the Transition Team had started their work by interviewing the leaders of the church. Each team member interviewed several leaders and posed the following four questions:

1. What does "church" mean to you?

2. What do you believe are the core values and mission of CITP?

3. What do you see as CITP’s strengths and challenges?

4. What is your vision for the church?

She and the members of the team discussed the findings indicating the answers were very similar and positive. The leaders come to church for community, friends, spiritual growth, a sense of peace, to find an opportunity for service. The values of CITP are seen as the three tag lines – welcome, worship and witness with perhaps an emphasis on the welcome and its different aspects. The church’s strengths are seen as its welcoming nature, the building, the sense of comradery and willingness to people to work together. The weaknesses are structural – road, parking – and the lack of young people. The leaders indicated they would like to see more outreach work in our local community. Their vison for the church is increased outreach, more children, focus on social justice and growth while retaining the same, founding values. There is a clear, shared sense of identity which helps make churches strong. Little was said about not having an installed pastor, which Lynn indicated means the church is bigger than the pastor, and healthy.

The next step is to hold a congregational lunch on January 29. The team will have pre-set questions to be discussed at each table; there will be a recorder and moderator for each table. There was discussion about perhaps having a shorter service that Sunday, and starting the discussion before the meal. There is usually a church wide survey after that which all members have an opportunity to complete. Lynn emphasized the importance of making sure everyone feels they had a voice in the process. At the completion of the survey, the team will draft a mission study for Presbytery approval, upon approval the Pastor Nominating Committee can be elected.

Approval of agenda and consent agenda

The agenda and consent agendas were approved by common consent. The consent  agenda contains the following items:

  1. Approval of session minutes – Stated meeting 10/17/16, called meeting 11/20/16

  2. Committee minutes -Building and Grounds 10/27/16, Deacons 11/7/16 , Personnel 11/20/16

  3. Correspondence – Pennies for hunger grant, Westminster College Scholarships, Invitation to Pastor Neal’s 4th anniversary celebration


Committee reports


Jerry went over the October financial reports, which were not as good as expected. Revenues were low and Jerry does not anticipate hitting the pledged budget. The expenditures for the year are below what was anticipated. Year to date the P&L is favorable $3800, but expenses outpaced revenues in September and October.

Jerry offered an update on the stewardship campaign. 70 out of 135 pledges have been received totally $216,000 pledged support which is below the totals for this time last year. Of the 70, about a third have increased their pledge and some are first time pledges. There will be re-newed effort after Thanksgiving to increase the number of pledges.

The committee also offered the following motion from Finance

that the session approve Interim Pastor Lynn Stall and Treasurer Jerry Wehmueller be able to access pledges.  

There were several questions about the rationale behind this change. From a pastoral and budget planning perspective it is important to have that information.

Lynne moved the motion be amended to read.

that the session approve Interim Pastor Lynn Stall and Treasurer Jerry Wehmueller be able to access pledges, with the understanding this is privileged information.

The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.


Butch asked session to approve the following motion concerning staff Christmas gifts.

    that the church gives the regular staff, including Brandon, a check of $100, net of taxes with the Nursery attendant(s)  getting a $50 gift card and Katherine Brekke a check of $300.  

There was discussion about possibly requesting a love offering in lieu of the gifts. Jerry indicated the Christmas checks have already been budgeted. Clarification was given the Katherine’s position is usually paid, hence the rationale for her larger check. The motion passed unanimously.

Butch indicated that the committee was concerned about the building debt and wanted to introduce the following motion to address that concern

    that no staff raises be given in 2017 and that the DCE position remain open while our intern fulfills those responsibilities and any savings realized by these actions be allocated to paying down the building debt

Jerry raised a concern about not giving the staff raises in 2017, especially since last year’s raise was only 2%. There was strong negative feeling about not paying staff when we have raised so much money in the capital campaign. The motion was withdrawn.

Fellowship Hall Update

Jerry referred everyone to the Fellowship Hall update shared in the pre-session packet. Site inspection of septic has been completed and application for the building the building permit has been submitted. There is a contract with BOLD construction, and construction should start in several weeks, with completion in 6 – 8 months. The kitchen design is finalized and is ADA compliant. There are still a few cost items to be determined to get to the final number.

Presbytery Report

Karen gave a synopsis of what had transpired at the November 12 Presbytery meeting she attended with Mitzi and Karen Fisher.

Lord’s Supper, Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

Since the previous stated meeting October 17, there have been six new members Kent and Mary Norgren, Hazel Quinn, Melissa Staples, and Edward Bruce. The Lord’s Supper was celebrated once on November 6. There were no weddings, baptisms or funerals.

The next stated session meeting will be December 19 at the 7PM. Heather Bogan will lead the devotion.

As the business of the meeting was concluded, Lynn closed with prayer at 8:20PM.

Respectfully submitted, 

Marcia Ladd, Clerk

Approved session 12/19/16


Remember to pray for our church each day at noon.

Next stated session meeting will be December 19, Heather Bogan has the devotion