October 17, 2022 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting October 17, 2022 7 PM
Present: Paul Bolig, Karen Fisher, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), Jeff Olson, Bruce Raymond, Andrew Taylor-Troutman, Tim White, (Treasurer), Serena Zum Brunnen
Excused Absence: Tom Crosby, Sarah Whitney
Guest: Lynn White
Andrew called the meeting to order at 7. Karen offered a devotion; Andrew asked for prayer concerns, they were offered and Karen closed with a prayer. The elders took turns reading from the Covenant of Presence. Andrew asked for a motion to approve the agenda. Bruce moved to approve the agenda, it was seconded and passed unanimously. Andrew asked for a motion to approve the consent agenda. Karen offered a motion. It was seconded and passed unanimously.
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
- Approval of Session minutes – Stated Meeting September 19, 2022
- Approval of Committee Minutes – Membership 9/13/22, Personnel 10/4/22, Building and Grounds 10/4/22, Christian Education 10/10/22, Welcome and Membership 9/13/22 and 10/11/22, Nominating Committee 9/27/22, Deacons 10/3/22, Finance and Administration 10/13/22
- Head of Staff 10/4/22
- Moderator’s Report 10/19/22
- Staff Meeting – 10/9/22
Andrew asked if there were any questions about his Head of Staff Report. There were none. Dennis’ surgery has been delayed to November 15, his “substitute” is available for that time. Andrew expressed his appreciation of the appraisal process for him, and indicated the appraisals for the rest of the staff is moving forward. He is working with Jeanette and Office Volunteers to ensure all the necessary tasks are covered.
The Task Force analyzing and re-drafting the Office Manager position is moving forward, having just asked elders and deacons to complete forms to define the tasks of that position. Andrew anticipates having a report from this Task Force for the next Stated Meeting. Volunteers are being recruited to cover some of the Office Manager tasks.
The choirs are gearing back up and a confirmation class with six youth has started. Andrew intends to identify the new elder class earlier, so they have more time to be trained.
There was a discussion about the two services and some have expressed concern over it reinforcing the sense of two churches. Bruce indicated that we need to develop messaging about where the early service is headed. Karen recommended that we develop a report about attendance at both services. Jeff also thought that messaging should be developed about the future of the later service. He also thinks that as we can start going back to pot lucks that could help obviate the feeling of two churches. Andrew is going to try different things out in the fall, and then lay out what 2023 will look like in the early part of January 2023.
He asked if there were questions about the Moderator’s Report. There were none. He talked about the need for financial vigilance, but expressed a belief that we will get through this together. The subcommittee to review expenditures is not a “watch dog,” but simply composed of folks with the best idea of the overall financial direction of the church.
She asked an elder to make the following motion
Hold a Congregational meeting on October 30, immediately after the 11AM worship service to elect an active Elder and an active Deacon
Serena made the motion, it was seconded and passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report We continue the need to carefully manage our spending since total revenues to-date are meaningfully lower than budgeted. Total Revenues are 64% of budget vs 75% of the year and $36,100 less than last year. Tim’s year-end total revenue estimate is $454,000 vs $491,000 budget lower by $37,000. He said that leaders, committees and staff are addressing the short-fall by a reduction of expenses to year-end
Pledge receipts are lower due to two factors. Some pledgers are not able to fulfill their pledge due to current economic realities. Other pledgers, who last year fulfilled their pledge earlier in the year, intend to fulfill their pledges by year-end. Currently he estimates pledges YE @ $410,000 vs $433,000 budget. For Non-Pledge Offering, he estimates $37,000 YE vs $52,000 budget.
Total Expenses YTD are $331,136, 67% of budget vs $290,080 last year. September MTD expenses exceeded revenue by almost $14,000. YTD Personnel total is up $20,000 from last year. Buildings & Grounds is up $4,200 due to needed repairs. Mission & Service is up $6,000 due to timing of funds disbursement. Welcome & Membership is up $2,000 due to the new More Light initiative.
Project for Outdoor Ministry Spaces (POMS) Report @ 9/30/2022:
Pledged/Donated: $245,264 (88)
Paid to-date: $212,329 (87%) [82 of 88 donors have paid in full or partial]
Spent to-date: $ 47,368
Obligated Costs: $ 0 (signed contracts)
Mission Pledges: $3,445 (8)
Paid to-date: $1,945 (56%) [7 of 8 have paid in full]
Spent to-date: $1,125
Budget 2022: 2022 YE expense estimates continue to be reviewed and reduced where feasible.
Budget 2023: 2023 Committee budget drafts were presented to Session 8/29/22.
Jerry asked Tim to give a report on Stewardship, they’ve narrowed down their projection to $450,000 for next year. Tim estimates that the total giving will be $504,00. The need is about $15,000 more currently. Jerry is comfortable with this projected figure. There are more potential “pledgers.” They have identified 28 potential pledgers for 2023 vs 11 in 2022. They will make a “personal ask.”
There was a discussion about the importance of connecting to the people who are engaging virtually.
Tim talked about his cash management report he developed to keep a watch on the availability the funds to meet all of our obligations. We are a little short, currently, on the funds we need to run the church.
In Sarah’s absence, Lynn White shared plans for the reception this Sunday for Nana, honoring her many years of service. Sarah created a survey for the teams, asking for input for the service on the 23rd. They’ve ordered more glasses. Karen wants the Fellowship Team to pick a location for the 9:15 refreshment cart and make it out of harm’s way, especially for children.
Andrew indicated that Personnel proposed the following motion to Finance and Administration and they concurred. The motion reads
The Personnel committee recommends that Chapel in the Pines stop funding Nana’s 403(b) retirement savings account as of the date she becomes eligible for long term disability. The amount provided in her 403(b) would be $1,635 versus our annual payment of $2,180.
After Nana goes on long term disability, the benefits change, which is the reason for the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Serena indicated that Andrew and Joelle have put together a great draft of curriculum for the confirmands.
Serena reported that the nursery, sacred art and youth groups are proceeding nicely.
In Adult Education, Exploring Together is reading John. The Kabricks’ Psalms of Ascent Class is looking at various Psalms with 6 – 8 in attendance.
She expressed enthusiasm for the educational programming.
Finance and Administration
Paul is bringing 3 motions, and combining them into one
Session re-affirms its commitment to provide the Mission and Service
Committee with $4,135 from account # 810531 (Surplus Carryover)
Session commits to funding the Mission and Service Committee with an
amount equal to 10% of the total revenues of the operating budget for 2022 less the budgeted 2022 mortgage payments.
As of October 18, and until December 19 (inclusive), any additional
expenditures from the operating budget will require majority prior approval by a sub-committee consisting of Tim White, Jerry Wehmueller, and Paul Bolig. If a request for an expenditure is not approved by the sub-committee, an appeal may be made to Session at its November 21 or December 19 meeting and the decision of Session will be final.
Several elders asked questions about this. They wanted clarification on how Mission and Service is funded, the 10% is after the capital expenditure of the mortgage program is removed from the operating total. Jeff wanted session to know that the mortgage payments increase every year up to when the operating budget is used to pay the mortgage in full. The combined motion passed unanimously.
As session representative, Serena indicated the Nominating Committee is going to propose Barbara Strange to serve as an elder at least until May of 2023 and Chair the Worship Committee. They are going to suggest Mickey de Prater fill the deacon role and serve until May of 2024. She will cover Galloway Ridge. She indicated her committee wanted to clarify that partners cannot serve simultaneously as elders and officers, and offered the following motion
To amend the Manual of Operations under “Duties” of the Nominating Committee: No two family members will serve simultaneously as elders and/or officers of the church in any given term. ***
After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
In the absence of a chair, Andrew brought forth motions for the Worship Committee. The first is
Hold a combined worship service on December 18 for Lessons and
Carols in sanctuary at 10:30 am
He indicated it was scheduled for 10:30 rather than 10 to allow time for Sunday School. There was minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously. The next motion covers Christmas Eve, and is
Hold two Christmas Eve services: 4 pm, weather permitting, outdoors; 7 pm, sanctuary.
After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously. The next deals with Christmas Day, which is a Sunday this year. The motion is
Hold One Christmas Day service: 10:30 am
After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously. Finally, Jeremy asked that the following motion be brought
Allow adult choir to have mask-optional policy for singing indoors, making it align with the policy for speakers.
After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Andrew indicated that the next Presbytery meeting will be November 15, probably virtual. He asked for a volunteer. Andrew asked Marcia to ask the elders not in attendance if they can attend the meeting on 11/15.
Jeff called attention to the Cash Disbursement PDF in the Committee minutes folder. The operating funds that Jeff has asked for monies to be disbursed as described in his PDF. He asked for clarification on what his final number needs to be. Tim and Paul indicated they would get that figure to him
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:55 PM by Andrew and closed with a prayer.
New Members, Baptisms, Memorial Services and Weddings
Since the last session meeting on September 19, 2022 there have been two memorial services on October 15, 2022 for Ann Humber and October 17 for Beverly Chapin. Caleb Tupper was baptized on October 2 at the early service. There were no new members or weddings.
Clerk of Session