October 19, 2015 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, October 19, 2015 Narthex

Attending: Ruling Elders Heather Bogan, Monty Brekke, Lynne Hoerter, Kristin Lavergne, Fred Royal, Barbara Strange, Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer), Marcia Ladd (Clerk), and Teaching Elder Rev. Mindy Douglas (Moderator)
Absent: Archie (Butch) Smith
Guest: David Hyman Rector Holy Trinity, Mitzi Gray and Nick Robinson Vestry Holy Trinity, Allen Briner Farm Church Pastor, Ben Johnston-Krase Farm Church Pastor


The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas at 7:00 p.m. Barbara led the opening devotion, ending with prayer.

Allen Briner and Ben Johnston-Krase of the Farm Church briefly introduced themselves and their new church in Durham. They are interested in Chapel in the Pines supporting them in their early stages, perhaps at the $5000 a year level for 3 years. They are gathering a group of people who will help define the key elements of the church and its mission and go into the community as apostles for this new church development. Worship will serve at the center of who they are, but the farm will surround and form the heart of who they are. Mindy offered a brief prayer at the end of their presentation.

Concerns and celebrations were shared.

Leadership development: Mindy lead a discussion on the October 10 planning retreat. She referred to the synopsis of our meeting included in the packets. The Strategic Planning Task Force is set – Karen Atkins, Heather Bogan, Kevin O’Dell, John Walkup and Lee Werley – Mindy will reach out to Heather to work on next steps.

Approval of agenda and consent agenda

It was moved and seconded that the agenda be approved as written.  The consent agenda was unanimously approved, as follows:

a.    Approval of minutes – Stated session 8/17/15; called meeting 8/23/15; Congregational meeting 9/20/15, called meeting 10/10/15

b.    Committee minutes – Building and Grounds 7/28, 8/18, 9/8 and 9/22/15; Mt Zion/CITP Collaborative 9/7/15; Finance 9/13/15; Membership 8/19/15; Stewardship 9/6/15; Communications and Technology September and October reports; Web Site Re-design task force 9/22/15; Worship 9/27/15

c.    Deacon Minutes 9/21/15

d.    Correspondence – United Way thank you; Karla Koll thank you; Westminster College scholarships

e.    FYI –

f.    Finance education for new members

g.  CITP post card mailer re-design

h. September 2015 postcard mailing expense

i. Web site re-design survey results

Pastor’s report.  Mindy indicated CITP had two baptisms this past month. Virginia Lee Simone Bell on October 4 and Max Elliott Raitano on October 11. Mindy will conclude her Grace upon Grace sermon series this Sunday. Katie, our intern, has been doing a wonderful job with pastoral visits and Mindy indicated session members should let her know of folks who may need pastoral visit.


Committee reports


The Committee presented the following motion and Personnel Manual insert  for consideration:

No member of Chapel in the Pines will be hired as an employee of the church. Paid employees who wish to join the church will be excluded from this policy. Effective November 1, 2015. 

This should be inserted in the Manual in Part Two "Working Hours and Employee Status" as entry G. This was developed by Personnel in a response to session’s request for the motion to align with what was to be inserted in the Personnel Manual. The motion passed unanimously.

Personnel also brought the following motion, again in response to session’s request that this motion align with what will be inserted in the Personnel Manual.



A. The pastor, in consultation with the Personnel Committee, will complete a written performance evaluation on each employee by August 31 of each year.

B. Annually, the pastor and the Personnel Committee will make a recommendation to the session concerning each employee’s compensation adjustment, if applicable. The pastor will communicate any changes in compensation to each employee after the budget is approved by session. No salary adjustment will be made without a written performance evaluation. The session has the ultimate responsibility for salary increases. 

C. The session of Chapel in the Pines has responsibility and oversight of the pastor.  The Personnel Committee will implement and administer a performance evaluation of the pastor by August 1 of each year.  The session will approve and the congregation will vote on any changes to the pastor’s terms of call.

D. The session will be responsible for final hiring decisions for all staff with the exception of called, installed pastoral staff.   The session may, when appropriate, turn this responsibility over to the Personnel Committee.

Effective January 1, 2016


Mindy asked if there were any questions for clarification. This motion passed unanimously.


Jerry went over the financial reports from the last several months, he indicated we are trending as anticipated. Many pledges were fulfilled early in the year so the income will not be as good in the final quarter. The balance sheet is healthy, cash flow is good. The Scottish Dancers gave the church a $350 donation with the stipulation that most of it go to the Food Pantry, Jerry recommends that the whole amount go to the Food Pantry. He will pass that on.

Heather presented the following motion from Finance

to approve the expenditure from the capital campaign budget of up to $1,000 for a rendering of the church campus including the new fellowship hall to be used during the upcoming capital campaign.

There was minimal discussion about what the rendering would look like; Keith Shaw has quoted $1000 for the work. The motion passed unanimously.

Heather also brought the following motion from Finance about how to handle unallocated funds, proposing this wording be inserted in the Finance Guidelines posted on the web site under Finance Committee.

a.    Items  need to be discussed, planned and budgeted via the formal annual budget process

b.    The budget process should include a prioritized listing of items we would like to fund if additional monies are obtained (by whatever mechanism, recognizing that surplus money is truly not recognized until year end)

c.    If suggestions are made for unbudgeted items, the items should go back to the committee in question. That committee can discuss and then formally make a recommendation to session for spending the money

Heather asked if there were any questions. Heather moved changing the word items in a. to proposed expenditures, Fred seconded the motion, it passed unanimously. Mindy asked for additional questions, the amended motion passed unanimously.

a.   Proposed expenditures need to be discussed, planned and budgeted via the formal annual budget process

b.    The budget process should include a prioritized listing of items we would like to fund if additional monies are obtained (by whatever mechanism, recognizing that surplus money is truly not recognized until year end)

c.    If suggestions are made for unbudgeted items, the items should go back to the committee in question. That committee can discuss and then formally make a recommendation to session for spending the money


Vicky brought the following motion from the Worship Committee in the form of a change to the Wedding Guidelines.

to change the wording in the Wedding Guidelines from " A legal marriage between a man and a woman requires a marriage license " to "A legal marriage requires a marriage license," and replace the term "bride and groom" with wedding couple.

There was minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Mission and Service

Monty brought two motions from Mission and Service for session consideration. The first was

To sponsor an angel tree as we have done in the past to support families in need at North Chatham School, and to explore how we might be able to partner with a similar program at Mt Zion.

Several members asked for clarification on what the committee meant by exploring a way to work with Mt. Zion. Monty’s Committee wants to leave options open for who the "angels" might represent. This will be discussed further with Mt Zion. The motion passed unanimously

The second motion was

To hold an alternative gifts market at CITP on December 13 and December 20, with proceeds benefiting local and global CITP missions.

There was minimal discussion and the motion passed unanimously.

ONGOING BUSINESS There was no ongoing business.


Session Meetings

Mindy drew session’s attention to the document included in the packet on whether or not to hold "open" or "closed" session meetings.  The first proposed form would be only invited guests can attend, another option would be all session meetings are totally open. A final option would be to designate certain meetings as open. She asked if there was any questions and what was the session’s sense of how they would like to handle meetings. Vicky asked what the policy is now and Mindy indicated it followed UPC’s model of inviting attendees. Fred said the negatives of open meetings are the amount of time they can take. Discussion leaned toward open meetings, although not open forums. The consensus was to strive for transparency, wanting attendees to help session know they are coming and that addressing session would be by invitation. Mindy and Marcia will work on a policy consistent with tonight’s discussion and bring a proposal back to session.

Presbytery November 7

Mindy indicated the next Presbytery meeting is November 7, a Saturday, at Clemmons Presbyterian Church. She asked for a volunteer from session to attend the meeting with her.  Fred offered, he was elected unanimously. We will also check with Mary Donna to see if she could possibly go.

Holy Trinity – Order of the Day 730

Mindy introduced David Hyman, Rector of Holy Trinity Anglican Church. David introduced members of his vestry who accompanied him, Mitzi Gray and Nick Robinson. David gave a brief presentation about the church history and their proposal contained in the session packet. Their growth has made it opportune for them to look elsewhere to share space. David indicated that they would be willing to purchase an external storage unit for their belongings and even an extra one for CITP to use. They would be sensitive to appearance to be consistent with CITP’s décor. Their long term plans are to look for a permanent location of their own within the next 3 – 5 years. They are suggesting a Sunday evening service maybe starting 4:30. Their children’s ministry is less than 30 children and they have approximately 15 youth. They currently do a Montessori contemplative children’s ministry that would not work at CITP. They need a sanctuary that has a capacity close to 200. They use their own musical instruments and would not need our sound system for music. They would use the kitchen for fellowship time after the service and would need to know the kitchen regulations. Upon completion of their presentation, David, Mitzi and Nick left.

Mindy opened the discussion to the session. There was discussion about the space problem. There are a number of things that need to be considered, and if the church moves forward any agreement it needs to be in writing with attention to detail and it would need to be reviewed regularly. CITP’s electronic equipment is fragile, and there is concern about that. Fred offered to be a part of an exploratory committee. Lynne raised the concern of us not being able to use our space at all on Sunday nights. There was also concern about the use of our kitchen, and how the signage would work. There was a question about whether the Anglican Church was exclusionary at all.  Fred moved

          That we form a small task force to look at the pros and cons of Holy Trinity leasing church space at CITP and report back to session in a month.

Al seconded the motion. Lynne is very opposed to doing this because of all the red flags; Heather feels strongly that it is not a workable arrangement. Al strongly suggested that the congregation should weigh in. Fred amended his motion

          As an alternative to a task force to take the proposal to a special congregational meeting to allow members to give their opinions on the proposal

There was no second, hence the original motion stands. Barbara is in favor of the task force so we have enough information to vote. The motion failed five to four.

Vicky expressed concern about the tone we heard from Hannah and the potential for this to be a distraction to what we are meant here to do and be. Those who voted for the task force, just wanted more time to make sure we had considered all the pros and cons. Mindy suggested we could table the decision while some contemplated the issue. It was decided to bring it to a vote.

The proposal failed unanimously with one abstention. Mindy said a brief prayer.

Michael Raymond

Mindy said that Vicky and Bruce’s son Michael has found a new church home in Virginia at Ashland Presbyterian church and asked the session to dismiss his membership at CITP. Monty moved and Lynne seconded the motion,

          to dismiss Michael Raymond’s membership at CITP

 It passed unanimously.

Farm Church

Mindy returned session’s attention to the Farm Church. She asked if anyone had any questions and how session felt about supporting this new church. Heather asked we send it to Mission and Service to prioritize the request. Mindy indicated we have discretionary funds within Mission and Service and the session budget. There is also a capital campaign with an outreach budget and a 2016 budget that needs to be developed. All of these are potential funding sources. Another question was raised about supporting an effort not in Chatham.

The next stated session meeting will be November 16 at the 7pm. We will briefly convene a joint meeting in the narthex with the deacons, then retreat to the café class for our stated meeting that night. Al Schalk will lead the devotion.

As the business of the meeting was concluded, Mindy led a closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at 9 pm.

Respectfully submitted, 

Marcia Ladd, Clerk


Remember to pray for our church each day at noon.

Next stated session meeting November 16, 7 PM  Al Schalk has the devotion, we will meet in the narthex at 7 for a joint meeting with the deacons, then convene to the café class for the stated session

November 7 Presbytery Meeting Clemmons Presbytery


Approved by Session November 16, 2015