October 20, 2014 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, October 20, 2014, Narthex
Attending:  Ruling Elders Heather Bogan (via Skype), Monty Brekke, Kristin Lavergne, Stephanie Miller, Jeff Morehouse, Fred Royal, Butch Smith, Tina Stark (via Skype), Bob Warren, Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer) Marcia Ladd (Clerk), and Teaching Elder Rev. Mindy Douglas (Moderator)
Guests: Tabitha and Joshua Steed

The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas at 7:00 p.m. Stephanie Miller led the opening devotion, ending with prayer. Concerns and celebrations were shared. Monty will check on second disbursement of outreach funds to Family Violence and Rape Crisis from CITP.

Leadership development:  In lieu of this Mindy added to New Business under item B an Order of the Day for 730pm this evening to discuss the After School program in advance of our guests the Steeds who have submitted the proposal for the programming.

Approval of agenda and consent agenda

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

  1. Approval of minutes:  Stated session meeting September 22, 2014

  2. Committee minutes – Building and Grounds 9/23 and 10/7, Children And Youth October

  3. Correspondence:  Farm at Penny Lane and Chatham Literacy thank you notes, Strobilus update

Pastor’s Report.  Mindy reported that Nana was out last week, she is supposed to take off this week as well.

Committee Reports

Building and Grounds.

Fred presented the Building and Grounds proposal for the bio-retention pond. After much discussion with external experts there was agreement within the Building and Grounds Committee that our pond should become a storm water wetland. Fred discussed converting what we have to the wetland and maintaining it as such. Today’s estimate for that conversion is ~$22,000 which Fred believes can probably be locked in with a commitment to construct o the church’s part. Vegetation would be planted after construction and represent an additional expense. The church would have to have volunteers to plant and maintain the vegetation, Fred estimates this to be in the $2-3,000 range in upfront cost; he will follow up with Dana Staats to get better vegetation numbers. Fred feels this can be put off until we decide to do something without incurring fines or other legal ramifications from the County. There was discussion as to why the existing pond does not work and perhaps reaching out to those who built the original one to help defray the cost. There were questions concerning the viability of the new design. If we go ahead with this proposal there was a suggestion that we get a formal contract and a will not exceed estimate. Included in the proposal should be addressed what will success look like and what kinds of "guarantees" can we get. If the pond is built to specifications then we have met our obligations to the county according to Fred and there will be no future requirements that we will have to meet. Several members asked if we should look at other contractors, Fred would recommend at least one more quote. There was a concern if Fred had a conflict of interest in this, Fred assured us there was not. Building and Grounds is asking session’s consideration of this proposal. Building and Grounds needs to decide if they will get another proposal and then in consultation with Finance develop a proposal for session’s consideration.

Finance and Administration.  

Heather reported that the Stewardship campaign is underway and asked folks to sign up for the luncheon on the 9th. After the results of the campaign are clearer,  Heather and Jerry will come back to session with budgets and wish lists.

Jerry went over the September numbers. Expenses are as predicted, income was down from expectations.

Fred made a motion to move $365 from reserves to pay off the hymnal account. Jeff seconded the motion, it passed unanimously.

Children and Youth

Tina described briefly the responses she had received to questions concerning the Parents’ Place proposal. There was some discussion about this proposal that was in session packet. The Tina presented the following motion:

"the committee recommends CITP hosts the fall 2014 session of the Parents Place as proposed by  Dale Pomerantz."

The proposal carried unanimously.


Monty presented the  following motion to session form the Outreach Committee

"that session approve the Simple Gifts Market for this year including a sale of ornaments from which 100% would benefit the food pantry."

The motion carried unanimously. He also presented this motion from the committee

" that CITP sponsor an Angel Tree as we have done in the past."

The motion passed unanimously.


Committee Reports were interrupted for the Order of the Day discussion on the After School Proposal. Mindy gave some history of this proposal that is included in the session packet. After the Steeds expressed an initial interest in running their program at CITP, Mindy requested a formal proposal. Marcia reported on a conversation she had with the pastor of Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church where the program has been housed for ~15 years. The pastor discussed different aspects of what has gone on at Mt. Pleasant, including the inclusiveness of the programming, the dedication of the Directors to the children, some uncertainty about insurance coverage, and Mt. Pleasant’s financial arrangements with the program. Several questions were raised by session members, including: adequacy of space at CITP, whether the program is operational currently, what are the county regulations to which they are subject, what are the state licensing requirements, what are the age ranges of the children, appropriateness of CITP playground equipment, whether there are other staff and how they are compensated, funding sources, expectation for what CITP would supply, and the legal structure of the program.

After introductions by the members, the Steeds presented their proposal to session for an after school program to be "housed" at Chapel in the Pines. They currently have 60 children on their roster, 12 fulltime students and 4 part time students are actually attending, their enrollment numbers fluctuate and sign up is done on a monthly basis. The Steeds expressed that starting small, maybe 12 children at CITP, would be advantageous. They also would anticipate limiting enrollment at first. Their priorities are supporting kids who may not fit elsewhere. They promote a family atmosphere in their program with individualized care and a structured environment. The program has a Parents’ Council, the head of which is willing to speak to the church on behalf of the program. There were questions from session members about how the Steeds reach out to the community. They indicated that word of mouth was the most effective outreach for them. Their age range of children is pre-school to about 8th grade. They reported having a good relationship with Perry Harrison where most of their kids come from.  Nothing specifically would be needed from CITP to operate the program, further they clean up every night. They target "parents in the middle" and adjust their fee scale for certain children. Their structure for tax purposes is a sole proprietorship. According to them they are not obligated to be licensed, but they exceed the North Carolina expectations for staff to student ratios, maintaining a 1 to 10 ratio. They have 4 people "on staff" on "stand by" for increased enrollment and special outings. They have a current $1,000,000 liability insurance policy and insurance on their van used to transport children. Funding comes from the tuition payments, no "fund raising" is conducted, parents are asked to pay extra for field trips.

Mindy proposes that Stephanie and maybe Barbara Strange or Phyllis Greene form a committee to examine this proposal and report back to session. Jerry should be included as well from an insurance aspect and the group should approach Dennis about concerns he might have for cleanup.

It was moved by Kristin and seconded by Monty that CITP send a certificate of transfer to Highland Presbyterian Church for Harriet and Wes McGraw.

CITP Has received a request for our support for the Presbyterian Association of Musicians Benevolence. Outreach will consider this request.

Bob Warren asked that CITP send a thank you letter to his friends who helped enable the sound in the Memorial Garden. Stephanie moved we send the letter, Monty seconded it, the motion passed unanimously. The next Stated Session meeting will be November 17 at the 7pm. Fred Royal will lead the devotion.

As the business of the meeting was concluded, Mindy led a closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at 905 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, 

Marcia Ladd, Clerk

Approved by session 11/19/14


Remember to pray for our church each day at noon.

Next Stated session meeting  November 17 7 pm