October 21, 2019 Stated Session Meeting

Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church

Stated Session Meeting October 21, 2019 7 PM


Present: Barbara Amago, Stan Campbell, Pat Chappell, Keith Glidewell, Paul Harrell, Paul Isom, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), John McDowell, Bruce Raymond, Mary Roodkowsky, Andrew Taylor-Troutman (Moderator)

Excused Absence: Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer)

Meeting Time at 6PM with New Members – Session met with the new members, Donna and Hal Truax and Donna Ross. They exchanged stories of what drew them to Chapel in the Pines.

Andrew called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM. Barbara opened with a devotion and prayer.

Stan moved to approve the agenda, it was seconded and approved unanimously. Mary moved to approve the consent agenda, it was seconded and unanimously approved.

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

  1. Approval of Session minutes-Stated meeting 9/16/19
  2. Approval of Committee Minutes -Mission and Service August Meeting, Building and Grounds Meeting 10/8/19, Finance and Administration October Meeting, 10/6/19 Mission and Service Meeting
  3. Correspondence – Designation as a Hunger Action Congregation, Missionary Visit Itinerary

Pastor’s Report John McDowell moved to go into a closed session, it was seconded and passed unanimously. Stan moved to come out of closed session meeting, it was seconded and passed unanimously. Andrew talked about the importance of building a Youth program in 2021. Along those lines, he asked session to consider forming a Task Force to help support children and youth ministry. Mary made the motion

          To approve the request of pastor to create a special task force to support children and youth ministry

Bruce seconded the motion. After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Finally, he asked for patience as the Taylor-Troutmans transition into their “new normal” since Ginny has taken a new job. Folks asked several questions.

Treasurer’s Report

September revenues continued to be strong.  As has been noted for the past several months, all unpledged revenue sources have already exceeded the annual budget except Building Usage.  This is particularly true of the Non-pledge Revenue which is revenue that can be identified to friends and visitors who were not members and did not submit a pledge at the time of the last stewardship campaign.  It is already 160% of the annual budget thru September.  The strong performance of these revenue categories should result in a surplus at year end if all the pledge revenues comes in on budget.

September was a better than expected financial month for Chapel in the Pines.  Revenues exceeded expenses by $2,664.  We normally experience a slight loss in September.  Looking at the rest of the year, it looks like we will experience at least a small surplus (maybe more) for this year.  The primary reason again is the larger than budget giving by friends and visitors who did not make a pledge. We still have several large pledge payments due from members who give later in the year which could change the year-end financial results.

Finance and Administration

Stan indicated Stewardship was off to a good start. He asked the elders to make their pledge early so he could use that to encourage others to pledge early. The goal is $355,000 for the campaign. Almost everything that each committee requested in the late August meeting is included in the budget, with a $366K total budget, Stewardship thinks $355,000 is more realistic, although hoping to make $366,000.  Stan feels good about the progress of the stewardship committee. He drew session’s attention to the worksheet contained in the pre-meeting packet with Jerry’s current estimate of church spending over the coming year.

He also mentioned the Parents Morning Out program is shy by 2 children which has caused them not to make budget, F&A has approved paying $750 through the end of 2019 to cover the “loss,” which will go toward compensation for the childcare provider. The money will come from reserves.

Finally, Membership is probably going to hold two New Member Dinners and F & A has approved that they can go over their budget to cover the costs associated with these dinners. The monies will come from reserves and members of the committee will provide the bulk of the food.


Mission and Service

Paul drew session’s attention to the correspondence folder indicating that Chapel in the Pines has been designated a Hunger Action Church. Stan asked Communication and Technology to publicize this. This will be renewed annually. Mission and Service will hold their annual Alternative Christmas Market the first two Sundays in December. The Committee has decided where all the money goes from the last Capital Campaign – extra $1000 for CDEPCA, $3000 to Farm at Penney Lane, the balance is going to the University where Karla Koll works.

Paul asked elders to comment on whether or not they thought the Mission and Service budget should be 10% of the church’s budget and if they thought it appropriate to vote on the issue to make it official. There was consensus that 10% is desirable. Paul brought the motion

To strive for Mission and Service to be 10% of the church’s annual operating budget

Stan seconded the motion, it passed unanimously.


Building and Grounds

The committee voted on both possibilities for and acquisition (to the North and the West), and it was a unanimous No in both instances, but these are the combined highlights:

  • The proposed land (in both instances) is practically inaccessible from our property, and there are wetland/drainage issues that make expanding in the church in those directions expensive, difficult, and impractical.
  • The church already have a lot of resources tied up in mortgages and buildings, and we don’t want to sink further resources into property acquisition or development.
  • The church has no concrete plans or demonstrated need for additional land.
  • The idea of our church using land as a buffer against our neighbors is theologically concerning.

Bruce brought the following motion from the committee

To not acquire any additional lands other than the land transfer from Briar Chapel for the gravel parking lot

The motion passed unanimously.


There has been concern that Joelle has worked more hours recently than the church is paying her for, making staff morale not as good as it should be. To compensate for that we queried her on how many hours she has worked over and it seems it has been 39 recently, so her October check will be for $1005.81 over her normal compensation to pay for the extra hours worked, staff has been asked to keep track of their hours so we can compensate them accordingly. Consistent with this policy of fairness, I would like to bring the following motion

To approve additional compensation for the Director of Children and Youth Ministry for hours worked above 20 per week through the end of 2019

After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.


Christian Education

Paul Isom shared the Christian Education plan for 2019-2020 that was included in the pre-session packet. He also offered the following motions, the specifics of which are contained in the pre-session packet.

Moves that the following nursery items be separately included in the CITP wish list budget (see attachment):

After minimal discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Serena Ebhardt zum Brunnen would like the church’s tax exempt letter to use to try to solicit mostly food donations from restaurants, food stores, etc. to support children’s programming at the church. Stan indicated that Jerry had sought a relief from taxes several times by indicating to vendors that he was soliciting monies for the church, no vendor has asked to see the letter. His preference would be not to give the letter to Serena, but have her ask Jerry to call a vendor who wants to see the letter. All have agreed to handle it this way.



Keith asked the elders to vote on the following motion

          Welcome Donna and Hal Truax and Donna Ross into the life of the church joining on November 17, 2019

The motion passed unanimously.

Ongoing Business


New Business

Andrew indicated he was not going to hold a 1 day fall retreat for the church. There will be a Fellowship event at the Fruelers. M&S is having a visioning session on November 16, 2016.

Bruce said November 2nd is the Work Day and wanted each chair to take back to their committees and try to get people to sign up. There is lunch and childcare provided.

There being no more business, Andrew adjourned the meeting with a prayer at 9 PM


Lord’s Supper, Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

Since the last stated meeting on September 16, 2019 the Lord’s Supper was performed on October 6 and September 23 and October 14 in Open Spaces. On September 29 Serena zum Brunnen and Thangam Arumungan were welcomed into the life of the church and on October 6, 2019 Andrea, Andrew, Gemma and Oliver Bejeck and Marian and Jeff Olson were also welcomed in to the life of the church. On October 6 Gemma and Oliver Bejeck were baptized, Dave Bursiek’s Memorial Service was held October 13, 2019. There were no weddings.

Respectfully submitted

Marcia Ladd, Clerk

Approved by session 11/18/19