October 8, 2012 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting: October 8, 2012 – Adult Classroom
Attending: Ruling Elders Lynne Hoerter, Forrest Johnson, Cindy Massey, Rachel Stevens, Jeff Morehouse, Tina Stark, Bob Warren, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), and Teaching Elder Rev. Mindy Douglas (Moderator). Guest: Rosy Robson. Excused Ruling Elder: John Walkup
The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas at 7:00 p.m. Rachel led the opening devotional, encouraging everyone to adopt a Bible verse that speaks to him or her and to use it as a flashlight in their lives.
Special Order. Rosy Robson gave the Session an update on the work of the Youth Group and Advisors. She began by stating that the mission of the group is to connect the Youth with the congregation in meaningful ways. The committee currently consists of Rosy, Forrest Johnson, Betsy Szczypinski, Keith Glidewell, Steve Mann and Karen Atkins. With the addition this fall of confirmation classes, the Youth are meeting every week. Service projects are being developed and documentation of safe practices, mission, and a directory are being developed. The group is functioning well and is growing. The Session thanked Rosy and the committee for their fine and inspiring work.
Pastoral concerns were shared.
Leadership Development. Mindy led a discussion of chapter 2 of Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church. The Session talked about being a transitional and transformational church and how that makes the church sustainable and more relevant. Encouraging and allowing others to take ownership of projects, programs, and ministries empowers and connects the people in positive ways.
Approval of Agenda and Consent Agenda: Items approved on the consent agenda were:
- Minutes of the Stated Session Meeting September 10, 2012
- Reports from the Deacons, Communications and Worship Committees, and the Operations Manual Task Force
- Motions from the Operations Manual Task Force
- Motion approving John Walkup to preach on November 25 and Marcia Mount Shoop to assist and oversee communion
The Meeting Agenda was approved without corrections or additions.
Pastor‘s Report. Mindy shared a letter from Adam Hughes, giving notice of his resignation as Pianist effective December 31. This news was received with deep sadness and regret. The Moderator and several Session members expressed their affection and respect for Adam and his unique gifts of music ministry. The Personnel Committee is working to find an interim replacement and to begin a search for a new Accomapanist/Pianist.
Mindy shared that she had performed a memorial service for a non-member family on Sunday which was a profound gift to those grieving the death of their loved-one. The sanctuary was packed to standing-room only and many who attended expressed to Mindy what a positive and healing service it was. Mindy expressed her pleasure and gratitude that the church can provide the space and the care through this ministry to our community.
Operations Manual Task Force. Forrest explained that the proposed motion regarding the Nominating Committee requires congregational approval. However, the Task Force felt it was important to have Session input prior to holding a Congregational Meeting. The motion to be made at the Congregational Meeting is as follows:
Membership: The Nominating Committee shall consist of five members, representative of active members of the church. One member shall be a current Elder, elected by the Session. One member shall be a current Deacon, elected by the Board of Deacons. Other members of the committee shall be elected by the congregation, and may not be in active service on the Session. The committee members shall elect a Committee Chair at the committee’s first meeting after being elected. The term for all members is one year, and members can serve no more than three consecutive terms.
Duties: The Nominating Committee shall have the responsibility to secure and present:
- a slate of candidates for each of the boards – Session, Deacons, and Trustees – for election at an annual congregational meeting.
- a slate of candidates for the member-at-large positions on the Nominating Committee for election at an annual congregational meeting.
- candidates for unexpired terms on any of the elected boards for election by the congregation.
- candidates for any committee as directed by the Session such as the Pastor or Associate Pastor Search Committees.
After brief discussion, Forrest moved that a congregational meeting be held immediately following worship on November 18 for the purpose of establishing these policies for the Nominating Committee. Jerry seconded the motion which passed unopposed.
FABS Committee. Jerry reviewed the Revenue and Expense report and the written Comments on September Financial Activities distributed in the Session packet. He again urged caution in spending and to defer any spending that is not immediately required in the hopes of using as little of the reserve fund as possible. He also briefly spoke about the FAB committee’s exploration of options for paying down the mortage.
Communications. Bob and Jeff will work to identify individuals in the congregation to form an IT committee. They are both happy to help with specific IT matters but prefer not to chair that committee.
Worship. A motion from the Worship committee – to celebrate communion on each of the four Sundays in Advent as well as on Christmas eve – was discussed. Mindy spoke briefly about the history of the frequency of serving communion. Concerns were expressed over the congregation’s reaction, visitors’ perceptions of the church, adding something to the services during an already busy season, the length of the service, and the danger of communion losing its meaning if celebrated every week. Since there was not unity among those present, and in John’s absence as chair of the Worship Committee, Lynne moved and Jerry seconded that the motion be tabled. The tabling motion passed unanimously.
Back to Basics Stewardship Workshop Discussion. Mindy asked for feedback from those who attended the workshop and reported that the Stewardship Committee had met and provided feedback on this matter. Several Session members expressed serious criticisms about the presentation, specifically the heavy emphasis on money with little emphasis on stewardship of time and talent and the lack of a definition of "tithing." There was discussion of the matter of confidentiality of contributor information and it was unanimously agreed that the church’s policy on confidentiality of financial information be clearly defined and communicated. Mindy emphasized that in the Reformed tradition, all we do is our way of expressing gratitude in response to God’s generous gifts to us.
Reminders. Mindy noted several reminders at the end of the agenda:
- Remember to pray for our church each day at noon
- Read chapter 3 of Stanley Ott’s book, Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church, for December Session meeting
- Presbytery meeting October 20 at Korean First Presbyterian, Greensboro
- Presbyterian Campus Ministry Sunday October 28 with John Rogers preaching
- Next Stated Session Meeting – November 12, 2012
- Officer Retreat – November 16-17, 2012 at Chapel in the Pines
Mindy gave a timeline for the November retreat: Session and Deacons together, beginning Friday at 6:00 with dinner followed by the evening program until 9:00. Saturday morning start at 8:30 with breakfast and fellowship, and a morning session. The afternoon will be used for separate session for the Session and Deacons.
Mindy closed the meeting with prayer at 9:00 p.m.
Mary Donna Pond, Clerk of Session
Approved by Session November 12, 2012