September 10, 2009 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, September 10, 2009–Home of Ed and Susie Park
Attending: Lynne Hoerter, Marcia Ladd, Wes McGraw, Stephanie Miller, Michelle Morehouse, Ed Park, Vicky Raymond, Jerry Wehmueller, Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), Jack Zollinger (Treasurer), and Mindy Douglas Adams (Moderator). Excused: Chuck Rickard
Mindy Douglas Adams called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Lynne Hoerter led the Session in prayer and an opening devotion, reading from Philippians and a passage from I Dare You by William Danforth.
Leadership Development. The session discussed chapter 5 of E. Stanley Ott’s Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church, exploring shifts in worship styles and involving newcomers by adding new groups.
Concerns and Celebrations; Agenda Approval; Approval of Minutes; Correspondence. Celebrations and concerns were shared. The agenda was approved by common consent. The minutes of the August 13, 2009, Stated Session meeting were approved by common consent. There was no correspondence to share.
Pastor’s Report. Mindy welcomed Jerry Wehmueller who had been ordained and installed the previous Sunday during worship. The Chatham InterFaith Ministries is moving ahead nicely. An application for 501(c)3 status has been submitted and grant proposals are being written and submitted. The goal for the first phase is to submit grant proposals and prepare informational materials. If grants are awarded, an administrative staff person will be hired.
Treasurer’s Report. Jack reviewed the Balance Sheet and the report of Revenue and Expenses. The Balance Sheet now includes the land and the mortgage. It was recommended that one line (2Y2000 – Property Reserves) be renamed; "Property Equity" was suggested. Revenues and expenses are both slightly behind projections at this date, but overall our financial picture looks good. There was discussion about the columns on the report and the Session asked that a column for YTD Actual (Last Year) replace YTD Budget/Actual (Last Year). Non-pledged check and open plate offerings are down, in large part due to the downturn in the economy as well as a smaller number of new visitors. The Potential Merit Raise line may be eliminated in 2010, including salary raises in the actual salary lines instead. Michelle questioned an approved expenditure of $1,000 to the Food Pantry from Local Community Projects which was not reflected in the report.
Community. A post card was mailed in late August to residents in Fearrington, Galloway Ridge, the Governor’s Club as well as other targeted areas and demographic groups. The Membership Committee plans to assemble newcomer welcome bags and distribute them to all of the new homes in Briar Chapel. Sales are improving in the development with 45 homes now sold.
Outreach. Michelle reported that the Take and Eat Food Pantry is in transition. The overwhelming number of people being given food requires some changes in procedures and the leaders are working on that. Food is completely depleted and more is being purchased. A group is once again exploring the plans for a food pantry building and local congregations will be getting a letter asking for commitments of time and resources. The committee requested Session approval to combine with Evergreen United Methodist for an Alternative Gift Market. Items will be offered for sale at the market. The motion was approved without dissent.
Education. A written report was distributed prior to the meeting. Henceforth, books will be available for classes at no cost; however, if an individual wants to keep the book, payment will be requested. Mindy noted that the projection equipment will be needed on September 27. Jack volunteered to get it to the school.
Personnel. Marcia reported that Marilyn Shugart has been hired as interim Music Director and will work through the summer of 2010. Following Nana Morelli’s annual review, the Personnel Committee recommends promoting her to the position of Office Manager. The proposal passed without dissent. Jerry reported his findings about Mitzi Lesher-Thomas’s travel reimbursements, noting that mileage must be properly documented.
Finance/Administration/Budget. Jerry reported that the 2010 budget is shaping up but that a few details are still missing. It will be a tough budget.
Worship. Vicky reported that the committee had not met as it has been very difficult to get everyone together. She is very pleased with the new music leadership and expects that to work out well.
Salem Presbytery’s Financial Circumstances. A letter from the Presbytery asks churches to pray for the Presbytery as its finances have taken a very severe hit during the economic downturn. Jack noted that we have begun making our payments to the Presbytery on a monthly rather than quarterly basis, which should be helpful to the Presbytery. Mindy commented that we may indeed not receive the $5,000 that has been budgeted for us in 2009.
Officer Retreat. Mary Donna described logistics for the retreat and said that those sharing a room will pay $70. Anyone requesting a single room will pay $90. This cost includes meals and our meeting space. Mindy asked what the Session hoped the retreat would accomplish. Ed said we should consider why we worship and if our worship services are meeting those needs and goals. Stephanie expanded that to other areas, asking "Why do we do what we do?" Lynne said that by the retreat, we will have interviewed the capital campaign consultants and may want to talk about how high to aim and the timing of a campaign. Stephanie suggested a focus on personal growth, theology, fellowship, and/or vision for the church. Ed suggested that we consider what it means to be developing disciples.
UPC Endowment Proposal. Stephanie proposed that we ask for funds for a second sign, to be mounted on Great Ridge Parkway, showing a rendering of our plans. It was suggested that such a sign is still quite some time away and that we ask for funds to put up our first sign, on the Lindley’s property on Mann’s Chapel Road. Following discussion, the Session approved this proposal. Lynne agreed to write the proposal.
Change of meeting day for Stated Session Meetings. Vicky moved, Stephanie seconded and the Session approved that the monthly Stated Session Meeting will be on the second Monday of the month.
Worship in Times of Public Health Concerns. After reading a paper from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Session talked about how to promote good health among the congregation. Frequent hand washing, the availability of hand sanitizers, announcing that passing the peace does not have to involve handshaking, and asking individuals who are ill to worship at home are important ways to address these concerns. Mindy said that all CITP staff would be able to do much of their work from home in the event of a public health emergency.
Peacemaking Offering. The Outreach Committee recommended that the 25% of the Peacemaking Offering that may be used in local mission and ministry be given to the Hispanic Liaison in Siler City, an organization working with reconciliation in the Hispanic community which provides help to a large number of people. The recommendation was approved without dissent.
Requisition Process. Michelle asked about the appropriateness of non-members submitting reimbursement requisitions. After brief deliberation, the Session agreed that only staff or members should prepare and submit reimbursement requisitions.
Next Meeting. The next Stated Session meeting will be Monday, October 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the home of Jerry and Sally Wehmueller.
Following a time of prayer the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.
Mary Donna Pond, Clerk Mindy Douglas Adams, Moderator
Approved by Session October 12, 2009