September 22, 2014 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting, September 22, 2014
Attending: Ruling Elders Heather Bogan, Monty Brekke, Kristin Lavergne, Stephanie Miller, Butch Smith, Tina Stark, Bob Warren, Marcia Ladd (Clerk), Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer), and Teaching Elder Rev. Mindy Douglas (Moderator)
Absent Elders: Jeff Morehouse, Fred Royal
The meeting was called to order by Mindy Douglas at 7:00 p.m. Monty Brekke led the opening devotion, ending with prayer. Concerns and Celebrations were shared.
Mindy opened the discussion on the previously shared article The Pattern of Living in Thriving Communities. It deals with six patterns usually found in thriving Christian communities. Mindy divided the group into 3’s to discuss what our Christian community does well and does not do well; then report back for group discussion.
Approval of Agenda and Consent Agenda
It was moved and seconded that the agenda be approved as written. The Consent Agenda was approved, as follows:
Approval of Minutes: Stated Session Meeting August 19, 2014
Committee minutes – for information
Children’s Place update
Mindy commented on the success of the Strobilus event and that it exceeded expectations in many aspects. She indicated CITP has been asked again by XDS to host their Thanksgiving meal, and we have agreed to the request. She also indicated that the fact that we were invited to the seminar in San Francisco was an honor and it would be wonderful if anyone could attend. Nick Andersen our new Duke intern was introduced at this past Sunday’s service. Mindy will be getting married Saturday and not be in service this coming Sunday.
Finance and Administration
Jerry provided the session with a re-cap of the August financials and of the financial health of the church year to date. August was a good month, with a positive balance. Restricted funds have been re-categorized under specific committees, Jerry asked for chairs to look at this re-categorization and send any comments or issues to Jerry to effect changes, rather than Janet. Jerry, Mindy and Janet will try to work through these re-categorizations even further to clean up any misallocations especially those that have been on the books for a while.
Heather told session that Finance and Administration had decided not to make a designated giving book. The Committee feels there are too many questions and issues concerning this type of book that it is best not to compile the book.
Heather introduced the new Designated Giving Policy included in the pre-meeting packet for session review. She introduced the motion developed by Finance and Administration:
” that session adopt the proposed Policy on Gifts, Contributions, and Solicitations.”
There was a question concerning how a “gift” request would be directed. It will go first to Finance to vet it for consistency with the policy. The committee will look first at any open needs in the operating budget. The giver will be reminded that any gift should not be in lieu of annual donations to the operating budget. There was a question concerning how the wish list folds into this. The wish list is included in the policy and it will be responsibility of session to determine whether an individual gift is consistent with that list. The motion passed unanimously.
Heather lead the discussion on the budget and wish lists received to date by Finance. Jerry commented that he would like to carve out personnel and the administrative costs that are necessary to “run the building,” then once we have the stewardship monies in look at the “additional discretionary requests” and allocate them at the December session meeting. There was general agreement that the staff salary increase should be included in the “discretionary bundle” for December discussion. Heather will follow up with Building and Grounds, Outreach and Fellowship to get their budgets and wish lists.
Heather offered session an update on the plans for the upcoming Stewardship Campaign. Libby Boehne will be our speaker; we have a banner for the playground and speakers lined up for the Sundays of the stewardship season. There will be a potluck on Stewardship Sunday and one mailing will go out at the start of the stewardship campaign. There was a question concerning focusing our campaign on a DCE. The problem is the low probability of raising enough monies to actually fund that position, hence raising the hopes of individuals if the position is the target of the campaign is disingenuous. The committee was even advised that presenting the congregation with an unrealistic target would make subsequent fund raising more difficult. Stephanie raised the point that we are not raising money to a budget and the appeal has to be for people to give what God is calling them to do. Stewardship will focus on the importance of education and God’s call to each individual.
Butch indicated that Personnel had received a job description for the Director of Christian Education from the Children’s and Youth Committee. He thanked the committee. Personnel would like to defer the DCE position until after the stewardship campaign results are known. It is Personnel’s recommendation that the Bells Choir Director remain for now a volunteer position because of the financial situation.
He informed the session that it was Personnel’s recommendation to Finance to raise staff salaries 2% across the board and a minimum of $10 raise for Dennis. Mindy also informed session of the decrease in the Accompanist’s pay at his request.
Monty reported that the committee wished to designate Family Violence and Rape Crisis Center as the local recipient of the upcoming Peacemaking offering. It is an offering we collect annually with a portion going locally. The committee
“moves that the local portion of that offering go to the Family Violence and Rape Crisis Center.”
The motion passed unanimously.
Children and Youth
Mindy asked people to look at the rotational Sunday School and fill in the blanks in October.
Tina indicated that we had reached out to Dale on the Children’s Place proposal, but she wants to meet with us so that meeting has been planned for October 1. Some of our questions have been answered already; specifically, she was not turned down by other churches and her motivation for conducting the class is her background as an educator in this field.
The Youth intern is here, but has not been in church as yet. Mindy will reach out to determine why.
Mindy reminded everyone that the UPC endowment request is due by October 1. Bob has a request to improve our audio capabilities. One is a microphone that can pick up the choir, piano and bell choir and feed that into the hearing loop. The second is monies to improve the occasional speaker, e.g. lay reader, at the lectern. A question was asked concerning cost, Mindy asked if another personal microphone would be included in the proposal. There was push back on a wired microphone and the question was asked if this endowment request included a wired microphone. The suggestion was made to submit a request to the UPC Endowment for improved audio capability in the church and give varying options depending on the level of funding received, specifically describing each of the needs although not actually indicating which would receive the funding. Tina was asked to put together a request for 3-4 picnic tables for the playground. The proposals will go to Jerry by September 29 for his submission October 1. Kristen moved, Butch seconded “that we accept the proposal from Bob Warren for audio enhancement, yet to be determined, in the Sanctuary and Tina for the playground Picnic tables to be presented to UPC endowment.” The motion passed unanimously.
Elect Presbytery Commissioner for November Meeting
Stephanie and Mindy have agreed to go to North Wilkesboro for the November meeting. Monty moved to approved Stephanie as commissioner; Butch seconded the motion, it passed unanimously.
Elect co-clerks for November Meeting
Monty moved that Jeff and Heather be approved as acting co-clerks for the November meeting; Butch seconded the motion, it passed unanimously.
The next Stated Session meeting will be October 20, 2014 at 7PM. Stephanie Miller will give the opening devotion. As the business of the meeting was concluded, Mindy lead a closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at 850PM.
Marcia Ladd, Clerk
Approved by session 10/20/14
Remember to pray for our church each day at noon.
Next Stated Session Meeting October 20, 2014
Presbytery meeting November 8 North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church, Stephanie and Mindy attending