September 9, 2013 Stated Session Meeting
Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church
Stated Session Meeting: September 9, 2013 – Adult Classroom
Attending: Ruling Elders Monty Brekke, Cindy Massey, Stephanie Miller, Jeff Morehouse, Rachel Stevens, John Walkup, Bob Warren, Jerry Wehmueller (Treasurer) Mary Donna Pond (Clerk), and Teaching Elder Rev. Mindy Douglas (Moderator). Excused absence: Fred Royal, Tina Stark
Guest: Will Sibert
Mindy Douglas called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and welcomed guest, Will Sibert. Stephanie Miller led the devotion which focused on God’s goodness seen through the prism of tumult. God restores our hope and helps us rise above the chaos. God also calls us to love our enemies.
Pastoral concerns and celebrations were shared.
Worship Committee. This report was moved up on the agenda as Stephanie needed to leave the meeting early. She brought a motion from the Worship Committee that this year’s Christmas Eve service begin at 5:00 p.m. The motion passed unopposed.
Special Order. Will Sibert presented his request to the Session to create a fund to receive donations supporting the Jeremiah Project and to approve Will’s approaching CITP members about making such donations. The project would develop and implement new ways to develop leadership within college-age students. Will addressed questions regarding PC(USA) and NEXT Church, Presbyterian Campus Ministry, Salem Presbytery. John asked what tangible milestone Will expected to achieve and when that milestone would be reached. Will thanked the Session for the opportunity to meet with them and then left the meeting. Rachel moved that a pass-through fund be set up to receive designated gifts. Jeff seconded the motion. Several people asked what might happen to the donations if Will found funding elsewhere or if the project die not go forward. Cindy, Jerry, and others had questions about receiving funds that, in essence, would be used for an individual’s salary. John offered an amendment to the motion, that "Will satisfactorily resolve the questions Cindy and Jerry were asking from a legal and financial point of view" before an account be established. Monty seconded the amendment which passed following brief discussion. Mindy then called for a vote on the amended motion – "Chapel in the Pines will set up a pass-through account for the Jeremiah Project, pending Will Sibert’s satisfactorily resolving the questions Cindy and Jerry are asking from a legal and financial point of view." The motion passed unopposed. Jeff then moved the Session’s approval for Will to approach members of the church regarding support of the Jeremiah Project. Monty seconded the motion which also passed unopposed.
Leadership Development. Rachel spoke to the Session about a new focus for leadership development: evaluation. She proposed during the coming months to work with the Session to think about ways to evaluate the work of committees, the programs of the church, staffing, and other important areas of church life. Example she gave were: is the current committee structure right? Are church policies right? Are there goals for committees and are they being accomplished?
Approval of Agenda and Consent Agenda: The agenda was approved. Items approved on the consent agenda were:
a. Approval of Minutes: Congregational Meeting 07-21-13; Stated Session Meeting 08-05-13; Called Session Meeting 08-25-13
b. Receipt of Committee reports: Building and Grounds 08-20-13 and 09-03-13; Children and Youth Ministry 09-2013; Outreach 08-08-13; Worship Committee 09-08-13
Pastor’s Report. A written report was included in the Session packet. Mindy covered a few items in the written report including background on the possibility of getting a Duke Divinity School intern, and her D.Min. classes.
FAB Committee. A written Treasurer’s Report was in the Session Packet. The August reports of Revenue and Expenses, Restricted Funds, and Balance Sheet were also in the packet. Jerry reported that revenue for the past three years has remained flat. He reported that, at Stephanie’s suggestion, a new plan for Stewardship is being considered, based on work by Herb Miller, shifting the emphasis from paying the church’s bills to considering what God is calling us to do. Bob asked that a report on the recent Capital Campaign be made to the congregation. Bob also suggested explaining the opportunity to pay off the land note to the congregation and asking those who are able to "front load" their payments to the campaign so that adequate cash will be available to pay off the note. The Session expressed its gratitude to Jerry for his thoughtful leadership. The Session also asked the Clerk to convey to Stan Campbell the Session’s gratitude for his expertise and strong leadership during the campaign.
Outreach Committee. Monty reported that the committee had not identified a local organization for the Peacemaking Offering but will do so soon. The committee requested permission from the Session to participate in a fund raiser for Take and Eat on October 15, perhaps selling food from a food truck. John asked if the fund raiser/event would cost the church anything. Monty responded that, worst case, it might cost $500 but it is hoped there would be no cost. Mindy suggested another food vendor to contact. A vote on this request was passed unopposed. Monty then asked for approval to again participate in the Simple Gifts program in December. This request was also approved unopposed.
In Fred’s absence, the report on the August Presbytery meeting was moved to October’s agenda.
Nursery. Mindy asked the Session to identify where in the organizational structure the Volunteer Nursery Helper Coordinator belongs. It was suggested that since the nursery involves children, it belongs in Children’s and Youth Ministry. However, since there is really no education involved, only child care for nursery age children (6 months to 3 years), some people felt this was not the proper structure. Others suggested that since the nursery allows parents to attend worship, it should be under the Worship Committee. The Worship Committee considers its purview only that which occurs in the sanctuary, not outside. There was also the suggestion that a nursery is needed during the Sunday School hour to allow parents to attend classes, choir rehearsal, hand bell rehearsal, and other meetings prior to worship. John Walkup volunteered to take the nursery under the Membership Committee. Mindy accepted John’s offer and suggested this matter be revisited, perhaps at the retreat in October, when Stephanie (Worship chair) and Tina (Children’s and Youth chair) could participate in the conversation.
Presbyterian Campus Ministry Representative. Jeff and Rachel agreed to recruit someone as our representative.
October 5 Retreat. John suggested that Rachel lead the retreat using her great skills in organization and evaluation to help the Session do some needed planning and visioning. Rachel agreed to do so and Mindy and John volunteered to help. The retreat will begin at 9 AM and end by 3 PM.
Duke Divinity School Intern. John moved to accept the submitted application for an intern; Bob seconded the motion, which passed unopposed. Mary Donna and John volunteered to serve on the lay committee to work with the intern; Mary Donna will ask Allen Matlins to also serve on this committee.
NEXT Church Request. The Outreach Committee will deliberate the request for funds for NEXT Church’s project of assisting two churches, one in Charlotte and the other in California.
Theological Education Fund. The request for funding will be deferred until the 2014 budget planning process.
Guest Preacher. John moved that Christine Hong, Presbyterian Mission Agency’s new interfaith associate in the Office of Theology and Worship, be approved as guest preacher for November 10. She will preach at no cost for CITP as a part of her visit to Salem Presbytery. Rachel seconded the motion which passed unopposed.
Commissioner to November Presbytery meeting. This action was deferred to the October meeting.
UPC Endowment Fund Request. The Communications Committee and Building and Grounds will consider making requests for funding. The deadline is October 1.
Reminders: Mindy noted the following reminders –
Remember to pray for our church each day at noon.
Session Retreat – Saturday, October 5, 2013
Next Stated Session Meeting – Monday, October 14, 2013
Presbytery meeting – Saturday, November 9, 2013 – Prospect Presbyterian Church, Mooresville, NC
Officer Retreat – Friday-Saturday, November 15-16, 2013
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m. Mindy closed the meeting with prayer.
Mary Donna Pond, Clerk of Session
Approved by Session October 14, 2013