Policies and Procedures

The Manual of Operations for Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church, Chapel Hill, North Carolina,  documents the policies and procedures of the Church as adopted by the Session. These provide for the orderly governance and operation of the Church.


Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church shall be governed in accordance with the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Governing Documents

  • Bylaws (Approved 7/10/2008; Revised 6/15/2020)

Congregational Meetings

There shall be an annual Congregational Meeting. (Approved 3/25/2012)

Notice for a Congregational Meeting shall be given for two consecutive Sundays prior to the meeting date, with one of those Sundays being the same day as the meeting. (Approved 3/25/2012)

A quorum for a Congregational Meeting shall be twenty percent of the members on the active roll of the church. (Approved 3/25/2012)

Parliamentary authority for the meeting shall be Robert’s Rules of Order. (Approved 3/25/2012)

Worship and Sacraments

Communion will be served on the following days: the first Sunday of every month, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Easter Sunday, Pentecost, Christ the King Sunday, Christmas Eve. (Approved 11/14/2011)

Members of Chapel in the Pines who undergo prior instruction shall be allowed to serve communion. (Approved 11/14/2011)

Inclement Weather Policy

Nominating Committee

[Approved by the congregation November 13, 2012]

Membership: The 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.


The Session will have nine members.  (Approved 3/13/2008)

A quorum of the session shall be the pastor or other presiding officer and a simple majority of the Ruling Elders, except for the reception and dismissal of members, when the quorum shall be the moderator and two members of the Session.  (Approved 7/11/2011)

The monthly Stated Session meeting will be on the third Monday of the month. (Approved 10/12/2009; revised 12/09/2013)

The Session will act as the Board of Trustees, meeting once a year as Trustees of the Corporation.  (Approved 3/13/2008)

The Session will elect a Treasurer annually, to serve as an Officer of the Corporation. (Approved 3/13/2008)

When a position as an elder or deacon is vacated for any reason, the position may remain vacant until the next scheduled election of officers.  (Approved June 11, 2012)

The Session authorizes the use of telephone conferencing (or through other electronic communications media) to allow members to participate remotely so long as all the members may simultaneously hear each other and participate during the meeting. A member must have a “very good” excuse for missing a meeting (example: being out of town on business). The member should advise the clerk/moderator at least 3 days in advance of the Session meeting to obtain permission to participate via teleconferencing.

In a teleconference meeting, voting shall be conducted as follows:

a. Unanimous consent shall be used whenever possible and especially for routine business such as adoption of the agenda, approval of the minutes, or adjourning the meeting.
b. A roll call vote shall be taken whenever a two-thirds (2/3) vote is required or whenever a participant calls for a Division to verify a voice vote.

These rules give the moderator/chairman the option to conduct voice votes as long as the attendees are comfortable with it. Also, a 2/3 vote is required to Limit Debate, move the Previous Question, take items out of order from an approved agenda, or otherwise Suspend the Rules. A 2/3 vote cannot be taken by voice and a standing vote cannot be taken over the telephone, so the only option for extra-majority voting is to do a roll call. (Approved May 13, 2013)

Clerk of Session – Election, duties (Approved October 8, 2012)

The Session may use email voting in situations where a decision is required before the next session meeting subject to the following rules and procedures: [click here for rules and procedures]  (Approved June 10, 2013)

Open Session Meetings.  Session meetings are to be regarded as open meetings. Members or friends of the congregation who wish to attend should notify the moderator or clerk at least 5 days prior to the scheduled meeting. Session may close any parts of a designated meeting in which case the guests would be asked to leave. Should a guest wish to address session, they need to secure an invitation from the moderator at least 5 days in advance of the meeting.  (Approved by session 11/16/15)


Chapel in the Pines shall have a Board of Deacons.  The Board of Deacons will have nine members. (Approved 3/13/2008)

When a position as an Elder or Deacon is vacated for any reason, the position may remain vacant until the next scheduled election of officers. (Approved June 11, 2012)

The Board of Deacons shall meet regularly, or upon the call of its moderator, or when directed to meet by the Session, but it shall meet at least quarterly. The board shall determine its own quorum. A joint meeting of the Session and Board of Deacons shall be held at least annually to confer on matters of common interest, with the moderator of the Session presiding. No binding decision may be reached in such joint meeting, but the Session and the board may act separately on matters committed to their care. (Approved by Session October 8, 2012)

The Board of Deacons shall report on its activities to the Session at least quarterly and at other times upon the request of the Session. (Approved by Session October 8, 2012)



Finance Policy and Procedures (Changed July 2016; last rev. Sept. 2019)

Revenue. There are four primary sources of revenue for Chapel in the Pines:

a) Revenue from the annual stewardship campaign for operating expenses
b) Gifts from individuals or organizations that are designated for a specific use
c) Open plate, income from building rental and special programs, and other giving programs throughout the year (e.g., Pennies for Hunger offering) (rev. 10/17/16)
d) Revenue raised during special campaigns such a capital campaign

Operating Budget
. Most revenue is raised via pledges made during the annual stewardship campaign to cover operating expenses. Once the campaign concludes each year, the Finance Committee is responsible for recommending to Session a budget for both revenue and operating expenses. This budget is informed by committee input provided during the 4 th quarter of each year that outlines each committee’s suggestions for expenses. Once the budget is approved by Session (usually in January), each church committee is responsible for managing its expenses to its expense budget.  The committees have the authority to spend approved funds without further requests or approval from Session. If the committee needs to spend more than what was approved in the annual budget, it must first get approval from Session.

The Finance Committee is responsible for periodically reviewing the church’s performance against the approved budget and recommending to Session any changes to the budget that might be needed as the year progresses.  [Any committee or subcommittee who expects to overspend the approved budget for any budget year should bring the request to the finance committee for approval, and then, if confirmed, present to Session for a vote (added by Session September 2017).]

To accommodate periodic requests for significant changes in funding that may arise in a given year, the following guidelines and procedures were adopted by Session October 19, 2015:

a) Proposed expenditures need to be discussed, planned and budgeted via the formal annual budget process;

b) The budget process should include a prioritized listing of items we would like to fund if additional monies are obtained (by whatever mechanism, recognizing that surplus money is truly not recognized until year end);

c) If suggestions are made for unbudgeted items, the items should go back to the committee in question. That committee can discuss and then formally make a recommendation to session for spending the money

Designated Gifts
. Occasionally CITP will receive a gift from a member, friend, or organization that is outside the normal pledging process. These gifts usually come with a description of how the gift should be used: gifts without such a description will go to the operating budget.  The following process should be used to acknowledge gifts:

a) A log is maintained by the accountant indicating who gave the gift, when it was given, and how it is to be spent.

b) The accountant notifies the office manager of the receipt of the gift: the office manager then sends an appropriate thank you note within two weeks of receiving the gift. The accountant also notifies the Finance Committee of the gift and its designated purpose.

c) The Finance Committee ensures that the use of the gift is compatible with the church mission, and contacts the committee who will be responsible for carrying out the donor’s wishes.

d) The appropriate committee will determine use of funds and then recommend to Session for approval. (rev. 10/17/16)

e) The Finance Committee periodically reviews special and designated gifts to ensure that they have been executed in a timely manner.

CITP encourages donors to make undesignated gifts so these can be applied to the operating budget. However, if a donor wishes to make a designated gift, Session maintains a “wish list” to help channel giving to purposes that are consistent with CITP’s mission and specific to the ongoing
work of committees. This Wish List for Designated Giving is updated at least annually.

Funds donated for a specific cause or committee will be designated to the appropriate subcommittee or committee  which will propose to the Finance Committee how they wish to spend the monies. Both the Finance Committee and the Session must approve the proposed use prior to expenditure.  (Added by Session September 2017)

See CITP’s General Gift Acceptance Policy (approved 09/22/2014; revised 03/21/16) for more information. [Note: This policy supersedes the following two motions approved previously by Session:  A Donor Book will be created to list the names of all donors to capital campaigns as well as records of all other gifts designated for the church’s facilities.  (Approved 3/14/2011) The following motion was approved after the Administration Committee’s consideration of the previous motion:  “That the church not create a Donor Book with a list of names of all contributors to Capital Campaigns and other gifts designated for the church facilities.” (approved 12/15/14)]

Special Giving Programs
. Periodically there will be a special gift program sponsored by the larger church for a particular purpose, e.g., hunger. When these gifts are shared by the local community, the choice of the community organization should be made by the appropriate committee, usually Mission and Service.

Cash Management. The following cash management policies shall be maintained by CITP:

a) All money institutions that are used by the church must be recommended by the Finance Committee and approved by Session.

b) Church offerings must be counted and verified by two church members. Checks received by mail should be opened by the office manager and given to the accountant to record its receipt.  Typically, the Treasurer makes the bank deposit.

c) Any check of $1,500 or more must be signed by two members who are approved by the Session. (Adopted 6/15/2020)

d) Any project or contract of $10,000 or more must have at least two quotes and be approved by Session. (Approved 07/20/2015)

[Click here for a Disbursement Voucher.]

Environmental Stewardship


Committee members will serve three-year terms. A member may serve two consecutive terms.  Committee chairs will be appointed by the Pastor and the Session Liaison. Terms of service will be June 1 to May 31. Committee members will take at least one year off after serving two consecutive three-year terms before returning to a committee.  (Approved 3/12/2009; revised 02/21/17)

Committee meetings shall be held as needed and minutes shall be taken for each meeting and sent to the clerk of session for inclusion in the session consent agenda.  (Approved 1/9/2012; revised 02/21/17)

Chapel in the Pines Committee Roles and Responsibilities document (Approved 10/19/15)


Building and Grounds is responsible for the care and maintenance of the building and grounds including any future changes or additions.

Responsibilities include:

  • Maintain grounds (lawn, drainage, pathways)
  • Improve and maintain landscaping
  • Recommend and oversee additions or alterations to the grounds including the playground, signage, fencing, and driveway and parking
  • Monitor and maintain building exterior including painting, caulking, sealing, gutter cleaning, repairs and upgrades
  • Monitor and maintain building interior including inspections (fire marshall), cleaning, repairs, and wall hangings (for code compliance)
  • Periodically review and recommend updates to the Building Use Guidelines
  • Oversight of remembrance garden subcommittee (Approved 07/17/17)
  • Pray for Chapel in the Pines and with gratitude for all of our resources
Prior to any and all additions, alterations or improvements to the building and/or grounds, a proposal shall be submitted to the committee for its review and approval.  (Approved 11/14/2011)
The Building and Grounds committee should be notified of any building use that requires unusual building resources, needs regulatory review, or is going to make changes to the church.

Standing subcommittees include:

Remembrance Garden Subcommittee

The Remembrance Garden Subcommittee is responsible for the oversight of the garden and the columbariums including their sale, upkeep, policies, and related financial management.


Interior Decor Subcommittee (responsibilities of this subcommittee transferred to Worship 2016)



[The Children and Youth Committee and Adult Education Committees were merged March 2017. Approved by session March 20, 2017]

The Christian Education Committee provides oversight for the flexible and varied educational opportunities for children, youth, and adults.

Responsibilities include:
For adults:

  • Coordinating and ensuring theologically-sound curriculum is available for adult programming
  • Inviting and encouraging participation in classes, discussion and study groups

For infants and toddlers:

  • Arrange and coordinate paid and volunteer nursery responsibilities for infants up to age three on Sunday mornings or at other times as requested by the pastor or session

For Children’s Church:

  • Children’s church serves children four years to third-grade
  • Provide theologically-based, age-appropriate crafts, games, and activities during the worship service or as requested by the pastor or session
  • Solicit volunteers and coordinate the weekly schedule

For Sunday School:

  • Provide theologically-based, age-appropriate lesson plans and activities on a weekly basis, in consultation with the pastor, for school-age children
  • Solicit volunteers to be teachers and helpers and coordinate the weekly schedule

For Youth:

  • Provide theologically-based, age-appropriate lessons and activities for youth, eighth grade through high school, in consultation with the pastor, parents, and possible interns or paid staff

Note about Childcare:

  • Arrange for two adults, paid or volunteer, to be in attendance with children at all times so that in case of an emergency, one adult can remain in the nursery. (approved 12/15/14). Anyone working directly with our children needs a sex offender background check.
  • the church has a safe church policy that requires children and youth to be supervised at a ratio of 10 to 1 with a minimum of 1 adult and 1 high school student 16 or older. All supervisors working with children will be subject to a background check. (June 19, 2017).
[Approved by session March 20, 2017]


The Communication and Technology Committee provides support to church staff, committees, and programs to develop, implement, and maintain effective internal and external systems of communications.

Responsibilities include:

  • Pray for Chapel in the Pines and that our communication efforts might bear God’s grace to the world

Subcommittees may include:

Social Media Subcommittee

  • Social networking (Facebook and Twitter)
  • Share podcast via social media

Publicity Subcommittee

  • Develop mailings for publicizing Chapel in the Pines (approved 2015)
  • Assist other committees with advertising and publicity logistics
  • Develop and place press releases and newspaper ads as appropriate
  • Encourage other committees to inform the congregation of significant happenings
  • Post to local chat lists (Chatham Chatlist, Highland Forest, etc.)
  • Create/deploy banners for the Mann’s Chapel sign
  • Oversee upkeep of bulletin boards (removed 10/2016)

Technology Support Subcommittee

  • Administration and maintenance of website

Audio Visual Subcommittee

  • Audio-visual equipment custodian
  • Audio/visual setup for special events
  • Podcast recording, production, and posting
  • Operate/maintain audio/hearing loop system operation (level adjustments, batteries, repairs, etc.)
  • Support internal network, internet connection, phones, computers when consultation is requested by Finance and Administration Committee (Removed June 2017)



The Fellowship Committee provides frequent and varied opportunities for the Body of Christ to grow together and nurture relationships.

Responsibilities include:

  • Plan potluck dinners, congregational field trips, and intergenerational events, activities and gatherings outside of Sunday morning.
  • Sunday-morning fellowship time
  • Care and upkeep of the kitchen
  • Pray for Chapel in the Pines and that God’s grace might be evident through our fellowship

Subcommittee:  Strobilus Arts


The Finance and Administration Committee oversees the financial resources and administration of the church as well as the budgeting process to ensure fiscal responsibility.

Responsibilities include:

  • Reviews the monthly financial activity of the church and recommends action steps needed to ensure the church is fiscally sound
  • Prepares and recommends the annual budget to the Session
  • Manages processes and projects that enhance the financial condition of the church
  • Maintains documents such as the General Gift Acceptance Policy and Wish List for Designated Giving
  • Oversees equipment rental and maintenance contracts (e.g. fire, security, printer, PCs, etc.), office expenses, payroll, utilities, and insurance
  • Pray for Chapel in the Pines and that God’s gifts to us are used for God’s glory
  • Manages endowment (added July 2016)

Stewardship Subcommittee

This subcommittee plans and conducts the annual stewardship campaign. The campaign is usually held in the fall and concludes with Dedication Sunday in late November.

Capital Campaign Subcommittee

This subcommittee has conducted three capital campaigns. The first ran from July 2010 to June 2013 and raised $833,000 to build the church and pay the mortgage for three years. The second campaign ran from July 2013 to June 2016, raising $311,000 including pledges of $71,000 used to pay off a loan to purchase the church’s land, $13,000 for outreach, and the remainder to make monthly mortgage payments until mid-2016. A third capital campaign ran from March 2016 through June 2019, raising $850,000 to build a new fellowship hall and pay down the debt.

Auditing Subcommittee

This subcommittee audits financial recordkeeping processes and activities annually.  The audit is conducted by qualified members annually.  Every third year an external CPA will conduct the audit (the last external audit was conducted in 2014).

Endowment Subcommittee [same composition as Finance Committee]

This subcommittee manages the endowment fund following established by-laws and gifting policies.

The Finance Committee will also serve as the Endowment Subcommittee (Approved by Session July 18, 2016).
The Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund was approved and established by the Session on April 21, 2014.  The following “Articles Establishing the Chapel in the Pines Endowment Fund:  A Legacy of Faith, and the Endowment Committee” and “Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund Policy on Gifts, Contributions, and Solicitations” were adopted by the Session April 21, 2014.  As of July 2016, the Finance Committee serves as the Endowment Committee, as approved by Session.

href=”http://chapelinthepinespc.org/UserFiles/File/Endowment%20Fund%20-%20Articles.pdf”>Endowment Fund – Articles Establishing

href=”http://chapelinthepinespc.org/UserFiles/File/Endowment-Gift%20Policy.pdf”>Endowment Fund – Gift Policy





The Membership and Evangelism Committee invites the surrounding community to worship and church activities through promotion and publication of church-related events. The committee also provides a welcoming environment for members, visitors, and guests.

Responsibilities include:

  • Publicize worship and special events to the community at large, including postcards at least twice a year (moved to Communication 2015)
  • Provide welcoming materials in the narthex and sanctuary (including name tags and informational brochures, as necessary)
  • Write notes to visitors inviting them to return
  • Oversee the membership directory
  • Work with the pastor on new member classes and welcome packets
  • Assign greeters for worship and events
  • Conduct an annual review of the church rolls
  • Maintain and update the new member board with photos and descriptions
  • Review website content and format annually to ensure accuracy and accessibility of information from the perspective of those not familiar with the church
  • Pray for Chapel in the Pines, those God sends us, and those to whom we are sent




The Mission and Service Committee shows forth the love of God by caring for those in need, locally and globally. The committee also educates the congregation and promotes awareness of mission and service opportunities.

Responsibilities include:

  • Coordinates local and global mission projects
  • Makes announcements about congregational mission involvement and encourages the congregation into active service
  • Chooses recipients of the local portions of the denominational special offerings (World Communion: Peace and Global Witness Offering, Pentecost, One Great Hour of Sharing, and Joy Gift) without Session approval. (Approved 7/12/2010)
  • There will be a special offering annually to fund the Martin Luther King Scholarship administered by the MLK University/Community Planning Corporation on the Sunday closest to MLK Day.  (Approved 4/12/2010)
  • Chapel in the Pines will be a partner church for Presbyterian Campus Ministry at UNC-Chapel Hill, appointing two one board members and approving financial support up to $1,000, based on budget ability. (Approved 10/9/2008; revised 02/21/17)
  • The formerly-named Outreach Committee was renamed “Mission & Service” (Approved 03/23/15)
  • Pray for Chapel in the Pines and all God’s people in need

Peacemaking and Social Justice Subcommittee (eliminated 10/2016)


The Personnel Committee, in coordination with the pastor as head of staff, oversees  professional staff including policies, evaluation and support.

Responsibilities include:

  • Assists in matters related to employed personnel administration
  • Works with the head of staff and other appropriate parties to find, recommend, and hire new employees
  • Provide for annual evaluations for all staff on their hire date
  • Evaluate staffing needs and make recommendations
  • Recommend changes in salary and benefits
  • Maintain the personnel manual
  • Pray for Chapel in the Pines and all of our staff
  • Personnel Manual


The Worship Committee is responsible for all aspects of sacred worship including music, Holy Communion, special services, liturgical arts, and spoken word.

Responsibilities include:

  • Ensure that communion elements are prepared and servers are trained and scheduled
  • Recruit, train and schedule readers for worship services
  • Recruit, train and schedule volunteers to present the children’s message during Sunday worship
  • Provide oversight of sanctuary space and elements related to worship
  • Provides all art and décor within the existing building, including the sanctuary, narthex, halls and classrooms to correspond to the church calendar in general and worship enhancements in coordination with the pastor.
  • Plan special events related to worship in coordination with other committees such as Easter brunch with the Fellowship Committee
  • Works with worship and music staff to provide inspirational music during worship and for special services
  • Works with the ushers scheduled by the monthly fellowship team to ensure all ushering duties are performed during each worship service. (revised 10/2016)
  • Arrange for flowers each week in the sanctuary, presentations of poinsettias during Advent, lilies during Lent, and a Chrismon tree
  • Recommend guest preachers, as needed
  • Appoints one or more persons as wedding coordinators to serve as the general liaison between Chapel in the Pines and the wedding party.
  • Pray for Chapel in the Pines and all those who worship here

Liturgical Art Subcommittee (correction of committee name affirmed by Session April 2015; subcommittee eliminated 10/2016 – a member of the Worship committee will be assigned these responsibilities)