Session Annual Report, February 1, 2015
The Session thanks the congregation for a great year in 2014. The Session worked hard to provide steady and able leadership. We made good progress and there are many opportunities before us. There is much work to be done and the Session is committed to faithful, energetic leadership. It appreciates all the people who, through their efforts, serve Christ’s work in this congregation and community.
This report lists a number of the activities of the year 2014 as well as some of the Session goals for 2015. Work on these goals is already underway. We thank the congregation, the pastors, and the church staff for their participation in the work of ministry in this congregation. Together we are the body of Christ and every person is important. We covet your prayers and thank you for your generous service.
Together may we – Gather as God’s people, Grow as disciples, and Go into our world as ministers of Jesus Christ.
Following is a list of the reports of the seven ministries of the Session (Worship, Christian Education, Administration, Fellowship, Missions, Membership, Buildings and Grounds) and a report from the Deacons.
The staff at Central prepares all week long for the contemporary and traditional services. Thank you to all the staff for their time, energy and effort into making this church so great. Each worship planning team meets monthly to brainstorm and plan. Thank you too for all of the members in our church who volunteer their time to support the services. If you have ever been a lay leader, ushered, served communion or prayed in the service, thank you.
This past year, the church had special services like Youth Sunday, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Easter, Kirkin’ of the Tartans, Musical Cantata, Special Christmas music, and 2 Christmas Eve services. Some accomplishments of this past year:
· The organ was repaired. This was an extensive repair to fix some stress-fatigued pipes and replace other ones. This was done during the summer months and between the Easter and Christmas seasons.
· Central hired a children’s choir director, Wendi Stunzi. The children have benefited from her presence, especially this past Christmas with a wonderful Christmas program. She has brought a wonderful energy to the children’s music program. The program primarily meets on Wednesday evenings as part of the Kidz Klub program.
· The sanctuary sound system was repaired with a new mixer board, new handheld wireless microphones, and new lavaliere wireless microphones for the pastors. A sound engineer helped adjust the system according to our sanctuary acoustics. Thank you to Bill Anderson for his help in this area.
· We did a survey of Christmas Eve service times and changed the Communion and Candlelight service from 11 p.m. to 9 p.m. The attendance was up this year at that service by about 20 people over last year.
· We had eight families participate in the Kirkin’ of the Tartans service last October. Each family processed into the service carrying their own family tartan. If your family would like to participate next time, please see someone on the worship committee.
· We had “Name Tag Sunday” on a regular basis to help people get to know each other. We have scheduled the Sundays through 2015 as well.
· We made a point to be sure to sing an old hymn at least once a month.
· The church staff met this year for a planning retreat and planned worship service themes for the year ahead.
We look forward to another great year with meaningful services.
Eva Nelson, Chair, Worship Ministry
Christian Education Ministry
Christian Education oversees all discipleship opportunities for children, youth and adults. The CEMT (Christian Education Ministry Team) has an enormous impact on the life of the church at Central Presbyterian Church. Here are some of the highlights of Christian Education in 2014:
The mission for Adult CE ministry is to provide vibrant educational Christ-centered offerings for adults of all ages that grow disciples and promote a meaningful lifelong relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Our Sunday morning courses continue to inspire, motivate and be thought-provoking, according to quarterly evaluations and class attendance. An average of 40-50 adults attend 3 courses weekly. Some topics studied in 2014 include: The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Parables of Jesus, Confessions of St. Augustine, and Bible studies on the Books of James and 1, 2 Corinthians, just to name a few. Our “system” has been in effect for two years and seems to be meeting our goals to provide theologically sound choices with a diversity of offerings, approaches, and styles.
We expanded our Wednesday night offerings to 2 different courses. Participants have enjoyed lively discussions on a variety of topics, including the Jewish Roots of Christianity and a course looking at Persecution of Christians. Weekly class attendance on Wednesday nights averages about 20 adults.
Our Women’s Ministry provides a weekly bible study led by our Associate Pastor provides education for an average of 16-18 faithful participants. In 2014, they studied the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Hebrews.
A strong Presbyterian Women's circle met each month in Room 200 at Central. Netty Vermeulen served as moderator again this year and did a great job. Dr. Bohler led the Bible Study each month and various people brought refreshments. The Presbyterian Women continue to support, through their offerings and prayers, a number of important ministries throughout the denomination and church.
The Men's Ministry at Central centered this year around small discipleship groups. We had 28 men involved in a 3-4 person discipleship group during this past year. There were seven groups that met in 2014 in this 25-week program. These groups studied a book called "Discipleship Essentials" by Greg Ogden. The groups were led by the pastor or a person who had already been through the discipleship program. We hope the program will continue to grow and involve even more men in the life of Central.
The Youth Ministry of Central Presbyterian Church is committed to love, nurture, inspire, and equip our 6th – 12th grade students to be faithful, lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ who reach out to their community in service to others and for the Kingdom.
Youth ministry includes students in grades 6-12. In 2014, Central served 42 families; with 65 students actively involved. 2014 saw the advent of 2 youth interns both during the summer and the school year. This Fall, youth group grew even more, averaging 32 students on Sunday night, under the leadership, creativity and strong relationship building of our interns, Morgan Mills and Loran Posey. 20-25 students attend Sunday school weekly, with 2-3 classes offered to students each week. In addition to regular Sunday activities the youth also participate in service projects such as collecting the Souper Bowl offering, sponsoring and participating in the ML5K to support Extra Special People, conducting worship on Youth Sunday, and other outreach activities.
Nine (9) 7th grade students participated in the 9-week Confirmation classes, and attended the weekend retreat. They made their profession of faith and joined the church in March, 2014.
Each summer, our middle and high school students look forward to their summer trip, which is great bonding experience for our young people. In 2014, 25 youth and adults attended their first Fun in the Son High School Conference and had a great experience. 26 youth and adults enjoyed a summer adventure in Gatlinburg, TN. In addition to our summer trips, several school-year and summer outings give students a chance to get to know each other and bring their friends. An annual school-year highlight includes The Mix, a city-wide, in-town retreat at the Classic Center. 49 CPC youth and adults joined 1900 students from 26 churches at the Classic Center in January, 2014 for a powerful experience!
The mission for Children Ministry is to provide a welcoming Christ-centered
ministry for children and families which allows children to discover God through age-appropriate learning programs and fellowship and to introduce children to a meaningful, lifelong relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Our children’s ministry program serves approximately 30 families and provides the following programs for 50 children (ages 4 through 5th grade). An average of 20-25 children attend Sunday school weekly, taught by 8 teachers in 4 classes, learning from the Grow, Proclaim, Serve Curriculum. When children leave worship each Sunday, they attend Kidz Praise – during the early service, about 10 students (4 years old through 5th grade) enjoy a Bible story and craft in the nursery wing; during the late service we have two groups: an average of 10-12 students for the 4 years old-1st grade group and an average of 12 for the 2nd-5th grade group.
Wednesday night Kidz Club brings an average of 25 children along with 4
regular leaders and various volunteers to lead the rotations. The program features a workshop rotation model where the children focus on a Bible story for several weeks and visit a different workshop weekly such as art, cooking, crafts, games and science to experience the same story from different perspectives.
During the fall, our 2nd-3rd graders participated in a 4-week Worship & Communion Class leading up to World Communion Sunday. In 2014, we presented 5 Bibles to our 3rd grade children in the Fall and 10 hymnals to our 4th graders during Lent. During the summer our church welcomed over 100 children, youth and adult leaders to Vacation Bible School “Weird Animals.” Our Children's Choirs sang under the direction of their new Choir Director, Mrs. Wendi Stunzi on Palm Sunday, as well as presenting the Christmas musical. Our Christmas children’s musical “A Christmas Carol - Scrooge in Bethlehem” had 33 kids singing and telling the story of Christ’s birth.
Additional special events like the Easter egg hunt and Fall Festival, Bring-a-friend nights, holiday celebrations and the 4th-5th grade end-of-the-year lock-in were fun outreach events for our families, extended family and friends, and were very successful in terms of children participating, youth & adult volunteers and fun had by all!
Deb Williams and Lisa Peterson, Christian Education Ministry
The Administration Ministry works closely with the Pastors, Treasurer and Bookkeeper to conduct the daily business of Central Presbyterian. Within the purview of the Administration Ministry are matters related to personnel, budgeting, investments, policy documentation, and the like. Consequently, the Administration Ministry is often the liaison between the various ministries of the Session and the parties named above.
The Administration Ministry did a number of things in 2014:
· Received the request from Eloise Williams to retire after 37 years as our church bookkeeper. We then facilitated the hiring of a new bookkeeper. This was a multi step process that produced several qualified candidates, with Marnie Yeomans ultimately being the one selected by Administration, the Search Committee and the Pastors. She began January 1, 2015.
· Began publishing monthly budget updates in the Sunday bulletin once a month.
· Encouraged regular “Did You Know” columns in the church newsletter as a way of increasing communication in the congregation.
· Worked with the Session to keep the budget on track. While the budget was once again tight, the congregation embraced the Plus Some giving presented by the Stewardship Committee, resulting in a slight surplus for 2014.
· Worked with Session and the Treasurer to develop a 2015 budget. Again, while things remain tight, this budget is stronger, allowing us to increase Missions Ministry spending in 2015.
· Based upon input from the Vision Committee in 2013, 2014 saw quite a few changes in church operations, including the hiring of two youth interns, the placement of an annual calendar of church events, expediting repair of the church organ and improved communication of the church’s financial status.
· Passed Session by-laws and presented a set of congregational by-laws for approval by the congregation.
· Worked with the pastor on reviews and yearly goal setting for the church staff.
· Encouraged an annual planning retreat by the church staff, which happened in August of 2014.
Administration Ministry 2015 Goals
1. Continue to review and manage the budget effectively.
2. Encourage and facilitate annual review of each staff person’s goals.
3. Develop a plan for the next phase of organ repair/updating and present to the congregation when appropriate.
4. Continue to expand and develop ways to communicate with the congregation.
2014/15 Central Presbyterian Church Financial Summary
Ministry 2014 Spending 2015 Budget
Membership $ 2,250 $ 3,000
Missions $14,668 17,700
Worship $12,163 9,000
Administration $27,863 26,700
Fellowship $ 3,162 5,000
Education $22,138 22,000
Properties $74,834 72,500
Total, Operating $157,078 $155,900
Staff $294,866 $303,197
Mortgage $ 21,244 $ 40,216
Grand Total $473,188 $499,313
Total Income $491,083 $499,894 (est.)
Deficit/Surplus $ 17,895 $ 581 (est.)
Note: most of increase comes from budgeting a full year of mortgage payments into the operating budget, completing that transition.
Changes in the Terms of Call:
The session asks the congregation to approve changes to the terms of call for the pastor and the associate pastor. The terms of call total package includes salary and all benefits. The proposed changes for the pastor represent only an increase in the cost of health insurance. For the pastor the package would rise from $109,229 to $109,796. For the associate pastor, session is increasing her work hours by 6 hours per week with a corresponding raise in pay. Thus, the associate pastor’s package would rise from $54,555 to $58,620.
David Bernhardt, Chair, Administration Ministry
The fellowship ministry works to provide excellent meals and refreshments for the church throughout the church year. We are led by our “chef” Lew Frazar, whose dedication and experience are of great value. This year Julee Scholenfeld and Eric Anderson, the ministry co-chairs, joined the kitchen crew. The group that helps in the kitchen includes Steve and Joyce Henley, Cathy Kirkham, Samantha Maxwell, Jan Rhodes, Xandra Baxter, Howard Guest, and others. Carol Bernhardt heads up the group that recruits Gathering Hosts and does an excellent job.
Wednesday Night Dinners
On Wednesday evenings we seek to provide delicious meals that are nourishing and affordable. Since September 2014, our average attendance has been up, numbering 65-70 people each Wednesday evening. This has been because of excellent adult class offerings, new children’s choir opportunities, expanded youth opportunities, and wonderful meals. We are grateful to everyone who makes this program successful. This year we again have several theme dinners planned, including Cuban Night, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Halloween.
Other Fellowship Events
The fellowship ministry continued to support a number of church-wide luncheons and programs. We had a number of church-wide luncheons during 2014. These were well attended and a nice part of our church’s life together.
We also had special Sunday evening programs that included food and activities. Some of these were the church-wide Birthday Party in April and Minute to Win-It in August. We also helped sponsor the Tailgate Party in September and the neighborhood Fall Festival in October. The Amazing Race Through the Gospel of Mark, last spring was especially fun as well as educational.
Fellowship Plans for 2015
We love to prepare meals for our brothers and sisters in the church so we can benefit from our fellowship together. For the year 2015, these events are already in the works with these tentative dates:
February 1 – Church-wide covered dish luncheon and congregational meeting
April 26 – Sunday evening dinner and Birthday Party
August 23 – Sunday evening dinner and Minute To Win-It
September 27 – Sunday evening dinner and Tailgate Party
Eric Anderson and Julee Schoenfeld, Co-Chairs, Fellowship Ministry
Property and Grounds
1. Create Property and Grounds team by recruiting church members. Had 3 team meetings during the year.
2. Spring cleaning of church and grounds. Had excellent turn out of over 30 people.
3. Fix chandeliers lights. Chandeliers were fixed with hard wiring when fully extended allowing Marvin to repair bad sockets.
4. Have organ repaired after vacation bible school. Organ repair was completed in 7 months. Several of the larger pipes had to be discarded and new ones made.
5. Build outdoor volleyball court. Still under review.
6. Had a water problem in Narthex area that was corrected for use in 24 hours and was completely fixed within 3 weeks.
7. Charles Kilgore accepted Co-chair of Property and Grounds.
Vision for 2015
1. Increase team meetings for 2015.
2. Make team to clean windows.
3. Make team to paint iron railings around church.
4. Look at options to shampoo carpet in gathering area.
5. Working on adding new bus.
6. Looking at cover for both buses.
7. Set date for spring cleaning.
8. Make team for maintaining lower grounds.
Gary Huff and Charles Kilgore, Co-Chairs of Property and Grounds
This year was a busy year for the membership ministry. This ministry sought to follow up on church visitors, create a welcoming atmosphere, and assimilate those who unite with our congregation. We assisted with enhancing the celebration of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduate Recognition Sunday, and Confirmation Sunday. We also assisted with “Get To Know Central Classes.”
For several years our ministry has experimented with various forms of a class for visitors and potential new members. We think we have finally hit on a class format that seems to work well. It is a “Get To Know Central” class after the Traditional Worship Service on Sunday mornings. We invite visitors to this class, which lasts from 12:15 until 2 p.m. At the class we overview topics such as: what it means to be a Christian; what is the Presbyterian Church; who are we at Central; and how does one get the most out of church membership. We give our visitors a notebook with handouts, allow time for questions, and end with a tour of the facilities. We will have one of these classes on a regular basis and when we have regular visitors who may wish to attend. We most recently held a class in January of 2015.
You will be glad to learn that the Pictorial Directory is only weeks away. The process of creating a church pictorial directory is one that always takes longer than anticipated. That is the case with this directory. We took photographs in March of 2014. Since then we have been holding make-up sessions, getting pictures of various programs in order, and correcting proofs. Finally however the last version is at the printers and we expect it soon. Thank you for your patience with this process.
We have continued to nurture our “Caring Teams” at central. We have had several occasions in which people have been encouraged to sit with their caring team at a church event or luncheon. We hope this program will continue to give us a strong level of care for one another at Central.
We are excited about the possibility that Reverend Trimpe will have more time to work closely with membership beginning in July of 2015. We think this will dramatically increase our effectiveness and we look forward to her hands-on assistance and guidance. We thank the congregation for its welcoming attitude. When a visitor comes and feels welcomed, it is because people go out of their way to introduce themselves, speak, smile, and be friendly. Thank you!
At the end of the year, the Session placed on the inactive roll, those who had not been active at Central for the past two years. In 2014 we received seventeen new members, including nine who were a part of our confirmation class. We already anticipate a good year for church growth in 2015.
Mac Fite and Scott Norris, Co-Chairs, Membership Ministry
In 2014 the Missions portion of the church budget supported various groups in the Athens area as well as a few international missions.
The budget supported missions for 2014 were as follows:
1. NE Georgia Presbytery
2. The ARK
3. Campus Ministry
4. Samaritan Counseling Center
5. Homeless Shelter
6. Interfaith Hospitality Network
7. The Nurses Clinic
8. The Sparrow's Nest
Mission in a Mile continues to support those within a "mile" of our church.
In 2014 we supported Alps Road Elementary and Clarke Middle School with uniforms, school supplies, snacks for testing, teacher appreciation week, tutoring/mentoring, and food for families and students thru out the year.
We continued to support Talmadge Terrace with their monthly birthday luncheons, entertainment, and any other assistance necessary with planned events at the facility.
We held a “Block Party for the residents surrounding the church. This was to encourage attendance at CPC
St Mary's Hospital - collected books and stuffed animals for children who are patients at the facility
The JOHN 21 Fund
This is an endowment for providing funds for feeding the needy. In 2014 the international portion was used for Presbyterian Outreach Foundation, Food for the poor, and World Vision. The Local mission supported was Mission in a Mile.
Presbyterian Special Offerings
Our congregation contributed to the following regular offerings of the Presbyterian Church: One Great Hour of Sharing (Easter), Pentecost Offering (Pentecost Sunday),
Peacemaking Offering (World Wide Communion Sunday), Joy Gift Offering (Christmas), Caring Hands Offering (Mother's Day).
Other Community Mission Support
Interfaith Hospitality Network - We hosted families in need during five separate weeks at the church including the snow week in February.
Community Agencies - The church was given a $10,000 donation from NAMI to use in our local community. The NAMI organization has met at Central for over 20 years. When they decided to stop meeting because of the lack of need, they gave Central a donation from their ministry funds. They said that they knew we worked in the community and would use it well. We distributed these onetime funds to a number of the very worthy local missions we support: The ARK, Campus Ministry, Samaritan Counseling Center, Homeless Shelter, IHN, The Nurses Clinic, Sparrow's Nest.
Food Assistance - The church continues to support the Athens Area Emergency Food Bank by making food donations and the Northeast Georgia Food Bank. The items needed are published in the newsletter and bulletin on a monthly basis. Collections are made at the box in front of the church office.
Noon Day Kitchen - In 2015 continued to support the work of the Noon Day Kitchen with both resources and volunteers. There were several donations outside of the budget which helped a great deal. This is a worthwhile program that our congregation will continue to support.
Deborah Wing and Dale Autry, Missions Ministry
2015 Deacons Report
As Deacons, we have taken to heart the role of caring for and connecting with our Central Presbyterian family. Separate Deacon Committees facilitate the many aspects of the church's changing needs. Current Deacons serving include: Lindsey Bailey, Susan Clark, Tom Doonan, Melody Dorfman, Elizabeth Guest, Elizabeth Guthrie, Joyce Henley, Gina Lonnee, Kelly Mendiola, Mark Rejmer, Jan Rhodes, Skip Trimpe, Carol Wheeler, and Shirl Wunderlich.
Here are some details of our service.
· The New Members Ministry helps new members makes a connection between current church events, class offerings and existing members.
· The Visitation Ministries takes one on one care to the doorsteps of our homebound members. In the past year we have added new visitation volunteers to this rewarding ministry.
· The Fellowship Ministry helps strengthen congregational care by supporting the fellowship activities of the church, especially Wednesday night suppers and other church-wide events.
· The Homebound Communion Ministry serves Communion to homebound members who are unable to attend worship but would like to have Communion served at their home.
· The Bereavement and Short Term Needs Committee helps with receptions and home food delivery in times of need.
· The Notecard Ministry has added team members to send Christian love and friendship by mail throughout the year. There is also a Ministry member that focuses specifically on special notes in times of need.
· The Stewardship Ministry is a newly formed group that works with members of the Session to look at the financial needs of our congregation.
· The Prayer Ministry is a team committed to praying for the pastoral and church staff, for members of Central, and for our local, national & global community. They pray individually daily and meet at church weekly to pray together.
Over the course of this year we are going to discuss how to make our new Central members feel comfortable in their new church home. This may create a new Ministry Team, and we are always interested in evolving to meet the changing needs of the church.
Gina Lonnee, Deacons Chair