Session Meeting Minutes

Session Meetings are public meetings unless otherwise designated. Reading the minutes you can keep abreast of what your elected leaders are planning and reflecting upon.



SUNDAY, November 11, 2012

The Session of the Capitol Heights PresbyterianChurch held its regular meeting on Sunday, November 11, 2012 in room 104 of thechurch.  Present were Elders Tony Brown,Charles Norton, Jeanne Jeffas and Jean Demmler. Also present were Treasurer Charlie Fiser and Parish Associate forGrowth and Outreach Larry Grimm, Reverend Mark Meeks and Moderator ReverendWilliam Calhoun. Elders Peggy Norton and Faren Foster were excused.

Opening Prayer. The Sessionmeeting was called to order by Pastor Mark Meeks at 12:32 pm who opened themeeting with prayer.

October Session Minutes.  The minutes of the Oct. 9, 2012 meeting wereapproved as corrected. 

CHPCAdministrator’s Report. Rev. Larry Grimm provided a written report which is attached. Thefollowing items on his report were discussed:

  1. TheShared Operations Board (SOB) is reconstituted. Rev Grimm has recruited MaryHupp and Joe Schultz to be CHPC’s representatives to SOB.   Elder Charles Norton motioned that theSession approve Mary Hupp and Joe Schultz as CHPC representatives to the SOB. JeanneJeffas seconded the motion which passed unanimously.
  2. Treeslimbs located near the church property line hang over the church roof and needto be trimmed.   Rev. Grimm has attemptedto contact the neighbors who live next door to the church building where thetrees are located, but he has not been able to talk with them yet.  Larry received an estimate of $1200 to cutdown one tree next to CHPC property. The problem is that leaves from the treesaccumulate on the roof and impede rain runoff. Elder Tony Brown will provide ashort-term solution to the problem by removing the leaves that have accumulatedon the roof this fall.
  3. Rev.Grimm has contacted a restoration contractor, Century Restoration, to do anassessment of the building.
  4. Rev.Grimm has also arranged for boiler water line repair.
  5. Thereremains a problem with prior roof repair. Rev. Grimm’s assessment is that the roofing contractor made a mistakeusing nails rather than screws to attach the rubber mat to the bricks. Analternative hypothesis proposed by the roofing contractor is that the bricksare deteriorating.  Rev. Grimm will askCentury Restoration to assess the condition of the bricks up on the roof as astep toward addressing this problem. 

Session members expressed appreciation to Rev. Grimmand Elder Tony Brown for their past and continued work to maintain the churchbuilding.

Financial Report

  1. OctoberFinancials.  The financial report for themonth of October was approved as presented by Treasurer Charles Fiser. Incomethrough October, 2012, was $77,011.75; expenses were $77,638.58; with a net lossof $626.83.  In the month of October,CHPC was able to transfer $1829.62 in interest funds from an endowment fundlocated in the Presbyterian Foundation. 
  2. FY2013Budget. Treasurer Charles Fiser presented a proposed FY2013 budget which wouldraise estimated covenant income by $500 and include grant funds of $19,000 toachieve an estimated income of $83,000. Expenses are estimated at $96,310.09 which would result in a deficitbudget of $13,310.09.  It is likely thatinterest on endowment funds would make up a proportion of the deficit, however,even the infusion of this non-budgeted income would not be sufficient to coverthe entire deficit.  

Treasurer Charles Fiserreported that the covenanted contributed funds have decreased in recent yearsand discussion followed in an effort to better understand this decline.  Elder Fiser explained that the decrease isnot the result of a decrease in giving units, but a decrease in the amount someparticipants can contribute.  An agingcongregation that lives on retirement income and the recent recession weresuggested as primary reasons for the decline in covenant income.  Elder Jeanne Jeffas motioned that the Sessionpresent this proposed budget to the congregation for deliberation.  Elder Jean Demmler seconded the motion andthe Session voted to present the proposed budget at the next congregationalmeeting.


AnnualCongregational Meeting. Elder Charles Norton made a motion to hold a congregational meetingafter worship on Dec. 9, 2012. Elder Jeanne Jeffas seconded the motion and theSession agreed to hold the meeting on this date.  The purpose of the meeting would be to electtwo new Session members for 3-year terms and to approve the FY2013 budget. TheSession terms of Elders Faren Foster and Jean Demmler end Dec. 31, 2012. Thecongregation will receive a nomination slate that will include Jeanne Jeffas asnominee to CHPC Clerk of Session.

Report on Church Growth and Outreach

  1. ThePresbytery Committee on Ministry would like a copy of the covenant signed byRev. Grimm regarding his work as Parish Associate for Growth and Outreach.  He will send this document to the Presbytery ofDenver office. 
  2. Rev.Grimm inquired of the Session about a CHPC/10:30 Community/Dignityadvertisement in Life on Capitol Hill. He reported that typically eachAdvent the three communities run an advertisement for worship services duringthe season.  The Session agreed byconsensus to place an advertisement describing the worship activities at 1100Fillmore for the Christmas season.
  3. Rev.Grimm recommended the congregations have a dedication of the newly installed solarpanels and suggested this event take place at the next ecumenical worshipSunday, Dec.3. After some discussion the Session agreed to have a shortdedication in the social hall subsequent to worship, but before the meal sharedby members of all three congregations. Elder Jeanne Jeffas will communicate tothe Ecumenical Worship Committee the desire of the Session to include thededication ceremony in the activities of Dec.3
  4. Itis time to renew the annual charter agreement between CHPC and the Denver AreaCouncil, Boy Scout Troop 1.  Rev. Grimmbrought the decision before the Session knowing that a primary value of thethree congregations in this church building is one of inclusiveness with regardto gay and lesbian persons. This value is inconsistent with the national BoyScouts Association policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  Rev. Grimm has been communicating with arepresentative of the Denver Area Council of the Boy Scouts who is aware of thecongregations’ value of inclusiveness. The Session discussed at length the option of renewing the agreementfocusing on the best way to witness social justice with regard to the Boy ScoutTroop #1.  One way would be to decline torenew the agreement with a letter explaining why CHPC is unwilling to continuethe relationship. Another response would be to sign the agreement and find waysto encourage dialogue with the scouts and their parents in which the value of inclusivenesscould be explicitly discussed.    Rev.Grimm would become a member of a committee of parents who oversee theactivities of the troop. Elder Tony Brown made the motion to renew theagreement, write a letter to the leader of the Scout troop that would also bedistributed to the congregation and approve Rev. Grimm as the CHPC liaison to thelocal troop leadership committee.  Themotion was seconded and passed.
  5. Rev.Grimm inquired if the Session would want to sell free-trade coffee andchocolate after worship.  Elder Jeanne Jeffasnoted that periodically members of the 10:30 Catholic Community sell theseitems. Rev. Grimm will contact members of the 10:30 Catholic Community to inquireif such an effort could be coordinated.

Rev. Mark Meeks’ Report

  1. TheCouncil of the Presbytery of Denver, under the auspices of the Long TermInitiatives Workgroup, is offering a program, New Beginnings, to assistchurches to discern their future.  Rev.Mark Meeks and Elder Jean Demmler attended the information session held on Nov.10.  The program assists each congregationwith an assessment of “who we are” and “who we want to be” which involvesweekly discussions for 6 weeks among congregational participants.  Rev. Mark Meeks reported he does not thinkthe program is a “good fit” for CHPC because he thinks the program firstfocuses on a re-evaluation of a church’s mission; CHPC has a clear missionwhich is being implemented. He distributed a description of CHPC missionactivities which is attached.  Elder JeanDemmler will inquire if the program can be effectively adapted to discern afuture for a congregation that does not want to entirely re-evaluate itsmission, but faces other future challenges such as aging members and staff,decreased covenant income and persistent budget deficits.       

The discussion includedrecognition that discernment regarding the future of CHPC could be verybeneficial regardless of whether this discernment process is facilitated by NewBeginnings or another program. Rev. Larry Grimm offered to lead a process ofHealthy Congregations in which he is trained. The group agreed to place adecision about participating in New Beginnings on the agenda for Dec. 9 Sessionmeeting after additional information is gathered.

  1. Rev.Mark Meeks also thanked Rev. William Calhoun for his participation at thismeeting.
  2. Healso reminded the group that the worship next Sunday, Nov. 18 would be aThanksgiving Worship with a potluck after worship.

The meeting was adjournedwith prayer at 2:15pm.   

Respectfully submitted,

Jean Demmler, ActingClerk of Session               Rev. MarkMeeks, Acting Session Moderator

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