Session Retreat Summary

SUMMARY OF SESSION RETREAT 1-10 & 11-2014

The session met in a retreat at Montreat Friday and Saturday nights.? Alan & Terry Peace, Eddie & Trish Edwards, Becca & John Burriss, Brinkley & Robin Melvin hosted the elders in their Montreat homes.? We met Friday night at the Edwards home and Saturday in the Burriss home.
Friday night the focus was on fellowship- which is our theme for 2014.? A devotion was held on Matt. 18 which focuses on the church as children, prayer, and gathering together.? We mentioned the need for more fellowship events outside of worship to draw people from both worship services together.? We especially wanted to attract younger adults to our gatherings.?? Later we decided that Learning on Lent would be held on Sunday nights instead of Wednesday to do this (program 5:00, dinner 6:00).? We talked about the need to be more welcoming to visitors- perhaps beginning a Welcome Center where information and a friendly face [and perhaps a way to give by credit card] would be.? We also talked of the desire for quarterly suppers, monthly larger breakfasts on Sunday, another rib cook off, and the need to be friendly in worship in the way we pass the peace and greet visitors who sign friendship pads.
Discussion was held about the progress of the Child Shall Lead Them project.
We approved the financial part of the call for a new associate pastor upon recommendation of the APNC.? We are excited that this process has moved forward the point where the COM and presbytery are ready to examine a candidate.? We approved a General Assembly statistical report that showed we had 49 join us, 17 baptisms, 9 deaths and 10 transfers out to bring our membership to 1137.? We had a slight growth in attendance averaged 385.? Our average age is 36 compared to a PCUSA average of 66.? We gave a total of $1.8 million last year compared to a 15 year average of $900,000.? Our snack pack (10 new kids) and We Care giving (1100+ lbs), Goodworks Blitz and other mission programs were blessed last year.? We set our budget at $870,500 for 2014.? This compares to a proposed budget of no cuts of $962,511.? To hire an associate pastor and to obtain our capital project goals we had to cut our budget and each sessional committee took some cuts (except for pastoral care which had a very small budget).
Property was cut by about $27k from its asking budget and is encouraged to use its balance sheet account of $18k.? Raises for staff were taken out of the budget, but discussion was held on trying to encourage our staff by giving them bonuses instead.?? It was noted that while the Missions undesignated fund is taking a hit, the Capital Campaign has $400,000 set aside for missions causes (new church development), that the building of a children?s building is a mission venture of sorts to reach out to children in our community and young parents, and that the hiring of a missions associate pastor should enhance our mission program.? Presbytery will meet February 8 at Forest Lake Pres. and will vote on LMPC?s? loan and possibly examine and vote on our associate pastor candidate.