The session discussed three items of old business. First, Adam Dowler offered a summary of the staff reviews that he and Eric Violet conducted during the month of January. Second, Phil Fraga indicated that the new contract with The Children Academy should be signed when the Rosnicks return from their vacation. And third, the session officially approved the budget that was presented and discussed at the annual meeting.
As the session moved to new business, the elders reviewed and discussed the results of our congregational survey. Based on the results, the session approved the following changes to our worship service:
- Dropping the Time for Children and the Song for the Children – This would enable the children to go right to Sunday School/Jesus Time. Not only would this address a concern that was expressed by the congregation, it should also give the children more time to learn the Bible, our ultimate goal.
- Replacing “The Statement of Faith” with a third hymn
- Using the offering time for the choir piece – When we have special music (such as the children), we can include them in the service. Since this could draw some of our deacons from choir and Sunday School/Jesus Time, the elders indicated that they would help collect the offering.
- No longer print an Order for Worship, instead, print some things that will help people worship (the hymns, the Doxology, the Gloria Patri, the Lord's Prayer, and the scripture lesson.) – This should give us a little more flexibility each Sunday, as we worship. And the order will be communicated by the slides on the screen.
The session also scheduled the ordination and installation of officers for Sunday, February 21, during the worship service, hired Heather Campbell as our new Office Administrator, and invited to the Trustees to attend the next session meeting, Sunday, March 13, at 9:00 a.m.
Before the meeting ended, the following ideas were suggested and discussed, some of which will be implemented by the session immediately:
- We can improve communication within the congregation and outside the church by continuing the mailings, e-mails, and telephone calls. We can also make better use of publicizing announcements in the bulletin and on bulletin boards. Each Sunday, an elder can be available after the service to receive suggestions and concerns from the congregation, and we can put up a suggestion box to receive anonymous comments. The session can also intentionally solicit ideas from young people by encouraging brainstorming sessions and inviting young people to session meetings.
- We can be more intentional is communicating with our shut-ins, especially taking communion to those who can’t attend services. The pastor can train deacons and elders to serve the sacrament.
- With respect to advertising, we can make better use of our signage to promote church events. We can also set up an advertising fund so that we can promote activities on the television.
- We can better utilize the Fellowship Hall, especially for community activities, such as Bingo. We might want to consider a volunteer event coordinator.
- Rocky Campbell suggested that we can promote the idea that we’re “Proud To Be Presbyterian,” establishing an image that we can communicate to the public through social media, the bulletin, and other forms of publicity. This also offers an opportunity to educate people about what we, as Presbyterians, believe.
- Finally, we considered how we might be more effective in encouraging legacy giving.
After a little over 90 minutes the meeting was adjourned and closed with prayer. We’ll next meet on Sunday, March 13, at 9:00 a.m. And session meetings are open to the congregation.