April 2019 Session Meeting Highlights

The following summarizes the reports, discussions and actions from the April 2019 Stated Meeting of the Session of Calvary Presbyterian Church.

Clerk’s Report:  Session welcomed 2 adults and 12 Confirmands into membership. Session approved 3 changes from active to inactive membership status. Membership as of end March 2019 = 750. Average March worship attendance:  2019 = 292, 2018 = 306, 2017 = 323.

Finance:  David Foster presented a first look at how the 2019 financial results are unfolding. It is early and invoices are often a month or so behind actual activity and programs, but expenses appear, in total, to be on or under budget. Revenue, especially pledging, also seems close to expectations, although we are still about $70-80,000 pledges short of the budgeted financial target for the entire 2019 year.

David also presented updated 2018 financial results since Calvary’s bookkeeping firm, Donna Cohen, has finished their year-end accruals, assessments, and generally accepted accounting review classifications (GAAP). The total 2018 operating loss was a bit greater, about $15,000, than first estimated in late January. However, there were also a few other positive working capital (i.e., balance sheet) entries which led to the Total Savings Balance, with which 2019 starts, being about $26,000 greater than initially estimated in late January when the 2019 Financial Plan was approved by Session. The formal review (not audit) by the independent firm Cook & Company will be done in April and discussed by the Finance Team in May or June.

Giving:  Marion Stanton reported that as of March 31, 2019, we have pledge commitments of $1,168,321 towards a campaign goal of $1,300,000. These commitments represent 93% of the financial plan goal of $1,250,000. The number of pledging households is up slightly, while the average pledge increase (5% per household) is holding steady. Robin Morjikian and David Foster are developing new graphs and charts to enhance understanding of pledge patterns.

Marion also reported that the Senior Adults program is holding a piano recital on Tuesday, April 16. The Giving Team and the Membership Team invited 135 Calvary members with 25+ years of membership to attend the program as a way to recognize and appreciate long tenured members.

An In-Kind Memorial gift was given to the church by Mr. and Mrs. Rick Allen and family (Bethesda, Maryland) in loving memory of Rev. and Mrs. James G Emerson. It is a teak wooden garden bench that has been placed in the Sculpture Garden.

Session approved a motion reconfirming a commitment to give 10% or more of Calvary’s budgeted operating expenses to serve the community each year, and to take steps to meet that 10% goal in 2019.

Session approved a motion from the Adult Education & Spiritual Formation Team to allow tickets and books to be sold for theAnne Lamott event on May 22, 2019.


Education & Spiritual Formation – Adults (Kathy Bear, chair)

  • 100 people are participating in the Lenten groups
  • Upcoming seminar on Sunday, April 28 at 11:30 am – Working for Justice: The Fight for Reproductive Rights. CA Assembly member and Calvary member David Chiu, and Roslyn Banish, a gifted photographer who uses photos and first-person narratives to explore human issues, will be presenting and discussing this important and timely topic in the Library Lounge

Education – Children’s Ministries Mission Team (Erin King, chair)

  • March 24-31 average attendance in programs:  Playgroup 105. Sunday Studio 59

Education – Youth Ministries Mission Team (Zanne Mrlik, chair)

  • Youth fellowship average attendance February/March:  4th/5th grades 7, Middle 9, High 7
  • The 2018/2019 confirmation class completed their studies and prepared their Statements of Faith for presentation at the April Session meeting
  • Amy Hockman led a February First Friday trip to the Interfaith Men’s Winter Shelter, with 15 attending
  • Planning for the 2019 Mission trip continues; 25 youth and 5 adults are signed up

Faith in Action (Betsy Dodd, chair)

  • Updates on Poverty Partners and other community outreach:
    • New Door Ventures – Jane Bryson – Calvary’s next assigned youth cohort will start in late April; Jane volunteered in the East Bay but feels the SF Mission site is best suited for Calvary volunteers
    • SF Achievers – Betsy Dodd – on 3/13 at the SFA offices, 9 volunteers helped interview candidates for college scholarships and/or Leadership Academy; SFA will need at least 19 new mentors this spring for their college scholarship recipients
    • Raphael House – Melissa Koerner –Melissa is looking for someone to replace her as liaison for RH and to serve on the Faith in Action Team
    • International/Immigration – Stephanie Gee – Stephanie was in Honduras with the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity and SHARE Ed Salvador to learn more about the root cause of migration; along with several Bay Area faith leaders, she recently accompanied 4 Cambodian refugees to their ICE check-ins; the Sanctuary Team launched a pen pal program with two women who are currently held in detention; the team is organizing a film series highlighting migrants from different regions – first event Tuesday, 4/23 at 6:30 pm

Fellowship – Young Adults (Eddie Higgins, chair)

  • Faith & Formation – participating in Lenten series on Sunday mornings
  • Community service – continuing to do SAT tutoring at the Boys and Girls Club on Wednesday evenings
  • Social – continuing monthly happy hours; hosted a bowling party in February,  with 10 people attending; hosted a game night at the end of February

Membership – New Members (Dale Barnes-Anderson, chair)

  • Next new member class will begin Friday night, 5/17

Membership – Nurture & Database (Susan Hempstead, chair)

  • Continued to reach out to members who don’t seem to be involved at Calvary, and made recommendations regarding changes in membership status for Session approval

Worship & Music (Jennifer Miller, chair)

  • Ash Wednesday service was a peaceful and thought-provoking service to start our Lenten journey80 people were in attendance
  • Special Lenten “Passio” concert performed on 3/17 in collaboration with the SF Conservatory of Music was a beautiful, intimate concert with a small chamber orchestra. The program conveyed the Passion according to St. John, the grief and questions from the 9/11 tragedy, and the realization that with death can come peace and joy given by God

Board of Deacons (Alan Thomas and Robin Person, Co-Moderators)

  • Planning to deliver Easter lilies to 30 people
  • Theme for Deacon Sunday is “Calvary’s Spring Fling
  • Several concerns and celebrations were shared; Deacons continue to receive prayer requests and pray for parishioners as a spiritual practice

Respectfully submitted,
Lois Dress, Clerk of Session