February 2018 Session Meeting Highlights

The following summarizes the reports, discussions and actions from the Stated Meeting of the Session of Calvary Presbyterian Church that was held on Tuesday, February 6, 2018.

Clerk’s Report:  The following items were approved by Session:   Minutes of the December and January Session meetings, and 4 membership changes. Membership as of end December 2017 = 892. Average worship attendance as of end December 2017 = 336.

Session confirmed its plan to decide the Sanctuary church designation at the March Session meeting. Session voted to review its plans regarding banners at the April Session meeting.

We celebrated achieving the financial plan goal of $1.3 million for 2017, with pledge payments of $1,301,520 as of 12/31/2017. This is the first time in several years the pledge receipts goal has been reached.

Robin Morjikian, Director of Development and Volunteer Engagement, reported on the 2018 Pledge Campaign results:  As of January 31, 2018, we received pledge commitments from 281 households representing $1,072,442 towards a financial plan goal of $1.3 million. This represents 82% of our goal.

David Foster, CAO, gave a brief summary of 2017 year-end results, including bringing operating expenses in about $150,000 under budget. The 2018 Financial Plan was recommended by the Joint Budget Committee for Session review and approval. The Joint Budget Committee operated from September 2017 through January 2018 to review financial data, listen to Mission Team presentations, integrate with recent Continuity Team results, and address ongoing Calvary financial constraints. David then reviewed the key elements of the proposed 2018 Financial Plan, including maintaining pledging expectations at $1.3 million, reducing operating expenses a further $100,000 from 2017 actual levels, and continuing to use Savings to fill the gap between revenue and expenses. Session voted to approve the 2018 budget as presented, with the understanding that requirements by Presbytery for interim expenses are not currently known or budgeted.

The Continuity Team presented a summary of their work of the past several months, along with recommendations on a direction forward.

Session voted unanimously that we seek a pastoral Head of Staff and start the process to form a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC). Session unanimously agreed that Session’s intent is that Calvary remains a three pastor church. Our ability to implement these recommendations will depend on the congregation’s willingness to sharply increase annual giving.

Session received information via the Presbytery Committee on Ministry (COM) that Calvary will need to modify its recent congregational input into the form of a Mission Study. Session appointed a Mission Study Team – Betsy Dodd, Alexa Frankenberg, Jennifer Miller and Randy Schroeder – to address this issue. The Mission Study will need to be approved by COM prior to a Pastor Nominating Committee being allowed to start its work.

COM also advised Session that a Transitional Pastor (possibly part-time) will be required, and Session appointed a team – Priscilla Dwyer, Zanne Mrlik, and Doug Person – to undertake this hiring process.


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

  • Hosted a 3-part Sunday seminar in January, led by Nancy Padgett, “The European World at the Time of Martin Luther and the Reformation”

Education – Children’s Ministries (Laura Co, chair)

  • December/January average attendance in programs: Playgroup 111, Sunday Studio 19, 2nd and 3rd Grade series 4
  • Working on a new baby food delivery system
  • Planning for City Camp at Calvary, which will be held June 18-22

Education – Youth (Zanne Mrlik, chair)

  • Sunday School average attendance November, December, January: 4th/5th grades 6, Middle 10, High 7

Faith in Action (Scott Nagelson, chair)

  • Updates on Poverty Partner and other FIA teams:
    • New Door Ventures – Bonnie Halford – a new cohort of clients assigned to Calvary will start in April and go through May and June
    • Boys and Girls Club – Emi Alexander/Joni Lachman – volunteers needed 2/8 to interview teenagers for college scholarships; Club Director of Education spoke at Calvary Seniors in January
    • SF Achievers – Betsy Dodd – 6 Calvary congregants attended the Chairman’s Reception at LinkedIn on 1/10; Calvary will host a mentor roundtable on 2/22 for discussion and mentor support
    • Raphael House – Melissa Koerner – monthly dinner prep and service, coordinated by Reid Carter, is going well; next group volunteer event will be the annual Spring Carnival for RH families on Sat, April 7
    • International Mission and Refugee Assistance – Stephanie Gee – Stephanie and Joni put together and delivered 7 large “Welcome Home Kits” to the International Rescue Committee in Oakland for use by 7 refugee families in setting up their apartments
    • Food Pantry – Betsy Dodd – 22 volunteers came to the 1/6 pantry, including a patrol of Troop 14 Boy Scouts
    • Adult Mission Trip – Stephanie Gee and Robin Morjikian are putting together a short list of options
    • Pack A Sack – Robin reported that distribution is a challenge for the spring and fall events—not enough volunteers to distribute the lunches. Robin will discuss with the Salvation Army staff and perhaps investigate Walden House or other programs.
  • Volunteer Data – Robin presented 2017 volunteer information – Poverty Partners 510, Other FIA service projects 562, Total FIA participation 1,072

Fellowship – Adults  (Kathie Cheatham, chair)

  • Cookie Army has 14 bakers this year, down from 18 last year; anyone who could help out with baking should contact Robin Person or Kathie Cheatham
  • Hosted a reception for the Gospel Mass Choir on January 28, with approximately 120 attending
  • Upcoming events:
    • March 10 – hike in the Presidio
    • April 28 – City Guides walk in the Mission District

Fellowship – Young Adults (Eddie Higgins, chair)

  • Calvary Young Adults (CYA) Book Club discussed House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  • Participated in Habitat for Humanity’s latest Interfaith Build date in the Bayview. CYA helped to reinstall an exterior door, frame and lock, and finished putting up and varnishing a wooden fence in the house’s back yard
  • Held a Christmas party and continued the monthly happy hours in December and January

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

  • Next new member class will meet March 2 and 3

Membership – Nurture & Database (Ellen Champlin, chair)

  • Recommended 2 members to be moved to inactive membership due to moves, and reported deaths of 2 members

Worship & Music (Jennifer Miller, chair)

  • Advent 2017 – received many positive comments about the theme “Angels Among Us” and the additional festive Christmas decorations in the Sanctuary
  • The Christmas Eve services, one in the morning and two at night, were well attended, with about 1,270 individuals participating throughout the day; great response to baby food donations: 150 jars of food and $250 to Raphael House
  • Christmas Concert, This Shining Night, was a resounding success; Michael Conley’s special compositions for the concert were an unexpected surprise for the audience and the crowd responded with a standing ovation
  • The Charlie Brown Christmas with Dave Scott and a trio of musicians deighted both the young and the not-so-young
  • The “Longest Night” service was a special contemplative time amidst the busyness of Christmas
  • In addition to Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday, there will be 6 evening services in 2018, down from 15 services in 2017
  • The January Nor Cal Gospel Mass Choir concert was spirit-filled and uplifting
  • Usher captains are needed for morning worship services

Respectfully submitted,
Lois Dress, Clerk of Session