February/March 2019 Session Meeting Highlights

The following summarizes the reports, discussions and actions from the Stated Meetings of the Session of Calvary Presbyterian Church that were held in February and March.

Clerk’s Report:  Session welcomed 3 new members, sadly acknowledged the deaths of 3 members, approved 2 membership transfers, and approved 30 changes from active to inactive membership status. Membership as of end February 2019 = 771. Average worship attendance:

2019       2018       2017

February                270         283         276

March                    297         309         351

At the February meeting, David Foster reviewed the preliminary financial results for the full year of 2018, noting that some results will change slightly in the next 90 days as year-end accounting adjustments are made and reviewed by outside accountants. December was an unexpectedly strong month for member and non-member pledge and special contributions support, with the net result for all of 2018 being the highest annual financial support from members and non-members in 10 years. Driven by some ongoing program expense reductions by Session and staff that started in 2017 and continued throughout 2018, operating expenses were under budget and look to be less than predicted in the last forecast 60 days ago. The net result of these two positive, year-end trends will be a total 2018 cash deficit that is the lowest in 9 years. Based on these 2018 results, the financial plans for 2019, and the current Church Savings balances (excluding the Foundation assets), David believes that Calvary is in a viable financial ‘holding pattern’ for the next 12 months as Calvary works its way through the PNC hiring process and the subsequent Leadership discussions about Calvary’s future. Past that point, there is still work to be done to ensure a fit between Calvary’s aspirations and its financial resources.

At the March meeting, Robin Morjikian reported that as of the end of February 2019, pledge commitments are 4% ahead of where we were last year at this time, but the number of pledging households continues to dip. The current shortfall of $150k remains to reach the pledge goal of $1.3M. There are 64 households who pledged in 2018 and have not yet pledged in 2019. Some are households that have moved away. The Giving Team will be reaching out to some of the others. She said the Giving Team is not hearing anything about not pledging because members and friends are waiting to see what happens with the pastor search.

Session discussed and gave approval to proceed with a pew insert drafted by Alison Faison and Rev. Joann Lee and endorsed by the Children’s and Worship & Music Mission Teams. The idea is to let parents know what is available for children during worship and offer suggestions. The insert also reminds everyone that we are all children of God, that children are joyfully welcomed and that we can help parents by demonstrating encouragement.

Session approved a Worship & Music Mission Team motion to either take a free-will offering or to sell tickets to up to four choir and orchestra concerts in 2019.


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

  • Rev. Joann Lee, Alison Faison and David Barnes led a conversation with parents about sacraments of communion and baptism on 1/13
  • Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf from Congregation Sherith Israel led a conversation on 2/3 on what it means in the Jewish faith to love your neighbor and welcome the stranger and how Christians can extend love to our Jewish neigh bors in this time of rising anti-semitism
  • On 2/17, Rev. Brian Ellison, Executive Director of the Covenant Network, provided his insight on the church’s journey toward justice and equality of all God’s people and the ongoing work of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians for Justice
  • Women of Calvary Bible Study, led by Rev. Joann Lee, continues to meet at 6 p.m. the second Thursday of the month
  • Men of Calvary Bible Study, led by Rev. Cal Chinn, continues to meet Mondays at 8 a.m.
  • Centering Prayer, a spiritual discipline of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, continues on Sunday mornings prior to the worship service; the group is led by Doug Person

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

  • 2nd & 3rd grade four week series was held 1/20 – 2/10
  • February attendance in programs:  Playgroup 437, childcare team 17; Sunday Studio 117, childcare team 40

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

  • Youth fellowship average attendance December:  4th/5th grades 7, Middle 8, High 6; January:  4th/5th grades 9, Middle 9, High 8
  • Confirmation classes continuing; on 1/27 our three pastors told their stories of being called to ministry
  • Receiving positive responses for 2019 Mission trip to Spokane with the Sierra Service Project

Faith in Action (Betsy Dodd, chair)

  • Updates on Poverty Partners and other community outreach:
    • New Door Ventures – Jane Bryson – Jane volunteered in Oakland where NDV has started programs at 3 new sites; Calvary’s next assigned cohort in SF will start in late April
    • Boys and Girls Club – Emi Alexander/Joni Lachman – weekly SAT prep for youth starting again at Don Fisher Clubhouse
    • SF Achievers – Betsy Dodd – SFA recently hired a new Scholar Success Coordinator, Danielle Adams, who has helped refocus the mentor program
    • Raphael House – Melissa Koerner – RH excited to welcome a new Executive Director, Marc Slater, who has served as Development Director there over the past several years; Melissa is looking for someone to replace her as liaison for RH
    • International/Immigration – Stephanie Gee – Calvary Mission Trip group did a presentation on the border trip; Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity held an event at the end of February to help raise community awareness of migrants situation
    • Martin de Porres and Raphael House Community Chefs – Reid Carter – volunteers helped at RH’s dinner prep on 3/11; next service opportunity at Martin de Porres will be 3/30
    • Food Pantry – Betsy Dodd, Paula Jesson – There were 18 Calvary and friends of Calvary volunteers at the 1/5 pantry, serving groceries to 292 clients; Boy Scouts from Troup 14 volunteered with Calvary on 2/23; Asian language translators are encouraged to volunteer, as clients are primarily elderly, non-English speaking Asians
    • Interfaith Winter Homeless Shelter – John Knightly – had around 90 volunteers prepping and serving dinner including 14 supervisors who purchased the food and directed activity in the kitchen
    • SafeHouse – Betsy Dodd announced that the SafeHouse Board has selected a new Executive Director, Toni Eby, who has worked at SH for 8 years in various capacities

Fellowship – Adults Mission Team (Kathy Hanson, chair)

  • Rolling out new coffee hour treat system:  Mission Teams and Calvary Foundation are responsible for providing treats 3 Sundays each throughout the year, with the Adult Fellowship Team and the Cookie Army filling in the other Sundays
  • Have reserved 50 seats for 6/15 Giants game
  • Annual SF Summer BBQ set for 8/3, to be held at Stow Lake Picnic Area in Golden Gate Park

Fellowship – Young Adults (Eddie Higgins, chair)

  • Community service – CYA has a few members volunteering at Boys & Girls Club for SAT tutoring

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

  • New members’ dinner held Friday night, 3/1, followed by new member class Saturday morning; 3 new members shared their Statements of Faith with Session and Deacons on 3/5

Membership – Nurture & Database (Susan Hempstead, chair)

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

Worship & Music (Jennifer Miller, chair)

  • Next choir concert, “Passio”, will be held on 3/17 in collaboration with the SF Conservatory Chorus
  • Would like to continue the relationship and ministry with the Norcal Gospel Mass Choir and will be inviting them to perform in January or February 2020 near Black History Month
  • Plans for Lent:  morning service will feel more contemplative ; Worship staff plans to incorporate more silence and stillness to give space to reflect and connect with God; will omit verbal announcements during worship throughout Lent

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

  • At the 2/11 meeting Rev. Floyd provided training on serving Home Communion
  • 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 SessionClerkofSession@calpres.org