June 2019 Session Meeting Highlights

The following summarizes the reports, discussions and actions from the June 2019 Stated Meeting of the Session of Calvary Presbyterian Church. (No Session meeting was held in May.) 

Clerk’s Report:  Session welcomed 2 adults into membership. Session acknowledged 1 member death and approved 5 changes from active to inactive membership status. Session also approved 1 baptism, and granted permission for a bride’s father (a Presbyterian minister) to conduct the Calvary member couple’s August wedding ceremony. Membership as of end May 2019 = 761. Average May worship attendance:  2019 = 224, 2018 = 247, 2017 = 296.

Session granted permission for the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity to sell t-shirts and collect donations during a June 6 event on the root causes of poverty.

Rev. Chinn, with Session’s approval, has formed a team comprised of Stephanie Andre, Dave McDowell, Jennifer Miller, and Eric Rimmke to work on strategic issues that Session has identified for the near term.

Plans were discussed for Calvary’s 165th anniversary, including a special worship service on July 21, the closest Sunday to the July 23 anniversary date.

Amy Hockman gave an update on the Finance Team’s assessment of the Faith in Action Team’s proposals for increasing community giving in 2019. The topic will be further discussed at the August Session meeting.

Session affirmed the 3 year renewal on a Covenant Agreement for David Barnes as a Commissioned Ruling Elder in the San Francisco Presbytery.


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

  • The 5/22 Anne Lamott event was highly successful, with $7,000 raised to benefit Anne’s church, St. Andrew Presbyterian in Marin City
  • On 5/5 Nancy Padgett presented a fascinating talk on “Kingdoms of Faith:  Pagans, Romans, Jews, Christians and Muslims in Early Spain”
  • The 4/28 seminar, “Working for Justice: The Fight for Reproductive Rights”. featured Roslyn Banish, a gifted photographer who uses photos and first-person narratives to explore human issues, and David Chiu, CA Assembly member, who has championed the fight for reproductive rights in California
  • Over 100 people participated in one of eight different Lenten Small Groups. The theme was “Busy:  Reconnecting with an Unhurried God”
  • Women of Calvary Bible Study, led by Rev. Lee, concluded the “God’s Promise, I Am with You” study materials. The group is taking a summer break and will resume their monthly meeting schedule in September
  • Men of Calvary Bible Study, led by Rev. Chinn, continued their Monday 8 AM studies
  • The Library now has a shelf of free Bibles available for those in need. If you know of someone who needs a Bible, please either pick one up or send them to the Library.

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

  • May 2019 average attendance in programs:  Sunday Studio 25 children, 9 caetakers, Playgroup 99 children, 5 caretakers
  • Bibles presented to 3rd graders on 5/5
  • On 5/12 children in Sunday Studio prepared gift bags for the Boys and Girls Club children

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

  • The 6/2 bake sale raised $700 towards the Youth Mission Trip; $600 funds one youth’s scholarship
  • On 7/21 the youth will be traveling to Spokane and working on Native American land

Faith in Action (Betsy Dodd, chair)

  • Updates on Poverty Partners and other community outreach:
    • Boys and Girls Club – Emi Alexander and Joni Lachman – 3 – 4 Calvary volunteers, primarily from the Calvary Young Adults group, continue weekly SAT prep sessions
    • New Door Ventures – Jane Bryson – NDV board member Karen Skidmore spoke at the 4/7 worship service and thanked Calvary for our volunteers and support; new cohort of 12, “Sequoias”, has started, with 4-5 Calvary volunteers at each session; The on-the-job training business, Pedal Revolution, has very specific requirements for used bikes, so the idea of donating bicycles was quashed. However, Calvary congregants are encouraged to use their bike shop for their own repair and retail needs.
    • Raphael House – Melissa Koerner – 7 Calvary members helped with the Spring Carnival for RH families on 3/30; Mary Kate Wheeler, who attends Calvary and volunteers at RH, will take over as liaison. She heads up the RH Leadership Advisory Board, consisting of young professionals who volunteer there. Melissa Koerner will continue to be involved with RH, and she is still on the RH board
    • SF Achievers – Betsy Dodd – SFA needs new mentors this spring for about 20 college scholarship recipients; Awards Ceremony was held 5/16 to celebrate both scholarship recipients and high school juniors admitted to the Leadership Academy and to honor high school seniors who did not get a scholarship but participated actively in the high school program
    • Martin De Porres and Raphael House Community Chefs – Reed Carter – Reed was the only volunteer at the 5/13 RH dinner prep program
    • SF Food Pantry – Paula Jesson and Betsy Dodd – 3/23, 19 volunteers, and 5/4, 17 volunteers, including Boy Scouts from Troop 14, distributed groceries at the pantry
    • SF Food Bank Barrels – During February and March 777 pounds of food were placed in the barrels in Calvin Hall, mostly by Seniors attending the Tuesday program. This project is managed by Liz Johnson.
    • International/Immigration – Stephanie Gee – A good turnout for the 4/23 Sin Pais (Without Country) movie event, which explored one family’s complex and emotional journey involving deportation; on 6/6 at Calvary, Stephanie Gee and a representative from Sherith Israel will report on their recent trip to Honduras to study the root causes of migration. About 75 faith leaders participated in the trip; Sanctuary team members attended a foot-washing event in front of Senator Kamala Harris’ office at 33 Bush Street, sponsored by the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity; Calvary is organizing an adult mission trip to Tijuana some weekend in October.
  • FIAT is working with the Finance Team regarding the 10% commitment to external giving and ways to fund the $60,000 by which the 2019 FIA budget falls short.
  • Interfaith Ramadan Iftar dinner 5/15 at Grace Cathedral – FIA sponsored the event at the $300 level
  • SafeHouse – Betsy Dodd reported that SafeHouse has signed a lease for the Hope Center, a new day program (named after Glenda Hope) for homeless, sexually exploited women. The center will operate in the Tenderloin.

Fellowship – Adults (Kathy Hanson, chair)

  • The team has been organizing a 6/15 Giants game; expecting to have 42 people in the stands
  • Jamia Konrad is working with Senior Fellowship to organize a group from Calvary to attend the SF Symphony’s All San Francisco Concert on 9/5
  • Sunday coffee hour treats continue to be deliciously prepared and served by Mission teams

Fellowship – Young Adults (Eddie Higgins, chair)

  • Faith & Formation – participated in Lenten series on Sunday mornings
  • Community service – continuing to do SAT tutoring at the Boys and Girls Club on Wednesday evenings
  • Social –
    • 4 runners participated in the YMCA Presidio race on 4/28
    • continuing monthly happy hours:  Made tee time at Urban Putt mini golf in April, and paired happy hour with the Anne Lamott event in May, meeting up at the Grove on Fillmore to discuss the author and her work
    • Stephanie Gee and her family hosted the CYA group and friends for a potluck BBQ in Napa on 6/1

Giving Mission Team (Marion Stanton, chair)

  • Continue to receive new 2019 pledges (13 in April and May) and some increases
  • As of 5/31, we have pledge commitments of $1,200,829 towards a campaign goal of $1,300,000 (the financial plan goal is $1,250,000). These commitments represent 96% of the financial plan goal.
  • As of 5/31, total pledge commitments are down 6% from where we were on 5/31/18; the number of pledging households is flat (325 now vs. 329 a year ago)

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

  • Two people were welcomed into Calvary membership after giving their Statements of Faith at the 4/2 Session meeting; they were recognized during worship on Sunday, 4/7.

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

Personnel Mission Team (Priscilla Dwyer, chair)

  • Deandre Benn has been hired to work in facilities
  • Rachel Wolfe resigned
  • Samantha Kidd is staying on and will take over some of Rachel’s responsibilities

Worship & Music (Jennifer Miller, chair)

  • Recap of Lent and Holy Week
    • Feedback from the Palm Sunday service with the children’s portrayal of “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat” was extremely positive