November 2017 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, November 7, 2017.

We welcomed Jim Kitchens and Deborah Wright, principals in PneuMatrix, who gave a presentation based on their research about the landscape of the church today and shifts necessary to avoid continued decline in attendance.

Clerk’s Report:  The following items were approved by Session:   Minutes of the previous Session meeting, seven membership changes and two  baptisms.

Membership at end October 2017 = 911.

We had a lengthy discussion regarding the Resolution to Declare Calvary Presbyterian Church as a Sanctuary Church. Session approved implementing the actions within the resolution, namely to provide accompaniment, advocacy, and rapid response for immigrants, and to revisit whether to declare Calvary a Sanctuary church at the March Session meeting. Members of Session were encouraged to participate in some of the actions during the next three months for direct experience and to invite others to participate along with them.

The Continuity Team reported on efforts at reaching out to new and long time members. A number of common responses were noted from new members (2013 to present) about what attracted them to Calvary:   Calvary is a welcoming community/friendly people, inclusive/open-minded, worship/sermons/music, and community outreach/volunteerism/being connected. The team will continue gathering and synthesizing information.

David Foster, CAO, provided the following financial report:  Actual cash expenses at $2.3 million for 9 months are trending slightly below budget, or 72% of the annual budget. Income is also slightly below budget in both direct member support and third-party rentals categories. The current operations forecast is for Calvary to use close to the budgeted drawdown from Savings of $575,000, while the capital expenditures forecasted drawdown is about $135,000 (which is slightly better than budget).

The Giving Team – Greg Hausler and Robin Morjikian – gave the following report on 2018 Annual Giving:  Calvary’s pastoral and lay leaders recognize the importance of continuing to increase direct support to provide necessary funding for Calvary’s mission. To fund the desired level of ministries and programs in 2018, Calvary must achieve $1,300,000 in annual support (pledge commitments). As of October 30, 100% of Elders have made 2018 pledges. Members and friends are asked to make a pledge commitment by or on Giving Sunday, November 19, 2017.


Education & Spiritual Formation – Adults (Fran Johns, chair)
–          Sponsored 3 justice-related classes in October
–          Work continues on the 11/15 special event on reproductive justice, featuring Dr. Willie Parker
Education – Youth Ministries (Zanne Mrlik, chair)
–          Average attendance at weekly confirmation classes is 17
–          2018 Mission Trip 7/29 – 8/4 to San Diego, working again with Sierra Service Project
–          Mount Hermon culminated a month’s studies based on telling our stories
–          Average weekly attendance:  13 middle school, 9 4th & 5th grade, 6 high school
Faith in Action (Scott Nagelson, chair)
–          New Door Ventures – Bonnie Halford – Need 8 more people for 11/7 resume workshop; planning Giving Tree for Calvin Hall
–          Boys and Girls Club – Emi Alexander/Joni Lachman – Calvary Young Adults focusing on Tenderloin Club after school program
–          Raphael House – Melissa Koerner – had 10 volunteers signed up for Harvest Party on 10/31; Raphael House family spoke at Calvary on 10/28
–          Pack-a-Sack/Homeless Food Distribution – Pack-a-Sack is a popular event with the congregation. Distributing food to the homeless in the streets, not so much; will see if the Calvary Young Adults want to sponsor the next one in the spring
Fellowship – Adults  (Kathie Cheatham, chair)
–          Mount Hermon speaker Dr.. Nancy Lammers Gross from Princeton Theological Seminary offered a dynamic and insightful view of the Apostle Paul; 120 people attended
Fellowship – Young Adults  (Eddie Higgins, chair)
–          Faith & Formation:  9 young adults attended Mount Hermon; hosted a book club meeting on Tom Nelson’s Work Matters
–          Community Service:  volunteered at Boys and Girls Club Tenderloin Clubhouse; participated in Calvary’s Martin de Porres shifts in September
–          Social:  continued monthly happy hours; hosted a fourth game night, with 9 people attending
Membership – New Members (Dale Barnes-Anderson, chair)
–          New members class met on 11/3 and 4, and the seven new members will share their Statements of Faith to Session and the Deacons at a special Session meeting on 11/12
Membership – Nurture & Database (Ellen Champlin, chair)
–          Reported the death of a member
–          Recommended 1 member (unreachable) to be moved from active to inactive status, 2 members to be transferred, and 3 changes to correct Arena database records

Respectfully submitted,

Lois Dress, Clerk of Session