Elder Meeting Minutes:  December 6, 2011

Present: Chris Latta, John Ulrich, Brian Worley, Michelle Starbuck, Mary Green, Joe Toomey, Kathy Starkey, Jim Salisbury, Drew Turner, Mark Cates, Todd Boersma, Murry Haber, Mary Mason, Pat McInnes, Chris Radtke, Cindy Hayes, Barbara Osborne,
Holly Cook, Jim Adams, Harris Winston

We enjoyed a meal together at 6:15. Drew Turner shared a devotional and prayed.

We discussed a couple of questions in pairs, and as a group, talked about In the Name of Jesus and God places.  We moved to the sanctuary and placed stones on the alter in celebration of the places where God showed up. Pat led the group in a prayer to thank the Lord for what he does in our lives – his abundant blessing.

We retreated to our meeting room where we discussed the governance issues and bylaw changes. Thanks were expressed to all of those who worked so hard on this project. We discussed the pros and cons of the changes and noted that the mechanics
of implementation will be long and challenging. John and Brian both spoke from their viewpoints. Chris Latta moved that the bylaws be adopted. Michelle seconded the motion. A vote was taken and the motion passed.

We reviewed a list of 114 names of individuals who have either advised that they have left the church or who have not attended for more than a year. Chris Latta moved that these names be removed from the membership rolls. Joe seconded the motion. A vote
was taken and the vote passed.

Drew made a motion that Tom Proctor continue for another year as treasurer of the church. Joe seconded the motion. A vote was taken and the motion passed.

Chris made a motion, seconded by Joe that Sherry Gupton, Karen Latta and Joe Toomey continue in their roles next year as president, secretary and assistant secretary respectively. A vote was taken and the motion passed.

Michelle reviewed personnel issues including the addition of three new positions. After much discussion, Michelle made a motion, seconded by Mary, that pending availability of finances that Clark Rinehart be hired as High School Director. A vote was taken and
the motion passed.

Michelle made an additional motion, seconded by Mary, that pending availability of finances, Katie Hemp be hired as Middle School Director. A vote was taken and the motion passed.

Michelle made a third motion, seconded by Joe, that pending availability of finances, Katie Henry be hired as Associate Director of Worship and Music. A vote was taken and the motion passed.

It is anticipated that the finance committee will meet in advance of the next elder meeting so that a recommendation on finances could be made at that time. Brian reviewed the finances and noted that we need $175,000 to finish the year. He noted that this is basically the same place we have been each of the past three years. A determination was made to give the money collected on Christmas Eve to the pastor’s benevolence fund.

Mark prayed for finances for the remainder of the year. It was noted that by the end of the year, missions will have given away more than $100,000.

John will introduce new members of the church this week. He touched on the issue of what God is doing with Grace and that we should always be working toward reconciliation.

The next meeting will be on January 10 at 6:15pm and will begin with a meal. The meeting was adjourned with prayer and thanksgiving for the class of 2012.
Respectfully submitted,
Drew Turner


Elder Meeting Minutes:  November 1, 2011

Present:  Chris Latta, John Ulrich,  Brian Worley, Michelle Starbuck, Mary Green, Joe Toomey, Kathy Starkey, Jim Salisbury, Drew Turner, Mark Cates, Todd Boersma, Murry Haber, Mary Mason, Pat McInnes, Kay Gamble, Chris Radtke, Cindy Hayes, Barbara Osborne, Holly Cook, Jim Adams, Harris Winston

The elders, pastors and elders elect shared a meal graciously prepared by resting elder Alicia Ross.

Joe presented a devotion and led the elders in a time of prayer for Grace.

John discussed several exciting developments at Grace, including the teamwork involved in the staff’s preparation for our Advent series “What’s in a Name?” and the New Members’ class to be held November 13 and 20. Incoming elder education is continuing (Oct-Dec prior to elder meeting).

The elders reviewed proposed bylaw and policy changes from the governance project.  Questions were raised during the discussion and clarifications were discussed around annual elder term renewals, elder removal and term length when appointments happen midyear.  The governance project team was asked to write up the newly clarified proposals and circulate to the elders for mid-month review.  All elders are expected to have read the newly revised proposal and are encouraged to raise any additional questions via e-mail prior to the December elder’s meeting.

Brian presented updated information on finances, attendance and giving.  Giving remains below budget and November/December are critical months for Grace’s fiscal health.

Michelle brought three proposals from the personnel committee, each of which was voted on and passed with no dissenting nor abstaining votes:

  1. An amendment to the current Continuing Education Policy to include a section specifically for full-time employees seeking a degree for ordination.
  2. A new policy to be placed in Grace’s Church Policy Manual under the section of Pastors specifying Grace’s policy for Locally Licensed Pastors.
  3. Nominating Cindy Hays to serve as Chair of Personnel Committee for 2012.

Brian presented an outline for Congregational Care Ministry at Grace.  The purpose of this ministry is to provide relational care for all people participating in the ministries of Grace, and it will focus on caregivers fostering loving & caring relationships with people in the Grace community.  Brian and John will continue to work on the details of this program.

  • An end-of-year elder get together will be held at the Starbucks’ home on Friday December 9th.  Details to follow via e-mail.
  • Communion will be celebrated on November 6th.  Next month’s communion will be celebrated on December 11th.
  • The next elder meeting will be on Tuesday December 6th at 6:15 (elders elect will meet with John for training at 5:15).
  • The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 (??)

Respectfully submitted,
Joe Toomey


Elder Meeting Minutes:  October 4,  2011

Present: Chris Latta, Mary Greene, Kathy Starkey, Michelle Starbuck, Joe Toomey, Jim Salisbury, Mark Cates, Mary Mason, Pat McInnes, Drew Turner, Kay Gamble, Todd Boersma, Brian Worley, John Ulrich, Murry Haber

Also present: Newly elected elders Jim Adams, Holly Cook, Cindy Hays, Chris Radtke

Dinner was at 6:15 pm. Devotion and opening prayer by Kathy Starkey followed by community prayer led by John.

Chris Latta called the meeting to order at 7pm.

Elder Governance Project: Tony Voiers

Tony Voiers led a presentation on behalf of the Governance Project Team including a review of the prior meeting presentation and points of discussion raised through elder feedback.  A proposed governance structure and a proposed implementation plan, including a comprehensive communication plan, were introduced and explained.

Chris moved that this board support moving this governance initiative forward and that the board take the initiative to the resting elders.  The motion was seconded by Drew Turner and was passed.

Chris scheduled a meeting on Sunday October 16, 2011, at 5pm for the Governance initiative to be presented to Grace’s resting elders.  All sitting elders and newly elected elders will also be in attendance.

Finance: Mark Cates & Brian Worley

Brian reviewed September and YTD attendance and budget to actual income and expenditures.  Although Grace is at one of the best financial positions of its history, he advised that income and expenditures should be closely monitored through the fourth quarter.  Suggestions and discussions on communicating the financial needs to the congregation followed.

There was a group prayer time for God’s guidance of Grace’s financial stewardship.

Brian updated the board on the progress of the atrium renovations and decorating options.

The board approved the letter to the congregation with updates on facilities improvements that was distributed to the board earlier in the week by Chris.

Chris requested volunteers from the board to work with Doug Bergeson to finalize the policy updates.  Kay Gamble and Cindy Hays came forward.

Elders from the outgoing class (2011) have been paired with the incoming class (2013) as prayer partners and mentors as follows:

Michelle Starbuck      Cindy Hays

Mark Cates                 Jim Adams

Mary Mason               Chris Radtke

Mary Green                Barbara Osborn

Jim Salisbury              Holly  Cook

Chris Latta                 Harris Winston

Moderator for 2012: Chris Latta

Chris Latta moved to select Joe Toomey as moderator for the calendar year 2012.  Pat McInnes seconded the motion.  It passed by unanimous vote.

Senior Pastor Moment:  John Ulrich

John asked the elders to be in prayer for the pastor’s small group selection.   He requested that the board be ready to receive and approve list of names when submitted and he asked that his organizational issues take immediate priority along with vision discernment and development.  The board agreed.

Next meeting is scheduled for November 1, 2011.

Murry Haber closed the meeting in prayer.

The meeting was adjourned at 10pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Starkey


Minutes of the Annual Congregational Meeting:  Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mark Cates, elder, called the meeting to order at 9:15am as there was a quorum (10%) of the membership present.

The purpose of the meeting was stated: for the membership to elect a new group of six elders, each of whom will serve a two-year term beginning on January 1, 2012.

The following slate of candidates approved and recommended by the nominating committee and the board of elders was presented to the membership (each stood as their name was read): Jim Adams, Holly Cook, Cindy Hays, Barbara Osborne, Chris Radtke, Harris Winston.

A motion was made and seconded to approve the slate as presented. A vote via raised hands was taken and all approved with no votes opposed. According to the bylaws and policies of the church, Mark declared the slate of nominees approved. A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting.

The meeting was closed with prayer at 9:20am.

Respectfully submitted,
Michelle Starbuck


Elder Meeting Minutes:  September 6, 2011

Present: Chris Latta, Mary Greene, Kathy Starkey, Michelle Starbuck, Joe Toomey, Jim Salisbury, Mark Cates, Mary Mason, Pat McInnes, Drew Turner, Kay Gamble, Todd Boersma, Brian Worley, John Ulrich, Murry Haber

Dinner was at 6:15pm. John led discussion on elders’ prayers for Grace.

Devotion and opening prayer by Michelle.

Chris called the meeting to order at 7pm.

August board minutes were approved.

Personnel: Michelle

Motion was made to amend the Personnel Committee Policy, with two main changes. 1. Add Executive Pastor to membership, and 2. Add a section on support of Senior Pastor by committee. Motion passed.

Personnel presented the full agreement and plan for Chris Sasser to pursue his MA in Christian Leadership.

Motion was made for the Ministers Discretionary Fund, which currently houses funds for both continuing education of the staff and benevolence, to be split into two separate funds. Motion passed.


Staff Appreciation will be the month of October.

Finance: Mark and Brian                                                                                           

Brian reviewed August attendance and giving numbers, and year to date budget.

Motion was made for full funding of the first phases of the up fit projects to the facilities, which were presented at the August 2, 2011 elder meeting. Motion passed.

Brian’s role as Executive Pastor will include Finance Director.

Motion was made to immediately appoint Kathy Starkey to receive the church’s bank statements, sealed and unopened.  Kathy would perform bank statement reconciliation each month till January 2012, and would perform the end of year bank statement reconciliation.  This recommendation is in alignment with best practices in accounting.

Brian is reviewing with the staff, the policy of reporting credit card receipts for reimbursable expenses as required by the IRS.

The installation of on-line giving is continuing, but not ready at this time for congregational use.

Slate of Elders for the 2012-2013 Class: Chris

The slate of the new class of elders was presented to the Board from the nominating committee. Slate was approved, and will be brought to the congregation for their vote of approval on September 25.

Worship/Music: Chris and John

September 25, John’s message will be from James 5:15-20 (the prayer of faith). Elders will be available to pray with members and visitors after each service.

October 2, World Communion Sunday will be observed with communion served at tables in Grace Hall. Also, the Mexico Mission Team will be commissioned.

A congregant’s concern on the music position at Grace and where it stands now was shared. An elder will follow up with the congregant with fuller explanation.

John asked the elders to be in prayer for worship at Grace, the Wednesday morning worship planning team, and for one heart of worship at Grace.

Elder Governance Project: Chris

The Elder Model review committee reported their findings to the board on August 29.

Discussion followed on where each elder stands on the initiative, and questions about going forward. The board’s consensus was that we will continue to move forward with this initiative.

Other items:

The elders will meet for dinner and a shepherding meeting led by John on September 13 at Mark’s home.

Kay and Jim will write a letter to the congregation on behalf of the Board addressing the current lease agreement, the facility up fit projects, and give an update on the position of interim worship leader.

The next board meeting is scheduled for October 4

Pat closed the meeting in prayer.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:20pm

Respectfully submitted,
Michelle Starbuck


Elder Meeting Minutes:  August 2, 2011

Present: Chris Latta, John Ulrich,  Brian Worley, Michelle Starbuck, Mary Green, Joe Toomey, Kathy Starkey, Jim Salisbury, Drew Turner, Mark Cates,Todd Boersma, Murry Haber.

Absent: Mary Mason, Pat McInnes, Kay Gamble

Members of the accounting firm of Thomas, Judy and Tucker, P.A. presented their report on the audit for the 2010 year. Report was good with a couple recommendations made.

Time was shared with members going over their prayer journals.

ŸJim presented the devotion and led the elders in a time of prayer for Grace, the nominations of elders and the Nomination Committee as they begin reviewing the nominees.

Tony Voiers and D.J. Hill presented Phase 2 of the governance project and findings of the committee. Discussion centered around term limits. A time schedule was presented by Tony to consider as well as their recommendation to consider spiritual leadership model over a governance one. Additional dialogue to come along with a special call meeting to discuss further.

ŸJohn presented his report and activity level as well as areas the elders can be in Prayer for him. Major concern for John was visitors and how they can be intermixed with the congregation. Joe led a discussion over concerns of assimilation. He was then appointed to be a part of an elder-led committee to look into ways Grace can best assimilate new guests and potential members into our Grace community.

ŸMichelle discussed Chris Sasser’s interest in pursuing a Masters in Art and Leadership. Most of the two-year program through Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary out of Charlotte will be online education with some classroom time. Personnel will be reviewing the need to establish a policy for continuing education and what it would look like.

ŸBrian presented the June and July financial reports.

Brian presented a five-phase construction schedule to process facilities improvements with the funds made available from the recent lease negotiations. Phase one and two was placed as first priority. Discussion developed on when to start the projects. After much discussion, it was decided to allow time for Mark to present to the Finance Committee and bring to a possible elder vote by August 19.

Chris discussed the nomination process and presented a timetable to work from.

The Ÿnext scheduled meeting is September 6 at 6:15pm, with an additional meeting to be scheduled at a later date.

Brian closed the meeting in prayer.

ŸThe meeting was adjourned at 10:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Jim Salisbury


Elder Meeting Minutes:  July 12, 2011

Present: Todd Boersma,  Mark Cates,  Kay Gamble, Mary Greene, Chris Latta, Pat McInnes, Jim Salisbury, Michelle Starbuck, Kathy Starkey, Joe Toomey, Drew Turner, John Ulrich, Brian Worley

Absent:  Murry Haber, Mary Mason

Mary and Alec Sharpe presented information about the Sonship course that will run from August to December.

Chris called the meeting to order at 7pm followed by a devotion and prayer by Pat.

Minutes from the June 28, 2011 were approved.

Drew announced that Grace is now set up for electronic giving at gracecommchurchmycharitybox.com.

A motion was approved to include Barb Sibley on the elder Nominating team and to withdraw the name of Holly Cook who cannot serve at this time.

Chris led a discussion of the elder nominating process and the effects of changes for the congregation as we move to ‘called’ elders.

John led us in prayer for this process.

The board approved the following changes to the nominating form:

  1.  Information and description of the position of elder
  2. The addition of two questions:
    Why are you nominating this person?
    Does the person know of your nomination?

The board approved an application form asking the following of the nominee:

  1. Share your faith journey.
  2. Why do you feel called to be an elder at Grace at this time?

Communication and education about the position of elder and the “calling” of elders will be important for the congregation.

Lease Options:

Brian, Tom Proctor and Steve Brown presented the details and financials of three lease options for Grace followed by questions and discussion.

The board granted permission for Mark, Tom and Brian to negotiate option 1 with these recommendations:

  • Change the 50-month term to 52 (through June 2016);
  • Asking for a one-year option rather than three;
  • Asking for a four-month credit instead of two months base credit.

The moneys saved in this option would go toward tenant improvement.

Financial report:

Brian presented where we are in our current budget in light of “designated gifts.”

The next board meeting is scheduled for August 2, 2011 at 6:15pm.

Mary Greene closed the meeting in prayer.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:35pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Pat McInnes


Elder Meeting Minutes: June 28, 2011

Present: Mary Mason, Pat McInnes, Chris Latta, Jim Salisbury, Michelle Starbuck, Kathy Starkey, Joe Toomey, Drew Turner, John Ulrich, Brian Worley

Absent: Todd Boersma, Mark Cates, Kay Gamble, Mary Greene, Murry Haber

Chris called the meeting to order at 7pm.

The meeting was opened with prayer.

The minutes from the June 7, 2011, meeting were approved.

A motion was made and passed to amend the start date of additional financial support for John from August 1, 2011 to July 1, 2011.

Finance report:

The Finance Committee is continuing talks with the building lease company to get best options for new contract that will be signed by September 1, 2011. They will present all findings at the next Board meeting. They are also looking into the feasibility of setting up electronic giving for the church, and hope to make a recommendation to the board after researching options.

Liaison reports:

The adult discipleship team is planning for fall studies. Summer studies are currently under way.

The First Impressions team sees need for assimilation for visitors and new members. They are working on a roll-out program for the fall to improving a welcoming environment.

The Mission team continues to offer opportunities for members to be involved in mission work, and continues funding of several outreach projects and organizations. August 13 will be a Back to School Block Party designed to reach school children in the community around the church.

A slate of 8 members for the nominating committee, consisting of sitting and resting elders, was approved, and will be presented to the congregation for approval in July.

Elder nominations for the next elder class will begin July 31 and close August 15. All applicants will be required to fill out an application.

The next board meeting is scheduled for July 12, 2011 at 6:15pm.

John closed the meeting in prayer, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:50pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Michelle Starbuck


Elder meeting minutes:  June 7, 2011

Tony Voiers and Asa Rogerson reported from the Governance Project; updating the board on their progress as they research Biblical models for our church leadership and bylaws. This was discussed during dinner.

The formal meeting then began at 7:20pm with a devotion and prayer by elder Mary Mason.

The elder minutes from the May meeting were approved.

Next we discussed the selection of the nominating committee.  This group will review and suggest nominations for the selection of the 2013 class of elders to be presented to the congregation for fall approval. Chris Latta stated that prior leadership and involvement at Grace will be added to the application.  Any elders wishing to serve on the selection committee are asked to let Chris Latta know via email.

The Personnel Committee presented a proposal to reinstate the 401K plan for our staff.  This proposal had been previously discussed and approved by the Finance and Personnel teams.  This is a 3/6 plan with the church matching 3% of an employee’s contribution with up to 6% of their salary.  The elders passed the motion to implement this proposal.  It will only encompass the year 2011 and will need to be approved again to continue after 2011.  (The 401K plan for employees had previously been set aside because of the budget shortfalls.)

Brian Worley led the board in a discussion of the present building facility and the lease negotiations that have been ongoing.  We discussed the details of the present lease and the possibilities of various new lease details. The board decided to renew this conversation in the fall.

John discussed the upcoming elder training to be held June 14 in someone’s home.

The meeting closed in prayer at 10:05pm.

The next elder meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28 at 7 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Mason


Elder Meeting Minutes:  May 3, 2011

Present:   Todd Boersma, Mark Cates, Kay Gamble, Mary Greene, Chris Latta, Mary Mason, Pat McInnes, Jim Salisbury, Michelle Starbuck, Kathy Starkey, Joe Toomey, Drew Turner, John Ulrich, Brian Worley

Absent: Murry Haber

Dinner was served at 6:15pm. John led a discussion on elder shepherding.

Chris called the meeting to order at 7pm, then led a devotion and opening prayer.

The April meeting minutes were approved (via prior email)

Personnel: Joe

A housing allowance designation for John Ulrich was approved.

Possible reinstatement of the matching funds of the staff 401K plan was brought up for consideration. A full proposal will be brought up at the June board meeting.

A motion was made to recommend that Chris Sasser be a Local Licensed Pastor for Grace, with the understanding that he will be able to present a couple for marriage and to represent Grace and the state of North Carolina in the marriage ceremony. The motion was approved.

Finance: Mark

The first-quarter report was given. Highlights include: year to date giving is 21.9% over budget and 19.6% more than first-quarter 2010; Weekly average attendance is 513.

Prayer for the church’s finances, the staff and the transition of the Ulrich family to Raleigh.

Update on 2011 Leadership Initiatives: John

The Ulrich family will move to Raleigh by the end of May after Elisabeth and Calvin complete the school year. They still must sell their house in Kansas and are looking for a home in Raleigh.

The Pastor Search Committee will present “Lessons Learned” from the search process this summer.

In addition to regular board meetings, the elders will begin to meet quarterly for a time of community building.

The elders will begin praying and discerning who will chair the board, Finance and Personnel committees for 2012.

The First Impressions team is welcoming visitors and directing members on Sunday mornings in the atrium.

Katie Henry and Ginger Phillips are working on fuller and more efficient communications at Grace.

The elder governance project’s initial findings will be presented at the June board meeting.

The reconciliation process of Craig Holladay to the congregation is currently on hold by his request. The elders prayed for Craig, Rhett and their family.

Mission Team: Kathy

Continued praise that Grace’s mission team’s projects are being fully funded and supported by the congregation. Since the first of the year many opportunities have been made available for people to get involved with mission work in the community.

The team is currently working with Centro Internacional de Raleigh to see about adopting a family that lost everything in the April tornado.

Saturday, May 21 will be Grace’s Great Day of Service 2011.

Reynosa, Mexico adult construction mission trip scheduled for Oct. 8-15.

5K Grace Race to raise funds for missions is scheduled for Feb 12, 2012.

The elders prayed for the mission team.

Elder Liaison Reports of Staff were given and the elders prayed for staff.

On May 22, the children’s choir will present “The Lighthouse Fire Station” during Sunday worship.

The next board meeting is scheduled for June 7.

John closed the meeting in prayer.

The meeting was adjourned at 10pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Michelle Starbuck


Elder Meeting Notes:  April 5, 2011

March meeting minutes were approved (via email confirmation).

First Impressions Team update: 

The team has welcomed a few families with children.  They appreciated and some returned with their parents attending as well.

The Welcome Center has also become an information center, for example directing people to the right tables and sign-up sheets.

Mission Team Update: 

Time and talent surveys underway, to be able to match people with mission opportunities.

Dale Johnson has developed a plan to communicate weekly from the Mission Team to the congregation.

43,000 meals packed for Stop Hunger Now, with contributions covering more than costs.

The ALS Walk had 39 walkers and collected more than $2,400 for ALS.

Grace has started a new Habitat for Humanity house, along with Christ Episcopal.

The Great Day of Service will be in May.

Planning summer activities, for all ages.

The elders asked that mission team members keep metrics, such as number of participants, etc.

Elder Governance Project (Tony Voiers and Barb Sibley): 

The idea was originally proposed because past elders experienced some issues, and felt a call to explore this more.  Not an issue with the people who were serving as elders, but rather:

  • Inefficiency, with half of the board changing every year.
  • The time and responsibility commitment.
  • Elders are exhausted by the end of their 2-year term.
  • Too much change with regard to elders who are liaisons to staff.
  • The original set-up of the elder board was simply to get the church started. A board of 12 members, with 50 percent change per year, was a way to be more efficient than the way that St. Andrews had run with 21 elders and 21 deacons.  Decisions were very limited, with limited bylaws, so that we could move quickly and make all of the decisions necessary as a new church was starting.
  • The proposal is brought forward at this time, because we now have a new senior pastor and the team working on this wants to see if a different elder governance set-up could help the church be more successful.
  • There is a committee of six people who have volunteered to take this work on.
  • Elder input:  1) look at other churches for models, seek input from congregation or a representation of the congregation; 2) scope of study and recommendations – the elders want to see recommendation on the number of elders, term, responsibilities, and ideas on other ways that the work could be done; 3) study Bible verses and conduct research via other churches and relevant books. Provide updates and summary of findings multiple times in process.
  • John raised the question:  How does this rank with regard to urgency and importance?  Low urgency, but could be a very important contribution by this board to the future of the church.  He feels it is important that elders understand the Biblical basis of elders. John has already taught on Ecclesiastics, so could do so for the elders.
  • A motion was made to commission the working team to proceed with phase 1 and 2. (1: conduct literature reviews and interviews of at least 10 churches; 2: review data and develop proposal and communication plan).  Approved by verbal vote.

Proposal to Allocate Funds to Mission Team: 

Continuation of decision to allocate an additional $30,000 to the Mission budget.

What has happened with regard to our budget, and the “step out on faith”?   A great story to share with congregation.

Have gone from no budget (literally $0) to wondering how we can spend it all.

Motion that we commit $30,000 from Forray Estate $ to mission funds. Approved by verbal vote.

Who is responsible for creating and delivering the communication of this great development to the congregation?  Mark will develop and deliver the message.


Reviewed the financial reports for January and February.

Finance committee has the goal this year to review financial controls in place and if any improvements are warranted.

Looking at implementing some form of electronic giving.

Committee is working to renew lease and decide what building improvements are to be budgeted.  Lease is currently 27% of our operating budget.

Personnel update: 

The organizational chart has been updated.

All full-time staff had their year-end review, and have met with elders from the Personnel Committee.

Raises were given this year, for the first time in several years.  We have not yet re-implemented the 401K giving for staff.

The elders discussed the need to be sure that the board and the staff meet formally on a regular basis.  Also, we need to consider that decisions we take can impact the staff and their workload.

John will discuss the interaction type and frequency that brings value to the staff.

Brain stated that there is a tremendous change in the staff attitude and energy.   The staff is beginning to have time to dream, and is asking things like “What question does God want us to ask of him?”

It was requested that the Elders grant Chris Sasser a Local Minister license, which will allow him to conduct limited pastoral duties, such as perform a wedding.  This will be voted on at the May 3 meeting.

John plans to have a Town Hall meeting on May 1


Elder Meeting Minutes:  March 1, 2011

Present:  Todd Boersma, Mark Cates, Mary Greene, Murry Haber, Chris Latta, Pat McInnes, Jim Salisbury,  Michelle Starbuck,  Kathey Starkey, Drew Turner, Brian Worley; remote attendance:  Joe Toomey

The elders had dinner before the meeting starting at 6:15pm.

The meeting began at 7pm with a devotion and prayer by Mary.

Michelle presented on the transition of John and Kelley Ulrich to Raleigh.  John and Kelley will drive to town on March 12 so John will have his car here; Kelley will fly home.  The kids will be here for the week during their spring break later in March. We discussed sending a postcard to the congregation before March 20, when John preaches his first sermon.

The elders discussed the upcoming changes in communion for March 6.  Tim Conder  skyped in to answer any questions we had about the changes.  The elders decided to have tables fill the whole room rather than rotate the congregation through six tables.

Mark presented the budget once again.  A motion was made and the budget approved for 2011.  A motion was also approved to take some money we received from a gift to pay down part of the remaining loan on the south building. There was discussion on moving money to the mission account.  No motion was made and the discussion was tabled until the next meeting.  We discussed possible lease negotiations and where we are in that process; we cannot discuss further until we have met with our landlords.

Tony Voiers  skyped in to propose a research committee that would study leadership models and a modified structure for Grace.  Much discussion was had and it was tabled until the April meeting.

The housing designation allowance was approved for both Murry and Brian.

The leadership initiatives presented at the last meeting were reviewed and discussed—some are already up and running, some assignments were given, some are still on hold.   Most initiatives have staff and elders working together. It was agreed that the elders wanted to continue  to  care for Craig Holladay with a potential next  step in the restoration process.  Brian and will be inviting Craig to a meeting. Pushed until the next meeting were IV: “Becoming a Worshipping Community” and V. Financial Team Objectives.

The meeting ended in prayer and was adjourned at 11:07pm.


Elder Meeting Minutes:  February 1,2011

Present: Todd Boersma, Mark Cates, Kay Gamble, Mary Green, Murry Haber, Chris Latta, Mary Mason, Pat McInnes, Jim Salisbury, Michelle Starbuck, Kathy Starkey, Joe Toomey, Drew Turner, Brian Worley

Todd offered a devotion and opening prayer.

Finance update/2011 budget:  Mark

2010 recap:  Giving was 6.16% under budget with a loss of $75,775; operating cash as of 12/31/10 of $136K;  additional $149K gift in reserve money market account.

2011 financial goals – support a $1.2 million budget (down 8% from 2010); pay-off construction loan by year-end; invest $100,000 in missions outside of typical budget; manage cash flow and line of credit; negotiate new lease for building with favorable terms.

Review of 2011 projected budget: Why is FICA increased by $10,000?(Brian will investigate); loan repayment for renovations, $17,000 to come from operating and $16.338 from money market gift account; printing expenses have been reduced from 2010.

The elders discussed using the $149,000 estate gift. Three options are: 1) pay off the construction loan in full or part; 2) hold for cash flow to reduce line of credit use; and 3) faith gift investing in missions.

Risk Assessment: Expect line of credit or MMA to be tapped in April-June period or surely in the summer months; as Grace builds momentum in 2011 we expect operational giving to grow.

Next steps: The mission committee will determine strategy; elders will study any issues raised and be prepared to vote on and approve a final budget at March 1 meeting; John Ulrich will review the budget prior to elder board vote

The elders prayed for the church’s finances.

Personnel motion regarding designation of Executive Pastor position: Michelle

On behalf of the Personnel Committee, it was moved that the elders designate the position of Executive Pastor at Grace. This position is described in a draft position summary provided by the Personnel Committee and reviewed by the board, and will remain as a draft until the senior pastor has arrived and determined with greater certainty the distribution of responsibilities. At that point changes can be made and recommended to the Personnel Committee. The Personnel Committee would then present changes to the board for approval. The motion was seconded and approved.

A motion was made that Brian Worley, currently Interim Associate Pastor of Staff & Programming, be made Executive Pastor of Grace effective March 1, 2011. The motion was seconded and approved

The elders discussed a staff issue raised by a member of the congregation. Following the Grace grievance policy, the complainant was contacted by an elder and a discussion took place. The member stated that they only wanted to make the board aware of their concern. We will continue investing in and developing this staff member as with all members of Grace staff.

The elders then discussed the next overall update letter to congregation from the elders and need for it to be distributed asap.

Various elders offered liaison updates.

Mary led prayer for the Grace staff.

Chris led discussion of 2011 leadership initiatives. He introduced new leadership initiatives – leadership foundation, restoring the past to the present, becoming a welcoming committee, becoming a worshiping community, financial team objectives. These initiatives will be discussed at the next elder board meeting.

The meeting closed in prayer.

Respectfully submitted,
Todd Boersma


Elder Meeting Minutes:  January 18, 2011

Present:  Todd Boersma, Mark Cates, Kay Gamble, Mary Green, Murry Haber, Bill Johnston, Chris Latta, Mary Mason, Jim Salisbury, Michelle Starbuck,   Kathy Starkey, Joe Toomey, Drew Turner, Brian Worley

Absent: Pat McInnes

Introduction of Tim Conder: 

Tim is the minister of Emmaus Way (www.emmausway.net ), a small community church, with a congregation of students and faculty.  Tim has been in large churches for many years and was at Chapel Hill Bible Church for many years.  Tim introduced himself to the elders and talked about his preaching series at Grace, which will focus on a book from Henry Nouwen, Reaching Out. While Tim is leading our worship, he will be attending the staff and worship planning meetings.

Mary Mason led the elders in a devotion.

Finance update (Bill Johnston): 

Bill presented a 2010 financial year close-out and showed a cash flow graph.

The elders discussed designated accounts as liabilities toward the operational account.

Pledge cards will be presented each Sunday in February.

Town hall meetings (Chris Latta): 

Meetings will take place:

  1. Sunday, January 23 after 9:15 and 11:00.
  2. After Monday men’s Bible study.
  3. At a Tuesday Stephen Minister meeting.
  4. At Wednesday morning Bible studies.

At the meetings:

  • The elders will offer an opportunity to have dialogue.
  • Provide discussions about our elder-led church.
  • The congregation will have input on hiring/firing in general.
  • We can repeat Chris Radke’s script on the process.
  • We can explain why we chose John Ulrich.
  • We can affirm the core values and John’s Philosophy of Ministry and that John has affirmed the document.
  • We can discuss the elder board timeline over last two to three years – 50% have been new to the elder board.

Speakers have been contacted already, and the meeting will be announced in the Gracevine.

Organizational Structure and Personnel: Michelle and Brian

We need a job description for Executive Pastor. More details, including a job description, will be ready for the February 1 meeting.

The discussion turned to the Music Ministry. Oversight of the music ministry is the responsibility of the worship team, headed by the senior pastor. The budget needs commitment. There was a proposal to hire Jerry McDowell to work with Katie Henry for an interim time period. The motion was approved.

There will be a social on Friday, January 28 at Chris Latta’s house with the Ulrichs  from 7pm-10pm; it is open to all elders and resting elders, including spouses and guests. Sunday night, there will be dinner with the staff.

The elders discussed communion and the need to remember to serve the band on stage.

The February 1 meeting will begin at 6pm with dinner at the church, followed by the meeting.

The meeting was adjourned with prayer.

Respectfully submitted,
Mark Cates


Elder Board Minutes:  January 4, 2011

Present:  Mark Cates, Mary Green, Murry Haber, Chris Latta, Mary Mason, Pat McInnes, Jim Salisbury, Michelle Starbuck, Kathy Starkey, Joe Toomey,  Drew Turner, Brian Worley
Remote attendance:  Todd Boersma, Kay Gamble

Mark opened the meeting with a devotion and prayer.

Minutes from the November 3, 2010 meeting were approved.

Finance update (Mark): 

Mark presented the end December 2010 Finance report, and later submitted an Amended Report.

The Finance Committee will meet on January 17 and 19. The elders will meet on January 18 and spend part of the meeting on 2011 finances. The Finance Committee will provide a year-end summary at that time.

The Finance Committee will present a budget to the elders on February 1

The elders are scheduled to vote on the 2011 budget at the March 1 meeting.

There was discussion on using pledge cards for budgeting giving. This will need to wait until the Jan 18 elder meeting.  The elders believed it was not appropriate to hand out pledge cards on January 9 or 16.

The elders prayed for the finances.

Update on John and Kelley Ulrich: 

John will be in town on January 9 and will be presented to the congregation.

John, Kelley, Elisabeth and Calvin will be in town for the formal call to Grace on January 30

John’s start date at Grace will be March 14 — is agreed to with John. He will possibly preach for the first time at Grace on  March 20. John is working to have a smooth transition from his current church

Transition Team/Communications Team

The transition team is focused on details and projects of transitioning to the new Senior Pastor.

The team met on December 15. They have taken the following actions:

  1. They have sent them a package on North Carolina and Grace slide shows from many events
  2. MaryBeth and David Brown will work with them helping them with schools
  3. Cheryl  Lowder and Chris Sasser are helping the kids transition to kids in the congregation
  4. Robin and Cathy Phillips – Jan 16, lunch – Hope Tharrington is organizing this lunch

New elder ordination will be at the January 9 service at 9:15, with recognition at 11:00 service.

Town hall meetings will take place:

  1. Jan 9 after the 11:00 service — 12:25ish in the Gym
  2. At Monday night Bible Studies at 7:00
  3. Tuesday night – Stephen Ministers
  4. Possibly Wednesday morning at Bible studies
  5. Jan 23 only at 10:30 after the 9:15 service

Brian will give a presentation and many elders will be available to answer questions.

Subsequently, all Town Hall Meetings have been rescheduled to the January 23 services. 

There was a time of prayer for John and Kelley, Robin and Cathy and our congregation.

Personnel Report (Michelle Starbuck):

Michelle presented a draft of the organizational structure:

  • The Senior Pastor reports to the Board of Elders; other Pastors report to the Sr Pastor.
  • There is a proposal to create a new Pastor position, an Executive Pastor.  This position will need to be presented to and approved by the Board of Elders by January 18 so the Finance Committee can budget in 2011.
  • The Executive Pastor has the responsibilities of Financial Director; Bill Johnston will be retiring in March.
  • Administrative assistants would report to Executive Pastor

Brian offered staff reports and issues.

Assignment of Elder Liaisons for 2011: 

The “win” is to support the ministries and staff of Grace by strengthening and deepening the relationship and investment of the elder board with the ministry staff.  Liaisons’ activities include:

  • Intentionally fostering an honest, open, and trusting relationship between the elder and staff person.
  • Acting as an informed advocate of the ministry to the board and of the board to the ministry.  This requires the liaison to be actively involved in the ministry — to know the heartbeat of the staff person and the joys and challenges of the ministry, to provide specific prayer support, etc.
  • To serve, when appropriate, as an additional communication point for the ministry with the congregation.
  • Depending on needs and circumstances, determine if a committee would be helpful and effective and, if so, help organize and serve on such a committee.

Importantly, the liaison is not to become a go-between for complaints and criticisms, but is to embrace the spirit of our grievance policy and encourage both members and staff to follow the prescribed steps.

2011 ELDER LIAISON ASSIGNMENTS (with primary staff contact in parentheses):

  • Children’s (Ashley Henderson): Joe Toomey.  Ministry team includes Mary Ann Glick, Christy Mazer, Jill Swisher and Erin Winston
  • Congregational life (includes Adult Ed) (Murry Haber): Mary Mason
  • Facilities (Doug Funk): Jim Salisbury (elder liaison), Doug Funk (staff), Kate Berry, Les Crenshaw, Chris Ertel, Asa Rogerson, Chuck & Jeanette Sloan, Reeves Spainhour
  • Finance (Bill Johnston)/ Becky Crenshaw): Mark Cates
  • Mission and outreach (no staff person): Kathy Starkey (elder liaison), Holly Cook, Chandler & Lon Ellis, Doug Funk, Ginger Gentry, Karen Latta, Lane Morgan, Doug & Kathy Starkey, Bill Walker, Greg Westfall
  • Music (Katie Henry): Mary Greene
  • Staff and Programming (Brian Worley): Chris Latta until March/Michelle Starbuck -March-December
  • Senior Pastor (John Ulrich): Chris Latta
  • Youth (Chris Sasser): Todd Boersma
  • Ginger Gentry: Pat McInnes

A dinner for resting elders will be held on January 13, and will be organized by Mary Mason at Michelle Starbuck’s house.

Doug Bergeson will lead a team to review of our bylaws and bring any recommendations back to the Board of Elders.

The meeting was adjourned with prayer.

Respectfully submitted,
Mark Cates

Minutes from 2018

Minutes from 2017

Minutes from 2016

Minutes from 2015

Minutes from 2014

Minutes from 2013

Minutes from 2012

Minutes from 2010

Note:  Minutes from elder meetings held prior to May 2010 are archived in binders at the Grace offices.