Notes from Session

CCP SESSION NOTES TO THE CONGREGATION – April 2021

Our April Session meeting opened with a Session Study led by Al Brooks. Al offered a Q & A column from a recent Progressive Christianity.org newsletter, with questions intended to help a reader find a church that was a good fit. He asked us to think about how CCP stacked up on the qualities/practices identified as important in choosing a congregation–and to consider the implications of the more complex questions with regard to the type of person we are looking for in our pastor search. David noted that there’s an alignment with the questions the search committee is asking.

Mary Beth, as Clerk, shared information from More Light Presbyterians about recent issue work. Notably, they were recently asked to testify in the U.S. Senate about the Equality Act. With a number of LGBTQA issues, particularly trans issues, surfacing nationally and in various states, Session voted to donate $100 to More Light as part of our mission giving this year and consider this annually.

Last month, Al had talked with Session about moving cash into the Vermont Community Loan Fund. Following our conversation, he researched VCLF’s commitment to the BIPOC community and what they are doing is impressive. They’ve reviewed their loan application process to make it more inclusive, are adding capacity to their Business Resource Center and expanding their commitment to BIPOC owned and led businesses. Great efforts on their part, and we feel good about moving more CCP cash to this fund.

Virginia reported that the Web Team (Virginia, Elinore and Mary Beth) met twice this month– to update the whole site and again to restructure the Racial Justice Resource pages. Elinore is a total champion for the importance of the site, and supplies us with seasonal images and current information to keep it vital. The Racial Justice website, following Sophia’s suggestions, is now a well-organized resource for all kinds of learning. Be sure to check it out!

Sue reported—and Session concurred—that the new pulpit supply team model is working extremely well. We’ve had very positive feedback on the preaching and the warm connective manner both pastors are bringing to us each week. Our new practice of moving into a more substantive conversation after worship has led to some great conversations. We realized that knowing how to end this has been a bit slippery, so we’re making a few tweaks. We’ll announce 10 minutes of discussion and then leave the Zoom open for another five minutes for casual conversation among those who would like to stay on to catch up.

John Owen, as our Facilities person, is proactively looking into what’s needed, internet-wise, to stream our services once we are back in our space. We have no plans to return to the space at this point, but John is in communication with St. Paul’s about various technical options that will allow us to provide good remote access in the future.

Finally, Session spent time, as we will each month, thinking about what will be needed to move back into our space. We discussed what markers might be used as we look at questions about returning, recognizing that vaccination rates, state guidelines, Episcopal diocesan guidelines, and the internet capability to offer a strong hybrid model (audio, visual, music) will all be important components. PNNE will be offering a webinar this week related to some of these questions and several members of Session will attend. While a return to the space is not on the near horizon, we will continue to raise questions and collect information so we’ll be ready when the time comes.

Take good care,

Mary Beth Barritt,
Clerk of Session