Notes from Session


Virginia Munkelwitz began the meeting with Session Study, our monthly opportunity to think and reflect on a topic of personal interest. Her subject was the Green Mountain On-Line Abbey. Prayers at 8 am and 8 pm are offered each day and Virginia has found this quiet ritual, especially in a time of isolation, “…has been like traveling to a different land.” She added, “It has been a great comfort.”

As you may recall, Rev. Marjorie MacNeill began her ministry with us a year ago. As our Transitional Pastor, she feels it is her role to raise questions for the congregation such as where are we now? Where is the Vision now? How are we doing with ZOOM church and how are we managing this virtual world. In order to find some answers, we will be sending a list of questions to you before long. The format for this will be the kind of narrative survey we took after we had a chance to reflect on the visioning process last year. So watch for this. It will be coming your way by email.

David Boedy, Chair of the Pastor Search Committee, reports interest by several prospective clergy. David says, “We look for candidates who have the capacity to grow in their faith and can reflect our range of theological beliefs soon after arrival.”

Treasurer, Al Brooks, is looking at the CCP 2021 budget and, depending on if and when we hire a new pastor, the figures will change. We have not been in our space at St. Paul’s but Session agrees to maintain our monthly offering to St. Paul’s because it is the right thing to do. Al always is so calm and reassuring. He spoke to us recently at 4pm Zoom and reminds us 2021 pledge cards are now in the mail. The pledge drive will end on November 22 and we thank John Steele and Sara Barsotti for making it happen.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom. Everywhere, churches are meeting via this amazing electronic platform. Recently, guest preacher, Ken White of College Street, came to us on Zoom and our Worship Committee, chaired by Mary Beth Barritt, reported that we will be doing more church via Zoom. Not all the time. Not every Sunday, but now and then. We’ve become used to Zooming at 4 pm Sunday and know it works.

At the end of these gatherings, once a month we take time to share what we’ve been doing, reading, thinking, watching about racial and social justice issues. Our on-line book groups have finished Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste” and will turn to other titles. We’ve visited virtual discussions on racial justice in Vermont and migrant workers in Vermont. We went to a VIA fundraiser via ZOOM. We celebrated Audrey Arnold’s 90th birthday. We try to keep track of all this and update it on the CCP homepage under “Racial Justice Resources.”

Several weeks ago, we attended a Presbytery-wide meeting on the “Hybrid Church.” The Moderator, Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, of the Palo Alto Presbyterian Church, led an exploration of new ways of doing church. He says we should “deeply embrace this time as the new normal.” He says, “Start thinking about what church will look like in six months, a year, and longer. Stop being surprised by how well you and the church have done during the pandemic.” Here is a link to the entire meeting.

This is it for October. Winter is gaining on us…
Stay warm and safe.

Elinore Standard
CCP Clerk of Session