The Shallowford Session is the governing board of each individual Presbyterian church. At Shallowford, the Session consists of 25 elders (or leaders) to govern the 12 active committees that make up the church (committees listed below). To become an elder, you commit to serve a three-year term on Shallowford’s Session. Elders come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Session includes a balance of individuals whose ages range widely from 17 to 78, including a youth elder who serves a one-year term.

Officers of the Church

Meeting Highlights

  • Approved minutes from the Stated Session Meeting on June 16, 2021 and the Called Session Meeting on July 11, 2021 to receive new members.
  • Approved June 2021 and July 2021 Membership Reports, totaling 977 active members.
  • Rev. Anna George Traynham welcomed Asia Lerner as a new member of Shallowford Presbyterian Church. Asia is in the discernment process for ministry and will also be serving as an intern for our youth program for the coming year.
  • Ministry Spotlights
    • Support & Endowment Committee – BJ McMillan provided an overview of the Support and Endowment Committee for the Session meeting attendees. The committee is presently overseeing the use of $2.5 million in New Covenant Funds distributed between six major funds and several smaller ones.
    • Shallowford Presbyterian School – Meredith Moseley provided an overview of the Shallowford Presbyterian School (SPS) for the Session meeting attendees. The 2020 school year had been extremely difficult due to Covid, but it meant so much to the students and staff to have in person learning. This year they have started a 6th grade class and are interviewing for additional Pre-K teachers.
  • Financial Report – The July 2021 financial results reflected operating income of $112,293, which was $32,970 under budget, and operating expense of $123,774, which was $23,932 under budget. Net loss for the month, including Special Offerings, was $11,407, which was $8,964 over budget. Available cash at the end of July was $258,063. Year to date results reflect operating income of $983,771, which is $53,627 under budget, and operating expense of $952,948, which is $101,403 under budget. Year to date net income, including Special Offerings, is $37,179.
  • Personnel Updates –Mark Shaffer provided an update from the Personnel Committee on the open staff positions. Mark indicated that Mark Ridings has accepted a part-time position as the Associate Director of Music, and that Dwagne Haskins is seeking an additional part-time Facilities
    Assistant. Mark also indicated that the committee’s spending is currently $50K under budget for the year. Anna informed Session that the duties of the Parish Associate for Pastoral Care are to be divided between the four ordained pastors until the effects of the Covid variants have been resolved.
  • Pastors and Staff Updates
    • Rev. Anna George Traynham reported that the Facilities Committee approved the funding for the replacement of the HVAC unit serving the Sanctuary Balcony which had not been replaced during the renovations.
    • Rev. Bradley Kibler reported that Maggie Johnson has been hired as an intern. We are seeking an additional intern through Candler Theological Seminary.
    • Emily Floyd announced that she is the new Conductor and Musical Director of the Choral Guild of Atlanta. They will be rehearsing at Shallowford and have had five SPC Chancel Choir members join them.
  • Approved minutes from the Called Session Meetings on May 16 and 23, 2021 to receive new members and Stated Session Meeting on May 16, 2021
  • Financial Report – May 2021 actual income was $122,489 to a budget of $142,588 which is a shortfall of just over $20,000. Year-to-date actual income is $763,536 to a budget of $749,297.
  • Thurston Cooke and Angela Wittenauer provided information on the upcoming Stewardship season and campaign. The committee has decided on “Forward Together” for the 2021 Stewardship theme for Shallowford. This campaign will be more traditional to include more in-person gatherings and activities. Sunday, September 26 will be the kickoff of the campaign. A churchwide luncheon will follow and will include the State of the Church address. October 24 will be dedication Sunday with a return of Pigs on Fire lunch. The church-wide retreat will be returning during the campaign with the same theme of Forward Together.
  • Discussed partnership with Zo Presbyterian Church. Zo people are refugees from Burma/Myanmar who have settled in Atlanta in the last several years. Zo Presbyterian was a growing congregation for many years; now, they have settled to a smaller group and are looking for a church home. Adults primarily speak Zo; children primary speak English. The pastor of the congregation approached Shallowford about possibly combining some of the ministries of the two churches especially children and youth. Session approved making this invitation to youth and children of Zo Presbyterian previously. Twelve Zo children participated in VBS, and some youth have expressed interest in youth activities. Fifty people in total (adults, youth and children) make up the congregation. Adults will utilize space in the Chapel during the Sunday school hour while children and youth are in Sunday School. The potential vision is that the adults will eventually join Shallowford and join worship services. The Zo congregation would potentially meet in the Chapel for their own worship service later in the afternoon on Sundays.
  • Personnel Updates – We welcome Dwagne Haskins as Shallowford’s new Facilities Manager. Rev. Laura Jernigan announced to the Session that she will be responding to a call to move into a new season of ministry of music and writing. Laura indicated that she will be leaving her position of Parish Associate for Congregational Care to continue music, writing, and other creative ways of ministry. Laura’s last day at Shallowford will be Sunday, July 18th, and we will celebrate her ministry with us during a reception following worship that day.
  • Approved minutes from the Called Session/Congregational Meeting on April 18, 2021 and Stated Session Meeting on April 21, 2021
  • Approved the April 2021 Membership Report, totaling 999 active members
  • Examination of Incoming Elders who will be installed during Sunday Worship, June 6, 2021.
  • Celebration of Outgoing Elders with words of appreciation for their three years of service.
  • Ministry Spotlight – Worship and Music presented by Emily Floyd, Director of Music.
    • Mission – participation in music ministry will develop musicianship, nurture faith, and develop leadership in service to the church
    • There are 200+ Music Makers at SPC – Preschoolers, Elementary Age, Youth, Adults, Instrumentalists and Soloists
    • Four Pillars of Music Ministry – Musical, Spiritual, Social and Emotional
  • The April 2021 financial results reflected operating income of $121,567, which was $21,846 under budget, and operating expense of $123,416, which was $32,328 under budget. Net loss for the month, including Special Offerings, was $1,599, which was $10,732 under budget. Available cash at the end of April was $372,060.
  • Year to date results reflected operating income of $641,047, which was $54,339 over budget, and operating expense of $529,425, which was $81,904 under budget. Year to date net income, including Special Offerings, is $119,257.
  • Approved Session Action Forms
    • Renew Lease with International Church through May 2022
    • Collect Offerings for Chapel Choir Homecoming Concerts
    • Approve Love Offering for Dooley Shabazz
    • Extend Election of Clerk of Session
    • Extend the Election of Treasurer
    • Establishing an Internship Program at Shallowford
    • Participate in Thriving Congregations Cohort at Montreat
    • Sponsor Shalom Students to Montreat for Youth Conference
    • Follow Updated CDC Guidelines at Shallowford to Open Campus
    • Approve Session Resolution Honoring Dooley Shabazz on Sunday, June 13, 2021

April 2021 Session Highlights

  • Approved minutes from the Stated Session Meeting on March 14, 2021
  • Approved the March 2021 Membership Report, totaling 997 active members
  • Approved the baptism of Otto, child of Jenni and Hannah Mathis on May 23, 2021
  • Ministry Spotlight – Adult Education presented by Rev. Catherine Foster. Adult Education is
    comprised of three primary areas:

    • Sunday School (8 classes) – averaging 115 adults on Sunday mornings (83 during
      pandemic)
    • Small Groups – Theology on Tap, The Nest, Thursday Pastor’s Bible Study, Monday Small
      Group, Mothers with Young Children Small Group, Shallowford Presbyterian Women
    • Seasonal/Special Opportunities – Book Clubs, Anti-Racism Training, Special Lectures
  • The March 2021 financial results reflected operating income of $199,922, which was $56,334
    over budget, and operating expense of $162,349, which was $2,284 over budget. Net gain for
    the month, including Special Offerings, was $42,683, which was $59,160 over budget. Available
    cash at the end of February was $373,741.
  • Year to date results reflected operating income of $519,480, which was $56,185 over budget,
    and operating expense of $406,009, which was $49,576 under budget. Year to date net income,
    including Special Offerings, is $120,856.
  • Approved Session Action Forms
    • Elected Sorrell Scaglione-Poelzer as Rising Moderator of the 2021-2022 RNC
    • External Financial Review for years 2019 and 2020
    • Remove time and size limit on socially distanced indoor gatherings
    • Allow outdoor gatherings of any size and time limit following CDC guidelines
    • Establish guidelines for Youth Summer Trips
    • Approve Indoor Worship with maximum of 100 people beginning May 9th
    • Opening of Shallowford Nursery during Worship provided we have Nursery Workers who are vaccinated and abide by SPC Child Protection Policy

March 2021 Session Highlights

  • Approved minutes from Stated Session Meeting, February 14, 2021.
  • Approve February 2021 New Membership Report indicating 1001 Active Members.
  • The February 2021 financial results reflected operating income of $118,605, which was $25,733 under budget, and operating expense of $127,652, which was $12,983 under budget. Net loss for the month, including Special Offerings, was $6,772, which was $10,475 under budget. Available cash at the end of February was $331,058.
  • On behalf of the Shallowford COVID-19 Task Force member Mike Cannon reviewed key metrics to inform thoughts around the reopening of the campus.
  • Holy Week offerings include:
    • Palm Sunday – 11 a.m. Drive-In Worship (livestream to Facebook & shallowford.org)
    • Holy Monday – 12 p.m. Prayer & Devotional on Zoom
    • Holy Tuesday – 12 p.m. Prayer & Devotional on Zoom
    • Holy Wednesday – 4-6 p.m. Drive-Through Prayer Opportunity
    • Maundy Thursday in-person & online zoom services
    • Good Friday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Journey with Jesus Experience (Outdoors); 7:00 p.m. virtual service on Facebook and shallowford.org
  • Easter Sunday Services (April 4, 2021) will take place at the following times:
    • 7 a.m. Sunrise Service on the Ballfield (RSVP)
    • 8:45 a.m. Virtual Service (available on Facebook & shallowford.org)
    • 11 a.m. Drive-In Worship with Flower Cross Opportunity
  • Approved Session Action Forms (SAFs) include:
    • Outdoor Worship for up to 50 Households (beginning with Easter Sunday)
    • Outdoor Gatherings of 25 people (following all CDC recommended guidelines)
    • Groups of up to 25 people to eat together at outdoor gatherings (following all Session guidelines)
    • Indoor Gatherings of up to 25 people (following all CDC recommended guidelines)
  • The 2021 Confirmation Class consists of 8 students. Confirmation Sunday will be held on April 18, 2021.

General Business

Approved minutes from Stated Session Meeting, January 20, 2021

Approve January 2021 New Membership Report indicating 1005 Active Members

Ministry Spotlight – Congregational Care

Rev. Laura Jernigan provided an update on the Congregational Care ministry of Shallowford.  Laura described her role of Pastoral Care for the congregation in assisting the Senior pastor with pastoral care of congregation members, through phone calls, visits (when possible) and assigning care needs to other pastors as needed.  Laura works hand-in-hand with the Congregational Care Committee whose mission is to share God’s love with our congregation and community through ministries of care, compassion, support and cultivation of relationship.  Here are eight different components of the committee’s ministry:

  1. Support Groups – Two support groups exist within the ministry:
    1. Alzheimer’s Support Group for caregivers and loved ones of anyone with any form of dementia.
    2. Grief Support Group (GriefShare) provides (2) 13 week sessions annually with curriculum, video and discussion.
  2. Bereavement Committee – Provide comfort to families after memorial services, and follow up with families on the first anniversary of a loved one’s death.
  3. Care Ministers – Build friendships with homebound members or those with special needs.
  4. Communion at Home – Share sacrament of Lord’s Supper with our homebound members using the concept of “the farthest pew.”
  5. Prayer Shawl Ministry – Pray, craft and give shawls to members who are sick, grieving or suffering a crisis. Shawls are given in person or mailed as requested by pastors or members.
  6. Take Them a Meal – Provide and deliver meals for families with new babies and those who are sick, recovering from surgery, or have other needs.
  7. Prayer Network –Pray for every member of the congregation on a regular basis with a letter sent directly to each member.
  8. Road Runners / Senior Adult Fellowship – The purpose of this group is to provide opportunities for fun, fellowship and friendship through trips outings and other gatherings within our senior adult community.

There are between 20 and 40 church members who regularly participate in each of these committees.

Financial Report

The January 2021 financial results reflect operating income of $200,953, which was $25,585 over budget, and operating expense of $116,008, which was $38,877 under budget. Net gain for the month was $89,946, which was $69,463 over budget. Available cash at the end of January was $337,650.

 

COVID-19 Task Force Report

While the number of Covid cases remains high, the metrics have been improving since the spikes seen in January.  The Task Force will continue to monitor the CDC recommendations and will update the congregation on new initiatives as warranted.

 

Worship Update:  Lent, Holy Week and Easter plans

There will be numerous opportunities for worship and connection during the Lenten Season.

  • Drive-in Sunday services, live streamed services, special services for Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and Easter
  • Virtual Opportunities – Learning Forgiveness (Weekly Bible Study), Listen in Lent (Weekly Music Sharing), Loving Kindness: Anti-Racism Training (Weekly Training)
  • We have invited the whole congregation to join in folding origami cranes which create an art installation in our Sanctuary for Easter

Approved Session Action Forms (SAFs)

  • Approve 2020 Annual Statistical Report
  • Call Congregational Meeting for April 18, 2021 for purpose of electing Elders and Representative Nominating Committee
  • Establish a Steering Committee to explore a Sustainable Internship Program at Shallowford