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 as follows:
    • Called Session Meeting minutes to receive new members, December 12, 2021
    • Stated Session Meeting minutes for December 15, 2021
    • Called Session Meeting minutes to discuss COVID Mitigations on January 1, 2022
    • Called Session Meeting minutes to discuss COVID Mitigations for return to in-person worship on January 6, 2022
    • Approved December 2021 Membership Report, totaling 989 active members.
  • Financial Report – The preliminary December 2021 financial results reflected operating income of $189,481, which was $13,957 over budget, and operating expense of $214,835, which was $50,437 over budget ($30,000 of which was approved transfer to Capital Expenditures Fund). Net loss for the month, including Special Offerings, was $35,588, which was $46,714 over budget. Available cash at the end of December was $265,117. Year to date results reflected operating income of $1,676,988, which was $26,012 under budget, and operating expense of $1,722,418, which was $85,582 under budget. Year to date net income, including Special Offerings, is $67,762.
  • Stewardship Committee Update – The campaign achieved its targets which enabled support of the budget approved in December. Approximately $1,650,000 in pledges have been made to date; there may be an additional $5k-$10k that will be made. This represents a 1% increase over pledges in 2020. Nearly 50% of households increased pledges from 2021 to 2022; the average pledge increased about 12.5%.
  • Ministry Spotlight – Communications – The Communications Committee has a number of items worth celebrating: Live Stream, Welcome Center, Sacred Space Video Edition, Branding Guide, 2022 Committee Goals, and Ways to Engage.
    • Live Stream – Shallowford has moved from pre-recorded virtual worship Services to Live Stream in the past year. Analytics indicate that there were 420 views of the December 24th service in Vimeo and 327 views via the church website for the highest viewed service since tracking began in 2021; this service also had the highest in-person attendance of 420.
    • Welcome Center – The goal of the Welcome Center is to increase engagement with visitors, optimize space in atrium and display information for attendees. Maggie summarized the vision for the Welcome Center: inviting space with upgraded furnishings and useful technology, members stationed to welcome visitors and answer questions, televisions to display important information and broadcast messages.
    • Sacred Space Video Edition – The goal of the video edition of Sacred Space is to deliver content featuring churchwide groups and events to members and greater community in exciting new way. Videos will highlight interviews of members, leaders and staff and will offer ministry spotlights and testimonials.
  • Personnel Committee – Mark Shaffer provided an overview of the terms of call of the installed pastors for Shallowford which will be voted on during the Congregational Meeting planned for February 20, 2022.
  • The following Session Action Forms were presented. All motions were passed by the Session.
    • SAF 2022.02 – 2022 Communion Schedule
    • SAF 2022.04 – Rev. Landon Dillard Renewal of Contract for 2022
    • SAF 2022.05 – Call Annual Congregational Meeting for April 18
    • SAF 2022.06 – Additional 2021 surplus cash disbursements
      • That the Session approve moving these additional year-end cash disbursements, from the 2021 surplus: $25,000 to Capital Expenditures Fund and an extra mortgage payment of $5,685.52 to be made toward the principal balance of the loan.
  • Approved minutes from the Stated Session Meeting on November 17, 2021.
  • Approved November 2021 Membership Report, totaling 979 active members.
  • Approved rescheduling of communion from January 2 to January 9, 2022 for Baptism of the Lord Sunday.
  • Stewardship Update – Thurston Cooke provided an update on the Stewardship Campaign for 2022. Thurston indicated that they have continued to receive new pledges including several new members from this past week’s new member meeting. Current pledges total approximately $1,642,600 which is $8,600 above 2020 pledges and approximately $8,000 short of goal for 2021. They have received several verbal commitments from members to help close the $8,000 gap and should exceed the goal once all of these pledges are received.
  • Financial Report – The November 2021 financial results reflected operating income of $151,926, which was $738 over budget, and operating expense of $146,201, which was $13,405 over budget. Net gain for the month, including Special Offerings, was $9,576, which was $8,816 under budget. Available cash at the end of October was $302,918. Year to date results reflected operating income of $1,600,607, which was $31,870 under budget, and operating expense of $1,507,583, which was $136,020 under budget. Year to date net income, including Special Offerings, is $103,259.
  • The following Session Action Forms were presented. All motions were passed by the Session.
    • SAF 2021.43.2 – Search Committee for Part-Time Pastoral Care Pastor Proposed Motion: That the Session elects the following people to a search committee, charged with finding a Contract-Call Associate Pastor (“Parish Associate”) for Pastoral Care: Marisa Vigar (new), Gary Adams, Julie Burkhard, Barbara Reeves, Vernon Duty, Robby Robinson, Anna George Traynham, ex officio.
    • SAF 2021.45 – Call a Congregational Meeting for February 20, 2022 for the purpose of approving the installed pastors’ terms of call.
    • SAF 2021.46 – Approve 2022 Operating Budget
    • SAF 2021.47 – 2021 Facilities Projected Year End Expenses Overages Proposed motion: That the Session approve 2021 Facilities Budget expense overage up to $26,000.00 by year end of 2021. Sarah mentioned several examples of unplanned repairs including a leak in the sanctuary, the fire system panel failure and subsequent maintenance findings.
    • SAF 2021.48 – 2021 Facilities Year End Cash Expenditures Approve use of excess cash in the amount of $5,500 for equipment purchases. Sarah noted that these expenses will save money in the long run since many of these maintenance activities are outsourced today since the equipment is not available to our maintenance staff.
    • SAF 2021.49 – 2021 Year-End Cash Expenditure: Capital Expenditures Fund Proposed motion: Approve the following unbudgeted 2021 year-end cash expenditures: $30,000 contribution to Capital Expenditures Fund. It was indicated that due to the anticipated surplus in the budget of at least $50,000, the finance committee recommends that $30,000 be moved to the Capital Expenditure Fund to be reserved and utilized for future capital expenditures that may be needed. This is consistent with Finance committee recommendations from end of 2020 where a similar SAF was approved.
  • Approved minutes from the Stated Session Meeting on October 20, 2021.
  • Approved October 2021 Membership Report, totaling 983 active members.
  • Financial Report – Katie Kilch provided an overview of the financial results. She summarized the results for October 2021 which reflected operating income of $196,570, which was $44,307 over budget, and operating expense of $118,944, which was $36,328 under budget. Net gain for the month, including Special Offerings, was $77,626, which was $80,635 over budget. Available cash at the end of October was $297,628. Year to date results reflected operating income of $1,448,683, which was $32,605 under budget, and operating expense of $1,361,382, which was $149,425 under budget. Year to date net income, including Special Offerings, is $93,685.
  • Ministry Spotlight
    • Shallowford Internship Program – Asia Lerner and Maggie Johnson provided an overview of the Shallowford Internship Program for the Session meeting attendees. Asia started with Shallowford in January 2021; Maggie started August 2021. Maggie summarized the mission of the internship program. Funding to date has not been associated with the annual budget but is from the restricted fund for the internship program that was established from 2020 budget surplus. Both expressed gratitude for the ability to be compensated for their positions at Shallowford. A recommendation was made to share the intern presentation during an upcoming combined Sunday School hour. Gratitude for both Asia and Maggie was expressed on behalf of the Youth Committee for the positive impact made on youth and families.
  • Stewardship Update – Angela Wittenauer and Thurston Cooke provided an update on the Stewardship Campaign for 2022. Thurston indicate that $1,535,644 in pledges have been received to date. This represents 94% of 2020 pledges. The 2021 goal is $1.7m, so the committee is still working toward securing any additional pledges.
  • Personnel Updates – The following Session Action Forms were presented by Mark Shaffer on behalf of the Personnel Committee. All motions were passed by the Session.
    • SAF 2021.39.2 – Sabbatical Funding – Restricted Account UPDATED Proposed Motion: That the Session approve moving $10,000 (not $20,000 as previously stated) to a new Sabbatical and Leave Support restricted account.
    • SAF 2021.44 – Sabbatical Funding #2- Restricted Account UPDATED Proposed Motion: That the Session allocate $5,000 from the cash balance to the Sabbatical and Leave Support restricted account.
    • SAF 2021.40 – Bradley Kibler Sabbatical 2022 Proposed Motion: That the Session approve a 12-week sabbatical for Bradley Kibler, as described in the attached proposal.
    • SAF 2021.41 – Emily Floyd Sabbatical 2022 Proposed Motion: That the Session approve a 12-week sabbatical for Emily Floyd, as described in the attached proposal.
    • SAF 2021.42 – Position description for Parish Associate for Pastoral Care Proposed Motion: That the Session approves the attached job description and potential contract for a part-time Parish Associate for Pastoral Care and authorize a search to begin in January, pending Stewardship season results.
    • SAF 2021.43 – Search Committee for Part-Time Pastoral Care Pastor Proposed Motion: That the Session elects the following people to a search committee, charged with finding a Contract-Call Associate Pastor (“Parish Associate”) for Pastoral Care: Gary Adams, Julie Burkhard, Barbara Reeves, Vernon Duty, Robby Robinson, Anna George Traynham, ex officio.
  • Update on Zo Presbyterian Church – Unfortunately, due to a split within the ZPC, the congregation will no longer be meeting at Shallowford.
  • Approved minutes from the Stated Session Meeting on August 18, 2021 and the Called Session Meeting on September 12, 2021 to receive new members.
  • Approved August 2021 and September 2021 Membership Reports, totaling 978 active members.
  • Received (2) New Members: Pastor Khai Samte, of the Zo Presbyterian Church, and Jacqueline (Jacque) Dale, who transfers to SPC from Clairmont Presbyterian Church.
  • Ministry Spotlight
    • Children’s Ministry – Rev. Landon Dillard provided an overview of the Children’s Ministry for the
      Session meeting attendees. Currently, the Children’s Ministry is holding in-person Sunday School – 3 classes split by age groups. Sunday School fall focus is Old Testament stories, and winter/spring will be New Testament. BLAST (Bible and Bells Learning And Singing Together) is happening on Wednesday nights – choir and handbells, dinner, Bible adventure for K-2 nd grade. Landon leads Shallowford Presbyterian School (SPS) Chapel on the first Wednesday of the month. Periodically, Landon will also participate with students in the classroom for SPS as requested.
    • Coming up for Children’s Ministry:
      • Trunk or Treat on October 30;
      • Christmas – party with decorating cookies, crafts in Sunday school;
      • Children’s Sunday – February 6, 2022;
      • Summer 2022 – Joining with Anne Thomas to take 3 rd -5th graders to Montreat,
      • VBS 2022
      • Mission engagement – get children more involved in mission as COVID allows.
  • Financial Report – Katie Kilch provided an overview of the financial results. She summarized the results for September 2021 and year to date finances for the church. Contributions were on target, slightly above for September. September was a good month overall, on track for income and expenses. Nancy Phillimore is forecasting an upside of approximately $27,000 and a downside of approximately $23,000 for end of year depending on final year end expenses and receipt of outstanding 2021 pledges. The mortgage balance has been refinanced to save approximately $30,000 over the remaining life of the loan; mortgage balance is approximately $800,000.
  • Personnel Updates – Mark Shaffer provided an update from the Personnel Committee on the open Pastoral Care position. Mark indicated that the position description and search committee will be approved in November; search committee is anticipated to be filled by Personnel Committee members. The position will be posted in December. Mark reported that there are two sabbaticals planned for 2022 for staff members – after each 7 years of service, staff members
    are eligible for a twelve-week sabbatical. Rev. Bradley Kibler is coming up for a 7-year sabbatical; Emily Floyd is eligible for her 14-year sabbatical. Emily is planning 8 weeks in fall and 4 weeks in early spring, Bradley will be targeted for all 12 weeks in the fall. Emily and Bradley both expressed gratitude to Shallowford for this opportunity.
  • Approved Session Action Forms
    • SAF 2021.36 – Youth Christmas Tree Sale COVID Protocols established to allow youth to spend the night in the Great Hall on December 3, 2021.
    • SAF 2021.37 – Designate Organ Fund Special Offering to be collected during Worship on Sunday, November 7, 2021. This if the 5th Anniversary of the organ.
  • 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.