June 2021 Session Highlights

  • Reviewed the Treasurer’s report for the year to date. Contributions are in line with 2020 and budgeted projections for this point in the year. Committee spending is generally in line with budget.
  • The Session was happy to learn that attendance has been steadily increasing at both Sunday services each week. The nursery is open, and children are participating in worship and the Conversation with Children. Discussion centered on Derry’s music program and the wearing of masks by musicians/choir members and the continuing requirement for masks at the 10:30 service. Both singers and musicians have offered to show proof of vaccination if they would be permitted to participate without masks. After discussion, the Session agreed to remove the requirement that singers and musicians must wear masks when leading worship as long those participating submit proof of vaccination. Grant Wareham will be monitoring the program and keeping copies of the submitted vaccination cards. Masks will continue to be required for the congregation at the 10:30 service through July and August. The hope is that with the start of fall programming in September, the mask requirement can be lifted. 
  • The Christian Education Committee’s Library Team submitted a proposal for reorganizing the library to enhance the children’s section and create new gathering areas. Upgrades will include additional lighting, painting, adding new seating, re-working the shelves, and relocating the church mailboxes currently located in the area. The Session approved the proposed changes which will cost approximately $4,000.
  • As a part of the cemetery upgrade project, the Session reviewed and approved a Capital Procurement Requisition to restore the cemetery wall which will include power washing the entire wall, repointing approximately 60 feet of the wall, and rebuilding approximately 170 feet of the wall at a cost of $135,000.
  • The Session approved the purchase of a 12-passenger van to replace the current church van at a cost of approximately $54,000. The cost of the van will be taken from the Transportation Fund, which is funded through a generous donation. The current van will be traded or sold.
  • Natalie Taylor has applied for and been granted a scholarship from the Brong Scholarship fund.
  • The Personnel Committee recommended increasing the current wage rate of $14/hour for the Sexton position to a range of $15 to $17/hour. Advertisements for the open position of Sexton have not resulted in any viable applicants. Based on rates for similar jobs and the current labor shortage, the Session approved the recommendation. The Session also approved increasing Jeff Miller’s current hourly wage from $13.94 to $17/hour for his remaining employment. Jeff has served Derry faithfully and will be retiring at the end of July.
  • The Session approved, in principle, Derry Discovery Day’s request to hold a virtual fundraiser later this year. When details of the fundraiser are made, they will be brought before the Session for approval.