The Session meeting on October 15 included the regular Session meeting, a meeting of the WPC Board of Trustees, and the annual joint Session-Diaconate meeting. The opening Session meeting devotional and prayer was offered by Bill Pogue, and the elders heard highlights from committee reports.

The Session is interested in learning more about providing sanctuary to persons facing deportation and how WPC might become involved. Mike Bunch prepared a report for the Session on sanctuary that covered the history of the Sanctuary Movement, noting that a PC(USA) church in Tucson, Arizona, was the first to provide sanctuary to an individual facing deportation. The report pointed to the complexities of gaining citizenship; spoke to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy; and referenced the short-comings of the Sanctuary Movement, which is mostly due to the fact that the organization is crisis-oriented and only focuses on Central and South America. Should WPC decide it is interested in helping to create solutions to immigration issues, we should begin with Durham-based Church World Service and World Relief. The Session will continue to explore ways to help. Jeremy Trantham closed the Session meeting with prayer.

The brief annual meeting of the WPC Board of Trustees was opened with prayer and led by Doug Wellemeyer, immediate past-president. An amendment to the Corporate Bylaws reflects the new Book of Order, replacing “teaching Elder” with “minister of the Word and Sacrament.” Chris Tuttle closed the meeting with prayer.

Chris invited the Diaconate to join the Session for the joint meeting. Rev. Tom Norwood of Horizons Stewardship was in attendance to help answer questions concerning the current plan to conduct a feasibility study for a capital campaign. Chris provided a comprehensive review of what has brought us to this point, noting that it has been a three-year process flowing from the approved strategic plan. A master plan for changes to the campus was developed, vetted with the congregation on several occasions, and revised according to the feedback received. We are now at the point where we will test the appetite for a capital campaign, and Horizons will conduct a feasibility study for this purpose. On October 25, members who wanted more information had the opportunity to have a dinner meeting with Tom Norwood. A cross-section of the congregation has been given the opportunity to provide feedback though an online questionnaire designed by Horizons. An analysis will be presented to the Session on November 19. The Session will gather for a called meeting on November 29 to discuss the report.

Bonnie Derr
Class of 2019