Hudson Happenings
H u d s o n  R i v e r  P r e s b y t e r y
In This Issue
June 29, 2017
Dear Friends,

In The Dogs at Live Oak Beach, Santa Cruz, American poet Alisa Ostriker (who also teaches midrash) writes,

As if there could be a world 
Of absolute innocence 
In which we forget ourselves 

The owners throw sticks 
And half-bald tennis balls 
Toward the surf 
And the happy dogs leap after them 
As if catapulted

The poem concludes with the dogs racing out of the ocean...

Teeth into floating wood 
Then bound back to their owners 
Shining wet, with passionate speed 
For nothing, 
For absolutely nothing but joy.

When have you found yourself, lost in absolute joy?  Shining wet?  Running with passionate speed?

With this issue, we begin our summer schedule for Hudson Happenings.  The next issue of Hudson Happenings will be published on Thursday, August 24.  Please email your submissions to by Tuesday, August 22.  Hudson Happenings will resume its every three-week schedule with the September 7 issue.

From Your Interim General Presbyter
The interim process is moving ahead! One of the next steps will be forming the General Presbyter Nominating Committee (GPNC); it is hoped that this GPNC will be elected at the September presbytery meeting.

As has been shared previously, your Transition Team and Council was to meet to determine the major responsibilities for this position and the implications that may have for the overall staffing model of the presbytery. That joint meeting occurred and the position description is being developed, keeping in mind HRP's vision, values, mission and ministry goals as well as the new Design for Mission and Ministry. Once that is done, it will go back to the Council to be acted upon. Read on for how to suggest people for the GPNC.
Presbytery News & Events
Discussion of Fossil Fuel Divestment at Presbytery, July 25 
Join us at the July Presbytery meeting for an open space discussion  on congregational fossil fuel divestment and ethical investing.   Discuss the biblical basis for this kind of conversation as well as what our Hudson River churches, our Presbytery and our Synod are doing.   Learn what financial institutions offer fossil free divestment opportunities.
Panelists: Katrina Zezza (Beacon), Erin Moore (Chester), Emily Monk (Hudson River Presbytery), Jeff Geary (White Plains), and Connie Knapp (Yorktown).
Submit Names for Leadership on Presbytery Teams
The Committee on Representation and Nominations (CORN) is seeking new leaders to contribute their skills and gifts to several presbytery teams.  

We hope you will help us identify leaders who are active in their own congregations and diverse in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and age.  Click here to learn more and submit names.

Celebration for Peter Surgenor

Come celebrate Peter Surgenor  and his 18 year vital, dynamic ministry leadership  as Director of Holmes Camp and Conference Center on  Saturday, September 16.

Celebration begins: 11 a.m.
Lunch:  11:30 a.m.
Brief Program: 12:30 p.m.

Following the program we'll celebrate Peter's ministry and enjoy all the fun activities at Holmes!  Download the flyer and spread the word.  And don't forget to contribute your memory to the Memory book being assembled for Peter.  Click here to share your story.  The deadline for contributions is July 2nd.
Calling All Youth Groups:
Let's Get Together for a Brighter Future
HRP Green is looking for youth groups to each produce a five minute Youtube video on one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We hope to sponsor a trip to the United Nations as part of this project.  By November of 2017 we will bring all the youth groups together for a day of sharing and developing recommendations for congregations and the Presbytery. Four of the goals are already taken, so be in touch with Kathy Dean at to reserve your topic.  More about the goals at
Pastoral Sabbath, July 26-27
Another opportunity for Sabbath keeping at Stony Point under the direction of Leslie Mott.  24 hours for you -- all expenses paid from the Legacy grant!   Wednesday, July 26th at noon through Thursday July 27th at noon.  Learn more and register .

Grants for Stewardship Kaleidoscope
Stewardship Kaleidoscope, the national PC(USA) stewardship conference happening Sept. 25-27, 2017, just got better!  If you are a pastor, commissioned lay pastor (CLP) or leader of a 1001 New Worshiping Community within the Presbyterian Church USA, you can apply now, for a grant to cover half of the cost of your participation at Stewardship Kaleidoscope.  Learn more.
Congregational Events
First Presbyterian Church of Marlboro to Launch a New Development to Enliven their Town and Church

"Talitha Cum"

Jesus took the hand of the daughter of Jairus
and he said to her, "Talitha cum," 
which means, "Little girl, get up!" (Mark 5:41)

The First Presbyterian Church of Marlboro believes  Christ is speaking similarly to us.  God has a new vision for our 250 year old congregation.  Small, we are.  Dead, we are not.  We are called to arise with  new life.

Our church is located on the only undeveloped property in the center of our town.  Because we wish to be good stewards of our land and buildings, we are forming a team of visionaries who are retired or willing to work pro bono to create a dynamic development that will enliven our town and church.

Engineers, architects, town planners, grant writers, and developers are invited to join our project: Talitha Cum.  

Please contact Elder Donna Restaino, the Clerk of Session, at, or the Rev. Laurie McNeill at, 845-282-3797, if you would like to be a part of the Talitha Cum planning team for First Presbyterian Church of Marlboro.
Share Your Church's Story About Connecting with Muslim Neighbors with World Mission
World Mission is seeking stories from churches that have experience connecting with their Muslim neighbors. If your church has established a relationship with a local Muslim congregation, we'd love to hear about it and possibly feature it in an upcoming mission toolkit on Christian-Muslim interfaith relations. Please share your story with Stephanie Caudill at  or 800-728-7228, ext. 5279. Together we are accomplishing much more than we could ever do alone!  Above, Ruling Elder Rick Ufford-Chase (left), the Presbyterian Mission Agency's associate for interfaith formation, with Dr. Sayyid Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America's Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances.
Regional and National News
Season of Prayer Opens for Peace on the Korean Peninsula
June 25 marks the beginning of the Korea War, in 1950, as understood in South Korea. For the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) it also marks the beginning of the "Season of Prayer and Reflection in the Korean Peninsula," which runs until August 15, the day in 1945 when Korea was liberated from the Japanese occupation of WWII.

For a number of years, leaders from the PC(USA) and the Presbyterian Church in Korea (PCK) have called on members and friends of both churches to pray for peace on the Korean Peninsula and to engage in a season of prayer and reflection from the key historic dates of June 25 through August 15.   Read more.
Stated Clerk Urges Ben & Jerry's to Uphold Dairy Farmworkers' Human Rights
In a public letter to the CEO of Ben & Jerry's, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson, II, has implored Jostein Solheim to honor his commitment and sign onto Migrant Justice's  Milk With Dignity program so that the anticipated transformational gains may become a reality in Vermont's dairy industry. The MWD Program, which would improve conditions for dairy farmworkers and help sustain small Vermont dairy farmers, is based on the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' Fair Food Program which the denomination has supported since 2002.   Read the stirring letter.
Invite International Peacemakers to Visit
Deadline, July 1
Invite a PC(USA) International Peacemaker to your Church!
The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program brings international peacemakers who are experts in their country and specific fields to interact with churches across the nation.  For example, among the peacemakers is an expert from Sierra Leone on the Ebola crisis and recovery.  You can invite these sought-after leaders to your congregation Sept. 22 - Oct. 17, 2017. By sharing stories of their work and witness, they help us to understand peace and justice concerns around the world and they provide insights that can inspire us to greater faithfulness. Their visits broaden our sense of God's inclusive family and help equip us to build a culture of peace and nonviolence for all God's children.  The deadline to apply for a speaker to visit is July 1.  Learn more.
Regional and National Events
Blessing the Waters of Life, Earth Care Conference,  Sept. 26-29
Early Registration Ends June 30th
The national biennial conference of Presbyterians for Earth Care will focus on water issues at the nexus of faith, climate change and indigenous people. Caring for and celebrating the "waters of life" has always been central to Indigenous people of the world much as water rituals and images in scripture are central in the Christian tradition. Our keynote speaker is the Rev. Dr. Barbara Rossing, an ordained Lutheran minister, and seminary professor, who is active in public theology in both the scholarly academy and the church, working on climate justice and the Bible. The worship leader is the Rev. Dr. Paul Galbreath, a professor of theology at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte.

A special feature of this year's conference will be an environmental justice immersion, "Spirit of the Salmon: Water, Culture, and Justice in the Columbia Watershed" on September 25 and 26th which includes trips to tribal fishing platforms and Celilo Village in the Columbia River Watershed.  Learn more and register.
Farm-to-Table Gala, Sept. 10
Tickets are now on sale for Stony Point Center's fourth annual Farm-to-Table Gala, which will take place on Sunday, September 10 from 4-8pm. This year's theme is "Staking Up a Fair Economy" and will feature the presentation of the Living Tradition Award to a champion for economic justice. Join us to stake up SPC's mission and celebrate all its fruits! More info and tickets.
Come to the Table, Sept. 22-23
Synod of the NE invites you to "Come to the Table," a gathering to share passions for ministry, nurture innovation, and strengthen communities to live into the Gospel. We will worship, exchange ideas, dream into the future, and break bread together.

Registration information will be forthcoming. Save the date, spread the word, and keep checking the  website  where you will find flyers in English, Spanish and Korean. 
Holy Land Travel Study, 2018
The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is once again offering individuals an opportunity to visit the Holy Land through its Mosaic of Peace Conference in Israel/Palestine.  Participants are scheduled to be in the region April 29 - May 12, 2018 and will spend time in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Galilee. Carl Horton, coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, says the group will hear from a variety of Palestinian and Israeli leaders working on justice and peace issues, as well as take tours and visit holy and historic sites.  Learn more.
Madagascar Travel Study with Presbyterian Peacemaking, Application Deadline, Aug. 1
Three times the size of Great Britain, Madagascar is a unique jewel of creation. More than 80% of its flora and fauna is found nowhere else on earth. Despite the richness of the island's biodiversity and other natural resources, Madagascar remains one of the world's poorest nations with 92% of its population living on less than $2/day. Political instability has also impeded development and contributed to social tensions.  Learn more.
Church Business Administration  Courses, July 18-27
Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond is offering core courses needed for certification by The Church Network, but anyone may take any of the seminars.  You can register for all eight (Strategic Planning, Human Resources - 2 days, Communications, Finances - 2 days, Legal and Tax, and Facilities and Property) or register for one week or the other, or just take the seminars that interest you and are relevant to your work.  Learn more.
1001 Worshipping Communities National Gathering, Aug. 7-10 
"Living, Dying, Rising," the 1001 New Worshiping Communities 2017 nationalgathering, outlines the story of the life of Christ and also the life of the church. The conference will be held at TradeWinds Island Grand Resort in St. Pete Beach, Fla., August 7-10. Presenters will include Juan Sarmiento, Aisha Brooks-Lytle, and Jeya and Daniel So.  Registration is now open.

Synod of the NE Creation Care Events,  Oct. 20-21
Join Synod of the Northeast's Creation Care network for a two-day planning meeting to claim our moral voices to combat climate change and help the synod be a leader in caring for God's creation!  This two-day event will provide opportunities to share what presbyteries are already doing and brainstorm ways to raise awareness and engagement on Climate Change issues.   Download the flyer with information and registration link.

And plan to attend the special Fri. evening event on Oct. 20 with the Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith on Friday night for Transformation for the Long Haul - Building Local Religious-Environmental Leadership. Q&A to follow.    Download and share the flyer with more information.
Take Action

Stand #WithRefugees Petition from the UN
In 2018 world leaders will come to the UN to agree on a more just way of managing the global refugee crisis. This agreement, called The Global Compact for Refugees  is all about sharing responsibility; where all parts of society stand together #WithRefugees and do their fair share instead of leaving individual states to bear the burden of mass forced displacement.  UNCHR, the refugee agency of the United Nations, invites you to sign their petition urging all UN nations to adopt this Global Compact for Refugees.  Click here to add your name.  And spread the word!
Rally With Farmworkers, Aug. 2
Farmworkers Feed New York!  Join Rural and Migrant Ministry and farmworkers who harvest the food that reaches our tables on  Wednesday, August 2nd, from  12:00-1:00pm for a rally at  Renaissance Plaza- Corner of Mamaroneck Ave.and Main St., White Plains, NY.  Download and share the flyer.

For more information contact: Hannah Van Dolsen, , 914-420-7954.
Join Denominational and Interfaith Religious Leaders in a Human Rights Sign-On Letter 
In 2016 the Coalition of Immokalee Workers called for a boycott of Wendy's after the fast-food company refused to join the Fair Food Program that protects the human rights of farmworkers harvesting tomatoes and other produce and sent its purchasing to Mexico, including a farm that was exposed for using child and slave labor by the LA Times.  Students, faculty, faith leaders and international labor experts called on Ohio State University to not renew its contract with Wendy's and stand with them in the boycott.   But OSU just renewed the contract with Wendy's.  Join denominational and interfaith religious leaders across the nation in signing onto this letter urging Ohio State University to terminate its contract with Wendy's now.   Read and sign on to the Letter.
Resources for Education, Liturgy & More!
Who Counts?  Fabulous New Children's Book!
Who Counts? is a creative retelling of three of Jesus' most popular parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. As young readers count to help the characters find what's missing,  Who Counts? teaches that every one of us counts in God's eyes and that everyone should feel counted.

The stories are beautifully illustrated with modern-day characters and a diversity of ethnicities so that all children will be able to see themselves in the stories. Ideal for children ages 4- 8. Includes a note for parents and teachers.  It makes a great addition to your church or home library!  The authors are biblical scholar and Vanderbilt Divinity School professor A. J. Levine and Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso,  Director of Religion, Spirituality and the Arts at Butler College. They read Christian scriptures with a keen eye for resonance in ancient and contemporary Judaism.   Learn more and order from Westminster/John Knox Press.
El Bautismo: vamos a la fuente estará disponible en julio
El propósito de este manual de trabajo es introducir o repasar algunas de las maneras en que la iglesia entiende el Bautismo, utilizando tanto la Escritura como la reflexión y experiencia de la iglesia a través del tiempo. Estará disponible a un costo de $8.85 en the PC(USA) Store.  The English Language version is already available.
New Theological Conversation Paper Released: A Legacy of Faithful Dissent
The PC(USA)'s Theology, Evangelism, and Formation Ministry Office has released it's fifth paper entitled, " A Legacy of Faithful Dissent" by Professor Christine Hong of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.  The paper  examines dissent as "a key element of Presbyterian theology and polity" and a form of critique. The paper examines race, inclusion, participation and invites the church to work for the liberation of all people.  Read more.
Seeking & Finding
Greenbush, Contents of Church Sale, July 8
Contents of Greenbush Presbyterian Church sale.  Members of the Hudson River Presbytery are invited to come on July 8 from 9:00am -12:00noon.  We have hymnals, Bibles, Paraments, chalices, bulletin covers, PCUSA flag, denominational material, communion supplies,  choir many items to list.  Please stop by and help these items find a new home. Everything must go! The church is located at 614 Western Highway in Blauvelt NY 10913.  Also a new Kawai electric piano  is for sale at $5,000 as well as a copy machine. Questions?  Contact Kim Wekerle at
Employment Opportunities
Executive Director Search for Holmes Camp
With Peter Surgenor's retirement, Holmes is looking for a new Executive Director.  Ideal candidates should be innovative, open, collaborative, excited to plan and implement programs that continue to nurture current constituencies, reach new constituencies and markets for faith formation, and able to share the depth of their own Christian faith; however, candidates need not necessarily be either ordained clergy or Presbyterian.   Read the full description which includes a link for submitting applications. The search committee will continue receiving applications until the position is filled.
Rural and Migrant Ministry Seeks Development Coordinator
Working with a determined Development team that includes: the Executive Director, Managing Director, Board members, other staff members and volunteers, the Development Coordinator will be responsible for the coordination and enhancement of donor development within the organization, and will coordinate the development and implementation of the yearly Strategic Plan.  Learn more.
Reformed Church of Bronxville Seeks 
Senior Minister / Head of Staff
The congregation welcomes resumes/PIFs from any pastor within the 5 denominations in the Formula of Agreement: RCA, PC-USA, UCC, DoC, and ELCA, and has a long history of hiring Presbyterian pastors.  Read the summary job description and link to the full position posted on the RCA employment site.  
Share Hudson Happenings
Stop right there!  I gotta know right now....are you spreading the word about the best way to stay connected to to other members of Hudson River Presbytery with your friends? Just share the link below or the photo above to invite friends to subscribe to Hudson Happenings. With links to local, regional and national news as well as information on fabulous educational and advocacy events, it's your "one stop" for the latest and greatest of what's happening in the PC(USA).  And with this link, your friends can also subscribe to other e-updates from the Presbytery Prison Partnership, the Food Justice Network and more!  Again, just invite them to go to or send along the photo of this sassy lizard. (the link is embedded).