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
August 24, 2017
Dear Friends,

In Good Bones, US poet Maggie Smith writes,

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I've shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I'll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that's a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

We wince with the pain and possibility.  For this place could be beautiful.  We could make it beautiful, couldn't we?  What is the beautiful that we have found within the broken? What are the "good bones" God and we see?

The next issue of Hudson Happenings will be published on Thursday, September 7. Please email your submissions to by Tuesday, September 5.  

Presbytery News & Events

Celebration for Peter Surgenor
Saturday, September 16

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

Celebration begins: 11:00 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.  
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, Aug. 30-31
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!     Learn more and register .
Young Adult Leaders Gathering
Save the Date: Nov. 9-11
At Silver Bay YWCA Camp & Conference
Center, Silver Bay, NY.  More info at
Is Your Pastor Considering Going from Full-time to Part-time?
The Transitional Ministry Education Consortium (TMEC) of the PCUSA is providing a brand new education/training event on Nov. 17-28 at Holmes Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center that is being supported by the HRP's Committee on Ministry (COM). It is for congregational and pastoral leaders in congregations who have recently had  to go, or may soon need to go, from full-time to part-time pastoral leadership. This workshop will provide some training to help with that transition, to help accentuate the positives and possibilities while addressing the fears and challenges.  Learn more and spread the word!
Congregational Events
Spirit Talk: A Friendly Space to Explore the Flow of Faith
Saturday August 26 at 6 p.m., j oin Peekskill Presbyterian Church for contempor ary worship that includes  praise through music, meditation, messages,  affirmations of faith, and artistic expression.  All are welcome!

The Sayville Congregational United Church of Christ, the Suffolk Association of the United Church of Christ and Ray invite HRP friends to his installation as the 19th Settled Pastor of Sayville Congregational United Church of Christ  on Sunday, October 1, 2017 in Long Island.   Read the full invite.
Regional and National News
PC(USA) Office of Public Witness 
Advocacy Day, Sept. 12
The Office of Public Witness is inviting Presbyterians to come to DC on September 12th for a day of advocacy on the Federal Budget beginning at 9am in the United Methodist Building (100 Maryland Avenue, NE) conference room on the main level until 3:30. The day will consist of briefing by members of Congress, training for advocacy, a press conference, visitation and debriefing.  Download the flyer.
Are We Complicit in the Racism of the Alt-Right?
A Statement by the Stated Clerk Concerning Racial Hatred in Charlottesville and our Nation
After reminding us that Jesus promised the Holy Spirit as an advocate and quoting an excerpt on the idolatry of separation from the Belhar Confession, The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, writes 

White supremacy raised its head and occupied a weekend of the news. We are reeling as a nation from President Trump's cursory statement that failed to aggressively condemn the existence of the alt-right and their promotion of vitriolic racial rhetoric and white supremacy. No longer can we make statements of denial that racial hatred and bigotry are isolated occurrences in our society.  Read the full statement.
Affirmation of Creation
In accordance with the action taken at the 222 nd   General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and upon the instruction of the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, please find the General Assembly's action on the Affirmation of Creation.  You are asked to share this with your session so that all councils of the church, per action of the assembly,  can use it for their study, reflection, and, where possible, their approval.
Regional and National Events
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. 
Blessing the Waters of Life, Earth Care Conference,  Sept. 26-29
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.
Holy Land Travel Study, 2018
The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is offering individuals an opportunity to visit the Holy Land through its Mosaic of Peace Conference in Israel/Palestine,  April 29 - May 12, 2018.  Learn more.
Peace & Global Witness Offering Webinar, Sept. 7
Invite your congregation to join the Peace & Global Witness Offering webinar which will give an overview of the missions supported by this denominational offering,  Thursday, September 7 at 1 pm EST .  Sign up here.
Christian Education Certification Course in Polity, Program and Mission, Oct. 3-5 at Union Richmond
Christian Education certification course in Polity, Program, and Mission  - This is a HYBRID  course, with about 18 hours of work online at home, beginning on September 5, and 12 hours on campus in Richmond (October 3-5, 2017). While  this course qualifies for those working on Christian Education certification, it is also open to anyone who is interested in learning about the government and structure of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  Led by Rev. H. Carson Rhyne, Jr., General Presbyter/Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the James.  Cost:  $295.  Click here for more information and registration .
Worship Workshop, Sept. 30
The Long Island Presbytery cordially invites members of Hudson River Presbytery to join them on Sept. 30 at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Huntington Station, NY for "Presbytery Day" which will feature Dr. Marcia McFee,  professor, worship designer, author, preacher and ritual artist.   Learn more and register!   The cost is $20 if you pre-register or $25 at the door.
Music that Makes Community, Oct. 8-11
Join this second gathering of musicians, clergy and lay leaders at the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center in Greenfield, NH, from October 8 to 11 to recharge and renew your congregational song leading skills. A team of MMC's master teachers will lead worship, workshops, and conversation to help you add the valuable tool of paperless song leading to your community's singing practice.  Learn more.

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.
Breathing Space, the Art of Balance and Bounce, Nov. 3-5
Save the date for this year's American Association of Pastoral Counselor  Eastern -Northeast  Regions Annual Conference.  Friday-Sunday, Nov. 3-5 at Wisdom House, Litchfield, CT.
Challenge to Change
Hudson River Presbytery offers Challenge to Change grants that have been inspiring and resourcing congregations to innovate.  Check out what First Presbyterian Church of Chester is doing!  Learn more about this grant and how it can help your congregation take new and exciting steps into God's future! Thank you to Janis Upeslacis for writing up this inspiring story. 

A Work of Art - Appreciating and Promoting the Arts in Chester, NY
The 1st PC of Chester had an unused space behind their sanctuary.  This space had at one time been used as a chapel but was converted to a gym in the 1960s.  The gym, too, had fallen into disrepair.  Recently, one of their members and his brother-in-law, both artists, approached their Session with an idea: perhaps the space could be renovated and become a venue for activities relating to the exposition of the arts.  That idea was expanded to include providing a safe and nurturing space for fellowship to the surrounding community where the creative spirit of the arts could be exhibited and taught along with activities that are just plain fun.  To help with this project, the Chester church applied for and received a $7,000 grant from the HRP Ch 2 Ch fund in 2016.  Read more.
Resources for Education, Liturgy & More!
Got Sermon? Get ready for Advent/Christmas on Oct. 27
In order to best meet the continuing education needs and busy schedules of those serving-and regularly preaching in-congregational settings, the Alumni/ae Relations Office of Union Theological Seminary will be reintroducing and sponsoring the popular Got Sermon? lectionary study series as a twice yearly, day-long conference corresponding to the liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent.   The lead instructor for the October 27 Advent/Christmas Got Sermon? program will be the Rev. Dr. Lisa Thompson, Assistant Professor of Homiletics, with the Rev. Dr. Cláudio Carvalhaes '07, Associate Professor of Worship, preaching and leading opening worship.  The cost of the day-long conference is $50, which includes lunch. Pre-registration is required. Visit the website for complete information and registration instructions.
Un estudio, Dos Iglesias
El próximo estudio en la serie de  Estudios bÃiblicos reformados  estará estudiando las cartas que Pablo escribe a las iglesias en Corinto y Galacia. Éstas son cartas llenas de pasión por el evangelio y preocupación porque el mismo sea expuesto de una manera que de honor a la gracia que Dios ha concebido a la humanidad. Pablo escribe sobre la verdadera libertad en Cristo, sobre la justificación a través de la fe, sobre los entendimientos de la resurrección y sobre el amor como base central para la vida cristiana.  Estará disponible a finales de agosto en
Employment Opportunities
FPC Philipstown seeks Part-time Interim Pastor
The church is seeking a part-time interim pastor for 30 hours a week with a one year renewable contract to begin immediately.  Read the full position description and the church profile.  Send your resume or PIF to Clerk of Session Lynn Brown, of the Interim Search Committee, whom you may email at or phone at (845)-809-5200.
South Presbyterian Dobbs Ferry Seeks Music Director
South Presbyterian Church in Dobbs Ferry is seeking a music director to join its staff beginning in September.  Read the full job description.
NYC Presbytery Seeks Half-time Advocate for Justice Ministries
NYC Presbytery seeks a half-time Advocate for Justice Ministries to work on two General Assembly priorities:  Freedom Rising and Dismantling Racism in Church and Society.  The commitment is for two years and pay is $50,000.  Read the full position description which includes information on how to apply.
First Presbyterian, Mahopac Seeks Organist
We need someone to coordinate and plan the whole music program of the congregation, to be proficient at playing a piano and pipe organ music appropriate to each service of worship and special services, and to coordinate and direct the adult, youth and bell choirs. Yes, it is a paid position, accountable to the pastor. Yes, there are other requirements and we would love to discuss them with you.   If you or someone you know is interested, please call our church office at 845-625-2365 or email
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.  
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