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
October 5, 2017
Dear Friends,

In September Tomatoes, poet Karina Borowicz describes kneeling in her garden, uprooting dying tomato plants and reflects

Still, the claws of tiny yellow blossoms
flail in the air as I pull the vines up by the roots 
and toss them in the compost. 

It feels cruel. Something in me isn't ready
to let go of summer so easily. To destroy
what I've carefully cultivated all these months. 
Those pale flowers might still have time to fruit. 

When have you needed to uproot something in your life that you have carefully cultivated because it was dying?  What flowers of possibility were lost in the process?  What did uprooting allow to grow? 

The next issue of Hudson Happenings will be published on Thursday, October 26. Please email your submissions to by Tuesday, October 24.  

From Your Interim General Presbyter
Farewell to Lori Hylton and Welcome to the General Presbyter Nominating Committee
I want to share with you as Head of Staff, that Lori Hylton will be leaving the Administrative Assistant position with HRP in order to accept the full-time Administrative Coordinator position with the Synod of the Northeast. We are very happy for Lori and congratulate her, but we will miss her and her gifts and abilities. Her last day will be October 31, so be sure to send her your thanks and well wishes.
As most of you all know, HRP elected the General Presbyter Nominating Committee (GPNC).  Read more about the committee and its members.
Presbytery News & Events
Hudson River University, Oct. 28
Are you a congregational leader who needs help with Christian education, stewardship or doing social justice ministry in your church?   Do you have new ruling elders and/or deacons who need training or would value a deeper understanding of their role and responsibilities?  Do you have a new Clerk of Session/Council who needs training or an experienced one who desires more training or a congregation that needs to revise or write its congregational Bylaws?

HRU is back for a fall semester!  Saturday, October 28, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm at  Stony Point Center!

"Students" (aka participants) can "major" in one area, taking all three classes, or can be a "liberal arts" student and take classes in two or all three major areas.   This university is open to all... old and young... any church members, officers or friends from any of our HRP congregations! The best part is that tuition is  FREE!!! There will be a cost for lunch ($10) but any and all instruction and materials will be at no charge.

Please register  here , selecting the courses you will want to take.   Be sure to share this information with everyone in your congregation!
Honorably Retired Member Luncheon, Oct. 26
Honorably Retired members of HRP and their spouses are invited to a luncheon in their honor on Thursday, October 26th beginning at 10:00 AM and concluding before 2:00 PM. It will take place at our Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center at Holmes.
This luncheon provides a wonderful opportunity to  reconnect with and enjoying the company of former colleagues and friends,  make new friends,  connect with our Interim General Presbyter, get an update on our transition process, and  enjoy the awesome beauty of Holmes during the fall.
In addition to that, Allison Seed, our Board of Pensions rep will be present sharing updates and news about the program and benefits of the BOP as well as answering questions.
To make reservations, please call Jean Kaiser at the Presbytery office - 914.941.2100, or e-mail her at: . The deadline for reservations is Monday, October 23.  There will be no cost for this event.
Young Adult Advisory Delegate Nominations for General Assembly
The Committee on Representation and Nominations (CORN) is looking for nominees for Young Adult Advisory Delegate to be nominated to go to the 223rd General Assembly (GA) meeting in St. Louis, June 16-23, 2018.
Young Adult Advisory Delegates shall be an active member of the PCUSA and between the ages of seventeen and twenty-three years old on the date the GA convenes.

If you are interested or know of someone who would be good and appropriate for any of these positions, please contact Heather Benedict, at or 845-361-1002.
Season of Peace Has Begun
This four-week online pilgrimage is designed to deepen the pursuit of peace for congregations, small groups, families, and individuals. Through daily "Path of Peace" reflections, "Peace Cards" for children and families, Bible and book studies for adults, children's curriculum, an intergenerational peace fair, and other downloadable resources, Presbyterians are invited to define and deepen their calling as a peacemaker. This season is a time of encouragement, challenge, inspiration, and education. Visit Seasons of Peace.
Emerging Leaders Gathering
Save the Date: Nov. 9-11
At Silver Bay YWCA Camp & Conference
Center, Silver Bay, NY.  Emerging Leaders are people between 25-40 who, with the Synod's help, have begun gathering annually as a synod-wide group for community and connection. These gatherings have been critical in helping our emerging leaders connect with one another and begin establishing ways to collaborate with and support one another. Learn more about the network and save the date for the Nov. 9-11 Gathering!

HRP is looking for Budget, Finance and Property Committee members
If you are looking for ways to serve the realm of God and the larger church and have the needed  financial, investment, accounting, budgeting, legal and/or real estate knowledge, skills and/or experience , then consider this opportunity!  Read more.
Workshop for Leaders and Pastors Considering Going from
Full-time to Part-time, Nov. 17-18
The Transitional Ministry Education Consortium (TMEC) of the PCUSA is providing a brand new education/training event and it 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 a
nd challenges.

The event will run from Friday, Nov. 17 at noon - Saturday, Nov. 18 at noon and held at Holmes Camp and Conference Center.
It is expected that this offering will be helpful for those making this transition and hoped that it will be utilized as we believe there is a great need for this type of event. Since this is the first time this is being offered in the PCUSA, TMEC is covering half the costs while our COM is covering the other half.   Be sure to share this information with your church's session/council and pastoral leader!
If your session/council is interested or they have questions, please contact ASAP our Interim General Presbyter, Gavin Meek:   
Congregational News and Events
Help Your Congregation Go "Zero Waste!"
Have your congregation go Zero Waste!  At the last Presbyterian Meeting hosted at Hitchcock Church we had the pleasure of seeing their zero waste program in action.  

As those at the meeting saw, there was no trash from the lunch!  Food was served on reusable dishes and compostable serveware (which was made from renewable resources such as sugarcane leaves and corn).  At the end of lunch any leftover food scraps and all of the compostable serveware went into a Compost Bin instead of the trash.  

The bags of compost are picked up each week from Hitchcock Church and brought to a compost facility where all of the food scraps and compostable serveware are turned into soil!  

If you would like to bring Zero Waste to your congregation please reach out to Michelle Sterling ( ) and Ron Schulhof ( ) who are two volunteers that helped bring Zero Waste to Hitchcock Church and are happy to help other congregations as well. 
Ossining's Vegetable Garden Invites Passersby to Pick and Enjoy
A Good News Story from Duna Fullerton

Along the side of the Ossining church, is a well-traveled sidewalk bordering our lawn. Take a look at what we have done with about 60 square feet of that lawn. 

In this little vegetable garden, we have a variety of tomato plants - 12 of them, 3 hot peppers, 3 bell peppers, 2 eggplants, 6 cucumbers, many string beans and a potato plant. The sign says, "If it's ripe, pick it and enjoy it." In Spanish, the sign says "Si te gusta? Tomale!" Yes, the vegetables are for the passersby and neighbors. (Well, on Sunday we get a share!) We recommend that other Presbyterian churches  take our lead. It's a different kind of outreach and everyone benefits.  Want to know how we did it?  Contact Duna Fullerton
The Cookstove Project at the Presbyterian Church at Mt. Kisco
On March 31, 2017, The Cookstove Project was introduced to the Hudson River Presbytery meeting at Stony Point. From that simple encounter, an amazing phenomenon took place, with breathtaking results! 

You may know that The Cookstove Project, a 501 C3 nonprofit, works to stop the deaths, diseases and environmental destruction caused by cooking indoors over open fires. (Sadly, 4.3 million people, mostly woman and children, will die this year from household air pollution due to open fire cooking.)  
The Cookstove Project formula is simple: a $10 donation equals one clean cookstove.  "10D=1C" Not only that, the project gives on-the-ground education and training to women and their families; they build lives--they build community--as they build cookstoves.  Read more.
Regional and National News
PC(USA) Study on the Status of Women Reveals Gender Bias Still Pervasive
The Gender and Leadership in the Church  research found that eight out of ten women teaching elders have experienced discrimination, harassment, and/or prejudicial comments due to their gender, and four out of ten feel that they have experienced gender bias in hiring, promotion, or selection for an official position within the PC(USA).  Read the study.
Presbyterian Advocates Celebrate as Ben&Jerry's and Migrant Justice Launch Milk With Dignity Program
Presbyterians across the nation who have been standing with dairy farmworkers of Migrant Justice and calling on Ben & Jerry's to ensure farmworker rights and small VT dairy farmer sustainability in their supply chain are celebrating as the ice cream giant signed a legally binding agreement with the farmworker organization that will launch the Milk With Dignity program, a parallel to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' Fair Food Program, in the dairy industry. 

Will Summers, food grower and educator at Stony Point Center, who worked tirelessly on the campaign said, " Migrant Justice has brought another branch of the food system into accountability to farmworkers and their demands for human rights. This marks the beginning of a major shift in the dairy industry."  J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk, publicly advocated on behalf of the PC(USA) for Ben&Jerry's to join the Milk With Dignity Program this past June.  Read the full  PNS story.
Regional and National Events
Open House at Presby Ministry at UN, Oct. 17
The Presbyterian Ministry at the UN will be holding its first Open House on Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 12:30-2:00pm.  The program is free of charge and will give you the opportunity to engage with PC(USA) staff and the UN community.  A light lunch is provided.  Please RSVP by Oct. 13 to  Share the flyer with your congregation.
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.
Fall ConEd at Union Richmond
Check out Union Seminary, Richmond VA's offerings for this fall which include strategic church mission planning, Christian Education certification, and Interim Ministry training!  Upcoming courses listed here.
Forum on Assisting GLBTQ Refugees, 
Oct. 20-21
Registration is now open for "Love Welcome: A Faith-Based Forum on Supporting LGBTQ Refugees" a c onference on the specific challenges facing LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers and the variety of ways in which congregations can provide support.  It will be held at First Presbyterian Church, October 20-21 in NYC. Register here.  Scholarships for travel to the conference are available.

The event will feature speakers from the United Nations, the Organization for Refuge, Asylum, & Migration, Familia, the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, and the PC(USA). This is a national PC(USA) conference - open to anyone interested in attending - co-sponsored by the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness, Office of Immigration Issues, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, and More Light Presbyterians. 

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.
Take Action
Presbyterian Resources following the Mass Shooting in Las Vegas
Church leaders, including the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, director of the Office of Public Witness in Washington, have spoken out on the violence in Las Vegas.

"Our outrage cannot be contained. Our sadness cannot be lifted. This has gone on for far too long. We mourn with those who have lost family members, friends and colleagues. We pray for healing for the injured both physically and mentally," said Hawkins. "We pray for our nation where there are more guns than people. Each week we learn of a new victim to gun violence and not even our children are immune to gun-inflicted wounds.  Read more and download resources.
Update on the Campaign for Health and Environment in La Oroya, Peru
Jed and Jenny Kobal, PC(USA) mission co-workers, have sent this update on the Campaign at a national and local level.  Take a moment to r ead the update which exhibits the care and commitment exercised in important mission work and give to support their ministry on behalf of the Presbyterian Church.
Challenge to Change
Hudson River Presbytery offers Challenge to Change grants that have been inspiring and resourcing congregations to innovate.  Check out how Wappinger's Falls Presbyterian Church jumpstarted a community dinner and speker program!  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. 

Wappingers Falls Community Dinner Outreach Program
In 2012, The First Presbyterian Church of Wappingers Falls (FPCWF) was one of nine churches within HRP to take part in the New Beginnings program.  They learned that they needed to re-think how they defined mission, that they needed to learn more about their local community, and experiment with different ways to reach out.  They discovered that feeding people was their greatest passion.  They started their new ministry at a soup kitchen in Poughkeepsie but soon realized that there were people in their own community who needed to be fed.  So in 2015 FPCWF took on a new ministry: Community Dinners, served on the third Saturday of the month, free to all.  Read the full story!
Resources for Education, Liturgy & More!
Coaching Network: Scholarships for 5 Professional Sessions
Are you a leader (or team of leaders) involved in transformational ministry, developing an emerging ministry, or moving forward after being recognized as a network? A coaching relationship can provide time and space for Holy Spirit to be heard and lead you forward in a thoughtful, creative way.  As your coach listens deeply and asks powerful questions, you can become aware of and commit to new possibilities for action and become more aware of obstacles that may be holding you back. For more information on the coaching scholarships and to apply, go to .
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.
Help for Grandparents Raising Children in Westchester
Are members of your congregation or community looking fo free, bi-lingual services for people raising grandchildren and other children? There are over 7,200 grandparents and other relatives raising children in Westchester, yet 92% do not receive support or services from the Westchester County Department of Social Services.  

We are particularly interested in reaching out to those who could use some assistance and support, especially those who are older, living on limited fixed incomes.  

Our staff makes home visits to caregivers unable to come to Yonkers.  For more information contact Carolyn Fluckinger at and share this flyer.
Employment Opportunities
Hudson River Presbytery Seeks Treasurer
The Treasurer is a volunteer position to provide oversight for the financial activities, procedures, policies, reports and statements for the Presbytery of Hudson River (HRP) and its corporation in consultation with the Budget Finance and Property Committee/Trustees (BFP) and the Council. The position requires knowledge of General accounting procedures; QuickBooks and computer skills; follow through; and confidentiality.   Read the full position description .

Union Seminary Seeks "RISE Together" Assistant
The Rev. Dr. Lisa Rhodes, Executive Director of RISE Together, a soon-to-be-launched national mentorship network for women of color in ministry that will be based at Union, is seeking to hire a part-time assistant for the RISE Together initiative.  Read more here.
FPC Philipstown Seeks Stated Supply Pastor
The church is seeking a part-time stated supply pastor for 30 hours a week with a one year renewable contract to begin immediately.  Read the full position description .  Send your resume or PIF to Clerk of Session Lynn Brown, of the 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.
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 845-628-2365 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.
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
From head to toe, Hudson Happenings will give you the scoop on what's going on in Hudson River Presbytery.  Why not invite friends to subscribe?! 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 goin' down 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 this lovely photo of me showing off my double-jointedness. (the link is embedded).