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
November 16, 2017
Dear Friends,

Poet Danez Smith in "summer, somewhere" writes,

no need for geography
now that we're safe everywhere.

point to whatever you please
& call it church, home, or sweet love.

paradise is a world where everything
is a sanctuary & nothing is a gun.

In these days when gun violence has defiled church sanctuaries, Smith invites us to imagine a world where sanctuary is not defined by a church building (though it could be) but as "being safe everywhere."  It is a tall order in our violent world to enact this level radical imagination.  But take a moment, as a spiritual exercise, and ask yourself, what might such a paradise look like?  feel like?  enable?  

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

From Your Interim General Presbyter
From Your Interim General Presbyter
This is stewardship time in most congregations and that can be a stressful time for the leadership, in particular, the pastoral leadership. Thus, I first want to say, to the leaders, both Ruling Elders and Pastors, you are in my prayers for a faithful and fruitful stewardship response.
From my place in HRP, I have the wonderful opportunity to see so many amazing endeavors and faithful ministries taking place in and around the presbytery. For this work to happen, it requires each and every one of us giving our time, talent and treasure and partnering... member and Session, Ruling Elder and Pastor, congregation and presbytery! Without that, the ministry of congregations and the ministry of HRP would be impossible. God chooses to use us to make ministry and mission in Christ's name possible in a needy world. [Read more]

Presbytery News & Events
PC(USA) Clerks' Annual Questionnaire
For clerks of session who would like to participate in the denomination's Clerks' Annual Questionnaire, please click the link below and complete the questions in one sitting.  It should take about 20-30 minutes.  All responses must be in by December 12, 2017.  Go to the Questionnaire.  Susan Barnett of PC(USA) will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the survey and can be reached at
PresbyBuild Becomes an HRP Partnership!
Hudson River Presbytery is proud to announce the latest HRP Partnership:  PresbyBuild!  PresbyBuild, a Partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, Inc. is a coalition of Hudson River Presbytery congregations in covenant partnership with HRP that has also partnered for 15 years with Habitat Newburgh. 
Having been endorsed by the sessions of Calvary Newburgh, Cornwall, Goshen, The Council of First Washingtonville-Bethlehem and Otisville-Mt. Hope Church, PresbyBuild is "seeking to put God's love into action." When speaking of how their work is furthering the cause of Christ in the world, Presbybuild says,
"Together, we build not only affordable houses, but homes for hardworking, homebuyer families, who for the first time in their lives, have space enough to break bread together at the family table, dependable electrical service and plumbing, asbestos and lead-free environments for their children to play and rest, study and flourish."  Read on to learn more about HRP Partnerships and how you can roll up your sleeves and get involved with PresbyBuild!

Holmes Clergy & Church Leader Trip to Nicaragua, 
Feb. 17-25, 2018
Be introduced or reconnect with Bridges to Community as you learn about issues facing developing countries, the positive impact of service learning trips done in a way that supports the community, gain practical training in how to do your own service learning trip and much more!  For information contact Linda Burpee (914) 248-6055 or              Subsidies for clergy may be available.  Download the flyer.
Save the New Date: 
Hudson River University
March 17, 2018
HRU's next session has been rescheduled from Saturday February 24 to Saturday, March 17, 2018.  More information will follow soon about the educational offerings for the day.  In the meantime, save the date!

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.
Regional and National News
PC(USA) Stated Clerk Pledges Church's Resolve to Elicit an Official Apology from the US for the No Gun Ri Massacre
Nelson led a delegation to South Korea for a 10-day series of meetings with Korean Presbyterian leaders. The journey featured  special events to remember the slaughter of as many as 300 Korean civilians by U.S. troops at No Gun Ri just south of here in July 1950  during the early days of the Korean War. Nelson expressed remorse for the PC(USA)'s silence about the massacre and pledged the church's resolve to elicit and official acknowledgement and apology from the U.S. government.

The Stated Clerk called incidents such as the No Gun Ri massacre "preventable evil" and called both the Korean and U.S. Presbyterian churches to continue to work together "to stop the threats of war and nuclear annihilation on the Korean Peninsula" and to help the reunification of families and nations torn apart since World War II.  Read J. Herbert Nelson's full sermon given in South Korea.  

The Presbyterian Peace Delegation   traveled to South Korean November 1-8, in response to Overture 12-01 and Commissioner's Resolution 12-13, adopted at the PC(USA) General Assembly 222 (2016) in Portland, focusing on the reunification of the Korean Peninsula and the need to build upon the increasing momentum toward peace.
Lifting Up Westchester is sponsoring an essay contest for students grades 7-12 who live in Westchester on homelessness.  Essays are due on January 31, 2018 at 5pm and cash prizes will be given for the best essays.

Topic - Homelessness: What does it mean to you? How has it touched your life? What are your ideas about how to assist our homeless neighbors here in Westchester County? 

On any given night in Westchester County, one of the wealthiest areas in the country, approximately 1,750 people are homeless - 655 of them children.  If we add those students whose families are "doubled up" living with relatives or living in other temporary accommodations - the number of homeless children in our County is closer to 2,800 according to data collected by Southern Westchester BOCES.

An educated community is essential to dispel misconceptions about poverty and homelessness and to cultivate empathy and respect for those in our community who are experiencing homelessness.  We hope that by sponsoring a contest for 7th through 12th graders more youth-their parents - will learn more about this important issue and start thinking about what we all can do to start reducing the problem.  Learn more details.
Regional and National Events
Princeton Seminary Disability and Youth Ministry Conference, 
Feb 1-2, 2018
In theology and ministry with young people, disability is often treated as a problem to be solved. Christian leaders approach people with disabilities as a target audience in need of integration into traditional church programming, rather than as full-fledged members of Christian community. 

What would happen if the Church were to invest in and affirm young people with disabilities as active members of the body of Christ? How might the Church be reformed and reshaped by God's work in young people with disabilities?
This 2-day event which will be held Feb 1-2 at Princeton Theological Seminary, will engage scholars and practitioners around these questions, striving to create an interdisciplinary conversation that makes a difference in a world of difference.
Learn more and register. 
Nat'l Assoc. of Presbyterian Clergywomen Triennial, April 23-26, 2018
The National Association of Presbyterian Clergywomen will be hosting its Triennial in April 2018 at Montreat Retreat Center. Registration is now open.  (N.B. NAPC's website has three pages on the Triennial, two with information and one with the registration form.  Look on the upper right side of the menu for Triennial Conference to access these pages).

We invite you to share this information with all clergy as well as lay leadership within your Presbytery.
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.
Pastoral Sabbath @Stony Point
Led by Rev. Leslie Mott, the Pastoral Sabbath Retreat is a time for clergy "to come away by yourselves and rest for a while," so that we may return renewed to those we serve. Nov. 29-30. Learn more.
Take Action
Wendy's Boycott NYC March and Call-in Day on  Monday, Nov. 20
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and consumers across the nation are calling on Wendy's to end gender-based violence in its supply chain and join the Fair Food Program.  There will be a March in NYC on Monday, Nov. 20th at 5:30 p.m. from Wendy's at 714 3rd Ave. to Wendy's chairman Nelson Peltz's offices at Trian Partners on Park Ave.  

If you can't join the march, you can help out by joining National Call-in Day and urging Wendy's to sign on to the Fair Food Program.The PC(USA) supports the Wendy's boycott and the CIW is a long-standing mission partner of the church.  So mark your calendars for Nov. 20th and stand for a new day of justice and dignity in US agriculture together with the CIW!
Support Stronger US Peace Efforts in South Sudan
As the crisis in South Sudan continues to spiral out of control, the country is in urgent need of assistance - both political and humanitarian.  The Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently reported that the world's youngest country has 7.6 million people in need of aid.  Only two-thirds of the funding request for aid has been received.  There are currently 4 million displaced people with two million having fled to neighboring countries.  The photo above is from Doctors Without Borders report on displaced people in South Sudan.  The PC(USA) Office of Public Witness urges you to contact President Trump and Secretary Tillerson to urge stronger leadership from the US.  Learn more and take action.
Tell Congress: Oppose the 
Israel Anti-Boycott Act
Earlier this month leaders representing 17 Christian organizations, including the PC(USA), sent a  letter   to all members of Congress calling on them to oppose the Israel Anti-Boycott Act which was introduced in both the House and the Senate in March. The bills (   H.R. 1697  and    S.720 ) are part of a larger effort to outlaw or penalize the use of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions aimed at unjust Israeli policies.  

Urging opposition to the bill, the letter states, "As churches and church-related organizations, we reject any efforts by the state to curtail these rights. We urge you to oppose the proposed legislation, and thus support the rights of individuals and institutions to spend and invest in accordance with their faith, values, and policies."

The PC(USA) Office of Public Witness encourages you to let your Senators and Representative know you support the message of the letter from Christian leaders opposing the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. Members of Congress urgently need to hear from constituents who are concerned about this dangerous legislation.  Learn more.
Resources for Education, Liturgy & More!
Resources for Organizing Donations! 
On November 28, 2017, Giving Tuesday, the world comes together to give, and faith-based organizations have fared well in this online fundraising movement. The Presbyterian Foundation makes it easy to give online.
#GivingTuesday is a great opportunity for your church to kick-off a year-end campaign and promote your online giving program. If your church doesn't accept online gifts, the Foundation's Ministry Partnership Program  can help you add a GIVE NOW option to your website for secure online donations.
#GivingTuesday also provides an opportunity for you to support other Presbyterian mission and ministry at home and around the world.  Learn more!
Next Church's Cultivated Ministry Field Guide Now Available
In a time when traditional metrics seem out of touch with the realities of ministry in contemporary post-Christendom North America, Cultivated Ministry gives us a way to undertake ministry with a clear and purposeful understanding of how our activities contribute to God's mission in the world. Cultivated Ministry is a culture and process of ministry that does not rest on traditional metrics nor does it abdicate accountability altogether.  

Presbyterian Advent Devotional for Dec. 2017
En Ingles Y Espanol
During the holy season of Advent, we are invited to contemplate the powerful words of the Psalms. The Scriptures - and Jesus, the Word Incarnate - impel us to speak and act in more just and loving ways, especially towards the strangers and foreigners among us. Magdalena I. GarcĂ­a, PC(USA) minister of Word and Sacrament and hospital chaplain for Vitas Healthcare in Chicago, has put together a collection of challenging daily reflections and prayers called "Let Love Speak" based on the Psalms to help us experience the promise and power of Christ's coming. 

Perfect for congregations, families and individuals each day provides a Psalm excerpt, meditation and prayer to deepen the Advent experience.  Order now in English y en Espanol!
Five Risks Presbyterians Must Take for Peace
Don't miss HRP member and the PC(USA)'s Coordinator of the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, Christian Iosso's new book:  Five Risks Presbyterians Must Take for PeaceAll proceeds from the book's sale go to support the PC(USA).

Believing peacemaking to be an inherent part of discipleship, Presbyterians have taken many valiant stands for peace throughout our history. However, changing global realities, political and military actions, and new weapons of war have made the world less safe than ever. The church must reconsider how to be faithful peacemakers in this changing reality.  

Chris holds a PhD in Christian Social Ethics from Union Theological Seminary in New York and previously served as a pastor and on the national staff of Mission Responsibility Through Investment.
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 .
Christmas Joy Offering and the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions
Every Christmas, we express our gratitude for the birth of our savior by supporting the   Christmas Joy Offering (CJO), which equally supports the    Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions   and Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges.

You know the stories -- of retired colleagues who, after many years of independent living, suddenly need care they cannot afford ... of ministers whose life-threatening illnesses take a toll on them physically, emotionally, and financially ... of other church workers who, flooded out of their homes, see the bills mount along with their worries.

The CJO provides a way for congregations to care for Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ministers, other church workers, and their families in need. "It really is brothers and sisters helping brothers and sisters," said one grant recipient.  

Download a mission story to share with your congregation.
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 .
The Larchmont Ave. Church seeks Dir. of Christian Education
The Larchmont Avenue Church (a Presbyterian congregation), located in Southern Westchester County (NY), is seeking a Director of Christian Education. This position entails direction of our Sunday School (110 youth, preschool through 8 th  grade); assistance with associate pastor with middle school ministry, and development of education ministries with pastors and members. LAC is a vibrant congregation of 700 members - wide-ranging in all groups, younger-older, with an energetic pastoral and musical program staff.  The LAC DCE position is 20 hours per week, competitive salary.  To apply, please send cover letter and resume to Rev. Elizabeth Smith-Bartlett  at .
Brick Presbyterian Church Seeks Transitional Pastor
The Brick Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, New York; 250-year-old Brick Church is seeking a Transitional Pastor to lead our 1,800 members on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Our engaged, open-minded and multi-generational congregation prioritizes worship, education, fellowship and mission, with a particular emphasis on families with children. With compelling and intellectually challenging preaching, the Transitional Pastor will inspire our worship on Sundays and Wednesdays. Our Transitional Pastor will provide guidance, unity and stability as we continue our mission and prepare for our next Pastor. Please see our MIF #05618.AF0 on or or email
Union Theological Seminary Seeks "RISE Together" Assistant and Program Director
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 and a Program Director for the RISE Together initiative.  Read more here.
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
Share the joy of fall and all that's going on in Hudson River Presbytery with friends and congregant 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 Hudson River Presbytery, Synod of the NE and 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 darling photo of me popping up in the fall foliage. (the link is embedded).