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 8, 2017
Dear Friends,

"To be of use" by American poet Marge Piercy concludes

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

What is the work that is real in your life?  How are you responding to its cry, taking up its form, creating something worthy?

The next issue of Hudson Happenings will be published on Thursday, June 29.  Please email your submissions to by Tuesday, June 27.
From Your Interim General Presbyter
As has been shared previously, the March Community Conversation presented by the Transition Team confirmed what was suspected all along... namely that those who gathered, a good cross section of HPR, overwhelmingly favor a full-time General Presbyter. The next step is to determine the major responsibilities for this position and what bearing that may have for the overall staffing pattern of the presbytery.
Your Transition Team (see membership below) was tasked with that work. However, that task was given to them by HRP at the January 2015 presbytery meeting when Susan Andrews announced her retirement. Obviously, this was before there was a Council (see membership below). The Council was put into our Design for Mission and Ministry following last year's evaluation of our structure. Now that there is a Council in place, your Transition Team believes that the Council needs to be involved in that conversation and work. Thus, this month, your Council and your Transition Team will spend a day together to prayerfully do this work, keeping in mind HRP's vision, values, mission and ministry goals.  Read more
Presbytery News & Events

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!  

More info to come.  For now, Save the Date!
First Presbyterian Church of Highland Celebrates 225 Years!
On June 4th, the First Presbyterian Church of Highland Celebrated its 225th anniversary with worship and lunch.  125 people joined in the festivities.
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
CORN Seeks New BFP Member
The Committee on Representation and Nominations (CORN) is seeking to fill a vacancy on the Budget, Finance and Property Committee. This committee prepares and oversees the presbytery's budget, monitors all finances, manages presbytery property and consults with congregations about the management of their property. We are looking for a Ruling Elder, preferably a female with financial, investment, accounting, budgeting, legal and/or real estate knowledge and/or experience.  If you would like to suggest someone for us to consider, please contact  Heather Benedict, CORN Moderator  ( or 845-361-1002).
Communion Training for Elders, June 21 and June 26 
For elders who have undergone training more than two years ago or for those who have never been trained, don't miss these two opportunities to be trained in creating and officiating at a communion celebration. You'll be introduced to the different parts of the service and their significance as well as given resources and sites with additional material.  Participating Elders must bring a letter of authorization from their home church Session/Council to get credit for the course.
Wed., June 21, 7:00PM in Otisville OR
Mon., June 26, 7:00PM in LaGrangeville
To register email
Free Pastoral Sabbath, June 28
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, June 28th at noon through Thursday June 29th 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.
Chance to have Mission Co-Workers Visit
June 19-23
The Rev. Ryan and Alethia White are the current PC(USA) mission co-workers working with the Iranian Presbyterian Church in Berlin, Germany.  They will be spending the summer in the U.S. visiting supporting partners. They are planning to be at Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church on Sunday, June 18th and are able to remain in the area for the following week (June 19- 25) if your congregation is interested in having them visit, please be in direct contact with them at
Congregational Events
Marriage Seminar, June 17
The Korean Presbyterian Church of Westchester invites members of the Hudson River Presbytery to "Becoming a Sign and Wonder in Your Marriage" led by Kelly and Shirley Ng, on Sat. June 17th from 12:30-4:30pm.  Registration is $40 per couple; babysitting is provided free of charge if the child is potty-trained.   Download the flyer with more information on the program, the leaders, and registration information.
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
Stated Clerk's Releases Public Letter to Congress in Preparation for World Refugee Day
As the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s observation of World Refugee Day nears on June 20, Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson, II, has sent a public letter to members of the U.S. Congress urging them to "choose welcome over isolation and fear" as they debate the country's immigration policy. Read more.
Interfaith Leaders Express Strong Opposition to Decision to Withdraw US from Paris Climate Accord
President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord is being met with harsh criticism from church leaders who have been strong advocates for the agreement and environmental causes, including the PC(USA), the ACT Alliance, the Lutheran World Federation, and the World Council of Churches. Read more

The Presbyterian Foundation is making grants available to assist pastors to attend continuing education opportunities which will help them in leading their congregations toward financial and missional vitality.  Learn more.
Invite International Peacemakers to Visit
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
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.
Stewardship Webinar, June 13
Join Karl Travis on June 13 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. for The Hesitant Herald: Why Preachers (and Stewardship Committees!) Hate Talking About Money and What to Do About It. This free webinar sponsored by Stewardship Kaleidoscope, will help leaders to think about the truth - why do we give? This interactive time will focus on resistances to the generosity task, and our gifts, as we walk with parishioners towards trust in God's provision and a love for sharing.   Learn more.
Register now! July 6-8 for PC(USA)'s Church-Wide Gathering
Learn more.

Church Leadership Connection
Face to Face Event at Big Tent, July 6-8
The Church Leadership Connection (CLC) a ministry of the Office of the General Assembly will host a Face to Face Event this year at Big Tent held at the Washington University in St. Louis, MO from July 6 - 8, 2017. We hope you will consider participating in the event.  Face to Face will include PNC trainingcall seeker's trainingnetworking opportunities, one-on-one PIF reviews, and other educational opportunities for call seeker's and calling organizations. All call seekers (teaching elders, candidates, ruling elders, and other lay professionals) with an active Personal Information Form may participate.  All search committees for installed and temporary positions with an active MIF or approved job description are encouraged to attend.  Registration runs from April 17 thru June 30, 2017. Register for Face to Face.   
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.
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
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.
Take Action
Presbyterians Urged to Submit Public Comments by June 12
The U.S. Trade Representative is currently accepting public comments on how it should renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).   The public comment period closes on June 12th.  The Presbyterian Hunger Program is urging Presbyterians to
demand that any NAFTA replacement deal prioritize the needs of working families and healthy communities over corporate profits and eliminate the investor-state chapter (ISDS).

The Church has witnessed the impact of ISDS within the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement on its partners in La Oroya, Peru where residents have suffered from lead poisoning at the hands of a US investor-owned metallic smelter. The corporation was empowered under ISDS to demand "compensation" from the government of Peru when environmental regulations were enforced.  Read more and take action.
Help Needed Following Wappingers Falls Fire
Last Saturday, there was a very large fire in downtown Wappingers Falls that impacted businesses and residents.  Several buildings will need to be demolished, leaving families to find housing in an almost impossible real estate market.  Because families have an urgent and immediate need for housing, the First Presbyterian Church's session decided to immediately move the thrift store and food pantry into the church from the church-owned apartment, and to make the apartment immediately available for a family in need.  

You can help FPC Wappingers Falls and families in need in two ways:

June 9 and 10, 9am-1pm:  Come to the Thrift Store "Moving Sale"

Sat. June 17, 9am-4pm:  Help move the Pantry and Thrift Store into the church

Read the urgent appeal from the Rev. Margery A. Rossi.
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!
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.
Always with Us?
Jesus's words "the poor you will always have with you" (Matthew 26:11) are regularly used to suggest that ending poverty is impossible, that poverty is a result of moral failures, and that the poor themselves have no role in changing their situation. In this book Dr. Liz Theoharis of Union Theological Seminary examines both the biblical text and the lived reality of the poor to show how that passage is taken out of context, distorted, and politicized to justify theories about the inevitability of inequality.  

This book will be discussed by PC(USA) co-moderators Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston as a part of their Big Tent plenary on the intersection of race and poverty.
Seeking & Finding
Church Items from Former UPC of Amenia are Available
These items are free to anyone who wants them:   1 table size brass cross,  2 brass candlesticks,  2 silver goblets,  1 silver pitcher [about 1 qt.],  4 silver round trays [communion],  3 metal trays,  1 brass collection plate,  2 brass [deep] collection bowls,  3 brass  communion trays with glass cups,  3 wooden communion trays,  2 boxes of glass communion cups,  1 large church bible [1989 New Revised Standard Version].   Contact Catherine Janus at .
Employment Opportunities
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
Share the joy that comes from being connected to other members of Hudson River Presbytery by sharing Hudson Happenings with your friends!   It provides links to local, regional and national news.  They can also subscribe to other e-updates from the Presbytery Prison Partnership, the Food Justice Network and more!  Just invite them to go to or send along the photo of this laughing owl. (the link is embedded).