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
May 18, 2017
Dear Friends,

In " At Thomas Merton's Grave," poet Spencer Reece writes,

Thrash, thrash goes the hayfield:
rows of marrow and bone undone.
The horizon's flashing fastens tight,
sealing the blue hills with vermilion.
Moss dyes a squirrel's skull green.
The cemetery expands its borders-
little milky crosses grow like teeth.
How kind time is, altering space
so nothing stays wrong; and light,
more new light, always arrives.

How has time altered the space in which you live, in which you remember, in which you anticipate?

The next issue of Hudson Happenings will be published on Thursday, June 8.  Please email your submissions to by Tuesday, June 6.
From Your Interim General Presbyter
I just returned from my second Presbytery Leader Formation. This is a denominational training event for all new presbytery leaders; it is five days each year for the first three years. It is led by experienced presbytery leaders from across the country. It is an awesome experience and provides such helpful training and knowledge. A clear additional benefit it that you meet all the new presbytery leaders from around the country, giving an opportunity to learn from each other best practices and new initiatives as well as what not to do. I will share a bit more during my report at next week's presbytery meeting, but suffice it to say, when your new General Presbyter arrives, if they are new to this work and ministry, they, and HRP, will benefit significantly by their participation!  Read more.
Presbytery News & Events
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).
Talent Show, May 20 
We invite you to join the fun at the 11th annual PresbyBuild Talent Show, which will take place on Saturday, May 20th, at First Presbyterian Montgomery.  The offering will help us reach our sponsorship goal of $55,000 for House No. 8, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh.  This goal includes a $5,000 tithe for Habitat International's work in other countries.   Download the flyer with more information.
Community Conversation on Caregiving at May 23 Presbytery Meeting
On May 23, 2017 at the Presbytery meeting, I invite you to join me (Rose Chan) as I facilitate a community conversation as we listen to each other, share our experiences from our family caregiving journey.  The conversation that will strengthen and heal you is the dialogue between you and God. Start that dialogue now.  Bring your journal, Bible and an open heart. I look forward to meeting you and with your permission, write a group prayer from our conversation together to share with each other.   Read more.
Free Pastoral Sabbath, May 24
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, May 24th at noon through Thursday May 25th 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.
Help Theo Harris
Theo Harris, who formerly served as the Presbytery Prison Partnership Associate Coordinator is battling liver cancer in hospice.  He and his wife need our help to meet expenses.  Click here  to make a donation.
Theo Harris, BA, MA, MPS, author of Blessed and Highly Favored: Memoirs of A Multiple Felon, is a seven-time felon. He spent most of his life in and out of prison as the result of an ongoing battle with substance abuse. Theo was the subject of a segment on "60 Minutes" with Lesley Stahl, focusing on how he completely changed his life around, partly through his performance music. He devoted his life on the outside to working for prison reform with the Hudson River Presbytery as its Prison Partnership Associate Coordinator, representing its eighty-four Presbyterian churches in the Hudson Valley. Despite his successful efforts to constantly battle a lifetime of what would be, to most of us, insurmountable odds, Theo's life continues to present relentless challenges. Theo has been diagnosed with liver cancer, which has metastasized into his bones.  You can help by donating here.  
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
Training in Non-Violent Resistance, May 20
Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church invites the presbytery to join their congregation for a non-violence resistance training led by Rick Ufford-Chase and Emily Brewer of Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.  It will begin with soup, salad, and bread at Noon, Saturday, May 20, and end at 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be included.  Please RSVP to the church office, 845-735-4565. 
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
With Only Faith For Protection...
In one of the most dangerous places in the world, the Rev. Peter Tibi stands between the government of South Sudan and rebel factions with only his clerical collar and his faith for protection.

The director of RECONCILE International (Resource Center for Civil Leadership) uses shuttle diplomacy to carry information between the two groups with the goal of discouraging armed conflict, negotiating humanitarian access, and preventing revenge killings. There is so much distrust, the two groups will not even agree to direct discussions.
And so Tibi travels.   Read the full PNS story.

PC(USA) Top Leaders, Nelson and De La Rosa, Decry Alleged Persecution of LGBTQI People in Chechnya
Amid disturbing reports from U.N. human rights officials and others that gay men are being targeted for elimination in Chechnya, top leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have issued a statement expressing "grave concern" for the LGBTQI community in that southern Russian republic. Read more.
Presbyterians from Cuba and US Meet in Havana to Renew Partnership
"We are partners in hard times but also in good times. What does it mean to be partners in hard times?" began José Luis Casal, director of World Mission, at the opening devotional of a meeting between leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and La Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba (IPRC).  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.

This is the last call for young adults who are interested in serving in the US and around the world in mission service.   Applications for the 2017-2018 year are due by June 1.  Do you know an excellent candidate?  Share this information with her or him.  Learn more about the YAV program.
Regional and National Events
Sowing Seeds of Justice Dinner, May 20
Sowing Seeds of Justice Dinner, May 20
Please join Rural and Migrant Ministry in celebrating the 20th Anniversary of its Youth Empowerment Program at our Annual Sowing Seeds of Justice Reception & Dinner at  St. Bartholomew's in White Plains! 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.   
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 .
Living Our Values
Practicing Partnership
This weekend celebrates the 50th anniversary of Clergy Consultation Services which counseled and assisted women in obtaining safe abortions prior to Roe v. Wade. The Rev. Peggy Howland reflects on her participation.  
I was one of the clergypersons who co-founded the clergy consultation service in 1969 in the Capital District of New York State (Albany, Troy and Schenectady area).  I had recently been called as Pastor of the Woodside Presbyterian Church in Troy.   When I took on a part-time position with Troy Campus Ministry as Protestant Chaplain at the nearby Hudson Valley Community College, the Chaplain at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy approached me about starting a Clergy Consultation Service.  Read more.
Take Action
50th Anniversary of The Clergy Consultation Service:  
Public Action on May 22, 6pm
Fifty years ago - before abortion was legal - a remarkable group of Protestant ministers, Jewish rabbis, and dissident Catholic nuns and priests helped women obtain safe abortions. Rooted in deeply held theological convictions, they believed their work was a response to a higher calling for justice and compassion. Their service was announced in a story printed on the front page of The New York Times , published May 22, 1967. The result was a nationwide referral ministry called The Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion. To coincide with the 50th anniversary, Judson Church is hosting a series of events May 20-22 where CCS was launched. Among them is a 6:00 p.m. Public Witness on Monday, May 22  in Washington Square Park.  Learn more.
Farmworker Albany Day, May 23
Rural and Migrant Ministry invites you to join farmworkers, activists and allies from across the state as they descend onto Albany on May 23, 2017 in order to demand justice for NYS farmworkers who are excluded from basic workplace protections. They will meet at Westminster Presbyterian Church (262 State Street in Albany) at 10am on May 23 and then march towards West Capitol Park in order to hold a rally.  The rally is set to begin at 12:15 in the afternoon.  As a bastion of progressive legislation, it is time for New York to dignify farmworkers with equality in the workplace.   Read more.
Resources for Education, Liturgy & 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.
Pentecost Offering Resources for June 4
The Pentecost Offering is traditionally received on the day of Pentecost.   A gift to the Pentecost Offering helps the church encourage, develop, and support its young people, and also address the needs of at-risk children. 40% of the Pentecost offering can be retained by individual congregations wanting to make an impact in the lives of young people within their own community. The remaining 60% is used to support ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.  Learn more and download resources.

Learn about the PC(USA)'s new Facing Racism campaign. From books to studies to training, we're sharing a wealth of antiracism resources as we strive to become the beloved community God calls us to be.  Learn more.

New PC(USA) Resource for Immigrant Hospitality:  Welcome and the Law
As Presbyterians increasingly face legal and other issues around providing welcome and hospitality to immigrants, the Immigration Office of the Office of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has released a new resource for congregations titled, "Welcome and the Law."
General Assembly Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson, II, has issued a letter to the church, commending the new resource.   Read more.
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
Rye Presbyterian Seeks PT Administrative Assistant
Rye Presbyterian Church is looking for a responsible Administrative Assistant to project an atmosphere of hospitality and welcome to all who interact with the church, to perform a variety of administrative and clerical tasks, and to ensure the efficient and smooth day-to-day operation of our church office.  Learn more.
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
OK.  Admittedly this is a silly photo.  The poor, poor cat, who has no ability to censure this ridiculous picture, has fallen victim to an impossibly cute and somewhat unclear use of its own image to promote, what?  Well, one would hope something worthwhile, right?  So Hudson Happenings is that -- worthwhile.  It provides links to local, regional and national news.  But not in a passive way -- in a way that says -- hey get involved!  So let's help this poor kitten have a meaningful purpose.  Why not invite your friends and congregants  to subscribe to Hudson Happenings? 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 share the photo of this little kitten in a showercap. (the link is embedded).