Hudson Happenings
H u d s o n  R i v e r  P r e s b y t e r y
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March 9, 2017
Dear Friends,

In Tomorrowland, poet Megan Snyder-Camp writes,

Family dinner night, and we are deciding what to save:
polar bears or slipper limpets. Girls in Afghanistan

or the wolf. We can't save everything
but the kids are ready

with their banks, the season's extra, the not-
ice cream. How does the Afghan girl feel

to make our list? We bring more and more
money to the table but the list outruns it.

The lists we make of things we will correct in our own lives and in the life of the world can be daunting and outrun our capacity.  Snyder-Camp breaks through this issue-based orientation to ask, "how does the Afghan girl feel to make our list?"  With that question, the reader is tumbled into a far less clear world than the sum balance of our ingenuity and our best efforts; a world that can speak back and question.  What if Lent weren't about correcting a list of problems, but righting a series of relationships?  How might that change our spiritual practice?

The next issue of Hudson Happenings will be published on Thursday, April 6.  Please email your submissions to by Tuesday, April 4.
From Your Interim General Presbyter
Models of Presbytery Leadership
At our next presbytery meeting on March 28, your Transition Team will provide one of the Community Conversations. In the 170 presbyteries throughout the PC(USA), there are many models for presbytery leader; that which we call in Hudson River Presbytery, our General Presbyter. Three of the more common will be presented. 

For those who want to participate in that Community Conversation, I will facilitate a process on behalf of your Transition Team which will involve a very brief presentation of each model and completing, in small groups, a SWOT (listing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of each model.

Looking forward to seeing you at our next presbytery gathering on March 28th!

God bless, Gavin.
Presbytery News & Events
Save the Date: Boundary Awareness Training October 24
Mandated boundary awareness training for Teaching Elders and Commissioned Ruling Elders will take place at Holmes Camp and Conference Center on Tuesday, October 24. If you want to know if you are due to be certified or recertified, please contact Jean Kaiser at
Challenge to Change Grants
Due Date:  March 15
Each year Challenge-to-Change grants offer congregations and ministries within the presbytery the opportunity to try something new.  So how about it?! Challenge to Change offers grants of from $200 to $7,000 dollars to help bring Christ's love to others in new ways -- from starting a coffee house to an interfaith discussion group to a community garden; your imagination is the only limit.  The grants are awarded annually and may be renewed for up to three years.  So start those ideas percolating! Applications are due on March 15, 2017.  To learn more, check out the Challenge-to-Change grant information and application. Questions?Contact the Rev. Cathy Surgenor, Chair of the HRP Grants Committee.
$50K Grants for 
Clergy Sabbaticals!
The Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs at Christian Theological Seminary provide funds to congregations to support renewal leaves for their pastors. Congregations may apply for grants of to $50,000 to underwrite a renewal program for their pastor and for the pastor's family, with up to $15,000 of those funds available to the congregation to help cover costs for ministerial supply while the pastor is away. There is no cost to the congregations or the pastors to apply.  Learn more! The grants represent the Endowment's continued investment in renewing the health and vitality of American Christian congregations.
Officer Training for Ruling Elders and Deacons,  March 25
So far, with our first of three training events, there have been a total of 160 people from 21 different churches... 26 persons from 7 churches at Holmes, 58 from 16 churches at Goshen on Saturday and 76 from 6 churches at K(orean)PCOW on Sunday. The reports afterwards indicated that participants are very pleased with this training and found it to be informative and helpful. One more training will take place.
Saturday, March 25, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church, Jeffersonville
8:30 refreshments and registration
4907 State Road 52 (Main Street), Jeffersonville, NY 12748
This invitation is for all Ruling Elders and Deacons:
  • those who are soon to be ordained and installed;
  • those newly ordained and installed elders and deacons; and
  • those who are continuing on Session/Council and the Board of Deacons, having been ordained and installed in years past, yet would appreciate a refresher course or a bit more knowledge on the Constitutional questions.
The outline of this training will be the ordination questions for Ruling Elders and Deacons and the topics covered will include Presbyterian/Reformed theology, polity, history and social witness. The training offered on these two dates is identical.
If any of your Ruling Elders or Deacons are planning on attending, please let Gavin know ASAP ( or 646.546.0522), so he can email the study booklet and have the correct number of handouts prepared.
Interest-Free Student Loans!
The Synod of the Northeast has Interest-free Student Loan & Scholarship Programs that are open to undergraduate and seminary students only. Deadline is April 1, 2017.  Download the application. Please do not hesitate to contact the Synod Office at 1-800-585-5881, or
One Great Hour of Sharing
Through the OGHS Offering we participate in ministries of compassion that offer food security for those who are hungry, restored streets and rebuilt homes for those impacted by disaster, and support to communities overcoming histories of oppression through self-determined development.  Most churches will collect this offering on Sun., April 16.  Access resources for bulletins, announcements and more 
Register for Hudson River University,  March 11!
On Sat. March 11, join us at Stony Point Center from 9:00-2:30 for a  day of leadership development.  We have great faculty, sharing their awesome skills and experiences during our spring semester of HRU! There will be three prac tical "majo r s"  offered:  Christian education; healthy interaction in times of disagreement and conflict; and stewardship and finance.   Each of the  majors will have three 75 minute classes: early and late morning and after lunch.  Learn about all the class offerings.
This university is open to all "students"... 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 but any and all instruction and materials will be at no charge.  Spread the word and register now!  Registration is possible on March 11th itself, but it will really help us out if you register now.  Thanks!
Join HRP Green for a Lenten Journey, April 8 
10:00 am to 12:00 noon
Come on a Holy Week journey with us as we move liturgically from sites of environmental death and destruction to those that embody resurrection.  As we ride the Peekskill Trolley on HRP Green's 
Healing Our Sacred Sites Tour on Saturday, April 8 from 10 am to noon, we'll worship together, learn from John Cronin, Senior Fellow for Environmental Affairs, Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies; Drew Claxton, Environmentalist and Peekskill Deputy Mayor and others, and explore the Lenten journey in our own lives and in our world.  Children 3rd grade and up and teens are welcome to both participate in the tour and in scavenger hunts designed for them.

Space is limited so REGISTER NOW - one fourth of the seats are filled: Cost:  $5 for children, $10 for adults, $20 for families.  Scholarships are available.  For reservations and scholarship information contact Kathy Dean (
Congregational Events
All-You-Can-Eat Roast Beef Dinner, March 25
Oh yum!  Don't miss First Presbyterian Church of Chester's roast beef dinner.  There are continuous servings OR take-out from 4:00pm-7:00pm.  For tickets call 845-469-2730. Download the flyer.

Stewardship Training, March 25
There will be a Stewardship Training at Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church on Saturday, March 25 by Rev. Charles Barton and Team, f rom 9:00am - 12:00pm.  The church would welcome any Presbyterian for whom this would be a convenient location, to attend a nd take a deeper dive into the theology and practice of Christian stewardship.
Facing Racism,
Wednesdays in Lent
Together with churches in Rockland County Presbyterian congregations will explore the Biblical foundation for antiracist work by delving deep into the guiding principles that reveal "God loves diversity and justice."  Wednesday evenings, March 8- April 12; 7:30-9:30pm.  For more information please contact:  Palisades Presbyterian Church or  New Hempstead Presbyterian Church. Download the flyer.
Spirit Talk, April 1
The Peekskill Presbyterian Church is preparing to launch "Spirit Talk," a 1001 New Worshipping Community ministry.
All interested HRP members are invited to join us for a conversation with Vera White, Associate for 1001 ministries. 

The conversation will be held on Saturday April 1 from 10:30 a.m - 12:30 p.m.  The church is located at 705 South Street Peekskill, New York. If you plan to attend or for more Information, please contact: Stephany Graham at 914-737-3322.       
Regional and National News
PC(USA) Stated Clerk signs on to ecumenical declaration on behalf of refugees
We representatives of Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican communions in the United States, Church World Service and the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States, gathered together this 10th day of February, 2017, seek to join our efforts to those of other religious communities striving for the same sacred purposes, and officially declare our strong opposition to the executive order entitled "Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals." On behalf of our joint membership of 37 national member communions constituting more than 30 million Americans, we stand united in our resolve to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God in fellowship with the vulnerable, the outcast, the widow, the orphan, the immigrant, and all persons in need. As Americans we are a nation of displaced persons. Read the full statement.
Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy and Foothills Presbytery Dialogue
Teams from the  Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) and  Foothills Presbytery in upstate South Carolina met Saturday, February 18 through Tuesday, February 21. The two groups gathered to discuss differences of opinion on how the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) should make known its Christian social witness.

Planning for the meeting began at General Assembly 222 (2016) in Portland, Oregon, when one of Foothills Presbytery's nine overtures proposed that ACSWP impose a moratorium on providing reports and guidance to the General Assembly.  Rather, Foothills Presbytery wanted ACSWP to focus its efforts on educating Presbyterians about policies and theological convictions already affirmed, and on encouraging conversations among members, including those who disagree with General Assembly policies. Read more.
Regional and National Events
Third Thursdays - Multifaith Conversations
Facebook Live, March 16
A new series, Third Thursdays-Multifaith Conversations on Concerns of Our  Time, take place 12 pm EST, on Facebook  Live. Colleagues from different religious traditions, hosted by Rick Ufford-Chase of the Office on Interfaith Relations, will reflect with one another. To watch, visit 

Confronting Chaos, Forging Community: April 21-24 
Join us April 21 for Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington DC.  Gather with your fellow Presbyterians as we look at how our church and our partners are confronting racism, materialism, and militarism in our country and abroad.  In plenaries and workshops we will analyze our current context and offer concrete tools for members and their congregations to address these urgent issues.  We will learn how we can "forge community" amidst the current chaos in our country.

After Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day join the ecumenical community for Ecumenical Advocacy Days April 21-24.  Almost one thousand Christian advocates join us every year for a weekend of workshops, lectures, and concrete actions addressing the ills of our nation.   The weekend culminates in a lobby day on Monday, April 24th when we raise our voices in the halls of power for a more just society. Learn more.
Save the date: July 6-8 for PC(USA)'s Church-Wide Gathering
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.
Living Our Values
A reflection on living out partnership by the Rev. Dr. Bebb Stone, interim pastor of Nauraushan Presbyterian Church

In response to growing concerns about what the radically changing political climate means for our immigrant neighbors, both documented and undocumented, a Community Immigration Forum was held on February 6th at Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church in Pearl River.  The Forum was co-sponsored by a collaborative of the Rockland Immigrant Coalition, Helping Hands of Rockland County, Palisades Presbyterian Church and Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church, and supported by a grant from the Hudson River Presbytery.

One hundred forty-seven Rockland residents gathered to learn about the New Sanctuary Movement, a nationwide initiative through which support and accompaniment are provided for families who are threatened with separation through deportation.  Sanctuary is not merely the action of a single congregation , but the work of a community.  During the Forum, two expert panels led discussions about the history and practice of sanctuary as well as the importance of knowing the constitutional rights of persons within the United States.   Read the full reflection.
Take Action
Cuomo intends to cut prison visiting in maximums by over 50%
Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed that visitation at maximum security prisons be reduced from 7 days to 3 days a week. While he has said this is to reconcile maximum and medium security visiting schedules. If this proposal gets passed, visiting for over 20,000 people at 18 prisons will be reduced to weekend only, creating misery and massive crowds in the visiting room and waiting area.   The Presbytery Prison Partnership encourages you to sign and share this petition widely.
Rally for Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act in NYC, March 30
Advocates, activists and farmworkers from Rural and Migrant Ministry's Justice for Farmworkers Campaign will rally in front of the New York City Hall where they will receive a proclamation from the NY City Council in recognition of Cesar Chavez Day, as well as their support for the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act in the New York State Legislature. The rally will take place Thursday, March 30 beginning at 11 a.m. Find more details  here .
Join CIW at Wendy's HQ, Columbus, OH, March 24-26
Join with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and thousands of consumers from across the nation in marching in Wendy's hometown of Columbus, OH to urge the burger giant to stop purchasing tomatoes from fields in Mexico with documented forced and child labor and to join the CIW's Fair Food Program.  Leaving from NYC on March 24. Returning March 26 in the evening.  Contact: Yaissy Solis, The PC(USA) is a longstanding denominational partner of the CIW, having helped farmworkers win legally binding agreements between 14 of the world's largest food retailers (including McDonald's, Wal-Mart, Aramark) and the CIW.  The Fair Food Program has been called an "international benchmark" for ending and preventing forced labor by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and lauded by the United Nations for its blueprint that has produced measurable and astounding human rights advances for tens of thousands of farmworkers in seven US states and three crops.  Learn more about the boycott by visiting  
Resources for Education, Justice, Liturgy and More!
Order Eco-Palms by March 18
Consider using   Eco-Palms  in your Palm Sunday worship. Eco-Palms protect forests, local jobs, and sustainable living in the harvesting communities of Guatemala and Southern Mexico. By purchasing Eco-Palms, congregations demonstrate a commitment to environmental and social justice. 

More than 300 million palm fronds are harvested each year for U.S. consumption alone - most of them for Palm Sunday, but also for floral displays for church-related events. Your congregation's commitment to purchase eco-palms plays an important role in protecting forests, local jobs, and sustainable livelihoods in the harvesting communities.   Order your church's palms now!
PC(USA) Webinars on Managing Educational Debt and Creating Inclusive Worshipping Communities
Learn about loan forgiveness programs and more in a free webinar on March 21, "Managing Educational Debt," hosted by Laura Bryan and Melonee Tubb with the Presbyterian Mission Agency.  This webinar will be repeated on April 18.  Learn more.

On April 5 Rev. Brian Ellison, executive director of the Covenant Network, is leading a webinar conversation focused on ministry and inclusion of people in the church and society who traditionally have felt excluded.  Learn more.

Register through one of the links below and you'll receive a reminder email as the date approaches. Join in via your computer or phone.  All webinars last about an hour and begin at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on the dates listed. 
Update from Mission Co-Workers in Peru
Jenny and Jed Kobal, PC(USA) mission co-workers in Peru provide information on the recent displacement of several hundred thousand people due to unanticipated flooding and landslides, give an update on the auction of the metal smelter in La Oroya and anticipated dangerous pollution levels impacting children especially, and more.   Read their news.
Everything You Want to Know About Using Church Leadership Connection
March 28, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
This webinar is for presbytery staff, PNCs, and COM Liaisons.  Participants will be provided instructions in how-to use CLC to support the call process with special instructions in well written MIFs and evaluating PIFs.  Register for this webinar.

Are You Seeking a Call?  Learn CLC!  March 29, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
This webinar is for call seekers, CPMs and seminary placement officers. This how-to webinar will provide instructions in effectively using Church Leadership Connection, the denomination's online database, to search for calls and writing PIFs.  Register for this webinar.
Access 2016 Mission Mosaic from PDA Online
Access the new 2016 Mission Mosaic magazine from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. It's been converted into a "year-in-review" format, highlighting PDA's ongoing national and international responses and work. It's a great resource for telling the story of how Presbyterians work with our partners around the world and here at home to provide relief that respects human dignity and priorities of local communities.
To receive printed copies or add your name to the mailing list, email
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
White Plains Presbyterian Seeks Director of Music Ministry
White Plains Presbyterian Church, a 156-member congregation, seeks part-time Director of Music Ministry. Experience in playing pipe organ, piano, and in choral conducting. Wide knowledge of sacred music of diverse styles and cultures. Experience in recruiting, training, and directing choirs of all ages. Will interact with pastor, church staff, and commissions in planning and presenting music for worship, as well as other congregational needs. Read more.  Position open now. Send cover letter and resume to:
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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