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
February 16, 2017
Dear Friends,

Poet William Blake writes in A Divine Image

Cruelty has a Human Heart 
And Jealousy a Human Face 
Terror the Human Form Divine 
And Secrecy, the Human Dress 

The chasm between the title of this poem and the indictment of human beings in its lines (which is reinforced by the second stanza), invites us to wonder, how might that chasm be bridged?   

The next issue of Hudson Happenings will be published on Thursday, March 9.  Please email your submissions to by Tuesday, March 7.
Presbytery News & Events
Service of Installation 
for the Rev. Erin Moore

Sunday February 26, 2017
4 o'clock in the afternoon

First Presbyterian Church of Chester
94-96 Main St. Chester, NY

Reception to follow

The Presbytery of Hudson River joyfully invites you to join this exciting celebration as 
Rev. Moore is installed from designated pastor to a permanent position.
Get Percolating: 
Challenge to Change
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 $7000 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, 
Three Opportunities: Feb 18,19 and March 25

Saturday, February 18, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm at First Presbyterian, Goshen
8:30 refreshments and registration begins
33 Park Place, Goshen, NY 10924
Sunday, February 19, 2:00 - 6:00 pm at Korean Presbyterian Church of Westchester
1:30 refreshments and registration begins
50 Pintard Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801

Saturday, March 25, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm at First, Jeffersonville
8:30 refreshments and registration begins
4907 State Road 52 (Main Street), Jeffersonville, NY 12748 
(This one was added at the request of all our church Sessions in Sullivan County  and the pastoral leaders, all of which committed to attend. Others are welcome!)  

  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 and would appreciate a refresher course or a bit more knowledge on the Constitutional questions.
There were 26 participants from seven churches at the first of these three events. All seemed to find it well worth it.
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 are 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 know the approximate number of attendees in order to have the correct number of handouts.

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
PW Ash Wed. Retreat, Mar. 1
Save the date for PW's Ash Wednesday Retreat at Stony Point Center.  The retreat will be led by the Rev. Abbie Huff who will be speaking on "Wilderness and Shadows."  The annual PW Retreat is a great opportunity to connect with women across the presbytery as Lent begins. Download the flyer and spread the word! Questions?  Contact Judy Wason at
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
se 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!
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 early - 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 (
Next Presbytery Meeting Will Be March 28
Please note that the next Presbytery Meeting is now scheduled for Tuesday, March 28, at Stony Point Center.  Onsite registration and prayer at 9:30am.  Meeting 10:00am -3:30pm.  And just in case you are hesitant about coming because you are under the impression that these meetings must be dour affairs, just check out the photo above.  If Jonah So and Peter Surgenor are having this much fun, you don't want to miss out!  Hope to see you there!
Congregational Events
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
Stated Clerk and Presbyterian Caucuses Speak out Against President's Travel Ban
J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the PC(USA), released a statement saying,
"As the top ecclesial officer of the nation's largest Reformed body, I urge the president and his administration to reverse this very harmful decision regarding refugees. Presbyterians are not afraid of this so-called terror threat. We are not afraid because we profess a faith in Jesus, who entered the world a refugee."

The National Black Presbyterian Caucus released a statement the National Middle Eastern Presbyterian Caucus wrote an open letter to President Trump, and the Compassion, Peace and Justice Ministry wrote to churches with links to prayers, a video and other resources as part of #WeChooseWelcome.
PC(USA) Issues Formal Apology to US Citizens of Native American Ancestry
The Reverend J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, and the Reverend Gradye Parsons, former Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, traveled to the northernmost city in the United States-Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska-to apologize to Native Americans, Alaska natives, and native Hawaiians.   The apology comes as the result of  action by the 222nd General Assembly (2016) , which directs "that the PC(USA) and its members apologize to United States citizens of Native American ancestry, both those within and beyond our denomination. Read the moving apology and watch the video.

Presbyterians Join More than
80,000 People at Moral March in NC 
An estimated 80,000 people crowded the streets of Raleigh, North Carolina over the weekend to take part in the 11th annual  Forward Together Moral March, led by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. Organizers say it was the largest crowed in the march's history.

Among those participating was the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, who recently became director for the Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C., and Presbyterian clergy from across NC.   Read more .
Regional and National Events
Third Thursdays - Multifaith Conversations
Facebook Live, Feb. 16
A new series, Third Thursdays-Multifaith Conversations on Concerns of Our  Time, starts 2/16, at 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. The first one will be "Welcoming the Stranger: A Conversation about Leviticus 19 and Matthew 25 for Our Time."   Watch it live on Feb. 16.
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.
Take Action
Cakes for Graduates of NY Theological's 
M.Div in Prison Program 
Each year HRP congregations create cakes for men and women who are incarcerated and who are graduating from the New York Theological Seminary's degree program.
First Presbyterian (Ossining), Mount Kisco, Peekskill, Pleasantville,  Scarborough and South Salem support this program.  To make it viable we need ten churches.  That means there are spaces for four more churches.  Won't your church consider this outreach?  The cost is small ($100 a year).  The impact is more than you can imagine! Read more about the program.  Contact Barbara Devir, CLP for more information at
Go, Join, Act!  PERU: The Cost of Gold: Register by Feb. 28, Trip May 27-June 3
On this eight-day Reflection and Action trip, sponsored by the Presbyterian Hunger Program, participants will learn about the systemic root causes of environmental health crises that plague the Peruvian countryside. They will visit communities impacted by the extractive industry; converse with leaders and experts on mining and the environment; examine relevant health, environmental, economic and trade policy; reflect on ethical and Biblical imperatives and implications to care for God´s Creation. At the end of the trip, participants will partake in a one-day advocacy workshop to identify strategies and further equip themselves to take action upon returning to the U.S.  Learn more.
Help PDA After Tornadoes Strike 6 States
From January 21 through the 23, as many as 29 tornadoes swept across six states, leaving as many as 20 people dead, hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed and scattered power outages throughout.  Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is on the ground. Learn how you can help.
Resources for Education, Justice, Liturgy and More!
Pray, Fast, Love...Youth Ministry Resource
Check out this QuickSheet for Youth Ministry designed for Lent.  Available in English and en  Espanol.  

At PC(USA) Youth Ministries you'll find more Quicksheets and other ideas and opportunities for youth ministry.   Check them out.
Lenten Reflections on the Belhar Confession
After the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted the Confession of Belhar to become part of the Book of Confessions in June 2016, consideration was given to what type of resource could introduce the Belhar Confession more fully to the denomination. It seemed that a book of devotions based on the Belhar Confession would be a blessing to the church as congregations and individual Presbyterians contemplated Scripture, the Belhar Confession, and the meanings that emerge as the Confession is studied phrase by phrase during the season of Lent. The devotions were written by a variety of Presbyterians, reflecting on a portion of the Confession in relation to Scripture texts that are associated with the Confession. The forty-seven devotions cover the days of Lent, plus Sundays.  Learn more and order.

PC(USA) Lenten Devotional
This year's Lenten devotional by Jodi Craiglow invites us to join 47 biblical figures-one for each day of Lent-who encounter Jesus during his earthly life and ministry. Speaking in unique, first-person conversational form, these characters tell us "in their own words" what they've seen and learned. They draw us in to share their joys and struggles, and help us understand Jesus in a newer, richer way. The narratives are rounded out with a daily Scripture reading and short prayer.  Learn more and order.
Gracia y Gratitud
También utilizamos este último Recursos y relaciones del año para recordarles que pueden comenzar el 2017 reflexionando sobre cómo hacer que la gracia y la gratitud se conviertan en resoluciones y metas para su congregación. Este estudio, escrito por Charles Wiley, examina estos dos términos que nos llevan a entender el gran amor de Dios por el mundo y nuestra respuesta a lo que Dios ha hecho por la humanidad. Tiene un  libro de participantes y una  guia para lideres
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.  
Share Hudson Happenings
There are people you know that aren't getting Hudson Happenings?!!  Yikes!  Will you let them know they can get the latest news on happenings throughout the Hudson River Presbytery by subscribing? 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 them this flattering photo of with my tongue hanging out in eager anticipation that they'll click through and get in the know! (the URL is embedded).