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Happenings In & Around the Presbytery of NYC
T his newsletter is ordinary published on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month. All items for potential inclusion must be submitted via email to newsletter@presbynyc.org by noon on the Wednesday before the newsletter in published. All items are subject to review and editing. Timely submission does not guarantee inclusion.

Information, articles and links in this newsletter are provided for information only to the congregations and members of the presbytery. Nothing in this message should be construed as the official position of the presbytery unless noted as such.
Good Friday Office Hours
In observance of Good Friday, the Presbytery office will be closed on Friday, April 19 th
From the Executive Presbyter
Crowds of people had been caught up in what they heard and saw from Jesus of Nazareth. Healings. Exorcisms. Words of compassion and justice. Forgiveness. Raisings to new life. Hope springing forth that indeed the realm of God is near!

I saw that hope among fifty congregations stirred by the Spirit as Kathryn Threadgill shared a denominational vision that 21 st century Presbyterian congregations also demonstrate the realm of God is near. Nearly 30 have signed a covenant to work together over two years in cohort groups and among members to grow that vitality and hope that God is doing something vibrant among our congregations and within our presbytery. Now, I and they ask for your prayers and your encouragement. As the early church learned, by praying and meeting together the gospel took root in the lives of those who believed God had truly come among them—a God crucified that rose again from the dead to love them into the life and hope God still holds for all people.

Pray for this Easter witness among all congregations proclaiming it. For as Jesus enters Jerusalem, he confronts the very powers that are holding back the fullness of the life and hope God holds for all people. He faces the empire and those privileged by the empire to rule prejudicially and violently over people. Within a week, he will be tried and executed amid claims of finding he committed no crime.

A mother of three US citizens, here in the US more than 20 years, worshiping in one of our congregations has been told she will be deported. She committed no crime. A retired minister does not know where he will live this month with his meager income. Is this what our elderly deserve? A church member’s son’s desired to vote for the first time after his 18 th birthday, three times denied a ballot; the same happening to congregants completing their time in prison. Citizenship denied. People of faith seeking to speak to immigrants at our border, arrested as they kneel to pray for them. The empire can rule prejudicially and violently, holding back the fullness of life and hope God holds for all people. It matters not that you are a person of faith.

Convicted by many injustices, at least a dozen of us NYC Presbyterians visited those legislative halls of power in the District of Columbia this week to meet with our Senators and Congressional Representatives to advocate for the House and Senate to overcome barriers to voting rights, for both to set up independent human rights commissions to hear concerns of abuse, and to be more studied in the root causes of global conflicts and violence that have displaced 68 million people. We prayed to the God whose love knows no bounds in God’s desire for life and hope for all people. I know many of you share your concerns of injustices with your political leaders locally to let them know, paraphrasing the words of Cornel West, that justice is love extended into the public square for all. It may take a long time for all the forms of justice God seeks to be in that public square but look at what those before us were willing to carry and sacrifice. Look to Jesus’ life.

“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Come Lord Jesus. Save us.” 

Robert Foltz-Morrison
Vital Congregations Initative Update
The following sessions have agreed for their congregation to participate in the Vital Congregations Initiative: 
  • BRONX: Beck Memorial, Eastchester, Emmanuel Presbyterian Reformed, Featherbed Lane, Riverdale, St. Augustine, Trinity Presbyterian fellowship
  • BROOKLYN: Bedford Central, Bethel, First Brooklyn, First Spanish, Kingslawn United, Siloam
  • MANHATTAN: Church of the Covenant, Church of the Master, Emmanuel, Jan Hus, Mt. Morris-Ascension, North, Rendall Memorial, Trinity, West End, Mawuli fellowship
  • QUEENS: Dunton, First Jamaica, First Far Rockaway, First Springfield Gardens, Hollis, Korean United, St. Albans  

Many of these congregations will send representatives for the Vital Congregations training taking place in May.
From the Stated Clerk
We continue to hold in prayer Elder Warren McNeill, New York City Presbytery's Stated Clerk. Warren recently began cardiac rehabilitation and is progressing well. All stated clerk related matters should be emailed to  the stated clerk's office at SC@presbynyc.org . You can also email Yzette Swavy-Lipton in the Presbytery office, who will direct your calls, concerns and queries accordingly.

Cards may be sent to my home at:
103 General Hancock Blvd
North Wales PA 19454

He thanks you all for your continued support and prayers.

Elder Warren C. McNeill
Stated Clerk
2019 Presbytery Meeting Dates and Material Deadlines
Stated Meeting
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Material Due (by 5:00 PM)
Friday, May 17, 2019
Friday, September 13, 2019
Friday, November 15, 2019
2019 Commission on Ministry Dates and Material Deadlines
All material for COM's consideration must be emailed to the commission at com@presbynyc.org
Good Works Grant Program Comes to Life at Siloam Presbyterian Church
With the assistance from a Presbytery approved Good Works Committee grant, Siloam Presbyterian Church has been able to provide for its members and friends a Good Friday, Seven Last Words of Christ service of worship. The service (Friday, April 19 th at Noon) will include music that will be provided by Tulivu and Seasoned Elegance Jazz ensemble. The service will be followed by a community meal. All are welcome. Learn more
From the Property Consultant
P lease make sure that when your boilers are inspected that the company that does so, files with the NYC Building Dept.. If you have an in ground oil tank and have never gotten a “Fuel Oil Permit” contact me at the Presbytery office for additional information.  
All structures with in ground oil tanks are required to have them and the FDNY is currently making visits and handing out violations. You can  apply online.

I am available on Mondays and Thursdays to visit you and assist with any issues or concerns you have regarding buildings and grounds.

We have a great property manual that can be made available if you do not already have it.
From the Justice Ministry Committee (formally known as the Committee on Witness to Society and the World (CWSW) ) and the Advocate for Justice Ministries
T he Justice Ministry Committee (formally known as the Committee on Witness to Society and the World (CWSW)), calls your attention to several upcoming events and activities.

The  Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People  will hold a workshop about grants that are available to grassroots groups. 
Wednesday, May 22 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 
Lafayette Ave. Presbyterian Church
85 South Oxford St. 
Brooklyn NY 11217 St.,
Broad guidelines
Project members must initiative, directly benefit from and control the project.
The project must address community issues or improve the lives of group members.
The majority of the group members must be categorized as low income/under served.
To register
Contact Nina Lewis
For more information
Contact Selma Jackson

Fourteen people from the Presbytery of New York City participated in the PC(USA) Compassion, Peace, and Justice Training Day and Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD). You may learn more about the EAD experience and view the videos from the conference. Participants visited the office of our elected Representatives and Senators on Monday, April 8 to call for protection and expansion of voting rights in the U.S. and support of democratic endeavors across the globe. PNYC folk joined in the prayer vigil in Senator Mitch McConnell’s office described in the story. More information is available if you wish to call your elected representatives in support of these causes. Photos are posted on the PNYC Facebook page .

On May 31, we will hold a screening of the film, Genesis of Exodus at Broadway Presbyterian Church . Produced by the PC(USA) Office of Immigration Issues, this film looks at the complicated root causes of migration from Central America’s Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras of rich and diverse people. A panel discussion with Teresa Waggener, immigration attorney in the PC(USA) Office of Immigration Issues, and representatives of local groups working on immigration will follow the screening. Save the date now. Watch for the time to be announced shortly. 

To have your congregation’s justice-related events included in future email newsletters or on the Presbytery of New York City’s Justice Ministries Facebook page, contact mkoenig@presbynyc.org .
News from Self-Development of People
D id you know the Presbytery of New York City has a group working with the Self-Development of People (SDOP) program? This video introduces the group and describes the ministry. Supported by your gifts to the One Great Hour of Sharing Offerin g , Self-Development of People partners with communities and organizations that identify a need they face, envision and design a project to address that need, implement and control the project, and benefit from the project. SDOP affirms God’s concern for humankind. It is made up of Presbyterians and ecumenical partners dissatisfied with poverty and oppression, united in faith and action through sharing, confronting, and enabling by participating in the empowerment of economically poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged people, seeking to change the structures that perpetuate poverty, oppression and injustice. Use the video to learn about Self-Development of People and to promote the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering. Contact Mark Koenig to obtain the video. 
A Three Day Training in Disaster Chaplain and Religious Literacy & Competency in Crisis Settings
S ponsored by  NYDIS (New York Disaster Interfaith Services) and New York VOAD , through a training partnership with the National Disaster Interfaith Network, religious leaders and spiritual caregivers of all faiths are invited to take this three-day training.  New York City area participants who complete this certification can volunteer as disaster chaplains with NYDIS. NDIN can also assist unaffiliated volunteers in finding disaster spiritual care volunteer opportunities in local communities across the United States.

Monday, April 29th through Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
New York Disaster Interfaith Services, 4 West 43rd Street - Training Room # 415, New York, NY 10036
Calling All NYC Presbytery Youth! We're off to Purdue University
in West Lafayette, Indiana for PC(USA)'s 2019 Triennium

The Committee on Congregational Ministry and Nurture (CM&N) reminds you that it's time for youth to complete applications and medical release forms for PC(USA)'s Triennium 2019.


Full information about Triennium 2019 can be found on the website:  https://presbyterianyouthtriennium.org/

First, please fill out the interest survey with your contact information and T-shirt size:   Triennium 2019 Interest Survey .

Second, fill out the   Triennium 2019 Medical Release Form , which must be filled out for each participant interested in attending. This medical form is held in a secure place with national staff overseeing the Triennium.

CM&N reminds you if you have any questions, please email Maria Medina, who is working with CM&N at  Triennium2019@gmail.com . or call the presbytery office and we will direct you accordingly.
Thank you,

The Presbytery's Committee on Congregational Ministry and Nurture
Urgent Housing Need for Retired Minister
A minister must vacate his free housing by April 22. He can afford to pay $1200/month rent. If you can help him or refer him to someone who can assist him with housing, please email henryfury39@gmail.com or call him at 917-650-0175.
FREE Board of Pensions Benefits Connections Event May 16 th at Rutgers Presbyterian Church
BOARD OF PENSIONS is offering A BENEFITS CONNECTIONS event to help churches align benefits and values to the needs of their pastors and other staff. 
Thursday, May 16, 2019
10AM - 2PM
Rutgers Presbyterian Church
236 West 73rd Street, NY,10023  
Come and be part of the conversation with representatives from the Board of Pensions. Those who attend will:
  • Learn about the latest changes to the Benefits Plan (e.g. medical, pension, insurance, Retirement Savings Plan updates, dental, vision, etc.) 
  • Learn about the theology that shapes the Benefits Plan of the PCUSA; 
  • Gain a better understanding of how the Benefits Plan can best be used and accessed by your church and staff, regardless of congregational size.
  • Hear about the latest programs and initiatives that support Clergy Health and Wholeness 
  • Have an opportunity to ask questions and share information about how the Board of Pensions can best serve church workers and church employers;
  • Be able to network with colleagues from other area churches. 

Who should attend?
  • Pastors
  • Personnel Committee Chairs
  • Church Business Administrators
  • Clerks of session
  • Mid council leaders and,
  • Anyone who decides, manages, or supports benefits for PCUSA ministers or employees is welcome. 
To register go to www.pensions.org/benefitsconnections or call 215-587-7588
Have Your Session Minutes Been Reviewed this past Year?
A Note from the Session Records Review Committee
C lerks of Session are reminded that they are to submit their congregations' minutes annually to Presbytery's Session Records Review Committee. Guidelines and a checklist can be found on the Presbytery website, nycpresbytery.org . The checklist should be completed by the Clerk and included with the minutes. Minutes may be submitted either by mail or electronically to sessionrecords@presbynyc.org .
Synod of the Northeast Coach Network Coaching Scholarships
Who is eligible?
  • Individuals and Groups in a PCUSA ministry setting within the Synod of the Northeast to include Ministers of Word & Sacrament, Elders, CREs, Deacons, Church Members, Validated Ministry Leaders
What does the scholarship cover?
  • First-time applicants - 5 sessions paid in full for the individual
  • First-time group applicants - 3 90-minute sessions paid in full for the group
  • Second-time applicants - ⅔ paid by Network, ⅓ paid by applicant

How do I/we apply?
Email ( snecoachingnetwork@gmail.com ) your answers to the following questions :
  1. Who are you? Name, email, phone number
  2. What is your ministry setting?
  3. What are your goals for coaching?
  4. What else does the Coach Network need to know about you and your ministry setting to process the application?

Questions? Contact Chip Low (PCC) a member of the Synod Coach Network Leadership Team at
( snecoachingnetwork@gmail.com) or 914.861.5116
Coming Soon to Holmes Presbyterian Camp & Retreat Center
Upcoming Events

  • Deepening the Journey: Yoga & Meditation as Spiritual Practice: April 26-28
  • Summer Camp Open House: May 19
  • Friends Day: July 27 (please note this date was printed incorrectly in our summer camp brochure, we apologize for any inconvenience!) 
A s we grapple with the emerging church of the 21st century, it is imperative that we come together to listen, learn and envision the future. God, through Jesus Christ, is providing us an opportunity at Big Tent to go deep in our theology and faith while renewing our spirits. – The Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, II; Stated Clerk of the General Assembly. 

What is Big Tent?
Since its inception in 2009, Big Tent has been a “Big Presbyterian family reunion.” It is the assembly between General Assemblies that brings us together to celebrate our church as the Body of Christ and engage in deeper conversations about how we can be the community we are called to be in this age; to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ as children of God whoever we are, wherever we are. 
  • Congratulations to Rev. David Telfort. (Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church) who, at Morehouse College's College of Ministers and Laity, was inducted into their 2019 Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers. This honor recognizes individuals who are doing their best to live up to Dr. King's example of connecting individuals to collaborate on the work of justice.
The Presbytery extends its prayers of condolence to:
  • We continue to hold in prayer Elder Warren McNeill, New York City Presbytery's Stated Clerk. Warren recently began cardiac rehabilitation and is progressing well.
Matthew 25 in the PC(USA): A Bold Vision and Invitation
What is a Matthew 25 church?
Matthew 25:31–46 calls all of us to actively engage in the world around us, so our faith comes alive and we wake up to new possibilities. Convicted by this passage, both the 222nd and 223rd General Assemblies (2016 and 2018) exhorted the PC(USA) to act boldly and compassionately to serve people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned or poor.
How the vision unites all Presbyterians
By accepting the Matthew 25 invitation, you can help our denomination become a more relevant presence in the world. We recognize Christ’s urgent call to be a church of action, where God’s love, justice and mercy shine forth and are contagious. And we rejoice how our re-energized faith can unite all Presbyterians for a common and holy purpose: our common identity to do mission.

Signs of Burnout in Your Volunteers
Volunteers are the backbone of a church’s ministry. Yes, paid staff and pastors often provide much of the leadership and direction in a church, but successful ministry often depends on volunteers—prepared and equipped by the leaders—doing the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:11-14).

And for your ministry to continue successfully over time, you have to manage those volunteers well. One common struggle church leaders and pastors have is relying too much on specific volunteers—so much so that the volunteers burn out and quit serving.

Knowing the signs of volunteer burnout can help you better equip and serve your current volunteers and recruit new ones. Learn more

Presbyterian Foundation is Offering Free Webinars - Money Conversations in the Church
T he Presbyterian Foundation is offering a series of five webinars in 2019 on engaging church givers in stewardship and money-related conversations. Pastors, business administrators, stewardship chairs, treasurers, session clerks, and others involved in the financial life of the church are invited to register. The workshops are free. You can sign up for the whole series, or just topics that interest you the most.
Rob Hagan and Karl Mattison will present the webinars. Rob is a Ministry Relations Officer for the Presbyterian Foundation. Karl serves the Foundation as Vice President of Planned Giving. Rob and Karl have teamed up many times to educate church leaders on financial topics. They are excited to offer webinar participants tools for building generous, vital communities of faithful givers who want their resources to change people’s lives for Jesus Christ.
Topics in the webinar series are:
On Calling a Pastor
On Calling a Pastor , is a resource for pastor nominating committees and mid councils is now available. Each section of the manual builds upon the next to walk users through the call process highlighting the partners in the call process, polity, using the CLC system, and emphasizing the need for spiritual discernment. The resource is in PDF format. It may be read online or downloaded and printed. "On Calling a Pastor" includes videos, links to online resources, case studies, and "teach the teacher" Power Points for those training pastor nominating committees. Download the full handbook or individual chapters. You may also watch supplemental videos. To access the video links from within the PDFs, click on the icons found in the various chapters.

The Church Leadership Connection staff is here to serve you. If you need any assistance or have questions, contact them by phone at 888-728-7228, ext. 8550, or by email at clcstaff@pcusa.org .
Employment Opportunities Within and Around the Presbytery of NYC
Congregational Searches
The following congregations in our presbytery are currently engaged in active searches:

  • Fort Washington Heights Presbyterian Church - Solo Pastor, Part-time 
  • St. Augustine Presbyterian Church - Solo Pastor, Part-time
More information on these positions can be found on the PC (USA)'s Church Leadership Connections (CLC) website.  Click here for CLC's website .

Temporary Congregational Searches
  • First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills - Interim Pastor, Full Time. Learn more
Stay Connected to the Presbytery of NYC
Help your congregation's members stay connected with the latest news and opportunities in and around the presbytery by subscribing to Happenings In & Around the Presbytery, the Presbytery's electronic newsletter. Keep members updated and apprised of Presbyterian events, resources, grants, and opportunities.  Have members fill out the contact information form so that their email addresses can be added to our subscribers list.  Click here  for the Contact Information Form. Once completed return the form to the presbytery office or email it to Yzette Swavy-Lipton .
Need an address or phone number for a church or a member of the NYC Presbytery? No need to call the office to get that information. You only need to log into the Presbytery ACS Database System and viola, the information is right at your fingertips.

If we have your contact information in our database you only need to create an account within the ACS System. If we do not have your contact information  click here  for the Contact Information Form. Once completed return the form to the presbytery office or email it to Yzette Swavy-Lipton so that you can be added to the database.

The ACS Member login Instructions will walk you through the process of creating an account. Once you have setup an account there is an option to download ACS's Church Life App for your mobile phone (iPhone and Android).