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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.
From the Executive Presbyter

I love the Lord, because the Lord has heard my voice and my supplications. 
Because the Lord has listened to me, therefore I will call on the Lord as long as I live . Psalm 116.1-2

I give thanks to God for answering the prayers of many of us who long for vitality in the communities of faith of which we are part, that support us, that we serve. The Presbyterian Mission Agency also listened and set Kathryn Threadgill and Ray Jones to address these prayers. They prayed too. PMA funds were set aside, a team created, and an initiative to support presbyteries who want to see congregations alive with spirit-inspired worship. lifelong spiritual formation, engagement in their communities, authentic evangelism, empowering servant leadership in the whole church, and exemplifying caring relationships and congregational health.

General Cabinet voted for us to become part. Kathryn came and spoke to us. Funding was applied for and granted.  Thirty-one congregations  said they want to become part of this presbytery-wide initiative. Prayers of thanksgiving and supplications continue to be raised by many within and beyond our presbytery. We are on the cusp of launching.

Five of our pastors will serve as Facilitators to cohorts of congregational leaders in participating congregations from the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens: Phil Tom, Grace Bowen, Patrick O’Connor, Krystin Granberg, and Clive Neil. All have been through training this past week and will facilitate this Vital Congregations Initiative (VCI) over the next two years.

The Facilitators and I are inviting Ruling Elders of VCI congregations and those still interested in participatng to be oriented to the schedule, the tools, the Facilitators, the cohort groups, have lunch and fellowship together, and answer any other questions you may have about this two-year initiative that the Presbytery of New York City will launch in January 2020. Some preliminary meetings with Facilitators will take place this fall.

Why be engaged?  This is a crucial time to awaken to what the Spirit is saying to God’s people. God is calling the church to give witness to what God is doing in our lives and our neighborhoods today. Many churches are in decline and younger generations see no relation between what we say and what we do and choose not to be part. Yet, among us people are showing up where justice and mercy is called for, building bridges of love and acceptance instead of hatred and rejection. Congregations are acting upon what they hear the Spirit saying in Scripture for such a time as these in which we live. Vital Congregations is an  initiative,  not a program or guaranteed outcome. It calls us to re-turn attention to God, follow the example of Jesus Christ, and receive the courage and counsel of the Holy Spirit. We do it not alone; congregational leaders will meet monthly in cohort groups for fellowship, prayer, conversation, and discernment  together .

You will meet our Facilitators at the Presbytery meeting September 28th at Holmes. But plan to participate October 8 th . More details on location will follow.

Moderator Chris Shelton reminded us recently that Anne Lamott said the three essential prayers were summed up in these three words:  Help. Thanks. Wow . That’s how I feel about the new things the Spirit is stirring up among us. We asked God for help. God has responded in many ways. So I say both thanks and wow—watch what the Spirit of God will do.

Rev. Robert Foltz-Morriso
From the Presbytery Office - Staff Vacations
P resbytery staff need vacation and rest also! Please be patient with us as James Tse, Yzette Swavy-Lipton, Warren McNeill, and Bob Foltz-Morrison (and consultants Mark Koenig and Georgiette Morgan Thomas) will be taking time off during different weeks in the month of August. At least one staff member will be in the office each week. Shirley Fleming remains on medical leave.
The Presbytery Office Goes Virtual - On Fridays!
Friends, effective immediately, on Fridays during the summer months (June, July & August) the presbytery staff will work virtually. This means that the physical office will be closed. The staff will have virtual access their phones and email and will be able to respond to both your calls and your emails. Should you find the need to meet with a staff member on a Friday during this time you are asked to reach out to that staff member to make arrangements for them to come in to the office.

Yzette Swavy-Lipton
Executive Administrator/Office Manager
From the Justice Ministry Committee (formally known as the Committee on Witness to Society and the World (CWSW) ) and the Advocate for Justice Ministries
B ecoming a Matthew 25 Church
The Presbytery of New York City recently hosted the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, President and Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. She shared the vision for a Matthew 25 church with us. Matthew 25 provides a vision, rooted in Scripture and General Assembly policy that will:
  • Connect and unite the PC(USA), creating a spark that energizes and joins us in our common mission together
  • Celebrate and call forth churches that actively engage the world
  • Clarify our understanding as Presbyterian Christians that we are “saved to serve”

Congregations become Matthew 25 congregations by committing to follow Jesus in discipleship that embraces one or more of these three focuses:
  • Building Congregational Vitality
  • Dismantling Structural Racism
  • Eradicating Systemic Poverty

“We already do that,” you may say. Many congregations in the Presbytery of New York City have embraced such ministry. Thirty-one of our congregations are part of the Vital Congregation Initiatives. Others work daily to address the causes and effects of structural racism and systemic poverty. The Matthew 25 vision then serves to strengthen our witness to Christ as we make connections in the presbytery and the larger church, clarify our understanding of who we are and what we are called to do, and challenge ourselves to grow in discipleship.

Contact Mark Koenig if you have questions at mkoenig@presbynyc.org .
Presbyterian Peace Felowship Takes Action to Prevent Gun Violence
Count Me In! Webinar
To take action with my congregation to prevent gun violence
Tuesday August 13 -- 12:00 p.m. EST

Forward this link to invite others!

This webinar is intended for people of faith who want to engage their congregation in conversations and action to prevent gun violence. Rev. Deanna Hollas, Gun Violence Prevention Ministries Coordinator will share examples of faith communities who are taking these steps together and some ideas about how to do this in your community. She will orient people to the GVP Congregational Toolkit as one resource for you in this work. Participants will be invited to ask questions and to participate in a follow-up meeting in a month to share how this is going in your community and support each other.

Lord, grant to our church members, both those of us who own guns and those of us who do not, a unity of purpose to change the national debate on gun violence. Show us the path (from a prayer written for the Count Me In! campaign)
Ceasefire Walk Becomes Part of Big Tent Action
Nearly 200 walk in downtown Baltimore as part of the Baltimore Ceasefire Weekend to draw attention to gun violence.  Photo by Rich Copley.

A sea of blue made its way along the sidewalks of downtown Baltimore on Friday evening. Approximately 200 Presbyterians attending Big Tent joined local advocates to speak out against gun violence. The group, dressed in blue Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) T-shirts, marched as part of the quarterly Baltimore Ceasefire Weekend, a grassroots effort to draw attention to the growing problem.
Five local Presbyterian churches organized the walk, covering several areas where people have died in gun violence over the past few years. Participants stopped at three locations for prayer along the one-hour route. During the time, they would hear about a few of the individuals who had died.
News from the Board of Pensions - Grants for College Freshmen
Transition-to-College Assistance Grants Available for Parents of College Freshmen
I f you’re sending a child off to college this fall, assistance from the Board of Pensions may help reduce the cost of one-time, transitional expenses.

Even with student loans and scholarships to help pay for college, the list of additional expenses can be long — especially for parents of freshmen, who must purchase items like computers and dorm room furnishings. That’s why the Board of Pensions is pleased to offer Transition-to-College Assistance Grants to eligible members who have a child entering their freshman year at an accredited college or university.
What is Healthy?
Ministry Beyond Church Walls: An Outward Focus Shows Christ’s Love
T he church is a force for redemption, bringing about Christ’s ministry out and about, not simply within its own building.
This challenges some of the ways we end up living out the faith. For instance, some churches want their minister and/or ministerial staff to focus all of their time on caring for the members of that congregation. The members understand their pastor’s primary task to be pastoral care for those ailing and the youth minister’s task to make sure the kids grow up in the faith. Whatever outreach there might be to those outside of the church is intended so that Sunday school classrooms and offering plates can be full again.

But Jesus didn’t appoint the 70 to stay put in their place of worship. Neither did he send them ahead to the towns so that newcomers would join their worshiping community. Jesus’ challenge was — and still is — to connect with folks on their own terms. He didn’t see people as potential ways to sustain church communities. Learn more.
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship's 75th Birthday Celebration
Songs In The Key of Peace
T he First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills is pleased to announce it will host “Songs in the Key of Peace,” a “concert in the musical colors of jazz, folk and more” on Sunday August 11 th starting at 4 p.m. The concert is a celebration for the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship in honor of its 75 th birthday.

In addition to music from the church’s talented corps of players and singers, the event will also include a reception with appetizers, sweets, and a slice of birthday cake for all. Rev. Emily Brewer, Executive Director of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, will bring greetings from the organization.

First Presbyterian Church is located at 70-35 112 th St. in Forest Hills, NY. Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased either at the door or online at www.presbypeacefellowship.org/concert .

For additional information, contact the church at 718-268-4036, Mission Committee chair at betwink13@optonline.net , or Jan Orr-Harter at PPF at janoh4@aol.com at 817-291-3952.
Interim Ministry Training Opportunities
T he Interim Ministry Network’s (IMN) core curriculum is Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry (FTM), consisting of two onsite workshops and a small group Fieldwork experience. The first workshop is Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry: The Work of the Leader (FTML). The second workshop, Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry: The Work of the Congregation (FTMC) builds on the information and experiences of FTML. The curriculum is designed for experiential learning throughout. Participants read content prior to class so that they are able to use the information to understand specific transition situations as found in sacred stories or in congregational case studies. Connections and conversation are a vital part of the IMN FTM training.
What's Your Plan for Retirement from Ministry or Church Work?
More than 10,000 people become eligible for retirement every day. Many of them are pastors or work in ministry.

But retirement shouldn't mean the end of someone's ministry, just the beginning of a new one.

Join a webinar on the  The Most Powerful Retirement Path for Pastors & Church Staff on Thursday, August 15, at 3:00 PM, Eastern. This is a FREE webinar which you can attend from wherever you are on any internet-connected device. In this 45-minute webinar, and you will be walked you through proven ways that you can continue ministering even in retirement.
PMA Leaders to Speak at Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network National Conference - Scholarships are Still Available!
T here’s still time to register for and receive scholarships for the  Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network national conference , set for Oct. 15-18 in Louisville, Ky.
Set for the  Laws Lodge Conference Center  at  Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary , the conference features two keynote speakers from the Presbyterian Mission Agency. On Wednesday, Oct. 16 , PMA President and Executive Director the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett will share the  Matthew 25  vision and invitation for PC(USA) churches to focus on three priorities: building congregation vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty.

The Presbytery extends its joy and praises to:
  • The safe return of New York City Presbytery's delegation to Big Tent and to the members members of the presbytery who have returned from the Vital Congregations Initiative Facilitator's Training.
The Presbytery extends its prayers to:

  • The Presbytery's Administrative Assistant, Shirley Fleming as she continues to recover from knee replacement surgery.
  • Rev. Dr. Victor Aloyo Jr., mother, Esperanza Aloyo (92), recently underwent successful heart surgery and has now returned home.
  • Continued prayers for both Rev. Alice Hermanus-Rampengan (Indonesian Presbyterian Church) and Elder Marvela G. Hermanus as Marvela continues to provide care for her mother.
Training for Social Justice Advocates at Union Theological Seminary
U nion Theological Seminary continues their efforts to train social justice advocates, They are pleased to accept applications for their sixth cohort of the Encore Transition Program

Participants aged 55 and older will spend four months engaged in a bi-weekly process of discernment about their “encore” – or “second” – stage of life. In addition to discussions about aging, transition, creativity, and spirituality, the program provides participants with the opportunity for networking, mentoring, and field observation in areas of personal interest.

2019 Presbytery Meeting Dates and Material Deadlines
Stated Meeting
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Material Due (by 5:00 PM)
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
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:

  • First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills - Interim Pastor, Full-time
  • First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York - Pastor, Full-time
  • 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
  • North (Manhattan) Presbyterian Church - Temporary Pulpit Supply, Part Time, Learn more
  • El Buen Pastor Presbyterian Church - Temporary Pulpit Supply, Part Time, Click here to apply
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).