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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
Look who came!
T his past Thursday 80 people from more than 40 congregations gathered in the Rutgers Presbyterian Church to hear how God is stirring the church to re-form for the 21 st century. We began with song and prayer. Rev. Dr. Kathryn Threadgill introduced herself and the challenges the church faces and can face. She is the PCUSA’s Office of Theology, Formation, and Evangelism’s face, voice and leader encouraging presbyteries across the nation to invite their congregations into intentional and prayerful relationships with one another and congregational practices that can help pastors and congregations undertake honest assessments and revitalizing action. Starting with a reflection on what we heard in the reading of Isaiah 43, we shared what it inspired in us and what struggles we carry in seeking to revitalize the communities of faith from which we come. We talked about and walked through seven marks of vitality in congregations. Then we looked at what congregations would be called to prepare for in 2019 and begin doing over two years in 2020 and 2021: choosing to be engaged in this initiative, pastors forming cohorts groups that meet monthly, congregational and presbytery conversations about seven marks of vitality, undertaking an honest congregational assessment, discerning revitalizing actions, and living into those actions. We were reminded her office would like to know by April what congregations would be willing to begin in 2020, in prayerful discernment with God and other congregations in this presbytery, to re-form and revitalize how they can live more fully into faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ over a two-year period. National staff and facilitators within our presbytery provide support.

PAUSE… So soon to decide? For two years?

I remember the call of the first disciples who immediately dropped their nets, left their father in the boat, when Jesus said, “Come and follow me.” With a cohort of twelve Jesus called from different backgrounds, they spent the next three years walking together with Jesus. He taught them many things. They watched his interactions with others. He sent them on missions to proclaim the gospel and cast out demons. They argued among themselves about who was the greatest. Yet, they all fled when he was arrested and lead away to be crucified. They were trying to survive. Jesus wanted them to thrive. Death could not defeat everything he had told them. The living Christ appeared among them; then was gone. With all that they had seen and heard, with the power and counsel of the Holy Spirit within them, this one cohort of disciples began to teach and share and practice with others everything they had learned and experienced with Jesus. All this, from just three years walking with Jesus. Re-formed. Transformed.

Pastors and Congregations: you are invited to take 2 years to deepen relationships with God and with each other, praying for and working through what can revitalize you and congregations you and your leaders are called to lead into faithfulness to Jesus Christ—and revitalize this presbytery. Divisions and distrust will have to be acknowledged, reconciled, so honest sharing, trust and love for each other can be renewed by power of the Holy Spirit. Making honest assessments of your congregations can lead to discerning where God is leading the congregation to be more vital in its congregational health, caring relationships, Spirit-inspired worship, empowering leadership, outward focus, authentic evangelism, and lifelong formation as Jesus’ disciples living faithful to the gospel he proclaimed. I join you in prayer.

God needs ambassadors of the Gospel in New York City and all the places within and beyond our City that our members’ lives and service takes them. We need vital communities of faith that can attract, form, and support those who want to be such faithful ambassadors. More than 40 congregations showed up! I want to invite you to be, and to build those vital and faithful communities together with each other. To say when God asks, “Whom shall I send?”, together we respond, “Here we are. Send us.” 

Robert Foltz-Morrison
From the Stated Clerk
The Season of Statistic is Upon Us
Churches will have access to the statistical report via the online portal .  

If you need your User ID and /or Password , please send an email to the Stated Clerk Office; sc@presbynyc.org .   The Last day the statistics entry option will be available to churches is Thursday, February 14, 2019.  Last day the statistic entry option will be available for Presbyteries is Friday, March 1, 2019.

PLEASE NOTE: The Session needs to approve the report of the Clerk of Session before entry into the system. The Session Statistical report is mandated by the General Assembly and Book of Order.
2019 Presbytery Meeting Dates and Material Deadlines
Stated Meeting
Saturday, March 2, 2019
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Material Due (by 5:00 PM)
Friday, February 15, 2019
Friday, May 17, 2019
Friday, September 13, 2019
Friday, November 15, 2019
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. Following is a list of some of the upcoming events and activities. Click here to check out all that is happening and the details! Share this information widely. Hope to see you at one or more events.

But first... a BIG THANK YOU!
Held at Eastchester Presbyterian Church, the offering from our Presbytery’s celebration totaled $1,000.00, that went to the Bronx Freedom Fund to support their revolving fund to pay bail for people accused of misdemeanors. Thanks to all who contributed!

Every day people in New York City and state await trial in jail because they cannot afford bail. Efforts to end cash bail are underway. Here are some resources for more information and action:
Policy Brief: Bail Reform in New York - #FREEnewyork campaign of JustLeadershipUSA

The Micah Faith Table, The Interfaith Center of New York, Union Theological Seminary, The New Sanctuary Coalition, the New York State Council of Churches, and Rural & Migrant Ministry invite New York State faith leaders to sign on to a letter advocating for passage of two important New York State immigration bills ensuring new protections for immigrant New Yorkers

Prison & Faith: Dialogue on Global Criminal Justice and Prison Reform
Friday, February 15
3:00 - 4:30 PM
Church Center for the United Nations Share the flyer

February 23 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church
The Justice Ministries Committee will provide workshops on Ministry related to Criminal Justice and Staying Alive for the Long Haul. Share the brochure . Register now .

This day-long event begins with spiritual grounding, followed by basic advocacy training, workshops, and visits to the offices of our elected officials.  Learn more and register now . Contact Mark Koenig for more information and if you are interested in carpooling.

ADVOCACY TRAINING WEEKEND – April 5-9 in Washington, DC
Focused on “Troubling the Water for the Healing of the World”, the 2019 Advocacy Training weekend includes a Presbyterian Compassion, Peace, and Justice Training Day on Friday, April 5 and Ecumenical Advocacy Days starting in the evening of Friday, April 5 and continuing through Capitol Hill visits on Monday, April 8. Register for Ecumenical Advocacy Days ; register for the Presbyterian Training Day . The Justice Ministries Committee has a limited number of scholarships available for first-time attendees. Contact Mark Koenig for more information.

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 New York City Presbytery's Young Adult Volunteer
Hello! My name is Kori Robbins, and I am one of the Young Adult Volunteers (YAV) for 2018-2019. I am working with the Presbytery to document the mission work local churches are doing, both international and domestic. I will be reaching out to people individually, but if you would like to connect with me, please email me at nycpresbyyav@gmail.com or by phone at 406-560-5548.
Leadership Development Day - Saturday, February 23, 2019
T he Committee on Congregational Ministry and Nurture (CM&N) invites all presbyters to join us for Leadership Day on Saturday, February 23, 2019, 8am-3pm at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church , 7 West 55th St.  Our workshops will cover a range of topics including Music and Worship, Stewardship, Pastoral Care, Polity and Justice Ministries. Past, present and future Elders, Deacons, and Lay Leaders are encouraged to attend.

Leadership Day will close with worship and communion.
We hope to see you there!
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 .
Free Presbyterian (Blue) Hymnals Available
T he Presbytery Office and Second Presbyterian Church (both in Manhattan) have at least 120 copies of the 1990 (Blue) “Presbyterian Hymnal: Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Songs” free for any congregation that would like them or run off copies from them for worship and other places where songs are sung. Contact Shirley Fleming (Presbytery Office 212-870-2221 sfleming@presbynyc.org ) or Nancy Hughes (Second Church 212-749-1700 nhughescsw@aol.com ).
Rutgers Presbyterian Church Opens It's Doors - Not Just on Sundays
I n March 2016, Mayada Anjari and her family arrived in the U.S., welcomed by members of the Rutgers Presbyterian Church’s New Americans Committee on the Upper West Side. The group had sponsored the Syrian refugees and brought the family to their Jersey City apartment where food, clothing and furniture awaited. Six months later, Mayada expressed her gratitude with a home-cooked meal for the volunteers in her apartment. West Side Rag’s Lisa Kava reports that they were so impressed with her cooking, “We thought to organize some fundraisers at the church where Mayada could cook,” said committee chair Nancy Muirhead.
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. 
March 1: Final Date to Apply to Serve at an International YAV Site
I n December, a group of 16 Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) alums joined Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and the Presbiterio de San Juan for a week of recovery efforts and reflection in Puerto Rico. Learn more and apply for a year of service as a YAV. Note: March 1 is the final date to apply to serve at international YAV sites in 2019–20.
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:
Free Video: Engaging Young Adults
E ngaging young adults in church, historically a challenge, is even more difficult today. What should your congregation do? And not do? This brief video shares clues from a Faith Communities Today report on improving ministry with younger people.

Next Church 2019 Gathering
Stories of Dissonance, Sacrifice, and Liberation
Seattle First Presbyterian Church & Seattle Presbytery
Seattle, WA
March 11-13, 2019

Workshops/Events offered include
  • People of Color Gathering
  • Breakfast with Jennifer Harvey, author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in Racially Unjust America
  • NEXT Church Arts Collective
  • Reception celebrating Seminarians

Registration is required for some events as space is limited. Learn more and register
PC(USA) Store's Resources - Everything You Need for Lent 2019
T here are many ways to embrace the Lenten season. Many of us will focus our attention to studying with others , examining the themes of Lent and engaging in sometimes-difficult, but always-illuminating discussions. We might choose to look closely at the Lord's Prayer , deepen our understanding of forgiveness , or ask ourselves, as Walter Brueggemann does, when is it necessary to speak out .

Lent is also a time of quiet reflection , which can be done alone or as a shared experience with a group. We are often selective in who we choose to guide us through devotional times, and beloved authors like Dietrich Bonhoeffer , Luke Powery , Heidi Haverkamp , Walter Brueggemann , and Don McKim are perfect leaders for such a journey.
50 Ways to Increase Worship Attendance
W orship attendance is vital to the mission of the church. Learn practical strategies to help you invite new people to attend worship; improve the attendance of current members; make your church visible and attractive; welcome worship guests warmly; and make worship accessible to newcomers. Learn more...
Commission on Ministry Meeting Dates and Material Deadlines
All material for COM's consideration must be emailed to the commission at com@presbynyc.org
COM Meeting Dates
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
COM Material Due Dates
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
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 .

Employment Opportunities
  • First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills, Custodian - 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).