3 September 2020

“There is a sweet spot between the known and the unknown where originality happens; the key is to be able to linger there without panicking.” -Ed Catmull (Pixar)

Are you tired? It is exhausting trying to maintain what we knew while moving toward that which is not clear. We moved together through a crisis. In April, we had no idea that this pandemic would still be an issue. And here we are. Dwelling in a liminal season; neither here nor there. A place that, one might argue, we were in before we even heard the word “Covid”. A liminal time

The Church (Big C) is in transition. The author and consultant Susan Beaumont (How To Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going) would note that transitional times have predictable phases:

1) Separation: A period where an organization loses the identity and status that previously defined it
2)  Liminal Period: A disorienting period of non-structure that opens new possibilities
3) Reorientation: A reforming period where a new identity is adopted and new, more appropriate structures are designed 

The Bible has many examples of liminal times. Noah, Ruth, Abraham, Sarah, Paul, Christ himself. And yet we journey on.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. God will not leave you or forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6

·    We welcome Rev. Jonathan Hoeldtke, who began his service to Monroe Presbyterian Church this week.
·     We will welcome Rev. Carol Howard Merritt to Bedford Presbyterian Church
·    Revs. Cathy and Peter Surgenor are temporarily serving the Union Church of Newburgh
·    Rev. Leslie Mott will begin as Interim Minister to Palisades Presbyterian Church
·    Rev. Heather Fink, Associate Pastor of Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church will be the co-Dean of the Certified Ruling Elder seminar along with CRE Margery Rossi
·    We offer prayers to Rev. Laurie McNeill as she mourns the loss of her father.
·  We offer our prayers to HR Rev. Gail Burger upon the death of her husband Emerson


Join us on Monday September 14 at 3 PM: click here or Thursday September 17 at 10 AM: click here for a Virtual/Hybrid Worship Lab as we share our experiences, what has and has not worked, and what might be useful going forward. This is open to those who still have questions, those who feel they might have hit a plateau, and those who feel comfortable with this form of worship and want to experiment further.
We will gather once again as a presbytery on Tuesday September 22. This will be a ZOOM gathering. Please find registration information here

Remember that ALL are welcome, but you MUST register in advance to attend. 

In preparation for a proposal that the Committee on Ministry will bring forward at the meeting on Interim Pastors becoming Installed Pastors, you are invited to pre-meeting conversations scheduled for Wednesday September 9th ,at 7:30 PM, click here or Thursday September 10th at 10 AM, click here
 View this video from COM Co-Chair Rev. Martin Geachy: https://youtu.be/veU3hlHeXHw

Nominations are open for various Hudson River Presbytery committee positions. Ruling Elders and Teaching Elders desiring to serve the presbytery can indicate their interest here

The Committee on Ministry continues to offer Clergy Connection Zoom gatherings every Wednesday at 10:00. Pastors who are serving in pulpits are invited to share together as we move through these times. Join your colleagues for a life-giving, community building time togetherHere's your link

The Board of Pensions is offering various webinars on the changing benefits options for 2021. This would be an excellent opportunity for pastors as well as Personnel Chair, Finance Chair, Financial Secretary or Business or Office Administrator. Please join one of the following times: 2-3pm, September 15; 10-11am, September 17; 1:30-2:30, September 24 by using the following link:

The life of Rev. Richard Avery was honored by Ghost Ranch on August 30th with an online service. Visit the Ghost Ranch website to view a recording of this lovely tribute. https://www.ghostranch.org/

As we move forward as a denomination and as a presbytery to dismantle systemic racism, join this PC(USA) sponsored webinar by noted author of Good White Racist Kerry Connelly entitled “Holy Imagination + Race: How the Church Can Be a Healing Force in America’s Racial Divide”

Finally, I invite you to listen to this short story about the Freeville Methodist Church in Freeville, NY. Covid-19 will not stop this small congregation from offering praise to God in music.

May you continue to be aware of all of God’s abundant gifts-

Deb Milcarek
General Presbyter