“I wish it need not have happened in my time, said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – J.R.R. Tolkien The Fellowship of the Ring

In the name of Jesus Christ, I offer you greetings, love and support from your Hudson River Presbytery Council. We understand where you are, because we are also moving within this strange new world. It is our hope that the safety and health of your neighbors and your members is uppermost in your minds. We are all here to help as we are able.

              If you are a pastor (TE, CRE) serving in a pulpit, you will be receiving communication regularly from HRP regarding resources and support. During the next few days, you will be getting a call from a leader in the presbytery asking how you are and what you need. Please begin to think about ways we might be of service to you.

              Today your HRP Council voted to immediately hire a “livestream consultant”. The Rev. Casey Carbone is now available to you at no cost to your congregation for consultation around equipment needs, ZOOM, Facebook streaming, free conference call and other modes of communicating to your members and others. No question is too big or too small. Casey is well-versed in this area and will provide you with excellent resourcing for your specific context. 

Call or Text (862) 354-1532 OR EMAIL AT pastorcaseycarbone@gmail.com

              Our representative from the Presbyterian Foundation, Ellie Johns-Kelley has posted an excellent webinar around online giving. The link is below. The Foundation will provide this service for your congregation. Please contact her directly at ellie.johns-kelley@presbyterianfoundation.org  or call Ellie at (412) 694-3226. She would be happy to speak with any of you individually.

              The Board of Pensions reminds you that you can reach out to your Board Representative, Carrie Mitchell at 215-587-7239 with any questions you might have. Please know that immediate grants for pastoral emergencies are available at this link:  https://www.pensions.org/your-path-to-wholeness/assistance-program/receiving-assistance/emergency-assistance-grants

We understand that finances, particularly as time goes on, may be a concern for your congregation. Feel free to reach out to me privately for discussions, however, know that your Council is working on resources that may be available to you.

              The Presbytery staff is here to serve you. We are a phone call, email or text away. No problem, worry, concern or celebration is too small. Our contact information is available on the HRP website. For the foreseeable future, the Council will be meeting on a weekly basis to meet the needs of HRP congregations. We will begin to form regularly scheduled ZOOM meetings with you and your colleagues to bring us all together for prayer, discussion and sharing.

              Friends, I chose this quote from Tolkien to remind you that we will all be making choices as to what to do with this time of transition. You may wish it were not so, yet God has given us the opportunity, the gifts, the resources and most importantly, each other to journey into the unknown together, to minister in new and imaginative ways, to reach out in our communities and congregations. We are with you.

May you know the peace of God’s presence in your life – and we will “talk” soon.

Deborah Milcarek (Deb)
General Presbyter