Photo taken by the Hubble Telescope in 2017.  Imagine following a star...
Hudson Happenings
H u d s o n  R i v e r  P r e s b y t e r y
In This Issue
December 12, 2019
Presbytery News & Events
Has Your Congregation Made its Shared Mission and Ministry Pledge for 2020?
By now all churches will have received a letter from HRP General Presbyter Deborah Milcarek encouraging you to make your congregation's Shared Mission and Ministry Pledge for 2020.

Read and share the updated Stewardship Sheet that illustrates how your congregation's Shared Mission and Ministry pledge and Per Capita giving are used by the presbytery to equip and connect the presbytery's congregations and leaders in God's service.

This year, for the first time, you can make your Shared Ministry and Mission Pledge online.  Questions?  Contact Emily Monk, HRP's financial administrator, at or 914-941-2100.
Groundbreaking for Dayspring Commons
Charles Barton, Betsy Bush, and John Miller, three of the original Good Shepherd Administrative Commission members (along with Bruce Baker and Lisa Niven) attended the groundbreaking ceremony on December 11 for the Dayspring Campus project of Westhab, Inc.

The Campus includes the construction of Dayspring Commons, a 63-unit, brand-new, high-quality affordable and supportive rental building designed with families in mind, as well as the Dayspring Community Center.

The Dayspring Campus project will bring the largest investment in a generation to Nodine Hill in Yonkers, one of Westchester's most economically challenged neighborhoods. 

This all started with Hudson River Presbytery approving the sale of the Good Shepherd property to Westhab, Inc. for $1.

Hudson River Presbytery Transfers Title of Stony Point Church to Sweetwater Cultural Center
It was upon the communion table where, through God's spirit, ordinary means are transformed for extraordinary ends, that on November 20, 2019, the Presbytery of Hudson River transferred the title of the former Stony Point Church and all its property, to the newly created Sweetwater Cultural Center "to promote the education, health and welfare of indigenous or native peoples and to preserve their cultures and ceremonial practices locally, regionally, and around the western hemisphere."

"This gift is a pledge of partnership with our Native American neighbors that we will walk into God's future together," said Deborah Milcarek, General Presbyter of the Presbytery of Hudson River.

"This gift has the potential to change everything," said Chief Dwaine Perry of the Ramapough-Lenape Nation whose land encompasses parts of New Jersey as well as New York, where the Hudson River Presbytery is located and Co-Chair of Sweetwater Cultural Center. "We are breaking new ground when Christians take real action to make amends for the harm that has been done to Native American and Indigenous people. There are no words of wonder that can express the gratitude which I feel toward the Presbytery; knowing this gift has come through a profundity of thought, giving birth to a global realization of humanity."  Read the full story.
Advent and Eschatology...
The Skinny!

So I know you were all wondering about what was discussed during the Advent and Eschatology open space convo during Presbytery on December 3rd.  The photo is enough to get you intrigued, but the notes are even better!  Take a look.  Be inspired.  Remember, open space means if you're interested in a topic that you'd like to discuss...propose it!  And discuss it with those who are interested and willing!  See what great stuff happens!  Look for all the open space notes soon on the meetings page of  And yes, that's a not-so-subtle reminder to those of you who are not the Advent or HRPGreen groups, to send me you notes!  :)
Healthy and Vital Congregations
Can You Say Sabbatical?
Looking for a place to study and reflect?  Perhaps you may wish to explore the Scholar's Retreat offered by the Issachar Foundation.

The fully furnished 1,650 square foot cottage in West Michigan offers a quiet, comfortable environment for study and writing and is large enough to accommodate a small family. It includes all linens and towels, as well as a laundry machine and dryer. The workspace includes a desk, bookshelf, printer and paper, and a comfortable task chair.

The cottage is located just a few hundred feet from the scenic shoreline of Lake Michigan and is a fifteen-minute drive from downtown Holland, Michigan. Holland's picturesque downtown, with coffee shops, restaurants, excellent public and private schools, libraries and Hope College, provides opportunities for enjoyable leisure activities as well as opportunities to connect with the local community.
Why Not Give the Gift of Justice this Holiday Season?
Is your congregation offering alternative giving opportunities for Christmas?  Or perhaps you're searching for a gift that truly matters this Christmas?  Wondering what would be a good option for your Jewish friends?  Wanting to give a co-worker who cares about justice a connection to a movement that's making structural change for human rights advances?   
When you make a  donation to the Fair Food Program in honor of someone, your gift goes to protect and advance farmworkers' human rights. And the Program has beautiful holiday cards you can customize and print, or send to someone over email.  
The PC(USA) is a longstanding partner with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers who designed this new model of Worker-driven Social Responsibility and whose Fair Food Program is guaranteeing the rights of tens of thousands of farmworkers in seven states. 

Presbyterian Giving Catalogue
"If you have a cause that is close to your heart, you can find a way to help in the Giving Catalogue," offers PC(USA).  Explore a wide variety of gifts that provide real and positive impact around the world including aid for refugees, access to clean water and more.  Check it out.
Have Yourself a Green Christmas,
HRPGreen, the environmental partnership of Hudson River Presbytery, offered a conversation at the December 3rd Presbytery called, "Have Yourself a Green Christmas: Tips for Reducing Impact."

In case you missed it, here are the ideas with photos and links!  Just in time!
Farm the Land, Grow the Spirit: A Multifaith Peace, Justice and Earthcare Program for Young Adults, 19-29
June 29 - August 7, 2020
Stony Point Center's "Farm the Land, Grow the Spirit" Summer Institute is a free annual program that gives young adults the opportunity to practice living and working together in peace across their religious differences, in what Dr. King describes as a world house.  The Farm the Land, Grow the Spirit Summer Institute experience consists of three foundational pillars: intentional community living; farming, land, & faith; and intentional learning community to grow the spirit. Learn more.  Applications will be accepted until all program positions are filled. Only completed applications, including one letter of reference, will be considered. Please address questions to
A Winter Welcome from Stony Point Center!
Winter is one of the best times to book a retreat, event, or conference at Stony Point Center! If you are a new group or a group that hasn't booked Stony Point Center since 2017, we have a winter promotion for you. We are taking 20% off your group's retreat, training or conference if your event takes place December or any month up until March 31, 2020. This promotion can be used for groups with 20 or more individuals and for weekend or weekday stays. Simply contact our Group Sales Manager, Mary Romano, at 845-786-5674 ext. 101 or and specify which promo code you will use for your booking. New groups are invited to ask for promo code #welcomerate and groups who haven't been here since 2017, ask for promo code #returnrate.
Regional and National Events
Creative Writing as Spiritual Practice, Jan. 26-28
Exploring the Power of Words to Open Us Up to the Presence of God in Our Stories, Our Lives, and Our World is the theme of this writing workshop led by HRP's own Rev. Dr. Deborah Bronkema at Cedarkirk Retreat Center outside of Tampa, FL.

Read more about the workshop which welcomes writers of all stages and ages.

The cost is $215 and includes all meals (Sunday dinner through Tuesday lunch), snacks, materials, and linens.  Each participant will enjoy a private room with shared hallway restrooms.  Click here to register.
PC(USA) Peacemaking Seminar Trip to Philipines Hong Kong
Root Causes and Current Challenges of Forced Migration and Labor Trafficking, May 4-15, 2020 Since 1974, the Philippine government systematized its labor export program, in response to increasing unemployment and underemployment and social unrest...Almost 7000 workers per day, leave the Philippines to work in land-based and sea-based jobs. The labor force of Hong Kong domestic workers consists mostly of Indonesian and Filipina women. Learn more. Applications are due by February 1, 2020. After that date, applications will be considered as space remains available.

Too tiny?  Don't worry, click here for a full page flyer that you can enlarge to read about this great opportunity for youth June 27-July 1 at Holmes.
Resources for Education, Liturgy & More!
Christmas Joy Offering and resources
The offering supports the assistance program of the Board of Pensions that helps church workers and families and to Presbyterian schools and colleges equipping communities of color.  Learn more about the Christmas Joy Offering
The Offering distributes gifts equally to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and to Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color. The Assistance Program provides critical financial support to church workers and their families. Presbyterian-related schools and colleges provide education and leadership development while nurturing racial and ethnic heritage. 
Tired of all the Clatter of Hackneyed Christmas Music?
From Rick Ufford-Chase
This year, Warren Cooper has released a Christmas Album he calls " A Controversially Christmastime Compilation" song about the environment - really - that's what he did. I'm listening to it as I write this letter and I can't stop moving. I love that this amazing jazz vocalist, pianist and producer is using his remarkable talent to take on the things that actually matter most in the world right now. You can find it on Spotify, Itunes and Amazon as well.  This is what Christmas music should be!
PC(USA) Advent Resources
"Advent" means "coming" or "arrival." During the season of Advent, we celebrate Christ's coming into the world and watch with expectant hope for his coming again.  Access PC(USA) Advent Liturgical and Devotional Resources
In its historical origins, the season of Advent was patterned after the season of Lent, a six-week period of penitence and preparation for Easter. Similarly, the four weeks of Advent present an opportunity for communal discernment and personal examination, as the church prepares to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord and looks with hope for Christ's return.   
From Advent wreath lighting prayers to hymn and scripture commentary, explore how PC(USA) Advent resources can bring the hope and justice of Advent into your church's life together.
Seeking and Finding
Free Piano and/or Organ for Interested Congregation
A member of Pine Bush Presbyterian Church has a Story & Clark piano and a Wurlitzer Omni 1000 organ he would like to donate to any church who may need one. If your congregation is interested, could you please contact Pine Bush's Pastor, Russ Duncan, at or call 845-703-0723.
Could Your Choir Use 960 Anthems?!
The Presbyterian Church of New Rochelle seeks a loving home for some 960 octavos (anthems) which have copyright/publishing dates ranging from the early 1900s through the 1980s.  Most are SATB, a few are SSAA and fewer still are SAB.  The anthems have been card-catalogued and are contained in five (5) standard 15" x 52" file cabinets (shown; card catalogs are two (2) separate metal boxes atop the cabinets). 
We are hoping that some church will be able to make use of these octavos, many of which are composed by the great composers (Beethoven, Holst, Mozart, Vaughn-Williams, etc.).  Even the comparatively quotidian among them, composed by now-forgotten personages, offer a glimpse into well-composed, classic church music displaying sound voice-leading, before the era of pop/rock began to influence sacred short anthems sung at regular church services, and the morphing into the "Christian Contemporary" genre began.  These anthems are not relics, but more precious antiques: although some of the texts and compositional settings are clearly dated and perhaps irrelevant to our own modern worship idioms, most are timeless and would provide joy to a choir who wishes to bring their special charms to regular worship services.  Our organist has carefully reviewed every octavo!  We are hoping that they will find their second music library within a new caring church.  
We regret giving up this music, but, due to space considerations can no longer house them.  We would welcome a small donation for them if that might be possible. Please email me, Tamara Cashour, Director of Music at if you are interested!
Hymnals to Give Away!
South Presbyterian Church in Dobbs Ferry has 100+ copies of The Presbyterian Hymnal, 1990 edition with a blue cover, to give away. Most copies are in excellent condition. If you are interested, please contact Anne Day at  
Employment Opportunities
Hudson River Presbytery Seeks PT Treasurer
Hudson River presbytery is searching for a Treasurer to provide oversight for the financial activities, procedures, policies, reports and statements for HRP and its corporation.  The position is a minimum 5 hours per month with compensation. Please email Deborah Milcarek at for information.
Irvington Pres Seeks PT Youth Director
Irvington Presbyterian Church is seeking a Youth Group Director; an energetic and positive person to work with the Director of  Christian Education in organizing activities for the church's youth.  Must be willing to work  toward creating a safe and nurturing environment for our young people where they can develop relationships and learn and practice Christian values.  The position requires an estimated 7 hours per week, $25 an hour, September through May.  If interested, please contact
The Presbytery of Southern New England Seeks PT Communications Manager
The qualified candidate will be interested in serving as part of a team that approaches its role of resourcing the Presbytery with energy, intelligence, imagination and love.  Pay is $25 an hour for a flexible 15 hour week.  Learn more.
Hitchcock Presbyterian Seeks Interim, Paid, PT Youth Leader
Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale, NY is seeking a youth leader for 10 hours a week who will work under the supervision of the Pastor. Interested people should send their resumes to revpetejones@gmail.comLearn more.
FPC of Forest Hills Seeks Full-Time Interim Pastor
The First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills is seeking a full-time interim pastor to exercise pastoral, administrative, and representational leadership, and to serve the needs of the church as identified in the job description, which may be redefined as needed. Full info at: .  
All Souls Port Chester Seeks PT Christian Educator
All Souls Parish/The Presbyterian Church of Port Chester, NY is looking for a part-time Christian Educator to facilitate our Sunday Morning children's program.  The position is four hours a week with 2.5 of those hours being on Sunday morning from 9 -11:30 am.  The salary will be $18-$20 per hour commensurate with experience.  Please send a cover letter and resume to
Share Hudson Happenings
Jajajaja!  Okey dokey, here's the scoop: the best Christmas gift you can give is that of community.  We're informed, just a little bit silly, and justice oriented.  We're Hudson River Presbytery and this is our newsletter.  let your friends know about it!  This playful, informative, splashy communique helps your fabulous friends and congregants plug in to events, connect within and beyond your congregation, and discover useful and inspiring resources for life together!  You can send the link to sign up to your session and your mission team your mother (you know she'd love it!)

Filled with links to local, regional and national news as well as information on fabulous educational and advocacy events, it's your place for interesting news and events in Hudson River Presbytery, Synod of the NE and PC(USA). So why not share it with your friends?!  And with the link below, your friends can also subscribe to other e-updates from the Presbytery! Invite them to go to or comparte este foto mia!