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
March 6, 2020
Presbytery News & Events
Fire at Calvary Presbyterian Church.  No one hurt. 
Donate to help with repairs.

Donations may be made by visiting and clicking on the Donate button on the lower right of the church's website.

From J. Edward Lewis Senior, Pastor
At 12:48 a.m Thursday morning, March 5th, 2020,  I received a call that our Church was in flames. Upon my arrival, there were at least two first companies fighting down flames and smoke in the rear of fellowship hall area. The origin of the fire has has not been determined. Investigators from local and state authorities will there by the break of dawn.

By God's grace, there were no injuries and the major damage was contained in the fellowship hall with first floor by the stage according to the fire chief. Damian DePauw, Jim Ferguson, John McDermott, Dawn Roth, Jobrielle Lewis and I were all gathered to witness the galiant effort of firefighters to limit the damage and save our sanctuary.
Clean up and renewal will be monumental, but God will provide. More details will be provided as we know more. We have no power or gas in the facility.

Sunday worship service will be held at 9 AM at our neighbor's church Best Temple, 111 South Street, Newburgh, NY 12550.  Please join us!  Our Wednesday prayer meeting will also continue with location to be announced. 

Stewardship 101, Mar. 28
All are welcome to the Stewardship 101 workshop being held from 9 am to 12 noon:  at the First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon,199 N Columbus Ave Mount Vernon NY.  Email to RSVP today!

This nationally-acclaimed workshop will equip your congregation with both the theology and practices of stewarship that are insightful, community-building, and effective.  Led by the Rev. Charles Barton and the HRP Stewardship team, this course has been featured at the national Stewardship Kalaidescope conference and seeded great practices at congregations throughout the presbytery. 

Don't miss your chance to attend this workshop which is free of charge, though you are asked to please register by emailing Charles at  And check out other fabulous Stewardship resources at
Undergrad and Seminary Scholarship, Deadline April 1
Applications are being accepted for the Wurffel-Sills Scholarship and Interest-Free Student Loan Program now through April 1, 2020.
Members of any church within the Synod of the Northeast, who are pursuing full-time undergraduate or seminary studies leading to a Masters of Divinity (MDIV) or Masters of Religious Education (MRE) are welcome to apply.  Part-time studies, non-credit or certificate courses are not eligible to apply.
Learn more at
Got Ideas?  Apply for a Challenge-to-Change Grant!  Deadline Mar. 15
Each year, Challenge-to-Change Grants offer congregations and ministries within the presbytery the opportunity to try something new, as long as these ideas are congruent with the presbytery's vision statement.  The deadline to apply is March 15, 2020. (This grant is the only HRP grant with a deadline). 
So how about it? Challenge to Change offers grants of from $200 to $10,000 dollars to help bring Christ's love to others in new ways -- from helping start a community dinner program to an interfaith discussion group, even to renovating unused space for a new, broader purpose, and more. Your imagination is the only limit.  The grants are awarded annually and may be renewed for up to three years.   
So start innovating! Applications are due on March 15, 2020.  To learn more, check out the Challenge-to-Change document on the HRP website under the Grants menu. Questions?   Contact  
The Hudson River Presbytery Healthy Congregations Mediation Team
The Healthy Congregations Mediation Team, a resource of the Committee on Ministry comprised of trained clergy and lay leaders, provides support, resources and strategies to the churches of the Hudson River Presbytery through educational workshops and other learning opportunities and team intervention.  Download the Mediation Team brochure
A five-hour workshop is available to church leaders and congregations on request - providing sessions, congregations and pastors with helpful tools for thinking about church life and leadership by expanding their insight into how churches function. The Healthy Congregations workshop is designed to equip members and leaders to respond to the presence or potential threat of conflict in a congregation in ways that are not destructive and help the church stay focused on its unique mission and purpose.
The cost of the workshop is a contribution in the amount equivalent to one Sunday of pulpit supply to help defray the expenses of the workshop and its presenter(s).
The Team is also available for mediation and gatherings that might benefit from a neutral facilitator skilled in listening and sharing skills.
To connect with the Healthy Congregations Team for workshops or conflict mediation, one may contact the Presbytery office, the current Healthy Congregations Mediation Team chair Martin McGeachy, or the General Presbyter. All inquiries and conversations are held in confidence.
Save the Date

PW / Horizons 2020-2021 Bible Study at Stony Point Center

May 6-8, 2020

"Into the Light: Finding Hope Through Prayers of Lament"

Featuring author and artist P. Lynn Miller
Katie Cannon Scholarship for Leadership Development,  
Deadline June 1 
 Applications are now being accepted for the Katie Cannon Scholarship, sponsored by the Women's Ministry Fund.

The scholarship supports Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) clergywomen and college women of color as well as other women of color with opportunities for leadership and spiritual development, helping women to develop leadership gifts and to be equipped for even greater service in the PC(USA).  Apply now!

The scholarship, named in honor of the late Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, a pioneer and legend in the PC(USA), awards up to $1,500 to qualifying women for expenses for a leadership development event in the United States. 
Healthy and Vital Congregations

Gilead Reiki Fundraiser, Mar. 8
Upgrade Your Health on March 8th from 12:00-4:00pm as Gilead Presbyterian Church, 9 Church St. in Carmel, hosts a healing event where you can experience a 20m trial session of Reiki for a suggested donation of $25.  Learn more about this wonderful opportunity.

Homemade Soup Takeout, Mar. 28
Chester Presbyterian Church is holding a homemade soup takeout, from 2:00-5:00pm at  the congregation at 94-96 Main St. in Chester. 

Call or email to place your order for delicious pints ($4) or quarts ($8) of chicken and vegetable, beef and barley, cream of mushroom, beef chili and veggie chili (with rolls included with all orders).  Download the flyer and spread the word!

Respite Opportunity for Pastors
The University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, AR offers a program on campus that provides respite for ordained ministers of PC(USA). The program offers 5-6 day stays on campus. Travel and campus expenses are covered through an endowment established from Cimarron Presbytery in Oklahoma by the Rev. Dr. James Struthers. 

Some pastors have outlined their sermons for the year; others have worked on their doctorate; and many have used it as time for reading, reflection, and self-care.  Campus resources are available: arrangements may be made to sit in classes of interest; interlibrary loan is provided by our librarian; the wellness center and walking trails provide physical activity; and for the more adventurous, venturing into the beautiful Ozark and Boston Mountains might be arranged with the Outdoor Program. It will be asked if the visiting pastor would like to offer the worship message during the weekly chapel service on Tuesday. 
If all this sounds too good to be true....just wait!  It is available at no cost to the visiting pastor or their church!  Applications are accepted by Rev. Wilhelmi on a rolling basis and can be done online.
Or contact the Rev. Jeremy Wilhelmi, 479.979.1307,
Save the Date, Mediation Skills, May 4-8
From Martin McGeachy, Chair HRP Mediation Team
Friends, please look at this five-day Mediation Skills training event for all church leaders, specifically the session to be held in Scarsdale May 4-8.

This is the same training that your HRP Mediation Team members have received, and it is excellent, not merely for becoming mediators, but learning about Family Systems Theory and conflict management in general.  The facilitators from the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center are excellent, and you will not regret your time invested in this educational opportunity.  It's not often that the training is presented in our own backyard.  Please jump in!  Questions?  Martin McGeachy, Presbytery Mediation Team Chair,
Take the Lenten Zero Waste Challenge
The reward is good stewardship of God's Earth...
And your congregation could win a prize!

HRPGreen invites all congregations to participate.  Is yours up to the challenge of

1. ZERO paper, plastic, or styrofoam cups at church events
2.  No disposable plastic table cloths
3.  Avoid bringing plastic into the church building
4.  If you're already practicing zero waste, add another one!

To learn the prizes -- yes there are really prizes! -- read more!  Congregations will self report on progress to by Easter Monday, April 13, 2020.
Holmes Summer Camp Registration is Open!
Cold weather got you down?! Holmes has got you covered! Our Summer Camp Program is ready to take your registration.
Holmes Camp and Retreat Center is dedicated to giving your child the best summer. We have a fantastic line up of Residential Summer Camps including: Camp Q, Night Owl Camp, Wilderness and Nature Camps, Go Green Camp, Arts Camp. Plus, Pirate Camp for our younger campers, Bike Camp for our adventurous campers and our Mission Trip for our 'do gooder' campers!!
Need more information on Camp or any programs at Holmes, early bird discounts or how become a camp counselor?   
Visit Holmes Camp and Retreat Center on line at or contact us at 845.878.6383 or at
Holmes is located a short drive north of New York City, is a 550-acre camp and conference center set among pristine forests, lakes, cliffs, trails and wetlands in the hill country of northern Putnam County/southern Dutchess County in the lower Hudson River Valley.
PresbyBuild Funds 10th Habitat House! 
PresbyBuild of Newburgh has raised $56,067.47 and many churches donated or participated in fundraising efforts. Because of our efforts we have provided affordable housing to 10 families who are improving their condition in life through their own hard work and community investment of gifts and time by churches like yours. The 10th house will be constructed this year on N. Miller St in Newburgh. To date 100 homes in Newburgh have been transformed from vacant, abandoned buildings to 21st century homes for grateful families and neighborhoods have been changed.  Would you like to help build or donate?  Contact Deke Spierling, 
Opportunities to raise funds for the 11th house are open to all!
April 26, 2020 Sunday afternoon Walk for Housing,12:30-3:30 pm. A three mile walk through the Habitat neighborhoods of Newburgh. Your group walkers raise funds by finding sponsorships. More details will follow to help you register your group.  Your church or group can form a team to participate and to raise funds.  You can begin to support the PresbyBuild effort by going to
May 30, 2020 PresbyBuild Talent show at the First Presbyterian Church of Montgomery. This event includes cookies and cupcakes followed by a great sharing of talent. There will be music, poetry reading (both serious and tongue in cheek) and possibly a recitation in Spoonerisms. Your choir, or individuals are welcome to share talent.  Look for details in future Hudson Happenings. 
Fossil Fuels and the PC(USA), April 30
A Discussion of Options Before the General Assembly 2020

At General Assembly this year, commissioners will consider overtures and recommendations around selective or total divestment from fossil fuels and other environmental justice issues. At past General Assemblies, this issue has been divisive with little time for questions or discussion. Our intention is to allow brief presentations, then discussion (but not debate) with a lot of time for questions from those attending. GA Commissioners and all others who are interested are welcome. Admission is free.

Thursday, April 30, from 7:00-9:00pm at Stony Point Center, hear from a panel of national and local leaders from PCUSA's Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, Fossil Free PC(USA), and Mission Responsibility Through Investment. And join in the discussion.  Download the flyer with additional details.  If you wish to join folks for dinner at 6:00pm, the cost is $15 per person and you should RSVP to
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
Regional and National Events
Soul Shop Training, March 9
It's estimated that one out of every two people in a given congregation has personally been affected by suicide. Soul Shop trains faith community leaders to offer support, hope and connection to those in their congregations.

Learn more about this training from 8:30am-4:00pm held in White Plains.

Co-sponsored by the American Foundation for
Suicide Prevention, Soul Shop equips participants with the resources and guidance they need to foster hope and healing in their community.
Transitional Ministry Workshop,  
Mar. 16-19
Change happens - in interim situations and in congregations of longstanding. Build your skills with Week 1 and Week 2 of training on Transitional Ministry (also qualifies as Interim Ministry Training).  The workshop will be held in Oregon at the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center, March 16 - 19, 2020 and October 12 - 15, 2020   (Week 1 and Week 2 programs). Register now for March!
Cost: $712 (Includes program fee, triple occupancy room, all meals and materials. Other accommodations available; see our website for details).  More Info and Registration  
Training to Recognize and Prevent Child Sexual Abuse, April 21
Darkness to Light an agency that does training for adults in recognizing and preventing child sexual abuse will be holding a training for facilitators at the Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains on Tues, April 21st. Learn more about the training and about how to become a facilitator.
Princeton Forum On Youth Ministry 
Working with young people requires vision. Working with families, parents, and communities requires vision. Youth ministry is a response to God's vision for the world- a God who sees, knows, and calls us to respond in love to the young. Let us help you reimagine the work that God can do through you and your ministry at this year's Forum on Youth Ministry event. Come to hear lectures from Kenda Creasy Dean, Fr. Gregory Boyle, and John Swinton. Check-out our discounted pricing for program alumni, seminar for prospective students, and first-ever cohort for leaders in predominantly black churches.  Learn more at
Sacred Sites Open House, May 16
Save the date for New York Landmark Conservancy's Sacred Site Open House on May 16 as congregations of many faiths open their doors to visitors so the wider community may appreciate church history, architecture, and current ministry.  Some HRP congregations have participated in the past and many congregations have been assisted by the NY Landmark Conservancy.  If your congregation is interested in participating or you just want to learn more visit the Sacred Sites 2020 webpage.
Resources for Education, Liturgy & More!
Answer this Question and Change Your Giving Culture
from Charles Barton and the HRP Stewardship Team
Why - Scott McKenzie
Why - Scott McKenzie

Lenten Devotional from Presbyterians for Earth Care
Presbyterians for Earth Care offer this every Sunday in Lent devotional, " God Provides Enough for All."

The first week features a reflection by the Rev. Jeffrey Geary.  Each week gives preachers great material and all Presbyterians a way to mindfully imagine "enough" during Lent.
180 Days of Prayers for GA 224
It is a time of turmoil in our society. Senseless shootings, millions living in poverty, and desperate souls are being turned away at our country's borders. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been called to be the hands and feet of Christ, to love those who feel unloved and welcome those who have nowhere else to go.  Share in daily prayer with Presbyterians across the nation.

The 224th General Assembly (2020) of the PC(USA) will be an important one for our denomination as we address issues that impact our church and our world.
The Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), asks every congregation and every member to join other church leaders as we pray each day for General Assembly in Baltimore. Keep the prayer wheel turning ...
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.
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
The Union Church Seeks PT Administrator
The Union Church of Pocantico Hills, in Tarrytown, NY, is seeking a responsible self-starter to oversee its administrative and financial affairs under the supervision  of the interim pastor. The position requires 30 hours per week.  The salary will be $20-23 per hour depending upon experience. Interested persons should send their resume to the Rev. Dr. Lindley G. DeGarmo,
Reformed Church Seeks Permanent FT Student Pastor
The Student Pastor work as a part of the ministry team, cultivating relationships with the students and their families at The Reformed Church of Bronxville to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to nurture them toward spiritual growth. This person should have high spiritual maturity, strong relational and communication skills and experience in leadership and administration.  The RCA is in full communion with the PC(USA).  Learn more.
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
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.
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.
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: .  
Share Hudson Happenings
You know HH gives you the skinny on all things Presbyterian...and a few things animalian too! Why not invite your friends to subscribe?   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 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 below to sign up.

Filled with info on 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 share this photo of me reclining jauntily on this bed of smushed flowers, leaves and grass! (the link is embedded)!