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 9, 2018
Dear Friends,

In "No Coward Soul is Mine," the inimitable Emily Bronte proclaims, how God's presence conquers all fear writing

There is not room for Death 
Nor atom that his might could render void 
Since thou art Being and Breath 
And what thou art may never be destroyed. 

There is not room for Death!  What an incredible proclamation.  And, we are to understand, she makes it squarely in the midst of trouble on every side.  The disdain shown to Death is not because the poet as an individual is strong, but because God, who is very Being and Breath, can never be destroyed.  Of course this very Being and Breath flows through us as well as all creation.  What a beautiful poem for facing the challenges in our world, in our nation, in our churches, in our relationships, and in our personal lives. May we take to hear this poetic angelic greeting, and not be afraid!

The next issue of Hudson Happenings will be published on Thursday, March 29. Please email your submissions to by Tuesday, March 27.  

Presbytery News & Events
Waiting for Electricity to Come Back On? 
Stony Point Offers Respite. 
Stony Point Center is willing to provide a warm place to stay and good food to eat for anyone who needs a respite while waiting for their electricity to come back on. Contact the Front Desk at SPC to make a reservation. Cost is $75 per day for a single occupancy room in one of our lodges, or $100 per day for a couple. Prices include three meals a day and good company.  Call 845-786-5674, ext. 100. 
Your Help Needed!
Spread the word! More Light Presbyterians and Covenant Network are trying to identify the pool of people who were legally married or in legally recognized civil unions (any legally recognized relationship conveying inheritance benefits) and in which the partner who was a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s pension plan died prior to 2013 (the year the plan began offering eligibility for same-sex spouses/partners to enroll in the plan). The plan is to work with the Board of Pensions and other agencies to identify adequate funding to pay the equivalent of survivor benefits to those who, under today's rules, would have been eligible. Please read and share.
Get Innovative! Challenge-to-Change Applications Due March 15
Each year Challenge-to-Change grants offer congregations and ministries within the presbytery the opportunity to try something new, as long as they are congruent with the presbytery's vision statement.  So how about it?! Challenge to Change offers grants of from $200 to $7000 dollars to help bring Christ's love to others in new ways -- from helping start a community dinner program to an interfaith discussion group to renovating unused space for a new, broader purpose; 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, 2018.  To learn more, check out the Challenge-to-Change grant information and application. Questions?  Contact the Rev. Cathy Surgenor, Chair of the HRP Grants Committee.
You've Got Talent! Shine for A Good Cause!
The 12th Annual PresbyBuild Talent Show in support of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh will be held on Saturday afternoon, May 19th at First Presbyterian Church of Montgomery in Montgomery, NY. The show will run approximately from 3-4:30pm. Refreshments will be at 2pm.
We are seeking young and old, new and past performers. Many members of your congregation have donated their talents to this fundraising cause in the past and we would like to invite you and your congregation back so we will once again showcase a great afternoon of talent.
We ask that our PresbyBuild churches and friends submit the name of an act, which will represent their church or themselves. Please send the information by April 1st. Learn more!

Want to get Solar on your roof and/or help your congregation solarize?-----HRP Green is working with two solar providers, NYS Solar Farm for Columbia, Orange, Ulster, Putnam, Dutchess and Sullivan counties and Sunrise Solar Solutions for Westchester and Rockland to answer your questions and provide solar installations. If you are interested in learning if your church, residence or business would be a good candidate for solar you can schedule your own personal solar feasibility assessment at a church information session (see below) . Light snacks will be provided. 

And if you'd like more information but can't attend you can find out more at
or contact

The Solar Installers will make a $240 donation to a church for each residential or commercial installation by a member/friend/contact of the church. The dona-
tions will be processed at the end of the campaign.

Information Sessions for Westchester and Rockland Counties -- all with Sunrise Solar
March 11 at 11:30 am at  Pleasantville Presbyterian Church 
March 12 at 7 pm  at  Rye Presbyterian Church 
March 18 at 11:30 am at  Haverstraw Central Presbyterian Church 

Information Sessions for Columbia, Orange, Ulster, Putnam, Dutchess and Sullivan counties - all with New York State Solar Farm
March 18 at 11:30am at First Presbyterian Church of Beacon                       
April 9 at 7pm at First Presbyterian Church of Chester        
April 15 at 11:30am at First Presbyterian Church of Port Jervis        
April 23 at 7pm at First Presbyterian Church of Marlboro        

Are You Going to General Assembly?
If you are planning to attend the 223 General Assembly of the PC(USA) which is meeting in St. Louis from June 16 - June 23, 2018, please let Stated Clerk Susan DeGeorge know by emailing her at  
Summer Camp at Holmes!
Holmes has wonderful camping opportunities for elementary, junior high and senior high youth.  Day and sleep away options and diverse programming make it a favorite for families.  Learn more about summer camp offerings at Holmes, our PC(USA) camp that has shaped Christian faith for more than 70 years.
Annual Clerk of Session Workshop and Minute Reading, Mar. 17
This year, Clerk of Session Day will be part of Hudson River University that will take place at Stony Point Center on March 17th.  There will be three parts to the Clerk Day.  

Session 1 will give new clerks (and any other clerks who would like a review) will learn basic information needed for their work.  Session 2, required of all current Clerks of Session, will both provide some current updates on polity and legal situations and also include a Q&A.  Session 3, also required of all current Clerks of Session, will be the tradition minute reading period.            

Clerks should 1) register ahead of time for HRU; 2) complete the Session Records Review Checklist ahead of time; 3) bring the completed checklist, along with the minute book and their updated roll book  with them to HRU.      If a clerk of Session is unable to attend, someone else appointed by the session must attend instead, doing steps 1-3 above.  If you have questions, please contact Susan DeGeorge,   And since you're coming anyway, why not bring a carload of folks from your congregation with you! 
Check out PW's Newsletter
Jed and Jenny Kobal, PC(USA) Mission Co-Workers in Peru, send their greetings and invite you to read their update on the church's ministry with the people there.

Jed and Jenny will be in the states in September 2018 and would love to come visit your church. 

Check out their update to learn more about everything.

Hudson River University
March 17, 2018
HRU's is back for a spring semester!  There are 5 majors:  Clerk of Session Day, Officer Training for Deacons and Elders, Christian Education, Social Justice Advocacy, and Planned Giving.  It's a great day with fabulous faculty and take-aways that will benefit your congregation and its leaders.  HRU will take place from 9:00am-3:00pm at Stony Point Center.  Download the flyer and share it with your church's members!  Register now!
Attention Undergraduate Students and Seminarians!
Wurffel-Sills Scholarship and Interest-Free Loan, Deadline April 1
Learn more about the 2018-2019 Wurffel-Sills Scholarship and Interest-Free Loan Program Application. The application is open to  all members of any Presbyterian Church within the Synod of the Northeast who will be attending school beginning in the Fall of 2018 for either  undergraduate or seminary studies only.
The deadline to apply is April 1, 2018. New applicant's form.  Students who are reapplying please use this form.  The forms contain additional information on the scholarship and loan.
Please share this information with all of your churches, members, and anyone you know of who could use a little financial assistance with their higher educational goals.  If you have questions, please contact Stacey Galloway  at the synod office 315-446-5990 or email at
Regional and National News
CPJ Day in DC will feature Panel Discussion on Displacement
As the U.S. government continues to debate the future of migrants, refugees and displaced people living in this country, the upcoming Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Day on April 20 will address the issue head-on. The daylong event, part of  Ecumenical Advocacy Training Weekend April 20-23 in Washington, DC,  will provide Presbyterians an opportunity to learn more about the people most impacted. Learn more.
Ghanian Congregation Sold Peanuts for a Gift to Support Mission 
Co-Worker: Totaling More than One Month's Wages for an Average Ghanian
Members of the Fumbisi congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, led by Pastor Gladys Lariba Mahama, recently expressed their generosity in big bundles: two large farm sacks filled with fresh peanuts.

They sold the peanuts in the local marketplace and donated the $65 they received to the sending and support of Presbyterian mission co-worker Josh Heikkila.

"We don't have much but we decided to give something small just to support him," said Gladys Lariba Mahama, pastor of the Fumbisi congregation. The gift is more than the average Ghanaian earns for an entire month, Josh says. Read on!
Regional and National Events
NYS Poor People's Campaign at Exodus and Revolution Class in Beacon, Mar. 22
The Better Together Interfaith Clergy group in Beacon is sponsoring an Exodus and Revolution Class that is continuing in March.  First Presbyterian of Beacon encourages and welcomes everyone to come!

On March 22 at 7:30pm, they will welcome  Rev. Emily McNeill, the co-chair of the  New York State Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, as well the Executive Director of the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State, will be speaking.

The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is bringing together people across the country who are organizing to build a broad and deep national moral movement - led by the poor, impacted, clergy and moral agents and reflecting the great moral teachings - to unite our country from the bottom up.  In the Spring of 2018, the Campaign will launch with 40 days of moral actions, from May 13th until June 21st, in at least 25 states and Washington D.C.   Learn more!
Holy Land Travel Study, 2018
The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is offering individuals an opportunity to visit the Holy Land through its Mosaic of Peace Conference in Israel/Palestine,  April 29 - May 12, 2018.  Learn more.
Free, Pastoral Sabbath, 
March 28-29
The Pastoral Sabbath is available for you, a day of reflection, rest, and renewal of yourself as a Beloved of God at Stony Point Center, thanks to a grant from HRP.
There is no cost to you, only benefit.
Learn more and register
Nat'l Assoc. of Presbyterian Clergywomen Triennial, April 23-26, 2018
The National Association of Presbyterian Clergywomen will be hosting its Triennial in April 2018 at Montreat Retreat Center. Registration is now open.  (N.B. NAPC's website has three pages on the Triennial, two with information and one with the registration form.  Look on the upper right side of the menu for Triennial Conference to access these pages).

We invite you to share this information with all clergy as well as lay leadership within your Presbytery.
Princeton Youth Ministry Forum, April 24-27
The Forum gathers Christian leaders who are passionate about young people and the church. Youth ministers, Christian educators, pastors, ministry innovators, and emerging scholars from the USA and beyond gather annually for this 4-day event on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary. This year, our theme is IMAGE. We will explore what it means to practice youth ministry in a visual age. 

Hear from speakers like Matthew Milliner, Brian Bantum, and Katie Douglass. Renew your energy for ministry as you create vocational friendships, stretch your imagination, and give Sabbath to your soul.
Attention Christian Educators!
Northeast Regional Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (NEACE) Annual Meeting will be May 1 - May 3 at Linwood Retreat Center in Rhinebeck, NY.  It will focus on partnering with immigrant youth in social transformation and feature the Rev. Richard C. Witt Rural and Migrant Ministry's Executive Director and Andres Chammorro of RMM's Youth Empowerment Program.  Download the flyer with registration info and spread the word!
Save the Date for Stewardship Kaleidoscope, Sept. 24-26!
Meet us in St. Louis for Stewardship Kaleidoscope 2018 September 24-26, 2018! With keynotes by Diana Butler Bass and Chick Lane and worship led by Larissa Kwong Abazia, you'll be inspired and equipped for effective and joyful stewardship.  

Look for more information in mid February 2018 on  Download the flyer to share with your congregation.
Take Action
Join the Time's Up Wendy's March in NYC, March 11-15
Nearly 100 farmworkers with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and their allies will be holding a 5-day fast on the doorstep of the Park Ave. offices of Wendy's Chairman and largest shareholder, Nelson Peltz March 11-15.  

Several thousand people will march on March 15th to say "Time's up, for executives who have the power to end sexual violence in their supply chain by joining the Fair Food Program and refuse to do so."  Will you be among them?

What can you do?

Sign the petition calling on Wendy's to join the Fair Food Program and share within your congregation and on social media.

Join farmworkers for the Time's Up Wendy's March, Thurs. March 15 at 5pm at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the UN.
The Fair Food Program is ensuring humane wages and human rights for farmworkers harvesting tomatoes, bell peppers and strawberries in Florida and six additional states along the east coast.  Its unparalleled success in eliminated endemic abuses including forced labor, sexual harassment and assault and wage theft for tens of thousands of workers, has garnered international recognition.  Fourteen corporations including Walmart, McDonald's, Yu! Brands, Burger King, and Subway, already belong to the Fair Food Program.  But Wendy's, the third largest hamburger chain in the world, has instead, abandoned Florida growers in the Fair Food Program and shifted its purchases to Mexico, where violent abuses are well-documented and widespread. Read CIW's Why We Fast.   CIW is a longstanding mission partner of the PC(USA) and the PC(USA) was the first denomination to endorse the Wendy's boycott.
Support the Cake Ministry at Sing Sing Correctional Facility
Each year member churches in our presbytery provide cakes to help celebrate the graduations at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.  There are three of them: a high school graduation, a college graduation and a graduate degree graduation.  What makes them really special is that many of those receiving diplomas entered prison without even a high school diploma.  

Would your church consider making a donation of $100 to fund this ministry? Checks may be made out to Hudson River Presbytery and earmarked "Cake Ministry." If 10 churches choose to participate, the celebration can continue.  More importantly, people from your church are invited to come and share the celebration, to break cake together with the graduates and their families.  The graduations take place in the spring, but if your congregation is interested, reach out now with your interest or any questions to Barbara Devir,  Download Barbara's full invitation to this ministry and share it with your congregation.
Resources for Education, Liturgy & More!
Brand New PC(USA) Confirmation 
The  brand-new confirmation curriculum for the  PC(USA) is Big God Big Questions: Confirmation for a Growing Faith . Based on the findings of the Confirmation Project, it is focused on preparing youth to authentically answer the traditional membership questions.  Learn more and download a sample!
New Older Adult Ministry Planning Guide
The Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network has just published a new guide to Older Adult Ministries.  This comprehensive and caring resource discusses topics like "becoming a dementia-friendly" congregation.  You will definitely want to take a look at this FREE resource.
Is Your Church Taking the OGHS Offering this Easter?
A gift to One Great Hour of Sharing enables the church to share God's love with our neighbors-in-need around the world by providing relief to those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and helping to empower the poor and oppressed.  See the interactive world map with One Great Hour of Sharing recipients .  Most churches receive OGHS on Easter, some on Palm/Passion Sunday, and still others during the season of Lent.  More information and interpretive materials.
PC(USA) Resources for Youth Ministry, Confirmation and Education
As young people mature in faith and life, they search for greater understanding of themselves and their world. 

Provide your church with resources that teach teenagers and young adults they can turn to their Bible and the Reformed tradition to find guidance throughout their lives.  Explore PC(USA) resources for youth ministry and education.
Seeking and Finding
Do you have Older Hymnals to Share?
A PC(USA) congregation in Rincon Puerto Rico which is part of 1001 new worshipping communities, is trying to begin an English language worship.  The church would be so happy to have about 25 hymnals in good condition -- could be the old blue hymnal or the New Glory to God.  Does your congregation have some to donate?  Contact Barbara Devir at .
Communion Sets for Donation
Beacon Presbyterian Church has two, silver communion sets that are in excellent condition for donation to a congregation who many need them.  Read more about each set and the pieces it contains.  Interested?  Contact Beacon Presbyterian Church at  (845) 831-5322 or

FPC Wappingers Falls Seeks Help with PowerChurch Plus
FPC Wappingers Falls recently purchase new software, PowerChurch Plus, to streamline the financial and administrative management of the church.  We currently use it for recording weekly contributions, income, etc., but, now, we need help setting it up for treasurer input/financial statements.

Does anyone out there use PowerChurch Plus?  If so, we'd really like to talk to you!  Please contact our church administrator, June Goldman, at the church office, 845-297-2800 or by email at ; or Clerk of Session, Lucille Holohan by email at
Employment Opportunities
RMM Seeks Regional Coordinator & Youth Econ. Ed Coordinator
Rural and Migrant Ministry, an HRP partnership and longstanding mission partner, is searching for a Hudson River/Catskills Regional Coordinator and also for a Youth Economic Education Coordinator.  Read more about both of these exciting opportunities.
Germonds Church Seeks PT Music Director
Germonds Presbyterian Church seeks a part-time (10-13 hrs/wk) Director to lead our church music program and adult choir. Degree in Music Education, with experience conducting and developing choral and instrumental ensembles required. Candidate should be proficient in teaching and leading adults in church music.   Salary commensurate with education and experience; 4 weeks paid time off. Professional development funds available. Read the full position description.
Hudson River Presbytery Seeks Treasurer
The Treasurer is a volunteer position to provide oversight for the financial activities, procedures, policies, reports and statements for the Presbytery of Hudson River (HRP) and its corporation in consultation with the Budget Finance and Property Committee/Trustees (BFP) and the Council. The position requires knowledge of General accounting procedures; QuickBooks and computer skills; follow through; and confidentiality.   Read the full position description .
The Larchmont Ave. Church seeks Dir. of Christian Education
The Larchmont Avenue Church (a Presbyterian congregation), located in Southern Westchester County (NY), is seeking a Director of Christian Education. This position entails direction of our Sunday School (110 youth, preschool through 8 th  grade); assistance with associate pastor with middle school ministry, and development of education ministries with pastors and members. LAC is a vibrant congregation of 700 members - wide-ranging in all groups, younger-older, with an energetic pastoral and musical program staff.  The LAC DCE position is 20 hours per week, competitive salary.  To apply, please send cover letter and resume to Rev. Elizabeth Smith-Bartlett  at .
Reformed Church of Bronxville Seeks 
Senior Minister / Head of Staff
The congregation welcomes resumes/PIFs from any pastor within the 5 denominations in the Formula of Agreement: RCA, PC-USA, UCC, DoC, and ELCA, and has a long history of hiring Presbyterian pastors.  Read the summary job description and link to the full position posted on the RCA employment site.  
Share Hudson Happenings
OK, there's no possible way that you look as cute as we do, but we're here to do two things.  First, to encourage you to take a selfie of you and someone else in your church engaged in vital ministry!  Vital ministry produces energy, passion, and joy! We don't mean trivial ministry, but beautiful, rewarding ministry that is conveyed by the joy, intensity, and, yes, sometimes hilarity, of the photo.  Because seriously, how many photos of church events do you see where everyone looks dour and brow-furrowed?  A lot. If you send us a selfie of you and someone else engaged in ministry like we're talking about, we'll publish it and share you good news.

The Second Reason we're here is to remind you to share Hudson Happenings!  After all you don't want your selfie to not be seen, right?  HH is filled with links to local, regional and national news as well as information on fabulous educational and advocacy events, it's your "one stop" for the latest and greatest news and events in Hudson River Presbytery, Synod of the NE and PC(USA). And with this link, your friends can also subscribe to other e-updates from the Presbytery! Again, just invite them to go to or send along this lovely selfie of us. (the link is embedded).