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
January 25, 2018
Dear Friends,

Francisco X. Alarcon in his poem Words are Birds begins

are birds
that arrive
with books
and spring

He imagines some words as coming from distant lands "for them there are no borders only stars moon sun."  Starkly he confesses, 

some words
they're difficult
to translate

How are your words like birds?  From whence do they come?  To where are they flying?  What message is trying to break out or soaring across the sky?

The next issue of Hudson Happenings will be published on Thursday, February 15. Please email your submissions to by Tuesday, February 13.  

Presbytery News & Events
Facing Racism Together: MultiFaith Service and Dinner, Jan. 28
As Black History month approaches, we come together as a multi-faith community to learn, worship, sing and break bread in response to the racism that exists in our society.  On Sunday, January 28, congregations from across Hudson Valley will gather for a multi-faith service from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.followed by a "Beloved Community Dinner" at Mt. Hope AME Zion Church, 65 Lake Street, White Plains, NY 10604.  

Among the speakers featured at the gathering is the Rev. Kymberly McNair, Minister of Community Engagement and Education at Bedford Presbyterian Church.  The event is organized by AJC Westchester/Fairfield and co-sponsored by many faith bodies including Hudson River Presbytery.  RSVP requested.  Visit or call 914-948-5585.  Download the flyer.
Prison Partnership at United Nations, Feb. 1
On Thursday, February 1 from 3:00-4:30pm, Interfaith Prison Partnership (formerly known as Presbytery Prison Partnership) will host its second side event at the United Nations entitled: A Human Dignity and Faith Perspectives on the Eradication of Poverty as One of the Main Root Causes of Incarceration.  Registration deadline is January 15.  To RSVP please email  Download and share the flyer.
Solarize Our Congregation!  
HRP Green has exciting news to share. We have been selected for a Presbytery-wide Solarize campaign.  The Solarize program is designed to make solar installations more accessible and affordable through pre-vetted and competitively selected installers. The Solarize Our Congregation campaign will begin in February 2018 and will be available to churches in our presbytery, people who attend our churches, members of congregations nesting in our churches, and others who are connected to our congregations. This is a time-limited program that will end in June 2018.
We will be working with folks from Solarize Westchester and Abundant Efficiency. There will be two solar installers chosen - one to work with our northern churches (in Columbia, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster) and another to work with our southern churches (in Rockland and Westchester) so that those who decide to put solar on their buildings can have that done quickly. The solar provider for your area will be sent to your congregation soon.
If you would like to schedule a regional information session at your church or an individual solar assessment at your home or business contact:
2017 Congregational Statistical Report Due on Feb. 7
Your congregation's 2017 statistical report  must be entered between now and Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at  .
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  

NEXT Church National Conference, Feb. 26-28
The Desert in Bloom: Living, Dying, and Rising in a Wilderness Church, is the theme of the NEXT Church national gathering in Baltimore, MD.  Hans Hallundbaeck of the Presbytery Prison Ministry will be presenting a workshop "Blooming Prisons." Learn more.
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,    
Holmes Clergy & Church Leader Trip to Nicaragua, 
Feb. 17-25, 2018
Be introduced or reconnect with Bridges to Community as you learn about issues facing developing countries, the positive impact of service learning trips done in a way that supports the community, gain practical training in how to do your own service learning trip and much more!  For information contact Linda Burpee (914) 248-6055 or              Subsidies for clergy may be available.  Download the flyer.
Hudson River University
March 17, 2018
Register now for HRU's 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 to share with your church's members!  Check out the course listings.
Applications for PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteers, due Mar. 1
A transformative year of service at more than 20 sites worldwide awaits young adults ages 19 to 30 through the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program - now in its 25th year!

March 1 is the final deadline to apply to serve at one of five international YAV sites. After that date, limited spots will be available at sites within the U.S.  Learn more.
Please Take 5 Minutes to Think! 
HRP is looking for a part-time administrative assistant for 12 hours a week.  We believe the ideal candidate may well be in your pews or among your associates.  The Presbytery's ministry requires office administration and it is a benefit to all congregations and members to have a great person in this role.  Please take just 5 minutes of dedicated time to think about whether you know a good candidate.  Then encourage that person to apply!  Details on the position.
HRPGreen Affiliates with GreenFaith
HRP Green, A partnership of Hudson River Presbytery is now affiliated with GreenFaith. The goal of this partnership is two-fold: empowering all congregations within the Presbytery to launch or deepen their commitment to protecting Creation, and developing leadership within HRP Green to organize more powerful and effective environmental ministry. 

GreenFaith is an interfaith coalition for the environment that was founded in 1992.  They work with houses of worship, religious schools and people of all faiths to help them become better environmental stewards. Both White Plains and Yorktown are certified GreenFaith congregations. GreenFaith fellows from this Presbytery are Jacob Bolton, Jeffrey Geary and Susan De George. If you are interested in learning more about GreenFaith or HRP Green be in touch with Jeff Geary  or Connie Knapp
Update on the Farmworker Fair Labor and Human Rights Hearing
The first ever Farmworker Fair Labor Human Rights Hearing took place in the New York State Capitol in Albany, NY on Jan. 17. Eleven farmworkers from across the state and the agriculture industry, shared their stories from the fields, with Human Rights Observers in a Public Forum.  These powerful testimonies spotlighted the need to pass the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act (S2721/A4189) this year.  

Rene Thiel of Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale was on hand and offers this stirring report.

On January 17, 2018 I went by bus to Albany (I might add that it was snowing) to attend the Farmworker Fair Labor Human Rights Hearing.  The purpose of the hearing was to listen to farmworkers tell their stories of life as it is lived out on farms--produce, orchards, vineyards, poultry and dairy.  Agriculture is a multi billion dollar business in NY State.  The hearing was held in a Legislative Office Building hearing room which could seat about 300.  There were over 100 people there, remember it was snowing, from all over the state--Buffalo, Rochester, Westchester, New York City and Long Island and places in between. [Read more.]
Regional and National News
For Pope Francis, Fake News Goes Back to the Garden of Eden
The serpent in the Garden of Eden hissed the first fake news to Eve and it all went downhill from there, Pope Francis wrote in a major document about the phenomenon of fake news released on Wednesday.

"We need to unmask what could be called the 'snake-tactics' used by those who disguise themselves in order to strike at any time and place," the pope wrote in a message ahead of what the church has designated as its World Day of Social Communications, in May.  Read the full NY Times coverage.
Stated Clerk and PC(USA) Office of Public Witness Write Congress During Shutdown 
During the federal government's shut down this week, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, director of the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness, are among a long list of faith leaders who sent a letter to Congress, urging lawmakers to act on four key priorities: 
  • Pass the DREAM Act to protect immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from being deported
  • Fully fund and reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other health initiatives
  • Fund desperately needed disaster and emergency relief for Puerto Rico, California, U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas and Florida
  • Protect critical non-defense programs
Read the full letter and PNS story.
All Agency Review Committee approves series of recommendations to GA 223 in June
Following a six-hour closed session Jan. 23, the All Agency Review Committee announced that it had approved a series of recommendations to the 2018 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) regarding the PC(USA), A Corporation, the corporate entity for the Office of the General Assembly (OGA) and the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA). Read the recommendations and next steps.
Regional and National Events
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, 
Feb 28-Mar. 1
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
Got Sermon? Union Theo. Seminary, Feb. 9
Got Sermon?, Union's lectionary study series, brings the talents of our faculty to alumni/ae, students, and neighbors who primarily pastor congregations.   This semester, please join us for Preparing for Lent-Easter with Dr. Lisa Thompson, Assistant Professor of Homiletics, Dr. Aliou Niang, Associate Professor of New Testament, Dr. Andrea C. White, Associate Professor of Theology & Culture, and  Dr. Alan Cooper, Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies and Provost of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Visiting Professor of Jewish Interpretation, Union Theological. Got Sermon? will be held on Feb. 9 at Union Theological Seminary in NYC from 8:30am - 5:00pm.  Cost is $50 and advance registration is required.  Learn more.
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.
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
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.
Religious Leader Sign-On Letter to Wendy's in Support of the March 11-15 Freedom Fast and Fair Food Program
You are invited to sign onto a religious leaders letter urging Wendy's to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' Fair Food Program and supporting the upcoming Freedom Fast, March 11-15 when farmworkers and allies will fast for 5 days outside the NYC offices of Wendy's Chairman, Nelson Peltz. The Freedom Fast will culminate with a massive march through midtown the afternoon of Thursday, March 15. The Fast is focused on saying "time's up" for executives who have the power to help end sexual violence in their supply chains and don't.  The Fair Food Program has had unparalleled success in ending sexual violence in the fields, winning a medal from President Obama and international acclaim.  The CIW would welcome your presence and participation in the 5 day fast and more information will be available soon.  In the meantime, sign the letter to Mr. Peltz.

The PC(USA) has been a part of the fWendy's Boycott, which was called by farmworkers of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a longstanding mission partner of the PC(USA) to urge Wendy's to join the Fair Food Program.  
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.  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. Sign the letter to Wendy's Chairman, Nelson Peltz.
Resources for Education, Liturgy & More!
Order Your 2018 PC(USA) Lenten Devotional 
The season of Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and contemplation of the power and promise of the paschal mystery. Perhaps there are no better models of how to live Lent than the prophets. There is a potent connection between Jesus and the prophets. The prophets communicated the word of God; Jesus is the Word of God. The prophets predicted the coming of the prince of peace; Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Not only did Jesus continue the prophetic ministry, he is the fulfillment of the prophetic mission. 

Written by the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, director of the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C., and illustrated by Steven Burgess, Jesus and the Prophets f eatures daily reflections, Scripture and prayers for every day of Lent. Now available in the PC(USA) Church Store.

Legacy Giving; Presby Foundation Can Help
Have you considered how bequests could forward your congregation's witness and ministry?  Read about how First Presbyterian Church Jefferson City, MO has planted seeds that have occasioned generous bequests. Would you like to host a 'Leaving a Legacy' program at your church? The Presbyterian Foundation can help you talk to members about estate planning in meaningful, natural ways. For more information, contact your regional Ministry Relations Officer (MRO) today. Call 800-858-6127 option 3 and we'll put you in touch, or search for your MRO at
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.
New Daily Devotional by Walter Brueggemann
Gift and Task  is an original collection of 365 devotions by best-selling author Walter Brueggemann, providing the opportunity to consider in critical ways the cost and joy of discipleship. Perfect for daily use, this book begins with the First Sunday of Advent and provides insightful reflection and thought-provoking commentary on the Scriptures for each day of the year. Brueggemann guides disciples with wisdom and encouragement for our never-ending walk along God's challenging, grace-filled path throughout the Christian year.  Published by Westminster/John Knox Press, the book will be available August 2018.  Order now.
Seeking and Finding
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
HRP Seeks Part-Time Administrative Assistant
HRP is seeking a part-time administrative assistant to work Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 hours each day in the HRP Office in Scarborough.  Read the full position description.  Do you know someone who would be a good fit?  Contact Jean Kaiser,
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.  
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