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
October 31, 2019
Presbytery News & Events
Open Space Notes from Presbytery are Online
HRP's Presbytery meetings in May and September featured engaging open space conversations.  Open space format means that during the presbytery, individuals who would like to propose a session may do so and people are free to join that conversation. 

The September presbytery featured conversations on the pastoral work week, growing the church, and on environmental justice with PC(USA) mission partner Erlinda Quesada from Costa Rica. 

All notes from all presbytery open space conversations are available on HRP's website.  Just go to the meeting tabs and select "open space conversation notes" from the dropdown menu. Or just click here to access open space conversation notes.
GA Nominations Needed for Ongoing Committees; Online Portal Now Open 
A message from Valerie Izumi, Office of the GA
The General Assembly Nominating Committee will bring to the 224th General Assembly nominations for nearly thirty entities-boards, committees, and commission. Learn about the committees.  
Nominations are due December 2, 2019The online portal is now open.
The Committee's process of discernment and nomination is dependent upon a diverse and deep pool of persons who are willing to share their gifts, talents, expertise, and time in service to the larger church.  
Your assistance in the nominations process is valuable. Please share with those in your synods, with members of your presbyteries, and with members of the congregations within your presbyteries that they have the opportunity to be considered for service on a General Assembly level entity.  Again, here is the list of committees and information about the process
Please assist further by encouraging individuals across the church whom you believe would serve well on a General Assembly level board, commission, or committee to prayerfully consider the possibility of elected service. Please consider whether God may be calling you to service on a General Assembly level entity.  
The GA nominations portal is now open. Interested persons can file an online application-a list of entities for the 2020 nominations cycle is available there. The deadline for applications is December 6, 2019. Additional information can be found online or by contacting Valerie Izumi or the member of the General Assembly Nominating Committee from your synod.
Leading In Anxious Times, Cancelled
...but stay tuned!
Due to low registration, the event this Saturday at Germonds Church, "Leading in Anxious Times" has been cancelled.   
There will be an opportunity for conversation about further leadership development possibilities and what they might look like at the December Presbytery Meeting during the breakout conversation time.   
Please contact Abbie Huff with further questions at 267-664-3180 or   
Thank you all, and stay tuned!

Faith-Based Anti-Racism Conversation, Nov. 13
Do you want to know how to build, strategize, and sustain the undoing racism movmeent in your faith community?  Do you want to collaborate and develop effective networks of support across faith-based institutions?   
HRP's Leadership Empowerment Team invites all clergy and congregational leaders to join a Faith-Based Anti-Racism conversation on Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 2:00-4:00pm at Katonah Space.
The program is free; registration is required.  Register now
It will be led by the Rev. Kym McNair, former The program will be led by the Rev. Kym McNair, Community Education Coordinator of My Sister's Place and former Minister for Community Education and Engagement at Bedford Presbyterian Church.  Download the flyer.

Legacy Grant-writing Workshop, Nov. 16
If your congregation is thinking about applying for a Legacy Grant from the Grants Committee, this workshop is for you. The workshop will focus on developing your sustainable project, writing a grant proposal and developing a proposal budget. You will have an opportunity to work with other church project teams to share questions and ideas as our presenter, Damien DePauw, walks us through the project development and application process.
Each project team or committee must send a representative to this workshop or an equivalent one unless they have an experienced grant writer on their team. Lunch will be provided.
The next HRP Legacy Grant workshop will be held in late Spring 2020.  Register now!
Healthy and Vital Congregations
Christian Perspectives on Gun Violence, Nov. 9
On Saturday, November 9, at 7:00pm, the First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown will host a community  conversation entitled "Searching for Common Ground: Christian Perspectives on Gun Violence", led by Rev. Donald Gaffney, a Sandy Hook alumnus and gun owner.

This 90-minute event will offer a respectful, balanced treatment of gun control and gun rights perspectives, with the aim of promoting constructive conversations across the spectrum of views on what is often a contentious topic.

"Guns and gun violence seem to divide our country more than just about any topic. We have preppers and pacifists, and 100 million gun owners standing in the middle." ~ Donald Gaffney

After Rev. Gaffney's presentation, he will engage the audience in a guided, active discussion that will encourage people to share and listen to one another's diverse perspectives. Coffee and snacks will be served afterwards, during which time Rev. Gaffney will sign copies of his book entitled "Common Ground: Talking About Gun Violence in America."

Rev. Gaffney was born and raised in Newtown, Connecticut, where he attended Sandy Hook Elementary School. A Disciples of Christ minister, he became involved in gun violence prevention following the massacre at his former school in 2012. Since that time, he has spearheaded efforts to address the issue of gun violence prevention within his own denomination, and led numerous workshops that seek to promote understanding across the spectrum of views on the topic.
Two Helpful Resources for Congregations
Union Presbyterian Church has two useful resources to share!  Church-ish can be used for new members and others unfamiliar with Presbyterianism. The Activities Review is invaluable to keep a focus and to evaluate intended purpose and outcomes of all church activities.  It's an antidote for same-old-same-old! Union Church is having great success using them and thought they would be of use to other churches, as well. They were compiled by Interim Pastor, Sandy Larson and your modifications are welcome! Do you have great resources to share?  Write
Thanks, but No Thanks!
A message from Barbara Devir about calendars for men and women in prison.
I would like to thank the many churches which, over the years, have contributed calendars for our brothers and sisters in prison. Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons, I no longer have a way to deliver the calendars in the prison. So....Thanks, but no thanks!
I will not be accepting calendars this year for those who are incarcerated.  However, that does not mean that your church should not collect them, (and I am sure some of you have already begun). Please do collect the calendars and share them with those in your community. When I have more than I need I share them with food pantries and other community programs. The joy I have experienced in watching families look carefully through the pile of donated calendars at our food pantry, finally selecting just the right one, is priceless. Me? I usually choose the calendar with the largest boxes! Other places to consider donating are health clinics, local jails, homeless shelters and nursing homes.
Again, thank you for all your support in the past and good luck as you make your own connections while discovering our brothers and sisters who would be happy to have a beautiful calendar. -- Barbara Devir 
Holmes Fire Extinguished; Your Help Needed to Defray Great Financial Cost
Thanks to firefighters, a contractor, volunteers the tireless efforts of Bryan Breault and Holmes staff, the fire is out!  No buildings were damaged!  No people were hurt!  But the financial costs are substantial and there is more work to be done. 

Watch and share the video and give to support Holmes at this challenging time at

Holmes Camp - The Long Slow Burn
Holmes Camp - The Long Slow Burn
Theologian John Vincent at SPC, Nov. 5-8
Radical "Mark-sist" to Visit CLBSJ The Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice is pleased to host John Vincent this November 5-8, 2019, for a series of seminars and discussions in the greater NYC region. His visit is a unique opportunity for Christians committed to grassroots social change organizing to learn from his methods and applied theology.  Read more about the opportunity to meet John and register.

Some theologians stay in their ivory towers of academia. Reverend Doctor John J. Vincent is far from one of these. His life's work has been to live out his theology in the real world, in the streets and inside and outside the church. Rev. Vincent's life-long commitment comes from his radical understanding of the theology of the Gospel of Mark, which he will share about during his visit in November.

Harvesting Justice:
Faces of Perserverance, Nov. 7

Harvesting Justice: Faces of Perseverance 
Please join Rural and Migrant Ministries for its annual Harvesting Justice Event in celebration of the legislative victory for the Justice for Farmworkers Campaign: the passage of the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act!  Dinner and program in Rochester from 5:30-8:00pm  Learn more
Regional and National Events
Day of Recovery and Wellness, Nov. 2
Please join Wilton Presbyterian Church, Wilton, CT for a "Day of Recovery and Wellness: for the sober curious, those in recovery, and those who love them."

This day is packed with speakers and break out sessions on: the teen brain, aging and substance use, family trainings using the CRAFT method, and Tibetan bowl sound healing. We will have open AA and Al-Anon meetings, SMART recovery sessions, bands, panels and booths sponsored by over a dozen recovery organizations including: St. Vincent's Westchester, Silver Hill Hospital, High Watch Treatment Center, Mountainside Treatment Center and more. A film festival offers indie film winner, "Angst" at 4pm.

For a schedule of events and to pre-register visit at (This is partially funded by a PCUSA Mental Health ministries grant) Wilton Presbyterian Church, 48 New Canaan Rd, Wilton, CT. 

For Such a Time as This:  Change, Crisis and Opportunity!  Come to the Table!  The Synod gathers every year to encourage the connection, fellowship, worship, and discernment of the leaders that make up our Synod. In the even years we gather in Synod Assembly - to affirm our connectional identity, to set goals and to handle necessary governance. In the odd years we gather at Come to the Table - to learn together about and be encouraged by the missional and ministry innovation being led by Presbyterians and other partners of our regional community.Join the Synod of the Northeast for a community building, justice-seeking, faith renewing gathering November 8-9 at Stony Point Center. Learn more!
Join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and hundreds of people of faith and conscience in a public witness to urge Wendy's to join the Fair Food Program.  CIW is a PC(USA) mission partner and a worker based human rights organization that's internationally recognized for its achievements in fighting human trafficking and gender-based violence at work and establishing the Fair Food Program that uses the purchasing power of 14 corporations (Walmart, McD's) to guarantee respectful working conditions for tens of thousands of farmworkers in seven states.  Learn more
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 Trips in 2020

Central American Migrant Trails, Feb. 17-28, 2020 aims to help concerned Presbyterians better understand the immigration context we are facing in the US with our Central American brothers and sisters and why they take the risk of embarking on this dangerous journey north with children in tow. Learn more.

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. 

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!
Presbyterians Today Advent Devotional
During this holy season of Advent, we are invited to follow Jesus's command epitomized by Matthew 25:31-46 to love one another and care for "the least of these."

This year's devotional is very special. The Rev. Sherry Blackman, a Presbyterian pastor, chaplain and award-winning writer and poet, challenges us to fill our days of Advent with simple, practical and loving deeds that help our neighbors - calling each act of kindness a piece of "straw" for the manager to make a soft bed for the Christ child when he arrives on Christmas. Learn more and order copies.
Looking for a Gift? Why not Give Justice? 
Presbyterian Giving Catalogue
PC(USA) has a wonderful alternative gift program through which you can give a gift that will increase justice and sustainability in our world.  These gifts help Presbyterian mission partners world wide advance their important work with communities near and far. For example, above a student helps build school gardens in Haiti.  Great for birthdays, anniversaries and of course...Christmas!  Check it out.
Seeking and Finding
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.
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: .  
Nauraushaun Church Seeks Part-Time Organist/Pianist
Nauraushaun Church in Pearl River loves its music ministry and is seeking a part-time organist/pianist. Requirements include experience planning and playing for worship services, sacred music repertoire, professional contacts and creative ideas about liturgical music; support for the choir and collaboration with the choir director; planning special music with guests, instrumental or vocal, for Christmas, Easter and other holy days in the church year; overseeing care of the instruments.  Back-to-back choir rehearsal and worship service on Sunday mornings.  Eleven-rank Wicks pipe organ. Four weeks' vacation and competitive salary.  Please contact Lise Chanin at the Naurashaun Church at 845 735 4565
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
Hot diggity dog! This Halloween put your FOMO to rest!  Hudson Happenings is here!   Let your friends know that they can abreast of all things Hudson River Presbytery with Hudson Happenings! 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!  Sign up your session and your mission team and your spouse (heh, heh) today!

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 share this somewhat-embarrassing but ever-so-cute photo of me (the link is embedded).