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 16 2019
Presbytery News & Events
PC(USA) Co-Moderator Vilmarie Cintron-Oliviera at Presbytery Meeting on Jan. 28
PC(USA) Co-Moderator of the General Assembly Vilmarie Cintron-Oliviera, will be with us at our January 28th Presbytery meeting at First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown. This is a great opportunity for members of your congregation to experience the connectionalism of the PC(USA) -- the way in which we work together as congregations, presbyteries, synods and the General Assembly to further God's love in our ministry and mission.  Details and registration coming soon!
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,
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.
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
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.
Confirmation Retreat at Holmes, Mar. 6-7
Bring your whole Confirmation Class to Holmes of exploring faith and enjoying fellowship with youth from other churches. Retreats will be held in Nunemaker, our youth retreat building with cabin-style rooms of bunk beds and shared bathrooms, with common areas for our sessions and fellowship. Church groups will be split as evenly as possible to create the small groups for the retreat.

The retreat is designed for confirmation classes, their leaders, and adult mentors from their church. Together we will ask and affirm the big questions about how our own spiritual development is relevant as we navigate and explore our own journeys and the way they intersect with family, community, service, church, and our choices.  Learn more and register!
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! Discounts until 3/31
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.
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  
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.
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.

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!
Lenten Devotional from Presbyterians Today
Becoming a Beloved Community: A Matthew 25 journey to the cross is the title of this year's Lenten devotional.

Readers are invited on a thought-provoking journey to see firsthand how Jesus' words to "feed the hungry" and "clothe the naked" still change lives today. 

Readers are treated to beautiful ancient Christian mosaics throughout the devotional. Just the way mosaics are constructed, we are invited to reflect on how our little tile piece could be added to contribute another dimension to the beloved community where we live.   Learn more and order your copies.
9 Important Stewardship Questions!   
What are your church's answers?
HRP's Stewardship team recommends you take a look at this article -- even if your giving didn't go down!
If your giving in 2019 wasn't what you had hoped it would be, you're not
alone.  Giving to religion fell by almost 4% in 2018 (inflation adjusted),
largely because Christians continue to shift their giving away from the
church to other non-profit organizations. It is likely this trend repeated
itself in 2019.

Don't lose hope. A number of churches experienced significant growth in
ministry funding in 2019 simply by paying attention to key generosity
leverage points. Is your church fertile ground for these kinds of changes?
The following post offers nine questions you can ask yourself to determine
if your church is ready for a banner year in 2020.

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 ...
Rev. Helivao Poget
Webinar: Addressing Human Trafficking in Madagascar, Jan. 28
On Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 12 noon EST, plan to attend "Mamonjy = Save," a live webinar hosted by the Africa area office of Presbyterian World Mission about the Human Trafficking Prevention Campaign of the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM). Download the flyer.

The webinar will last approximately one hour and will include the Rev. Helivao Poget (FJKM), along with World Mission staff such as Christi Boyd, facilitator for women and children's interests in Africa, and Doug Tilton, regional liaison for Southern Africa.

Register now to attend the webinar. All registrants will receive a confirmation email with details on how to join the webinar from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device.
Ruling Elders: A Monthly Series for Living Faithfully
It is good to take stock of the congregation in the present moment; what gifts, passions, and skills they bring as assets for ministry. It is wise to consider emerging needs and opportunities for service beyond the church walls as well as within the congregation. Consider current neighborhood and community needs and congregational statistics within the context of multiyear trends. This kind of annual taking stock contributes to congregational vitality and can avoid being caught in a cycle of simply repeating what has been done in the past by merely shifting calendar dates. Read more.
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
FPC Allentown PA Seeks Two, Paid Summer Interns
The First Presbyterian Church of Allentown invites applications from college students or seminarians for two, paid, summer internships to work with youth.  The positions run from May 27 - August 8, 2020.  Deadline to apply is March 2, 2020.  Flyer with information.
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
Hi there!  You know HH gives you the skinny on all things Presbyterian. 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 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 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 my smiling face w them (the link is embedded)!
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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