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
May 31, 2018
Dear Friends,

Irish poet and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney opens his poem "Elegy" writing,

The way we are living
timorous or bold
will have been our life.

His words express the potency of each moment and the accumulation of daily choices that, ultimately, characterize us.  What do these words invite from us as individuals, congregations and the church?

The next issue of Hudson Happenings will be published on Thursday, June 21. Please email your submissions to by Tuesday, June 19.  

Presbytery News & Events
PresbyBuild's Annual Talent Show a Rousing Success!
PresbytBuild's Annual Talent Show, held May 19, at First Presbyterian Church Montgomery was a great offering of talents musical, comedic and generous.  Musical talent from the First Presbyterian Church of Montgomery, the First Presbyterian Church of Washingtonville, the First Presbyterian Church of Goshen and Calvary Presbyterian Church in Newburgh provided great entertainment.
The children of the Montgomery Sunday School amazed us with the presentation of a check for $1,000!, to which those gathered added an additional $950 toward our sponsorship of House No. 9 and the tithe thereon (10% to Habitat International and 10% to Habitat Newburgh Endowment).  Once again, the folks at Montgomery did an excellent job of hosting the event.
Seeds of PresbyBuild were planted in 2002. . . folks from 2 or 3 HRP congregations met at Union Church and decided to begin a joint mission project of sponsoring a Habitat house.  It was a success. . . commitment to 2nd effort.  Have now sponsored 8 completed homes and are currently sponsoring No. 9.  More than 20 HRP congregations, the Synod of NE and HRP have volunteered, prayed and helped raise more than $500,000 for home sponsorships and tithes to HFHI to help families in five other countries.
Presbybuild is a Hudson River Presbytery Partnership.  The mission statement is Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh brings people together to build houses, community and hope.  Volunteer days are held at least twice a week with 40-60 persons attending each day.  To learn more and get involved, contact Deke Spierling at  
Follow GA223 Online!
PC(USA)'s 223 General Assembly is taking place June 16-23 in St. Louis  And our HRP GA 223 blog will be launching soon.  You'll be able to connect to it from .  HRP's GA blog  is a great launching pad to the GA223 home page, GA livestream, PCBiz where all GA business is tracked, and  live twitter feeds hastags carrying posts about GA from Presbyterians and others across the nation and around the world.  Our GA blog will include videos introducing HRP Commissioners, YAAD and Overture Advocates, and overtures which HRP initiated or concurred. HRP-ers attending GA will be posting updates and reflections to the blog as the GA progresses.  You'll get an email when the site is live.  In the meantime, take a moment to visit the GA 223 homepage and sign up for Daily GA News Updates from Presbyterian News Service.
Grant for Church Financial Leadership, Deadline June 15
The Presbyterian Foundation has a program to help church leaders finance the expense of attending a course on church financial management.  The Presbyterian Foundation invites CRE's and leaders of 1001 Worshiping Communities to apply for a Church Financial Leadership Grant to assist with the financial cost of attending finance-related educational activities. The Presbyterian Foundation's goal is to help them institute best practices for church financial leadership, introduce them to new models of giving and stewardship, and offer them new ways to talk about money and form generous disciples within their church. 

The application deadline is June 15, 2018 . Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Grant applications take approximately four weeks  to process.   Click here for an application.   If you have questions, send an email.

The Church Financial Leadership grants are matching funds, and applicants must provide the source(s) for the other half of expenses. Eligible expenses include registration fees, transportation, lodging, meals and other expenses for approved church financial leadership events, training and continuing education opportunities.

The grants were made possible from the Foundation's work as part of a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.'s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders.
GA 223 Seal

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.
Solarize Residential Deadline,
June 4!
"As the realities of climate change present an ever-increasing urgency to our need to act faithfully in our energy consumption, many Presbyterians are exploring w
ays to support, purchase and share renewable energy resources as an alternative to f ossil fuel energy."   - PC(USA) website
"While I love the fact that each month ConEd gets significantly less money from us, what makes me feel even better is that a lot of the power we are using is not coming from Indian Point, or natural gas turbines. Rather, each morning we begin again to generate power from nothing more than the rising sun. How cool is that?" - Donna Gresh, solar homeowner, FPC Yorktown
Any member or friend of an HRP congregation is eligible for this limited-time group discount program for quality solar installations for their home or commercial property.

To request a free, no-obligation solar feasibility assessment, go to (and select North or South depending on your county).
For more information, or if your church would like to schedule a group info session, 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 donations will be processed at the end of the campaign. Support your community, congregation, and local, clean, renewable energy!

Important Deadlines:  
Residential customer contracts must be signed by June 4, 2018
Churches and commercial customer contracts must be signed by October 4, 2018
Information Session for Westchester and Rockland Counties -- with Sunrise Solar
Help Commission Young Adult Volunteers for Service at Your Congregation, Sun. Aug. 26

The Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program is excited to invite your congregation to consider hosting a group of YAVs on Sunday, August 26, 2018 for Commissioning Sunday.   
Commissioning Sunday is a reminder to both the volunteers and our Church that we 'do not go alone' in God's mission. 
The 2018-19 YAV class will gather at Stony Point Conference Center from August 20-27 before embarking on their year of service for a week of orientation. Our hope is that a representative from your congregation will commit to picking up a group of YAVs at Stony Point Conference Center, transporting the YAVs to your worship service, commission the YAVs during the service, host a meal following the service and return the group to Stony Point by 4 pm that evening. If you would like to set aside time in the service for each YAV to briefly introduce themselves, say where they'll be serving and the work they'll be doing, that is something we encourage as well. To host a YAV, contact Blake Collins,
Presbyterian Women's Quarterly Newsletter
HRP's PW invites you to out Presbyterian Women's national quarterly newsletter.  Chock full of information and opportunities, you'll want to be sure to share it with women in your congregation!

Eager to connect with other Presbyterian women in Hudson River Presbytery?  Learn more about PW in Hudson River by contacting Judy Wason at
Congregational News
Organ Concert at Calvary, June 2
Joseph Henry Bush, Artist in Residence, at Calvary Presbyterian Church, will be in concert, Saturday, June 2, 2018.

The concert will take place in Calvary's historic sanctuary at the corner of South and Grand Streets,

The concert will begin at 3:00pm and is being held in conjunction with the 6th Annual Newburgh Illumination Festival.  Any questions, just email the church at
All are warmly welcome!
Come Walk the Labyrinth at FPC Yorktown!
First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown invites everyone to come walk our beautiful outdoor labyrinth, located in the back beyond the parking area closest to the office entrance. With Lynn Brown's help, the labyrinth was laid out in a Santa Rosa design, a unique seven circuit design. The labyrinth itself was built by many hands; each brick was buried by a member of the congregation or a member of the community. The cost of the bricks was funded by a Challenge to Change grant from the Presbytery; additional funding was provided from memorial funds of the church.
This is still a "work in progress" -there's no signage yet, and we are planning to have a guest book-but we dedicated it last April and it is open to anyone who wishes to walk it.
If you have never walked a labyrinth, and/or if you prefer to walk with a group, we'll be walking the labyrinth as a group on Sunday morning, June 17th at 9:30 before the service and on Wednesday evening, July 11th at 7 PM, weather permitting. You might want to bring bug spray, just in case!
Regional and National News
Compromise Results in Smaller Per Capita Request at General Assembly.
A combination of resistance from mid council leaders and a persistent lack of understanding in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) about how the General Assembly per capita apportionment is spent has resulted in a revised request from General Assembly Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson, II, for a 10 percent increase in the per-member apportionment in each of the next two years - to $ 8.50 in 2019 and to $ 9.35 in 2020.  Read the full story
Perspectives on Fossil Fuel Divestment
Presbyterian Outlook has just published an article exploring points of agreement and disagreement around fossil fuel divestment as the overture, which originated from the Hudson River Presbytery and which has the support of 39 additional presbyteries, makes it way to General Assembly 223.  Read the full article
Regional and National Events
Join the Poor People's Campaign 40 Days of Moral Action
The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is uniting tens of thousands of people across the country to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation's distorted morality.

The PPC  initiated 40 days of moral action on May 13, with non-violent direct actions in 30 state capitols.  The 40 days of moral action will culminate  in a mass rally on June 23 in Washington DC. 
Faith and the LGBT+ Community
If you know people who are interested in the impact of our Faith Traditions on the Lived Experience of the LGBTQ+ community, the AJC Westchester/Fairfield with multifaith communities in Westchester are hosting an affirming prayer and learning service on Thursday evening, June 21, starting at 7:15 PM. Download the flyer.

Presbyterian   Lee Sartain will moderate the evening.  Lee is a recent graduate of Union Theological Seminary, currently Strategic Advisor for Finance and New Partnerships, of Union. Among the topics being discussed are addressing scriptural issues from within the Christian and Jewish traditions and the legal battles that are still to be won. The program is appropriate for teenagers and older. Learn more and register.
Awakening the Spiritual Heart: Contemplative Formation, Sept. 2018 - June 2019
This program offered at the Mariandale Retreat Center in Ossining is for those who long for a deeper spiritual life, who crave the silent place where the Spirit speaks, who hunger for a closer walk with God. It consists of 5 weekend retreats from September through June, 7 monthly small group meetings, at home spiritual practices, readings and journaling.

The cost including the weekend retreats is $1,990. For more information contact Bruce Baker, one of the presenters, at or go to the Mariandale website.  The application deadline is July 30, 2018.
New Online Degree and Courses from Dubuque Seminary
UDTS has introduced a new   online   degree, Master of Arts in Christian Leadership, that strengthens students' knowledge of Christian scriptures and the church's theological tradition, and equip women and men for missional service and leadership in their chosen vocations. A B.A. degree in any field is the pre-requisite. For more information, please contact Kimberly Burnett-Hackbarth, Direction of Admissions 563.589.3405 / . Click here to learn more  
And don't miss Dubuque Seminary's online courses in Christian leadership that start June 4 and run for 12 weeks.  They're a great form of education that will equip and empower church leaders.
Spanish-Language Pastoral Leadership Development Conference, July 18-22
This year the Office of Hispanic/Latino-a Intercultural and Congregational Support is hosting a Pastoral Leadership Development Seminary in Mexico City on July 18-22nd. 

During the event, leaders will have the opportunity to engage in Intercultural Reading of the Bible and our guest speaker Dr. Hans De Wit* will guide them in this popular and contextual method of reading the bible within their diverse faith communities as well as within their presbytery as a tool to encounter people from different cultures and build bridges of understanding so we may intentionally give steps toward becoming the beloved community that we are called to be in the Gospel.  Learn more by contacting Marissa Shearon from the PC(USA) national offices at or 502-569-5385.
Fabulous Summer Courses for Laity and Church Administrators at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond!
The Leadership Institute at Union Presbyterian Seminary is excited to announce that registration for classes in our online Pathways to Learning and Leadership program is now available.Who are these classes for?  Everyone! 
  • Church members who want to learn in more depth about the Bible and increase their ability to teach and even preach
  • Those who are called to ministry as a Commissioned Ruling Elder and need the educational component.  Learn moreAnd...
Union Presbyterian Seminary's Leadership Institute offers seminars in Church Business Administration.  Whether you plan to pursue certification as a Church Administrator through our partnership with The Church Network, or you are already certified and need to take some classes for retention, or you just want to take a few seminars to see how to better serve in the administrative functions of your congregation, you are welcome.
  Learn more!
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.  

For Scholarship Information and/or to request a Scholarship for the Conference, please contact Charles Barton at

More information can be found at  Download the flyer to share with your congregation.

PC(USA) Evangelism Conference, Oct. 15-19
The 2018 Evangelism Conference is set for Oct. 15-19 at Zephyr Point in Lake Tahoe. Join fellow 1001 New Worshiping Communities leaders and others focused on renewing the church.

This retreat experience will include time for reflection and renewal.  Registration is now open.  Learn more!
Take Action
Text your NYS Representatives to Urge Passage of the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act before June 20
Follow up with your local New York State Representatives who just heard from farmworkers and Rural and Migrant Ministry, an HRP Partnership, in May about the need to pass the FFLPA before the Legislative Session ends on June 20th.

Simply text "FARMWORKER" to 21333, and you will be provided with instructions on how to contact your State representatives. Leave a quick message, whether you reach someone or not. Something as simple as, "Hi, my name is _______. I am a constituent of Senator/Assemblymember ____________, and I wanted to leave a message. It is time for New York State to be a leader, and show the nation that we care for our State farmworkers. I urge the Senator/Assemblymember to support Senate Bill 2721/Assembly Bill 4189, the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act."
You can also email your State elected officials!
Farm Bill Advocacy Toolkit
Stop $20B Cut to SNAP! 
The proposed Farm bill would cut the food assistance program by $20 billion and add harsher work requirements and stricter reporting requirements for recipients of food stamps (known as SNAP). Should this version of the bill pass, up to 2 million people may no longer be eligible for SNAP.  

The Farm bill is a top Congressional priority and it is an ENORMOUS bill.  The Office of Public Witness has prepared a Toolkit for Congregations that will help you advocate on behalf of our nation's most vulnerable people. 
Resources for Education, Liturgy & More!
New Novel by Debbie Bronkema is Published
We congratulate Debbie Bronkema, Pastor of Pleasantville Presbyterian Church, on her new novel, Finding Manna, that was just published.  She'll be doing a book signing on June 3rd -- see congregational announcements above.

Finding Manna is the story of Clare Wheeler, a young woman who feels lost in the middle of her own life. She chose to move far away from home after a broken romance and is living a life that looks successful on the surface. But underneath, she's in a career that was picked for her, in a location that looks like paradise, but feels like solitary confinement. Through getting to know the guests at a place called Manna House, Clare begins to see the world through new eyes.  Order Finding Manna today!
Free Educational Resources from
The Thoughtful Christian
Many congregations have subscribed in order to use resources from The Thoughtful Christian for adult and youth educational programs. 

But did you know The Thoughtful Christian also has
free resources?  It's true.  You can check them out here.
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
Six, Free, Sturdy Pews
The white plains presbyterian church has six sturdy wood pews that are free for the taking!

For 50 years they served in a choir rehearsal room that is now being re-purposed as an important community room.  Come and get them before they are gone! Contact the Rev. Jeffrey Geary at
Choir Robes, Drum Set, and Pump Organ Available!

First Presbyterian Church of Jeffersonville has 17 choir robes, a pump organ, and a drum set available for free or freewill offering.  Please contact for more information.
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

Employment Opportunities
All Souls Parish in Port Chester, Seeks Full-Time Solo Pastor
The All Souls  community consists of individuals at different points on their faith journeys who come together to join in worship, fellowship, small groups, and mission activities. We are looking for a pastor who will guide and encourage our involvement in both existing and new ministry and mission initiatives that evolve as a natural outgrowth of our vision to be more involved in the issues of hunger, poverty, social and environmental justice, and peace. Please see the  All Souls Parish Website  and   our   Ministry Information Form  or email the PNC at  for more information.
First Congregational Church of Ridgefield Seeks Senior Pastor
The First Congregational Church of Ridgefield, United Church of Christ, a 650 member multi-staff church in suburban Fairfield County, CT, is seeking an experienced Senior Pastor to serve as spiritual leader and head of staff. Please contact Rev. Michael Ciba, Senior Regional Minister of the Connecticut Conference, for more information:  860-921-8204

Presbytery of Southern New England Seeks PT Stated Clerk
Southern New England Presbytery is seeking a part-time RE or TE as their Stated Clerk, 15 hrs weekly.  Learn more.
Hitchcock Presbyterian Seeks PT Youth Leader
Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale is seeking a fun and energetic part-time youth leader to work with our youth ministry team, under the leadership of our Director of Christian Education. This role will primarily consist of co-planning activities and having direct interaction with our middle school and high school youth groups, seeking to build community and relationships through meaningful conversation and play. Please direct inquiries and/or a resume to A more detailed job description can be found at
Presby Church of Mt. Kisco Seeks Sunday School Coordinator
Sunday School Coordinator needed to help nurture the faith of the children of the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco. The position is approx. 10 hours per week with competitive salary. Experience in Christian Education in a Reformed church setting desirable. For more information, contact or call 914.666.7001.
RMM Seeks Regional Coordinator, Youth Economic Education Coordinator and Graphic Designer
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.  RMM is also seeking a Graphic Designer.  Learn more here.
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.
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
Wondering where you can connect with Presbyterians in the Hudson Valley and beyond?  Hudson Happenings will orient you to all the latest and greatest news to help you and your church plug in to events, connect within and beyond your congregation, and discover useful and inspiring resources for life together.

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 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! Again, just invite them to go to or send this photo of me looking out onto the vast horizon of opportunities opened by Hudson Happenings! (the link is embedded).