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 19, 2018
From the Transitional General Presbyter
Dear Hudson River Presbytery:

In these days I am reminded of the lesson my parents learned when they moved to a retirement community where dinner was enjoyed with whoever walked into the dining room with you.  The community quickly developed a norm that indicated that dinner conversation would not include politics, grandchildren and health.  This allowed people to develop relationships around hobbies, work experiences and other topics.  As the election nears this might be a good norm for us to adopt in our pre-church and coffee hour conversations.  Learn to like each other before discussing the polarizing topics.  Twenty-five years later my mother still has good friends in her community because they learned how to be friendly even as their politics and religion often differed.

Find enough common ground to then discuss the social justice topics. Rev. Liz Theoharris challenged us at the September Presbytery meeting. Consider her book as a potential adult study to delve into the details rather than the community rhetoric.  Visit a Food Pantry (with donations) to see what ministry is going on in your own community. Use the presence of the Holy Spirit to inspire you and your community to build peaceful relationships in these polarizing times.
In Christ,
Peter Surgenor
Temporary General Presbyter
Presbytery News & Events
Leading Intentional Change for the Flourishing of Community, Oct. 27
The HRP Council invites you and leaders within your congregation to join us for an HRP Leadership Deep Dive led by Deborah Rundlett.  Debbie is a gifted coach and trainer who has served in business, the academy, and the church. For the last twelve years, she has served as General Presbyter of Muskingum Valley Presbytery and the Presbytery of Chicago, respectively. She is passionate about equipping leaders to serve as agents of change for the flourishing of their communities.

What           An HRP Leadership Deep Dive
Who:           Pastors, Staffs, Congregational & Community Leaders
When:         Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 8:30am-12:30pm
Where:        Irvington Presbyterian Church, 25 North Broadway, Irvington, NY
Cost:           Free for HRP Pastors & Congregations (with suggested donation of $20
                   per person to cover the cost of assessments.
Who should come?
-    Any leader seeking to lead intentional change in their context.
-    Pastors, staffs, and leadership teams.
-    Cross-disciplinary teams committed to community-based transformation.
-    Leaders in the workplace seeking to connect soul with Source.

Read the flyer to learn more and plan to bring a group of leaders from your congregation to this wonderful event that will truly empower and inspire!
Presbytery Meeting, December 4  
Save the date for the next Presbytery Meeting which will be held at Stony Point Center.  It will be the first meeting with our HRP's newly elected General Presbyter, Deborah Milcarek. 

At this meeting, the Presbytery will elect a Stated Clerk. The Book of Order and our own Manual require that we have a Stated Clerk and our manual sets the term of election to three years.

The Rev. Dr. Susan De George, the current Stated Clerk, has indicated her interest in serving another term.  Susan has received positive annual reviews during her service as the Hudson River Presbytery Stated Clerk. This nomination process necessitates a more extensive evaluation of the Stated Clerk before that meeting. Presbytery members will be asked by the personnel committee to give input via an upcoming email.

Nominations from the body for the position of Stated Clerk are in order but need to be evaluated by the Personnel Committee.   Nominations for this position (with resume attached) must be submitted by letter [Personnel Committee c/o Hudson River Presbytery Office] or email to the Personnel Committee via Rev. Paul Seelman, its Chair [] by November 10, 2018.    
Boundary Training for Pastors and CRE's, Oct. 23
On Tuesday 23 October 2018 the annual Boundary Training event for the Presbytery of Hudson River will be held at Holmes Camp and Conference Center. This mandated training is a PHR requirement set forth in policy enacted by the Presbytery. 
If you have never attended Boundary Training, plan on attending from 2 PM to 8 PM. Dinner will be available at a cost of $15, by reservation. You will have received an e mail from the Presbytery office if you need to attend this training.
If you attended Boundary Training 5 or more years ago, you have reached the 5 year renewal anniversary for Boundary Training. Plan on attending from 5-8 PM.  Dinner will be available at a cost of $15, by reservation. You will have received an email from the Presbytery office if you need to attend this training.
Please register and reserve dinner to:
Pastoral Sabbath at Stony Point, Oct. 24-25
Led by Rev. Leslie Mott, the   Pastoral Sabbath Retreat is a time for clergy "to come away by yourselves and rest for a while," so that we may return renewed to those we serve.

Those attending receive materials for reflection and study and have the opportunity to engage in gentle yoga class, guided meditation, group and individual spiritual direction, and prayer. 

In this second year of the two year Synod Innovation grant, in order to extend the grant funding as long as possible, it is necessary to introduce tiered pricing for the Pastoral Sabbath.  The cost for a participant is approximately $150.00 for accommodations and four meals.  A partial scholarship of $75.00 would be offered to those whose finances would otherwise preclude them from this opportunity, and a limited number of full scholarships will be available through the Fall.  Please indicate on your registration if you are in need of scholarship funds.  If you have any questions, please contact Rev. Leslie Mott:
Moderator Training, Nov. 10
HRP's Moderator training will be held at Stony Point Center on Saturday, November 10 from 9:00-3:00.  This training is for:
  • Elders who may be called on to serve as Session Moderators in churches without Pastoral leadership (especially in Regions 1 & 4); and
  • Pastors not serving in pastoral positions who would like a stronger foundation for Moderating Sessions.
Learn more and share the flyer.
PC(USA) 2019 Grants for Church Seeding and Renewal
The Mission Development Resources Committee (MDRD) has a a number of grants :
- New Worshiping Communities Seed
- Investment, Growth & Health Insurance Grants
- Presbytery Grants for Congregational Transformation and the Sam & Helen R. Walton Awards.  
Information, timelines, and resources are available at MDRD's website .  
HRP Legacy Grant Writing Workshop, Dec. 1
Is your church exploring a creative, effective idea for reaching out to your community in  the near future? Does that idea reflect Hudson River Presbytery's Core Values (Partnership, Hospitality, Justice, Passion, Curiosity, Honesty, Joy, Generosity, Inclusivity). Is your council/session prepared to support this effort with energy and financial resources? Your congregation may be eligible for a Legacy Grant to help make this idea a reality.

To find out more, send one or more representatives to our Legacy Fund Workshop on December 1, 2018 from 9:00a.m.-2:00p.m. at the Calvary Presbyterian Church, 120 South Street, Newburgh. Lunch will be provided.  REGISTER NOW.
The workshop will provide guidance on whether your idea meets the Legacy Grant Criteria, how to write a grant application for this and future grants, and developing a business plan. All applicants must send a representative to this annual workshop or to a similar one to be considered. It will be helpful to review the Legacy Grant information available under Grants on the HRP website before attending the workshop. Bring your questions with you. The workshop will be led by Catherine Hoselton, Assistant Vice President for Sponsored Programs at SUNY New Paltz.

The Legacy Grant can range from $10,000 to a multi-year grant of $100,000. The applicant/s must be able to provide 20% of the cost of the project.
We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!  Register today! 
Be Inspired:  Challenge to Change Grants
Janis Upeslacis chronicles how a HRP C2C grant helped one congregation renovate its kitchen and stay connected to the community.  What might a C2C grant help your church do?

The FPC Highland church kitchen has been the hub of food preparation for the church itself and a number of groups that use the facility: Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, AA, Highland Library Reading Program, their Highland Summer Feeding Program, and local initiatives such as the community Thanksgiving Program dinner for those in need.

Their kitchen was made compliant by local town inspectors for the serving of cold food in 2015 (with support from an earlier Challenge to Change grant) but the inspectors disconnected their stove because this lacked a fire suppression system. That meant that FPC Highland was unable to support outreach programs that involved hot food. They estimated that the total cost of the project would be $13,950 but asked for, and received, $5,400 from a C2C grant to cover a shortfall.   Learn what happened next. 
HRP Youth and Youth Leaders: Save the Date for Presbyterian Youth Triennium, July 16-20, 2019
Triennium is a truly amazing, once-every-three-year gathering of over 5,000 of Presbyterian Youth from across the US and the world. It is open to high school age youth from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (entering 9th grade through graduated 12th grade). In 2016, the Hudson River Presbytery delegation members had a truly transformative experience as they were challenged to see all the ways that God is asking them to "GO" out into the world. 

The theme of the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium is "Here's My Heart", drawn from the words of the hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Young people and their adult leaders are invited to "come experience God's love in a way so powerful and compelling that they, too, are moved to say, "Here's my heart". And together we will learn what it means to serve Christ with our intelligence, energy, imagination and love."
Please reach out with questions and interest (especially if you can help as a Delegation Leader) to Stephanie Hare, Director of Youth Ministries at FPC Yorktown, the 2019 Triennium Registrar for Hudson River Presbytery: or 914-826-1227.
NY Art for Justice Forum, Nov. 16 
Presbytery Prison Partnership invites you to participate in the New York Art for Justice Forum which will take place at Columbia University on November 16, 2018.

The Forum will explore the role of the arts in addressing mass incarceration and criminal justice reform in three areas: Youth, Arts in Prison and Arts in Community.

Panelists and breakout facilitators will include legislators, thought leaders, and practitioners from the arts, advocacy, and corrections. The event will culminate with an art exhibition and reception. Learn more and register!  
RMM: Justice for Farmworkers Action Alert
Rural and Migrant Ministry thanks you for your ongoing support in the fight for Farmworkers' Rights in the State of New York. We are eager to engage our newly elected officials in the coming Legislative Session. However, in order to fully engage every new Representative, we need your help!
Our goal is to speak to as many Candidates as possible between now and the General Election on November 6th, in order to get a verbal agreement from them that they will support the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act in the coming Legislative Session.
We need to reach out to as many State Senate Candidates in your Districts! We need you, as their constituents, to set up a meeting with your Senatorial Candidates and ask them if they are going tosupport the FFLPA in 2019. 
Below are key districts in the bounds of Hudson River Presbytery:   
District 38 - David Carlucci (D*), Scott Vanderhoef (R) Rockland County, Ossining
District 39 - James Skouffis (D), Thomas Basile (R) Newburgh, Woodbury
District 40 - Peter Harckman (D), Terrence Murphy (R*) Peekskill,  Brewster, Mahopac
District 41 - Karen Smythe (D), Sue Serrino (R*) Poughkeepsie 
District 42 - Jen Metzger (D), Ann Rabbitt (R), Monticello, Middletown, Liberty
District 46 - Pat Strong (D), George Amedore (R*), Kingston, Woodstock       

We need your support!  Please reach out to our Legislative Campaign Coordinator, Jose Chapa for more info at 845-309-8424,
HRPGreen Video Library for Congregations
HRPGreen has assembled a wonderful Environmental Film library which will be available for congregations to borrow beginning August 7.  Housed at the presbytery office,  all HRPGreen Environmental Films may be signed out by giving name of borrower, phone, email, congregation town, name of film and sign-out date. When the film is returned the borrower must indicate return date on sign-out sheet. The film may be kept for three weeks.  Checkout the catalog of films with brief descriptions.  Questions?  Contact Kathy Dean at
Congregational News
Live Painting for Worship at FPC Montgomery, Oct. 21
Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity will be part of Worship at FPC of Montgomery as we experience the gift of Art as Proclamation!

Join us for worship on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 11:00am.  Share the FB Event!

Good sermons tell stories. They welcome listeners into a world of narrative and metaphor, imagery a imagination. These verbal messages are not simply stated-they are journeyed. Preaching is a process, for preachers and listeners alike.

When I create visual art for a service, my goals are the same as any preacher. I welcome all to travel with me in the creative process of a visual message as it takes shape. Text and image blend, words and colors interweave, verbal and nonverbal thoughts collide.
.. Come celebrate with FPC Mongtgomery and experience Art as Proclamation!
Woman 2 Woman, Prison Visitation Training, Oct. 21
Woman 2 Woman, Bedford Presbyterian Church's visiting program at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, started 5 years ago with one visitor.  Since then, more than ninety women have visited inmates at Bedford Hills and Taconic.

Woman 2 Woman is holding its next training session on Sunday, October 21st from 1:00-3:00pm at Bedford Presbyterian Church.  Please note that in order to become a Woman 2 Woman visitor, you must attend a training session.  Learn more.
Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza: An Introduction to the Organ For Children, Oct. 21
You really don't want to miss this special Sunday afternoon program with the 'King of Instruments' for children of all ages. Participants will not only learn about the keyboard but also enter the pipe and wind chamber to see the organ from the inside, blowing on pipes themselves.

Sponsored by the American Guild of Organists, this event promises sufficiently spooky tunes for Halloween. Sunday, October 21, from 4:00 - 6:00 at the White Plains Presbyterian Church. RSVP for pizza to .
Regional and National Events
Got Sermon? Oct. 26 at Union Theological Seminary, in NYC
Got Sermon? , Union Theological Seminary's biannual, continuing education event designed primarily for preachers, brings the gifts of our faculty to our alumni/ae, students, neighbors, and friends who are mainly serving congregations.
Please join the Union community on Friday, October 26, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., for Truth Telling in Shifting and Familiar Seasons with Dr. Lisa Thompson, Assistant Professor of Homiletics, Dr. Phyllis Trible, Baldwin Professor Emerita of Sacred Literature, and Dr. Brigitte Kahl, Professor of New Testament.
Program registration is $50. The cost of the event includes lunch and light refreshments.  Learn more and register
AAPC Eastern/Northeastern Regions Annual Conference, Oct. 26-28
Spirit, meaning, and purpose for us and those we serve is the title of the American Academy of Pastoral Counselors' convening in CT.  Featuring Benjamin R. Doolittle, MD, MDiv, Associate Professor, Internal Medicine & Pediatrics, Yale University, Associate Professor, Religion & Health, Yale Divinity School.  Learn more.
Holmes Annual Women's Retreat, Nov. 2-4
Every Hour of Every Day is the focus of Holmes' annual Women's Retreat, which will be led by the Rev. Dorinda Violante.  Women of all ages are invited for a weekend to reconnect with God and engage with their faith.  Retreats typically include large group discussions, personal time to reflect and enjoy God's creation at Holmes, and plenty of fellowship!  Learn more!
Holmes Camp and Conference Center Online Fall Fundraiser
Over the years, Holmes has celebrated with a fall benefit fundraiser. With many changes underway for Holmes, the board decided that hosting an event this fall would spread everyone too thin. While the fall benefit is a wonderful chance to connect with camp friends, it is massively expensive. This little break is a chance for all of us to catch our breath, but we still need your help. We will miss the event this year, but on the bright side every dollar donated will help the ministry at Holmes.  Click here to donate.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is Looking for More Volunteers
With record numbers of natural disasters and in the wake of hurricanes and wild fires in the US, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is looking for volunteers to enlarge its ranks.  Volunteers of all sorts and skills are needed.  Learn more about the need and how you can help this important ministry.
Resources for Education, Liturgy & More!
Help following Hurricane Michael and the Tsunami In Indonesia
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is responding to Hurricane Michael. Before the devastating Category 4 Hurricane made landfall, PDA reached out to the presbyteries in the path of the storm to offer resources and prayers.

PDA will deploy National Response Team members in the coming days to assist Presbyterian and community leadership in developing short-term response plans and provide a ministry of presence. More information will be available soon.  Meanwhile, donations can be given to help in the wake of Hurricane Michael.

On September 28, 2018 Central Sulawesi in Indonesia was hit by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake, which resulted in a tsunami and later a volcanic eruption. The death toll is more than 1,700 and as many as 62,600 persons are displalced. The dire situation is further compounded with the rainy season approaching with the anticipation of diseases, which are easily spread in shelters.

PDA is working through our partners in ACT Alliance to provide emergency assistance. Priorities are minimizing loss of life and to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable are covered first.  Please give to help PDA/ACT provide critical emergency services following the Indonesian Tsunami!
Advent Resource from Presbyterians Today
During the  season of Advent, we are invited to pray and contemplate with Mary in her Song of Praise - the Magnificat - found in Luke 1:46-53.

This year's devotional, God Lifts the Lowly, features paintings and poems are the work of Andrew Weatherly, a young Presbyterian man born with Down syndrome, who uses his gifts to raise awareness of the capabilities of those with special needs. The rest of the text - reflections and prayers for each day of Advent - is the joint work of Donna Frischknecht Jackson, pastor and editor of Presbyterians Today and sister to a man with special needs, and Krin Van Tatenhove, also a pastor who is father to a special-needs son. With great love and joy, Andrew, Donna and Krin bring God's might and Mary's "yes!" to life in powerful new ways.

Perfect for congregations, families and individuals, each day provides a Scripture excerpt, meditation and prayer to deepen the Advent experience.  Order here.
Seeking and Finding
Hopewell Presbyterian is Seeking a Few Large Print Hymnals 
and NSRV Bibles 
Hopewell Presbyterian is look for a few copies of The Presbyterian Hymnal large print edition, along with a couple large print NRSV Bibles for immediate use to help members fully participate in worship.  Might you have some hymnals and bibles to share?  Contact Rev. Russ Ducan at
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 Available!
First Presbyterian Church of Jeffersonville has 17 choir robes available for free or freewill offering.  Please contact for more information.
Employment Opportunities
Huguenot Memorial Seeks PT Coordinator of Christian Ed 
Huguenot Memorial Church is searching for a Coordinator of Christian Education.  This is a part time position that will provide a lot of freedom and support.  The position involves working mainly with Children and Youth while fostering community among them and their parents.  Read the full job description.  Interested applicants should contact the Rev. Jacob Bolton,

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.

Share Hudson Happenings
This fall, why not give a friend a nice gift.  No flowers handy?  Why not share Hudson Happenings that helps you  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 darling photo -- come on, who can resist?! (the link is embedded). 

PT Interim Music Director Sought by FPC Yorktown
Seeking part-time Interim Music Director to provide musical leadership to Presbyterian Church in northern Westchester County. Music Director will direct and rehearse choir on Thursday evenings and provide service music on piano and organ at two Sunday Morning services. Send inquiries, or resume and cover letter to:, or mail to: Interim Music Director Search, First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown 2880 Crompond Road, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598.