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Happenings In & Around the Presbytery of NYC
T his newsletter is ordinary published on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month. All items for potential inclusion must be submitted via email to newsletter@presbynyc.org by noon on the Wednesday before the newsletter in published. All items are subject to review and editing. Timely submission does not guarantee inclusion.

Information, articles and links in this newsletter are provided for information only to the congregations and members of the presbytery. Nothing in this message should be construed as the official position of the presbytery unless noted as such.
From the Executive Presbyter
An Invitation to All Congregations
February 7, 2019 8:30-1:00
“I appeal to you brothers and sisters, with mercy of God: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, walking, activity, interests—and place it before God as an offering. Embrace what God does for you as the best thing. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold but let God re-mold you from within, so that you may prove in practice that the will of God for you is good and complete.” Romans 12.1-2

There is no denying that we live in critically anxious times in our nation. And for the church, even words like “Christian” have become marred leaving many to say they have no need for the church. Yet, as we enter again this season of Epiphany we see Jesus rising out of the waters of his baptism, calling people to become part of a new movement of God’s Spirit: “The reign of God is at hand,” calling people to come and follow him and perceive it. “See, the home of God is among mortals, God will dwell with them.” 

By the mercy of God, Christ exemplifies that God’s home is with us. God’s Spirit strives to renew and revitalize us our whole life-long. God loves us and wants to be in relationship with us—walking in the garden, calling Hagar by name out in the wilderness, sending messengers, to the revelation of God in human flesh in Jesus. We just have to perceive it. It starts by offering ourselves to God, showing up to enter into relationship with similar followers of Jesus, and together discerning what God asks of us, where God is calling us.


VITAL CONGREGATIONS is an initiative of the PCUSA that seeks to work with presbyteries in discerning the Spirit’s path forward for existing congregations so that they can exemplify what being faithful disciples of Jesus Christ looks like in their identity and practice, in worship and action. By doing this prayerfully together in relationship with other congregations in the presbytery, we help one another to be equipped, nurtured, and empowered to renew, recover, and live more fully the will of God in each other’s congregational contexts of ministry and mission.

It is not a quick fix. It requires showing up. It requires commitment to live into what the Spirit is saying: “I am doing a new thing.” But we do it together, not alone, as a presbytery, a fuller representation of the diverse body of Christ in New York City. We do this with 20 other presbyteries across the nation, similarly in prayerful discernment and relationships.

ALL CONGREGATIONS AND FELLOWSHIPS are invited to learn from one another the direction the Spirit of God, present in Jesus and our world, is calling each of our communities of faith. “I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’” (Isaiah 6.5). 

I pray every congregation and fellowship answer God’s call to send one or more of its members to meet with Kathryn Threadgill at Rutgers Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and become part. Kathryn grew up in a racially and ethnically diverse family of 13 adopted and birth children from all over the world. She and Ray Jones have been working with presbyteries across the nation engaged in Vital Congregations for this Presbyterian Mission as the Associate in the PCUSA area of Theology, Formation, and Evangelism. She will speak to why the PCUSA is launching this initiative, inviting presbyteries to become part, and how it aids congregations and their leaders who are participating, and, with me, answer your questions about undertaking this work of the Spirit with our congregations in New York City.

Robert Foltz-Morrison 
From the Stated Clerk
The Season of Statistic is Upon Us
Churches will have access to the statistical report via the online portal .  

If you need your User ID and /or Password , please send an email to the Stated Clerk Office; sc@presbynyc.org .   The Last day the statistics entry option will be available to churches is Thursday, February 14, 2019.  Last day the statistic entry option will be available for Presbyteries is Friday, March 1, 2019.

PLEASE NOTE: The Session needs to approve the report of the Clerk of Session before entry into the system. The Session Statistical report is mandated by the General Assembly and Book of Order.
Presbytery Meeting Dates for 2019/2020
Beginning in 2019 the Presbytery will have four (4) stated meetings per year. At its November 1, 2018 meeting, the General Cabinet approved the presbytery meeting dates for the 2019 and 2020 calendar years. Congregations and Minister members are asked to note these date in your calendars so that there is full representation at each meeting of the presbytery. Congregations are asked to consider hosting a presbytery meeting on one of the dates listed below. If you are interested in or have questions about hosting a presbytery meeting you should contact Warren McNeill, Stated Clerk. The 2019/2020 Presbytery meeting dates are:
Calendar Year 2019
Saturday, March 2, 2019 - Brick Presbyterian Church
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Calendar Year 2020
Saturday, March 7, 2020 (First Week of Lent)

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Material due dates will be forthcoming
From the Justice Ministry Committee (formally known as the Committee on Witness to Society and the World (CWSW) ) and the Advocate for Justice Ministries
T he Justice Ministry Committee (formally known as the Committee on Witness to Society and the World(CWSW)), calls your attention to several upcoming events and activities. Following is a list of the upcoming events and activities. Click here to check out all that is happening and the details! Share this information widely. Hope to see you at one or more events.

  • Housing request for Rev. Stanley Chimeysa, prison chaplain with our church partner in Malawi, who will be in New York from February 10 through February 16.
  • Statewide Ecuminical Advocacy Day Please mark your calendar for the first annual New York State Ecumenical Advocacy Day on Wednesday, February 27 
  • Advocacy Training Weekend – April 5-9
  • End Cash Bail - Thursday, January 31, 8:30 – 11:00 AM, St. Paul’s Chapel, Trinity Wall Street Church
  • Poor People's Campaign: National Call for Moral Revival - Trainings will be Wednesday January 23rd (Manhattan) and Saturday February 2nd (Brooklyn) from 9:30 AM-4:00PM
  • On Common Ground - The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) will hold a panel discussion on the intersections of human rights gains in the agricultural industry and the spiritual, ethical, and social contributions of different faith traditions on January 28 at 7pm at St. Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church
  • and more

To have your congregation’s justice-related events included in future email newsletters or on the Presbytery of New York City’s Justice Ministries Facebook page, contact mkoenig@presbynyc.org .
Resources on Immigration

T he situation at the border continues to develop. Followers of Jesus and others are finding ways to respond with compassion and pursue justice.
Some groups to follow for information:

Click here to find additional ideas for action from staff of the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Office of the General Assembly.
News from New York City Presbytery's Young Adult Volunteer
Hello! My name is Kori Robbins, and I am one of the Young Adult Volunteers (YAV) for 2018-2019. I am working with the Presbytery to document the mission work local churches are doing, both international and domestic. I will be reaching out to people individually, but if you would like to connect with me, please email me at nycpresbyyav@gmail.com or by phone at 406-560-5548.
An Invitation to the Annual Rosa Parks/Martin Luther King, Jr Celebration and Worship
Monday, January 21, 2019
T he Presbytery of New York City service of worship to God in thanksgiving for the lives of Rosa Parks and the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will take place on Monday, January 21, 2019 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Eastchester Presbyterian Church , 3154 Fish Ave (corner of E. Gun Hill Rd) Bronx, NY 10469. The Rev. Stephany Graham Walker, pastor of Peekskill Presbyterian Church, will be the preacher.

For the Day of Service Offering : Bring a non-perishable food item for Eastchester Church’s food pantry and/or a financial contribution for the offering to assist with bail relief in NYC for those who cannot afford it and are jailed. Download the flyer to place in your worship bulletin.
All are welcome and encouraged to attend!
Leadership Development Day - Saturday, February 23, 2019
T he Committee on Congregational Ministry and Nurture (CM&N) invites all presbyters to join us for Leadership Day on Saturday, February 23, 2019, 8am-3pm at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church , 7 West 55th St.  Our workshops will cover a range of topics including Music and Worship, Stewardship, Pastoral Care, Polity and Justice Ministries. Past, present and future Elders, Deacons, and Lay Leaders are encouraged to attend. More details will follow. Continental breakfast and lunch will be available.
Leadership Day will close with worship and communion. We hope to see you there!
Have Your Session Minutes Been Reviewed this past Year?
A Note from the Session Records Review Committee
C lerks of Session are reminded that they are to submit their congregations' minutes annually to Presbytery's Session Records Review Committee. Guidelines and a checklist can be found on the Presbytery website, nycpresbytery.org . The checklist should be completed by the Clerk and included with the minutes. Minutes may be submitted either by mail or electronically to sessionrecords@presbynyc.org .
I RS Mileage Reimbursement Rates for 2019
T he Internal Revenue Service has announced the new standard mileage rates for 2019. Starting on January 1, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup, or panel truck will be:
58 cents for every mile of business travel driven, up 3.5 cents from the 2018 rate
20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 2 cents from the 2018 rate
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

Pastors and church staff members who drive their personal vehicles for church-related business (visitations, special events, etc.) can be reimbursed if they properly track their miles—or they may be able to calculate a deduction for their annual tax returns.
Healing the Wounds of Privilege - A Webinar
Tuesday, January 15 at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT)

T his webinar will offer congregations and pastors alike a way to address the challenging topic of privilege and social divisions with generosity, humility and hope. 

The social divisions in contemporary culture – divisions of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic class, ability, gender, sexuality and more – threaten to tear apart communities. These divisions perpetuate injustice and provoke violence, shame, defensiveness and fear. This web of social problem has spiritual roots, and Christians have an opportunity to apply the spiritual tools of our faith tradition to bring a message and actions of healing and hope in a world often overcome by fear and hurt. 

Participants will be equipped to:
  • Recognize what privilege is and how it functions in our culture.
  • Identify the ways social divisions harm vulnerable people through the injustices of exclusion as well as the ways social divisions harm the very people they supposedly benefit .
  • Understand Jesus’ approach to social divisions and apply a model of healing to our broken world.
Calling Young Adult Initiators
The Young Adult Initiators at Montreat Conference Center
C alling movers, shakers, and community-makers. 
Montreal Conference Center will be piloting a new experience for young adults.

This experience for young adults will nurture community, explore meaning, and encourage young adults to ask questions that will influence their lives of faith for years to come.

The Young Adult Initiators experience in a nutshell:
Montreat will support ten to fifteen small groups of young adults for a year, each group led by an initiator. The groups will be different experiences but will all model ways of being community. We're looking for the initiators of these groups: enthusiastic self-starters who want to create community for young adults in the place where they are. These initiators will attend two retreat meetings in Montreat at no cost and will receive ongoing support throughout the year.

Our second class of initiators will be 10-15 people who are passionate about creating communities of people for mutual support, exploration, and faith talk. Know someone who may be a good fit? They will be accepting applications until February 13, 2019.
Calling All New York City Presbytery Youth for Triennium 2019!
N ew York City Presbytery will have a delegation traveling (July 16 - July 20) to  PC(USA)'s 2019 Triennium.  All youth are welcome and encouraged to be a part of NYC's delegation. Planning meetings (many via conference calls) will take place in December and January.

Mark you calendars, send your youth!

In the meantime you may contact Maria Medina (646) 352-1470 or Joshua Narcisse (718) 307-9198.
Next Church 2019 Gathering
Stories of Dissonance, Sacrifice, and Liberation
Seattle First Presbyterian Church & Seattle Presbytery
Seattle, WA
March 11-13, 2019

Workshops/Events offered include
  • People of Color Gathering
  • Breakfast with Jennifer Harvey, author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in Racially Unjust America
  • NEXT Church Arts Collective
  • Reception celebrating Seminarians

Registration is required for some events as space is limited. Learn more and register
Upcoming Life Long Learning Courses at Union Theological Seminary
U nion Theological Seminary will be offering several life long learning courses. Courses being offered include:
  • Moral Injury and Soul Repair in Veterans, Trauma-Survivors, and Care-Givers, Presented by Rita Nakashima Brock
  • Engaging Christian Education as Political Education: Teaching The Movement[s] Using the Bible and Organizers’ Demands, Presented by Candace Simpson
  • Topics in Ministry: Rethinking Christian Tradition II: Forming Your Own Understanding, Presented by Mary Julia Jett and Isaac Sharp
  • Start Where You Are: Greening a Congregation, Presented by Donna Schaper

Click here for the full course listing and registration information.
Commission on Ministry Meeting Dates and Material Deadlines
All material for COM's consideration must be emailed to the committee at com@presbynyc.org
COM Meeting Dates
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
COM Material Due Dates
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
On Calling a Pastor
On Calling a Pastor , is a resource for pastor nominating committees and mid councils is now available. Each section of the manual builds upon the next to walk users through the call process highlighting the partners in the call process, polity, using the CLC system, and emphasizing the need for spiritual discernment. The resource is in PDF format. It may be read online or downloaded and printed. "On Calling a Pastor" includes videos, links to online resources, case studies, and "teach the teacher" Power Points for those training pastor nominating committees. Download the full handbook or individual chapters. You may also watch supplemental videos. To access the video links from within the PDFs, click on the icons found in the various chapters.

The Church Leadership Connection staff is here to serve you. If you need any assistance or have questions, contact them by phone at 888-728-7228, ext. 8550, or by email at clcstaff@pcusa.org .
Employment Opportunities Within and Around the Presbytery of NYC
Congregational Searches
The following congregations in our presbytery are currently engaged in active searches:

  • Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church - Solo Pastor, Part-time
  • Fort Washington Heights Presbyterian Church - Solo Pastor, Part-time 
  • St. Augustine Presbyterian Church - Solo Pastor, Part-time
More information on these positions can be found on the PC (USA)'s Church Leadership Connections (CLC) website.  Click here for CLC's website .

Employment Opportunities
  • First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills, Custodian - Learn more
Stay Connected to the Presbytery of NYC
Help your congregation's members stay connected with the latest news and opportunities in and around the presbytery by subscribing to Happenings In & Around the Presbytery, the Presbytery's electronic newsletter. Keep members updated and apprised of Presbyterian events, resources, grants, and opportunities.  Have members fill out the contact information form so that their email addresses can be added to our subscribers list.  Click here  for the Contact Information Form. Once completed return the form to the presbytery office or email it to Yzette Swavy-Lipton .
Need an address or phone number for a church or a member of the NYC Presbytery? No need to call the office to get that information. You only need to log into the Presbytery ACS Database System and viola, the information is right at your fingertips.

If we have your contact information in our database you only need to create an account within the ACS System. If we do not have your contact information  click here  for the Contact Information Form. Once completed return the form to the presbytery office or email it to Yzette Swavy-Lipton so that you can be added to the database.

The ACS Member login Instructions will walk you through the process of creating an account. Once you have setup an account there is an option to download ACS's Church Life App for your mobile phone (iPhone and Android).