475 Riverside Drive Suite 1600, New York, NY 10115
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
A s I was recovering from bearing physical wounds of surgery, hymns would often come to me as a means of encouragement and support.

Crown him the Lord of love; behold his hands and side, rich wounds, yet visible
in beauty glorified; no angels in the sky can fully bear that sight, but downward
bends their burning eye at mysteries so bright.

Perhaps these were the messages sent by the Holy Spirit from prayers prayed by others for my recovery. My wounds are still visible, as were Christ’s when he appeared to the Apostle Thomas. Wounds meant to kill this One sent by God for our salvation. “No angels can fully bear that sight…at mysteries so bright.” Wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53.5) By his stripes, his wounds, we are healed. Made well with God and ourselves. Shalom.

There is more to healing than just recovery of physical wounds. While on medical leave, I wanted to go a little deeper into what I had shared with you about healing from Richard Johnson’s book, Body, Mind, Spirit . I returned to read through Tilden Edwards, Sabbath Time: Understanding and Practice for Contemporary Christians, and Edward Jackson’s, Understanding Prayer: An Exploration of the Nature, Disciplines, and Growth of the Spiritual Life.  I have made adjustments in beginning and ending my day and my weekends to give up time overly committed to presbytery work and wearying me and others out. I took walks in parks and gardens with Leslie to recapture the Psalmists thrill of God’s handiwork. I walked around my streets, taking note of my neighbors and shop owners—stopping in places I had not visited. I heard (many bird songs) and saw things (cricket matches on Saturday) I had been missing when body, mind, and spirit are not in sync and open to the wonder of all that surrounds me.

I am a work in progress. Meditative prayer at the start and close of the day, breaks for walking outside, and moments to be still all compete like rush hour traffic with the congestion of emails, people meetings, cries for acts of justice, and presbytery tasks surrounding me. Sometimes all this can feel like being in a crowded subway car—it has a pace of its own and might be held at a station for a while or by-pass other station stops. But as those I have been reading state: I can tell myself what I want to do with all this congestion of activity and opportunity and whether it fits into what God asks of me. Presbytery staff, colleagues, and I are watching to see if I am throttling up too fast returning to work. This too is part of a broader healing, and the Psalmists have been good friends to me, along with your prayers and encouragement. Thank you.

Robert Foltz-Morrison
From the Presbytery Office
Greetings from the office of Shirley Fleming,

As some of you may be aware I had knee replacement surgery yesterday, Thursday, July 11. I will be out of the office for approximately 2 months.

Your prayers for a speedy recovery will be appreciated. I will not be receiving visitors at the hospital or at my home. If you would like to send a card please send it to:

Ms. Shirley Fleming
123 West 104th Street, Apt. 7E
New York, NY 10025

P.S. I spoke with Shirley on Thursday afternoon/evening. She reports that she's doing well post surgery. She had already gotten up and walked!
The Presbytery Office Goes Virtual - On Fridays!
Friends, effective immediately, on Fridays during the summer months (June, July & August) the presbytery staff will work virtually. This means that the physical office will be closed. The staff will have virtual access their phones and email and will be able to respond to both your calls and your emails. Should you find the need to meet with a staff member on a Friday during this time you are asked to reach out to that staff member to make arrangements for them to come in to the office.

Yzette Swavy-Lipton
Executive Administrator/Office Manager
From the Justice Ministry Committee (formally known as the Committee on Witness to Society and the World (CWSW) ) and the Advocate for Justice Ministries
The Justice Ministry Committee (formally known as the Committee on Witness to Society and the World (CWSW)), calls your attention to the the following:

The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, will visit the Presbytery of New York City to talk about the new Matthew 25 Initiative . Here is the schedule:

Friday, July 26 from 3:00 – 5:00 PM
475 Riverside Drive - Interchurch Center
This will be an opportunity to meet the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett for informal conversation. She will do a brief presentation on the Matthew 25 initiative.

Saturday, July 27 from 10:00 to Noon
First Presbyterian Church, Manhattan
The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett will make a presentation on the Matthew 25 initiative.
Participants will engage in conversation with one another about how our congregations are already in the process of becoming and being Matthew 25 congregations. There will be an opportunity to share their ministries. Ample time will be allowed for questions and responses on the Matthew 25 initiative.

July 12, 2019
7:00 PM
Foley Square

Scholarships to Holmes Camp and Conference Center
One scholarship to Holmes Camp and Conference Center remains available to young men or young women with financial need. The camp which the young people might attend is
Eco-Hero Camp – (a camp on environmental justice issues) – July 28 – August 3 for young people entering grades 4 to 12 and recent graduates
The scholarship is available through Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church’s share of the Peace and Global Witness Offering.
Contact Mark Koenig for more information or to recommend a young person for a scholarship.

Here are three advocacy opportunities – take all three or any of these actions:

Sign on to a letter to Acting Secretary Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan – from our full communion partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Church World Service has posted a new resource “ 5 Ways to Help Families and Children Seeking Asylum at the Border ”. The resource includes ideas for advocacy and financial donations. It identifies organizations working on the border that can use support

Contact Mark Koenig if you have questions at mkoenig@presbynyc.org .
Vital Congregations Gathering - An Open Invitation to All
An Invitation to an Installation
Rev. Euton Elisha Williams' Service - OPEN TO ALL
Rev. Euton Elisha Williams
December 31, 1919 - July 11, 2019

A Funeral Service will be held
Monday, July 15, 2019
10:00 AM
Church of the Master
81-82 Morningside Avenue
New York, NY 10027
A fuller Memorial Service will be planned for a later date

Jesus said: I go to prepare a place for you…I will take you to myself
so that where I am there you may be also.
And you know the way to the place where I am going.
                                                                                   John 14.2-4

Benefits Connections Webinar
The 2019 Virtual Benefits Connections webinar brings Benefits Connections, popular annual events for church employers, directly to your computer. Join them  Monday, July 22, 2019, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. ET , as Church Consultants from the Board of Pensions present information and reminders to help you with your  2020 Employer Agreement , which will be available on Benefits Connect July 15 through October 11.

As with their in-person Benefits Connections events, this webinar is perfect for people who decide, manage, or support benefits for Presbyterian Church (U.SA.) ministers or employers, including church business administrators, office managers, clerks of session, personnel committee chairs, pastors, and mid council leaders.

If you missed Benefits Connections this spring, or if you did attend and would like a refresher, join this webinar!
The Presbytery extends its joy and praises to:
  • Elder Rhonda Sanchez as she shepherds almost 30 young adults from various congregations within our presbytery, to PCUSA's 2019 Youth Triennium taking place in Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
The Presbytery extends its prayers to:
  • The Presbytery's Administrative Assistant, Shirley Fleming as she recovers from recent (July 11) knee replacement surgery.
  • Rev. Dr. Victor Aloyo Jr., mother, Esperanza Aloyo (92), recently underwent successful heart surgery and is now recovering
  • Continued prayers for both Rev. Alice Hermanus-Rampengan (Indonesian Presbyterian Church) and Elder Marvela G. Hermanus as Marvela continues to provide care for her mother.
Training for Social Justice Advocates at Union Theological Seminary
U nion Theological Seminary continues their efforts to train social justice advocates, They are pleased to accept applications for their sixth cohort of the Encore Transition Program

Participants aged 55 and older will spend four months engaged in a bi-weekly process of discernment about their “encore” – or “second” – stage of life. In addition to discussions about aging, transition, creativity, and spirituality, the program provides participants with the opportunity for networking, mentoring, and field observation in areas of personal interest.

Welcome the Stranger
Some of your church visitors are Christians and some aren’t. Either way, they are people searching for something. Searching for a place to belong. Searching for a place to worship. Searching for a family to walk alongside them. Searching for a place to sense God’s love.
Note the last part. It is the most important thing I will say: His love. The most important thing any church can convey to visitors is God’s love. Here are a few ways to do that. Learn more
Before Big Tent There Will be the Convocation for Communities of Color
A s we grapple with the emerging church of the 21st century, it is imperative that we come together to listen, learn and envision the future. God, through Jesus Christ, is providing us an opportunity at Big Tent to go deep in our theology and faith while renewing our spirits. – The Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, II; Stated Clerk of the General Assembly. 

What is Big Tent?
Since its inception in 2009, Big Tent has been a “Big Presbyterian family reunion.” It is the assembly between General Assemblies that brings us together to celebrate our church as the Body of Christ and engage in deeper conversations about how we can be the community we are called to be in this age; to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ as children of God whoever we are, wherever we are. 
Enjoy Your Freedom? Thank a Presbyterian
As those of us in the United States this week celebrated freedom from British governance, consider the many ways that Presbyterianism influenced the decision to enter a war for independence and take up arms against a magistrate. Learn more
9 Reasons to Keep the Church Choir Alive - by Jonathan Aigner
I t’s accurate that many churches have traded the traditional choir for a more contemporary ensemble in their services. 

I’m always a bit frustrated when I see articles like this one from Cathy Lynn Grossman on the Religion News Service, entitled “Many church choirs are dying. Here’s why.” They never tell the whole story. It’s accurate that many churches have traded the traditional choir for a more contemporary ensemble in their services. I don’t think we can argue with that. But what the article doesn’t say is that there are many churches in which the choral art still grows and flourishes. Beyond that, there is no real discussion of what is being forfeited in this installment of Christian culture’s relentless pursuit of what is trendy.

There is much in the article that could be addressed, but instead of offering a blow-by-blow rebuttal, I’d rather take a minute to discuss the unique presence good choral music brings into corporate worship.  
2019 Presbytery Meeting Dates and Material Deadlines
Stated Meeting
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Material Due (by 5:00 PM)
Friday, September 13, 2019
Friday, November 15, 2019
2019 Commission on Ministry Dates and Material Deadlines
All material for COM's consideration must be emailed to the commission at com@presbynyc.org
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:

  • First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York - Pastor, Full-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 .

Temporary Congregational Searches
  • El Buen Pastor Presbyterian Church - Temporary Pulpit Supply, Part Time, Click here to apply
  • First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills - Interim Pastor, Full Time. 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).