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Happenings In & Around the Presbytery of NYC
Daylight Saving Time Begins...
D aylight saving time will begin at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 10th Before going to bed on Saturday night set your clocks ahead one hour.
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
E ntering the Season of Lent
The first Sunday of Lent begins with Jesus in the wilderness, fasting, praying, listening to God, even as he is tempted to wander from God. Restless nights, staying focused amid hungers gnawing at him to be something other than who he was called to be, wanting that right spirit within him that would restore him and sustain in him a willing spirit. Do you know such experiences? Lent is a season in which the Christian community is granted time to re-set and re-align our lives with God, day by day, week by week. Again and again, Jesus would set aside time to pray and stay focused, to be led by, and lead people into, the heart of God’s love. A cross lies ahead, as does resurrection.

Joy Jordan-Lake writes in  Why Jesus Makes Me Nervous: Ten Alarming Words of Faith, “resurrection begins not with triumphantly toppled stones, empty tombs, and the masses agape in amazement, but before that. With death. With woundedness and mourning and betrayal, things done and undone, with understanding that dust and disaster and deceit are where we’ve landed.”

Following Jesus’ call to me to re-set and re-align my life with God, I step forward to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. That day, this season, reminds me of the frailty of my body, particularly as it ages; to confess the systemic practices (sins) that have infiltrated my own identify and practices and privileges; to acknowledge the times when I have been hurt, angry, lonely, and tired—and the times when I have hurt, angered, alienated others, when my own spirit has been “prone to wander from the fold of God.”

The ashes on my forehead remind me of my own imperfections from which I cannot hide. The ashes are visible to you, they are visible to the world, they are a visible to God. But within the gospel of Jesus, within the psalms (as Psalm 51) there is the promise I need, we need, to begin the process of reconciliation, renewal, and restoration. God re-setting our lives with a new and right spirit within. A humble re-submission of our lives to God and gratitude for what God does with a broken and contrite heart.

Robert Foltz-Morrison
Vital Congregations, Vital Stories of What God is Doing
The Vital Congregations Initiative acknowledges this is the work of God and God’s people called by Christ to incarnate the gospel in New York City in the 21 st century.

After review and discussion of the manual  and  tool-kit sessions that would like their congregations to participate in the Presbytery and Denominational Initiative called Vital Congregations are asked to sign the Covenant of Participation by April 1 st. Covenants are signed by the clerk of session and that congregational leader (in a church without a pastor) or pastor who will participate in self-select groups of other participating congregational leaders and pastors. All congregations can participate whether they have an installed pastor, temporary pastor, CRE, no currently serving pastor, or are a fellowship or new worshiping community. The Covenant is your session’s and your congregational leader/pastor’s commitment to do so with other congregations, and our presbytery and denomination’s commitment to be there with you. Please call Rev. Foltz-Morrison if you have any questions. He is also in touch with national staff.

The Vital Congregations Initiative moves forward by pastors and congregational leaders meeting monthly to talk about what God is revealing to them as they undertake work together (not by themselves). It is telling stories about what is working and what is not, reshaping congregations for the future they discern God is leading them into.

Can you share a story about what has given your congregation energy and satisfaction? Can you share a story about the mission your congregation believes God is calling you into? Send it to vitalcongregations@presbynyc.org so we can share those stories.

Share your congregational stories. They keep you and this presbytery energized about the work God in doing through the same Spirit that was with Christ Jesus.

Robert Foltz-Morrison
From the Stated Clerk
A s I shared with the presbytery last month, I underwent quadruple bypass surgery on Monday, February 25 th.  I ask for your continued prayers during my period of recovery. All stated clerk related matters should be emailed to  the stated clerk's office at SC@presbynyc.org . You can also email Yzette Swavy-Lipton in the Presbytery office, who will direct your calls, concerns and queries accordingly.

Cards may be sent to my home at:
103 General Hancock Blvd
North Wales PA 19454

I thank you all for your continued support and prayers.

Elder Warren C. McNeill
Stated Clerk
2019 Presbytery Meeting Dates and Material Deadlines
Stated Meeting
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Material Due (by 5:00 PM)
Friday, May 17, 2019
Friday, September 13, 2019
Friday, November 15, 2019
Martinez Grant Application Deadline - Tuesday, April 9, 2019
The deadline to submit a Martinez Fund Grant application for consideration is Tuesday, April 9, 2019 .

If you have questions regarding this grant call the Presbytery office.
From the Property Consultant
P lease make sure that when your boilers are inspected that the company that does so, files with the NYC Building Dept.. If you have an in ground oil tank and have never gotten a “Fuel Oil Permit” contact me at the Presbytery office for additional information.  
All structures with in ground oil tanks are required to have them and the FDNY is currently making visits and handing out violations. You can  apply online.

I am available on Mondays and Thursdays to visit you and assist with any issues or concerns you have regarding buildings and grounds.

We have a great property manual that can be made available if you do not already have it.
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 some of the upcoming events and activities.

  • PRISON VISIT - in partnership with the Church of Gethsemane, is planning a visit to men at Sing Sing Prison on March 21
  • #CLOSErikers FORUM - March 14, 2019 – 6:00 PM
  • Poor People's Campaign in New York City - Upcoming Events
  • One Great Hour of Sharing Offering (OGHS) - March 6th - April 21st - Sharing Resources and Changing Lives

 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.

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 .
News from Self-Development of People
D id you know the Presbytery of New York City has a group working with the Self-Development of People (SDOP) program? This video introduces the group and describes the ministry. Supported by your gifts to the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering , Self-Development of People partners with communities and organizations that identify a need they face, envision and design a project to address that need, implement and control the project, and benefit from the project. SDOP affirms God’s concern for humankind. It is made up of Presbyterians and ecumenical partners dissatisfied with poverty and oppression, united in faith and action through sharing, confronting, and enabling by participating in the empowerment of economically poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged people, seeking to change the structures that perpetuate poverty, oppression and injustice. Use the video to learn about Self-Development of People and to promote the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering. Contact Mark Koenig to obtain the video. 
Calling All NYC Presbytery Youth! We're off to Purdue University
in West Lafayette, Indiana for PC(USA)'s 2019 Triennium

The Committee on Congregational Ministry and Nurture (CM&N) reminds you that it's time for youth to complete applications and medical release forms for PC(USA)'s Triennium 2019.


Full information about Triennium 2019 can be found on the website:  https://presbyterianyouthtriennium.org/

First, please fill out the interest survey with your contact information and T-shirt size:   Triennium 2019 Interest Survey .

Second, fill out the   Triennium 2019 Medical Release Form , which must be filled out for each participant interested in attending. This medical form is held in a secure place with national staff overseeing the Triennium.

Third, please come to the next Triennium 2019 informational gathering. The details are:
First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn
124 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 12-2 PM
Refreshments will be provided
Please invite your family and friends to attend with you. 

CM&N reminds you if you have any questions, please email Maria Medina, who is working with CM&N at  Triennium2019@gmail.com . or call the presbytery office and we will direct you accordingly.
Thank you,

The Presbytery's Committee on Congregational Ministry and Nurture
News from the NYC Chapter of the National Black Presbyterian Caucus and the Harlem Council of Presbyterian Churches
T he National Black Presbyterian Caucus (NBPC) will host the first meeting of the reinstated New York Chapter of the NBPC at Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church on Saturday, March 16 th at 10:00 am.

The Harlem Council of Presbyterian Churches invites you to its Ash Wednesday Services and their Lenten/Holy Week Study Series and Services. Click the button below for the full schedule.
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 .
Coming Soon to Holmes Presbyterian Camp & Retreat Center
Upcoming Events

  • Bring Back Denton Work Days: April 6, May 4, & June 1, 2019
  • Confirmation Retreats: March 22-23 & April 12-13
  • Deepening the Journey: Yoga & Meditation as Spiritual Practice: April 26-28
  • Summer Camp Open House: May 19
  • Friends Day: July 27 (please note this date was printed incorrectly in our summer camp brochure, we apologize for any inconvenience!) 
Ash Wednesday: What do Presbyterians do?
F or Presbyterians, “it’s probably in the past 20 years that we’ve begun to kind of recover Ash Wednesday as part of our worship life,” said Paul Galbreath, an associate for worship with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s national staff. Before that, “it was perceived as Roman Catholic, and was something that good Presbyterians didn’t do. Not that we really knew what it was — it was just foreign to our culture.” Full story
Presbyterian Historical Society's Black History Month Historical Figure Thursday
For the last day of Black History Month the Presbyterian Historical Society held a special Historical Figure Thursday, featuring Reverend James Foster Reese. Born in 1924, James Reese is a native of Harrodsburg, Kentucky. He holds a B.S. from Knoxville College, a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and a Master of Education in Religious Education from the University of Pittsburgh.

Rev. Reese was first called to be Pastor of Trinity United Presbyterian Church and Miller’s Ferry Presbyterian Church in Alabama. He was next called to serve as Pastor of First United Presbyterian Church on the campus of Knoxville College. He served as Professor of Homiletics in Kenya, and upon his return, agreed to serve as the Christian Education Consultant for the Synod of Catawba in Charlotte, N.C.

Visit their Living History series and hear Rev. Reese explain how his background as a Presbyterian seminarian helped him advocate for voting rights for all during the 1950s.
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. 
  • You are invited to join the members and friends of Featherbed Lane as they celebrate Rev. Lonnie Harold Bryant's tenth year of service to Featherbed Lane, the surrounding community and to the Presbytery. A celebration honoring his service will take place on April 6, 2019. Learn more
  • The Presbytery extends its prayers of condolence to Elder Peng Leong, CRE (First Chinese Presbyterian Church) on the death of her mother, Tan Su See. Tan Su passed away peacefully on February 20 at the age 102.
  • Continued prayers are extended to Elder Warren McNeill, the Presbytery's Stated Clerk as he recovers from heart surgery.
PCUSA News provides timely news articles of interest for members and friends of our denomination This week's edition includes:
  • PC(USA) asks for prayer for the United Methodist Church Special Session of the General Conference.
  • Amaury Tañón-Santos to lead opening worship at Big Tent.
  • Part-time seminary paying big-time dividends
  • Forty days of Lenten prayer
  • Congregations are in decline, but age ranges remain the same
  • More than 100 years of care at McKean Rehabilitation Institute
  • Three events planned to honor the Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon’s legacy
  • What is per capita?
  • More benefits than you can shake a palm at
Poor People’s Campaign cross-country event will highlight poverty, racism and other issues
L eaders from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)  Racial & Intercultural Justice ministry  and  Office of Public Witness  participated in a Monday morning announcement by  The Poor People’s Campaign  that it will be embarking on a National Emergency Poverty and Truth Bus Tour in the coming months.
“We will be hitting more than 28 states coast-to-coast, region-to-region highlighting the poverty, the racism, the ecological devastation, and the militarism that our elected leaders would rather ignore, or in some cases make worse,” said the  Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis , a PC(USA) minister who is co-chair of The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Learn more
Presbyterian Foundation is Offering Free Webinars - Money Conversations in the Church
T he Presbyterian Foundation is offering a series of five webinars in 2019 on engaging church givers in stewardship and money-related conversations. Pastors, business administrators, stewardship chairs, treasurers, session clerks, and others involved in the financial life of the church are invited to register. The workshops are free. You can sign up for the whole series, or just topics that interest you the most.
Rob Hagan and Karl Mattison will present the webinars. Rob is a Ministry Relations Officer for the Presbyterian Foundation. Karl serves the Foundation as Vice President of Planned Giving. Rob and Karl have teamed up many times to educate church leaders on financial topics. They are excited to offer webinar participants tools for building generous, vital communities of faithful givers who want their resources to change people’s lives for Jesus Christ.
Topics in the webinar series are:
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership
T he Lewis Center for Church Leadership was formed within Wesley Theological Seminary in 2003 to promote the effective and faithful practice of Christian leadership in the church and the world. Over the past 14 years, the Center has become a trusted resource for church leadership ideas, research, resources, and training so that congregations and denominations thrive, serve, and grow. Founded on the premise that effective leadership is critical to fruitful ministry, the center helps seminary students, clergy, lay leaders, and denominational leaders enhance their leadership effectiveness and help develop leadership in others .

Following are a few topics covered in their most recent newsletter:
  • Confess Your Mess
  • 7 Policies Every Church Needs for Trust and Transparency
  • Learn to Protect, Sustain and Grow Your Church's Money
  • View a Video on "Why Community Engagement Matters"
  • Apply Now for Doctor of Ministry in Church Leadership Excellence at Wesley
  • Read "Take the Next Step: Leading Lasting Change in the Church

Five Ways to Enhance Corporate Prayer in Your Church
C orporate prayer is instrumental in shaping the DNA of a church. A praying church is often one who realizes that they are fully dependent on God's power. Listen to a podcast to learn five ways you can increase the power and frequency of prayer in your church. 
Commission on Ministry Meeting Dates and Material Deadlines
All material for COM's consideration must be emailed to the commission at com@presbynyc.org
COM Meeting Dates
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
COM Material Due Dates
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Tuesday, April 23, 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:

  • 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
  • Emergency Shelter Network (ESN) a subsidiary program of New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) seeks a Program Director for its Emergency Shelter Network - Full details
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).