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Happenings In & Around the Presbytery of NYC
The presbytery office will be closed on Monday, May 27 th in observance of Memorial Day
Limited Time Discounts Available for Holmes Camp - REGISTER NOW!
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
D ear colleagues in ministry,
I will see you at the Presbytery meeting June 4th but will be slowing down thereafter to take medical leave June 10-28 (prostate surgery cancer and recovery). The Rev. Mark Tammen, General Presbyter of Long Island Presbytery, and the Rev. Harold Delhagen, Synod Executive, have both offered to be available to help the office staff as needed.

Slowing down has not been easy. It seems my accelerator pedal is more readily used than the brake pedal of my life even though I have a hard stop coming up in June. In reflecting on this, I was drawn to what Dr. Richard P. Johnson wrote in a book given to me by an Interim Synod Executive entitled, Body, Mind, Spirit. Tapping the Healing Power Within You.

Healing comes in infinite variety but only two categories: healing sickness and healing illness. As it relates to sickness healing is best described as a “cure,” recovery or relief from a disease. Healing illness refers to making sound or whole, overcoming an undesirable situation. Healing includes your willingness to perceive your illness differently. Healing involves opening our ears to hear the soothing communication of the Holy Spirit, whose message is always wholeness. Healing our illness goes beyond the physical to a higher realm where the will of God resides.

From reading this and looking at my tendency to press the accelerator pedal more than the brake pedal, I am aware of a socially accepted and promoted illness known as “workaholism” - a compulsion to work excessively hard and long hours. It can become addictive and soul-destroying. I can be healed by a prostatectomy, but this other kind of healing goes beyond the physical, as Johnson points out. I confess that your prayers for healing need to go in both directions for me.

The surgeon, and many of you, assure me of recovery. I wonder about the work issues. That requires a different kind of healing, listening to the divine voice. It is not a technical “fix” as much as an adaptive change in habits and practices, uses of time and energy, responding differently to situations in which I find myself, prayer and soulful reflection.

Renewing that right spirit within us (Psalm 51) takes us beyond just these physical bodies of ours. Even congregational and societal messages and practices can bring illnesses upon many of us that destroy souls, lives, and community. My own prayer closes with these additional words from Dr. Johnson for all:

Healing requires our cooperative consent to the healing power within us. Our tireless internal Healer constantly nudges us toward God…accept the lead of this careful custodian of our welfare.

Robert Foltz-Morrison
What's Before us at the Next Presbytery Meeting
June 4, 2019 at Broadway Presbyterian Church
Vital Congregations Pre-Meeting at Broadway Presbyterian Church 12:00 Noon
Bring Your Own Lunch Invitation for those who want to participate or learn more about
Vital Congregations. You will hear from those who attended training in Denver and
Atlanta and the next steps for those participating congregations in our presbytery.

The Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of New York City (PNYC)
  • Worship with Communion (Easter/resurrection, Pentecost/outpouring of Spirit)
  • Hearing from some of the 28 PNYC members who attended Vital Congregations training in Denver and Atlanta in May
  • Presentation by our 2018-19 Young Adult Volunteer on the missions and ministries undertaken by our congregations; report of YAV Commission on 2019-2020 YAVs
  • Highlights of PNYC mission and ministry since our last Annual Meeting
  • Reports from the directors of our partner organizations: Holmes Camp and Conference Center and Presbyterian Senior Services
  • Voting on changes to the by-laws of Presbyterian Senior Services
  • Rescinding a previous Presbytery action to form an Administrative Commission
  • Results of Presbytery voting on overtures from the 2018 General Assembly
  • Welcoming new inquirers and candidates for Ministry of Word and Sacrament
  • Welcoming new minister-member Ebenezer Annor
  • Tributes to honorably retiring minister-members Nora Tisdale and Jack Lohr
  • Hearing actions approved by the Commission on Preparation for Ministry, Commission on Ministry, Commission on Mission, Finance, & Budget
  • Activity upcoming for the presbytery from Justice Ministry Committee
  • Nominees for four presbytery committees (PNYC Committee on Nominations)
  • Report from the Administrative Commission for HaKnesiah Church
  • Change in the Good Works Fund Policy of PNYC
  • Commissioning of Youth and Adults attending 2019 Youth Triennium
From the Stated Clerk - Registration for the June 4 th Stated Meeting of the Presbytery in now Open
The June Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of New York City will be held on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at Broadway Presbyterian Church, located at 601 West 114th Street, New York, NY 10025. Registration will begin at 1:00 P.M. and 
the meeting will begin at 2:00 P.M. The cost of dinner will be $10.00.

Registration for the meeting will close on Friday, May 31, 2019. You may continue to request an excused absence ONLY by email to the Stated Clerk at SC@presbynyc.org by Saturday, June 1, 2019. Materials for this meeting will be sent separately through the office of the Stated Clerk.

Elder Warren C. McNeill
Stated Clerk
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 several upcoming events and activities.

The Genesis of Exodus
A Film Screening and Discussion
Friday, May 31, 2019
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Broadway Presbyterian Church
601 W 114th St, New York, NY 10025
What are the root causes of immigration? Why do people leave their homes and make perilous journeys to other places? What can we do to support people seeking asylum in the United States? Through a screening of the PC(USA) film The Genesis of Exodus and a panel discussion, this event will explore those and related questions. Panelists are Teresa Waggener, Immigration Attorney, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Ravi Ragbir, New Sanctuary Coalition, and Steph Quintana Martinez, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship Accompaniment Program For more information, contact Mark Koenig.
Conversations with Teresa Waggener
Teresa Waggener will be available to meet with persons and their pastors concerned about their immigration status on Friday May 31st from 2:00-5:00 PM at The Interchurch Center; and Saturday June 1st from 9:00-11:00 AM at Rutgers Presbyterian Church. Please reach out to anyone who may want to speak with her. The process of migrating and staying in this country has become fraught with difficulties. Contact Bob Foltz-Morrison or Mark Koenig for more information.

Other events and activities that may be of interest include:
  • Reviving the Peace Process in Columbia
  • Scholarships to Holmes Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center
  • Peace for the Earth: 2019 Presbyterians for Earth Care Conference
  • NY State Faith Leaders for the Climate and Community Protection Act

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 .
From the Presbytery Office - Shirley Fleming
Greetings from the office of Shirley Fleming,

As some of you may be aware I will be having knee replacement surgery on Thursday, May 30, 2019. My surgery will take place at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital. I will be out of the office for approximately 2 months.

Your prayers for a successful and 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
An Invitation - Ebenezer Annor's Ordination
Good Works Committee Invites Congregations to Submit Grant Requests
T he Good Works Committee is charged with distributing funds for projects that support new or existing church development, new or existing mission projects, new or existing young adult initiatives, and that supplement staff to assist with such projects within the Presbytery.

The committee invites congregations and fellowships to submit proposals for possible funding of new or on-going missional efforts through the Good Works Fund.  Guidelines  and an  application  are available on the  General Resources  page on the Presbytery's website.

Recently approved projects include a four-church collaborative jazz and justice project in Brooklyn and support for the Vital Congregations Initiative that is engaging more than 25 congregations within the Presbytery. Contact  goodworks@presbynyc.org .
Nominations Committee is Looking for a Few Good Women and Men
The Committee on Nominations has begun its work, seeking Ruling Elders, Lay Leaders and Ministers of Word and Sacrament to serve on Presbytery Commissions and Committees for the class of 2022*.

Serving on a commission or a committee is an opportunity to learn more about our denominations governance. To learn more contact Jim Nedelka at JimNedelka@gmail.com

*There are still a few vacancies in the classes of 2020 & 2021
Regarding Ruling Elders - Ruling Elders as Commissioners
T he May issue of Regarding Ruling Elders has been posted online. Going forward, some of the monthly articles will focus on responsibilities of ruling elders while others will provide support as ruling elders serve as spiritual leaders. This month's featured article is "Ruling Elders as Commissioners,". It's available in  English Korean , and  Spanish .
Give Directly to NYC Presbytery Touth Traveling to Triennium 2019 through the P entecost Special Offering April 22 nd - June 9 th
T he   Pentecost Offering  is one of four Special Offerings taken every year in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Now is the time for you/your congregation to give to this Pentecost Special Offering, where you can directly support... NEW YORK CITY PRESBYTERY's YOUTH!

Your giving to the  Pentecost Offering  directly affects NYC Presbytery ministries with youth, including the  2019 Youth Triennium  (July 16-20) and the ongoing Young Adult Volunteers (YAV's), as well as national missions with children and youth.
Here’s how it works.
40%  remains with your congregation to designate to support children and youth. The Go-Team working on scholarships for PNYC youth to attend the  2019 Triennium  in July  (see full details below) encourages  (even if you do not have youth from your congregation going to Triunnium 2019 we ask that you support the youth who will be attending)   contributing this portion to Presbytery of New York City marked “Youth Triennium Scholarships.”
25%  goes to support the national Young Adult Volunteer program, four of whom come to NYC Presbytery.
25%   assists congregations and the denomination with funding that supports ministries with youth.
10%  supports a PCUSA national initiative “Educate a Child,” to educate 1 million children by 2020.
Every congregation has received a packet of materials about the Pentecost Offering. You may also find information on  Presbyterian Mission Agency's website. .
Be generous to this younger generation that, with us, are Christ’s ambassadors in the church and world. Take up the offering on or before Pentecost Sunday June 9 th .
Robert Foltz-Morrison
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 Triennium 2019 is quickly approaching


Excitement is building as we get ready for the 'Here's My Heart' Youth Triennium 2019. If you have a youth in high school consider sending that/those future church leader(s) to Youth Triennium 2019.

The deadlines are quickly approaching for grants, application and registration. We ask that you complete the medical forms

Please also call and or email us so that we can confirm the submitted information. You can reach our Registrar Maria Medina at mcmedina@uvm.edu .  You can reach Rhonda Sanchez at rhondasanchez@live.com or 347-498-6260.

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

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

The Presbytery's Committee on Congregational Ministry and Nurture
  • Week-long camp for LGBTQ+ high school youth set for July 7-13
  • Learning Theology from my Mother
  • How Caring is Your Congregation
  • Stated Clerk applauds court decision in immigrant activist Ravi Ragbir case
  • Seminarian discovers God’s love of imperfection by making pottery
  • Presbyterian Historical Society Awards 2019 Research Grants
P rinceton Theological Seminary has several upcoming events and courses that you be of interest to you. Events and courses include:

Visit their website for registration information and full details for all coursed and events.
News from the Board of Pensions
Follow the latest news from the Board of Pensions. Highlights from the latest edition of Board Connections include:
  • Starting in June, new Board University e-learning modules will be available through Benefits Connect.
  • Changes coming to Retirement Savings Plan investment lineup
  • Three easy steps for using your vision eyewear coverage
  • Registration opens soon for annual Well‑Being Retreat
Presbyterian Foundation Accepting Applications for Church Financial Leadership Grants
A pplications are now being accepted for the Presbyterian Foundation’s Church Financial Leadership Grant program.

Applicants must be a pastor, commissioned ruling elder or leader of a 1001 New Worshiping Community within the  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) .

The grants will help pastoral leaders institute best practices for church financial leadership, introduce them to new models of giving and stewardship, and offer new ways to talk about money and form generous disciples within their church.
Preserving Church Records with the Presbyterian Historical Society
As the summer approaches now would be an excellent time to consider going through your congregations's records to determine what records you'd like to preserve. Presbyterian Church(U.S.A.)'s Presbyterian Historical Society has resources to assist with this important task.

As the national archives of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Presbyterian Historical Society collects records of historic value from congregations, mid councils, national agencies, individuals, and families. They support the record-keeping activities of all entities of the Church.

Limited Time Discounts Available for Holmes Camp - REGISTER NOW!
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. 
Dear Church, Here's Why People are Leaving
The Exodus has begun and it’s not going to stop. People are leaving you and they’re probably not coming back.

You’re panicking, scrambling to understand it all, trying to somehow stop the bleeding, to reverse the swift and steady tide out the doors.

You hire consultants and hold emergency meetings and plan bold strategies and brainstorm solutions—all designed to engineer a way to bring all the prodigals home, to “reach the young people,” to grow numerically again.

You imagine that if you just tweak the songs or shorten the services or get a new sign or rebrand your logo or set up shop in a strip mall; that if you just find the right aesthetic balance of vintage reverence and hipster chic—that this will all magically change your fortunes. 

It won’t...
You've Received an Anonymous Letter - Now What?
T hom Rainer writes; on occasion a church leader at Church Answers will share with the community that he or she received an anonymous letter. The leaders are inevitably hurt, and they are frustrated because they have no way to respond.

Over the years, I have seen a common theme with anonymous letters. I can best delineate it as seven considerations. Learn more
Want Millennials Back in the Pews? Stop Trying to make Church 'Cool'
Bass reverberates through the auditorium floor as a heavily bearded worship leader pauses to invite the congregation, bathed in the light of two giant screens, to tweet using #JesusLives. The scent of freshly brewed coffee wafts in from the lobby, where you can order macchiatos and purchase mugs boasting a sleek church logo. The chairs are comfortable, and the music sounds like something from the top of the charts. At the end of the service, someone will win an iPad.

This, in the view of many churches, is what millennials want.  Full story
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
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 of Newtown - Interim 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 .

Temporary Congregational Searches
  • 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).