475 Riverside Drive Suite 1600, New York, NY 10115
Happenings In & Around the Presbytery of NYC
In observance of Veteran's Day the Presbytery office
will be closed on Monday, November 11, 2019
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
Presbytery Office Relocating in the Interchurch Center
T he Presbytery Office will be relocating within the same Interchurch Center building, beginning January 1, 2020. We will be vacating Suite 1600 (16 th  floor) and moving into  Suite 1270 (12 th  floor). We are moving from 5,320 sq ft space to 2,906 sq ft. 

Since 2010, Presbytery staff was reduced from 11 to 5 members, three of whom now are FT and two PT. We had 12 individual offices and paid more than $130K/year rent, necessitating sharing space with our licensee, Merger Watch, who contributed about 1/3 to our total annual rent cost. The new space comes to about $48K/year, and costs again will be shared with Merger Watch. Both of our organizations have migrated to more virtual means of communicating utilizing Internet, social media, and cell phones, lessening the necessity for all staff to be in the office all week.

It is also my hope that we staff become more accessible to you as resource persons who can meet you in the field of the Presbytery’s bounds—namely your ministry site. As we become more environmentally responsible, more documentation can be undertaken electronically and stored in the Cloud and Google drives, providing greater ease for accessing information when needed rather than having to retrieve paper copies from file drawers alone, print, and scan or mail. This is a work in progress to better serve you.

Please be conscientious and patience with us, your Presbytery staff, as we are packing up, discarding, and archiving material, with the help of our committee chairs and volunteers. Friday, December 13 th  will be our last workday in Suite 1600. January 2 we will be in Suite 1270 unpacking and setting up our office, including our technology. Between Dec 13 and Jan 2 Presbytery staff will be working virtually from outside the office and taking requested vacation leave for Christmas and the New Year. Our phones and laptops will continue to be operating, so do not hesitate to contact me if you need urgent attention during the last weeks of 2019.

At some future date in the new year, we will want to have an Open House and invite you to visit us in our new location and discuss with us how the office and our staff might become more useful for the mission and ministries to which God has called us in Christ.

Do remember that The Interchurch Center’s new security system  absolutely  requires you contact our office ahead if you intend to come upstairs and we must enter you into the visitor system to receive a pass and to receive a pass you must provide an ID. Always enter from 61 Claremont Avenue now.

We are thankful for the many years the Presbytery provided staff with a physical location in Suite 1600 and continue to thank you for helping us adapt to working with you in our new location in Suite 1270.

May we continue in this season to be thankful for the many ways God’s Spirit has helped us to be faithful to our living and our vocation.

The Rev. Dr. Robert Foltz-Morrison
Executive Presbyter, Presbytery of New York City
Next Presbytery Meeting - Tuesday, December 3, 2019
T uesday, December 3, 2019 is the date of our next Presbytery meeting. All material for that meeting are to be submitted to the Stated Clerk no later than Friday, November 15 at 5:00 PM. Material must be emailed to SC@presbynyc.org
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.

Becoming a Matthew 25 Church: Tools for Advocacy
Saturday, November 16
8:30 AM to 2:30 PM
First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York
12 W. 12 th  Street (at Fifth Avenue)

Through workshops and worship, participants will learn ways to strengthen our Christian voice and advocate on issues and concerns in our city, state, country and around the world. 

The Rev. Emily Brewer, executive director, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.

Episcopal Divinity School / Union Theological Seminary
From the Charlottesville rally to the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, to the recent mass shootings in New Zealand and El Paso, to the escalating racist rhetoric of public figures, White Nationalism is on the rise. Confronting this toxic ideology is the moral responsibility of faith leaders, and it is a critical step to ending this crisis. Understanding how to speak to these issues is never easy, especially in diverse communities.

Please join us on Wednesday, November 20 at 6:30 pm, for an interfaith conversation with leaders from various religious traditions to explore the role of faith communities. Our panelists will share how they interpret sacred texts, and their process for writing and delivering sermons that address White Nationalism.  Click here to RSVP
Register to attend: $25.00
Register for the live stream: $15.00

Speakers Include:  
The Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean, Episcopal Divinity School at Union 
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner ,  Director, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism
Dr. Malik Walker ,  Associate Faculty, NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study
Dr. Lisa L. Thompson Associate Professor and the Cornelius Vanderbilt Chancellor Faculty Fellow of Black Homiletics and Liturgics, Vanderbilt Divinity School

Washington, DC
February 18-21, 2020
The New York State Council of Churches offers its annual high school trip on February 18-21, 2020. Participants will travel to Washington DC to grow in our understanding of justice issues and to visit the African America Museum.  Learn more about this opportunity .

If you and members of your congregation would like to be more involved in the effort to provide sanctuary,  here are ways to do so as   well as information about how the immigrant community benefits by your compassionate response. Attorneys who would be willing to assist persons in our congregations pro bono or low fee should contact  the Rev. Robert Foltz-Morrison .

Preet Bharara has posted a  podcast with Cameron Douglas  (son of Michael, grandson of Kirk). Cameron, who has been incarcerated, reflects on how people returning from prison are treated. His observations that start at about the 1-hour mark are especially relevant.

For more information about any of these events or 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 Mark Koenig
From the Desk of the Property Support Consultant
It's Time for Tax Exempt Renewals for Fiscal Year 2020/2021
Please be aware that you must renew annually your Tax Exemption status.  And must do so by the end of the year.

To maintain your full, tax exempt, status you must only use your property for non-profit purposes.
If you lease space to organizations that are for profit, you will not be able to claim exempt status for that space. 
The types of organizations that are exempt are:  charitable, educational (nonprofit; some schools do not have nonprofit status make sure you check before leasing), hospital related, mental health, religious, children, benevolent, bible, missionary, etc.

Please pay attention to any mail that you receive from the City of New York, your renewal forms are sent out with the passwords for you to file on line.

Fire Extinguisher Annual Inspections
You are reminded that all fire extinguishers on your property must be inspected annually. Check the tag on the extinguisher(s) to be sure that you are in compliance. 

Best regards,
G. Morgan-Thomas
Property Support Consultant
Building's New Visitor Security System
T he InterChurch Center has implemented its new visitor security system. Anyone visiting the office will need to have informed the office in advance of your visit so that you can be pre-registered. Additionally, you must provide the front desk a photo ID at check-in, before you will be given a pass to come upstairs. Once you have been checked in at the front desk in you will receive a pass that you must scan at the newly installed turnstiles just before the elevators.

This visitor security system will streamline the visitor check in process and help enhance security in the building. If a guest is pre-registered by the staff person they are visiting, a visitors' pass will be issued as he/she checks in. If you are not pre-registered, building security will have to contact the tenant to verify an unregistered visitor in order to issue a visitor pass during normal business hours.

Now that the new security system is in place, only the visitors who are pre-registered in the security online system will be given access to the building after 5pm during weekdays and weekends/holidays.

The entrance doors at 475 Riverside Drive will be lock at all times. Visitors must use the 61 Claremont Avenue entrance at all times to enter the building. You are only able to leave the building through those doors. You are asked to p lease be aware of your surroundings when exiting the building using the Riverside Drive doors. DO NOT hold the door open for others to enter the building through those doors.

The new security system may have some kinks to iron out in the beginning, so we are asking that all individuals visiting the office let us know in advance so that you can be pre-registered. All committees meeting in the building must let us know in advance, if you are inviting visitors to your meetings. This way their name(s) can be added to the committee roster for your meetings. Please do not give the building staff or the presbytery staff a hard time as we navigate this new system. Let me know if you have any questions.

Yzette Swavy-Lipton
From the Committee on Nominations - Come to the Table
Faith, Family & Identity: An Evening with Min Jin Lee
What: An Evening with Renowned author and National Book Award finalist  Min Jin Lee ,
When: Wednesday November 13 th, 7:00 PM
Where:First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, 124 Henry Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

As the United States of America wrestles with questions of borders and belonging, Ms. Lee’s work pushes the boundaries on our understanding of home. She makes us rethink self and our place in this big, wide world. “I’m profoundly interested in diaspora and what it means to all of us,” Ms.Lee said, “because diaspora is going to be the permanent human condition.”

Ms. Lee is a recipient of fellowships in Fiction from the Guggenheim Foundation (2018), the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard (2018-2019), and the New York Foundation for the Arts (2000). Her novel  Pachinko  (2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, a runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the Medici Book Club Prize, and a New York Times 10 Best Books of 2017. Lee’s debut novel  Free Food for Millionaires  (2007) was a Top 10 Books of the Year for The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Air, USA Today, and a national bestseller. In 2019,  Free Food for Millionaires  was a finalist for One Book, One New York, a city-wide reading program.

Ms. Lee is currently at work on  American Hagwon , the final installment of her Korean diaspora trilogy. The new novel is set in Boston.

Click here for ticket information. Ticket price includes a copy of Pachinko
8th Annual William S. Perper Symposium
Understanding Substance Use Disorder: A Community Approach to Healing
Thursday, November 14, 2019 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church
7 West 55th Street, New York, NY
Nearly One-third of PC(USA) Churches in New York City Ready for Vital Congregations Initiative
W hen more than 50 people representing 31 congregations gathered recently to prepare for the  Presbytery of New York City ’s launch of the  Vital Congregations initiative , the Rev. Robert Foltz-Morrison, the executive presbyter, felt the Spirit moving.

It was the prayer of Foltz-Morrison and an advisory team that one-third of the presbytery’s congregations would participate in the two-year Presbyterian Mission Agency initiative, starting in January 2020.

After speaking two years ago with the Vital Congregations coordinator, Rev. Dr. Kathryn Threadgill, he said he felt like the approach denominational leaders took — one of walking with presbytery and leaders of their existing congregations in intentional efforts of revitalization — was the right approach.

“I saw it as something valuable, but the previous readiness wasn’t quite there,” Foltz-Morrison said.
But by January of this year, he said, thanks to God’s readiness, everything began to sync.   Chosen as one of 14 presbyteries to participate  in the first wave of the national Vital Congregations launch, Foltz- Morrison and the advisory team began actively telling congregations in the presbytery about the initiative. Full story
Prebyterian Research Services Surveys for Ministers and Members
Presbyterian Research Services is encouraging all ministers and members to take part in their surveys. Below are two surveys currently open.
Certification Course: Faith and Human Development - At Montreat
T he Faith and Human Development educator certification course is an intensive course that explores historical and contemporary theories of human psychological and faith development. Participants will apply these theories to teaching people of all ages in the church. Theories for human and faith development and their application will be organized around the significant movements of the Christian Life from Baptism to Confirmation to Church Triumphant.

At-home course work begins on November 9.
Free Youth Ministry Training Session
NYC Presbytery, CM&N, and  Ministry Architects  would like to invite you to the last FREE Youth Ministry Training Session for Fall 2019.

The session will begin at 9:00 AM. Everyone is asked to bring lunch for themselves or for their whole church group. The trainings are based on youth ministry fundamentals and foundations for small and large congregations. It will be a great time to network and connect with other ministries in our Presbytery! Our time together will be fun, engaging, and interactive. No matter the size of your youth group (even if you don’t have any youth but need support in understanding how to reach them)…all are welcome!! This training is for adult youth leaders ages 18 and up. Youth leaders younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult over 18.

The last session's topics are listed below

Saturday, November 23rd, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Far Rockaway Presbyterian Church
  • The Vision: mission statements, core values, target audience, 3-year goals, 1-year benchmarks, next steps, YM org chart, 
  • Healthy/Unhealthy Boundaries  

 Hope to see you there!

Please contact Rev. Aqueelah Ligonde at  asligonde@gmail.com  or 917-225-5191 if you have any questions and to RSVP .
Youth Mission Trip Opportunity
Youth Conference -Church Camp
Christian Eduction - Faith - Action
IMPACTNow! Faith Meets Action 2020
Could Not Get to Triennium?
Join Us at Holmes for A Mini Triennium Like Experience!
Today's youth are active participants in the world around them. They consume the news from a variety of outlets, they engage in social media commentary and they crave authenticity. Many of them have grown up in the pews, in our Scuday School classes, and now in our youth programs. Yet, too often they find it difficult to connect their faith to the world around them and to their desire to make a positive IMPACTNow! Your Senior High Youth group or your individual Senior High youth are invited to a unique experiential conference and mission trip.

A Presbyterian Clergyman, An Episcopalian Priest, A Congregational Minister, and A Baptist Pastor (No, this is not a joke) have come together to design and lead this alternative opportunity for Christian youth to learn about how their faith directly affects the ways in which they engage with the major social issues of the day!

From Saturday afternoon, June 27th to Wednesday morning July 1st, youth will participate in experiences and conversations that will deepen their understanding of the faith in which they have been raised and their Christian responsibilities toward the world around them. All of this will happen in the beautiful setting Holmes Camp and Conference Center, giving the youth the added benefit of experiencing all that camping ministry has to offer including high ropes courses, swimming, boating, campfires and more.

Food and programming are all provided. Now is the time to get on board. The actual cost exceeds $500 per person. However we are in the midst of grant writing and fund-raising and we hope to lower that fee as mush as possible in the coming weeks and months. And, we will work with your group to meet your needs and budget!

What a great way to support Holmes Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center!

For more information, or to register email Rev. Pete Jones at revpetejones@gmail.com

Space is limited, so sign up ASAP!
Are We Seeing the First Non-Christian Majority Generation?
By Aaron Earls
“C hristianity is only one generation away from extinction.”
When considering the eternal scope of the church and the promises Christ has made, that famous line may not be true, but American Christianity has reached the generation in which it is no longer the majority.
In America, at least two-thirds of Generation X (67%), Baby Boomers (76%), and the Silent Generation (84%) say they’re Christian, according to  new analysis from Pew Research .
Among millennials, however, slightly less than half (49%) identify as Christian. A similar number say they’re not Christian.
Around 1 in 10 (9%) claim to be part of a non-Christian faith, while 40% are religiously unaffiliated.

The unaffiliated number is well above previous generations.
Only 10% of the Silent Generation is unaffiliated with any religion. That climbs to 17% of Baby Boomers and 25% of Generation X.

Religious service attendance has similar generational shifts.
Today, as many millennials say they never attend a religious service (22%) as say they attend weekly or more (22%). Learn more
Tips for Managing A Church Budget Shortfall
A lthough a budget isn’t considered by many to be a spiritual topic—much less an exciting ministry conversation to have—every church faces financial issues. And every church, at some point or another, will face a budget shortfall.

Josh King and Sam Rainer discussed what a budget shortfall can look like for churches, and they offer tips for managing those times of scarcity during a recent   Est. Church podcast , part of the LifeWay Leadership Podcast network.

There are two kinds of shortfalls that come to mind for Rainer.

The first kind, he says, is when a church simply doesn’t meet its budget through giving. The other is when a church has spent more than they’ve brought in.

“I’ve seen churches get overzealous,” says Rainer. “They get so happy that giving was over budget and then went out and spent too much. When giving is good, sometimes the spending is out of whack.”

Read about ways churches can manage financially during tough times and be proactive before a financial crisis hits.
Disaster Chaplain Certification and Religious Literacy & Competency in Crisis Settings Three Day Training
Monday, November 11 through Wednesday, November 13, 2019
8:30AM - 5:00PM Daily
New York Disaster Interfaith Services 4 West 43rd Street
Training Room #415, New York, NY 10036
Attendance is limited to 25 participants • Register by October 18 th
R egistration is now open for Disaster Chaplain Certification and Religious Literacy & Competency in Crisis Settings  Co-sponsored by NYDIS (New York Disaster Interfaith Services) and New York VOAD , through a partnership with NDIN, religious leaders and spiritual caregivers of all faiths are invited to take this three-day training. New York City area participants who complete this certification can volunteer as disaster chaplains with NYDIS. NDIN can also assist unaffiliated volunteers in finding disaster spiritual care volunteer opportunities in local communities across the United States. Emergency managers and disaster mental health professionals may also take this course to develop their knowledge of disaster spiritual care best practices.

NYDIS, the American Red Cross of Greater New York and Disaster Chaplaincy Services of New York, are the only organizations currently approved to provide crisis chaplaincy or disaster spiritual care in NYC by either NYC Emergency Management, New York State VOAD (Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster) or NYC VOAD.
Prayers for Joys and Concerns
The Presbytery extends its prayers to:

  • Elder Tina Serlin (West End Presbyterian Church) and her son Tevin, who is currently recovering from a lung infection.
  • 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.
  • Rev. C. Herbert Oliver - health concerns
  • Rev. Ted Voelker - has moved to Amsterdam House
  • Luis Rodriguez - health concerns
2019 Presbytery Meeting Dates and Material Deadlines
Stated Meeting
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Material Due (by 5:00 PM)
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
COM Meeting Dates
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
COM Material Due Dates
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Tuesday, November 26, 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 (CLC) 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 on PC(USA)'s CLC System
The following congregations in our presbytery are currently engaged in active searches:

  • First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills - Interim Pastor, Full-time
  • 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 .


Congregational Searches

Other Employment Opportunities
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).