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 Office of the Executive Presbyter
A Day for Honest Assessment
Yom Kippur was celebrated this week. The Jewish Center and Synagogue I walked by were lit up and filled with congregants observing this most holy day on the Jewish calendar, respectful of a practice in both our religions to seek cleansing, confessing sin, turning to God for forgiveness. A day of honest assessment of one’s soul and practices.

We began to do some honest assessment at the September Presbytery meeting at Holmes with the Rev. Denise Anderson asking us in small clusters to tell stories of racial injustices we had experienced--after the telling to those who did not know, and re-telling for those who did, what happened outside the camp the last time we met there two years ago. On the way home, a white man shouted some racist hate language at the bus and its occupants on the road outside the camp, even as the driver veered away from his partial blocking of the road with his car. While this action was reported to the then camp director, who notified the police and town council of this, the presbytery response was underwhelming. There was no wider discussion. There was no support for those on the bus pained by what they heard. Some persons refused to return to the camp for this meeting. Persons of color at the meeting wondered what would happen to them if they made a wrong turn and got lost in the neighborhood around the camp. White privilege and supremacy can be exhibited in the man who shouted at the bus as much as in the silence and inability of we who are white to comprehend the hurt felt again by persons of color. If we are the body of Christ composed of many members of different races, none more important than another, when one member suffers we all suffer. I am sorry I did not better hear your pain with more responsible support. I seek not only forgiveness; also a better way forward. I returned to the Presbyterian Camp Monday after that Saturday meeting, entering the lodge to remember the stories told by you there, meeting with the new camp director who attended that Presbytery meeting, and then on Tuesday evening joining a meeting with the Camp board.

What we began at Holmes and want to continue is our Presbytery’s response to a General Assembly overture that encouraged all councils of the PCUSA to dismantle racism in church and society. As First Nations and US Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo wrote: “Let’s not shame our eyes for seeing. Instead, thank them for their bravery.” To look at persisting Presbytery patterns, postures, processes, practices, and positioning, that gives privilege to some of our Presbyterian siblings and neighbors in our communities at the expense of others. To see, hear, and feel what persons of color have borne continuously as racism over decades and centuries in American church and society, and not perpetuate it.  As a racially diverse Presbytery, we have many lens through which we can see and hear and feel and speak about what we experience. With Christ who reconciled us to God, we have God’s lens to better see what is faithful and what is unjust, what is good and right, and what calls us to confess, seek forgiveness, and repent from continuing.  

As I joined a diverse collection of worshipers gathered on World Communion Sunday in a circle around a Communion Table, we were drawn there by the extent to which Jesus demonstrated God’s love for us and a way to live faithfully. It was a day for honest assessment of our souls and practices, that we needed his life to sustain ours. 

Robert Foltz-Morrison
From the Office of the Presbytery of New York City
I n observance of Columbus Day, the office will be closed on Monday. October 14th. Please plan your schedules accordingly
Building's New Visitor Security System
B eginning Monday, September 30th the InterChurch Center will implement 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 as a visitor. 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 stream line the visitor check in process and help enhance security in the building. If a guest is pre-registered by the staff person you 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.

Once the new security system is in place, only the visitors who are pre-registered in the security 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 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.

We expect the new security system may have some kinks to iron out in the beginning, and 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 aded 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 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 New York City Council is scheduled to vote in October on a proposal to close the jail system on Rikers Island and build borough-based jails in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. The Justice Ministries Committee, Presbyterian congregations and inviduals, have supported and  participated this campaign.Two important events in this process take place next week. Attendance at these meetings will demonstrate support for the plan
October 16th, Committee Vote
October 17th, Full Council Vote
City Council Members  and  the Mayor  need to hear from us. Contact them with the message that the plan to #CLOSErikers must include investments to  #buildCOMMUNITIES .

Date: November 16, 2019 from 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Location: First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York

The Presbytery’s second annual advocacy training day focuses around themes from the denomination’s national Matthew 25 vision. The Rev. Emily Brewer, executive director of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, will be the preacher. Workshop leaders will come from the Office of Public Witness, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, and local partner organizations working on justice issues. Lunch will be provided; a free-will offering will be received to help defray the costs.  Register now!

Date and Time: Wed, October 16, 2019 - 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM EDT
Location: Town Stages, 221 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

The PC(USA) Presents the NYC Premiere of "Flint: The Poisoning of an American City", the most recent film from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. "Flint" explores the critical question of how the ongoing water crisis could happen in an American city. This film intersperses interviews with area residents and experts in lead and water with testimony at congressional oversight committee hearings. With over 5,300 cities across the US in violation of federal lead rules, Flint serves as a warning for the rest of the country. This documentary educates and inspires action, seeking to radically change how we view and value water. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers, Flint residents, and experts.  Get tickets now!

Other upcoming events of interest include:

  • Stolen Hands, StolenLands: From 1619 to a Just Future
Date and Time: Sunday, October 20th at 6:00 PM
Location: The Riverside Church
  • NYDIS Preparedness Training Events
  • Climate Change
  • Community Organizers Wanted

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
Congregational Resoure Day - REGISTER NOW!
An Invitation to Congregational Resource Day, sponsored by the Committee on Congregational Ministry and Nurture

This Year's Theme is: God Is Doing New Things Among Us!
Come, Learn About the New Things in New York City Presbytery!

Saturday, October 26, 9:00am - 2:00pm
12 West 12 th  Street, Manhattan
Samuel Son, Keynote Preacher & Workshop Leader
(Samuel Son is the Manager for Diversity & Reconciliation with the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA),Presbyterian Church (USA), and oversees Intercultural Ministries.He also is this Presbytery’s liaison with Vital Congregations Initiative .)    

Schedule for Congregational Resource Day
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM              Registration and Continental Breakfast
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM            Worship & Keynote Preacher Samuel Son
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM            Workshop Session One
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM              Lunch & Fellowship
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM                Workshop Session Two

Cost for the day is $15.00  ( Pay upon arrival. To expedite check-in please have exact change)                                     
The following workshops are being offered
(Workshops can accommodate only the room size available; if full consider another)
Session One Workshops (11:00-12:00)

  1. Multicultural and Intercultural Congregational Ministry - Led by Samuel Son, Presbyterian Mission Agency
  2. Starting New Worshiping Communities - Led by Organizing Pastors: Ebenezer Annor (Trinity), Benjamin Donya (Mawuli), Chris Romine (Common Ground), Sohby Sadak (Middle East/North Africa)
  3. Ministries of Evangelism and Discipleship - Discussion with Won Tae Cho (Faith/Woori) and Sandy Lane (First, Jamaica)
  4. Church for the 21st Century - Discussion with Bertram Johnson, NEXT Church board member
  5. Preaching to Times Such as These - Discussion among Preachers and Worship Leaders
  6. Introduction to Young Adult Volunteer Program - David Aja-Sigmon, YAV Chair; Maureen Anderson, YAV Coordinator; YAVs

Session Two Workshops (1:00-2:00)

  1. Seven Marks of Vital Congregations - Led by Grace Bowen, Facilitator VCI and EP Robert Foltz-Morrison
  2. LGBTQ Communities Connecting to God - Discussion led by Ashley Birt (Rutgers) and Bertram Johnson 
  3. Ministries to Those In and Out of Prison - Discussion led by CRE Chibuezi Okori (Gethsemane), Stephen Phelps H.R.
  4. Churches Addressing and Housing the Homeless in NYC - Flora Wilson Bridges (Rendall Memorial), John Sheehan (Fifth Ave), Dan DeBrucker (PCUSA Homeless Ministry)
  5. Presbytery 2020 Mission Budget - Roger Leaf and Jon Chui (Presbytery Trustees), Don Jang (PNYC Treasurer)
  6. Flint: The Poisoning of an American City - A film resource for advocacy led by Mark Koenig (Advocate for Justice Ministries)

Registration begins at 9:00 AM
Worship begins at 10:00 AM
QUESTIONS? Contact the Presbytery Office
An Update on NYC Presbytery's Vital Congregations Initiative
Vital Congregations – Gathering to Begin Preparations
Fifty-five leaders of congregations who want to launch into the Vital Congregations Initiative in 2020, met at the Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church on October 8 th  to begin their preparations for the first of this two-year initiative. Congregations broke into their borough clusters, led by Facilitators Krystin Granberg (Bronx), Phil Tom and Grace Bowen (Manhattan), Clive Neil (Brooklyn), and Patrick O’Connor (Queens). Please include these 30 (may become 33) congregations in your prayers.
Free Youth Ministry Training Sessions
NYC Presbytery, CM&N, and  Ministry Architects  would like to invite you to two (of three) remaining FREE Youth Ministry Training Sessions for Fall 2019.

  • September 14th 12 Noon - 3 PM- Far Rockaway Presbyterian Church 896 Central Ave. Far Rockaway NY 11691
  • October 5th 12 Noon - 4 PM- Far Rockaway Presbyterian Church 896 Central Ave. Far Rockaway NY 11691
  • November 23rd 9 AM - 3 PM- Location TBD

Each session will begin with lunch at 12 noon. 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.

Each session will cover different topics. You and your group are invited to attend one, two or even better all three sessions! Topics covered at each session are:

Saturday, October 5th, 12 Noon - 4 PM
Far Rockaway Presbyterian Church
896 Central Ave. Far Rockaway NY 11691
  • Creating a Christian Formation Path: Ages & Stages, Milestones, Core Competencies
  • Making it R.E.A.L.: Teaching Tips and Classroom Management, 

Saturday, November 23rd, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Location to be determined
  • 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 .
An Invitation to a Presidential Inauguration
The Trustees of the New York Theological Seminary cordially invite you the Inauguration of their 12th President, Rev. LaKeesha Walrond, Ph.D.
New! Spanish Language Presbyterian Polity Certificate Program Class
Politica Presbiterians!
Programa de Certificado en Ministerio y Liderazgo
Se Complace en Anunciar Nuestro Nueva Clase
Politica Presbiteriana
Rev. Carmen M. Rosario, Profesora
(6 sesiones) – Clases Sábados de 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Clases empiezan el sabado 26 de octubre, 2019 a las 9:00 am
Fort George Presbyterian Church
1525 Saint Nicholas Ave, New York, New York 10033
Rev. Luis Espinosa, Pastor
Come to The Table Synod Gathering, November 8-9
T he Synod gathers every year to encourage the connection, fellowship, worship, and discernment of the leaders that make up our Synod. In the even years we gather in Synod Assembly — to affirm our connectional identity, to set goals and to handle necessary governance. In the odd years we gather at Come to the Table (November 8 th - 9 th ) — to learn together about and be encouraged by the missional and ministry innovation being led by Presbyterians and other partners of our regional community.

The event will Include time with Cindy Kohlman, Co-Moderator of the 223rd General Assembly and Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

Register today! Visit the Synod's website for more information on the workshops and the gathering?

The Synod invites all to Come to the Table 2019!
November 8 th - 9 th
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.
Leading Ideas
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.
Our approach is grounded in identifying the strategic issues critical to the church’s future and discerning “actionable strategic insights” that can guide congregations and church leaders.
Current work is focused around three priorities essential to the future of the church:
  • Helping congregations and denomination reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people
  • Helping individual church leadership enhance their effectiveness
  • Helping congregations secure adequate funding for ministry

Their recent newsletter includes articles and podcasts on:
  • What Happens When a Millennial Walks into your Church?
  • The Contours of the Church of the Future
  • Clergy Age Trends Give Cause for Concern
  • Stop Complaining About Sunday Morning Sports
  • and more

Help the Men in Your Church Get Connected!
Bible Studies Just for Men by Former Football Coach,Tony Dungy
D oes it sometimes seem hard for the men in your church to get involved? To build friendships with the other guys? Tony Dungy can help...

Build up your entire church by helping your men grow in their knowledge of God and his plan for their lives with these Bible studies just for men by former football coach,Tony Dungy. And...they'll build strong, healthy relationships with other guys along the way! 
Continuing Education at Princeton Theological Seminary
L earn While You Lead
Through the Office of Continuing Education, Princeton Theological Seminary offers ministry leaders opportunities for theological formation, spiritual renewal, and leadership development. Pastors, ministry professionals, and volunteers will find a place to network, share ideas, learn and grow in a spiritually rich, Christ-centered environment—both on campus and online. Learning opportunities include on campus  events , original educational resources found on  The Thread , and online courses of study such as  CTM – The Certificate in Theology and Ministry. Upcoming Continuing Education opportunities include:
  • Sustaining the Preaching Life
  • The Art of Transitional Ministry
  • Women in Ministry Conference
  • Independent Studies for Ministry Professionals
  • The Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry
Prayers for Joys and Concerns
The Presbytery extends its joy and praise to:
  • Siloam Presbyterian Church celebrates 170 years of witness to God's glory with a Weekend Anniversary Celebration October 26th & 27th. - Click here for weekend details
  • This past Tuesday, October 8th, thirty (30) congregations were represented at the Vital Congregations Initiative Orientation Session, held at Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church. We also learn that three (3) additional churches may be signing on to participate.

The Presbytery extends its prayers to:

  • Rev. Lindsay Borden (Second Presbyterian Church), on the September 18th death of her mother, Audrey Poe Borden, at the age of 93.
  • Family and friends of Rev. William Edgar Merryman, Jr.,who passed away early last week. Before retirement, Rev. Merryman served First Presbyterian Church of Staten Island and then Olivet Presbyterian Church on Staten Island.
  • Elder Tina Serlin (West End Presbyterian Church) and her son Tevin, who is currently being treated for a lung infection at St. Luke's Hospital.
  • Rev. Robert Foltz-Morrison, whose brother, Bill Morrison is recovering from a stroke
  • 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. Mark Koenig's wife Tricia as she continues to recover from surgery
  • 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
Tuesday, January 7, 2019
COM Material Due Dates
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
*FRIDAY, December 20, 2019 (early)
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
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).