Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse
5811 Heritage Landing Dr., 2nd Floor
East Syracuse, NY  13057
(315) 632-5698

September 27, 2018
Dear Friends of Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery,

Welcome to this week's edition of our e-letter, Presbytery Matters. Our goal is to highlight things going on throughout the Church: within our Presbytery, in our congregations, as well as in the Synod of the Northeast and across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). We hope that these are things that will be helpful, informative, challenging, encouraging, supportive. In other words, we hope that these things will matter. Your input is valued, and your comments are always welcomed.
Mission Stories
Presbytery member helps feed  
the mind, body and soul of  
those in need in Argentina 
Katie Griffin is a teaching elder of the PC(USA) and a member of the Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery.   
Here is her letter:  
Dear sisters and brothers,
Greetings from far away Argentina. Many of you have heard about the macro-economic difficulties that Argentina has been struggling through in the last two or three weeks. I would like to give you a picture of the situation from the grass-roots.
The church that my husband is pastoring here won a Thank Offering Grant in 2017, with the support of Presbyterian Women of Cayuga-Syracuse and of the Synod of the Northeast. This is a mission project that is in partnership with YOU!
We have been able to make major building repairs and purchase new kitchen equipment in order to serve our neighborhood, that has suffered from chronic poverty since its beginnings, more than 60 years ago. There are not enough schools in the area, public health services have always been limited. Very few streets are paved. The electrical, gas, and water and sewage networks are incomplete and in poor condition. This is a picture of chronic poverty, which, of course, becomes aggravated in times of national economic crises.  
We have sensed that God is calling us not only to serve a plate of food, but to provide a more integral service to families that have not had access to basic, elementary education until recently, and who do not have adequate access to health care. Due to our own human limitations, we are only able to offer meals three days a week. We also have a Community Clothes Closet, and a Saturday Bible School for those children who are interested. In addition, we are beginning to organize a series of workshops twice a month. We have received a donation of vegetable seeds, which we have already planted in recycled plastic containers (we are currently at the tail end of winter, here in the Southern Hemisphere). We have found a professor of agriculture who will give a workshop on how to care for the little plants, including transplanting into a garden, or into containers, and how to care for them organically. We are hoping to improve the consciousness and the possibilities for better quality nutrition for these families on the days that our Community Kitchen is closed.  
We are also going to include workshops in various questions of preventive health, including low budget dental care (tooth brushes and tooth paste are terribly expensive for families with no income), personal hygiene, domestic violence, prevention of pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, and, God willing, homework support for children whose parents are not able to read and write. So much more is needed, but these are the steps that we can take for now.  
We are deeply grateful for your partnership with us, and we ask that you continue to pray for us. 
Your fellow servants in Christ,
Katie Griffin
Daniel Fratea

We want to hear about the mission stories from our Presbytery's worshiping communities. What mission work are you involved in? How are your members working in the community? What story would you like to share with others in the Presbytery?

Send any mission stories from your congregation that you would like to share to:

Deadline is 12 p.m. on Wednesdays for the current week's edition of Presbytery Matters.

We want to share your stories, missions, activities and more. Also, make sure to like our Facebook page by clicking the "Like us on Facebook" tab at the top of this letter.
Joys and Concerns around the Presbytery

 In our prayers together this week...
  • For Mae Kang, wife of Rev. Edwin Kang (Honorably Retired.) Mae underwent surgery for cancer early this summer and has been struggling with the side effects of her chemotherapy.
  • Pray for Annette Bell, ruling elder from Westminster-Auburn, who is going back into treatment for a blood disorder. This treatment will be more aggressive, last six months, and include both chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
  • A prayer of thanksgiving for the births of Linda Russell's two new granddaughters born 12 days apart in August, Harper Grace Russell in Maryland and Stella Rosalind Sion in California (and for their sleep deprived families!)
  • Pray for the Presbytery and its Leadership Team as the team continues to discern next steps in presbytery leadership.
  • Rejoice in the baptism of this beautiful child of God -- Emerson David Liam Heery, son of the Revs. Patrick and Jenna Heery from Westminster - Auburn.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individuals: Northminster, North Syracuse; Onondaga Hill; Faith United Church of Oswego; Presbyterian Church of Otisco; New Hope, Parish
If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

From Our Leadership Team
Next Presbytery Meeting

The Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse will hold a stated meeting on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at United Church of Fayetteville, 310 East Genesee St., in Fayetteville. More information to follow.


Annual Review of Session Minutes
Who: Clerks of Session
What: Annual review of session minutes
When: Review sessions scheduled for 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on each of the following Thursdays:  
October 4
October 11
October 18 
October 25
November 1
Where: Fayetteville, Fulton, Liverpool, Auburn-First, and Syracuse-Westminster respectively
What should I bring? - Session minutes for 2017 plus completed
Session Records Review Checklist found here. 
Do I need to make an appointment? - No, simply choose one of the 10 gatherings most convenient for you.

Seeking registrar for Triennium 2019
The Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery is seeking someone who is willing to serve  as our Presbytery registrar for Triennium 2019.
Interested? Contact Linda Russell  at (315) 632-5698 for information or to forward names.

Saturday morning with Ray Jones 
Who: Church leaders, elders, deacons, pastors & members
What: Workshop on Outreach and Culture with Ray Jones. Jones is the Associate Director/Acting Director of Theology, Formation and Evangelism for PC(USA)
Why: We are a "sent people," a "peculiar people," called to be the church in our community in a culture that has radically changed.
When: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 17, 2018
Where: Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church, 5299 Jamesville Road, in DeWitt.

Pastor's Retreat with Ray Jones 
What: "Missional Discipleship: Following Jesus into the lives of our neighbors"     
This is a time of learning, refreshing and community for pastors.
When: Nov. 14-16, 2018
Cost: $190 per attendee includes accommodations and meals. $55 for commuters.
Where: Christ the King Retreat House at 500 Brookford Road, in Syracuse
Deadline: Registration closes on Nov. 1, 2018
Questions: Contact Naomi Kelly at (315) 369-8253 or
Boundary Awareness Training
What: Training/refreshing every three years is a standard "best practice" for Boundaries Awareness and this is a local, convenient opportunity to     bring yourself "up-to-date."
When: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018
Where: Liverpool First Presbyterian Church, 603 Tulip Street, in Liverpool
Cost: $15 for lunch for Cayuga-Syracuse participants or $40 for lunch and registration for non-Cayuga-Syracuse participants 
Deadline: Oct. 17, 2018 
For more information or to learn how to register, visit the Presbytery's website.  
Around the Presbytery
Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church offers Christian youth program  
The LOGOS program features dinner, bible study, playtime and worship and is open to 3rd to 9th graders from  
any church or any school district 
You're invited to LOGOS Preview Night 

What: Learn about the LOGOS program 
When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 2
Where: Fellowship Hall at Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church, 4797 Makyes Road, in Syracuse
Who: Students, parents & family members 
Questions:  Contact Sarah Buckshot at or (315) 877-8271
The LOGOS System and Program is a dynamic ministry of Christian education, the goal of which is to nurture youth and children into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • LOGOS will meet from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays about twice a month at OHPC
  • Students will present at our Celebration Sunday church service on June 16, 2019.
  • There is a $100 fee for LOGOS.  Discounts for multiple students and scholarships are available.
  • The Preview Night is free for all parents and students. Dinner will be served. Students and parents will learn about the program, receive a calendar of events and will meet volunteers.
"LOGOS is a program where the adults have just as much fun as the children, Jesus' teachers are inter-weaved into everything we do and students learn the importance of being kind, caring Children of God," said Sarah Buckshot, youth educator at OHPC. "We have a diverse group of students from different faith families and we love to add more students from around the community."
Amboy Belle Isle United Church  
to host Turkey Dinner

When: Saturday, October 6, 2018
Time: Serving begins at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Amboy Belle Isle United Church at 6190 Airport Road, in Syracuse
Adults: $10
Children 5 to 12 years old: $5
Under 5 years old: Free

Take-outs available

You're Invited...
Federated Church of Port Byron to host Interfaith Dialogue
What: Federated Church of Port Byron is hosting an Interfaith Dialogue, an open conversation between those who attend and featured guests :
  • Jim Brule, a Jewish storyteller and member of Temple Concord in Syracuse.
  • Mohamed Khater, retired president of the Islamic Society of CNY.
  • Jim Kerr-Whitt, retired ABC pastor and member of the United Church of Fayetteville.
When: 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 14. Light refreshments at 1 p.m.
Where: Federated Church of Port Byron, at 35 Tex Pultz Pkwy in Port Byron
Questions: Contact David Movsovich at or (315) 440-2071

Come Visit Isaiah's Table New Location  
Isaiah's Table is grateful to have reached their chair fundraising goal with the h elp of members of the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse. They raised enough money for the purch ase of 40 chairs.
In celebration, Isaiah's Table is extending a special invitation to their sisters and brothers from the presbytery to visit Isaiah's Table on Saturday, September 29, 2018 . Come for all or part of a typical Saturday at the Table . They will end with a Hot Dog Picnic Lunch at noon.
Schedule for Saturday, Sept. 29: 
9:30 a.m.: Community breakfast that their leaders bring in from their home kitchens.  
10:00 a.m.: Wo rship around the breakfast tables.  
11:15 a.m. (about): Handing out vegetables from Matthew 25 Farm.
12:00 p.m. (about): Hot Dog Picnic Lunch 
Dress code at Isaiah's Table is "come as you are" (casual). Street parking and handicap accessible parking is available. Isaiah's Table is located at 223 Marcellus St., in Syracuse.  
Harvest Ham Dinner

What: The First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville will host its annual annual Harvest Ham Dinner
When: 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 13, 2018
Menu: Ham, scalloped potatoes, squash, peas, applesauce, assorted breads, pies and beverage.  
Cost: $10 for adults and $5 for kids. 
Where: The First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville, 64 Oswego St., in Baldwinsville.

The dinner is a major fundraising event for the church's Deacons and is always a great meal.  Enjoy a family-style dinner in the church's festive dining room or pick up a meal to take home.

Greater Syracuse  
CROP Hunger Walk

What: Walk to fight hunger globally and locally.
3 mile walk.
When: Registration is at 12:30 p.m. and Walk begins at 1 p.m.
Where: Onondaga Lake Park -- Willow Bay Shelter in Liverpool
Amy Bobbette at
Paul Herpich at

Click here for more information.
Around the Synod of the Northeast
2018 Young Ministry Leaders Gathering

Deadline to register is Monday, October 1

What: This year's gathering is grounded in conversations on Identity: God, I, We. Jesus says, "I am the vine, you are the branches" (John 15:5a). What needs to be pruned from the branches of the church? What fruit will we bear?
When: Nov. 8 to 10 (Thursday dinner to Saturday lunch)
Registration is $100 per participant. Scholarships are available. Contact Margaret Mitsuyasu if you need assistance at

Visit the Synod website for more information and photos of past events.

Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Finding homes for the homeless
Churches tire of quick fixes  
and seek solutions
By Rev. Heidi Worthen Gamble
Presbyterians Today

Mark lived on the streets of Hollywood, well known by social service providers as one of the toughest homeless cases in the city. He was often found standing on a street corner, looking disheveled, staring into space. His looks scared most people away.

Mark arrived at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood's winter shelter program, called The Refuge, after a desperate referral from a social service provider. He arrived with a blank expression on his face and was unable to speak. Through tears and a warm embrace, Amie Quigley, director of urban outreach at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, mumbled to him, "God loves you and we love you too." Mark was given a clean bed with a comforter and pillows in a quiet fellowship hall.  Later, he sat down with several other guests to a warm meal served with love, laughter and kindness by church volunteers.

"Our mission at The Refuge is to care for our most vulnerable friends," Quigley said.


Building a culture of generosity
Workshop leader Robert Hay Jr. explains how to create generous disciples in churches at annual Stewardship Kaleidoscope conference

By Pam Greer-Ullrich and Robyn Davis Sekula Presbyterian Foundation Communications

Robert Hay Jr. led a workshop on cultivating a culture of generosity at the Stewardship Kaleidoscope in St. Louis on Sept. 24. Gregg Brekke
ST. LOUIS -- "Stewardship is about the joyous discipline of giving thanks," says Robert Hay Jr. of the Presbyterian Foundation. Comparing joyous discipline with a "runner's high" where the mind body and spirit start clicking after months or even years of disciplined training, Hay says the discipline of stewardship can bring true joy in giving.

Hay is a  Ministry Relations Officer for the Foundation who assists congregations with financial matters, including changing the conversation about stewardship in churches. Hay spoke at Stewardship Kaleidoscope, an annual conference on generosity and giving in churches, on September 24. His Creating a Culture of Generosity workshop references Clif Christopher's book, " Not Your Parents' Offering Plate."

5811 Heritage Landing Dr., 2nd Floor
East Syracuse, NY  13057
(315) 632-5698
"I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them
bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
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