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

March 7, 2019
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
Gift of Sight
Robinson Elmwood United Church held a used eyeglasses donation drive in February. The drive yielded 90 pairs of glasses.
They've been delivered to the Clarkson team traveling to Uganda later this months so the people with poor eyesight can get potential vision correction.

'Souperbowl' collection  
Sunday School children at Whitelaw Presbyterian Church in Canastota collected soups in honor of the Super Bowl in February.

The students collected 103 cans of soup and $20 in cash.

The donated soup was sent to the local food pantry, the Op-shop in Canastota.
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...
  • Pray for all those who are serving our country here and overseas. Pray for our first responders. Pray for strength for those who are working to protect us. May God protect them while they protect us.
  • Pray for all those who are struggling with depression, anxiety and other mental illness diseases. Give them the strength to seek treatment and keep fighting. Surround them with people who love them and show them how supportive our church families can be during difficult times.
Prayer for the first Sunday of Lent:

Gracious God, you are our way in the wilderness. In our own times of testing be our spiritual nourishment, protect us with your angels, and show your authority in our lives, so that we may hunger for righteousness and live in peace and safety, worshiping and serving you alone; through Christ Jesus our Lord.  

In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individuals: Taunton, Syracuse; Westminster, Syracuse; First, Weedsport; Whitelaw
If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

Photo of the Week
The Rev. Garrett Anderson, pastor at Liverpool First Presbyterian Church,
imposes "Ashes-to-Go" at Cafe 407 in the village of Liverpool.

To have your photo considered for "Photo of the Week" post it to your church's Facebook page and tag the Presbytery of Cayuga Syracuse's Facebook page.
From the Leadership Team
Congratulations to Cayuga-Syracuse 
All 37 churches have successfully submitted their Annual Statistics Reports. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this effort.


The CNY Missional Structures Working Group (MSWG), consisting of nine members representing four presbyteries, is holding its first meeting today. In November 2018, Cayuga-Syracuse committed to joining Northern New York, Utica and Susquehanna Valley in this Synod sponsored working group for the purpose of discerning how the mission and ministry of Presbyterian churches in CNY might be carried out in collaborative, new and creative ways not necessarily confined by our current geographical understandings of our presbyteries.
Cayuga-Syracuse is represented by the Rev. Jenna Heery, Elder Nancy Wind and the Rev. Garrett Anderson. Please hold our representatives and the entire working group in your prayers as they try to discover what new thing God has in store for Central New York.
There is still time for students to sign up for Triennium 2019 which runs from July 16-20, 2019. Following their meeting on March 4, our presbytery's PYT (Presbyterian Youth Triennium) Team announced the following:
  •  Registration deadline is March 18. Contact Registrar for details.
  • Registration is open to members of Cayuga-Syracuse, friends of members, and non-member youth.
  • Cost is estimated to be $775 per student (registration plus transportation).
  • A deposit of $200 is due April 1. Checks should be made payable to The Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse, with "Triennium" noted on the memo line, and mailed to: Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse, 5811 Heritage Landing Drive, East Syracuse, NY 13057.
  • Confidential requests for partial scholarship support may be directed to the Rev. Shawn Reyburn, advisor.
  • Former Triennium participants are available to speak with students and families to answer questions and offer their enthusiastic recommendation for participation in this special "mountain top" experience. Contact Registrar to set this up.
  •  To accommodate transportation to and from Purdue, participants should plan on dates of July 15-21, 2019.
Our PYT Team is being led by:
Other PYT team members include:
  • Tracie Folley (Liverpool)
  • Lynda Barry (Baldwinsvile)
  • Pearl Fischer (Isaiah's Table)
The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, director of the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness, is coming to Cayuga-Syracuse on Monday, June 10, 2019. 
The Office of Public Witness has been raising a prophetic voice through the social justice policy of Presbyterians since 1946. Through this office PC(USA) participates in direct advocacy with members of Congress and the administration though in-person meetings, letters and phone calls. This office also encourages Presbyterians to call for action by Congress and the administration on matters of conscience and faith, as well as to advocate for the less fortunate.
Preliminary plans are to hold both an afternoon and an evening program. Watch for more details on venue, times and topics.  
Questions and ideas may be directed to Linda Van Buskirk at
What: "Website 101" Training 
When: April 27 (Time TBD) 
Where: First United Church of East Syracuse, 823 Franklin Park Drive in East Syracuse.
Meet with Communications Coordinator Sarah Buckshot about the basics of website creation and design, and other media-related questions. More information to come.  
Around the Presbytery
Memorial Garden Bricks

Collamer United Church is looking forward to springtime with the start of a Memorial Garden. To begin the project the church is selling bricks, which will be part of a paved pathway to the garden. The bricks, which cost $50, can be engraved making them a lovely remembrance to honor a family member or loved one.

Everyone is welcome to purchase the bricks -- it is not necessary to be a member of the church. For purchasing forms or for additional information, contact the church office at (315) 463-4939.

What: Loren Barrigar in Concert 
When: 4 p.m. Sunday, March 10 
Where: Jamesville Community Church, 6300 E. Seneca Turnpike 
Cost: Adults are $12; Children 16 and under are free
Complimentary refreshments will be served during intermission.
What: A concert presented by the Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir 
When: 7:30 p.m. March 13 
Where: First Presbyterian Church, Skaneateles  
The Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir has established a long history of
excellence through its on-campus performances, annual tours and recordings.  
The Collegiate Choir is composed of student musicians representing the School of Music and other areas of the university and is dedicated to the performance of the finest sacred and secular choral music spanning six centuries and a variety of languages.  
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
'You are from dust and to dust you shall return'
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of journey into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus

By Paul Seebeck
Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE - For Ray Jones, the acting director for Theology, Formation & Evangelism, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of a personal journey, as it does for Christians around the world, into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
In worship at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Center on March 6, Jones said he was reminded  of how taken aback he was when he first began to encounter the season of Lent.
"We didn't grow up celebrating Lent," he says of his family's faith tradition.  "My parents didn't always show me my purpose - and love."

Raising a healthy church family
Leadership advice from parenting experts

By Sue Washburn
Presbyterians Today
Since my kids are out of the house, I figured I could finally donate the parenting books I'd gathered over the years. So many of the titles offered a nugget that helped me feel like I was not the only one navigating the complexity of parenthood. Into the box went some of my favorites - How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too and The Blessing of a Skinned Knee. As I packed, I realized that much of the parenting advice applies to leadership in small churches.

Many medium and large churches operate like businesses, with boards and committees that oversee a small slice of church life. Small churches, however, operate more like families. We gather around the meeting table to talk about our ministry together and to make a few things official by voting. Robert's Rules of Order, those parliamentary procedures for deliberation used by Presbyterians, are occasionally helpful at small-church meetings, but often feel like an add-on to the relational work being done. So, with a nod to parenting books, here are some suggestions on how to behave so that your congregation will, too.

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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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