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

October 25, 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
Weedsport Presbyterian's Mission at  
West Shore Apartments

Seven years ago in October, a group of church women decided they wanted to perform an act of kindness in the Weedsport community. Their decision was to have a luncheon for the residents of West Shore Apartments, a senior citizen complex. It was supposed to be a one-shot deal.

Seven years later, they are still having the luncheons each month - that's 84 luncheons. The group consists of Debbie Dennis, Jeanette Bates, Cyndy
Rooker, Pat Rudney, Barbara Gray and the Rev. Mary Anderson.

Usually, 15-20 West Shore residents attend and enjoy the time to eat and socialize with their friends. The menu for October's meal was Italian garden soup, garlic bread, tossed salad, pumpkin dump cake with ice cream, coffee and iced tea.

Barbara, originally from Syracuse, and Jeanie, from Venice Center, raved about all the food they have been served over the years and look forward to coming each month. Their favorites are vegetable macaroni soup, turkey and gravy and the cookouts in the summer.
A few years ago Pastor Mary was awarded a grant that pays for much of the
groceries used in this mission. The workers also provide some of the food on their own.

As the talking and laughter slowly dissipated, the residents returned to their apartments feeling full.   

Skaneateles First Presbyterian Church is holding a drive to collect LARGE jars of peanut butter and jam/jelly for St. Lucy's Food Pantry and "Bread of Life" Soup Kitchen.

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 our treasurer, Gordie Howard, who is currently volunteering on the Florida Panhandle to help people recovering from Hurricane Michael.
  • Pray for Ruling Elder Bernie Epperson (Chittenango) who is recovering from surgery. Bernie recently represented our Presbytery as a commissioner to the Synod Assembly.
  • Pray for all those struggling with heroin and opioid addiction. Three young people died from  heroin overdoses in Onondaga County last week. Please pray for their families during this difficult time.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individuals: minister members of the Presbytery who are engaged in specialized ministries, who are at-large members, or who are retired
If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

Photo of the Week
Collamer United Church paid tribute to Cynthia Skafidas
Sunday morning for sharing her gift of music for 30 years.

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.
Presbytery's Stated Meeting
The Rev. Bill Carter and the Presbybop musicians    

Faith in a New Key
We welcome the Rev. Bill Carter and the Presbybop musicians to Presbytery's stated meeting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at United Church of Fayetteville, 310 East Genesee St., in Fayetteville.
Bill is pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. Bill has graciously agreed to serve as guest preacher as he and "the gang at Presbybop Music" bring their music to our worship service. Presbybop Music exists to create jazz music that glorifies God, renews the Christian church and models the integration of faith and the arts. Bill and friends will greet us beginning at 9 a.m. for a time of gathering, music and conversation prior to the call to order and the call to worship. They join to help us infuse the life of faith with the swinging pulse of jazz.
More information on Bill Carter and Presbybop Music can be found on the Presbybop's website.
 Other things to know about the stated meeting:
  • The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m.
  • We welcome the Rev. Jeremy Campbell as our Stated Clerk Pro-Tem for this meeting. Jeremy serves as the Stated Clerk for both Elizabeth and Newton presbyteries in New Jersey.
  • Childcare is available by reservation. RSVP to the church office at or (315) 637-3186 by Monday, Oct. 29 for childcare.
  • Internet service will be available at this meeting. The offering during worship will support Hurricane Michael Disaster Relief. The cost for lunch will be $7 payable at registration.
  • Requests to be excused, as well as names of new elder commissioners requesting nametags, may be sent to
  • The meeting may be recorded and pictures taken.
  • Directions: The driveway immediately to the left of the church's front door is entrance only and leads to a parking lot behind the church. Street parking is also an option, but attendees are strongly cautioned to not park in a handicap space without the proper tags as ticketing is common
 *Please Note: Meeting documents will be distributed in a separate email later this week. 
From Our Leadership Team
Leadership Team Welcomes Synod Representatives
The Leadership Team welcomes the Rev. Dr. Harold Delhagen, Synod leader, and the Rev. Dr. Amaury Tanon-Santos, Synod networker, to its meeting tonight. They come on behalf of the Synod to:
  • Engage in dialogue about where Cayuga-Syracuse finds itself missionally and what it is we dream of
  • Introduce a process for the creation of a CNY Missional Structures Working Group for the purpose of re-imagining the missional life of Christ's church in CNY and, with that in mind, the form, function and leadership of our presbyteries' missional structure
  • Discuss our plans to seek a Presbytery Leader in the context of our CNY Presbyteries Partnership and the work of the CNY Missional Structures Working Group
Discussion will be informed by exploring the recent experience of the seven presbyteries in New Jersey and what we might learn from that process as we consider our future. The CNY Presbyteries Partnership includes the presbyteries of Northern New York, Utica, Susquehanna Valley, and Cayuga-Syracuse. Representatives of the four CNY presbyteries have been engaged in joint meetings since June 2017 to discern where we might be able to collaborate and support one another in areas of ministry and mission and in shared leadership. There is a sense among the CNY representatives that the Spirit is moving us to discover new ways of being the church in CNY. Please hold Cayuga-Syracuse and our sister CNY presbyteries in your prayers.  

Benevolent Care Fund Grant Applications are due November 1

The purpose of this fund shall be to provide benevolent grants to assist in the care of elderly persons within the bounds of Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery." ( Benevolent Care Fund Policy, found here.)
1)     Applications must be submitted by churches/sessions/boards or institutions. If an institution, a worshiping community within the Presbytery must indicate concurrence with the request.
2)     A financial need must be demonstrated.
3)     Grants will be awarded for benevolent care of elderly residing within the bounds of Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery.

Please send the completed Application Form to:
Leadership Team
The Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse
5811 Heritage Landing Drive,
E. Syracuse, New York 13057 
REMINDER: Deadline to register looming
Pastor's Retreat with Ray Jones
Missional Discipleship: Following Jesus into  
the lives of our neighbors  
A time of learning, refreshing and community for pastors  
Ray Jones is the acting director of Theology, Formation & Evangelism in the Office of Theology and Worship for the Presbyterian Mission Agenc y
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, Syracuse
Deadline: Registration closes on Nov. 1, 2018
Questions: Contact Naomi Kelly at (315) 369-8253 or

All are invited to Saturday Morning event with Ray Jones. Learn more here.

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 25 -- TODAY @ Auburn-First 
November 1 @ Westminster-Syracuse 
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.
Thirty-seven people attended Boundary Awareness training yesterday at the Liverpool church.  The training, led by Dr. David Olsen, Executive Director of Samaritan Counse ling Center, was declared informative, enlightening, all-around excellent, and definitely worth the investment of a day out of a busy schedule. Several pastors are already dreaming of how to follow up and offer this training to session member s, personnel committees and others in their churches.
Dr. Olsen's Power Point can be found here.
Around the Presbytery
What: The First Presbyterian Church in Mexico hosts Apple Pie and Apple Crisp Sale
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (or until gone) Friday, Nov. 2
Where: Kinney Drugs in Mexico
Cost: $12 for 9-inch Apple Pie & Apple Crisp or  
$6 for 5-inch pies and crisp.   
In addition to regular pies and crisps, the following are available: Sugar-free Pies & Apple Crisps made with Splenda, Reduced-sugar Apple Pies and Apple Crisp, No Sugar Apple Pies and Gluten-free Apple Crisps that must be ordered by Oct. 28 in advance by calling (315) 963-7902.

What: Bi-annual Rummage Sale
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26
Where: Liverpool First Presbyterian Church at 603 Tulip St. in Liverpool  
Shop for clothing, toys, dishes, housewares, bags, sporting goods, small furniture, holiday items, crafts and more. B  aked goods also for sale. Call the church at (315) 457-3161 if you have any questions or would like to donate items.  
Fill-a-Bag Sale is from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 27.
All monies generated help support local and worldwide missions.
What: Chicken & Biscuit Dinner
When: 4:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3
Where: The Collamer United Church at 6865 Fly Road in Collamer, just South of the intersection of Fly Road and Route 298
Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for children 5 to 12 years old, Free for children under 5 years old.  
Take-outs available 
This delicious chicken dinner will include homemade biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh cooked vegetables,
beverage and delicious desserts.  
First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville is hosting a Spiritual Retreat
When: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
Where: Education Center at the church, which is located on Route 48, just north of the village 4-corners
RSVP: Call (315) 635-9964 

The Rev. Dr. Ginny Smith will led us in reflecting upon our own relationship with God as we explore the connection between the people in the Bible and our own lives. With Ginny as leader, the retreat is sure to be interesting and thought provoking. 
The event is free and open to the public. 

Got Turkey?
Tur key dinners planned for Saturday Nov. 3 
What: Tu rkey Dinner
Where: Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church
             4797 Makyes Road, Syracuse 
When: 2 p.m. until SOLD OUT
Cost: $10 for adults. $5 for children, 10 and under
More information: Call (315) 492-2692
Dine in or take out. Public welcome. 
What: Annual Turkey Dinner
Where: First Presbyterian Church
             8871 S. Seneca St., Weedsport
When: Dinning room starts serving at 5 p.m.  
           Takeout dinners available from 5 to 6 p.m.
Cost: $10 for adults. $4 for children, 5 to 10 years old. Free for children 4 and under.

What: Celebrate 50 years of Park Central's M.P. Möller organ, with the internationally acclaimed "Diminuitive Dynamo," Isabelle Demers, at the console. 
When: 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. 
Where: Park Central Presbyterian Church, 504 E. Fayette St., Syracuse 
Cost: Free. Donations encouraged
More information: Visit the church's website or call (315) 475-1677 for more information.   
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Church's refusal to die leads to growth
New life found in a hard-hit neighborhood

By Paul Seebeck
Presbyterians Today

Despite being part of the same church family, Hazel Pflugmacher and Jaquette Easterlin never met.

"I've heard a lot about her," Easterlin said. "She was a big part of creating a place where I could go and be loved on."

The place Pflugmacher and others helped create was in a dingy, old church basement in Tacoma, Washington, where Easterlin now works. In 1987, the year Easterlin was born, Trinity Presbyterian Church was down to 25 members - in a neighborhood caught in the crossfire of drug trafficking, gang violence and poverty.

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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