Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse
5811 Heritage Landing Dr., 2nd Floor
East Syracuse, NY  13057
(315) 632-5698
June 25, 2020
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 and supportive. In other words, we hope that these things will matter. Your input is valued, and your comments are always welcomed.
Mission Stories
You are invited to Lodi 2020
By Yunhee Kim
Korean Church of Syracuse 
Despite the circumstances that we are in, spring has passed and a hot summer is here. As we gaze upon the wonders of God's creation in nature, I sincerely hope that we too may renew our identity as His creation in love.

Lodi Summer Camp is a ministry dedicated to sharing God's love to the refugee communities around us, and for that love to resonate though their peoples and nations.

For those of us that have experienced Lodi Summer Camp before, I'm sure that you would agree with me in saying it is truly a special time of the year for everyone. The opportunity to practice God's calling and mission in our lives, to share God's love with our refugee friends and for our church to be united in God's mission all brings a sense of deep joy and satisfaction that makes this time of year so special.

This year we will be delivering God's love and comfort to the refugees and their families in ways that are most needed at this time. This will consist of gifts including face masks, daily essentials (rice, flour, etc.), food, and a postcard that the whole family can enjoy.

Details are as follows:

Theme: A Light to the Gentiles (Acts 13:47) "For this is as the Lord commanded us when he said, "I have made you a light to the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth."

Dates: Monday, June 29, 2020 and Friday, July 3, 2020

Method of delivery: Drive-thru
  • After dropping off the gift at the pre-confirmed address, return to your car and call the family to notify them of your arrival.
  • Though it may be short, spend some time with the caller with words of comfort and encouragement.
  • Face masks and gloves are mandatory for all those who are serving.


  • Virtual Orientation will take place in the coming weeks
  • During the week of Lodi Summer Camp, each day will end with a virtual reflection and prayer session.

God's work is done through prayer. In preparation for this ministry we are asking you to be a part of this prayer:

  • Pray that our God who said "Let light shine out of darkness" shine a light upon their hearts, so that they would be led to know Christ and be a part of God's glory.
  • Pray for those who are serving in this ministry, that the efforts of delivering the good news in any circumstance can be filled with the joy and hope that comes from God.
  • Pray that this Lodi 2020 will be a time to experience the providence of our God Jehovah Jireh.
  • Pray for the protection and guidance of all the staff, junior staff and their respective families.
  • Pray that we would be an example for others in the efforts of delivering God's love and gospel.
We are looking for families and individuals who want to be a part of this mission! If you or anyone would like to be a part of this amazing opportunity, please contact at (315) 474-8346.

Also if you would like to donate any funds towards this ministry, please send a check to church, 1800 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13210. Make checks payable to: Korean Church of Syracuse.

We give thanks to God who has led us to continuing this ministry despite the current circumstances. We thank God for allowing us to continue our calling in prayer and mission of delivering the good news.

We look forward to the great things that God has in store for us and hope that you too will join us in prayer and service to receiving His grace and blessings.
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
      I n our prayers together this week...   
  • Please pray for James Russell, a member of Westminster Syracuse. His esophagus cancer has returned.
  • Please pray for Annette Bell, and her husband the Rev. Larry Bell, as Annette faces yet another cancer diagnosis. Annette is an elder and beloved member of Westminster-Auburn; Larry served the church in Genoa and was active in our presbytery for many years.
  • Today marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. The PC(USA)'s Season of Prayer and Reflection in the Korean Peninsula runs from June 25 through August 15. On August 15, 1945 Korea gained its independence from Japan following the end of World War II. At that time Korea was divided along the 38th parallel with the Soviet Union occupying and administering the northern portion of the peninsula and the United States occupying and administering the southern. On June 25, 1950 (a Sunday, and a day of rest for many people), the  Korean War  broke out when North Korea breached the 38th parallel line to invade the South. Korea, divided now for 75 years, lives today with an armistice between its two halves but without a peace treaty. However, the hope for peace cannot be forgotten. Please pray for the reduction of tensions and a fruitful outcome of peacemaking efforts on the Korean peninsula.
  • Pray for all the doctors, nurses and medical staff on the front lines fighting to save COVID-19 patients.
  • Please pray for all those who are sick with COVID-19 and all those who have lost loved ones.
In the cycle of prayer 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:

Photo of the Week
Westminster Presbyterian Church in Auburn is honoring the LGBTQ community during Pride month with these three banners: "You are a beloved child of God!"  
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 Resource Presbyter 
Dear friends,
Over the last few weeks of all the words that have landed on my desk, the word "PERFORMATIVE" lands like an indictment. No, that's not quite right. The indictment part is right, but the landing strip for these words isn't my desk. It's my heart. It's my gut. In conversations with others, I know I'm not alone.
PERFORMATIVE [ per-fawr-muh-tiv ]
(of an expression or statement) performing an act by the very fact of being uttered, as with the expression "I promise," that performs the act of promising. (See also, "slacktavism" or "ally theater")
It pertains to me specifically in several areas -- at times including my own faith.
Performative allyship occurs whenever we say we're in support of a marginalized group in a way that either isn't helpful (or is actually harmful!) or that draws attention away from the group we state we support. It's where we talk a lot ... an awful lot ... and we pass overtures and policies and form committees that have no chance of actually changing anything, but they make us feel good about what we've done (and that's what is really important, right?)
Again. It lands like an indictment. It is an indictment.
How we respond to this charge complicates things further. My immediate reaction is always defensive. All the good things I've done line up like little toy soldiers ready to spring to my defense. I'm a good person. I'm trying. Look at me trying! You may get angry. Others might turn away entirely. Some of us make the choice to not say anything. We are really good at not taking risks -- and I know that there are times when the fear of doing the wrong thing is paralyzing. The problem there is that, again, that is all about us.
We're conflict-avoidant, peace-loving (where the peace we're talking about is that sort we feel comfortable) chaos-fearing Presbyterians, and we all have our own preferred method of avoidance. As a dear friend often said, "Your mileage may vary."
Thing is, church? We're really good at all of the above. I'm really good at all of the above. Church folk know all too well how to talk the talk while walking in a completely different direction.
We have a name for it. It's called sin. We also know that sin requires us to lament and confess even as we work to repair. It's not work we can dole out to another; it's our work to do. It's not the work of the Leadership Team, the COM or the Presbytery. It's the work of all of us.
Blessings -
Special Meeting 
In accordance with Article V of the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse Bylaws, at the request of two elders and two ministers, the Moderator of the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse has called a special meeting for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 for the purpose of discussing issues related to Vanderkamp. This will be the only business discussed at this meeting and no other business will be considered.

This meeting will be held on the Zoom online platform. Please choose commissioners to attend this meeting as soon as you are able.

A registration link, the docket, and any paperwork needed for this meeting will be sent out no later than 10 days prior to July 14.
The Presbyterian Planning Calendar offers more than nice pictures and a space to write in your meetings -- it also offers many resources that are keyed to certain months of the year.  You can order the calendar through the PCUSA store for $16.95 ea., OR you can join the Presbytery in its bulk order and pay only $9.75 per calendar. These 2020 - 2021 calendars begin with September. If you're interested, send an email to by July 1st indicating the number of calendars you are requesting.

Resource Presbyter's Virtual Gatherings 

Our Resource Presbyter, the Rev. Karen Chamis, will be holding virtual office hours from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesdays.

Karen will be available for drop-in conversations on Zoom. Come say hello, share concerns or learn a bit on how to use this important tool.  
or call 
One tap mobile 
+16465588656,,839671809# US (New York) 
+13126266799,,839671809# US (Chicago)
Pastoral leadership is invited to a Thursday morning Virtual Coffee for connection, support and fellowship.  
The Zoom meeting will start at 10 a.m.  

Join Zoom Meeting: 
Meeting ID: 510 749 428
"Allegiance to Empire" is a series of seven films featuring Walter Bruggemann, Miguel De La Torre, Reggie Williams, etc. providing ways in which the Christian community can serve the world and at the same time be faithful to God's vision of  the  Peaceable Kingdom.
We will meet Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. for seven weeks.  Each night begin with worship, followed by the viewing of a short film and discussion.  Come and go as you like!
Beginning Monday, June 29th at 7:30 p.m. 
  If you are unable to participate in worship, or know someone who  
would appreciate a liturgy that can be used at home, please contact Karen at 
Around the Presbytery

Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church Summer Forums
This summer on Thursday evenings from 7 to 8 p.m., Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church will be running a series of forums examining the issues of race and racism. Because of recent crowd size expansions, the church will hold these sessions in person using Fellowship Hall in the basement, which will allow for social distancing. If the weather is nice, the crowd can move outside, so throw a lawn chair in your car! Masks will be required.
To start us out, please watch the film "Just Mercy" based on the book by the same name. The story will land us right in the middle of the issue that is absorbing so much attention now, the relationship between police and the justice system and African Americans. As you watch the film, please consider the following questions:
  • How does the film shine a light on systemic racism in policing and the justice system?
  •  Are these issues present outside the south?  
  • Brian Stephenson encounters resistance from a number of different people. How does he overcome that resistance and what does his technique suggest about responding to person based barriers to change? 
You can find Just Mercy on a number of streaming services and online. Various options for free viewing are listed HERE.  
Presbyterian Women in the PC(USA), Inc. present 
"Into the Light" Bible Study Webinars.  
The webinars will be held:
  • 6 to 8 p.m. on June 30

Dates to Remember
June 20-27       General Assembly 
July 23-24         Board of Pensions Thrive Seminar (for clergy age 50+)
August 11         Presbytery Stated Meeting, TBD  
November 14    Presbytery Stated Meeting, Westminster-Auburn
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Love knows no bounds
'Links of Love' initiative continues through virtual creativity during quarantine and online General Assembly

By Emily Enders Odom
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - If a sacrament may be defined as a visible sign of an invisible grace, in a similarly sacramental fashion, God's grace and love are on abundant, if mostly virtual, display through ' Links of Love,' a colorful paper chain representing Presbyterian generosity across the denomination, country and globe.

Although "Links of Love" - a simple initiative in which individuals, congregations and mid councils were invited to create paper chain links for every gift they made through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog - was originally intended to be displayed at the 224th General Assembly (2020) in Baltimore, COVID-19 interrupted those plans.

"When the pandemic happened, we thought that this great idea might be lost, and then it started happening," said Bryce Wiebe, director of the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. "Then, one by one, boxes of links kept arriving at the Presbyterian Center. And, as General Assembly was approaching, more and more shipments continued to pour in. It called to mind the disciples throwing their nets over the opposite side of the boat, reaping a harvest of fish we never anticipated."

Wiebe said that the growing paper chain - which will now continue growing virtually both at and after the PC(USA)'s first-ever online assembly gathering - is evidence of the church's commitment not only to those in need, but also to the spirit of Presbyterian connectionalism. Its original goal of reaching 1,000 feet has been superseded by a paper chain designed to encircle the whole world.


Mission co-worker says COVID-19 shows the need to answer the Matthew 25 call
Tracey King-Ortega is grateful for the ways PC(USA) has responded to the overwhelming need

By Kathy Melvin
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - Tracey King-Ortega was recently asked to preach virtually on Matthew 25 at her home church, St. Peter's by the Sea Presbyterian Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

As she reflected on the Scripture and the ongoing global pandemic, she realized that COVID-19 is like an x-ray that has exposed the most vulnerable in every part of the world and brought into stark relief the importance of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Matthew 25 invitation.

King-Ortega, World Mission's regional liaison for Central America, has lived in Latin America most of her adult life. Her time there has had an impact on her understanding of Scripture.

She said a key tenet of Latin American theology is God's "preferential option for the poor."

"Throughout scripture we see how Jesus sought out 'the least of these,' talked to them, touched them, ate with them, treated them with dignity and invited them into community," she said. "As we read in Matthew 25, on the final day of judgement, the question asked is simply, 'What did you do for the poor and needy?'"

For the mission partners in Central America she has worshiped with and served, this is the lens through which they interpret the Bible. They analyze what is happening in the world and ask what Scripture has to say about it.

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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