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

April 4, 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
One Great Hour of Sharing
A church walks into a bar ... and then what?

2019 OGHS Sixty Second Sermon


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...
  • Please send healing prayers for Robert Conine from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Syracuse. Robert fell and broke his hip.
  • Pray for the Rev. Louise Tallman and her husband Jim Stephens. Jim is in the process of receiving a lung transplant. Louise says the family appreciates prayers in their "journey of miracles."
  • Pray for the loved ones of John Tulloch, who died Tuesday. John was 93.  He joined Baldwinsville Presbyterian in 1955.  He was very active in the church, both locally and also in the Presbytery. A service to celebrate his life will take place in the sanctuary at 1 p.m. Saturday.  
Prayer for the fifth Sunday of Lent:

Loving God, how lavishly you pour out  the costly gift of your grace upon us. Fill our homes and our lives with the fragrance of your love, so that we may show your glory and serve your people;  through Jesus Christ our Lord  
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individuals: First, Cazenovia; First, Chittenango; United Church of Collamer; Pebble Hill, DeWitt; First United Church of East Syracuse
If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

Photo of the Week
One of the things participants at Westminster Presbyterian Church did at last weekend's worship retreat was liturgist training. What if we read scripture the same way we read a children's book -- with passion, eye contact, inflection, drama, intentional pauses, and engagement?! It would look like this! See more photos on the church's Facebook page.

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
Seeking a Resource Presbyter for Cayuga-Syracuse
A Resource Presbyter Search Team was approved by the Leadership Team this week and includes teaching elders Lorrie Day Anson (Otisco, Taunton), Patrick Heery (Auburn-Westminster), Shawn Reyburn (LaFayette), and Debra Thomas (East Syracuse); and ruling elders Sam Dance (Onondaga Hill), Carla Kinny (Cazenovia), and Nancy Wind (Isaiah's Table).
An initial gathering of this group is being facilitated by the Rev. Lorrie Cooney, co-chair of our Human Resources Work Group (HRWG). Potential matches and self-referrals to the Ministry Information Form (MIF) have been coming in since we posted our MIF two weeks ago and initial screening by the HRWG has revealed several promising candidates.
Cayuga-Syracuse is committed to calling a full-time Resource Presbyter to serve our presbytery beginning as soon as possible. However, the Leadership Team also committed to the proposal that should a sister presbytery be interested in sharing presbytery leadership at some future point, we would, with help from Synod, work with that presbytery and our Resource Presbyter to see how a shared leadership position might emerge at that time.
Thus, a new and somewhat novel addition to the anticipated traditional search process for a presbytery position emerged last week during conversations with our CNY sister presbyteries (Susquehanna Valley, Utica and Northern New York). Following those conversations, and on behalf of Cayuga-Syracuse, the Leadership Team approved extending an invitation to Susquehanna Valley and Utica (Northern New York gracefully opted out of this option) to send one guest observer to our Search Team as our Search Team reviews and deliberates over candidates' Personal Information Forms (PIFs) and conducts interviews.
Please pray for our presbytery, for the Search Team, for our sister presbyteries, and for all who labor in the CNY vineyard on behalf of God's people and God's kingdom, believing and trusting that the Spirit is leading us where we need to go. And remember always to support one another as we make this journey together.
In Christ's service,
Linda Russell
Leadership Team Chairperson
Votes Are in on GA Amendments
The outcome of all amendments to the Book of Order as proposed by the 223 General Assembly has been determined. Amendment 18-C* was defeated, and all others were approved. This is exactly the way our presbytery voted at its meeting on February 9, 2019.
[*18-C proposed adding the following statement as the last paragraph of G-3.0104: "No congregation, session, presbytery, synod, or national office of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), nor any individual acting on behalf of or in an official capacity for the above institutions ,shall publicly endorse or oppose, or otherwise encourage or discourage others to vote for or against an individual running for public office."  A summary of all the amendments we voted on can be found here.]
Global Partners from Korea coming for Triennium
Cayuga-Syracuse h as invited four students, two girls and two boys, as Global Partners from Pyongyang Presbytery in South Korea, to attend Triennium 2019 as part of our presbytery delegation. The students will be older high school or first year college students with some English skills. They will arrive Thursday, July 11 and depart Wednesday, July 24.
Host families are needed for four nights prior to the Triennium trip (July 11-14) and three nights following the delegation's return (July 21-23). Our preferred practice is to house the students in pairs, but other options can be discussed.  If you are willing to offer the hospitality of a home-stay for these students, or would like more information on how this works and what to expect, contact Linda Russell at or 315-730-6930.
From our Mid Council Relations Office...
Parking Tax Law
In a surprise effort to raise revenue for tax reform, Congress imposed a new tax on tax-exempt organizations, including churches, that provide parking and other transportation benefits to their employees. The new tax raises special issues for churches and other organizations that are exempt from the requirement to file annual information returns (IRS Form 990) because the tax increases an organization's unrelated trade or business taxable income ("UBTI") that is reported and paid on Form 990-T. For many organizations, this may be the first time they are filing form 990-T, and they may find the learning curve to be steep.
The General Assembly's attorneys are not licensed to provide tax advice to mid councils or congregations, and they recommend that you consult someone local if you need assistance with this; but they did arrange for  an explanation of the very complicated issue of the new parking tax for tax-exempt organizations .
You might want to note in particular the section about reserved parking spots. 
Read more here.
What: " Website 101" Training 
When: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on April 27 
Where: First United Church of East Syracuse, 823 Franklin Park Driv e 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.   
RSVP: Sarah Buckshot at  
Around the Presbytery
New York Poor People's Campaign  
to visit Syracuse and Auburn this weekend

On April 6-7, two dozen representatives of the Poor People's Campaign from across New York will visit Syracuse and Auburn as part of a four-day tour of Western and Central New York. The NYS National Emergency Freedom School Bus Tour is one of more than two dozen tours planned nationwide with the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

New York's tour will launch on April 4 in Buffalo and stop in Geneseo, Elmira, Enfield,
Auburn and Syracuse, highlighting how poverty, systemic racism, environmental
devastation and violence impact both urban and rural New York communities.

In Syracuse, they will hear from local activists and residents about the city's rich
Abolitionist history and present day reality. In Auburn, they will tour the Harriet Tubman House, learning about the history of the abolitionist movement and its lessons for today's struggles for justice.


2 p.m. Saturday: Harriet Tubman House, 180 South St., Auburn
6 p.m. Saturday: Atonement Lutheran Church, 116 West Glen Ave.
A conversation with and presentation by Dr. Joan Hillsman, music educator,
author, lecturer/demonstrator, university professor, African American music
historian, church music clinician, curriculum writer and retired supervisor of
music from the Washington DC public schools.
9 a.m. Sunday: Atonement Lutheran Church, 116 West Glen Ave.
A Conversation with Syracuse Cultural Workers and the Culture and Arts
Movement members of the Poor People's Campaign.
11 a.m. Sunday: Bethany Baptist Church, 149 Beattie St.
Worship and brief remarks from the national co-chair of the Poor People's
Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
12:30 p.m. Sunday: Bethany Baptist Church, 149 Beattie St.
Lunch and Conversation -  Abolition, The 15th Ward and Route 81
1:30 p.m. Sunday: The Jerry Rescue Monument, Clinton Square
More Conversation - Abolition, Militarization and our Priorities

Marcellus First Presbyterian Church is seeking a Church School Coordinator.

The position is available immediately.

Apply to Marcellus First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 147 Marcellus, NY 13108 or
Questions? Call 315-673-2201.
MFPC is an equal opportunity employer.

What: All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast
When: 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 6 
Where: King Ferry Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of routes 34B/90.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast with your friends and  neighbors.
What: Chicken & Biscuit Dinner 
When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6 
Where: Amboy Belle Isle United Church, 6190 Airport Road in Syracuse 
Cost: Adults are $10, Children 5 to 12 are $5 and children under 5 are free  
Take-outs available 

What: Chicken & Biscuit Dinner 
When: 4:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on April 13 
Where: The Collamer United Church at 6865 Fly Road in Collamer 
Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for children (ages 5-12) and children under 5 are free 
This delicious chicken dinner will include homemade biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh cooked vegetables, beverage and delicious desserts. Take-outs available.

What: Robinson Elmwood's annual Easter Pie Sale & Soup Sale
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 19 and 10 a.m. to gone on April 20  
Where: Robinson Elmwood United Church
126 South Terry Road, Syracuse
The annual Easter Pie Sale - Now with Soup! There will be three types of pies (apple, ricotta, peanut butter with chocolate ganache) are all still $12. Specialty pies will be $15. Soups, which include chicken barley and vegetable quinoa, will be $10 per quart.  
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
The first to say yes
Olivet Presbyterian Church  
in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, becomes first official Matthew 25 church

By Mike Ferguson
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - Once the website went live Monday, Olivet Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a church of about 65 members, became the first church to officially accept the Matthew 25 Invitation.

"It's so exciting," said the church's part-time pastor, the Rev. Michele Scott, who returned to the community where she grew up after serving churches around the country and working for a Cedar Rapids aerospace company. "Olivet has always been my idea of the church that is listening to the Spirit and is actively involved in ministry."

In their initial communication online, members of the 115-year-old church said they're working on two of the three Matthew 25 goals - eradicating systemic poverty and building congregational vitality. The third goal is dismantling structural racism.


'Doing the work we were called to do'
Stated Clerk, Co-Moderator address the Presbyterian Mission Agency board

By Mike Ferguson
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - "We have seen a vision for what can happen," the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II told the Presbyterian Mission Agency board last week, "and we are beginning to live into that possibility."

Nelson, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann, Co-Moderator of the 223rd General Assembly (2018), spoke to the board about some of what they've experienced during the last few months, which Nelson called "truly a time of some significant transition in the life of this denomination - and it feels good."

Nelson said if Presbyterians are at least in part prepared for all the change going on, it's "because we are faithful, not because we know all the answers ... I feel that energy when I go out to our congregations. I see people trying to figure this out every day, walking by faith and believing God will make a way somehow."

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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