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

July 25, 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

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 the family of the Rev. Pamela Gnagy whose mother, June Gnagy, age 93, passed away on June 28th
  • Pray for Pastor Benjamin Fitzgerald-Fye and the Rev. Karen Chamis as they prepare their hearts, bodies and minds to take on new roles in August.
  • Please pray for Dick Tuttle, husband of Sharye Skinner, who is battling pancreatic cancer.
  • Please pray for Jim Russell, the brother of elder Douglas Russell. Jim is battling esophagus cancer.
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
Global Partners and Triennium friends visited Niagara Falls before the Global Partners returned home to South Korea. 

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 Associate Stated Clerk 
Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

Last year New York State adopted legislation requiring all employers - including all churches - to adopt a Sexual Harassment Policy by Oct. 9, 2018. State law also requires that Sexual Harassment Prevention Training must be provided by the employer -- by each church -- by Oct. 9, 2019, and on an annual basis thereafter.
Each church is asked to document in its session minutes: (a) that the church has adopted a Sexual Harassment Policy, and (b) that sexual harassment prevention training has been conducted by the Oct. 9, 2019 deadline.
Current samples of training can be found here:
Other helpful links include:
These links can also be found on the Presbytery's website under the Resources tab, in the Policies section.

Invitation from Pyongyang Presbytery

Pyongyang Presbytery has invited Cayuga-Syracuse to send a delegation of four adults to visit their churches and attend their presbytery meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, although the exact length and dates of the visit are still being worked out.  
The Korean Partnership M&M Team is currently looking for three persons, pastors or elders (preferably at least one of each), who would be visiting Pyongyang Presbytery for the first time. If you have a possible interest in this opportunity, please contact Linda Russell at or 315-730-6930.
From the Leadership Team

Benevolent Care Fund Grant applications:
The Benevolent Care Fund Grant applications are now being accepted through Nov 1, 2019.   

The purpose of this fund is to provide benevolent grants to institutions that assist in the care of elderly persons within the bounds of the Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery. 

Examples of previous requests are: food gift cards for shut-ins within the church community, senior lunch programs, "Music and Memory" program for nursing home residents, replacing dining room chairs and driveway/parking improvement at senior centers.

The application form can be found on the our website. Completed applications can be submitted to Leadership Team Chairperson, Lynn Jacques, at

Around the Presbytery
What: Free Family Dinner and Fun Night
When: Dinner is from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday. Dinner is followed by a movie or games
Where: Port Byron Federated Church at 35 Tex Pultz Parkway in Port Byron


What: Vendors wanted for 11th Annual Tailgate Festival
When: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3
Where: First Presbyterian Church of Auburn, 112 South St., Auburn
Open to crafters, artists, antiques, garage sale items, farmers, etc.
Coffee, drinks, baked goods, and Chicken BBQ available day of sale.

To reserve a space:
Cost: $15
Deadline: Aug. 1
Call: (315) 252-3861

Application can be downloaded on the church's website.

Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Baffled by prayer
Here's a hint from a preacher: Petition God by spicing your prayers with imperatives

By Mike Ferguson
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - All his life, the Rev. David Maxwell has found prayer baffling.

Maxwell, who leads Presbyterian Publishing Corporation's curriculum imprint, Geneva Press, said during the weekly chapel service at the Presbyterian Center Wednesday that he often finds prayer "awkward, irrational and confusing - and I know I'm not alone in my discomfort."

For example: Just ask for a volunteer to open a church meeting with prayer. Eyes immediately turn away, papers shuffle and blood pressure begins to rise, Maxwell said. "Oh, what a relief when someone volunteers!" he said with a smile.

Like their understanding of the internet, people of faith may not understand just how prayer works. Yet the Bible "is filled with prayer," Maxwell noted, and the lectionary's gospel text for this Sunday is Luke 11:1-13, where Jesus teaches his disciples what to say when they pray. He follows that up with telling them exactly what to do to persevere in their prayer life.

Luke's account "teaches us the way to pray and then assures us that God will listen to us and respond," Maxwell said. Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. God promises us "a gracious response, not a cruel one," akin to parents giving their children a fish or an egg rather than a snake or a scorpion.


How to speak truth to power
Webinar lets people know how to get laws changed, aid people at border
By Mike Ferguson
Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE - Nearly 400 people took  part in Tuesday's Office of Public Witness webinar offering viewers, among other suggestions, tips on how to respond to people seeking asylum or refuge in the United States - and ways to lobby their member of Congress to alter the laws and budgets that impact people fleeing their country for a new life in the U.S.

" Speaking Truth to Power: A Faithful Response to U.S. Detention and Asylum Policies" featured Emily Sutphin, a summer fellow with OPW; Lisa Haugaard, executive director of the Latin America Working Group; Hannah Graf Evans, legislative representative for immigration and refugee policy with the Friends Committee on National Legislation; and Ruth Noel, activist council member with Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. OPW's Catherine Gordon moderated the webinar, which ran about 70 minutes.

Sutphin identified some root causes of migration, both "push" and "pull" factors that tend to push people out of one country or pulls them into another. Among the former: persecution, war and violence, poor wages, crop failure, natural disaster and climate change. Pull factors which draw people to the U.S. include safety and stability, freedom, higher wages, a better environment and educational opportunities.

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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