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

May 16, 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 elders and ministers of the Word and Sacrament newly elected to positions of leadership in our Presbytery.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individual: Taunton, Syracuse; Westminster, Syracuse; First, Weedsport; Whitelaw
If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

Photos from our Stated Meeting

See more photos on our Presbytery's Facebook page
Photo of the Week

Abbie, a member of the Baldwinsville Presbyterian Church, frequently attends church meetings and holds a special position within the church staff.
The congregation will soon be saying goodbye as she and the Rev. Monica Styron, the interim pastor, move on to other responsibilities within our Presbytery.

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
Presbytery Meeting Highlights
Presbytery's annual stated meeting was held on May 14 at the Presbyterian Church of Otisco. During our time together we:
  • Worshipped God in new, creative ways which incorporated active participation and reflections from worshippers on the parable of the mustard seed; stirring music with guitars, videos, a gifted vocal quartet, and a body moved and willing to sing in a way that was new to many; the use of technology that enhanced the experience in spite of the occasional glitch; a message of assurance that even though we come to God in our brokenness, through Christ and God's amazing grace God finds us faultless; and a communion service which embraced us into a closer relationship with God and with our sisters and brothers in faith;
  • Remembered with love those saints who passed away in the last year and now rest in their eternal home;
  • Enjoyed lively fellowship over a delicious dinner provided by David Forrest;
  • Accepted with gratitude elder Gordie Howard's withdrawal of his early resignation as Treasurer, allowing him to continue to serve the third year of his three-year term;
  • Learned that the CNY Missional Structures Working Group (MSWG) is defining a list of questions to be posed to the four participating presbyteries of Northern New York, Utica, Susquehanna Valley and Cayuga-Syracuse; that all presbyteries will be reflecting and responding to the same list of questions in a series of listening sessions, some with focus groups and one open to all parties interested in the future of the presbytery; that in Cayuga-Syracuse there will be one open listening session plus three focus group sessions including 1)representatives from our federated/union churches, small churches, and churches with part-time pastors; 2)new voices in church leadership including, but not limited to, congregational leaders under age 40; and 3)former moderators and council chairs; that these listening sessions will take place through the spring and early summer; and that in early fall there will be a presbytery-wide open forum during which the findings from these listening sessions will be presented for consideration by our MSWG members Rev. Garrett Anderson, Rev. Jenna Heery, and elder Nancy Wind;
  • Approved the sale of a portion of the property of Faith United Church in Oswego;
  • Learned that the Resource Presbyter search team is excited about the field of candidates for this position and that the Human Resources work group has identified a potential candidate for the position of Stated Clerk;
  • Granted the status of Honorably Retired to the Rev. Janet P. Newman and celebrated her ministry, hearing from several folks and remembering the many lives touched and enriched by Janet over the past 40 years, both before and after ordination, as she served in a variety of ways in Presbytery, in churches in Scipioville, Auburn-First, LaFayette-Columbian, Howlett-Hill and Auburn-Westminster, and in her community;
  • Assigned the following churches one additional commissioner to Presbytery in order to achieve parity with minister members of Presbytery: Weedsport, Whitelaw, Amboy Belle Isle, Auburn-First, Auburn-Westminster, Aurora, Baldwinsville, Cazenovia, Chittenango, Collamer, DeWitt-Pebble Hill, East Syracuse and Fayetteville;
  • Amended the Standing Rules to change the terms of office for chair and vice chair of the Leadership Team from three to two years and not have the terms run concurrently, and to add the provision for Associate Stated Clerk for Administration.
  • Elected, installed and commissioned the following persons to office and positions of Presbytery leadership:
o    Rev. Tom Oak, Moderator, one-year term
o    Rev. Monica Styron, Vice Moderator, two-year term
o    Elder Lynn Jacques, Leadership Team Chair, two-year term
o    Elder Linda Van Buskirk, Leadership Team Vice Chair, one-year term
o    Rev. James Moore, Leadership Team class of 2020
o    Rev. Patrick Heery, Leadership Team class of 2022
o    Rev. Stephanie Weaver, Leadership Team class of 2022
o    Elder Neil Rotach, Leadership Team class of 2022
o    Elder Susan Silliman Smith, Leadership Team class of 2022
o    Elder Roger Dilmore, Presbytery Permanent Judicial Commission class of 2025
o    Elder Linda Russell, Associate Stated Clerk for Administration
  • Heard "Good News" and announcements from our congregations and worshipping communities, including: Jimmie Hawkins Day will be held on June 10 at the PERC in Auburn; that the PERC is a growing ministry of Auburn-First; Senior Fun Day, organized by Rita Hooper, will be held at Vanderkamp on June 4; David Graham shared a message of thanks from Skaneateles for services provided during their transition; Presbyterian Women events will take place in Auburn this summer focusing on human rights and civil rights; Penny James read a testimony about the value of outdoor ministry written by one of their new summer staff persons, highlighted Vanderkamp's policy to never turn a camper away for inability to pay, and explained Vanderkamp's desire to offer a Day Camp experience program if enough churches are interested;
  • Heard the good news that CNY Arts awarded a grant to the "Good Creations" art program that meets at Isaiah's Table every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. for lunch and creative projects under the direction of elder Rebecca Wind, and that the grant will provide a guest artist once per month to teach a workshop in a variety of mediums;
  • Expressed our collective thanks to Presbytery officers and leaders who have completed their term of service including: Moderator, Rev. Shawn Reyburn; Vice-Moderator, Rita Hooper; and Leadership Team members Rev. Linda Even, Rev. Karen Green, Rev. Howard Rose, Rev. Beth DuBois, elder Nancy Wind and elder Linda Russell;
  • Experienced great hospitality from the members of our host church!
Presbytery gatherings are important opportunities to worship together around Word and Sacrament, to learn together, to do business together, and to connect with and engage in "one-anothering" with our sisters and brothers from throughout the Presbytery.
Learn more about Presbyterian Event and Retreat Center by visiting its website or clicking here to download the center's brochure. 
Around the Presbytery
What: Rummage and Bake Sale 
When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday   
Where: Amboy Belle Isle United Church , 6190 Airport Road, Syracuse
A Rummage 'Bag' Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday.   
What: 10th annual Smoker Drive Thru
When: 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Baldwinsville's First Presbyterian
Church, 64 Oswego St. Baldwinsville
Cost: $9

Baldwinsville's First Presbyterian Church will hold its 10th annual Smoker Drive Thru this Saturday. Customers will drive through the parking lot and pick up dinners of pulled pork
 or smoked chicken, salt potatoes, cole slaw and chocolate chip cookies. Stop by and pick up a great meal for only $9. 
Seeking pianist/accompanist
The First Pr esbyterian Church of Chittenango is looking for a pianist/accompanist and a choir direc tor to play, conduct and accompany choir rehearsals on Sundays.  
Service  starts at 9:00 am  and choir rehearsals take place after the service ends  until 11:00 am . The service includes a prelude, two hymns and two worship songs. The choir consists of only women that sing mostly SA music with simple accompaniment. We are looking for a pianist who is skilled in sight-reading and has experience singing in choirs. There is compensation. 
Please contact Mark Kasdorf for more information
Senior Funday at Vanderkamp is fast approaching
Senior Funday will be held on June 4 starting with coffee and goodies at 9:30 a.m., and ending with vespers at 4 p.m., around the campfire.   
This years "counselors" come from several churches in our Presbytery and beyond and all are excited to share their expertise with the "campers."  Many different activities have been planned so there is sure to be something of interest for everyone to take part in. And of course there will be all the old camp favorites including music, games and s'mores!
Please call "Aunt Vannie" (der Kamp) at (315) 706-3564 or email her at and let her know you'll be there -- the cost for the day is $20 and includes lunch.     
Learn more:  Funday flier   
What: Chicken BBQ Saturdays at Columbian Presbyterian Church
When: 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Route 11 & Route 20 in LaFayette

Half chickens are $6 & full dinners are $11

"The best chicken anywhere!"

What: A Cappella Choir
When: 7:30 p.m. May 20
Where: Park Central Church
504 E. Fayette St., Syracuse
Cost: Free Donations encouraged


What: Memorial Day Benefit for LaFayette Outreach hosted by Columbian Presbyterian Church
When: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday, May 27, 2019
Where: Columbian Presbyterian Church, which is located at Route 11 and Route 20 in LaFayette

The event features a silent auction, plant sale, bake sale,
free Kids' Krafts and "Red, White & Blue Sundaes"

What: Quilters' Sale
When: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, May 27, 2019
Where: Columbian Presbyterian Church, which is located at Route 11 and Route 20 in LaFayette
More information: Call 315-677-3293 or email

New quilts, vintage quilts, antique quilts, quilt tops, fat squares, cotton fabric, mini quilts, embroidered quilt pieces, quilter's frame, crafter's quilts

Watch for pictures on the church's Facebook page
What: Calling all Women and Girls of the Church to join as Presbyterian Women Gather
When: 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, 2018  
Where: Harriet Tubman Home at 180-182 South Street in Auburn
Rita Hooper: or 315-706-3564
Susan Silliman-Smith: or 315-591-4623 (text or leave message)
The day w ill s tart with a tour at the Harriet Tubman Home at 9:45 a.m. The cost of the tour is $3 fo r seniors and $5 for adults.  
Lunch will be served at Presbyterian Event and Retreat Center at 108 South Street. Lunch will be $8. Virginia Champlin will be presenting on her Global Exchange to Indonesia . Learn about  USA Mission Experience to CNY   , which is happening this summer.
After the program, you are on your own to visit the Seward Home (cost: $10-$12) or the New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center (cost: free) Both are on South Street in Auburn. 
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Drawing nearer  
to justice
Presbyterian Center worship includes trying out an original hymn

By Mike Ferguson
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - While Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) churches and mid councils do the work suggested in Matthew 25, they might consider taking their cue from Isaiah 58 as well.

"Is this not the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed to free, and to break every yoke?" God asks the nations through the prophet. Those who feed the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted will "raise up the foundations of many generations" and will be called "the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in."

God's call is juxtaposed "against the fake news of a self-righteous nation," Henry Koenig Stone said during the Chapel worship service Wednesday at the Presbyterian Center. Stone is managing editor of  " Unbound," the journal of Christian social justice, and associate for young adult social witness for the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy.

God's family stands  
up for others
Being Christian means  
living the vision of peace
By Vernon S. Broyles III
Presbyterians Today

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth ... . And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away." - Revelation 21:1-4

As Christians, this is the promise toward which we live, but it's not just an eschatological hope. It's God's vision into which we are called to live daily, supported by our faith in the One who has given himself on our behalf. Jesus Christ is "the way, the truth and the life" - nothing less -  and the guide for our daily living.

Our Presbyterian predecessors knew this and strove to give concrete meaning to Jesus' promise in the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which consists of two parts - the "Book of Confessions" and the "Book of Order."  In the "Confessions," the Larger Catechism instructs us beyond the command "Thou shalt not kill," adding that we are "to preserve the life of ourselves and others," in "forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, ... requiting good for evil, ... protecting and defending the innocent." It forbids "the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful or necessary means of preservation of life." As for the command "Thou shalt not steal," we are called to "endeavor by all just and lawful means to procure, preserve, and further the wealth and outward estate of others, as well as our own."

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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