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

September 20, 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
Liverpool First Presbyterian teams up with Liverpool chapter of Blessings in a Backpack
Liverpool First Presbyterian Church has teamed up with St. Paul's Lutheran, First United Methodist and St. Matthew's Episcopal of Liverpool with the singular focus of providing simple healthy food items on school weekends to elementary students at Seymour Dual Language Academy in Syracuse city schools.The mission is part of the national Blessings in a Backpack program. Learn about the local chapter by clicking here.  

  • Syracuse is one of the 10 poorest major cities in America
  • Of the 41,710 city residents living on less than $24,600 for a family of four, about 47 percent are under 18 years old and 49 percent are under age 5.
  • In the Syracuse City School District, every student (more than 21,000 children) receives free breakfast, lunch and snack every weekday.
  • Many children go home Friday at 3 p.m. to food insecure households where they don't know where their next meal is coming from until 9 a.m. Monday morning.  That's 65 hours without food.
  • Seymour Elementary is less than 6 miles from most neighborhoods in Liverpool.
Since summertime LFPC has collected a special offering and dozens of boxes of granola bars, which will pack together with other items collected from other churches and local grocers in small backpacks for distribution by school staff to children at the elementary school.  LFPC will continue to support this mission through the school year.
Blessings in a Backpack Liverpool chapter is hosting a mass food donation collection event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 in the Walmart parking lot on Route 31 in the town of Clay. The goal is to fill a school bus full of donated food items for the backpacks. For this event, the following specific donations are sought: 
1) Ready-to-serve soups w/easy open lids (chicken noodle, veg. beef, etc.) 
2) Macaroni & cheese microwavable cups (any brand)
3) Chef Boyardee (all varieties)
4) Fruit and grain breakfast bars (NO NUTS)
5) 100% juice box or pouch
6) Applesauce cups (any brand)
7) Fruit cup (any variety or brand)

You too can be part of this new mission. Stop over on Saturday, Sept. 29 to shop and make a donation, or drop off items at LFPC.  Help be part of this mission to act in a solidarity with partner Liverpool churches and show how we love our neighbor leading into this school season.
Service Opportunities
The Liverpool chapter is also looking for additional help from people with experience or skills in grant writing, MS Excel spreadsheet or macro development, or generally for those who have contacts within local grocery store or food distribution networks, or an eye for finding low prices.  For inquiries, contact chapter coordinator John Meyer at (949) 500-5176,

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 all those who are battling cancer. Pray for strength for the patients and their loved ones. Pray for doctors and caregivers. Pray for relief from pain and symptoms associated with cancer and pray that some day we will have a cure so that no more lives will be lost.
  • Pray for all those affected by Hurricane Florence. Keep the families of those who lost their lives due to the storm in your prayers. Also pray for the animals who fought to survive on their own during the storm. May all those in need find comfort in the Lord.
  • Pray for those still recovering from Hurricane Maria. Leaders in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have issued a statement to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria's impact on Puerto Rico:
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individuals: Columbian, LaFayette; First, Liverpool; First, Marcellus; First, Mexico; Morrisville Community Church
If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

From Our Leadership Team
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 Agency
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  
Boundary Awareness Training
Training/refreshing every three years is a standard "best practice" for Boundaries Awareness and this is a local, convenient opportunity to      bring yourself "up-to-date."
When: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018
  Where: Liverpool First Presbyterian Church, 603 Tulip Street, Liverpool, NY 13088
Cost: $15 for lunch for Cayuga-Syracuse participants or $40 for lunch and registration for non-Cayuga-Syracuse participants 
Deadline: Oct. 17, 2018 
For more information or to learn how to register, visit the Presbytery's website.  
It's time to order your Presbyterians Today 2018 Advent Devotional     
During this holy season of Advent, we are invited to pray and contemplate with Mary in her Song of Praise - the Magnificat - found in Luke 1:46-53.
This year's devotional is very special. The paintings and poems are the work of Andrew Weatherly, a young Presbyterian man born with Down syndrome, who uses his gifts to raise awareness of the capabilities of those with special needs. The rest of the text -- reflections and prayers for each day of Advent -- is the joint work of Donna Frischknecht Jackson, pastor and editor of Presbyterians Today and sister to a man with special needs, and Krin Van Tatenhove, also a pastor who is father to a son with autism. With great love and joy, Andrew, Donna and Krin bring God's might and Mary's "yes!" to life in powerful new ways.
Perfect for congregations, families and individuals, each day provides a Scripture excerpt, meditation and prayer to deepen the Advent experience.
Other Voices From the Presbytery
Westminster Church in Auburn welcomes new Children's and Youth Ministry Coordinator

Westminster Church, Auburn, is pleased to introduce Chris Patch, the church's new Children's and Youth Ministry Coordinator. Chris is excited to work with the children and teens at Westminster and in the Auburn community through REACH (Relate, Explore, Act, Care, Help). REACH was awarded a Synod Innovation Grant to launch this ministry in 2018.

Westminster's vision for children and youth ministry is transformative love: 
  • A place that welcomes all children and youth and empowers diversity
  • A life journey in which all generations collaborate to nourish faith, raise up leaders, and meet the needs of the community
  • A chance to wonder by asking big questions and  exploring faith through motor- sensory experiences of nature and the arts
  • A modern spiritual practice involving the whole community 
"I am very excited to begin serving in this newly created position," Chris said. "My wife Kim and I moved to Auburn along with our three daughters a little over 11 years ago from the Binghamton area. We began attending Westminster about a year and a half ago and officially became members recently. We knew, however, from the very first service we attended that we had found a new church home and family. Professionally, I have worked as a restaurant manager and chef, but since moving to Auburn I have primarily worked in education and project management. Educationally, I have a Masters degree in Theology from Northeastern Seminary in Rochester. I have also led many formal and informal small groups and workshops for both adults and youth. My goal is to help create new  opportunities for the children and youth of  Westminster that offer fellowship, spiritual growth, and theological education. I look forward to serving the children and youth in our congregation, as well as their parents in anyway I can be of assistance."  
The Rev. Patrick Heery, the pastor of Westminster, says, "Chris brings to our church a deep love for all people, especially those who have been wounded or marginalized, and it's that passion for the gifts, stories, and voices of all children and youth that will help Westminster follow God into its community and the hearts of our families. As Westminster looks to its future, we could not be more excited or grateful for the leadership and vision of Chris Patch, or for his wife Kim, who is also seminary-trained and was instrumental in bringing to Westminster the Q Center and Cayuga County's first safe space and drop-in center for LGBTQ youth."  
REACH is committed to the dream of an education awakens the faith, imagination, moral capacity, and intelligence of our children and youth. Westminster asks that you uphold Chris and this new ministry in prayer.  If you'd like to know more about Westminster's new children and youth ministry, please contact the church at (315) 253-3331 or

Around the Presbytery
Come Visit Isaiah's Table New Location  

Isaiah's Table is grateful to have reached their chair fundraising goal with the help of members of the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse. They raised enough money for the purchase of 40 chairs.
In celebration, Isaiah's Table is extending a special invitation to their sisters and brothers from the presbytery to visit Isaiah's Table on Saturday, September 29, 2018 . Come for all or part of a typical Saturday at the Table . They will end with a Hot Dog Picnic Lunch at noon.
Schedule for Saturday, Sept. 29: 
9:30 a.m.: Community breakfast that their leaders bring in from their home kitchens.  
10:00 a.m.: Wo rship around the breakfast tables.  
11:15 a.m. (about): Handing out vegetables from Matthew 25 Farm.
12:00 p.m. (about): Hot Dog Picnic Lunch 
Dress code at Isaiah's Table is "come as you are" (casual). Street parking and handicap accessible parking is available. Isaiah's Table is located at 223 Marcellus St., in Syracuse. 

Ham Dinner
Eat in or Take It Out!

First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville
When: 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, October 13
Where: 64 Oswego St, Baldwinsville, NY 13027
Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for kids 5-12

Menu: Ham, scalloped potatoes, squash, peas, applesauce, assorted bread, pies and beverages.

Apple Pie &
Apple Crisp Sale

The First Presbyterian Church in Mexico
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on  
            Thursday, Sept. 27 & Friday, Sept. 28
     or until gone 
Where: Kinney Drugs in Mexico
Cost: 9-inch apple pie and apple crisp is $12 and 5-inch pie and crisp is $6
Other items for sale: 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 in advance by Sept. 23 by calling 315-963-7902.

Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Stated Clerk urges President Trump to change refugee resettlement plan
U.S. Government seeks to resettle only 30,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2019
By Rick Jones  
Office of the General Assembly Communications
Calling it devastating news, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II,
Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging the administration to change its planned course for refugee resettlement. The U.S. Government is planning to resettle only 30,000 refugees in the Federal Fiscal Year 2019.
"It is devastating news for the thousands of refugees who are living in a place of temporary refuge, their lives put on hold as they look for a country willing to open its doors to them," the letter reads. "It is devastating news for the thousands of refugees already resettled in the United States who are separated from loved ones by war, flight, and left behind, waiting to be reunited."
Continue reading... 

Presbyterian groups work to create a 'culture of preparedness' for disaster events
Resources available for National Disaster Preparedness Month

By Scott O'Neill
Presbyterian News Service

As Hurricane Florence bears down on the eastern coast of the United States, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) and Presbyterian Women (PW) are sending out the reminder that September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM). Since 2014, through the Presbyterian Women Disaster Preparedness program, PDA and PW have collaborated to assist congregations and presbyteries to create disaster preparedness plans. Today, there are more than 150 women from 68 presbyteries across the country, including 43 new trainers at the Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women last month in Louisville, Kentucky.

Carolyn Thalman, a member of First Presbyterian Church in Winchester, Virginia and a PDA National Response Team (NRT) member, was part of the group that wrote the first training curriculum for Presbyterian Women. She's currently the team lead for the PW disaster preparedness program.

"We want to create a culture of preparedness in our churches and communities across the country," said Thalman. "Our goal is for churches to have disaster plans. Being prepared can't eliminate the chaos of a disaster, but it can reduce the chaos and the suffering."

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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