Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse
5811 Heritage Landing Dr., 2nd Floor
East Syracuse, NY  13057
(315) 632-5698
May 17, 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!
Highlights from Presbytery Meeting, May 12, 2018
Approximately 60 people gathered at Vanderkamp Center on May 12 for worship, fellowship, and business, and were warmly welcomed and cared for by Bill and Penny James, co-directors of Vanderkamp, and by Rev. Lorrie Cooney and members of the Parish-New Hope Presbyterian Church.

During our time together, Presbytery...
  • Heard a powerful sermon from Elder Larry Beasley on recognizing ourselves as a "resurrection people!"
  • Commissioned for service at the 223rd General Assembly, June 16-23:
    • Rev. Diane Monger (member at-large), minister commissioner
    • Rebecca Wind (Isaiah's Table), elder commissioner
    • Shavonn Lynch (Westminster-Auburn), Theological Student Advisory Delegate (TSAD)
    • Rachel Kilts (Whitelaw), Young Adult Advisory Delegate (YAAD)
  • Acknowledged with regret the resignation of Elder Larry Beasley and thanked him for his service to Presbytery as Stated Clerk from January 1 through May 31, 2018.
  • Suspended Standing Rules 2.02-2.06 and amended Bylaws Article VI to permit the body to extend the terms of the current Presbytery Moderator and Vice-Moderator and Leadership Team Chair and Vice-Chair for up to one additional year in order to avoid the situation of losing these four officers simultaneously, to allow the Leadership Team sufficient opportunity to study and propose a new plan for electing officers with staggered terms, and to provide some continuity of leadership at this point in time.
  • Approved recommendations to establish the positions of Acting Stated Clerk (10 hours/week with a focus on serving stated meetings of Presbytery and as a general polity resource), and Communications Coordinator (10 hours/week with a focus on the weekly e-newsletter, website and social media); and empowered the Leadership Team to prepare compensation agreements and begin a search process.
  • Approved a recommendation to establish the position of Presbytery Leader as proposed by the Visioning for the Future Work Group and empowered the Leadership Team to develop a position description using new and previous input from Presbytery members to include such things as serving as the "face" of the Presbytery; building relationships with and among congregations and neighboring presbyteries; being a pastor to pastors; and working with the Leadership Team to help articulate, model and implement Presbytery's vision and ministry.
  • Approved recommendations from the Nominating Committee and elected Rev. Mario Boliver and Elder Linda Russell to the Leadership Team Class of 2019 and Elder Bob Davenport, Rev. Tom Oak, and Elder Mark Kasdof to the Class of 2021; Rev. Shawn Reyburn as Moderator (2019); Elder Rita Hooper as Vice-Moderator (2019); Elder Bernie Epperson and Rev. James Moore as Synod Assembly Commissioners (2020); and Rev.'s Diane Monger and Banu Moore as Ordination Exam Readers.
  • Heard "Good News" from:
    • The New Worshiping Communities Work Group on the success of Isaiah's Table in finding a new location which will allow for a continuation of their core worship and service as well as the introduction of new activities and programs; and the announcement that the Appleseed Outreach mission supported by South-Valley PC has begun the journey to be recognized as a New Worshiping Community by our denomination.
    • Onondaga Hill PC on the excitement building around the Summer Work Camp rehabbing homes in the greater Syracuse area scheduled for the week of June 24.
    • The LAMP mission team on their one-week trip to Puerto Rico in February.
  • Learned about Mission Insite, a powerful, user-friendly resource being provided by Presbytery for the use of every congregation to help make a church's ministry more effective by helping them better understand their congregants and their community. [Rev. Scott Cupp is serving as Mission InSite Administrator for Cayuga-Syracuse and can be reached at or 315-430-8073.]
In Christ's service,
Linda Russell
Leadership Team Chairperson

Joys and Concerns around the Presbytery
 In our prayers together this week...
  • Pray for Rev. George Huffsmith, the pastor of Sennett Federated Church, who was recently diagnosed with pneumonia.
  • Pray for the people of Palestine and Israel, for the thousands of Palestinians wounded and the more than 40 killed, including a 14 year old boy. Pray for peace, justice, sovereignty, life, and land for both peoples, and for an end to the occupation.
  • Pray for the churches bombed in Indonesia, killing at least 11 people. Read more.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individuals: our Presbytery (the Leadership Team, Work Groups, Committees, and Mission and Ministry Teams), the Synod of the Northeast, General Assembly staff.

If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact Patrick Heery:

This Sunday is Pentecost, when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit!

Want to know more about Pentecost? Looking for resources? Click here.

Pastors, you can also find a whole set of worship resources right here.

A gift to the Pentecost Offering helps the church encourage, develop, and support its young people, and also address the needs of at-risk children. Churches looking to support a worthy project with the local portion of their Pentecost Offering can give campership aide to Vanderkamp. Checks can be sent to Vanderkamp, 337 Martin Road, Cleveland, NY 13042. Learn more about the Pentecost Offering.

For a PC(USA) Facebook Live event featuring a conversation about Pentecost with the Rev. Angela Johnson, click here.

Around the Presbytery

WorkCamp 2018

Plans for this summer's Syracuse WorkCamp (June 24-29) are progressing well. In less then three months, nearly 400 teens from around the country will be arriving in our city to provide simple and free home repairs to many need, elderly, and physically challenged residents. The response thus far has been tremendous. We have received more than 155 applications for work projects, though we will only be able to accommodate around 65 of them. So, the need is there, the teens are coming, and a strong foundation for the success of the workcamp has been laid. But we are not there yet! There is still much work to be done, many opportunities for volunteer involvement, and an URGENT need for financial support.

Continue reading... 


2018 Records Review
Attention Clerks of Session...

Dates and places for the annual review of session records have been set as follows:

East:  October 4 (Fayetteville)

North:  October 11 (Fulton)

West/Northern: October 18 (Liverpool)

West/Southern: October 25 (Auburn-First)

Syracuse/City: November 1st (Westminster-Syr)


Churches will be preassigned roughly by geography; stay tuned for more information!


Artisan Fair and
Faith Plant Sale

Liverpool's First Annual Artisan Fair will be held on Saturday, May 19 from 9:00 - 2:00. Weather permitting, the sale will be held in the Liverpool First Presbyterian Church parking lot at the corner of Route 57 and Tulip Street in the village. The sale will be moved indoors if needed. We will have home made cards, jewelry, knit and crochet items, watercolor paintings, handmade soaps, paper crafting, quilted items, tote bags, zippered pouches and more. All proceeds benefit Friends in Faith Christian Preschool. All are welcome to come and shop!
The Annual Friends in Faith Plant Sale will be held Saturday, May 19th from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the church parking lot. We will have beautiful hanging baskets and flats of flowers to brighten your yard and all of your days. Hanging baskets are once again $18. **We will again be selling gift certificates ahead of the sale so you can tuck one inside a Mother's Day card (or any card!) and then your special someone can come to our sale and pick out her/his own flowers! For more details call the church office, 315-457-3161.
You always may keep abreast on happenings in and around the Presbytery by
checking the Presbytery events calendar ( and the

Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
PC(USA) Co-Moderator issues statement on move of U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

The Rev. T. Denise Anderson, Co-Moderator of the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), recently returned from two weeks in Israel and Palestine as part of the Mosaic of Peace conference, a biennial event sponsored by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. Anderson raised several concerns in regard to the peace process and in light of yesterday's move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

At least 60 Palestinian people have been killed by Israeli forces, and over 2,400 wounded, as Palestinians protested the embassy's move. The deaths come at the culmination of six weeks of protests observing the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the Israeli military action in which three-quarter million Palestinians - Christian and Muslim - fled or were forced from their homes during the 1948 Palestinian war.


Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival kicks off on Mother's Day

Faith leaders encourage action against racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation

After months of planning, the "Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival" officially begins on Mother's Day. The campaign, a continuation of the initiative launched by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 50 years ago, is calling for direct action at statehouses across the country as well as the U.S. Capitol.

The Rev. Dr. William Barber II and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, a Presbyterian pastor and co-director of the Kairos Center, are co-chairing the national effort.

"This Sunday and for the next 40 days, we will launch a non-violent moral direct action, taking place in 30 state capitals across the country and Washington, D.C.," said Theoharis. "Hundreds of thousands of people are coming together to say that our society and country are headed in the wrong direction and we have to work to overcome systemic racism and poverty, ecological devastation and restore the world narrative that we really live in abundance."

Continue reading... 

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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