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

June 13, 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
A Tour, Lunch & Fellowship
Presbyterian Women gather in Auburn
Presbyterian Women gathered Saturday in Auburn.  
The group took a tour of the Harriet Tubman House and then had lunch at the Presbyterian Retreat and Event Center.  
During lunch, Virginia Champlin and Rita Hooper, shared about the USA Mission Experience trip coming through Central New York next month. Twenty five women from 12 Synods are expected to be on the trip. They will spend one day in Auburn touring the Tubman house, Seward house, Willard Chapel and the heritage center. They will experience High Tea at the PERC and have dinner at the Presbyterian Church in Skaneateles.   
Following lunch, Champlin shared her experience on the Global Exchange to Indonesia.   
The group would like to send many thanks to Banu Moore and the ladies of First Presbyterian Church for serving a very special lunch.


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 pray for The Rev. Shawn Reyburn and Associate Stated Clerk Linda Russell as they travel to South Korea to strengthen the presbytery's relationship with our partners in South Korea.
  • Pray for all those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. May God's love comfort them in their time of need.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individual: 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

The Westminster Church in Auburn celebrated Pentecost with lots of color and enthusiasm on Sunday. 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
PC(USA) Ordination Exams 2019: 

Each year presbyteries are required to submit to General Assembly the names of persons willing to read ordination exams. As part of the Northeast Region, Cayuga-Syracuse readers will be evaluating exams the week of October 7-11, 2019 and we have been asked to provide one (1) ruling elder, one (1) teaching elder, and one (1) alternate reader.

The Leadership Team will appoint exam readers at its meeting on July 22, 2019.

Elder Linda Van Buskirk, one of our 2018 exam readers, has prepared information about expectations and training for this role which can be found here. If you would like to be considered as an exam reader, please send your name to Leadership Team Chairperson, Lynn Jacques, at by July 15, 2019.    
Around the Presbytery
Mark you Calendar for Mark
What: Retirement dinner for the Rev. Mark Harrison from the Jamesville Community Church
When: Friday, June 28, 2019
Social hour at 5 p.m. and dinner served at 6 p.m.
Where: Jamesville Fire Department  
Cost: $20 per person  
Deadline: In order to provide Chef Kevin with an accurate count of  attendees, please remit that amount on or before June 23.
Questions: Email Louise Stoner at or Lois Pynn at

The menu includes prime rib, baked potato with sour cream or butter, sautéed green beans, salad and a dinner roll. Dessert will feature a variety of pies, and drinks will also be provided.

You can sign up and pay at the church on Sundays or send your remittance to Louise Zgardzinski at the church (6300 East Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville 13078). Checks should be made payable to Jamesville Community Church.

If you would like to share a short story, a favorite encounter or remembrance of Mark after the meal, please plan to do so. We hope you will participate in this invitation to speak.
The Rev. Harrison's last sermon at Jamesville Community Church will be on June 30.
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.)
The gospel is for people of all races
Preacher: The good news is the best tool for dismantling white supremacy
By Mike Ferguson
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - The gospel empowers people of color - and it's for white people too, the Rev. Samuel Son, the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Manager for Diversity and Reconciliation, told a crowd gathered for worship at the Presbyterian Center last week and for a quarterly update on the Matthew 25 invitation from PMA leadership.

"The gospel empowers the people of color to love themselves as Christ loved them," Son said. "That we do not need to be white. That we are God's people, beautiful and powerful."

"The gospel is for white people too! That you are loved as you are, that you don't need white supremacy to prop you up," he said. "Dismantling white supremacy shouldn't make you defensive. It is about your liberation to the gospel of Christ !"

Rather than accepting things as they are, "love is resistance," he said. Love "confronts racist behavior from fellowship hall to city hall, from classrooms to courtrooms, from the preachers to the presidents."

Continue reading...

Affirming God's greatness in youth

Church offers monthly positive affirmation workshops for children
By Sherry Blackman
Presbyterians Today
God-given greatness isn't something one achieves; it is something inherent to being human. This is the core message that the leaders at Elmwood United Presbyterian Church in East Orange, New Jersey, are instilling in their youth. These mentors hold fast to the belief that if a person is to be successful in the Christ-abundant life, he or she must take complete responsibility for that greatness and protect it.

Out of this conviction the church began offering a monthly Positive Affirmation workshop in October. The workshop grew out of a Sunday school series highlighting the biblical stance that God has given each person a purpose, and fulfilling that purpose means living into the Christian's call and influence in the world. The workshop was the brainchild of Dora Mighty, a teacher and church youth leader who wanted to continue focusing on these values.

"Children often sacrifice their God-given greatness when confronted with peer pressure, poverty, prejudice and insecurities, along with other struggles growing up in an urban environment," said Mighty.

The workshop meets on Saturday mornings for students in the East Orange community who are of elementary through high school age. Elmwood United Presbyterian provides transportation for those who would not be able to attend otherwise. About 20 to 30 youngsters and teens attend the 90-minute workshops.

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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