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

March 14, 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

Fun, Fellowship & Snow
New Hope Presbyterian Church in Parish held a snowshoe and chili event Sunday on the church grounds after the service.


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 Gail Banks' granddaughter Abigail who has recently been hospitalized for two weeks with intestinal problems that were very difficult to diagnose. Abigail was first hospitalized in Detroit, where she is a college senior, before being transferred to Upstate in Syracuse. Gail is a Commissioned Lay Pastor serving Amboy Belle Isle United Church.
  • Pray for all those who are in need of God's love, God's light, God's protection, God's strength. Pray for all those who are in need of God.
  • Pray for all the pastors and Sunday School teachers in our Presbytery as they set out to deliver messages and teach lessons during Lent. May their words help comfort and inspire all those who seek to learn more about the gifts that Jesus gave us when he died for our sins.
Prayer for the second Sunday of Lent:

Lord our God, blessed is the one who comes in your name! Gather us in your gentle presence as a hen shelters her brood  beneath her wings. Finish the work you have begun in us so that we may show your glory; through Jesus Christ our peace.

In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individuals: minister members of the Presbytery who are engaged in specialized ministries, who are at-large members, or who are retired
If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

Photo of the Week

Sunday School students at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Auburn learned about listening for God's voice through all the other noise.

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
Planning Calendars for 2019-2020
Churches and individuals are invited to order Presbyterian Planning Calendars for 2019-2020 through our presbytery's bulk order process at a cost of $9.00/calendar, the same price as last year. Orders should be placed by email to no later than May 15, 2019 with "calendars" in the subject line.
A change this year is that the 2019-2020 calendar will begin with September 2019 (rather than June) and run through December 2020. Calendars are expected to be available by the first of August and will be handed out at the August 13th presbytery meeting (or sooner if possible).
Note: All pastors are entitled to a complimentary calendar. If you do not receive yours by the end of July, contact    
There is still time for students to sign up for Triennium 2019 which runs from July 16-20, 2019. Following their meeting on March 4, our presbytery's PYT (Presbyterian Youth Triennium) Team announced the following:
  • Registration deadline is March 18. Contact Registrar for details.
  • Registration is open to members of Cayuga-Syracuse, friends of members, and non-member youth.
  • Cost is estimated to be $775 per student (registration plus transportation).
  • A deposit of $200 is due April 1. Checks should be made payable to The Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse, with "Triennium" noted on the memo line, and mailed to: Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse, 5811 Heritage Landing Drive, East Syracuse, NY 13057.
  • Confidential requests for partial scholarship support may be directed to the Rev. Shawn Reyburn, advisor.
  • Former Triennium participants are available to speak with students and families to answer questions and offer their enthusiastic recommendation for participation in this special "mountain top" experience. Contact Registrar to set this up.
  •  To accommodate transportation to and from Purdue, participants should plan on dates of July 15-21, 2019.
Our PYT Team is being led by:
Other PYT team members include:
  • Tracie Folley (Liverpool)
  • Lynda Barry (Baldwinsvile)
  • Pearl Fischer (Isaiah's Table)
What: "Website 101" Training 
When: 10 a.m. on April 27 
Where: First United Church of East Syracuse, 823 Franklin Park Drive in East Syracuse.
Meet with Communications Coordinator Sarah Buckshot about the basics of website creation and design, and other media-related questions. More information to come.  
Around the Presbytery
What: Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner
When: 4 to 7 p.m. on March 16
Where: The First United Church of East Syracuse
             823 Franklin Park Drive in East Syracuse
Tickets: $10 for adults
               $5 for children 6-12 years old
               Free for children 5 years old and under
Menu: Corned beef and cabbage, carrots, potatoes, rolls, butter, coffee, hot tea, punch and homemade cakes

Take-out will be available.

One Great Hour of Sharing
2019 marks 70 years of One Great Hour of Sharing

Presbyterians have joined with millions of other Christians through
One Great Hour of Sharing to share God's love with people experiencing need.
Our gifts support ministries of disaster response, refugee assistance and resettlement and community development that help people find safe refuge, start new lives and work together to strengthen their families and communities.
The Presbyterian Hunger Program receives 36 percent of undesignated gifts,
while Self-Development of People and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance  
each receives 32 percent.
2019 One Great Hour of Sharing

To make a donation, visit the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) website.
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Serving God  
outside of church

Pastor Jerry Herships offers a vision to  
good-hearted heathens

By Westminster John Knox Press
Special to Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - There are many of us who don't necessarily have much use for church anymore, but who love people and who want to do good in the world. Organized religion just doesn't appeal to us. But that doesn't mean we can't serve God or that God doesn't love us.

While running the church-ish group AfterHours Denver to serve that city's homeless community, the Rev. Jerry Herships has found many ways that we can love and serve God outside of the church. He compiles his advice in the inspiring new book, " Rogue Saints: Spirituality for Good-Hearted Heathens."

As Herships helps absolve former churchgoers of their guilt, he doles out down-to-earth wisdom and anecdotes, using examples from his community of "heathens" to show God at work in unconventional people: burlesque dancers, bikers, AA members, the homeless, and the tattooed. With an emphasis on the compassion and mercy of service, Herships encourages readers to seek God in the unexpected, to be humble - and to really consider what God does and doesn't care about.
Loving God's creation nurtures our spirit
What Presbyterians Believe about nature and creation  
By Susan DeGeorge
Presbyterians Today
Count the stars. Open your eyes and see the well of water. Take a stone and use it as a pillow.  
During my first year as a new pastor, I decided I would write a curriculum for our children that would focus on common outdoor experiences that they and the main characters in the book of Genesis had. The first lesson focused on God's covenant with Abraham in which he was told to look at the sky and count the stars to get an idea of the number of his descendants. The next centered on Hagar and what it was like to be hot and thirsty and to discover a water source to quench your longing. The third week focused on Jacob's falling asleep outdoors with a stone as a pillow. Week four's curriculum was never written because by then I had discovered that the children in my suburban congregation had never counted stars on a dark night, quenched their thirst in a cool stream or slept out under the sky.
Over the years since then, I've learned that it wasn't just those children in my first church who didn't have a regular connection with God's creation. Many of us are oblivious to or alienated from the earth around us. And yet, Presbyterians come from a tradition that calls us to know, honor, rejoice in and care for God's creation. Our Scripture - from Genesis to Revelation - invites us to be in relationship with trees that clap their hands, as Isaiah proclaims; water that quenches thirst, cleanses, teaches about justice and quiets our anxiety; and animals that serve as helpers, partners and teachers. Our belief is centered on the Word becoming flesh - physical matter.

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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