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

October 11, 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
The Rev. Debbie Johnson and one of the church's youngest members, Gabe Hughes, look at the donated coats. Two give-aways were held. 
Winter coat drive warms the hearts of those who give and receive

Faith United Church in Oswego collected gently used winter coats during the summer from congregation members and the community of Oswego.   
Then during coat give-aways, held on September 17 and 18, and October 6, community members in need of a warm winter coat came to the church to receive a free one.
About 49 coats were given away to those in need.  

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 violence in the city of Syracuse. Two boys, a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old, were shot and killed in the city this month.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individuals: Isaiah's Table, Syracuse; Korean Church of Syracuse; Park Central, Syracuse; Robinson Elmwood United Church, Syracuse; South Valley, Syracuse
If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

Photo of the Week
LaFayette Columbian Presbyterian Church members Nancy Redmore
and Joan Riffanacht with Brandon Roth from CNYCentral and some delicious pies

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 Our Leadership Team
Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy and Training
New York State has adopted legislation that requires all employers, including all churches, to adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy and to provide training to all employees on an annual basis, starting Oct. 9, 2018.

Further information can be found at this link.
The Leadership Team will be discussing this at its next meeting.

Per Capita

A 2019 per capita figure of $38.50 was presented to Presbytery at its stated meeting on Aug. 14, 2018 as part of the "first read" of Presbytery's 2019 budget. The Leadership Team anticipates that this figure will be approved as part of the 2019 budget at the Nov. 3, 2018 Presbytery meeting.

For budget planning purposes, churches may wish to use this number now, recognizing that a 2019 per capita figure will not become official until after Presbytery votes on Nov. 3. (The $38.50 per capita includes $8.95 for GA, $4.10 for Synod and $25.45 for Presbytery.)

Call to Service

Presbytery treasurer, ruling elder Gordie Howard, has informed the Leadership Team that he plans to retire on May 31, 2019 (one year early.) Please forward names of potential nominees for the Office of Treasurer to Donna Hunt, chair of the Nominating Committee, at Self-referrals are also welcome. Nominees must be either a ruling elder or a minister of Word and Sacrament.
Other opportunities for service include openings on the Leadership Team (two for the class of 2021 and five for the class of 2022) and three at-large members for the Nominating Committee. Names and self-referrals for these positions should also be sent to Donna Hunt.
Wanted: Loan or use of a laminator

If you have a laminator that could be loaned or used on-site, please contact Linda Russell at (315) 632-5698 or
Attention Church Offices:
A reminder from the Board of Pensions:
If you don't submit your Employer Agreement by Oct. 12, your employ ees will not be able to elect 2019 benefits during annual enrollment. Submit your Employer Agreement now.  

Next Presbytery Meeting

The Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse will hold a stated meeting on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at United Church of Fayetteville, 310 East Genesee St., in Fayetteville. More information to follow.


Annual Review of Session Minutes
Who: Clerks of Session
What: Annual review of session minutes
When: Review sessions scheduled for 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on each of the following Thursdays:  
October 11 -- TODAY @ Fulton
October 18 @ Liverpool 
October 25 @ Auburn-First 
November 1 @ Westminster-Syracuse 
What should I bring? - Session minutes for 2017 plus completed
Session Records Review Checklist found here. 
Do I need to make an appointment? - No, simply choose one of the 10 gatherings most convenient for you.
A Special Thank You
Celebrating 22 Years of Life-Giving Ministry: Rev. Dr. Craig Lindsey

On September 30, 2018, the Rev. Dr. Craig Lindsey announced that he would soon be concluding his pastoral relationship with the First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles. Across the presbytery, many hearts sank in sadness. Sadness for the friend, colleague, and leader we are losing. But there was also gratitude. Gratitude for 22 years of life-giving ministry, which transformed not only his congregation but our presbytery as well. Gratitude also for a leader who so deeply respects the needs of his congregation that he is willing to help them usher in a new season of leadership and vision, even if it means saying good-bye.

Craig blessed his church and this presbytery with energy, intelligence, a passion for mission, and selfless leadership. But what stands out perhaps more than anything else is Craig's love for the people he served---for his congregation, for us, for the Lost Boys of Sudan, for the new pastors he helped ordain and install, for the Christian Educators he defended, for anyone and everyone hurting. At a time when many churches across the nation were turning inward, as they struggled to survive, Craig led his congregation beyond its own doors to serve others and advance international mission.

Committed to a ministry of healing and reconciliation, Craig stood in the gap as the presbytery struggled to heal and reforge trust. As the chairperson of the presbytery's Creation Team, he inspired hope for the future, encouraged deep listening, and helped reorganize the presbytery along a new, more grassroots, relational path. Seeing this, the Rev. Betty Jones from Amboy-Belle Isle requested, as she lay dying, that Craig preside at her funeral and witness to the hope that past conflicts would be healed at the foot of the cross.

For Craig, our messy lives were never disruptions; they were opportunities for the gospel to be seen and heard. It's for this reason that he never shied away from challenges and conflicts, but fearlessly pursued justice and truth. Even a crying baby was never able to stop Craig Lindsey, who would simply---without skipping a beat---lift up that child, cradle it in his arms, and go right on leading worship, even preaching. 

The Rev. Deb Thomas says, "I have known Craig since he came into the presbytery. Together we have the shared experience of having seen a lot of things come and go in the presbytery, a lot of changes made, a lot of people retire and move away, the welcoming of new faces and colleagues, and a few instances of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, but somehow the presbytery always managed to find a lifeboat---I would say in large part due to Craig's insight and leadership."

That leadership included chairing the Committee on Ministry, the Committee on Preparation for Ministry, 12 separate investigating or administrative commissions, the Creation Team, and many other committees and groups. He served for 14 years as an elected member of the Presbytery Council, served on both presbytery and General Assembly Judicial Commissions, and acted as commissioner to the 2001 General Assembly. During his tenure, he visited approximately 50 sessions/counsels to discuss mission priorities.

Neither Craig nor the members of First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles know yet what the future holds. But judging from the foundation they together have built, we can trust that God will lead both into mighty works of love.

Craig will conclude his pastoral relationship with the First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. Members and friends from throughout Presbytery are invited to a worship service lead by the Presbytery followed by a reception hosted by the congregation at the church later that same afternoon. Details will be sent as soon as they are finalized.

We are going to miss him a great deal!
Other Voices from the Presbytery 
Good News from Isaiah's Table

We had a great turnout on Saturday, Sept. 29 for breakfast, worship and the Hot Dog Picnic.
Thanks to everyone who attended.

Here's some more good news:

Rebecca Wind, our resident artist and director of our new Tuesday Drop-in Arts Program, "Good Creations", has received a grant from the Presbyterian Mission Agency. She received Loan Assistance from the Season of Service program for $3,000 toward her student loan debt. Congratulations Rebecca.

Isaiah's Table is learning Spanish. We are working with a wonderful Spanish teacher several Saturdays each month so that we can speak to many in our new neighborhood in their native tongue. This has been a wonderful way to break down barriers and share God's love as we share vegetables from our partner, Matthew 25 Farm.

We have received a donation of 500 pairs of socks from Bombas for a second year in a row. This is such a great gift for our community members. These socks are specially engineered for those who may live outside or those who do a great deal of walking each day. We distribute these socks on Saturdays along with personal hygiene items, some of which come from our partners at Liverpool First Presbyterian Church.

Nancy Wind, our ministry coordinator, has received training and is now a coach for the   1001 New Worshiping Communities Coaching Network. She has been coaching leaders of a NWC in New Orleans, Okra Abbey, and is looking forward to new coaching relationships.

We welcome any congregation who would like to participate in our ministry by making breakfast on a Saturday morning. We are also gratefully accepting donations of art supplies for Good Creations, our new drop-in art program held each Tuesday afternoon. Please contact Nancy Wind or call (315) 447-7065 for more information.

We are grateful for what God is doing through Isaiah's Table.
Thanks be to God.
Around the Presbytery
Seeking participants for LAMP trip to Mexico

Northminster Presbyterian Church in North Syracuse is seeking participants to go on a LAMP trip to Campeche, Mexico from February 19 to 26.

The Latin American Mission Partnership (LAMP) was formed in 2004 to build relationships between the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse and the Campeche Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

Over the years, we have worked together on construction of a theological seminary in Mexico, hurricane recovery in the Gulf Coast states, supplying books for a theological library, and teaching Vacation Bible School. It also serves as an educational and religious experience for the adult and youth participants from Cayuga-Syracuse. The group partnered with Monteflores Presbyterian Church in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to assist with clean up, painting, and rebuilding after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of their homes and churches.

LAMP has planned a trip to Campeche, Mexico for February 19 through 26 of 2019 leaving from Syracuse. We are accepting applications for both youth and adults that would like to participate in this trip. The expected group project will be building classrooms inside the seminary. Other projects may include cleaning and clearing of construction related debris, painting, and other related tasks.

The deadline to submit an application is November 15.

The cost for the trip is $1,100 and payment due dates are included on the application, which can be found here. We highly encourage youth (minimum of 14 years old) to participate in this trip as it is an experience of a lifetime and many amazing memories are made through experiencing a new culture. It is not necessary to know the Spanish language; there will be translators available.

For questions, contact Julianne Pease at (315) 430-4536 or by email at or Sandi Yingling at

For more information on the most recent trips in 2015 and 2017, visit LAMP's Facebook page.

Marcellus First Presbyterian Church welcomes new interim pastor
Marcellus First Presbyterian Church has hired an interim pastor. Her name is the Rev. Anne Marie Meyerhoffer and she is from Connecticut. She has lots of experience and training and is excited to be coming to Marcellus. Anne Marie will be starting on Oct. 15 and her first Sunday to preach will be Oct. 21.
Anne Marie is a graduate of Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia and Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. She has served urban and rural, large and small congregations in Columbus, Georgia; Endicott, New York; Rome, Pennsylvania; and Milford, Connecticut. 

   What: Rummage & Bake Sale  
   When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 
   Where: Amboy Belle Isle United Church
   6190 Airport Road, Syracuse, NY13209


What: Annual Harvest Festival
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Where: Sennett Federated Church
7777 Weedsport Sennett Road
Admission: Canned or boxed food item for Brutus-Sennett Food Pantry
Questions: Call (315) 252-4936

The festival features games, prizes, children's crafts, vendors, bounce house, food, pie eating contest, silent auction, door prizes, raffle and more.

Entertainment by Jerry Keebler, an award winning magician. There will be two shows at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Sanctuary at dinner church, monthly pub talks

1001 new worshiping community creating home for people who have said 'no' to church

By Paul Seebeck
Presbyterian News Service

Pittsburgh -- The Rev. Laura Bentley, pastor of Sanctuary Faith Community, felt called to be a pastor - but she had the best pastoral conversations sitting at bars with people over food and beer.

While listening to people, the 1001 new worshiping community leader noticed how isolated they felt, so she started a weekly gathering around meals in her home - for rest, for space to wrestle with spirituality and to learn about Jesus.

Eventually those meals turned into a weekly dinner church and a monthly spiritual and theological conversation venue at a local pub.

Mid Council Leaders Gathering concludes with messages of moving forward
Church leaders offer views on church of the 21st century

By Rick Jones
Office of the General Assembly Communications

The Mid Council Leaders' Gathering wrapped up on World Communion Sunday, celebrating a oneness with Christ. Leaders within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) took the final hours to share their vision and hopes for the church moving forward.

The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, told the group that the church seeks to strengthen relationships and collaborate with mid councils.

"We believe God calls us to act boldly and compassionately so that faith comes alive and the world wakes up to new possibilities," she said. "We want to be a church of action, celebrating churches, small and large, that are working to change communities. We want to be a Matthew 25 church."

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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