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

May 1, 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
Fluttering Prayers 
A "kaleidoscope" of butterflies appeared on Easter morning at Baldwinsville's First Presbyterian Church. 
 Members of the congregation wrote prayers of concern and prayers of gratitude on many of the insects.Ceiling fans brought them to life, enabling them to slowly flutter across the front of the sanctuary.


Baldwinsville's answer to Mother Theresa

Gwen VanDerveer, a member of Baldwinsville's First Presbyterian Church, was named the 2019 Volunteer Woman of the Year. 

Gwen was honored on April 13 at a reception and dinner at Pasta's on the Green at Foxfire. She is known for her many years of quietly helping and caring for others and has been referred to as "Baldwinsville's answer to Mother Theresa."
Candidates are nominated by individuals in the community. Baldwinsville Volunteer Center Inc. sponsors the celebration.

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 family and friends of ruling elder Carola Shave. Carola passed away peacefully at Francis House on Sunday afternoon. She was a founding member of Isaiah's Table, a faithful servant to our presbytery and the dear wife of the honorably retired Reverend Jerald Shave. A Memorial service will be held later this summer. Please pray for the family, especially for daughter Maggie Carter who is continuing her recovery after a lengthy hospital stay.
  • Pray for peace on the Korean Peninsula
  • Pray for the Resource Presbyter search committee, the Leadership Team, and the presbytery during this in-between time
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individual: Port Byron Federated; First, Scipioville; Sennett Federated Church; First, Skaneateles 
If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

You're Invited...
What: The Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse and Robinson Elmwood United Church cordially invite you to the installation of The Rev. Stephanie J. Weaver as pastor of Robinson Elmwood United Church
When: 3 p.m. on Sunday May 5, 2019
Where: Robinson Elmwood United Church, 126 S. Terry Road in Syracuse

Reception to follow in Fellowship Hall
(Pastors, please wear your robes and stoles, and gather at 2:45 p.m. in our Adult Lounge)

Photo of the Week
Who says annual Earth Day highway clean up isn't fun? Collamer United Church takes part in an Earth Day cleanup 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
Resource Presbyter Search Committee Report
The Resource Presbyter search committee held its second meeting last week and identified candidates with whom they wish to conduct interviews. Members of the search committee include ruling elders Sam Dance, Carla Kinney, and Nancy Wind, and pastors Shawn Reyburn, Deb Thomas, Patrick Heery and Lorrie Day Anson, chair. 
Necrology Reports   
During our presbytery's annual meeting on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 we will take time to remember the saints in our presbytery who have gone to their eternal home in the past year. Please email names of those from your church you would like remembered to and indicate "necrology report" in the email subject line. Please indicate if the person was an ordained elder and/or deacon. Names are requested by Monday, May 6. 
Call to Service - Update from the Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee for the Presbytery of Cayuga Syracuse is looking for candidates for open positions, which they would like to present for election at the May 14 presbytery meeting.  
Opportunities for service include:
Presbytery Moderator (two-year term)
Presbytery Vice-Moderator (one-year term)
Three members of the Leadership Team (one class of 2020, two class of 2022)
Two members of the Permanent Judicial Commission, class of 2025
Four at-large members of the Nominating Committee, class of 2020
One at-large member of the Committee on Representation, class of 2020
Suggested nominees and self-referrals should be sent to chairperson Donna Hunt at or 315.258.0130.  Thank you!
Search for Stated Clerk

At its April 25th meeting, the Leadership Team approved the positions of Stated Clerk and Associate Stated Clerk for Administration.  
The position descriptions can be found here: Stated Clerk & Associate Stated Clerk 
Interviews will be conducted as applications are received until the positions are filled.
The decision to divide the stated clerk responsibilities was motivated by two primary factors. One was financial; another was the scope of the workload. Previous efforts to identify someone to assume all the typical duties of a stated clerk were not fruitful. We were unable to identify someone local who was willing to add the full duties to their schedule and we could not offer sufficient financial compensation to attract a candidate to relocate to our area. Our hope is to identify a local elder or pastor willing to take on the role of stated clerk and serve for minimal compensation knowing that they do not have to carry the whole workload alone but will have the support of a colleague. Training and resourcing will be provided.  
Applications and/or questions should be directed to elder Mark Kasdorf at or 315-420-1581.
What: Jimmie Hawkins, of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness, is coming to town 
When: June 10 
Where: Presbyterian Event and Retreat Center, wh ich is located on South Street in Auburn (former Case Man sion adjacent to the Auburn-First church building)
 Save the date for this Presbytery-wide event. There will be two sessions: An afternoon session will focus on clergy and church leaders and an evening session, which will be open to the public, will include a dinner.
The general theme: Understanding Poverty and What to Do About It.  
Keep watch to learn more as plans are developing.  
For questions, contact Linda Van Buskirk at or (315) 237-7115. 
Presbytery Meeting
The Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse will hold a stated meeting on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at the Presbyterian Church of Otisco, which is located at 1873 state Route 80 in Tully. The gathering will begin with registration and fellowship at 3:30 p.m.
Things to know:
  • Childcare is available by reservation to or 315-237-0783 by Tuesday, May 7.
  • Lunch will be served at a cost of $7.00 payable at registration.
  • Names of new commissioners may be sent to for nametags.
  • Names for excused pastor absences should be sent to
  • The gathering may be recorded and pictures will be taken. Please email Communications Coordinator Sarah Buckshot at if your image cannot be posted on Facebook or our website.
  • Docket mailing will go out on Saturday, May 4
Things to anticipate:
  • Worship with communion and a variety of special music
  • Remembering our saints who have passed away in the past year
  • Recognizing students going to Triennium
  • Celebrating the Rev. Janet Newman as she transitions to "Honorably Retired"
  • Adjusting terms for Leadership Team officers
  • Update on search for Resource Presbyter and Stated Clerk(s)
  • Update on the work of the CNY Missional Structures working group
  • "Good News" from our Congregations and Worshipping Communities
  • Tips from Communications Coordinator Sarah Buckshot
Presbytery gatherings are important opportunities to do business together, to worship together around Word and Sacrament, to learn together, and to connect with and engage in "one-anothering" with our sisters and brothers from throughout the Presbytery.
CNY Missional Structures Working Group
The CNY Missional Structures working group has met twice and laid out a plan and a schedule for the project with which they have been tasked. The schedule anticipates having a proposal that the CNY presbyteries will be invited to consider in mid-November. The four participating CNY presbyteries include Cayuga-Syracuse, Northern New York, Susquehanna Valley and Utica. Cayuga-Syracuse is represented by the Rev. Garrett Anderson, the Rev. Jenna Heery and ruling elder Nancy Wind. More information about this process can be found here in a letter from the Rev. Dr. Amaury Tanon-Santos, synod networker, who is serving as facilitator.
Planning Calendars for 2019-20  
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. Orders should be placed by email to no later than May 15, 2019 with "calendars" in the subject line. 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).
Global Partners from Korea coming for Triennium
Cayuga-Syracuse has invited four students, two girls and two boys, as Global Partners from Pyongyang Presbytery in South Korea, to attend Triennium 2019 as part of our presbytery delegation. The students will be older high school or first year college students with some English skills. They will arrive Thursday, July 11 and depart Wednesday, July 24.
Host families are needed for four nights prior to the Triennium trip (July 11-14) and three nights following the delegation's return (July 21-23). Our preferred practice is to house the students in pairs, but other options can be discussed.  If you are willing to offer the hospitality of a home-stay for these students, or would like more information on how this works and what to expect, contact Linda Russell at or 315-730-6930.   
Around the Presbytery
What: Free "Community" Dinner
When: 4:30 to 6 p.m. today
Where: The First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville
             64 Oswego St., Baldwinsville
Menu:  Baked Ziti, Homemade Meatballs and Sauce, Italian bread, Salad, Beverage, Assorted Desserts

Advertising has been targeted toward seniors and lower income members of the community, in an effort to provide a wholesome meal to those who may struggle. This will be the first dinner of its kind offered by the congregation, with plans to continue on a monthly basis if it is well received.

What: Roast Pork Dinner 
When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11 
Where: Amboy Belle Isle United Church
6190 Airport Road, Syracuse 
Cost: $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 5 to 12, children under 5 are free
Take-outs available  


What: Chicken BBQ Saturdays at Columbian Presbyterian Church
When: 11 a.m. until gone
May 18, June 15, July 20 & August 17
Where: Route 11 & Route 20 in LaFayette

Half chickens are $6 & full dinners are $11

"The best chicken anywhere!"

Once again, Senior Fun Day is happening at Vanderkamp

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4

A message from Rita Hooper:

In the past, we have walked and built labyrinths and birdhouses and made ugly quilts. Some made floral arrangements while others learned about scrap-booking. We sang, did some fun exercises and assisted on a project to help get camp ready for the youngin's! We played games, heard a mission speaker on Ghana and some participated in a 'Book Club' or took a hay ride! Of course we had morning
devotions, a Bible study and closed with vespers and a campfire.

Some folks have already volunteered, but if you would like to share a hobby or impart some knowledge on a particular topic or lead an activity, please let Rita Hooper know ASAP at or 315-706-3564. Please pass the word -- Pastors please put this in your church bulletins.

To register, contact Rita at or 315-706-3564.
Registration is $20 and includes lunch if you register by May 27. If you register after that, please bring your own
lunch but do come.

Some workshops may include a small fee to cover costs.

"O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds" Ps 71:17

Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Growing the PC(USA) means getting back to basics
'You can't share the Good News unless it's actually first good news to you'

By Mike Ferguson

LOUISVILLE -- The Rev. Dr. Ray Jones says he's learned plenty of evangelism truths while visiting the Global South.
One was from an Anglican priest from Kenya, who claimed - rightfully, Jones said - that there are many Christians who love their church more than they love God.

"What does it mean to love God so much what we will follow God into our communities to do justice there?" he told the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), during a "Coffee with the Clerk"   Facebook Live segment taped last year and aired Monday. "I feel like we've got to get back to basics and engage in those practices that take us deeper into love of God and one another."

"You can't share the Good News," he said, "unless it's actually first good news to you."


Stated Clerk urges Presbyterians to take a stand on climate change

Podcast looks at how evangelicals address environmental challenges

By Rick Jones
Office of the General Assembly

HOUSTON -- What role does the human race play when it comes to the earth's natural resources? Are they gifts from God to use at will, or should people do more to protect what God has given? Those were some of the questions recently asked of the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Nelson recently appeared on Warming Signs, an audio podcast from the Weather Channel.

Host Kait Parker, a Presbyterian, saw a letter the clerk wrote last fall on the global climate report, in support of climate action. She asked Nelson if organized religion should have a place in those discussions.

"Not only are we creating problems in our own communities, there are predictions we could actually move toward our own destruction if we are not careful," said Nelson. "You have to take that seriously and cannot pass this off that abusing the earth is a privilege because we are dominant over the earth. God is still dominate and has a calling for us to protect that which has been given."

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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