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

April 18, 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
 Colorful & Comfortable
Presbyterian women in Baldwinsville create 154 child-friendly pillowcases for children at Golisano Children's Hospital  
The Presbyterian women at the First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville were busy this winter making pillowcases for critically ill children at Golisano Children's Hospital.  

In January and February, the women met to cut, pin, sew, iron, and have lunch together as
they created 154 colorful child-friendly pillowcases. They were displayed and blessed
during worship on April 14. 

The pillowcases will soon be delivered to the hospital where they are sure to bring smiles
to children's faces.    


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 send healing prayers to Jim Stephens, husband of the Rev. Louise Tallman. Jim had a lung transplant. The surgery went well, but the recovery has been a roller coaster ride.
  • Pray all those who are battling addiction or love someone who is battling addiction. May God give them all strength.
  • Pray for all us as we reflect on Holy Week and celebrate Easter.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individual: Columbian, LaFayette; First, Liverpool; First, Marcellus; First, Mexico; Morrisville Community Church
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

First Presbyterian Church of Chittenango shared photos from Palm Sunday on its Facebook page. Palm Sunday was a day of reflection and celebration.

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
Call to Service - Update from the Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee is seeking candidates for:
  • Presbytery Moderator (two-year term)
  • Presbytery Vice-Moderator (one-year term)
  • Two members of the Leadership Team (one class of 2020, one 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
Please send recommendations or self-referrals to Nominating Committee chairperson Donna Hunt at or (315) 258-0130.  
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.
DMZ Human Peace Chain
The Rev. Kurt Esslinger, PC(USA) mission co-worker in Korea, sent the following announcement from our Korean brothers and sisters to be shared with our Presbytery:
On April 27 about 80,000-100,000 people are expected to participate in the DMZ People's Peace Chain Movement. Members of the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) will join with other Korean citizens wishing for peace on the Korean Peninsula to create a human chain alongside the DMZ line (about 500 km) to celebrate the first anniversary of the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula adopted between Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, and the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in. The April 27 Declaration was followed by the Pyongyang Declaration in September 2018. A North Korea-United States summit in Singapore in June 2018 was followed by the Hanoi Summit in February 2019 that, unfortunately, was cut short with no agreement reached, and supporters of this event hope that it will help break the subsequent deadlock.  
Attached is a letter from the NCCK appealing for support for the DMZ Human Peace Chain through action and/or prayer. Kurt writes that "it contains some theological reasoning for such an event, which will be useful for faith partners, but also some general geopolitical context that may be helpful for everyone."
Kurt currently serves in the NCCK Reconciliation Reunification Department and as coordinator of the Ecumenical Forum for Korea (EFK) of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The EFK is a forum hosted by the WCC based on face-to-face meetings between the NCCK of South Korea and Korean Christian Federation (KCF) of North Korea. KCF is the federation of Protestant Christians officially recognized by the North Korean Government.
What: Jimmie Hawkins, of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness, is coming to town 
When: June 10 
Where: Presbyterian Event and Retreat Center, which is located on South Street in Auburn (former Case Mansion 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. 
What: " Website 101" Training 
When: 10 a.m. to 12 p.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.   
RSVP: Sarah Buckshot at  
Around the Presbytery
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."
Matthew 7:7
 Vanderkamp Board of Directors recently sent out a letter to churches in our Presbytery and beyond to seek help for the immediate financial crisis of Vanderkamp.
Here's a highlight of the letter:

We would like to request that your session/council consider s s upporting Vanderkamp with an immediate or additional financial donation today.  
While we are requesting monetary support for the immediate need, there are also other way that your church or individuals can h elp support Vanderkamp.   
    • Volunteer! Serve on a committee or the Board of Directors, do bookkeeping, answer the phone during summer, housekeeping, maintenance, trail clean-up and much more. If you can imagine a skill or ability to offer, Vanderkamp most likely has a need. Come as an individual or as a group.
    • Offer to lead Vaspers during Summer Kamp
    • Coordinate & have a fundraiser for Vanderkamp
If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please feel free to call any of the following board members:  
Jill Kilts 315-264-3783 (evenings)
Shelly Coe 315-601-7877 (evenings)
Janet Griffiths 315-507-1386 (anytime)
Thank you in advance for prayerfully considering this request.

What: Robinson Elmwood's annual Easter Pie Sale & Soup Sale
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 19 and 10 a.m. to gone on April 20  
Where: Robinson Elmwood United Church
126 South Terry Road, Syracuse
The annual Easter Pie Sale - Now with Soup! There will be three types of pies (apple, ricotta, peanut butter with chocolate ganache) are all still $12. Specialty pies will be $15. Soups, which include chicken barley and vegetable quinoa, will be $10 per quart.   
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
A view of the Holy City few get to see
Grassroots Jerusalem tour shows contemporary context and realities

By Kathy Melvin
Presbyterian News Service

JERUSALEM - The Presbyterian delegation visiting Israel-Palestine in March took a unique tour of Jerusalem - one that most who visit one of the most holy cities in the world seldom see.

Fayrouz Sharqawi, global mobilization coordinator at Grassroots Jerusalem, spent three hours with the delegation explaining both the context and contemporary realities that she, as a Palestinian woman, lives daily. Her narrative was fact-based, dark and filled with emotion.

She set the stage for the tour by saying, "It feels like everyone has a say about the destiny and the future of Jerusalem except for the Palestinians living in it. Today's tour will expose the political reality that Palestinians face here - a reality of displacement and ethnic cleansing."

Continue reading...

New life awaits dying churches
Practicing resurrection

By Sherry Blackman
Presbyterians Today

There are two constants in life: change and Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. In Christ, we live and move and have our being. To be a follower of his is to be forever mindful of the cross, of death's defeat - and of resurrection power. And, as Wendell Berry wrote in one of his well-known poems, "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front," we, the church, are to "practice resurrection."

Having resurrection hope, though, is challenging, especially with the large number of mainstream churches closing every year. The statistics can be demoralizing. In the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) alone, membership in 2017 was 1,415,053, down from 1,482,767 in 2016.

Paul Grier, vice president of the Presbyterian Foundation's Project Regeneration, adds that the reasons for the shrinkage have more to do with aging than people leaving the faith. The median age in the United States is 37, but the average Presbyterian is 62. With an aging membership comes an empty-nest scenario. In other words, the trend is toward downsizing - and that includes church buildings that have become a financial burden to some congregations. In addition, according to a number of denominational and secular surveys, younger generations continue to reject organized religion due to scandals and corruption, along with what they perceive as judgmental and hypercritical churchgoers.

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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