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

Nov. 22, 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

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 Ruth Anderson who is currently in hospice care. Ruth is a long-standing member of First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles and the widow of the Rev. Peter Anderson who was a minister member of our Presbytery.
  • Pray for all those affected by the fires in California. For the people who lost a loved one or those who are missing. For the thousands of people who lost their homes.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individuals: United Church of Fayetteville; First United Church of Fulton; God's Vision Christian Church, Hannibal; Jamesville Community Church; First, King Ferry.
If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

Photo of the Week

Nathan from First Presbyterian Church of Cazenovia worked hard Sunday to make chicken noodle soup at the Sunday School's soup cafe. The Sunday School kids sold a variety of soups, breads and desserts to raise money for "CazCares" and the food and clothing closet at the Morrisville-Eaton schools. See more pictures 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
Happy Thanksgiving!

I recently read a Thanksgiving reflection in the Board of Pensions newsletter and offer this excerpt:
Christians understand gratitude as a response to God's grace. We have received an abundance of gifts beyond our deserving. During Thanksgiving, as we contemplate God's grace, we are filled with wonder, humility, and gratitude. In such moments, God's love is palpable.... [F]or a person to feel gratitude two things must happen: First, we affirm that there are good things in the world - gifts and benefits we receive, even if we haven't earned them. Second, we recognize the sources of goodness as being outside ourselves - family, friends, community, God....To enjoy Thanksgiving to the fullest, it's important to reflect on all you have received and savor the present moment. Approach the day with an open heart, an appreciation of others, and an awareness that all gifts are from God.
From the postings on Facebook, articles in our weekly Presbytery Matters e-news, and stories shared by word of mouth or in print and digital church newsletters, it is obvious to me that our 37 churches and Isaiah's Table are filled with folks who recognize the abundant gifts from God in their lives and joyfully pay them forward! It is a privilege to have been called to serve with you in Cayuga-Syracuse and I give thanks to God for all 3,857 of you.
Today, and every day, may our hearts continue to be filled with gratitude and may our gratitude continue to inspire us to serve and share with one another.
Linda Russell
Leadership Team Chairperson

Future Presbytery meetings are scheduled as follows:

Feb. 9, 2019 at First PC of Chittenango
May 14, 2019 at Presbyterian Church of Otisco
Aug. 13, 2019 at Faith United Church of Oswego
Nov. 2, 2019 at First PC of Baldwinsville
The list of elected members of groups within Presbytery can be found here
Around the Presbytery
Seeking a natural gas stove/oven

Marcellus First Presbyterian Church has a need for a used commercial natural gas stove/oven.  Its 50-year-old one is nearly dead and doesn't appear to be able to be repaired.  If any church knows of one being available, please contact Charlie Smith, at (315) 673-2476 or

What: Everything You Wanted to Know about Transgender, Non-binary, and Intersex People...But Were Afraid to Ask!
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27
Who: Gender Equality New York will be leading a transgender public forum hosted by Westminster Presbyterian Church
Where: Westminster church at 17 William St. in Auburn 

The talk will include a "Trans 101" presentation and an interactive panel made up of local transgender, non-binary and intersex community members. The panelists will tell their personal stories. Audience members will be encouraged to ask questions to gain a better understanding of those who are gender-expansive. Social and networking time will allow audience members to meet local transgender, non-binary and intersex people. For many of them, this is the first such encounter.

For more information, click here or visit Gender Equality NY's Facebook page.    


What: Annual Christmas Shoppe
Who: Children ages 5 to 12 years old
When: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 1
Where:  First United Church of East Syracuse, 823 Franklin Park Driver in East Syracuse

Children are invited to come shop for their families with help from our church "elves" in Fellowship Hall downstairs. Prices range from  $0.25 to $5. Refreshments will be available, as well as an additional shopping area for adults while they wait for their children to finish shopping.


  Sennett Federated Church to host 2 fundraising events

What: Doug's Fish Fry To Go
When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 1
Place orders: Order ahead until 4 p.m. by calling (607) 423-5996.
Take out or stay and eat in the Memorial Hall.
Baked goods will also be for sale.

What: "Arise & Go" Celtic Concert  
When: 7 p.m. Dec. 1
Cost: Free-Will Offering   
Arise & Go is an exciting Celtic trio that finds its roots in the dance music of Ireland, Scotland and Atlantic Canada. Blending pipes, whistles, fiddle and guitar, the group's varied musical backgrounds combine to produce a sound that is both grounded in tradition and uniquely fresh and driving.
Both events take place at the Sennett Federated Church, which is located at 77 77 Weedsport-Sennett Road in Sennett.

What: Soup and Dessert Café
When: 5 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 
Where: Meeting house of First Presbyterian Church of Cazenovia, 27 Albany Street, Cazenovia NY 13035 (Entrance to the Meeting House is on Sullivan Street.)
Gourmet soups include a loaded potato soup, a seafood frogmore stew, cheddar broccoli, shrimp bisque and buffalo chicken wing. In addition we will have "holy cow chili" made by the church's pastor, the Rev. Tom Oak.
Come early; the soup goes quickly, and the desserts are wonderful. Eat in or take out.  For more information, call (315) 655-3191
New York Bible Conference Fundraising Concert
Presented by  
Eastman Korean  
Christian Community
When: 7 p.m. Dec. 8
Where: Korean Church of Syracuse
1800 E. Genesee St. in Syracuse 
Cost: General Admission $15 Students $10 
More information: Call Korean Church of Syracuse (315) 474-8346
This classical concert is a fundraising event for the New York Bible Conference,
which will take place from Jan. 10-12, 2019 at the White Eagle Conference Center in Hamilton.
New York Bible Conference, going beyond all denomination, focuses on its mission for Christian students and adults to reestablish their faith in the Word of God through Jesus Christ. It is targeted for those in Upstate NY in areas such as Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton, Ithaca, Syracuse and Albany.
Around the Synod of the Northeast

By Nancy Talbot

The 2018 Synod Assembly was organized by a "worshipful work" approach to our business and conversations. As we moved through the different elements of the meeting, each corresponded with an aspect of the Reformed order of worship, which helped to ground us in our spiritual identity and to remind us of our ultimate purpose of honoring God.

One of the main highlights of the Assembly was a confessional statement that was written and presented by a group of young ministry leaders called " A Confession for Such a Time as This." Presented in the meeting's "time of confession" and explored further during the time for "receiving the Word," Synod Assembly Commissioners ultimately voted to commend this document to the Synod's presbyteries and congregations for study as a contextual statement of what Reformed faith can look like, lived out in this place at this time in history. We encourage all gospel communities within your presbytery to undertake a study of the document. You will see that the Confession cites biblical references, which will assist your community in its study.

Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
PDA responds to needs following both natural, human-caused disasters
'Epic Lemonade Stand' raises $52K for Southern California fire victims

By Mike Ferguson
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - Presbyterian Disaster Assistance uses terms like "unprecedented" and "all-encompassing" when referring to the destructive fires still burning both in Northern and Southern California - especially the Camp Fire that destroyed much of Paradise, Calif., a fire that had claimed at least 79 lives as of Tuesday and destroyed more than 10,000 homes.

Fires in Southern California ignited just a day after a gunman killed 12 people at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks.

"It is unusual for a wildfire to have such an all-encompassing effect on human habitation," said the Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, PDA director. "The concern is that if rains come afterwards, we are looking at mudslides."

Four California presbyteries - Sacramento, Santa Barbara, San Fernando and Pacific - have requested National Response Team members be sent in following the Thanksgiving holiday. PDA is increasing by $10,000 the amount of an initial grant that's usually up to $7,500 for each of the affected presbyteries.


Transforming gratitude into actions
Gratefully, a clogged inbox includes messages of thanks

by Mari Graham Evans
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - "Inbox zero."

It's a funny term, often used in professional circles to denote when one's email inbox has zero messages. As the social media strategist for the denomination, this is one of my most treasured dreams, but not necessarily my reality.

Like many of you, I get a flood of emails every day. Notes from colleagues. Updates on projects. A mess of Google alerts and social media research newsletters. Every day. Endlessly scrolling. Endlessly responding to many, many messages.

Out of the monotony of these emails, I began to get responses to a project I had begun a few weeks before. Instead of the billionth alert about Facebook's latest kerfuffle, messages of gratitude and love and action started to populate my inbox.

Continue reading...

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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