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

April 11, 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
Clothing Drive 
The Boaz Project, the refugee ministry of the Korean Church of Syracuse, held a clothing drive recently for its refugee friends.
Refugee students who are participating in the Boaz Project's computer class were invited to the drive. 
Every spring and fall, the Korean Church has a clothing drive for refugee friends so that they can take clothes, shoes, bags and other items for themselves and their families.  
"It is also great time for us because we can share God's love and grace with them.
This event is another way to show them God's love," Yunhee Kim said.  
The Korean Church of Syracuse is seeking donations of clothes, shoes, hats, mittens, bags, etc. Sizes small and medium are preferred. If there is any church or individual who would like to donate, please bring items to the church, which is located at 1800 E. Genesee St., in Syracuse or call 315-474-8346.    
Equality group visits Harriet Tub m a n Ho me in Auburn as part of state t our

AUBURN, N.Y. -- Annabella Vargas-Figueroa read a book passage about iconic abolitionist Harriet Tubman to the famous former Auburn resident's great-great grandniece.

Annabella, 8, read a section of "She Persisted," an illustrated children's book about different women who impacted the world,  that focuses on Tubman to Tubman's relative Pauline Copes Johnson at the visitor center of the Harriet Tubman Home Saturday.

Annabella was one of a group of around 30 people who visited the home as a part of a tour with the New York Poor People's Campaign, part of a national effort to address issues such as poverty, systemic racism, the war economy and ecological destruction while embracing diverse groups of people. The Rev. Emily McNeill, executive director for the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State, said the tour through various parts of the state was on day three of four. McNeill said the group had been visiting sites connected to the abolitionist movement. To keep a social movement successful, she said, people must learn from the past and efforts regarding these same issues from the past.


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 all those who are who are seeking God's guidance and God's presence in their lives.
  • Pray for all of our pastors, leaders and teachers as we enter Holy Week services. May their words and actions impact our church members.
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

LaFayette Columbian Presbyterian Church updated its Facebook page profile photo with a beautiful reminder that God is Light!

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
Elder Training: Family Systems in the Church
An elder training workshop on Bowen Family Systems theory and its application in the church setting will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church in Rome. The workshop is sponsored by the Learning Academy of the Presbytery of Utica and is offered at no cost. The Rev. Stuart Wattles (honorably retired minister member of the Presbytery of Utica and resident of the town of Clay) will facilitate. The Learning Academy and the Rev. Wattles cordially invite interested elders in the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse to attend. To register, contact the Rev. Wattles directly at: Stuart C. Wattles, 5330 Amalfi Drive, Clay, NY 13041 or More information can be found here.
Planning Calendars for 2019-20
Churches and individuals are invited to order Presbyterian Planning Calendars for 2019-20 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 2019-20 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 presbytery meeting on Aug. 13 or sooner, if possible.
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. Names are requested by Monday, May 6.

Pastor Compensation Reports
Thank you to the one-third of our churches who have already submitted their Pastor Compensation Report for 2019. Churches who have not yet submitted their report for 2019 are asked to do so by April 30. The worksheet can be found here and should be emailed to
Host Families for Global Partners
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 fami lies 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.  We have an offer from one host family, but we are looking for three more families. A host family can choose to host either before Triennium, after Triennium, or both.
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.
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
What's in a Name?
Vanderkamp may seem like an odd name for a church camp and conference center, so let's give you a little history.
Francis Adrian Van Der Kemp was an advocate of civil and religious liberty in his home country of Holland. He was imprisoned and after a ransom was paid, he immigrated to America, landing in New York City in 1788. He carried with him letters from Lafayette and John Adams. He was welcomed by such men as Gov. Clinton, Washington and Jefferson, who he had known when Jefferson was ambassador to France.  He settled in Kingston, NY, and then at Constantia/Cleveland on Oneida Lake, where he lived from 1794-1797.  He was a Baptist pastor and one of the first settlers on the north shore of the lake. He later moved to Olden Barneveld where he died in 1829 at the age of 77.
Van Der Kemp had a large but little known influence on the early life of our country and state. When President Jefferson wrote a syllabus on the life of Jesus in 1803, he sent it first to Van Der Kemp before it was published.  He was a personal friend, correspondent and advisor to President John Adams. Governor DeWitt Clinton credited Van Der Kemp  with inventing the route of the Erie Canal. Harvard conferred on him the LLD degree in 1820 and received his library following his death. He was a fellow of literary and scientific societies in Boston, New York and Philadelphia.
Chestnut Farms in Cleveland, NY was renamed Vanderkamp, after the chestnut trees on the property were hit by the chestnut blight and died. Cayuga-Syracuse and Utica Presbyteries bought Vanderkamp Farms from the Soule family in 1965. Vanderkamp Farms became Vanderkamp Camp and Conference Center.
As the weather grows nicer, Vanderkamp invites everyone to take a drive out and visit the camp and conference center -- "the door is open and you are always welcome." Learn more on the Vanderkamp website.
First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles was given a collection of religious/theological books that belonged to the Rev. Peter Anderson and his wife Ruth.  
The books are in the church's office (97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles) if anyone is interested. Peggy Surdam will be in the office from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays if anyone would like to stop by.  

Marcellus First Presbyterian Church is seeking a Church School Coordinator.

The position is available immediately.

Apply to Marcellus First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 147 Marcellus, NY 13108 or
Questions? Call 315-673-2201.
MFPC is an equal opportunity employer.

What: Chicken & Biscuit Dinner 
When: 4:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on April 13 
Where: The Collamer United Church at 6865 Fly Road in Collamer 
Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for children (ages 5-12) and children under 5 are free 
This delicious chicken dinner will include homemade biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh cooked vegetables,
beverage and delicious desserts.  
Take-outs available.

What: Easter Egg Hunt
When: 12 p.m. on April 14
Where: First Presbyterian Church, 8871 S. Seneca St., Weedsport
Cost: Free
Bring your Easter basket and search for hidden eggs. Activities and prizes for all. Live animals. Refreshments provided.


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.)
Palm Sunday: All roads lead to the  
Paschal mystery of Christ dying and rising
Pastors discuss why Palm Sunday matters  
to the world -- connecting Jesus' time to our time

By Paul Seebeck
Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE - For some growing up, Palm Sunday was a celebration of Jesus entering Jerusalem as a triumphant king. But now, more and more congregations are choosing to celebrate Palm Sunday by including the passion narrative to emphasize that this triumphant moment takes his disciples, then and now, to the cross..

Presbyterian News Service talked with pastoral leaders across the country about this and why Palm Sunday matters today for both the church and the world.

The Rev. Dr. Paul J. Huh, Parish Associate, Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church in Louisville

We have big celebrations of Palm and Easter the next two Sundays, like mountaintop experiences. But if we don't experience the passion during the week between two joyful Sundays, we miss out on the walk through the valley completely. The dynamics of descending with the suffering Jesus on the cross during the week helps us to embody the rise and ascension of resurrection power.


Progress is made when we share
'Bits and pieces' add up in education

By Leisa Wagstaff
Presbyterians Today

He looked no more than 14 as he came forward to welcome me with a hearty handshake. Assuming he was a primary school pupil, I asked about his teacher. He responded, "Hello, ma'am. I am the teacher." Still skeptical, I began a full-scale inquisition: How old are you? How long have you been a teacher? Which class are you teaching? And finally, are you really the teacher?

Ultimately, I heard his life's journey, one that is all too familiar. Like so many South Sudanese youth, he has struggled for the educational level he has attained: studying in bits and pieces here and there, needing pens and school fees, struggling to hear the teacher's voice above a growling stomach and, so often, learning while running from one danger or another. Remembering what it was like to yearn for schooling, he explained that he wants to "share the little I have with these children who are just like me."

Together in Service
Presbyterian Women answer the call to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world. Whether it's by picking up knitting needles to create a blanket for a child in need or picking up a crowbar to participate in disaster recovery work, Presbyterian Women get to work when there's a need.
To be Together in Service, some PW groups offer ongoing support to local church or community projects. Other groups commit to answering short-term needs in their communities. Still other groups provide goods, labor or financial support for Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission work or one of Presbyterian Women's affiliates.
Together in Service: Disaster Recovery with PW in Puerto Rico  
During the 2018-2021 Triennium, Together in Service will focus on supporting PW in the Synod of Puerto Rico's recovery work in the aftermath of Hurricane María. Immediately after the storm, PW in the Synod of Puerto Rico quickly mobilized to serve their communities and churches. Now they are part of the transition to long term recovery. Though the island's infrastructure is unstable and the devastation can be overwhelming, Presbyterian Women in Puerto Rico have a strong desire to help their community develop the tools for resilience, recovery, and reconstruction.
Through this Together in Service project, Presbyterian Women from every synod can offer support to the PW in the Synod of Puerto Rico. Financial gifts will be used for recovery efforts in three key areas: water supply, community building and home reconstruction. 

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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