Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse
5811 Heritage Landing Dr., 2nd Floor
East Syracuse, NY  13057
(315) 632-5698
October 24, 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
Mission: Vanderkamp
S'mores, silly songs and fellowship

Children from Westminster Presbyterian Church Syracuse's After School Program had a ball at the Friday Night Shindogs & Kampfires at Vanderkamp on October 18.

It was a great experience for these kids to get out of the city and for some it was the first time in the "woods" or away from their parents after dark. Westminster Syracuse sends a huge thank you to their fabulous hosts, Bill and Penny, who give the group a delicious dinner, a spooky hayride, s'mores and silly songs.
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
         I n our prayers together this week...
  • Prayers for the family of Tonya and Scott Cupp (honorably retired) on the death of Tonya's mother, Julia Esseniyi.
  • Please remember in your prayers Esther Brinkerhoff Rounds who is home with caregivers after two hospital stays. She would appreciate cards at 116 Oswego St. #3, Baldwinsville, NY 13027.
  • Pray for Jim Russell as he continues his fight with esophagus cancer.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities,and individual: Amboy Belle Isle; First, Auburn; Westminster, Auburn; United Ministry of Aurora; First, Baldwinsville
If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

Photo of the Week
Sunday School students at First Presbyterian Church of Cazenovia spent time Sunday preparing and serving a soup lunch to members of the congregation to raise money for CazCares and the Morrisville-Eaton Food and Clothing Closet. They set up the chairs, made signs, baked breads, and of course, prepared several types of soup. The kids even helped carry trays of food to the tables for those who needed assistance. The lunch raised $250, which was split between the two charities.

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 Resource Presbyter 
By the Rev. Karen Chamis
Hello Cayuga-Syracuse!

The last few days I've been in Baltimore with other Mid-Council leaders. It was a few days of all of us asking hard questions about what a Presbytery is and what it does. Amidst keynotes, workshops and informal conversations with colleagues who are wrestling with similar challenges and opportunities I heard stories of our Church.

In the middle of that there was a brief conversation with someone who quoted from "The Hitchhiker's' Guide to the Galaxy." I'm not going to attempt to summarize the book (impossible!), but the words "Don't Panic" are written on the cover of the Guide because it looked "insanely complicated to operate" and to "keep folks from panicking."


Those were the words I needed to hear. J. Herbert Nelson preached similar words at the Mid-Council Gathering. He reminded us that although we may not know where the path may take us, we know that Jesus knows .   

My hunch is this resonates with a number of churches in this Presbytery.
My hunch is this resonates with a number of us, period.

The world is a whirlwind right now. Between glaciers melting and the posturing of global leaders, we've got families in need of food and housing and issues of injustice all around us. The harvest is great; the workers are few. More than of few of us (individuals, churches) are feeling compassion fatigue. It's nothing specific ... it's a conglomeration of everything that makes life seem inherently, insanely complicated to operate. It's all too easy to panic.

Now, the words "Don't Panic" isn't exactly written on the cover of our Holy text ... and within the covers are all sorts of stories of faithful folk who did just that (panic!). But the words the Resurrected Jesus speaks to the disciples in that Upper Room echo the words Douglas Adams penned.

Peace be with you.
Don't panic.

There is much work ahead for all of us -- Cay-Syr Presbies and all the rest. We know, however, that our God remains in the middle of it. What is our only comfort in life and in death? That we are not our own. That we belong, body and soul, both in life and in death to our faithful savior.  

Grateful for the journey with you.

Resource Presbyter's Mobile Office Day 
Our Resource Presbyter, the Rev. Karen Chamis, will be working remotely at the following locations: 
Date: Today
Time: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  
Place: Salt City Coffee, 509 Onondaga St., Syracuse   
Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  
Place: Ironwood Coffee Shop in Manilus, 604 E Seneca St., Manlius 
No mobile office the week of November 3 due to moving!
Date: Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  
Place: Collamer United Church, 6865 Fly Road, East Syracuse 
Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  
Place: First Presbyterian Church of Mexico, 4361 Church St., Mexico 
Feel free to drop in for a conversation - or just to say hello
Karen can be reached at 315-632-5698 (option 1) or 
Next Stated Meeting 
The Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse will hold a stated meeting on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville, 64 Oswego Street, Baldwinsville. The gathering will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and a special program at 9:00 am followed by the call to order at 10:00 a.m.
Things to know:
  • Childcare is available by reservation. RSVP to by October 29.
  • Lunch will be served at a cost of $5.00 payable at registration.
  • Internet service will NOT be available.
  • Names of new commissioners may be sent to for nametags.
  • Requests to be excused should be sent to  by October 31.
  • This gathering is handicap accessible.
  • This gathering may be recorded and pictures will be taken.
Things to anticipate:
  • 9:00 a.m.: "Being a Mathew 25 Church" - a special presentation by Resource Presbyter, the Rev. Karen Chamis
  • Worship with communion
  • Celebrating the award of a Synod innovation grant and learning how to apply
  • Approval of the 2020 Budget
  • "Good News" from our Congregations and Worshipping Communities
  • Tips from Communications Coordinator Sarah Buckshot
Presbytery gatherings are important opportunities to worship together around Word and Sacrament, to learn together, to do business together, and to connect with and engage in "one-anothering" with our sisters and brothers from throughout the Presbytery. Docket papers will be sent in separate emails.
From the Leadership Team
Benevolent Care Fund Grant applications:
The Benevolent Care Fund Grant applications are now being accepted through Nov 1, 2019.   

The purpose of this fund is to provide benevolent grants to institutions that assist in the care of elderly persons within the bounds of the Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery. 

Examples of previous requests are: food gift cards for shut-ins within the church community, senior lunch programs, "Music and Memory" program for nursing home residents, replacing dining room chairs and driveway/parking improvement at senior centers.

The application form can be found on the our website. Completed applications can be submitted to Leadership Team Chairperson, Lynn Jacques, at

From the Associate Stated Clerk
One of the key principles of Presbyterian church polity is to have equal numbers of ministers and elders in all councils above the session. For this reason, it is sometimes necessary to invite churches to send one or more additional elder commissioners to Presbytery meetings. In Cayuga-Syracuse additional commissioners are assigned according to size of church staff, size of church membership, or, when needed, on a rotating basis in alphabetical order. These numbers are determined and announced at the annual meeting in May and apply to meetings held through May of the following year. 
The number of elder commissioners currently assigned to churches through the May 2020 meeting is as follows:
  a.     Churches sending two (2) elder commissioners include: Amboy, Auburn-First, Aurora, Chittenango, Collamer, First United East Syracuse, Weedsport, Whitelaw
b.     Churches sending three (3) elder commissioners include: Auburn-Westminster, Baldwinsville, Cazenovia, DeWitt-Pebble Hill, Fayetteville, Skaneateles, Syracuse-Park Central
c.     All other churches and Isaiah's Table are eligible to send one (1) elder commissioner.
Around the Presbytery
New Pastor in Baldwinsville
Baldwinsville's First Presbyterian Church is thrilled to announce the arrival of the Rev. Jeanine Haven as their full-time pastor.A native of Central New York, Jeanine graduated from SUNY Oswego with a BA in Music Education.  She then discovered that God was calling her to a career in ministry and completed her Master of Divinity at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.   
Jeanine has previously served churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.In addition, she has experience as a nursing home chaplain.As a youth and young adult, she taught Sunday School, led Bible Studies, enjoyed working with women's groups and doing visitations in nursing homes.
She has many diverse hobbies including singing, photography, and refinishing furniture.
During her years in ministry, Jeanine states "the pastor and congregation work best in partnership", and she has taken continuing education classes in a process called "coaching" and in transitional ministry.  This leadership style encourages the pastor and congregation to work together to visualize the future.   
As the new kid on the block, Jeanine expresses, "I am looking forward to meeting all of you.More importantly, I am excited about the opportunity of getting to know you and working with you as we serve God!"
What: Rummage Sale 
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 
Where: Liverpool First Presbyterian Church, 603 Tulip St. in Liverpool 
The bi-annual rummage sale will feature clothing, toys, dishes, housewares, bags, sporting goods, small furniture, holiday items, crafts, and more. Baked goods will also be for sale.  
Fill a Bag Sale is from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday October 26. 
All monies generated help support local and worldwide missions.
What: Chicken & Biscuit Dinner 
When: 4:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, November 2    
Where: Collamer United Church, 6865 Fly Road, Collamer
Tickets: $10 for adults
$5 for children 5 through 12
Children under 5 are free
Take-outs available  
The Bazaar will feature handcrafted items and a variety of goods from the following shops:   The Bakery, The Stitchery, St. Nicholas' Place, the Peddler Shop, The Twisted Vine, Mrs. Claus' Cafe and Grandma's Attic.
What: Small Town Worship Tour 2019 with Seventh Day Slumber and Nathan Sheridan
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 6
Where: Hannibal Community Church, 326 Church St., Hannibal
Cost: Free    
Dates to Remember
October 24                    Session Records Review - Auburn-First
October 28                    Leadership Team meeting, Auburn-Westminster
October 29                    Session Records Review - Fayetteville
November 1                  Benevolent Care applications due
November 2                  Presbytery meeting, Baldwinsville
November 8-9               Synod - "Come to the Table" at Stony Point
November 21-23           Moderators' Conference, Louisville
November 25                Leadership Team meeting, First United, East Syracuse
December 23                GA commissioner names due to OGA
December 23                Leadership Team Christmas gathering, home of Karen Chamis
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
A prayer on United Nations Day
Presbyterians asked to pray as  
United Nations celebrates 74 years of its Charter being in force

By Sue Rheem, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations
Special to Presbyterian News Service
 LOUISVILLE - Thursday marks the 74th anniversary of the day that the United Nations Charter came into force. To help Presbyterians mark the occasion, Sue Rheem, mission specialist for international advocacy at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, wrote this prayer:

God of Peace, as we celebrate United Nations Day, the world groans under the weight of strife, divisions, and suffering of our own making.  The dream of a united nations that came into being 74 years ago seems to be fading into memory.
Forgive us for taking peace for granted.  We are reminded that peace is fragile, and justice hard won.

We give thanks for what the United Nations has achieved. For many people around the world, the United Nations has been, and continues to be, a symbol of hope for peace and justice, and a better future.

We give thanks for all workers who have given their lives for a peaceful and just world.  We pray for the United Nations community - a body made up of 193 member states, staff of peacekeepers and peace builders, civil society organizations, and people around the world who give voice to the voiceless - working together towards a peaceful and sustainable future.

We celebrate the dignity of each of God's children, for we are all made in God's image.  We pray that as God's people we will seek the peace and justice of the whole human family - all for whom Christ died and rose again.  May we work together as one body in Christ to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.

May we seek God's shalom and seek life in all its fullness for all God's people everywhere.



Mental Health Ministry  
survey needs Presbyterian participation
Data collected will be used as basis for future mental health initiatives, recommendations

By Rich Copley 
Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE - The  Presbyterian Mental Health Ministry is currently conducting a churchwide survey, seeking input from as many people as possible.
"Feedback so far suggests people are glad the surveys are in the field promoting conversations about mental health," says Donna Miller, Associate for Mental Health Ministries. "The surveys have been designed not just to gather data, but also to raise awareness about resources available at  the new Mental Health Initiative website."
The aim of the surveys is to take a broad look at mental health ministry in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and identify strengths and areas for improvement. Results will be reported to the 224th General Assembly in June 2020, helping to inform future recommendations and initiatives.

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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