Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse
5811 Heritage Landing Dr., 2nd Floor
East Syracuse, NY  13057
(315) 632-5698
April 16, 2020
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 and 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
I n our prayers together this week...  
  • Please pray for the husband of the office administrator at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Auburn. He's in the hospital with a severe (non-COVID-19) health condition. Please keep his family in your prayers during this difficult time.
  • Pray for all the doctors, nurses and medical staff on the front lines fighting to save COVID-19 patients.
  • Please pray for all those who are sick with COVID-19 and all those who have lost loved ones.
  • Pray for all those who feel lonely and disconnected during this time of social distancing.
  • Pray for everyone in self-isolation or quarantine.
In the cycle of prayer our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities,and individuals: Northminster, North Syracuse; Onondaga Hill; Faith United Church of Oswego; Presbyterian Church of Otisco; New Hope, Parish
If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

Photo of the Week
Ruth House and Cindy Cheevers stopped by New Hope Presbyterian Church to place fresh  
flowers on the cross to signify new life in Christ on Easter.  
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 
Hello Cayuga-Syracuse,
I think the first time I ever saw plate-spinning was on the Mike Douglas show. (Hush, I know I'm old.) I was convinced there was some sort of gimmick -- perhaps a small nail that protruded from the stick into the plate? -- that allowed multiple plates to be spun at the same time.
When I got a bit older I learned this was called "adulting."
Congregational leaders have not only needed to learn new technology and language (zoombombing anyone?) in order for folks to still gather for worship but there are several other plates they've needed to keep spinning over the last month. Church leaders have learned how to grieve with families who have lost loved ones (or employment, or dreams) via the phone. They've studied the intricacies of the CARES Act and have had debates about the ethics of such. They've searched for ways to connect beyond physical coffee hour and years-old phone trees.
Those plates? Worship, Congregational Care and Finance? They are spinning like crazy.
The name of the fourth plate is Unknown and it represents all the anxiety and hope and worry and concern about what comes next for the church. We claim to know Whose we are ... but who are we now that we are not the church on the corner that is known for their choir, great preaching and peach preserves?
These are the four plates the church will be spinning for the foreseeable future.
The good news is that these are four plates, and not the four horsemen. This is not the end of the Church, although it may be the end of the church we have known.
The good news is we are finding that we are so much more adaptive than we could have dreamed and that we have creativity and persistence cropping up in the most unlikely ways and places.
The good news is that we aren't doing this alone. We have each other (what an incredible time to be the connectional church!) and we have our God.
What is the sound of four plates spinning? For me, it sounds like hope.
We are grateful for the support of the connectional church! South Valley Presbyterian Church has received a grant for $2,500 from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) to help them bridge some of the additional costs of their Wednesday night suppers during the pandemic. PDA receives funds from the One Great Hour of Sharing offering that is supported by many of our own congregations. 
Resource Presbyter's Virtual Gatherings 

Our Resource Presbyter, the Rev. Karen Chamis, will be holding virtual office hours from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesdays.

Karen will be available for drop-in conversations on Zoom. Come say hello, share concerns or learn a bit on how to use this important tool.  
or call 
One tap mobile 
+16465588656,,839671809# US (New York) 
+13126266799,,839671809# US (Chicago)
Pastoral leadership is invited to a Thursday morning Virtual Coffee for connection, support and fellowship.  
The Zoom meeting will start at 10 a.m.  

Join Zoom Meeting: 
Meeting ID: 510 749 428
Interactive Worship Service for all: 
Karen and the Rev. Ben Fitzgerald-Fye, our stated clerk, will hold an interactive worship service on Zoom every Sunday evening at 7 p.m. Register in advance for this meeting: 
Download Sunday's liturgy HERE 
The Salon was developed in the 16th century as a way for individuals to share ideas.
You are invited to exchange ideas at a modern-day virtual Salon.
"Yes...and?": How does our current reality in a time of global pandemic shape tomorrow's church?
Register in advance for this meeting:
(No cost... but registering helps to limit zoombombing!)
Monday, April 20th at 1 p.m.
Join us for a conversation and imagining the impact of our current context on the church. We know Whose we are, but how does that change what we do (or how we do it?)
Karen can be reached at 315-632-5698 (option 1) or
Dates to Remember
April 27             Leadership Team Meeting
April 27             Docket items due for the May 12 meeting  
May 12              Presbytery Stated Meeting, Robinson Elmwood United Church
June 20-27        General Assembly, Baltimore
July 23-24         Board of Pensions Thrive Seminar (for clergy age 50+)
August 11         Presbytery Stated Meeting, TBD  
November 14   Presbytery Stated Meeting, Westminster-Auburn
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Stated Clerk weighs in on rise in technology during COVID-19
J. Herbert Nelson sees new opportunities post virus

By Rick Jones & Randy Hobson
Office of the General Assembly

As more and more churches embrace technology to reach their congregations, many have questioned what will happen once the COVID-19 outbreak has subsided. The Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), believes the rise in technology will open new opportunities for the church.
Watch video HERE
Faith leaders under stress during the coronavirus pandemic can build resilience
Webinars from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance provide tips and tools

By Darla Carter
Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE  - Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has released two pre-recorded webinars on handling stress during the coronavirus pandemic.

One webinar is designed for faith leaders and the other is for a more general audience. Groups also can request a live presentation.

The "Building Resilience" webinars are intended to help viewers remain flexible and functional despite a deadly pandemic that has forced much of the country to stay sequestered at home and cancelled many church services.

Rev. Dr. Kathy Riley, PDA's Team Lead for Emotional and Spiritual Care, serves as co-presenter with Rev. Pat Ashley, a member of PDA's National Response Team.

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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