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

June 20, 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
Heery: This Auburn pastor is proudly LGBTQ-affirming
The Rev. Patrick David Heery  
Special to The Citizen  
On June 26, three banners shall fly proudly outside Westminster Presbyterian Church, each a rainbow, a promise of undying love. The first shall say, "Westminster Church is LGBTQ-affirming." The second: "You are a beloved child of God." The third: "The world is better with you in it."

That day, people shall walk into the church and hear words some of them have been waiting all their lives to hear: "God loves you!" They shall sit next to one another, and through shared lament and celebration, strangers shall become friends. Together, they will light candles. Hug. Pray. Talk. Speak poetry. Tell stories. Dance to the music of the Syracuse Gay and Lesbian Chorus.

Some will be quiet; some, loud. Some will bring wounds that need tending; some, joy that needs unleashing. Some will be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex; others will be allies; yet others will come to listen and learn, unsure of what they believe. Some will come as Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Unitarians; some, with no labels; others will come skeptical.

Lift Every Voice: Interfaith Pride Service
Join the community in an interfaith LGBTQ+ celebration of love and identity during Auburn's  
very first Pride Week, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. Hosted by Westminster Presbyterian Church (Auburn) and featuring the music of the Syracuse Gay and Lesbian Chorus,  
'Lift Every Voice" is our time to get real about love---a love that celebrates the whole of who you are. 

When: 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26
Where: Westminster Presbyterian Church, 17 William St, Auburn, NY
Cost: Free

Through shared lament and celebration, strangers shall become friends. Together, we will light  
candles. Hug. Pray. Talk. Speak poetry. Tell stories. Dance to music. You don't want to miss this incredible convergence of wisdom, spirituality, and outpouring of love.

A reception will follow the service, with food, resources, meditation time, conversation, and  

Participants include the Syracuse Gay and Lesbian Chorus and representatives of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Auburn Unitarian Universalist Society, Saints Peter and John Episcopal  
Church, Auburn United Methodist Church, Cayuga and Onondaga Community Colleges, Cornell University, the Q Center, and more.

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 pray for all those students who are graduating. May God be with them on their next journey.
  • Please pray for all those children who are preparing for Christian summer camps. May friendships be formed and the bond with Jesus strengthened.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individual: 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

Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church shared photos from Pentecost Sunday. See more photos on its 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
From Syracuse to Seoul
The Rev. Shawn Reyburn and Associate Stated Clerk Linda Russell traveled to South Korea last week to strengthen the presbytery's relationship with our partners in South Korea.
The Rev. Shawn Reyburn is photographed as he preached a Father's Day  
sermon at Seamoon Church in Seoul. Photos courtesy of Gospel Today.
The Rev. Dal Ig Son, senior pastor of Seamoon Church, was Linda and Shawn's host pastor during their trip. The Rev. Son is moderator of Pyongyang Presbytery and a signatory to the original Partnership covenant signed by our two presbyteries in 2000. The Rev. Karen Dimon signed the covenant on behalf of Cayuga-Syracuse.
Shawn and Linda are back home. Stay tuned for more information about their trip.  
Around the Presbytery
Presbyterian Women to explore rich history of Central New York
Presbyterian Women, the national women's organization of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is sponsoring a trip to the Central New York/Finger Lakes Region for its triennial event, the USA Mission Experience (USAME).  
The 2019 USAME will be based in Geneva and participants will travel in the area July 12-22, 2019.  
Women will come from 13 synods, or districts, of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) to explore the rich history of women's rights, civil rights and human rights movements. They will also learn about some of the issues that confront the people of the region, participate in some mission programs and visit some tourist sites. 
Highlights of the journey will include the commemoration of the first Women's Rights 
Convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls; the Susan B. Anthony home in Rochester; the 
Ganondagan State Historic Site in Canandaigua and the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra.  
They will spend a day in the Syracuse/Oswego area visiting the Erie Canal Museum, the Matilda Joslyn Gage Home and Safe Haven. They will have a picnic supper at the Hannibal Community Center, prepared by the PW groups of Oswego County. They will have the opportunity to hear about Dr. Mary Walker, Oswego native, from the Rev. George Demass and learn the rich history of the Community Center. They will also spend a day in Auburn, visiting the Harriet Tubman National Historic Park, the Seward Home and Willard Chapel. They will share in High Tea at the Presbyterian Event and Retreat Center and have dinner at the Skaneateles Presbyterian Church. Participants will attend Sunday worship services at various Presbyterian churches closer to their base in Geneva.  
The Presbyterian Women USA Mission Experience equips women with an understanding of the history and culture of a particular area of the country, the existing ministries of churches there, and the challenges faced by those living in the area. Participants serve as ambassadors for the region during two years of itineration in their home synods following the experience.  
Mark you Calendar for Mark
What: Retirement dinner for the Rev. Mark Harrison from the Jamesville Community Church
When: Friday, June 28, 2019
Social hour at 5 p.m. and dinner served at 6 p.m.
Where: Jamesville Fire Department  
Cost: $20 per person  
Deadline: In order to provide Chef Kevin with an accurate count of  attendees, please remit that amount on or before June 23.
Questions: Email Louise Stoner at or Lois Pynn at

The menu includes prime rib, baked potato with sour cream or butter, sautéed green beans, salad and a dinner roll. Dessert will feature a variety of pies, and drinks will also be provided.

You can sign up and pay at the church on Sundays or send your remittance to Louise Zgardzinski at the church (6300 East Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville 13078). Checks should be made payable to Jamesville Community Church.

If you would like to share a short story, a favorite encounter or remembrance of Mark after the meal, please plan to do so. We hope you will participate in this invitation to speak.
The Rev. Harrison's last sermon at Jamesville Community Church will be on June 30.

Give me faith like Daniel in the Lion's Den
Give me hope like Moses in the Wilderness
Give me a heart like David, Lord be my Defense
So I can face my giants with confidence...
It's not too late to join us for a summer of
Fearless Faith At Vanderkamp
During our summer of Fearless Faith we will face our "giants" with confidence...
  • We'll face our fears and insecurities that we are not good or worthy enough...
  • We'll face our fears of not being accepted for who we are and what we believe...
  • We'll learn how to face and interact with others who may try to put us down or hold us back...
  • ...and just for FUN, we'll face, outwit and battle imaginary villains, dragons, aliens and more!
    • Ninja (June 30 - July 6)
    • Strangest ThingsGet your GLOWon... we stay up late this week! (July 7 - 12)
    • Adventures in Middle Earth (July 21 - 26)
    • Fantasy and mystery not your thing... no worries we've got you covered:
      • Ridiculous (July 28 - August 2)
      • Outrageous (August 4 - 9)
      • Boomerang: for ages 12 & up. Can't decide... Don't have to! (July 28 - August 9)
Want to enjoy all the fun but sleep in your own bed, now you can. Check out our NEW Day Kamp option.
Visit the Vanderkamp website to learn more and sign up today.
Discounts and kamperships available for all sleep-over programs. Discounts available for Day Kamp option. Need transportation? Maybe we can help.
What: Vendors wanted for 11th Annual Tailgate Festival
When: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3
Where: First Presbyterian Church of Auburn, 112 South St., Auburn
Open to crafters, artists, antiques, garage sale items, farmers, etc.
Coffee, drinks, baked goods, and Chicken BBQ available day of sale.

To reserve a space:
Cost: $15
Deadline: Aug. 1
Call: (315) 252-3861

Application can be downloaded on the church's website.

Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Changing the church camp culture
There's more than s'mores and campfires

By Mike Givler
Presbyterians Today
For many children, a week at summer church camp meant a time away from parents. It was a space to be yourself, to connect with friends new and old, to spend a week in the outdoors, kayaking or splashing around in the pool.

There might be some religion, like daily Scripture lessons or Wednesday night worship, but that was secondary to the games and crafts held throughout the week.

"You go to camp and have this great experience, and then that's that. Maybe you get a spiritual high for a little bit, but you go back to your life and wait for camp again next year. That's how I grew up," said Kellie von Borstel, director at Montlure Presbyterian Church Camp in Pinetop, Arizona.

There's a movement, though, to change traditional camp culture, as von Borstel and other Presbyterian camp directors seek to instill spiritual practices into young lives, and have these practices continue back at home and in the church. For von Borstel, such change starts by exploring a question: What does it mean to partner with churches?

Caring for our furry friends
Church's heart for mission helps homeless - and even pets
By Donna Frischknecht Jackson
Presbyterians Today
Calvary Presbyterian Church has had a heart for mission ever since a group of friends gathered in 1944 seeking to have a church closer to their home - in what was then a growing suburb of southwest Wilmington, Delaware.

Today, the long legacy of helping neighbors continues with partnerships with organizations like Meeting Ground, a local group addressing homelessness, and Friendship House, which offers transitional housing, a clothing bank and "empowerment centers," providing those in need with a place to regroup, work on resumes, have a cup of coffee and connect with others. But Wilmington is a big city with lots of opportunities to help others. So, Calvary Presbyterian created what is called "Second Sunday Sharing," in which the congregation helps one local nonprofit.

"It's a time where we learn a little about the organization," said the Rev. Holly Clark-Porter. "We then bring forward tangible items that will help that organization during the last hymn."

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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