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

June 27, 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
Putting our Faith to Work
Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church holds annual Faith in Action Sunday
Each year members at Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church trade their Sunday best for jeans and work gloves. They roll up their sleeves to put their faith in action.  
Sunday was OHPC's annual Faith in Action Sunday. Dozens of members volunteered to paint and clean the inside of the church while others worked on projects on the outside the church. Others went out to members' homes to complete small improvement projects.  
Faith in Action Sunday is a wonderful OHPC tradition.   
Lift Every Voice: Interfaith Pride Service

An interfaith LGBTQ+ celebration of love and identity was held Wednesday during Auburn's  
first Pride Week, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. The event was hosted by Westminster Presbyterian Church (Auburn) and featured the music of the Syracuse Gay and Lesbian Chorus. 
Glyn Davenport, of Westminster Presbyterian Church (Auburn), (far left) is signing the service in   
American Sign Language.  

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 Jim Russell, the brother of elder Douglas Russell. Jim is battling esophagus cancer.
  • Please pray for all the engaged couples who plan to marry this summer. My God walk with them in their marriage and may their love be strong enough to move mountains.
  • Pray for all those children who are out of school this summer. Pray that they stay safe, be fed and continue to learn as they enjoy their childhood.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individual:  Columbian, LaFayette; First, Liverpool; First, Marcellus; First, Mexico; Morrisville Community Church

If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

Photo of the Week

Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church members are full of joy and sadness about their beloved Pastor Pete's retirement. This Sunday the church will celebrate Peter Shidemantle as he transitions to his new phase of life. 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
Call for a Special Meeting of Presbytery on July 10, 2019
The moderator of the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse, the Rev. Tom Oak, has called for a special meeting of the Presbytery, as has been properly requested by several different individuals, for Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church of Liverpool (603 Tulip Street, Liverpool, NY 13088) for examining Benjamin Fitzgerald-Fye for ordination and membership, for approving the call of First Presbyterian Church of Scipioville to Mr. Fitzgerald-Fye as their pastor, and for approving the call of the Rev. Karen Chamis to serve as our Presbytery's Resource Presbyter.
There will be an opportunity to meet and greet Benjamin Fitzgerald-Fye and Karen Chamis beginning at 10:00 a.m., with the meeting being called to order at 11:00 a.m. 
The entire call and purpose of the meeting can be read here. 
 For more details and to read documents for meeting, visit the Presbytery's website 

PC(USA) Ordination Exams 2019: 

Each year presbyteries are required to submit to General Assembly the names of persons willing to read ordination exams. As part of the Northeast Region, Cayuga-Syracuse readers will be evaluating exams the week of October 7-11, 2019 and we have been asked to provide one (1) ruling elder, one (1) teaching elder, and one (1) alternate reader.

The Leadership Team will appoint exam readers at its meeting on July 22, 2019.

Elder Linda Van Buskirk, one of our 2018 exam readers, has prepared information about expectations and training for this role which can be found here. If you would like to be considered as an exam reader, please send your name to Leadership Team Chairperson, Lynn Jacques, at by July 15, 2019. 

From Syracuse to Seoul Correction: The Rev. Dal Ig Son, senior pastor of Seamoon Church, was Linda and Shawn's host pastor during their trip. The Rev. Son was moderator of Pyongyang Presbytery and a signatory to the original Partnership covenant signed by our two presbyteries in 2000. The June 20th Presbytery Matters incorrectly stated that the Rev. Son is moderator of Pyongyang Presbytery.  
Around the Presbytery
Inspiring vocal concert concludes arts series inaugural season

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Renowned bass vocalist and Syracuse native Gregory Sheppard, with acclaimed pianist Sar-Shalom Strong, performed together on June 19 in an Arts at Park recital at Park Central Presbyterian Church, 504 E. Fayette St., Syracuse.  

The program featured a number of art songs by African-American composers, including Leslie Adams and Florence Price, arrangements of traditional spirituals, and selections from Duke Ellington's Sacred Concert #2 . Sheppard also performed operatic arias of Handel and Verdi, as well as a concert aria of Mozart. Dedications of sections of the program were made to many teachers and colleagues who had an impact on his early development as a professional singer, and the concert as a whole was dedicated to his parents.

Sheppard and Strong performed flawlessly. Sheppard's vocal command and his presence drew the audience in and created a true sense of musical community. Strong accompanied with ease, grace and sensitivity, creating the perfect backdrop for Sheppard's powerful singing.

This concert, performed on June 19 th , "Juneteenth," was especially poignant as we commemorated the anniversary of the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation by celebrating the artistic achievements and culture of the African-American community through the gift of the musical art.
Sheppard's recital capped off the inaugural season of Arts at Park with power and excitement, and left all in attendance with a sense of wanting more. Reflecting on the evening, Robert Allen, Park Central's Director of Music and coordinator of Arts at Park, remarked, "Gregory Sheppard is a supremely talented, gracious vocalist with a powerful voice and commanding presence. We were pleased to welcome Greg to Park Central on this visit to his Syracuse home, and to host this recital for the community that has had the privilege of witnessing his development as an artist over the past three decades."

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...
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    • Ninja (June 30 - July 6)
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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.)
Peace as a realized eschatology
PAM Conference lecturer believes this kind of peace is emerging in the here and now
By Paul Seebeck
Presbyterian News Service

MONTREAT, N.C. - As part of the first week of the 2019 Presbyterian Association of Musicians Conference being held at  Montreat Conference Center, Adam Tice was about to deliver his first Routley Lecture.

Just before he began, he was telling a conference participant how he was going to speak about music and peace - and congregational singing and peacemaking.
"That person said, 'Well, first you're going to have to define what you mean by peace,'" Tice said.

Tice, a Mennonite who's a widely-published hymn- and song-writer, took on the challenge and rewrote the first half of his first lecture for week two of the PAM conference Monday.


Love letters from God
'Love Carved in Stone' invites us to rethink the Ten Commandments

By Mike Ferguson
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - The Rev. Eugenia Anne Gamble thinks of the Ten Commandments more as a love letter from God and less as God's list of "thou shalts" and "thou shalt nots."

The author of the 2019-20 Presbyterian Women/Horizons Bible Study, "Love Carved in Stone: A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments," says on a clip accompanying the release of the study that the commandments are more like love letters. Each of the nine lessons - the first two commandments are combined in lesson 1 - is labeled "words of love."

"I didn't recognize (the commandments found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5) initially as the love letter I now believe they are," she says. For Gamble, the "wise list of dos and don'ts" teach us "how to behave as God's people. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. God was speaking a new relationship into being, a new community shaped and formed by God's nature and God's values - which are at their core love."

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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