Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse
5811 Heritage Landing Dr., 2nd Floor
East Syracuse, NY  13057
(315) 632-5698
November 12, 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
  In our prayers together this week... 
  • Please pray for Elder Annette Bell (Westminster-Auburn) as she copes with painful side effects of her current chemotherapy protocol. Annette is the wife of retired pastor Rev. Larry Bell.
  • Please pray for the family of Maurine Robles McTyre who passed away on October 26. Maurine is the mother of the Rev. Andrew McTyre, the pastor at Park Central. 
  • Pray for our country as we navigate the outcome of presidential election. Help our divided nation heal.
  • Please pray for James Russell, a member of Westminster Syracuse. He is battling esophagus cancer.
  • Please continue to pray for all those who lost a loved one due to COVID-19.
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
First Presbyterian Church of Chittenango honors its veterans. Thank you to all veterans! Thank you for your service, yesterday, today and always.  
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.
Resource Presbyter's Message   
Dear friends,
On Sunday afternoon I will activate the "away message" on my Presbytery email, and it will remain activated until the end of November. I'll be spending two weeks of vacation working on my dissertation, baking and crafting and maybe constructing an interior wall at our cabin. It's such an amazing thing ... I hit the right buttons, and PRESTO! I'm in vacation mode!
I crack myself up. I wish it were that easy!
The reality is that it always takes me days to get in vacation mode, and given the limitations of this COVID season, I won't have much of a change of scenery to help that along. I understand the deep need we all have for sabbath - both on a cellular level as well as one embedded in our covenantal relationship with God. Plenty has been written about its importance, however, I find it far easier to read about sabbath time and embrace the theory of time away than to practice it ... perhaps because the actual practice of sabbath for me is work?
There's also the conundrum of exactly what sort of sabbath I need at this time. I will be abstaining from work, but I know what my soul really needs is to take time apart from the regular babble of news chyrons and social media; to step away from that stream of voices for just a bit so that I might remember who I am (and Whose I am).
This is really hard for me. For folks who have worked with the Enneagram, I'm a 7 (with a 6 wing) which means I suffer greatly from FOMO (also known as Feelings Of Missing Out). My theme song is "What did I miss?" from Hamilton. It's bad.
Why is it so difficult to do what we know will bring us renewal and life? It's not just a challenge that we face as individuals who know what we need to do in order to be healthier in mind, body and spirit. This challenge also faces congregational leadership that know the changes that need to be made and yet choose instead to debate the paint color for the parlor. We avoid doing what we need to do not because we are lazy ... but because we are afraid of what we will lose in the process.
Am I willing to lose my ability at quick political banter (aka "snark") by stepping away from the news reels for a few weeks? Will I lose my sense of what is happening in this Presbytery if I step outside for a bit? Absolutely, however the sabbath mandate is clear and the risk of not taking this time apart is actually greater than my ignoring this call.
What are you afraid of losing? What is the thorn in your side? Is it worth the risk of keeping it?
Blessings -

Resource Presbyter's Announcements
Webinars from Practical Resources for Churches:   
What: Lenten Resource Round-Up
When: 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 19, 2020 
Leader: Sharon Pearson
Hear about a wide variety of resources, studies, worship series, themes, projects and more that you might want to use for Lent 2021.
Sharon Pearson is an author and editor with vast experience in resourcing churches. You can see more of her work at
Register: Click Here

What: Should you do a "Second Annual" Pledge Drive?
When: 1 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 10, 2020
Leader: Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Why do we do an annual campaign just once a year? Don't a number of people forget to turn in a pledge card in the fall? Or some might not realize the first time that giving is a spiritual discipline - they need to hear it again.
Join us as we consider having a second "soft" campaign in February. Learn best practices for running this type of campaign, asking for new stewardship pledges from people who didn't pledge in the fall, and communicating more about your ministry.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced "CC Delv Sherman," yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at or on Facebook or at
Register: Click Here

Did you know that Sexual harassment prevention training is required for all employees of churches (from pastors to day care workers and sextons and all in between) in NYS on an annual basis? We're grateful that our new partnership with the PRC means access to their webinar on this topic which fulfills NYS's mandates.
To register, click on the date below.  For people watching as a group only one registration is needed. Send a list of those in your group to 
Please be aware that you also need have your congregation's policy on file. Information can be found HERE

Resource Presbyter's Virtual Gatherings 
Virtual Office Hours for our
Resource Presbyter, the Rev. Karen Chamis,
will return in December.
Attention Cayuga-Syracuse Clergy: On Tuesday afternoons, you are invited to attend a gathering event from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Zoom. Bring a beverage of your choice and catch up with what is happening with colleagues throughout the Presbytery.  
CLICK HERE to join Zoom meeting

Meeting ID: 810 4159 6870
Passcode: 435913
 On Monday nights you are invited to a discussion revolving around a series entitled: "Covenantal Restoration: A 12-session film series on Faith and Race. The films include James Forbes, Bryan Stevenson, Jim Wallis and Simone Campbell, etc. Join in at any time!
We will meet Monday nights at 7:30 p.m.  
Stated Meeting
The Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse will hold a stated meeting on Saturday, November 14, 2020 online via the Zoom platform. The pre-meeting special gathering with Property and Finance will begin at 9:00 a.m. and the stated meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. Karen Chamis and Ben Fitzgerald-Fye will be available on Zoom to help with technical issues.
Things to know:
This gathering will be recorded for informational and accuracy of minutes purposes only.
Things to anticipate:
  • Coffee and Donuts with Finance and Property to discuss the financial future of the presbytery
  • Final Action of the Proposed 2021 Budget
  • "Good News" from our congregations and worshipping communities
  • Recognition of retirement and service to the presbytery
Papers for this meeting can be found here, and include:
There are two typos in the Docket:
1) The Finance and Property gathering is THIS Saturday prior to the Called meeting (not March 14th as per the flyer!)
2) Please note that the warrant for the closure of the Taunton church has a typo in that mentions Westminster, Syr. The reference should be to Taunton.
Register in advance for this meeting: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Dates to Remember
November 14    Presbytery Stated Meeting
Around the Presbytery

Our website is down.
We are working on fixing the issue.
Stay tuned for updates. 
Pebble Hill Church is seeking a Christian educator to provide energetic leadership for the children's programs. This position will foster positive relationships with children and their  families in helping them develop their faith and further their involvement in the life of Pebble Hill Church.  
The educator will work together with church staff and volunteers in reaching out to families in the community. This position will be a virtual one until further notice.   
Read full job description HERE. 
Please send resume and cover letter to
Scipioville Presbyterian Church will be launching an online confirmation class in November that will be open to youth in the wider presbytery.  
If you have youth who would like to participate, email Rev. Ben Fitzgerald-Fye at to sign up and receive more info. Start date will be announced soon.
What: 4th Annual Great $5 Sweater Plus Sale - 2 days ONLY 
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 14  
            1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 15 
Where: Columbian Presbyterian Church at the corner of routes 11 & 20 in LaFayette  
700+ Sweaters & Shawls, Christmas Sweaters & Sweatshirts, SU & Sports Apparel, Wool Coats, Ski Jackets, Suede and Leather Jackets & Coats, Vests, Wool Coats, Snowpants & Accessories
Proceeds Benefit the LaFayette Outreach Food Pantry
Have a question for our Bookkeeper?  Paula Lamberson is generally available on Mondays, and can be reached via email at:
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Your photos tell your story
And who knows? They just might be part of the next Presbyterian Planning Calendar

By Mike Ferguson
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - By way of photo submission, Presbyterians are invited to tell the world the ways their church, mid council or organization is carrying out the Matthew 25 invitation.

The Presbyterian Planning Calendar, a beloved publication of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is once again seeking photo submissions from congregations, mid councils, camps, conference centers and education centers for use in its 2021-2022 edition.

The deadline to submit photos for the upcoming Presbyterian Planning Calendar is Feb. 16, 2021.

Images to be considered for the Presbyterian Planning calendar should feature church members and friends engaged in activities including worship, mission service, creativity and the arts, and direct outreach. Calendar planners ask that staged photos of groups of people and photos of people sitting at conference or dining tables be avoided.

Continue reading...

What does poverty have to do with worship?
November 'Call to Worship' issue explores the relationship between poverty and liturgy

By Paul Seebeck
Presbyterian New Service

LOUISVILLE - In what is believed to be a first, "Call to Worship: Liturgy, Music, Preaching and the Arts" a quarterly journal produced by the Office of Theology & Worship, is focusing an entire issue on poverty.

"In 54 years, I don't think we've ever taken this topic on," said the Rev. Dr. Kimberly Bracken Long, editor of "Call to Worship."

Long said she felt an issue on poverty and the liturgy was timely, in part because of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Matthew 25 invitation. Eradicating systemic poverty is one of the three foci in the vision, along with dismantling structural racism and building congregational vitality. These Matthew 25 priorities Long said, are reflected in our worship. She believes that worship shapes how we live in the world - and that our life in the world, in turn, affects our worship.

Continue reading...

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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