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

October 18, 2018
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

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...
  • Pray for all those in our community who feel alone, especially as another holiday season draws near. May God surround them with people who love them so that they can feel that they are not alone. So that they can feel the love of Jesus and His people.
  • Rejoice in all of the children who have returned or started Sunday School or other religious education programs. May they learn the teachings of Jesus and use his lessons in their lives. Pray for the Sunday School teachers and parents who help guide the youth.
  • Pray for all those battling cancer. Pray that God will give them strength to continue to fight.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individuals: Taunton, Syracuse; Westminster, Syracuse; First, Weedsport; Whitelaw

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

Photo of the Week
Dedication of the garden to be shared by all at Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church

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 Our Leadership Team
Celebrating 22 Years of Life-Giving Ministry: Rev. Dr. Craig Lindsey

As previously noted, the Rev. Dr. Craig Lindsey will conclude his active pastoral relationship with First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. A presbytery gathering during which members and friends from throughout Presbytery can join in celebrating Craig's 22 years of ministry in Cayuga-Syracuse will be scheduled at a future date yet to be determined and details will be shared as soon as they are finalized.
Read more on the Presbytery's website.


Mid Council Leaders Gathering
Thank You from Linda Russell, chair of the Leadership Team
I want to thank the Presbytery for endorsing my attendance at the recent Mid Council Leaders Gathering in Chicago. It was important that in the absence of a presbytery leader and stated clerk, that Cayuga-Syracuse be able to avail itself of the informative workshops, insightful and inspirational plenary speakers, and wonderful opportunities for networking. I was honored to be able to represent you and bring helpful knowledge back, particularly for our Ministry Work Group as together with the Leadership Team we strive to serve our pastors and congregations.
In addition to the nitty-gritty homework, one full day was devoted to a uniquely active listening/learning experience as participants were invited into Fearless Dialogues with the salutation: "It is good to finally see you. Welcome to Fearless Dialogues. Are you ready for change?" Fearless Dialogues is "a grassroots organization committed to creating unique spaces for unlikely partners to engage in hard, heartfelt conversations on difficult subjects."  More information can be found here.  
I welcome questions about this experience, which was led by Gregory C. Ellison II, founder, and author of the book (that I am happy to lend) entitled Fearless Dialogues: A New Movement for Justice. 
Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy and Training
New York State has adopted legislation that requires all employers, including all churches, to adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy and to provide training to all employees on an annual basis, starting Oct. 9, 2018.

Here are some helpful links:

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training must be provided by the employer by Oct. 9, 2019.

Current samples of training can be found here:



Per Capita

A 2019 per capita figure of $38.50 was presented to Presbytery at its stated meeting on Aug. 14, 2018 as part of the "first read" of Presbytery's 2019 budget. The Leadership Team anticipates that this figure will be approved as part of the 2019 budget at the Nov. 3, 2018 Presbytery meeting.

For budget planning purposes, churches may wish to use this number now, recognizing that a 2019 per capita figure will not become official until after Presbytery votes on Nov. 3. (The $38.50 per capita includes $8.95 for GA, $4.10 for Synod and $25.45 for Presbytery.)
Call to Service

The Nominating Committee is seeking persons to serve as Presbytery Treasurer beginning June 1, 2019, as members of the Leadership Team (two for the class of 2021 and five for the class of 2022) and as three at-large members for the Nominating Committee.

Names as well as self-referrals for these positions should be directed to Donna Hunt, chair of the Nominating Committee, at Nominees must be either a ruling elder or a minister of Word and Sacrament.


Next Presbytery Meeting
Faith in a New Key
We welcome the Rev. Bill Carter and the Presbybop musicians to Presbytery's stated meeting on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at United Church of Fayetteville, 310 East Genesee St., in Fayetteville.
Bill is pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. Bill has graciously agreed to serve as guest preacher as he and "the gang at Presbybop Music" bring their music to our worship service. Presbybop Music exists to create jazz music that glorifies God, renews the Christian church and models the integration of faith and the arts. Bill and friends will greet us beginning at 9 a.m. for a time of gathering, music and conversation prior to the call to order and the call to worship. They join to help us infuse the life of faith with the swinging pulse of jazz.
More information on Bill Carter and Presbybop Music can be found on the Presbybop's website.
 Other things to know about the meeting:
  • We welcome the Rev. Jeremy Campbell as our Stated Clerk Pro-Tem for this meeting. Jeremy serves as the Stated Clerk for both Elizabeth and Newton presbyteries in New Jersey.
  • Childcare is available by reservation. RSVP to the church office at or (315) 637-3186 by Monday, Oct. 29 for childcare.
  • Internet service will be available at this meeting. The offering during worship will support Hurricane Michael Disaster Relief. The cost for lunch will be $7 payable at registration.
  • Requests to be excused, as well as names of new elder commissioners requesting nametags, may be sent to
  • The meeting may be recorded and pictures taken.
  • Directions: The driveway immediately to the left of the church's front door is entrance only and leads to a parking lot behind the church. Street parking is also an option, but attendees are strongly cautioned to not park in a handicap space without the proper tags as ticketing is common

Annual Review of Session Minutes
NOTE: So far only three churches have had their 2017 session minutes reviewed. There are only three dates left! 
Who: Clerks of Session
What: Annual review of session minutes
When: Review sessions scheduled for 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on each of the following Thursdays:  
October 18 -- TODAY @ Liverpool 
October 25 @ Auburn-First 
November 1 @ Westminster-Syracuse 
What should I bring? - Session minutes for 2017 plus completed
Session Records Review Checklist found here. 
Do I need to make an appointment? - No, simply choose one of the 10 gatherings most convenient for you.
Still time to sign up!
As of this writing, about one-half of the pastors currently serving our 37 churches have registered for the Boundary Awareness training on Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Liverpool, which is located at 603 Tulip St., in Liverpool. The training is led by Dr. David Olsen, executive director of Samaritan Counseling Center. There is still time to sign up. Simply contact the Liverpool church office at or (315) 457-3161 by noon on Monday, Oct. 22 and provide the following information:
Pastor, CLP, elder, educator, personnel, other
Church name and Presbytery
Cell phone and email
Food allergies
The cost for Cayuga-Syracuse participants is $15 for registration and lunch. Payment should be made by check payable to "Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse" with "Boundary Awareness" noted on the memo line and brought to the event on Oct. 24.
Pastors not able to attend this training are requested to provide the Ministry Work Group (Rev. Garrett Anderson at with confirmation that they have completed certified training within the past three years.
Around the Presbytery
Got Turkey?
Turkey dinners planned for Saturday Nov. 3 
What: Turkey Dinner
Where: Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church
             4797 Makyes Road, Syracuse 
When: 2 p.m. until SOLD OUT
Cost: $10 for adults. $5 for children, 10 and under
More information: Call (315) 492-2692
Dine in or take out. Public welcome. 
What: Annual Turkey Dinner
Where: First Presbyterian Church
             8871 S. Seneca St., Weedsport
When: Dinning room starts serving at 5 p.m.  
           Takeout dinners available from 5 to 6 p.m.
Cost: $10 for adults. $4 for children, 5 to 10 years old. Free for children 4 and under.

New York School of Ministry Fall Learning Event
"Grounding our Love: Theological Reflection & Moral Action"

Rev. Beth DuBois, leader

When: Oct. 26 and 27, 2018
Where: White Eagle Center, 2910 Lake Moraine Road in Hamilton
Cost:  Overnight in shared room (two double beds) $115
           Overnight in single room $165  
           Commuters $70
Deadline: Oct. 24, 2018 
What scripture passage grounds your moral action?
What scripture passage do you think grounds your congregation's moral action?
The Rev. Beth DuBois joins us a leader once again, inviting lay leaders and ministers, from diverse communities and congregations, to dig into how our theological understandings shape our individual and communal moral actions. Worship and bible study will provide the foundation for examining the various ways in which we can deepen the connection between faith and action in our congregations and, while being ourselves, speak with passion and integrity about what is important. Using the Poor People's Campaign as an ethical model, we will explore the interconnections among moral issues and gain the skills to help discern how we can uniquely embody love of neighbor. This event fulfills 6 hours toward the continuing education requirement for authorized ministers.
White Eagle is a beautiful spot on the shore of Lake Moraine. Join us for a time of conversation and connections, theological reflection, worship, play, and learning.The event begins with dinner at 6 p.m. on Friday (check in is at 4 p.m., if you can, come early to relax and enjoy the scenery) and concludes at about 3 p.m. on Saturday, after our closing communion service.
For more information, email the Rev. Leigh McCaffrey at or call the Rev. Marjorie Purnine at (315) 446-3073 x9 with questions.  

What: Celebrate 50 years of Park Central's M.P. Möller organ, with the internationally acclaimed "Diminuitive Dynamo," Isabelle Demers, at the console. 
When: 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. 
Where: Park Central Presbyterian Church, 504 E. Fayette St., Syracuse 
Cost: Free. Donations encouraged
More information: Visit the church's website or call (315) 475-1677 for more information.  

   What: Rummage & Bake Sale  
   When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 
   Where: Amboy Belle Isle United Church
   6190 Airport Road, Syracuse, NY13209

Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
2018 Global Food Week of Action now taking place
Presbyterian Hunger Program recognizes Hunger Action Congregations on World Food Day for their year-round efforts to end hunger

By Scott O'Neill
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE -- The Global Food Week of Action began Sunday, Oct. 14, and runs through Oct. 21. The week provides Christians around the world a chance to address food justice and sovereignty issues. Food Week of Action includes World Food Day (Oct. 16), International Day for Rural Women (Oct. 15), and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (Oct. 17). This year, the Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP) celebrates more than 100 congregations as Hunger Action Congregations (HAC) that advocate for food justice not just one week during the year, but year-round, as part of their ministry outreach.

"World Food Day gives us a chance to express our gratitude for the abundance of God's creation and show our love for the land, water, soil and all the many neighbors - sometimes spanning great distances - who grow the food we eat," said Andrew Kang Bartlett, Presbyterian Hunger Program's associate for national hunger concerns.

Working to prevent abuse in the church

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) provides resources and support for congregations

By Rick Jones
Office of the General Assembly Communications
LOUISVILLE --Celebrities, ministers, politicians, corporate executives. Hardly a week goes by that the headlines don't name a prominent person who has been accused of being a sexual predator or charged with abuse. Reports have been on the rise for years as people find the strength to step forward with their stories.
The church has always been perceived as a safe place, where parents can feel their children are being cared for. But sometimes, despite the best efforts of churches, abuse does occur.

For years, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been working with presbyteries, mid councils and churches to ensure that appropriate policies and safeguards are in place to keep children and vulnerable adults safe from all types of abuse.

"We try to empower sessions and presbyteries as they work through accountability and discipline, providing as many resources as we can," said Laurie Griffith, associate director of Constitutional Interpretation with the Office of the General Assembly. "Presbyteries and sessions are responsible for doing training, prevention and having policies in place."

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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