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

Jan. 17, 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
Ugli Quilt Project at Columbian Presbyterian Church is beautiful

The outer shells are composed from recycled textiles and remnant fabrics.

Sturdy wool or acrylic blankets are used for the sleeping bag filling.

Flannel sheets provide the inside lining.

"Ugli Quilts" are beautiful sleeping bags for those who are homeless in our community.

The Columbian Presbyterian Church in LaFayette has taken part in the mission of creating these sleeping bags since the late 1980s. Two women, Eva Palmer and Connie Foote, were inspired by their experience with the Baldwinsville Presbyterian Women's Group's workshop and brought the project to LaFayette. For three decades, church members have met for a Saturday event and have pieced together and sewn at least six sleeping bags each year.

The My Brother's Keeper Quilt Group started in 1985 with a single purpose of making piecemeal sleeping bags for distribution to local and national homeless shelters. Now known as "The Sleeping Bag Project" -- the national movement has its roots in one individual who decided to take action - to be "a doer of the word."

Each sleeping bag is tied with men's neckties and stuffed with a gallon-sized bag filled with toiletries, socks and a message of hope. Components of the ugli quilts are donated by church members or culled from the textile donation shed located in the church parking lot. In 2017, the God's Girlz after school program contributed its own masterpiece and seven total ugli quilts were delivered to the Syracuse Rescue Mission.

"With temperatures dipping to negative digits, it was especially important for the quilters to meet their target this year," said Marla Jabbour, secretary/bookkeeper for the church. "We are pleased to share pictures, although we think our ugli quilts are quite beautiful."

To learn more about The Sleeping Bag Project, visit its website.
See more pictures of the making of the ugli quilts on the church's Facebook page. 

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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...
  • Gary and Nancy W. at Robinson Elmwood Memorial request urgent prayers for their niece, Melissa W., who is in a coma due to an extremely low sodium level.
  • Pray for all those workers who are negatively affected by the government shutdown.
  • Pray for anyone who has suffered a loss recently, whether it be the loss of a loved one, a loss of a home in a fire, the loss of a job, a loss of a romantic partner or a loss of a friend. Pray for those who are hurting and ask for God to comfort them during their time of grief. 
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individuals: Amboy Belle Isle; First, Auburn; Westminster, Auburn; United Ministry of Aurora; First, Baldwinsville.

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

Photo of the Week
Cathy Gibbon's Sunday School class at Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church learned
about the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10 on Sunday.
After reading from the Bible, the students acted out the scene.
Issy (right) played Jesus, John played Zacchaeus and Carter was the tree.

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.
Around the Presbytery
Seeking participants for LAMP trip to Puerto Rico 
Latin American Mission Partnership (LAMP) has planned a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico April 11-18, 2019 leaving from Syracuse.  
The group is still accepting applications for both youth and adults that would like to participate in this trip. The group will embark on this trip to assist with projects that involve clean up and rebuilding projects from destruction that still remains from the hurricane.
The deadline to submit an application is January 26. 
The cost for the trip is $1,100 and payment due dates are included on the application, which can be found by clicking here.  
LAMP highly encourages youth (minimum of 14 years old) to participate in this trip as it is an experience of a lifetime and many amazing memories are made through experiencing a new culture. It is not necessary to know the Spanish language; there will be translators available.  
For questions, please contact Julianne Pease at (315) 430-4536 or by email to To see pictures of past LAMP trips, visit its Facebook page.

Witness to Injustice: Unraveling Native & U.S. relations, offered by Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation
What: All are invited to join Pebble Hill Presbyterian's Witness to Racial Reconciliation Team's special class
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26.  
Where: Pebble Hill Church at 5299 Jamesville Road, in DeWitt
Cost: Free
Registration: Registration is requested as space is somewhat limited by calling  
(315) 446-0960 or emailing  

This two-hour class i nvites participants to experience symbolically the impacts of colonization and conquest on indigenous peoples, and to enter into the story of reconciliation and healing that emerges from our collective experience.
It uses participatory education to raise awareness of the historic relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the part of the world now known as the United States through the use of meaningful quotes, and blankets that represent Turtle Island (the Western Hemisphere), we explore a shared history that most people never learn.
It is a way to engage in a conversation about the European colonization of Turtle Island and deepen our understanding of the denial of Indigenous peoples' nationhood throughout U.S. History.
Quotes from recent participants:

"The experience was very valuable."

"Beginning with the Caribbean meant a lot to me as a woman from Jamaica."
Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, a program of the Syracuse Peace Council, is a grassroots organization of Central New Yorkers. Noon supports the sovereignty of the Onondaga Nation's traditional government and their Land Rights Action. Noon joins in their call for justice, reconciliation and healing. Noon believe that the community has a great deal to learn from the Onondagas about living more peacefully with one another and more harmoniously with the Earth.
United Church of Fayetteville is looking to hire an Administrative Assistant
Information about the position:
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Pennsylvania church opens its food center to furloughed federal employees
As shutdown enter fourth week, Morrisville Presbyterian ministry aids federal workers

By Rich Copley
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - The Food Center at Morrisville Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania opened more than two decades ago as an emergency resource. As the federal government shutdown dragged into its fourth week, volunteers there realized a new emergency was developing.

"Ron Workman, who is our treasurer, is the one who suggested we might want to look into offering food to furloughed federal employees," says Carol Romano, operations manager for the food bank.

The U.S. government shut down on Dec. 22 in the midst of a dispute between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats over the issue of funding a wall at the country's southern border with Mexico. At 26 days, as of Wednesday, it is the longest government shutdown in United States history, with more than 800,000 federal workers missing their first paychecks last Friday.


MLK Birmingham jail letter basis of stirring PC(U.S.A.) service
Louisville pastor and college president tells Presbyterians to use their imaginations to empathize with oppressed people

By Rich Copley
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - Martin Luther King Jr. did not have to go to Birmingham.

He had options, Rev. Dr. Kevin W. Cosby recalled Wednesday morning during the annual Presbyterian Center Service of Commemoration for the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Well on his way to becoming the youngest Nobel Prize winner in history, to that point, King seemed poised for the pulpit at his home church in Atlanta, or maybe the presidency of Morehouse College.

Birmingham was a powder keg, known as "Bombingham" because of the pervasive race-based violence in the Alabama city. But after prayer, King told his father and his mentor that his place was with "the suffering people of Birmingham," Cosby said. "He went down there and was arrested."

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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