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

Nov. 15, 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 Diane Windsor who once again is undergoing treatment for cancer that has now metastasized. Diane's husband, the Rev. Phil Winsor, Honorably Retired, is a former pastor of Westminster-Auburn.
  • Pray for all those affected by the fires in California. For the people who lost a loved one or those who are missing. For the thousands of people who lost their homes.
  • Pray for the family and friends of the 12 people who were shot and killed at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individuals: First, Cazenovia; First, Chittenango; United Church of Collamer; Pebble Hill, DeWitt; First United Church of East Syracuse
If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact:

Photo of the Week
LOGOS, the youth group at Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church, hosts an annual turkey dinner. OHPC Choir Director/LOGOS Kitchen Coordinator Kermit Buckman
cooks the feast for students, volunteers and guests.

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
Saturday Morning with Ray Jones

Who: Church leaders, elders, deacons, pastors & members
What: Workshop on Outreach and Culture with Ray Jones, associate director/acting director Theology, Formation and Evangelism for PC(USA)
Why: We are a "sent people," a "peculiar people," called to be the church in our community in a culture that has radically changed
When: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018
Where: Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church,
5299 Jamesville Road, DeWitt, NY 13214


Seeking Adaptive Change
From Linda Russell, Leadership Team chairperson
I recently received a newsletter from Tricia Dykers Koenig, associate stated clerk for Mid Council Relations in the Office of the General Assembly. The lead item was a thoughtful analysis of our current reality in the PC(USA), and suggestions for addressing it, written by Teaching Elder Gordon Raynal, Stated Clerk of Foothills Presbytery. In his conclusion he states:

...We need truly adaptive change. We need to figure out how best to be faithful Reformed Christians in the context of the 21st century, and then design structures and systems that will work to support that. Frankly, we can literally not afford to continue our structures and our practices as we have. We need to be bold. We need to put every system, structure, position, and practice on the table for reconsideration. ...
Please read Gordon's thoughts on " Facing the Present and the Future" and consider how his insights apply also to our Presbytery and our churches. I welcome your thoughts in response.

Future Presbytery meetings are scheduled as follows:

Feb. 9, 2019 at First PC of Chittenango

May 14, 2019 at Presbyterian Church of Otisco
Aug. 13, 2019 at Faith United Church of Oswego
Nov. 2, 2019 at First PC of Baldwinsville
The list of elected members of groups within Presbytery can be found here
From the Communications Coordinator
Best practices for  
promoting events

From Communications Coordinator Sarah Buckshot
  1.    Make a plan at least one month before event
  2.    Use all of your social media platforms
  3.    Create an event poster and save as a .jpeg to post on social   media. Posters should be clean, limited copy with answers to the 5 Ws. Include cost, contact information and links
  4.    Do not take a picture of the poster
  5.    Create a FB event. Use previous event photos. Update often.
  6.    Invite everyone who likes your page to the event. Don't be shy.
  7.    Add event to local media - 3 weeks before event.
  8.    Facebook advertising works
  9.    Gentle pressure relentlessly applied
  10.    Ask members to share even if they can't attend
  11.    Post event photos
  12.    Post a thank you
Questions: Email Sarah at 
Around the Presbytery
Seeking participants for LAMP trip to Mexico

Northminster Presbyterian Church in North Syracuse is seeking participants to go on a LAMP trip to Campeche, Mexico from February 19 to 26.

The Latin American Mission Partnership (LAMP) was formed in 2004 to build relationships between the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse and the Campeche Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

Over the years, we have worked together on construction of a theological seminary in Mexico, hurricane recovery in the Gulf Coast states, supplying books for a theological library, and teaching Vacation Bible School. It also serves as an educational and religious experience for the adult and youth participants from Cayuga-Syracuse. The group partnered with Monteflores Presbyterian Church in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to assist with clean up, painting, and rebuilding after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of their homes and churches.

LAMP has planned a trip to Campeche, Mexico for February 19 through 26 of 2019 leaving from Syracuse. We are accepting applications for both youth and adults that would like to participate in this trip. The expected group project will be building classrooms inside the seminary. Other projects may include cleaning and clearing of construction related debris, painting, and other related tasks.

The deadline to submit an application is TODAY.

The cost for the trip is $1,100 and payment due dates are included on the   application, which can be found here. We highly encourage 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, contact Julianne Pease at (315) 430-4536 or by email at or Sandi Yingling at

For more information on the most recent trips in 2015 and 2017, visit LAMP's Facebook page.
What: Annual Christmas Bazaar & Luncheon 
When: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 17 (Lunch served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) 
Where: Amboy Belle Isle United Church
6190 Airport Road in Syracuse

First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville is hosting a Spiritual Retreat
When: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
Where: Education Center at the church, which is located on Route 48, just north of the village 4-corners
RSVP: Call (315) 635-9964 

The Rev. Dr. Ginny Smith will led us in reflecting upon our own relationship with God as we explore the connection between the people in the Bible and our own lives. With Ginny as leader, the retreat is sure to be interesting and thought provoking. 
The event is free and open to the public. 
  Interfaith Thanksgiving Gathering
What: Gratitude: Common Ground
Where: Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church 
             5299 Jamesville Road, Syracuse 
When: 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18
Participating Congregations:  
  • Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church - the Rev. Peter Shidemantle 
  • Congregation Beth Sholom - Chevra Shas - Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone 
  • Islamic Society of Central New York - Imam Mohammed ElFiki
  This is the 20th anniversary of our Thanksgiving gatherings, this year joined by the Islamic Society of CNY
Refreshments with music by the Kenya Hora Klezmer Band to follow  

What: Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service
When: 2 p.m. Nov. 18
Where: King Ferry Presbyterian Church

Event is sponsored by the Southern Cayuga Wider Parish. Participating churches include Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, Society of Friends, Catholic Communities, United Church of Christ and 7th Day Adventist. 

SBW Band, community choir, individual musical numbers, scripture, prayer, local speaker and inspirational readings -- something for everyone.

What: The Southern Cayuga Wider Parish will present a Community Thanksgiving Service
When: 2 p.m. Nov. 18
Where: King Ferry Presbyterian Church

The service will include music from the talented community choir, a local band, inspirational readings and a short message.

A time for fellowship and refreshments will follow the service.

What: Everything You Wanted to Know about Transgender, Non-binary, and Intersex People...But Were Afraid to Ask!
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27
Who: Gender Equality New York will be leading a transgender public forum hosted by Westminster Presbyterian Church
Where: Westminster church at 17 William St. in Auburn 

The talk will include a "Trans 101" presentation and an interactive panel made up of local transgender, non-binary and intersex community members. The panelists will tell their personal stories. Audience members will be encouraged to ask questions to gain a better understanding of those who are gender-expansive. Social and networking time will allow audience members to meet local transgender, non-binary and intersex people. For many of them, this is the first such encounter.

For more information, click here or visit Gender Equality NY's Facebook page.    


What: Soup and Dessert Café
When: 5 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 
Where: Meeting house of First Presbyterian Church of Cazenovia, 27 Albany Street, Cazenovia NY 13035 (Entrance to the Meeting House is on Sullivan Street.)
Gourmet soups include a loaded potato soup, a seafood frogmore stew, cheddar broccoli, shrimp bisque and buffalo chicken wing. In addition we will have "holy cow chili" made by the church's pastor, the Rev. Tom Oak.
Come early; the soup goes quickly, and the desserts are wonderful. Eat in or take out.  For more information, call (315) 655-3191
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Four PDA spiritual care providers now serving in fire, shooting affected California
More help will materialize once deadly fires are out
By Mike Ferguson  
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - While the deadliest fires ever to strike California continue to burn, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has deployed four National Response Team members to Southern California, where residents are enduring both a mass shooting and the Woolsey and Hill fires.

They're serving as Disaster Spiritual Care Providers, working in American Red Cross shelters in Pacific Palisades and the San Fernando Valley. In the wake of the Camp Fire, PDA has approved an initial $7,500 grant to the Presbytery of Sacramento; grant requests are also anticipated from Santa Barbara and Pacific presbyteries, said Jim Kirk, associate for PDA's National Disaster Response.

Together with the Rev. Jim Kitchens, transitional executive presbyter for the Presbytery of Sacramento, Kirk worshiped Sunday at Bidwell Presbyterian Church in Chico, Calif., a half-hour west of the nearly destroyed community of Paradise, Calif.
"Chico didn't lose any property, but a number of members who lived in Paradise lost their homes," Kitchens said.


National and international church leaders urge churches to engage with political leaders
Group says it's necessary for peace and justice

Rick Jones
Office of the General Assembly

Representatives from the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches are urging faith groups to engage with their political leaders. Jim Winkler, president of the national council, and Dr. Peter Prove, executive director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, appeared Monday on Coffee with the Clerk, a weekly Facebook Live broadcast with the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Winkler and Prove joined Nelson in Washington, D.C., to discuss the impact of the recent election results and discuss the role of various faiths in the work on Capitol Hill. Prove and Winkler say efforts to speak with members of the Trump administration have not been easy.

"Churches making up the National Council have not had access to the highest levels of government these last couple of years," Winkler said. "President Obama welcomed everyone whether he agreed with them or not. That doesn't mean churches had influence, but there was ready access to the government. The past two years have been challenging for many of us who have offices on Capitol Hill."
Winkler says various faith groups have been hampered and unable to fully express their concerns about what is happening around the world.

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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