Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse
5811 Heritage Landing Dr., 2nd Floor
East Syracuse, NY  13057
(315) 632-5698
November 21, 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
Sharing ministries, sharing faith

Korean church joins Fulton church for joint worship
On a Sunday in October, the Korean Church of Syracuse held a joint worship service with the First United Church of Fulton.  
It was very joyful time with great fellowship and shared ministries.

This partnership in Christ began in August. The Rev. Louise Barger, the interim pastor of the First United Church of Fulton, sent an email to the Korean Church of Syracuse and asked for help with a Vacation Bible School for children in Fulton.  
"Even though we have our own VBS in August, we believed that this is God's calling for His Kingdom," said Yunhee Kim, of the Korean Church of Syracuse.  

After the Korean church held VBS for three days, its teachers and staff went to Fulton and held a VBS for two days with Fulton volunteers. The theme of VBS was "Jesus is the Christ" and it featured Bible study, art class, and game time. 

"It was wonderful opportunity to serve God and His Kingdom, and also a great experience to connect God's people," Kim said. "It was very a blessed time to both the Korean Church of Syracuse and the First United Church of Fulton. We experienced how God works through us and how God's people become one in Christ."

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
   I n our prayers together this week...
  • Please pray for Elder Pat Neumann of King Ferry. She has been diagnosed with bone cancer and is receiving palliative care at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca.
  • Please pray for elder Neil Rotach (King Ferry) who had total right knee replacement surgery. Neil is currently serving on Presbytery's Leadership Team and PJC commission. Cards may be sent to 1880 Slaterville Road, Ithaca, NY 14850.
  • Please pray for the family and friends of ruling elder Joyce Short who passed away recently. Joyce was a long-time member of Auburn-First, a faithful member of our Presbytery, and a good friend of many.
  • Prayers for the family of Tonya and Scott Cupp (honorably retired) on the death of Tonya's mother, Julia Esseniyi.
  • Pray for Jim Russell as he continues his fight with esophagus cancer.
In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities,and individual: 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
The First Presbyterian Church of Chittenango held a wonderful Fall Brunch on
Sunday. After the brunch, guests were treated with a piano recital by
Robbie Padilla, the church's former pianist.

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 Resource Presbyter 
By the Rev. Karen Chamis
Hello Cayuga-Syracuse!
The other night I was visiting with church leadership and the perennial debate came up. No, not the one about playing Christmas hymns during Advent ... the one about whether the church is a business.
Is it?
Certainly, there is business like aspects to being the church. There are often employees, budgets, buildings and boards. We could argue that our product is one of service; offering to those in the community an opportunity to worship, much in the same way a theater offers shows.
But Jesus didn't pray "Our Boss ... who art in heaven ..." and Paul referred to us as not as work colleagues, but as siblings in Christ. If anything, the church most resembles a family -- a dysfunctional, quirky, much-in-need-of-grace family.
That doesn't mean we should throw our budgets, policies and procedures out the window, any more than a family should forgo keeping the checkbook balanced and the chore-chart on the refrigerator. Even the best of family systems rely on best practices. Some even place their behavioral contract and/or mission statement on signs inside their home. Several families in my last congregation had this sign hanging in their kitchen: " In this house ... we are real, we make mistakes, we say I'm sorry, we give second chances, we have fun, we give hugs we forgive, we do REALLY LOUD, we do family, we Love."
How we understand t he nature of the church frames our expectations of the church.
How we understand the nature of the church frames our expectations of the people in the church.
How do you see your church? Is it a family, a fellowship, a business? How does that frame change how you see those next to you in the pew? How does that shape your understanding of those outside the church walls?
As the writer of Ephesians states: So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Let us be so.
Resource Presbyter's Mobile Office Day 
Our Resource Presbyter, the Rev. Karen Chamis, will be working remotely at the following locations: 
Date: Monday, November 25, 2019
Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  
Place: First United Church of East Syracuse, 823 Franklin Park Dr., East Syracuse
Date: Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Time: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  
Place: Robinson Elmwood United Church, 126 S. Terry Road, Syracuse  
Date: Monday, December 9, 2019
Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  
Place: Salt City Coffee, 509 W. Onondaga St., Syracuse
Please note: Karen will be on hiatus for the rest of December, but will be back doing Mobile Offices beginning in January.
Feel free to drop in for a conversation - or just to say hello
Karen can be reached at 315-632-5698 (option 1) or 
Stated Meeting  
Our host church from our last Stated Meeting shared the following photo collage:   
From the Associate Stated Clerk
'Tis the Season ... for "Christmas Joy"
As good Presbyterians many of our churches and families are preparing for the season of Advent, carefully remembering not to introduce Christmas carols into our liturgy prematurely. But when it comes to our four Presbyterian Special Offerings this is definitely a season for collecting and sharing Christmas Joy!

A gift to the Christmas Joy offering helps provide financial assis
tance to church workers and their families and also enables students to attend Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color.

"Thank you" to the 15 churches who gave contributions in 2018 ranging from $112.50 to $1,417 for a total of $8,359.32. And a "shoutout" to Parish-New Hope for donating the highest $/member ($11.87) of all participating churches in our Presbytery.

Around the Presbytery
Cozy Senior Living in Skaneateles

Are you looking for affordable senior housing?

The Manor, in the village of Skaneateles and within walking distance of shops and restaurants, may be just what you or someone you know may have in mind.

The Manor is comprised of six suites that include a bedroom, living room and private bathroom. The house has large common areas as well. A house manager/cook provides daily meals. There are laundry facilities on site and limited parking in a detached garage.

The Manor is a mission of the Presbyterian Church in Skaneateles. However, residency is open to all denominations. Call the church office at 315-685-5048 for more information . There are two suites available.

What: Annual Christmas Bazaar & Luncheon
When: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23
(Lunch served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
Where: Amboy Belle Isle United Church, 6190 Airport Road, Syracuse

Spotlight on Youth Education
Pierre, a new church member at the Liverpool First Presbyterian Church from Cameroon, tells his story of God's calling to confirmation students .
Dates to Remember
November 21-23          Moderators' Conference, Louisville
November 25               Leadership Team meeting, First United, East Syracuse
December 16-17          Synod's Presbytery Leadership Forum at Stony Point  
December 23               GA commissioner names due to OGA
December 23               Leadership Team Christmas gathering, home of Karen Chamis
February 15                 Presbytery Stated Meeting at First Presbyterian Church of Weedsport
February 24                 Leadership Team meeting  
March 23                      Leadership Team meeting
April 27                         Leadership Team meeting  
May 12                          Presbytery Stated Meeting 
July 23-24                    Thrive Seminar (for clergy aged 50+) by the Board of Pensions  
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Teaching church leaders to be clear and bold communicators

Free workshop available to churches that want to tell their story more effectively

By Mike Ferguson
Presbyterian News Service

LONG LAKE, Minnesota - Media, says Mari Graham Evans, has always been social, for at least two reasons: It often features user-generated content and it sometimes goes viral.

Evans, the Presbyterian Mission Agency's social media and media relations strategist, teams up with Gail Strange, the agency's director of church and mid council communications, to travel the country putting on one-day workshops that help church and mid council communicators reach their audiences as effectively and as frequently as they can. The two completed one such workshop Thursday for about two dozen participants from Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Long Lake, Minnesota.

Strange led off the five-hour workshop by helping each church represented begin to develop a communications plan using the mythical First Example Presbyterian Church as a model. Strange's characterization of First Example will sound familiar to many Presbyterians: A 200-member, century-old congregation, First Example is "dedicated to nurturing spiritual growth and demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ. Our members believe the love of God extends far beyond the walls of the church as demonstrated through outreach ministries (locally and globally), education for children and adults and nurture and fellowship."

Among First Example's struggles: an aging church population, shrinking budgets, aging facilities suffering because of unmet capital needs, declining pledge income, fewer members who live near the church and leader burnout. From a communications standpoint, First Example does its ministry with fewer staff and volunteers than it once had.


Churches need 'Jesus' leadership
Seek to transform, not get one's way

By Chip Hardwick
Presbyterians Today

Luke 23:32-43 is a lectionary text for Nov. 24, Christ the King Sunday.
Yesterday, a wise worshiper at the church I serve requested prayers "for all leaders as they work through difficult times ahead." That request rings in my head as I think about "empowering servant leadership," which is one of the seven marks of congregational vitality identified in the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Vital Congregations program.

As we move toward the 21st century's third decade, challenges abound for all leaders - especially church leaders - given the monumental cultural changes that demand fresh approaches to leadership. Author and executive coach Alistair Mant offers an idea for how we might proceed faithfully. He suggests "ternary" leadership, which seeks to transform an organization, rather than focusing on wins.

Ternary is an improvement on the more popular "binary" model of leadership, which is characterized by "a fight/flight, win/lose and power/survival way of operating," says Bernice Ledbetter, chair of the Master of Science in Leadership and Management degree program at the Graziadio Business School at Pepperdine University.

When we turn to Luke 23:32-43, we see Jesus' ministry is much more committed to transformation than to wins. We find Jesus mocked as "the King of the Jews" on the cross between two criminals. After one of the criminals derides him, the second criminal supports Jesus and then hears words he likely never expected: Today you will be with me in Paradise.

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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