Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse
5811 Heritage Landing Dr., 2nd Floor
East Syracuse, NY  13057
(315) 632-5698
March 1, 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!

Please note that stories and items for the e-letter should be sent to Patrick Heery (, not Larry Beasley, who, as our part time stated clerk, not our communicator, needs to focus his energies on what he's been called to do.
Mission Stories
Sewing Love:
Pillowcases for
Children's Hospital

Women in the First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville have been busy for the last couple months making pillowcases for the Golisano Children's Hospital.  They gathered to pin, sew, press, and enjoy lunch together.  Young patients will be able to choose their favorite pillowcase out of many delightful fabrics, use it in the hospital, and take it home with them.   On Sunday Feb 18, the pillowcases were hung all around the sanctuary and a "blessing" of the pillowcases took place during worship. 

This is one of the mission stories from our Presbytery's worshiping communities. Is this
something that you'd like to explore as a partnership with another faith community? Is this
something that you'd like you church to begin or be involved with? 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 Patrick Heery:

Joys and Concerns around the Presbytery
In our prayers together this week...
  • Pray for the families, victims, and the offender in the horrific shooting at Parkland High School in Florida. Please also pray for the teenagers who have risen in our nation as leaders seeking an end to this violence.
  • Pray for Jim Stephens, who two weeks ago was hospitalized with the flu and pneumonia, which exacerbated his COPD and made him quite ill. Jim and his wife, Rev. Louise Tallman, attend Sennett Federated Church.
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 Patrick Heery:

Where is Christ leading us? Graffiti Wall


From Garrett Anderson, pastor, Liverpool First Presbyterian Church

I was listening to this podcast from Rob Bell the other day and it put me in mind of the BIGGER question that is before us a presbytery and as we work with congregations.  It's the role of the Spirit to do a new thing, and we are the ones who hear. Don't let the bigness of Rob's personality and sense of self put you off if you don't know his work and tone.  I found this speaking to what I hope is a new thing in us. 

The presbytery is asking: what does it mean for us, as the presbytery, in this time and place to follow Christ? Please send us your prayerful reflections, bold musings, and grand dreams. Try to be specific. And try to think more about gospel values and actions than institutional structures.

Other Voices from the Presbytery
Mission Trip to Puerto Rico

A note from Rev. Shawn Reyburn, presbytery moderator and pastor of LaFayette Columbian Presbyterian Church; this message was written before he left last week for his trip

This LAMP mission trip in 2018 is the first time to Puerto Rico.  After much consideration we thought it would be a good opportunity to come along side of a community that is in need.  The storms that racked the island this past year have left almost half the residents still without power.  We will be hosted at La Casona de Monteflores, which was the manse of the church.  We will be prepping the house for future groups.  Painting, scraping, and maybe some dry wall will need to be done.  As a group we will also be meeting with folks to hear stories and testimony about God's faithfulness and their journey.  Those who are participating are from two presbyteries, six separate congregations, and one person who is not even Presbyterian.  Trinity Liddle, Lydia Herter, Carley LaFrance, Julianne Pease, Andrew Eastham, Todd Laidlaw, Shawn Reyburn, Otto Allman, and Sarah (Muffy) Hansen.

Around the Presbytery

Sennett Federated Church Plans Immigration Event

On Sunday, March 4, at 3 p.m., Sennett Federated Church will host a discussion on immigration in America. The event will open with panelists sharing their story and how immigration policy affects their lives. Then we will open the gathering to your questions to help everyone better understand the reality and myths around the topic of immigration today.

Panelists include:  Fabiola Ortiz Valdez, who immigrated to the USA and now serves as the Manager of Member Engagement for the New York Immigration Coalition; Elizabeth, a current DACA recipient and member of the Workers' Center of Central New York; and Arely, a member of the Workers' Center of Central New York and the wife of an activist and organizer who has been detained by ICE.

Ms. Ortiz Valdez commented, "In light of the current attacks to our communities, now more than ever is important to know that many of our immigrant brothers and sisters in the U.S. are being torn away from their families."

The goal of the event is not to take a particular side or recommend a specific course of action but to provide facts and information so people can understand how this issue affects them and what immigration policy means to those who are most affected by the decisions of our political leadership. All questions are welcome as long as everyone remains respectful of the other people in attendance.

Rev. Dr. George Huffsmith, pastor of the Sennett Federated Church, said, "It has been my experience that understanding comes best when there is dialogue and a personal relationship with people most affected by the topic of discussion."  This event is free and open to the public and will be held at the church at 7777 Weedsport-Sennett Road (at the corner of Turnpike Road) in Auburn, New York.

Sennett Federated Church has a history dating back to 1799 and is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA and the Presbyterian Church USA. The church holds services each Sunday morning at 10 a.m. For more information, you can contact the church at 315-252-4936 or

Corned Beef and Cabbage Drive Thru

On Thursday, March 8, First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville will hold their 12th annual Corned Beef and Cabbage Drive Thru. The church is located at 64 Oswego Street in Baldwinsville.

You always may keep abreast on happenings in and around the Presbytery by
checking the Presbytery events calendar ( and the

Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Presbyterian leaders reach out to Parkland, Florida following school shooting

PDA and FLAPDAN will be offering long-term support to the region as requested by the presbytery. FLAPDAN has also been working with the Presbytery of Tampa Bay on disaster planning and indicates she may offer the same opportunities to the Presbytery of Tropical Florida.

"We have workshops scheduled on disaster preparedness and a portion of that will involve active shooter preparedness," she said. "The workshops will focus on what churches can do to help prepare themselves for situations like this, so it's quite timely."

Broyard says churches need to be vigilant in preparing disaster plans.

"This could happen anywhere without regard to anything or anyone. We have to have these conversations with churches on how we deal with something like this," she said. "Churches can work with local law enforcement who can come in, review your facility and have discussions."

Read more, find out how to provide support, and read a prayer written after the shooting...

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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