Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse
5811 Heritage Landing Dr., 2nd Floor
East Syracuse, NY  13057
(315) 632-5698
November 26, 2020
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 and supportive. In other words, we hope that these things will matter. Your input is valued, and your comments are always welcomed.
Mission Stories
First Presbyterian Church  
in Auburn reaches its Turkey Trot goal  
This year's Turkey Trot was amazing with a record 206 turkeys donated by the community for Calvary Food Pantry. The church's goal was 200.  
The church posted a thank you on Facebook: "We are grateful for such generosity and thanks to all who volunteered to make this day a blessing."

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... 
  • Please pray for Elder Annette Bell (Westminster-Auburn) as she moves into hospice care. Annette is the wife of retired pastor Rev. Larry Bell.
  • Please pray for all those who are battling COVID-19 as the virus worsens in CNY and around the country.
  • Please pray for the family of Maurine Robles McTyre who passed away on October 26. Maurine is the mother of the Rev. Andrew McTyre, the pastor at Park Central. 
  • Pray for our country as we navigate the outcome of presidential election. Help our divided nation heal.
  • Please pray for James Russell, a member of Westminster Syracuse. He is battling esophagus cancer.
  • Please continue to pray for all those who lost a loved one due to COVID-19.
In the cycle of prayer our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities,and individuals: Isaiah's Table, Syracuse; Korean Church of Syracuse; Park Central, Syracuse; Robinson Elmwood United Church, Syracuse; South Valley, Syracuse

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

Photo of the Week
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas: Robinson Elmwood United Church thanks all the volunteers who came out to dress the church up for Christmas!

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.
Resource Presbyter's Announcements
Webinar from Practical Resources for Churches:   
What: Should you do a "Second Annual" Pledge Drive?
When: 1 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 10, 2020
Leader: Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Why do we do an annual campaign just once a year? Don't a number of people forget to turn in a pledge card in the fall? Or some might not realize the first time that giving is a spiritual discipline - they need to hear it again.
Join us as we consider having a second "soft" campaign in February. Learn best practices for running this type of campaign, asking for new stewardship pledges from people who didn't pledge in the fall, and communicating more about your ministry.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced "CC Delv Sherman," yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at or on Facebook or at
Register: Click Here
Resource Presbyter's Virtual Gatherings 
Virtual Office Hours for our
Resource Presbyter, the Rev. Karen Chamis,
will return in December.
Attention Cayuga-Syracuse Clergy: On Tuesday afternoons, you are invited to attend a gathering event from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Zoom. Bring a beverage of your choice and catch up with what is happening with colleagues throughout the Presbytery.  
CLICK HERE to join Zoom meeting

Meeting ID: 810 4159 6870
Passcode: 435913
 On Monday nights you are invited to a discussion revolving around a series entitled: "Covenantal Restoration: A 12-session film series on Faith and Race. The films include James Forbes, Bryan Stevenson, Jim Wallis and Simone Campbell, etc. Join in at any time!
We will meet Monday nights at 7:30 p.m.  
Around the Presbytery
Confirmation Celebration:  
Life (and the church) is like a box of chocolates!

Gabby, Carter & John at Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church started their Confirmation journey in September 2019. The pandemic put their class on hold in March 2020. But these three teenagers were determined and committed to make their Confirmation. On Sunday, November 22, 2020, the teens proclaimed their faith in the Syracuse church. Pastor Bob Langston dressed up as Forrest Gump. You can watch the celebration on YouTube.  
"Life is like a box of chocolates and so is the church, you never know what you're going to get!" Pastor Bob! Congratulations Gabby, Carter & John!  

Around the Presbytery

Our website is down.
We are working on fixing the issue.
Stay tuned for updates. 
Virtual Syracuse University Brass (and Bells) Holiday Concert featuring the United Church of Fayetteville!
When: 7 p.m., Saturday, December 19, 2020 
Where: Facebook Live 
United Church of Fayetteville, its Handbell Choir and the Haiti Educational Partnership (HEMP) of the Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery are pleased and honored to partner with the Syracuse University Brass Ensemble to present this virtual concert of favorite holiday pieces! UCF and the SU Brass Ensemble have teamed together for over 30 years to bring joyful music to the community. The concert raises money for the Haiti Partnership.
Christmas 2020

  Click here for Advance Registration to receive a Zoom invite
Have a question for our Bookkeeper?  Paula Lamberson is generally available on Mondays, and can be reached via email at:
Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Advent's offer of  
a 'Great Reset'
Season invites us to see things differently
By Jason Whitehead
Presbyterians Today
We are creatures of habit. We like predictability and embrace routines, many of which provide a measure of stability when the world shifts around us. The experience of living in a pandemic for most of 2020, though, has disrupted any predictability in our lives. The senseless deaths of Black men and women brought attention to an epidemic of racism, calling into question assumptions we made about the world. Add to these destabilizing circumstances the sheltering-in-place guidelines that brought the inability to physically go to the places that have given us a respite from the world, and we have a recipe for ongoing fear, anger and distress.

It is safe to say that 2020 has been a year no one wanted. However, that doesn't mean it has to be a lost year. I've heard some people refer to 2020 as the "Great Reset" - a time to take stock of our lives, offering a chance to inventory how we live, move and breathe, in order to become the people God calls us to be.

The Advent season is perfect for exploring the possibility of a reset. This season has always been about the Savior sent to reset the world. And every year, we remember a revolutionary act of love that gives us pause and shows us what it means to be disciples. For millennia, we have celebrated a season that glorifies change and calls us to soften our hearts to the world and people around us.

This year, though, we need to be intentional in the spiritual practice of resetting our lives. Many of us will not be returning to physical worship spaces for Advent as the health risks are still too great, and so we must actively seek the holy among us. For that to happen, we must be willing to look around the same house or apartment and at the same people, see them with new eyes, as well as hear them with new ears. This resetting is in itself a revolutionary act of love.


A new tradition amid both joy and sorrow
Everyday God-Talk concerts for Advent and Christmas produce mournfulness and hopeful beauty

By Paul Seebeck
Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE - After seeing the latest edition of Everyday God-Talk, the Rev. Dr. David Gambrell, associate for Worship in the Office of Theology and Worship, was filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and rejoicing.

"Wow," he wrote in an email to the guests. "What a joy to see and hear you all, not to mention your insightful comments.  I'm ready for Advent.  Thank you for this outstanding gift to the church."

Gambrell was referencing the first ever virtual Advent Concert, presented by the Presbyterian Association of Musicians and the PC(USA)'s Office of Theology & Worship on Everyday God-Talk.

Everyday God-Talk host So Jung Kim, the PC(USA)'s associate for Theology, said she herself needed a concert during the seasons of Advent and Christmas this year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she won't be able to be with her family in South Korea this year.

"We're all in isolation and our church services will be online, which creates an even greater feeling of distance," Kim said.

Continue reading...

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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