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Happenings In & Around the Presbytery of NYC
T his newsletter is published on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month. All items for potential inclusion must be submitted via email to newsletter@presbynyc.org by noon on the Wednesday before the newsletter in published. the next issues of the newsletter will be published on October 12th and 26th. All items are subject to review and editing. Timely submission does not guarantee inclusion.

Information, articles and links in this newsletter are provided for information only to the congregations and members of the presbytery. Nothing in this message should be construed as the official position of the presbytery unless noted as such.
From the Executive Presbyter
G od is, and God will be, before and after us. And somewhere in the living of life, if we believe in God, God finds us. I can only imagine the myriad ways God has come to you, or you to God. I wonder what a presbytery meeting would be like if we spent more time talking about what we know and believe about this God who has come to us. 

I found myself pondering that last weekend. It came to me in the midst of anti-racism training by an organization known as Crossroads. About 50 of us Presbyterians from across the Synod were looking at how what we believe even about God and how we behave are shaped by those intersections of persons and systemic realities which we consciously or unconsciously have internalized.

Crossroads training pushed me, pushed us, to be liberated from the personal and systemic ways persons internalize racial identities in a nation where white male supremacy has long been at the center of American policy and normative behaviors. I need no more reminder than to look in the mirror at my privileges, or the comments of the President. White male supremacy has given rise to eradicating indigenous people, slavery, Chinese exclusion act, Japanese internment, mass incarceration, misogyny, discrimination against ethnic, racial, gender, and religious identities, and now the incarceration and deportation of immigrants of color and separation of parents and children at our borders. Xenophobic racism is on the rise and being exercised again in human behaviors and commentary, local and state policies (including district gerrymandering, voting rights, welfare benefits), and nationally with Homeland Security policies determining who is welcome in and to America. It is awful and why you should make sure your voter registration is up to date (before Oct 16) and vote in these midterm elections for better leaders. Our Protestant (protesting) heritage demands engagement in creating just civil societies, informed by the gospel and example of Jesus Christ.

What a tall order God reveals to us and call us into—yet Christ prays for us to be empowered by the very Spirit of God as we pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” 

And pray we must. I see among neighbors and leaders in Washington are-asserting of an “old boys network” of white male supremacy even as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements calls that into question for the harm inflicted. My calling by Christ has led me to push away from this, even while systemic practices keep opening doors to me because I am a white male citizen of America. 

This presbytery, which approved my ordination and first call, invited me into training three decades ago to unlearn racism. It is so systemized, though, that it does not easily go away. I am going to need your help to resist falling into those practices that sustain white supremacy not only in my life, but also so that racist practices not infest our congregations and presbytery committees. Dismantling racism requires this entire village, lest we benignly support it. 

I would like to encourage this presbytery to take up that overture approved by the General Assembly in 2016 encouraging us to dismantle racism in church and society. I will be looking for a team of persons who has experience doing that and perhaps Crossroads would be willing to help us. 

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us. Melt us, mold us, fill us, use that your will be done on earth.

Robert Foltz-Morrison
From the Committee on Witness to Society and the World and the Advocate for Justice Ministries
Upcoming events from the Committee on Witness to Society and the World

Save the Dates!
Watch for Details at the Presbytery of New York City Facebook page and the


Here’s a reminder of some upcoming events sponsored by the Committee on Witness to Society and the World (Justice Ministries Committee). Please plan to attend. Share the attached flyers.

The Rev. Alonzo Johnson and Ms. Margaret Mwale from the PC(USA)’s Self-Development of People program (SDOP) will visit the presbytery later this week. The keystone event will be a community workshop on Sunday, September 30 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church. This workshop is for people interested in learning about SDOP and for representatives of grassroots community organization who want to learn about the SDOP grant program. RSVP at sdopcommunityworkshoprsvp@pcusa.org .
Other opportunities to learn about SDOP:
September 29 – Presentation on SDOP during the Presbytery meeting; the Rev. Alonzo Johnson will preach
September 30 – Ms. Margaret Mwale will be at the Church of Gethsemane
September 30 – The Rev. Johnson will preach at Lafayette Avenue Church

Wednesday, October 3 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM
Two vibrant voices for justice and reconciliation—The Reverend Dr. Derrick McQueen and Erin Weber-Johnson—bring their perspectives on grounded, effective social justice campaigns to a one-hour webinar. Claiming both the wounds and the triumphs of their own faith journey, these two leaders share their insights about what allows social justice work to be authentic and resonant across a range of congregational settings from Harlem to the Midwest. Register now . Sponsored by the Vandersall Collective.

The Rev. Alex Awad is a peace and justice advocate and former missionary with the United Methodist church. He has served as Dean of Students and full-time instructor at Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem where he served on the faculty for 24 years. He served since 1994 as senior pastor at East Jerusalem Baptist Church. The Rev. Awad is traveling through the U.S. as part of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program’s International Peacemakers initiative. Here are opportunities to hear the Rev. Awad:
Sunday, October 7 at 11:00 AM - Preach at Second Presbyterian Church
Monday, October 8 from 2:00 – 3:30 PM - public presentation on Pathway to Peace in Israel and in Palestine at Church Center for the United Nations, 777 UN Plaza, cosponsored/hosted by Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations and United Methodist Church Global Mission; for more information and to RSVP, contact info.pmun@pcusa.org .
Tuesday, October 9 from 10:00 – 11:30 AM - public presentation on A Biblical Alternative to Christian Zionism at Stockman Lounge, 1 st Floor, Interchurch Center, 475 Riverside Drive; RSVP to mkoenig@presbynyc.org
Tuesday, October 9 from 7:00 – 8:30 PM – public presentation on Pathway to Peace in Israel and in Palestine at Rutgers Presbyterian Church

Plan now to attend, or contribute to , the New Sanctuary Coalition Gala. This fundraiser takes place on November 8 at 6:00 pm at Judson Memorial Church.

For more information about any of these events, or to have your congregation’s event on social justice included in future email newsletters, contact Mark Koenig
GOT QUESTIONS... About Presbytery's 2019 Budget?
T he Budget & Finance Committee of the Presbytery of New York City’s Board of Trustees invites you to an OPEN HEARING. This is your opportunity to ask questions about the 2019 budget. Let your voice be heard!

Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018
Time: 10:00 AM
Place: First Chinese Presbyterian Church 
New York, NY 10002
Subway: East Broadway – F Train
Grand Street – B & D Trains
Canal Street – J, N, Q & R Trains
Bus Lines: Stops in Chinatown – M9, M15, M22 & M103
Trip to Ghana for New York City Presbytery
R ev. Dr. Yaw Frimpong-Manso, ex-Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and Designated Pastor of the Emmanuel Presbyterian Reformed Church in the Bronx, has organized with Rev. Dr. Foltz-Morrison a trip to Ghana October 15-25. We will be leaving from JFK Airport and spending the first few days in Accra, visiting our Reformed family PCG headquarters and the area before heading to Kumasi—the region of the Asante Kingdom and visiting the Manhyia Palace, and worshiping in churches in Kumasi. We then spend a couple days on Cape Coast reflecting on Ghana’s experience of colonialism and slavery, before heading back to Accra and returning to the United States. There is limited space for about 18 persons and a $200 deposit to be paid to the Emmanuel Presbyterian Reformed Church by September 15. We currently have four PNYC congregations led by Ghanaian church leaders and thank Dr. Frimpong-Manso for organizing this trip and furthering our relationship with our sister denomination in Ghana. For more information call Dr. Frimpong-Manso (914-920-8354) or Ishmael Hodanu (347-506-8041).
Examining Stewardship in Racial and Ethnic Communities
T he Rev. Dr. James Reese, now approaching the 70th anniversary of his ordination in the Presbyterian Church, believes learning about stewardship is a cross-cultural exercise. He asserts approaches to charitable giving, especially in the context of the church, are formed by a community ethos — and he has the data to back it up.

Presenting the workshop titled “Stewardship in Racial-Ethnic Communities” at the 2018 Stewardship Kaleidoscope conference in St. Louis, Reese brought his decades of experience to help answer questions of what really happens inside racial-ethnic communities to motivate and drive generosity. Reese is Minister of Specialized Interpretation at the Presbyterian Foundation.

Opening his time with a recitation of Psalm 133, Reese reminded attendees “the image of our community being good motivates us.” And the understanding of “good” within each setting is what helps to define the way groups respond to requests for giving."
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Responds to Hurricane Florence
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) urges your support for those affected by Hurricane Florence. PDA is delivering immediate aid to those impacted by Hurricane Florence on the eastern seaboard of the United States. Initial assessments suggest catastrophic destruction, but the full scope of the damage will not be known for many months. Learn more.
An Invitation to a FREE Lecture Series at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church
N ew York University social psychologist and best-selling author Jonathan Haidt will inaugurate the Anita and Antonio Gotto Lecture Series at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church on Thursday, October 25th, at 7 PM. This event is free, but registration is required.

“The Gotto Lecture Series is intended to create provocative opportunities for learning and engagement with some of the best minds in religion and ethics,” says Senior Pastor Scott Black Johnston, who will moderate the event. “At a time when Americans are divided sharply, and angrily, by politics and ideology, Jonathan Haidt helps us understand the causes of our deep polarization. More importantly, he offers hope that we can come together and heal."

Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business. His research focuses on the use of moral psychology to transcend the “culture wars," enhance public discourse and foster more civil forms of politics.
Claiming Justice in the Congregation - A FREE Webinar
Y ou’re invited to take part in a free webinar, on Wednesday, October 3rd at 3:00 PM entitled; Claiming Justice in the Congregation, where you will hear and learn stories and strategies for creating effective social justice campaigns.

Over the course of one hour, two vibrant voices for justice and reconciliation— Erin Weber-Johnson and The Reverend Dr. Derrick McQueen— bring their perspectives on the ways in which claiming a mission identity can propel a congregation into their call to social justice. Through both the wounds and triumphs of their journeys, these leaders will offer insights on what it means to be authentic and resonant in a variety of congregational contexts.

Regarding ruling elders: a monthly series for spiritual leaders
“When We Get to ‘Not Enough’”
Joan Gray - September 17, 2018
The story of the feeding of the 5,000 in Mark 6 starts with the disciples coming to Jesus and asking him to send the people away to buy food for themselves. Jesus responds to this well-meaning advice by saying, “You give them something to eat” (Mk. 6:37). The disciples look at the crowd and then look at what they have to offer, and their response to Jesus is basically, “It’s not enough!”

This same scene also plays itself out in the church repeatedly. Our congregation’s energy, facilities, and money can all seem pitifully lacking. Budget season especially can seem like a yearly opportunity to have our noses rubbed in the reality of “It’s not enough.” Sometimes it may seem that we, ourselves, are not enough. The work of officers in the church carries big responsibilities and serving as leaders can quickly push us to a place of inadequacy.
Mental Health First Aid
T he goal of Mental Health First Aid is to increase mental health literacy. Like CPR training helps a non-medical professional assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps an individual who doesn’t have clinical training assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis. In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives, with the added underlying intention to promote health literacy. 

Mental Health First Aiders learn to apply a single strategy in helping someone through a panic attack, engaging with someone who may be suicidal, supporting a person experiencing psychosis and helping an individual who has overdosed. In practicing the intervention strategy, Mental Health First Aiders learn the risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses such as anxiety, depression, psychosis and addiction; engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness; and learn information about evidence-based treatment and support - ultimately building participants' mental health 'literacy'.
Got Sermon? Truth Telling in Shifting and Familiar Seasons
G ot Sermon?, Union Theological Seminary’s biannual, lectionary study series, brings the gifts of their faculty to their alumni/ae, students, neighbors, and friends who primarily serve congregations.

During the fall semester, join them for  Truth Telling in Shifting and Familiar Seasons  with Dr. Lisa Thompson, Assistant Professor of Homiletics, Dr. Phyllis Trible, Baldwin Professor Emerita of Sacred Literature, and Dr. Brigitte Kahl, Professor of New Testament.

Tickets are $50. The cost of the event includes lunch and light refreshments.
An Invitation - A Celebration Luncheon Honoring Peggy Howland
The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship invites you to the 2018 Barstow-Driver Award Celebration where they will honor Rev. Peggy Howland. The celebration luncheon will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2018, 11:15 AM at Stony Point Camp and Conference Center in Stony Point, NY. The Rev. Dr. Janie Spahr will be the keynote speaker and there will be a special viewing of the film "Out of Order" Learn more.
Five Types of Infrequent Attendees
D eclining attendance isn’t as much of an issue in churches as declining frequency of attendance. This podcast will discuss those who miss frequently and how to solve that.
Some highlights from the podcast include:
  • For the Christian, corporate worship should not be considered optional.
  • Too often, people miss church for reasons that would not keep them from missing work or a recreational event.
  • Don’t let your church’s structure drive its mission.
  • If you have leaders in the church who consider corporate worship optional, they probably shouldn’t be a leader in the church.
How to Raise Spiritually Mature and Mentally Healthy Kids
P rayer and church attendance obviously benefit someone’s spiritual health, but research has found it also has lasting benefits for a person’s mental health.

Forbes reports a new study from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found those who were raised religious or spiritual as children are more likely to have happier lives as adults...
The Third Annual Interchurch Center Conference: Mission Driven Development
T he Third Annual Interchurch Center Conference will take place on Thursday, November 8 th at the Interchurch Center, at 475 Riverside Drive in New York. Below is the link to register for this FREE event through Eventbrite . The conference is organized by the Council of Church Advisors, Interchurch Center and Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld.
This all day event will focus on “Mission Driven Development”. The conference, which attracts an attendance of over 300, is particularly valuable to administrators and clergy, but all are welcome to attend. Participants will be offered t imely, educational sessions on how to achieve a mission for sustaining a congregation. including:
  • Developing a Mission Plan
  • Fundamentals of Effective Space Planning
  • Understanding Project Feasibility & Potential Deal Structure
  • Designing the Church of Tomorrow
  • Financial Sustainability
  • Construction Process

There will be networking breaks and lunch served, and the event will conference will conclude with a reception in the Interchurch Center art gallery.
Presbytery Meeting Dates and Material Deadlines
Stated Meeting
Sat., Sept. 29, 2018
Tues., Nov. 27,2018
Invitation Needed
Material Due (by 5:00 PM)
Fri., Sept. 14, 2018
Fri., Nov. 9, 2018
Committee on Ministry Meeting Dates and Material Deadlines
All material for COM's consideration must be emailed to the committee at com@presbynyc.org
COM Meeting Dates
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
COM Material Due Dates
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
*FRIDAY, December 21, 2018 (early)
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
On Calling a Pastor
On Calling a Pastor , is a resource for pastor nominating committees and mid councils is now available. Each section of the manual builds upon the next to walk users through the call process highlighting the partners in the call process, polity, using the CLC system, and emphasizing the need for spiritual discernment. The resource is in PDF format. It may be read online or downloaded and printed. "On Calling a Pastor" includes videos, links to online resources, case studies, and "teach the teacher" Power Points for those training pastor nominating committees. Download the full handbook or individual chapters. You may also watch supplemental videos. To access the video links from within the PDFs, click on the icons found in the various chapters.

The Church Leadership Connection staff is here to serve you. If you need any assistance or have questions, contact them by phone at 888-728-7228, ext. 8550, or by email at clcstaff@pcusa.org .
Employment Opportunities Within and Around the Presbytery of NYC
Congregational Searches
The following congregations in our presbytery are currently engaged in active searches:

  • Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church - Solo Pastor, Part-time
  • First Presbyterian Church of Flushing - Christian Educator
  • First Presbyterian Church of Flushing - Youth Director
  • Fort Washington Heights Presbyterian Church - Solo Pastor, Part-time 
  • St. Augustine Presbyterian Church - Solo Pastor, Part-time
More information on these positions can be found on the PC (USA)'s Church Leadership Connections (CLC) website.  Click here for CLC's website .
Employment Opportunities
Siloam Presbyterian Church - Assistant Sexton/Facilities Coordinator, Learn more
Stay Connected to the Presbytery of NYC
Help your congregation's members stay connected with the latest news and opportunities in and around the presbytery by subscribing to Happenings In & Around the Presbytery, the Presbytery's electronic newsletter. Keep members updated and apprised of Presbyterian events, resources, grants, and opportunities.  Have members fill out the contact information form so that their email addresses can be added to our subscribers list.  Click here  for the Contact Information Form. Once completed return the form to the presbytery office or email it to Yzette Swavy-Lipton .
Need an address or phone number for a church or a member of the NYC Presbytery? No need to call the office to get that information. You only need to log into the Presbytery ACS Database System and viola, the information is right at your fingertips.

If we have your contact information in our database you only need to create an account within the ACS System. If we do not have your contact information  click here  for the Contact Information Form. Once completed return the form to the presbytery office or email it to Yzette Swavy-Lipton so that you can be added to the database.

The ACS Member login Instructions will walk you through the process of creating an account. Once you have setup an account there is an option to download ACS's Church Life App for your mobile phone (iPhone and Android).