Summary of May 20, 2017 Presbytery Meeting


The Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse held its stated meeting on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at the First Presbyterian Church of Auburn.  We are grateful to the folks at Auburn, First who provided such gracious hospitality and such a wonderful meal!


During the worship service at this meeting, the Presbytery celebrated the Sacrament of Communion, the Rev. James Moore preached, and the Revs. James Moore and Mario Bolivar presided at the Lord’s Table.


An Administrative Commission was named to ordain Ms. Rebecca Chaffee as a Minister of Word and Sacrament. Ms. Chaffee, a candidate under care of our Presbytery, has received a call to serve as the Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Caledonia, NY. She will be examined for ordination by the Presbytery of Genesee Valley on June 20, and her call to the church will be effective July 1. The ordination service will be held at Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church on Thursday, June 29, at 7:00 p.m.


A new Child and Youth Protection Policy for the Presbytery was approved. Also approved was an amendment to the Bylaws, providing for the election of an additional member of the Leadership Team, who is between the ages of 16 and 21 inclusive. The new policy, as well as the updated version of the Bylaws and Standing Rules, are posted on the Presbytery website at


The Presbytery recognized ministers who are retiring or relocating. Earl and Sandy Arnold will be moving to the Padget-Price Presbyterian Home in Owego, NY. Stuart Hayes will be retiring in August, and we’ll recognize his retirement at the August Presbytery meeting. Caroline Simmons, who has served as the pastor at the Collamer United Church, is being assigned to a new position. She will be leaving us on June 30, 2017, and will be moving in order to serve the Rotterdam United Methodist Church near Schenectady, NY.


Sam Dance, Gordie Howard, James Moore, Doug Russell, and Dave Sandwick were recognized and thanked for their service on the Leadership Team. As specified in our Standing Rules, they now will serve for one year as members of the Nominating Committee.


Elder Linda Russell, chairperson of the Leadership Team, reported that there will be a regional conversation that will take place on June 8-9 in Auburn between representatives of our Presbytery with the presbyteries of Utica, Northern New York, and Susquehanna Valley. Among other things, the group will discuss possible ways in which resources can be shared within and between our presbyteries.


The Presbytery approved a Joint Resolution between Westminster Manor and the Presbytery, which specifically defines what has been the actual practice for the past several years, namely that the Westminster Manor and the Presbytery are completely separate non-profit corporations.


During the report of the Nominating Committee, the Presbytery proceeded to elect elder Lynn Jacques and the Rev. Beth DuBois as new members of the Leadership Team, and elected elder Gordie Howard as the new Presbytery Treasurer. The Presbytery expressed its gratitude to elder Mark Peters for his 15 years of faithful service as our Treasurer.


The Presbytery adjourned with lunch, and then gathered at the Case Mansion (now the Presbyterian Event and Retreat Center) for an afternoon of discussion with author Doug Pagitt, whose book, Flipped, people from throughout the Presbytery have been reading the past several months.


The next Stated Meeting of the Presbytery will be Tuesday, August 15, 2017, time and place to be announced.