Leadership Team Notes – November 12


“In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” – Max De Pree


This was one of the quotes used in our opening worship at our leadership team meeting on Tuesday.  In that spirit your presbytery’s leadership team continues to work together, seeking to discern the ways in which we can help enable our churches together to fulfill the Great Commission.


We discussed the need to extend a renewed invitation to members of our churches to be part of one of the leadership team’s work groups.  Some are active; some have not yet been activated.  Following is a brief “unofficial” description of each, with contact information for members of the leadership team assigned to that work group.  Anyone should feel free to contact them if you’d like to share your gifts in that ministry, or you can contact our Stated Clerk/Communicator, Steve Plank.  You don’t have to be an ordained elder to serve on a workgroup:


Human Resources – Staff relations and support, personnel policies, etc.  Sarah McTyre (chair) (education@parkcentralchurch.org), Charlie Smith (cms89@cornell.edu), Craig Williams (cww1@schcny.com).

Finance and Property – Issues with church properties in transition, presbytery finances and budgeting, etc.  Gordie Howard (chair) (ghoward1951@yahoo.com), Sandi Kreplin (skreplin@verizon.net), Karen McDonough (kmcdono1@twcny.rr.com).

Committee on Ministry functions – Support of clergy, clergy/church relations, guiding churches through the call process and pastoral transitions.  Bill Grossman (chair) (bgrossman@marcelluspc.com), Charlie Smith (cms89@cornell.edu), Sharye Skinner (sharyecaz@verizon.net).

Preparation for Ministry – Support and oversight of inquirers and candidates for ordained ministry and commissioned lay pastors.  Caroline Simmons (chair) (revcsimmons@gmail.com), Christian Imboden (Christian.imboden@gmail.com).

Leadership Development – Organizing gatherings and events to help equip pastors and lay leaders in our churches to grow in their faith and their ministry.  Patricia Simmons (revsimmonsp@gmail.com), Jeff Raner (ranerfamily@hughes.net).

Records and Overtures – Overseeing Session minutes review, overseeing process for overtures to, or coming from, General Assembly, etc.  Sandi Kreplin (skreplin@verizon.net), working with Sandy Sanderson (RevSandy17@aol.com).

Camping Ministry – Outdoor and camping ministries, including relationship with VanderKamp.  Pearl Fisher (diamond13205@yahoo.com), Jeff Raner (ranerfamily@hughes.net).

Committee on Representation – From the Book of Order: “to advise (the presbytery) regarding implementation of principles of unity and diversity, to advocate for diversity in leadership, and to consult with the (presbytery) on the employment of personnel . . .”  Pete Shidemantle (petephpc@twcny.rr.com), Patricia Simmons (revsimmonsp@gmail.com), Craig Williams (cww1@schcny.com). 

Any issues, concerns, suggestions or ideas for meetings of the presbytery can be shared with Steve Thomas (Moderator) (SRTJ@windstream.net) or Lorrie Anson (Vice Moderator) (lorriedayanson@yahoo.com).


A wide-ranging discussion was held regarding congregations’ and members’ perception of “the Presbytery” – relevance, helpfulness, awareness and understanding, need for per capita, how it is used, who we are as a presbytery, what we do, etc.  It is clear that these concerns continue to inhibit our ability to move forward in new and creative ways.  Your leadership team is aware of these concerns, and shares them.  We will continue to address them, and we welcome input from every quarter of our presbytery.


The special meeting of the presbytery for the purpose of voting on two proposed overtures to General Assembly – one regarding “marriage equality,” and the other that seeks an Authoritative Interpretation affirming pastoral discretion in performing marriage ceremonies – will be held on Saturday, February 1, beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Place to be determined.  A gathering for fellowship and discussion of these issues will be planned; details will be forthcoming.  


We moved forward with forming a special committee from the presbytery at-large to join with members of the leadership team to decide how best and most faithfully to use the $350,000 of presbytery assets to assist member churches in fulfilling the Great Commission.  There is still time to suggest names of folks to serve on this committee.  Contact Steve Plank or myself.


Isaiah’s Table (via Pearl Fisher) reported on the recent visit of “Coach Chris” of the “1001 New Worshipping Communities” movement in the Presbyterian Church (USA), of which Isaiah’s Table is one.  The visit and consultation was very helpful.


Bill Grossman reported that Committee on Ministry, having approved permitting the Elmwood church to place its property on the market for sale, sought approval to form a transition team to work with the Elmwood church to move from a real estate based church to a new form of ministry.  This was granted, and names were suggested of folks to serve.


Bill also suggested that our churches consider acquiring the new Presbyterian hymnal, “Glory to God,” in digital form.  It is very economical and flexible, and you can get it through PresbyterianLeader.com.


We won’t have a December meeting unless there is a reason for us to do so.  We are moving our meetings to the first Tuesday of the month, beginning in January.


Peace and God’s Blessings,

Pete Shidemantle, Chair