Monday in Ministry

January 21, 2014



In Our Newsletter


Presbytery online

Annual Reports and Per Capita

Mission Workers visiting here

Notes from the Stated Clerk/Communicator

From around the Presbytery



Presbytery's online presence.


Be sure to "like" our Facebook page:  Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse.  Stay up-to-date on Presbytery happenings.  We have 96 people who have "liked" our page!  That's awesome!  Please help continueto spread the word.


And on Twitter:  @CayugaSyracuseP.  Use the hashtag #cspresby to mark any tweets you make about the Presbytery.



Annual Reports to Presbytery and General Assembly, and per capita


Clerks of Session have been hard at work this month on compiling information needed for the annual reports to Presbytery and to the General Assembly.  Our thanks for all that good work!


Your help is appreciated in completing these annual reports in a timely manner.   Most of the reports should be submitted by the end of January.  Reporting of ministers' terms of call is due by February 28.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with any of these reports, please don't hesitate to contact Steve Plank, Stated Clerk/Communicator, at, or (315) 632-5698.


Also, treasurers should be aware that the deadline for per capita apportionment payments is January 24.  If you need to pay later than that, please send a note to our bookkeeper, Paula Lamberson, with your plans and needs.  And just so everyone knows, no matter when congregations submit their per capita to the Presbytery, the Presbytery is required to pay the year's per capita in full.  Your timely attention to this is most appreciated.



From the Korean Partnership Team


The Korean Partnership Team is seeking a home-stay invitation for Rev. Kurt Esslinger, his wife Hyeyoung Lee, and their one-year old son, Sahn, for four nights, Thursday-Sunday, April 3-6, 2014, while they visit Central New York to interpret their mission work in South Korea where they serve as site coordinators for four PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteers.  During this visit, they will also need the use of an approved car seat suitable for one-year Sahn.  For more information, or to volunteer your help, contact Linda Russell at or 315-730-6930.



Notes from the Stated Clerk/Communicator


I have a deep and abiding appreciation for the liturgical calendar of the Church.  It provides a framework and rhythm for remembering... for remembering God's redeeming and intervening work in human lives and history, for remembering the power and wonder of the Holy Spirit, for remembering to pause and reflect and confess.  And so Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost provide that ongoing rhythm of faith and life, of worship and prayer within the community of the Church.


But here we are today.  It's just after the first of the Sundays in "Ordinary Time."  For those of you not as familiar with the liturgical year, there are two Ordinary Times during the year:  between the Baptism of the Lord and Ash Wednesday, and between Pentecost and Advent.  Just as our Book of Confessions has the Shorter Catechism and the Larger Catechism, ... (and can anyone tell me why it's "shorter" and "larger," and not "shorter" and "longer," or "smaller" and "larger"?  Inquiring minds want to know!) ... so there is a shorter and longer duration of Ordinary Time every year.  The challenge, at least for me, is that these weeks are so, well, "ordinary."  There's not the anticipation of Advent, the wonder of Christmas, the solemnity of Lent, the joy of Easter, or the celebration of Pentecost.  It's all just "ordinary."


Yet isn't this, too, part of the beauty and wisdom of the liturgical calendar?  These two seasons of the year remind us that God comes to us where we live most all the time - in the routines of life that is ordinary.  To be sure, there are times of joy and celebration and wonder in our lives, just as there are times of pain and grief and even despair.  But most of life for us is lived neither in the heights nor in the depths.  Rather, most of life is, yes, ordinary.


God is with us in the "ordinariness" of life, too.  God is with us when things just go on and on each day.  God is with us when life feels boring.  God is with us in the mundane routines of our lives.  God is still Immanuel.  Christ still suffered with us and for us, and then rose in power for us.  The Spirit still fills us with power and gifts for ministry and witness.


All in the "ordinary" times of our lives.


Blessings and peace,




News from around the Presbytery


Vanderkamp is sponsoring a two-day Youth Ministry Leader Retreat, April 25-26.  The leader will be the Rev. Kenda Creasy Dean, a United Methodist pastor who works closely with the Institute for Youth Ministry, and is Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture at Princeton Seminary.  More information can be found at


Pete Shidemantle and Karen Dimon are participating in this year's Food Stamp Challenge, being coordinated in our area by the InterFaith Works Roundtable of Faith.  This Hunger Awareness Project is taking place from Feb. 9-15, 2014.  To find out more about this, you may call (315) 449-3552.


What's happening in your congregation?  Be sure to email your church newsletter to Steve Plank, or include the Presbytery in your regular mailing list.  (Contact information is below, or send an email to  We want folks to know what God is doing in and through your community of faith!



This e-newsletter is sent to all Commissioners, Ministers, Clerks, Christian Educators, and others interested in the life of the Presbytery of Cayuga - Syracuse.


Each newsletter features timely announcements and worthwhile information-assembled from notices we receive from you in our churches, the Synod of the Northeast, and various programs and offices of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).


Presbytery of Cayuga Syracuse

P.O. Box 6010

Syracuse, NY 13217-6010

(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