Monday in Ministry

January 27, 2014



In Our Newsletter


Facebook page expanding

Annual Reports and Per Capita

New options for Korean exchanges

Notes from the Stated Clerk/Communicator

From around the Presbytery



Presbytery's online presence.


Be sure to "like" our Facebook page: or Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse.  Stay up-to-date on Presbytery happenings.  We had 160 people who read the last few posts on our website, and we currently have 98 "likes!"  Keep spreading the word!


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



Clarification about per capita... and Annual Reports


In last week's e-letter, mention was made that the deadline for per capita apportionment payments was January 24.  What was not clear was that this was the deadline for receiving payments from 2013 outstanding balances.  It is NOT the due date for this year's per capita.  Apologies for any misunderstanding.  Church treasurers should have received the statement for 2014 per capita.  If you have any questions about that, please get in touch with our bookkeeper, Paula Lamberson:, or (315) 307-2024.


Clerks of Session have been busily completing annual reports to Presbytery and to General Assembly.  This work is much appreciated!  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.



New Options for Korean exchanges


In an effort to provide more flexibility for members of Cayuga-Syracuse, our presbytery partners from Pyongyang Presbytery have adjusted their invitations for youth and adults to visit South Korea in 2014.  The April 17-25 option may be attractive to youth whose spring break falls this week.  This delegation now has openings for two young people (age 14-21) and two additional adults (pastor, elder, deacon, educator, youth advisor, PWP representative); the July 15-23 delegation has openings for four young people and four adults.


A major focus on both trips will be joining PC(USA) mission co-workers in Daejeon and spending time with the four Young Adult Volunteers from the United States currently serving a one-year mission assignment in South Korea.  Delegates will join Korean youth and church leaders in the Seoul area for experiencing Korean worship and culture, and adults will be partnered with Korean counterparts for a "shadowing" experience and in-depth dialogue about stories, questions, insights and challenges of Christian ministry in 2014. Delegates are responsible for personal airfare costs; all other expenses are covered by Pyongyang Presbytery.


Folks interested in the April trip are urged to respond by February 17 or sooner.  For more information contact Linda Russell (; 315-730-6930) or Rev. Shawn Reyburn (; 315-663-6851).



Notes from the Stated Clerk/Communicator


Years ago I saw a cartoon... one of those "church chuckles" things.  It showed a pastor in his study at church, kneeling by a sofa, obviously in prayer.  The church secretary walks in, sees the pastor, and says, "Oh, good.  You're not busy."


There are times for me that praying comes as naturally as my breathing... and that's my goal.  There are other times - okay, that's most of the time! - when prayer is not the first, natural, automatic, primary, consistent part of how I spend my day.  St. Paul tells us to "pray always."  I'm sure he doesn't mean that we spend every moment with our eyes closed, head bowed, and hands clasped.  After all, that's sure not how HE spent his days!  What I believe he meant is that we live every moment in communion with God... in contact... in relationship... conscious of the Lord's presence within us, around us, and within others.  And that, after all, is the essence of what prayer is and does, don't you think?


During Lent one year in the last congregation I served as pastor, we decided to offer a service of Morning Prayer every day at 9:00 a.m. in the Chapel at the church.  A handful of people came most days during Lent.  When Lent was over, they asked, "Do we have to stop now?"  I was stunned... ecstatically so!  I don't think I ever had someone come up to me and ask to keep praying together!  So, we decided to keep it going.  Now, after a few months, it generally was only one ruling elder who would meet me in the Chapel at 9:00 a.m. for Morning Prayer, but we did that for several years.  I miss that time.  I miss having someone to pray with.  More than that, though, I miss the spiritual discipline of being accountable to someone else for at least one time each day when I spend moments in prayer, silence, and Scripture reading.  I want to find that structure again.


How about you?  How is prayer for you?  Do you have someone with whom you pray?  Do you have a set time or structure or format for prayer, for silence, for meditation, for devotional reading?


I think we all want to feel centered in our lives:  anchored, solid, focused, balanced, at peace.  I believe we all want to live into that reality about which St. Paul wrote:

"Don't be anxious about anything; rather bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks.  Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 4:6-7, Common English Bible)


Maybe a group of folks in our Presbytery would like to begin meeting regularly to pray together.  Maybe such a group or groups already does that!  I trust you'll join me in wanting to find some folks with whom to engage in the practices of the spiritual life.  And in the meantime, keep praying; you, me, our churches, our communities, our world all need it!


Blessings and peace,




News from around the Presbytery


Remember that 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


InterFaith Works is looking to fill three different positions:  Program Director for Senior Services, Associate Director for Intensive Care Management, and Director of the Center for Dialogue. If you'd like to find out more, please see our website for the job postings:  You also can find out more information at


Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church is looking for someone to fill an office administrator position at the church.  If you know of someone who may be interested, please invite them to send their information to Pete Shidemantle at


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