Monday in Ministry

June 9, 2014



Dear Friends of Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery, welcome to this week's edition of our e-letter, Monday in Ministry.  Our goal is to highlight things going on throughout the Church:  within our Presbytery, in our congregations, as well as in the Synod of the Northeast and across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  Your input is valued, and your comments are always welcomed!



In This Issue


From the Stated Clerk/Communicator

Around the Presbytery

General Assembly happenings



From the Stated Clerk/Communicator


This will be the first of a brief series of our e-letter that mainly will be highlighting events and issues at the 221st meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  I hope you will find these next few issues helpful and informative. Please remember to pray for our Church, and particularly for our commissioners and YAAD to General Assembly.  The Assembly begins this Saturday, June 14, and continues through noon on Saturday, June 21.


Blessings and peace,




Around the Presbytery


For your prayers...


The Rev. Dr. Jon Rieger, who was an interim minister at United Church of Fayetteville during the '70's, has been hospitalized.  His wife Joyce would appreciate cards and notes of encouragement for him.  Their address is 1201 Red Ash Circle, Durham, NC 27704.


Jean Smith, who was organist for many years at the Sennett Church, died on May 24th at 95 years of age.  She was the widow of Frank Smith.


Regional APA Conference


The Administrative Personnel Association (APA) is a professional association that was established in 1976 by Joyce Bauer, Founding Member and Chair. It was created for the purpose of providing a supportive association that promotes continuing education, individual growth, communication, and fellowship for its members. It is a group that strengthens all lives both spiritually and professionally.  The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Regional Conference of the APA will be held July 31 - August 3 at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ.


For more information, please contact Paula Terrell at the Synod of the Northeast:, or 315.446.5990 ext. 213.



Things coming up at General Assembly


The 221st meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) begins this Saturday, June 14, in Detroit, Michigan.  Teaching and ruling elder commissioners, along with Young Adult Advisory Delegates, other advisory delegates, mid-council and national Church staff people, and visitors and observers will gather together for a week of worship, prayer, discernment, and decision-making.  Our commissioners are ruling elder Jill Fandrich (Westminster, Auburn), teaching elder Tracie Martin (Robinson Memorial), and YAAD Becky Wind (Isaiah's Table).  Our Stated Clerk/Communicator, teaching elder Steve Plank, also will be in attendance, serving on the Assembly's Advisory Committee on the Constitution, as well as being available to support our Presbytery's folks at G.A.


Some of the major things coming up at this Assembly include:

  • Overtures from four presbyteries call for a constitutional change in the PC (U.S.A.)'s definition of marriage (W-4.9000) from "a woman and a man" to "two people." Such amendments would have to be ratified by a majority of the presbyteries. Two overtures call for the Assembly to confirm the current definition of marriage and one of those also calls for a super majority (two-thirds) vote from the presbyteries in order for any amendments to take effect.
  • The PC(USA)'s Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI), completing a process that was first launched by the 2004 Assembly, is recommending that the PC(USA) divest itself of stock in three corporations- Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions - that it says are "profiting from non-peaceful pursuits in Israel-Palestine." Overtures from the presbyteries of San Francisco and Palisades support all or part of the MRTI recommendation. An overture from National Capital Presbytery opposes divestment and another from Philadelphia Presbytery calls for "a plan of active investment in projects that will support collaboration among Christians, Jews, and Muslims and help in the development of a viable infrastructure for a future Palestinian state.”
  • Two doctrinal statements will be considered by the Assembly - the Heidelberg Catechism of 1563 and the Belhar Confession, which was developed in the mid-1980s by South African churches as their theological response to the racism of apartheid.  The proposal concerning the Heidelberg Catechism is a recommendation for a new translation, and the proposal concerning the Belhar Confession is to adopt this for inclusion in our Book of Confessions.


You may follow along with the General Assembly meeting by going to the denomination's website,, or by going to PC-Biz, the Church's site dedicated to General Assembly information,



The Rev. Steven W. Plank, Stated Clerk/Communicator

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


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