Monday in Ministry

March 10, 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

Around the Synod

Around the PC(USA)



Vanderkamp News


Summer Camp Registration

Registration for summer camps is now open and in full swing!  You can sign up online If you register before May 1, you are eligible for an early-bird discount!


Youth Ministry Leaders

Don't forget the Youth Ministry Leaders' Retreat, April 25-26, at Vanderkamp!  The workshop leader is Kenda Creasy Dean, and the event is titled, "Youth Ministry as a Laboratory for Hope."  More information can be found at



From the Stated Clerk/Communicator


Lenten Spiritual Disciplines

The Church traditionally has invited us to engage in three different spiritual disciplines during this ongoing season of Lent:  prayer, giving, and fasting.  My wife, Caroline, reminded me of a piece that she received years ago from a pastor, giving his perspective on fasting and feasting during Lent.  He wrote it in the form of a prayer, and I'd share it with you here for your own reflections.


In this season of Lent, there are opportunities for us to look again at who we are, to make changes in our lives, because we are reminded that you are able to resurrect us into a new life, and our part in that is to let go of the old things, the old ways, the habits that are so unlovely. We are called this season to fast from those things and we listen to your Spirit as you tell us in the language of love that we should...


fast from worry and feast on divine order, by trusting in you God;

fast from complaining, and feast on appreciation

fast on the negatives in life, and feast on the affirmations.


Help us to fast from unrelenting pressures, and feast on unceasing prayer;

to fast from hostility and feast on nonresistance,

to fast from bitterness and  feast on forgiveness.


Help us God to fast from self-concern and to feast on compassion for others,

to fast from the shadows of sorrow and to feast on the sunlight of serenity.


Remind us, God, to fast from idle gossip, and to feast instead on purposeful silence,

To fast from judging others, and feast on the Christ within them.


During this season we want to fast from the emphasis on differences,

and feast on the unity in life,

to fast from apparent darkness, and feast on the reality of light,

to fast from thoughts of illness, and feast on the healing power of you, God,

to fast from words that pollute, and feast on phrases that purify.

Help us to fast from discontent, and to feast on gratitude


During this season, and for all seasons,

we want to fast from anger and feast on optimism,

to fast from personal anxiety, and feast on eternal  truth,

to fast from discouragement and feast on hope,

to fast from all the facts in this world that depress us,

and feast on those truths that uplift us.


Dear God in this season, help us to fast from all the thoughts that tell us we are less than who we really are, and to feast on the truth of your love that calls us as your beloved children.


And in this season, as in all the seasons to come, God, we ask you to help us to fast from fear, and to feast on love.


Blessings and peace,




Around the Presbytery


Korean Partnership Team

On Sunday, April 6, youth, young adults, and folks with a heart for mission are invited to a 1:00 p.m. luncheon program at Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church to hear Mission Co-Workers from South Korea speak about their work with PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteers.  Rev. Kurt Esslinger and Hyeyoung Lee serve as site coordinators for four YAVs who serve at children's centers and a soup kitchen in Daejeon.  YAVs (age 19-30) serve a one-year assignment in a mission site in the United States or in one of seven international sites.  To reserve lunch contact Rev. Earl Arnold at 315-437-3271 or by March 31.



Our congregation in Weedsport has finished completely redesigning and updating their church website, and it is now live and online!  You can check things out by visiting their site


Katie Griffin - mission co-worker

One of the teaching elder members of our Presbytery is Katie Griffin, who is professor of Church history at the University Institute in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  She would like our help in expanding the base she is able to reach through her newsletters. (You can view some of her recent newsletters online at  If you're interested in helping support her in this small way, please contact her via email:  She and her family will be returning to the United States before long to begin interpreting their mission efforts.  Stay tuned for more information about when and where you might see and hear Katie when she's States-side.



Around the Synod of the Northeast


Synod Networks developing

One of the new things that the Synod will be supporting and encouraging as we move into our new structure is Networks.  This is the Synod's effort to create news ways for open access to Synod resources in ways that promote innovation and passionate commitment and partnerships across the 22 presbyteries in the Synod.  There already are four different Networks that have been developed:


1. Coaches to work with pastors (and congregations).

2. Working to prevent gun violence.

3. Prison ministries.

4. Pastoral renewal


Our Synod is being seen less and less as a governing entity, and more and more as a place that supports innovations in new models for ministry and mission.  It's a new and exciting time in and for the Synod of the Northeast.


You can follow along on developments in the Synod at



Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)


Glory to God Hymnal

As most may know, the Presbyterian Church has just published a new hymnal.  It is called Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal.  To find out more about the background and development of this exciting new collection of hymns, visit the Hymnal website at


Why Stay?

Tired of hearing about churches that have voted to leave the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)?  Tired of the stories of wrangling and consternation?  Want to read a different perspective?  Take a look at several of the good and exciting things that are going on in the PC(USA), and why it's good to stay!  You can read this great one-page summary here:



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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