Monday in Ministry

November 11, 2013



In Our Newsletter

  • Social Media sites
  • The Philippines
  • Session Minutes Reviews
  • Notes from the Stated Clerk/Communicator
  • From our churches 



Follow along on our Social Media sites...


We are working with our web tech person to update the links at the bottom of our  Presbytery's website.  Hopefully within the week, you'll be able to hit the Facebook and Twitter buttons and be taken to our current and active sites, not the inactive ones that they take you to now. In the meantime, we continue to build up our social media presence.  Be sure to  "like" our Facebook page:  Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse

Stay up-to-date on Presbytery happenings. You also can keep track of happenings in and around the Presbytery via our Twitter feed:  CayugaSyracusePresby (or @CayugaSyracuseP).  Use the hashtag #cspresby to mark any tweets you make about the Presbytery.



The Disaster in the Philippines


The news has been graphic and ever-present about the terrible disaster continuing to unfold in the Philippines as a result of the super-storm, Typhoon Haiyan.  As would be expected, the Presbyterian Church already is responding.  Our General Assembly Moderator, Stated Clerk, and Mission Agency Executive Director have issued a letter calling the Church to prayer.  You may read it here:


Also, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance already has been in action.  You can follow along with what is happening, and with what we can do, by accessing the PDA webpage for this situation:



Session minutes' reviews wind up this week


This is the last week to have your Session minutes and register reviewed.  This Thursday at 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. folks will be gathering at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Syracuse. The Book of Order is clear that the proceedings of sessions are to be reviewed annually by the presbytery, just as the presbytery's proceedings are reviewed annually by the Synod. (G-3.0108a)



Notes from the Stated Clerk/Communicator


Thanks to the good work of Bill Grossman and our website tech person, Brian Wolken, I have a new email address that is based on our domain name.  From now on, you should feel free to contact me at [].  I'll still be checking my gmail address for a while, but I'll begin to phase that out before long.  Please be sure to change this in your address book and records.


I've been reflecting quite a bit today about the fact that it is Veteran's Day.   I confess that I feel a bit conflicted about this day.  On the one hand, I am profoundly grateful for those who have served, and who continue to serve, in our military services.  We too easily take for granted the freedoms we enjoy, and many of those freedoms have been enshrined by the sacrifices of our military members.  At the same time, I bemoan the fact that we have chosen to go to war as a nation numerous times.   I believe that war is most always indicative of a failure:  a failure of communication, of understanding, of diplomacy, of negotiation.  To be sure, the Church over the  centuries has declared certain conflicts to be "just wars."  But even the fact  that the Church came up with that concept early in its life indicates that there  had been some question about whether a Christian, as a member of society, could  participate in the actions of a government that was attempting to protect peace  and punish wickedness.

Here's what I think... First, war is an indication of the reality of sin and brokenness in our fallen world.  Second, I have the luxury of standing at my computer desk  to write this because people have sacrificed to protect our nation and our freedoms, and for those people I am profoundly grateful.  Third, we are called to work for  peace:  interpersonally as well as internationally.

I have a framed poster ready to hang in my study that speaks my heart's desire and my challenge about standing for peace.  Here's what it says:

"Peace plans its strategy and encircles the enemy.  Peace marshals its forces and storms the gates.  Peace gathers its weapons and pierces the defense.  Peace, like war, is waged. But Christ has turned it all around:

  • the weapons of peace are love, joy, goodness, longsuffering;
  • the arms of peace are justice, truth, patience, prayer;
  • the strategy of peace brings safety, welfare, happiness;
  • the forces of peace are the sons and daughters of God."

And so today, I have offered prayers of thanks for our military and civilian service members, and I have offered prayers for peace.  That's how I've tried to honor and observe this Veteran's Day.


Blessings and peace, Steve



From our churches


Two events are coming up soon at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Syracuse.  A Church Bazaar will be held at the church on Saturday, November 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The church is located at 1601 Park Avenue.  Then, on November 19 at 6:30 p.m., the church will be hosting a lecture on Social Justice and Dialogue on Community with the Micah Center.


Our Korean Partnership Team, which meets on November 19 at Pebble Hill Church, has a wonderful Facebook page about a recent visit by Rev. Ed Kang to the Young Adult Volunteer site in South Korea.  You can see several pictures and read more about it here:


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).  We want folks to know what God is doing in and through your community of faith!



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