Ministry Weekly e-news > Monday in Ministry - September 8, 2014
Monday in Ministry -  September 8, 2014

September 8, 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

Medical Information for Teaching Elders

2015 terms of call recommendations

From the Stated Clerk/Communicator

Around the Presbytery

Medical Information for all Teaching Elders
An Important Reminder from the Board of Pensions

Remember to complete all of your Call to Health required actions in order to realize a savings on your 2015 medical deductible. The information below is from the Board of Pensions website about this.

Required Health Actions
•   Complete a preventive exam with your primary care physician (men and women) or with your gynecologist (women).
•   Engage in telephonic health coaching (if you are contacted). If ActiveHealth Management (AHM) calls you, schedule time to talk with your nurse coach by calling AHM at 866-794-3127, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., or Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. ET. See more details about coaching sessions and about the whole Call to Health plan here.
Additional Health Actions - Choose 2
•   Take the ActiveHealth Health Assessment online at or by calling AHM at 866-794-3127.
•   Know - and record - your lab numbers at Enter them in the Health Assessment, your Personal Health Record, or the Tracker tool.
•   Have a vision exam, and certify you've taken it in the Call to Health section of
•   Participate in the AHM tobacco cessation program (if you are a tobacco user).
•   Attend a Presbyterian CREDO conference (if you are invited).
Remember, schedule your appointment(s) now to be sure you're able to complete Call to Health by September 30. All health actions must be completed by September 30 to receive lower deductibles for 2015. Health actions completed after September 30 will not count toward receiving lower 2015 deductibles.

Recommendations for 2015 terms of call
At its meeting this morning (Monday), the Presbytery's Committee on Ministry Work Group finalized what it will be proposing for the Presbytery's adoption for minimum terms of call for 2015. The Presbytery will be asked to vote on this at the October 28 Stated Meeting at First Presbyterian Church in Auburn.

The Church's Board of Pensions has determined that the median salary across the Church will increase by 1.7% in 2015, and the United States COLA (cost of living adjustment) generally has been in line with the Board of Pensions figures. Therefore, the Committee on Ministry will be recommending that the Presbytery approve a 1.7% increase in Effective Salary in 2015. This would bring the minimum terms of call effective salary figure to $46,916, which would mean a figure of $39,879 for full-time Certified Christian Educators (85% of pastors' figures), and $35,187 for full-time Commissioned Ruling Elders (75% of pastors' figures). For 2014, the COM recommended, and the Presbytery approved, no increase in terms of call.

Also, as most people are aware, the cost of medical coverage for dependents/family of those enrolled with the Board of Pensions is increasing in 2015. Currently, the Board's figures for medical coverage is 23% of effective salary; in 2015 this will remain at the same level of 23% for single member's coverage, but will increase to 24.5% for family members/dependents. The Committee on Ministry strongly recommends that congregations absorb this 1.5% increase in medical benefits costs if they are served by someone whose medical coverage fits into this increased category for costs.

Again, this will be presented to the Presbytery for vote at the October 28 Stated Meeting, but the COM is aware that many congregations are building their 2015 budgets now, so they wanted to communicate now what their recommendations are going to be.

From the Stated Clerk/Communicator
In case any of you have called or written me an email in the last several days, I've been having some technical glitches with both systems and I know that there are things I've missed. I believe that things are back to normal, but if you tried to contact me but haven't heard back, that's why. You might want to try again to make sure I have heard from you.

As ruling elder Jill Fandrich from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Auburn wrote when I posted this information on our Presbytery's Facebook page: "Nothing worse than a communicator who can't communicate! You have my empathy." Thanks, Jill... and thanks to everyone for understanding.

I should be back to normal... well, at least my email and voicemail systems should be back to normal; I can't guarantee if I will be! ... soon.

Blessings and peace,
Steve Plank

Around the Presbytery
Remember that Mr. Mario Bolivar will be ordained as a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church and installed as the Associate Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Skaneateles. This worship service of the Presbytery will be at the Skaneateles church on Thursday, September 18, at 2:00 p.m. Teaching elders and Commissioned Ruling Elders are encouraged to wear your robe or other liturgical vestment, and a red stole.

Correction regarding dates and times for Review of Session Minutes meetings
There was an error in the last listing of the dates for meetings of clerks of Sessions and others to review minutes and church registers. The error was in regards to the meetings to be held in Fayetteville. The correct listing is as follows, with the corrections underlined:
•   Thursday, October 9 in Fayetteville - 2:00-4:00 p.m. or 6:00-8:00 p.m.
•   Monday, October 20 in Fulton - 2:00-4:00 p.m.
•   Monday, October 27 in Liverpool - 2:00-4:00 p.m. or 6:30-8:30 p.m.
•   Monday, Nov. 3 in Auburn - 2:00-4:00 p.m. or 6:30-8:30 p.m.
•   Monday, Nov. 10 at West., Syracuse - 2:00-4:00 p.m. or 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Church Officer Training Event planning meeting
The next meeting to plan for upcoming Church Officer Training opportunities will be this Wednesday, September 10, at 12:30 p.m., at Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church. if you'd like to be a part of this planning, please call Pete Shidemantle at Pebble Hill for more information: (315) 446-0960.

National Historical Organ Society meeting
The 2014 national convention of the Historical Organ Society was held in August in Syracuse. Westminster Presbyterian Church in Syracuse was one of the host sites for an organ recital. We received the following from the church about this special event in their sanctuary:

"On August 12th at 2:45pm, Westminster PC hosted the Organ Historical Society's 2014 National Convention Recital. Recitalist Robert Kerner did a wonderful job playing our historical organ of 1855. The music was played beautifully. It was a wonderful sight to see our church filled with so many people from all over the world with a love for God's church and for the great instrument called the Johnson Organ. We truly enjoyed listening to the oldest pipe organ in Syracuse! Pictures and music can be found on our website ( and on our Facebook page. We truly give all honor and praise to God. Thank you to the Organ Society for choosing our church to host this wonderful event. A special thank you as well to Recitalist Robert Kerner. We were and are blessed from your presence and will cherish the memories of this day."

Westminster in Syracuse holding fund raising
The Deacons of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Syracuse are selling SaveAround Books. These are coupon books for local businesses. The cost is $20. Two of the goals for this project are to renovate a bathroom to make it handicapped accessible, and to repair some of the plumbing so that the church can host Head Start before and after school programs. Call the church for more information: (315) 471-1587.

In Memoriam
The Presbytery was notified of the death of retired teaching elder Jon Regier, who died peacefully last Tuesday, September 2. A memorial service will be held in North Carolina where Jon and his wife lived, and a service also will be held here in our Presbytery. That service will be on October 19 at 2:00 p.m. at Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church. Cards may be sent to Jon's widow, Joyce Regier, at 1201 Red Ash Circle, Durham, NC 27704. Please remember Jon's family and friends in your prayers.

Another Prayer Concern
The CE Coordinator at First Presbyterian Church in Baldwinsville, Tricia Adams, underwent extensive abdominal surgery last week. The church asks that you keep her and her family in your prayers. If you would like to send get well wishes, Tricia is at St. Joseph's Hospital and will be there for about 8 days. Her home address is 403 Walberta Road, Syracuse, 13219.

Fire in Mexico church
A few days ago there was a fire in the Wilcox House that is connected to our church in Mexico, NY. Thankfully, no one was injured and the damage was kept to a minimum thanks to their fire alarm system and to the fact that the pastor, Karen Green, and other church members were in the church at the time. If anyone in the Presbytery knows of someone who can replace acoustic ceiling tiles in a very high ceiling, please call the church at (315) 963-7902.

The Rev. Steven W. Plank, Stated Clerk/Communicator
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P. O. Box 6010
Syracuse, NY 13217-6010
(315) 632-5698




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