Ministry Weekly e-news > Monday in Ministry - October 26, 2015
Monday in Ministry - October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015
Dear Friends of Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery,

Welcome to this week's edition of our e-letter, Presbytery Matters. 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.). We hope that these are things that will be helpful, informative, challenging, encouraging, supportive. In other words, we hope that these things will matter. Your input is valued, and your comments are always welcomed!

Joys and Concerns around the Presbytery
In our prayers together this week...

Pray for Lori Newman Wilkins, daughter of teaching elder Janet Newman and her husband, Rich. Janet asked that we share this with the Presbytery:
Our daughter, Lori, is in a Chicago hospital receiving treatment for Giullain-Barre Syndrome. Some may remember, Lori, as she attended Triennium as a teenager and then returned as a chaperone when in college. She is in the beginning stages of the disease and we do not know what the extent of damage may be, but we pray for a full recovery and strength for a long journey. Lori is a neuroscientist at Syracuse University and lives in Syracuse with her husband and two year old son.
Janet is a former Presbytery moderator and she and her husband worship at Westminster Church in Auburn. Janet made several trips to Korea with our Mission and Ministry Team, and she and Rich just hosted two of our Korean partners.

In the cycle of prayer for our Presbytery, please pray for these congregations, faith communities, and individuals: Columbian, LaFayette; First, Liverpool; First, Marcellus; First, Mexico; Morrisville Community Church.

If you'd like to share a particular joy or concern with the Presbytery, please contact Steve Plank at

From the Stated Clerk/Communicator
This is one of my favorite weeks in the Church's liturgical calendar. Many congregations yesterday observed Reformation Sunday, and many this Sunday will observe All Saints Sunday.

I love Reformation Sunday because I'm a history nerd, and I find it fascinating to delve into the chaos of the 16th century and observe all of the creative expressions of faith and life that were born from that time. I know that Reformation Sunday has been used historically by many to wield an ecclesiastical club and say, "See. Catholics bad. Protestants good." That is, of course, most definitely not the case! There was much that needed reform in Roman Catholicism at the time, and that Church engaged in its own sense of reform during the Council of Trent in the latter years of the 16th century. There also were some horrific events perpetrated in the name of religion by Protestants of the age...such as Martin Luther's invectives against German Jews. So, that was a century filled with all sorts of mixed experiences. Nevertheless, the observation of the Reformation invites us to remember our ecclesiastical and theological roots, especially based on John Calvin as filtered down to us via John Knox and the Scots.

I love All Saints Sunday because it reminds me that I do not walk my journey with Christ alone, nor even with people I know and see around me now. All of us are reminded to be mindful of the "great cloud of witnesses" that surrounds us, as so movingly spelled out by the author of the New Testament book of Hebrews in chapters 11 and 12. All of us are reminded during Communion services that we join our voices with "angels and archangels, with prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and with all the faithful of every time and place" in giving praise to God.

The roots of faith within us are deep, and our companionship on the journey of faith is broad, spanning cultures, languages, economics, and even time itself. For whatever reasons, I find that it is important for me to remember these truths of faith and life.

I pray you'll find some comfort and strength in the meaningfulness of this time in the Church's life.

Blessings and peace,
Steve Plank

Around the Presbytery
Rummage and Bake Sale in Liverpool
First Pres. in Liverpool is having a Rummage and Bake Sale this Saturday, Oct. 31, from 9:00-3:00. All proceeds will benefit local and worldwide missions.

Installation this Sunday afternoon
The Rev. George Huffsmith will formally be installed as the pastor of the Sennett Federated Church this coming Sunday, November 1, at 4:00 p.m. The service will be held at the church, located at 7777 Weedsport-Sennett Road, Auburn. A supper will follow. Both Presbyterians and Baptists will be involved in leading this service of worship. The Presbytery is invited.

Jazz Vespers Sunday afternoon
The tradition of a Jazz Vespers service at Pebble Hill Church, in partnership with CNY Jazz Central, continues. This Sunday there will be an All Saints Jazz Vespers service at the church, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Ronnie Leigh is the featured artist. Jazz selections will be drawn from secular and sacred sources, with inspirational readings and homily. Admission is free, though contributions are suggested.
Country Crossroads Bazaar in Morrisville
The Country Crossroads Bazaar will be held on Saturday, November 7, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Morrisville Community Church, Swamp Road, Morrisville. The Bazaar will feature a unique arrangement of shops to visit: "The Stitchery", "The Twisted Vine", "The Country Peddler", "The Bake Shop" and "St Nicholas' Place". These shops will offer a multitude of handcrafted items ranging from needlework, woodwork, dried flower arrangements, holiday decorations, quilts and baked goods to gift items plus antiques and collectibles from "Grandma's Attic". "Mrs. Claus' Café" will open at 8:30 for coffee and goodies and serve lunch from 11-1. Come for a full day of shopping, socializing, and snacking. For more information call (315) 684-3314, visit the church's website at, or see their Facebook page. Sponsored by the Presbyterian Women of the church.

Special Worship Service to honor Morrisville veterans
Morrisville Community Church has planned a special service for Sunday, November 8th to honor the veterans of the community and surrounding area. A veteran from Morrisville State College will be giving the message with other veterans participating. There will be a reception following the service. All are welcome.

Around the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Discuss the identity and purpose of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as part of a church-wide conversation initiated by the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly. "Please share your insights, wisdom, hopes and dreams for the PC(USA)," said Margaret Elliott, moderator of the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly. "Through careful listening and honest sharing we can create a church for this time and place." Talk individually or in groups using a discussion guide downloadable at Hear how to walk through using the guide on information calls:
Friday, October 30, 10-11 a.m. (EDT)
Wednesday, November 4, 3-4 p.m. (EST)
Monday, November 9, 8-9 p.m. (EST)
Use call in (800) 231-0316, or (314) 696-0504 for international participants

Also share thoughts using an online form available until November 13 at, and join Larissa Kwong Abazia, Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly (2014), in Twitter chats. She'll be @LarissaLKA using the hashtag #pcusaidentity on:
Monday, October 26, 6-7 p.m. (EDT)
Thursday, November 12, 9-10 p.m. (EST)

The 222nd General Assembly (2016) will use much of the information gathered to collectively discern God's call for the church. Contact for questions or more information.

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