News from the Presbytery of Western New York
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Presbytery of Western New York
Christ the Savior is born! Merry Christmas from the Presbytery of Western New York!

Please note: there will be no weekly newsletter next week (December 29). The regular weekly newsletters will resume on January 5.
THANK YOU to the Presbytery of Western New York for your many gifts and good wishes as I end my time on staff. Thank you for honoring me at the last presbytery meeting and with the beautiful reception at the presbytery office. It has made saying goodbye a little easier.  I am grateful for the time that I have served with you all as your Stated Clerk and then as Presbyter of Discipleship, Communication and Transformation. I’m not sure what the future holds but I know God holds the future!  Blessings to you all and again Thank you!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Presbytery Group Health Insurance Plan for 2016
The Presbytery has a group health Insurance plan with Blue Cross / Blue Shield of WNY for 2016.  The plan is open to churches with non-ordained staff members working at least 20 hours a week.  There are four BC/BS medical plan options to choose from, and a Guardian Dental plan is also available.  Please contact Dale Harten at the Presbytery office (ASAP) for more information, and to complete enrollment by the end of 2015.  Thank you.
STEP: Transitional Ministry for the 21st Century
The Synod of the Northeast is offering scholarship assistance to persons interested in an ecumenical transitional, interim ministry training,  "S.T.E.P. - Transitional Ministry for the 21st Century" offered in the Albany, NY area January 20-23, 2016, by the Samaritan Center.  The Strategic Transitional Educational Program (S.T.E.P.) approach is a significant rethinking of the skills and capacities needed for the new realities of congregational transitions. 
The Samaritan Center writes, "The face of interim ministry has changed drastically over the past 25 years. From short term, fill the pulpit situations to long term positions requiring system assessment skills and emotional intelligence, interim ministry has become transitional ministry. Congregations need help transitioning between pastors and also in navigating the swiftly changing landscape of ministry in the 21st Century. S.T.E.P. provides the only evidence based approach to the many transitions churches are encountering."  
The Synod is offering limited grants of $500 toward the cost of this program. Letters of application should include details on how this training will be used by the applicant and endorsement by the applicant's presbytery council, or COM. Please email your letter to Samantha Demko. 
Upcoming Multi-Church
Youth Group Events
Save the dates for these upcoming events:
Dec 29.  Tuesday, Christmas Break Youth Group Day. 9AM-9PM. All day or parts of it. Meaningful Mission work, recreation, dinner, discussion, fellowship & games.  6th - 12th
Jan 15-16-17. Martin Luther King Winter Weekend 2: Fri evening to Sun morning. 6th-12th
Feb 13-14-15-16. Presidents Day weekend mission trip to Rochester.  Fri evening to Monday afternoon.  Staying at 3rd Pres and working at Cameron Community Ministries and other sites.  8th-12th graders and their advisors
March 6, Orchard Park Presbyterian hosts a HUNGER BANQUET from 5:00-7:00.  6th -12th
April 23.  Buffalo Riverkeepers Spring Clean-up 10AM-3PM. Need 50-60 volunteers. 
July 19-23.  Presbyterian Youth Triennium.  The Presbytery of WNY is providing a bus and Adult Advisors to this Life Changing Event.  Rising 9th to graduated 12th.
August.  Middler Mission Camp and a Weekend mission trip to Geneva Presbytery.
If you would like more information, or know someone else that should also be receiving emails about upcoming youth events, please email Rich Lash at or Mark Aquino at

Presbyterian Senior Care Board Nominations Sought

Presbyterian Senior Care, which was incorporated in 1957 as a 501(c)(3) organization, is currently accepting nominations for both Presbyterian Senior Care and Presbyterian Senior Care Foundation Boards of Directors.
Our mission is to “enhance the life experience of aging persons in western New York through a dedicated team who provides a range of services and residential options”.
Presbyterian Senior Care currently operates three communities:
  • KenTon Presbyterian Village, which provides affordable housing to individuals over 62, and individuals under the age of 62, with a mobility impairment.  We provide an option to receive supportive services which allow our residents to age in place.
  • Lockport Presbyterian Home, an adult care facility which provides 24 hour care similar to assisted living to our residents who are over 62 year of age.
  • Presbyterian Village at North Church in Williamsville, which provides gracious worry free independent living options for seniors over the age of 62. 
Presbyterian Senior Care is in the third year of an aggressive strategic plan which is forward thinking and dedicated to assuring that we provide the communities and services this and future generations of seniors desire.
We are currently pursuing nominees to our Boards with the following areas of expertise: Banking and/or Investment, Elder Law, Financial Planning, Insurance, Senior Services, PR/Marketing and Strategic Planning.  We are also interested in nominations of western New York clergy, local business owners and leaders in WNY corporations.
Individuals interested in more information about this opportunity, should contact Karin Ziegler, President and CEO at or 716.631.0123.
Union Presbyterian Seminary 2016 Congregational Leadership Awards

Is your congregation or a congregation in your presbytery doing innovative ministry?

Union Presbyterian Seminary offers eight Congregational Leadership Awards annually.   Since 1991, 117 churches in 29 states have received these awards. Each of the eight awards carries a $1,000 prize to support the congregation in its ministry. For more information and to apply for one of the 2016 Union Presbyterian Seminary Congregational Leadership Awards, you may download the brochure and application by clicking here or request an application by sending an e-mail to April Swofford at or calling 1-800-229-2990, ext 231. The application and instructions are only available electronically. The deadline for the 2016 awards is FEBRUARY 15, 2016.
December 22
Clergy Celebrations

Happy Birthday!
Robert Bellingham - 12/24
Rachel Brown - 12/27
Bryan Powell - 12/29

Happy Anniversary!
Rodney & Joan Houck - 12/27/1959
James Hills & Oew Sook Kim - 1/3/2004
Today in the
Mission Yearbook:
Around the Presbytery

December 23
Blue Christmas Service at First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown

January 23
Robert Burns Dinner at Riverside Presbyterian Church of Niagara Falls

Submit your church events to be listed at
Job Postings

Part-time Christian Education Director (20 hours/week, salaried)

First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo is hiring a part-time Christian Education Director to facilitate growth and retention of Sunday school classes, serve as representative to the Christian Education Committee and moderate monthly meetings, help with the recruitment and training of volunteer Sunday school teachers and nursery staff, plan Adult Christian Education programs and facilitate classes when required, and assist with special ministries and events during the program year.

The ideal candidate will be organized, motivated, and visionary, with a passion for Christian Education ministry that nurtures the faith of its participants; and demonstrate the ability to prioritize, problem solve, manage change and multiple projects, and have an inviting and approachable demeanor and the ability to lead, engage, and encourage others.

Send resumes to First Presbyterian Church, One Symphony Circle, Buffalo, NY 14201 or

MacAlpine Presbyterian Church - Vibrant and diverse East Side congregation seeks pastor to preach and lead Sunday worship; moderate Session; provide visitation and conduct funerals.  30 hours per month.  Monthly compensation and mileage provided.
Contact Deborah Leeper, 834-1345.

Coordinator of Pre-Teen Christian Fellowship - North Church, Williamsville

North Church seeks an enthusiastic Coordinator of Pre-Teen Christian Fellowship possessing good sense, tireless energy, and great organization to lead our youth in grades 3 through 6 in Christian fellowship.
The successful candidate will plan and supervise fellowship activities with educational and fun programs that reflect our mission statement, plan and conduct the “Children’s Message” as requested by the pastor during the 10:45 a.m. Sunday service, and supervise Sunday school teachers.
Compensation will be $500 per month for a full calendar year based upon an estimated need to dedicate 8 to 16 hours, with an average of 12 hours, per month to fulfill the requirements of the position. Please contact Lee Broad at (716) 839-0767 or at for more information and/or position description.
Director of Youth Ministries, Hamburg
The primary goal of Hamburg New York Presbyterian Church's Children's and Youth ministry is to bring youth from grades PreK-12 into significant relationship with Jesus Christ, and to guide them as Christ's disciples in every aspect of life-to learn and know of God's deep love for them, to love and be a significant part of church, and to have Christian community with one another. The Director of Youth Ministries will demonstrate a quality of life that commends the Gospel to all people.
Skills Required:
  • Active Christian with an understanding and support of the Presbyterian Reformed Tradition.
  • Possess (or working full time towards completion) Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Degree (minimum).
  • Possess a valid NYS driver's license.
  • Experience teaching of children and youth. (Degree in Christian Education or Youth Ministry can be substituted.)
If you possess the necessary credentials as stated above and are interested, please email your contact information and resume.

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