News from the Presbytery of Western New York
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Presbytery of Western New York
Water = Life Visit to Haiti

Rev. Elena Delgado, minister member-at-large and founder of Water=Life, returns to the southern highlands of Petionville Province, Haiti January 23-30 with members of Churches in Action and Functional Literacy Ministry of Haiti. Working cooperatively with 3 community leaders in the area, Elena will be providing training support and leadership development to them and their communities through the distribution of the Sawyer SP180 filter  fulfilling the mission of W=L “to nurture the human spirit through the gift of clean water.”  

For more information about W=L, ways to support this ministry and to follow Elena’s travel blog, please go to  You can also "like" the agency on Facebook at Water=Life.  Please hold the travel group in your prayers, more importantly, pray for the children and families of Haiti who continue to suffer great poverty and hardship while remaining joyfully faithful to God’s care and presence in their lives.

Thank you to Orchard Park PC and its youth, North (Williamsville), Portsville, Baker Memorial and its children, Footsteps into the Future (a ministry of Baker Memorial), First Church Olean and St Mark’s Episcopal Church (Orchard Park) for its annual support of Water=Life.

Young Soren dreams of being a doctor. He’s come to review how to maintain his family’s filter system.

Nursery school girl hopes for a bright, healthy future

Elena and her Haiti team prepare for distribution of filters and buckets.

A proud recipient of a Sawyer filter system

Thank you for clean water!

The southern highlands of Haiti

Potential recipient filters contaminated water 

Elena compares contaminated water (right hand) to filtered water (left hand): A life-saving difference

With a little help from her friends, a student learns best practices of long-term maintenance
News from the Resource Center
Please spread the word that the Resource Center continues to be staffed and open.  We are open from 4PM -7PM on Monday and Thursdays.  Beginning the first week of February, the Resource Center is staffed Monday through Thursday from 10AM to 1PM.
Karen Muchow is in the Resource Center every Wednesday morning, Debbie Katz is at the Resource Center Monday and Thursdays afternoons and Kirsten Albrecht-Carrie is on hand Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  If you’d like to talk to an educator, you can call 631-0979 or 444-3743 to make an appointment at an additional time. 
We discovered a drawing of an open window with the following blessing in the desk at Resource Center.
On each threshold, wisdom;
At every doorway, love;
Through every entry, grace;
With each beginning; peace.
On discovering this blessing, we could hear Mary Mohlke’s voice and wanted to share this.  We continue to hold all those who are mourning Mary’s passing in prayer. We are also committed to continuing her ministry here at the Resource Center.
New Books at the Resource Center
A Faith of Your Own:  Naming What You Really Believe by Ronald J. Allen
A readable approachable to how we develop faith.  Each chapter covers a basic issue on core elements:  God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, what the church is to be, evil, Christianity and other religions.  Besides using this for an adult discussion group, you could use the introduction of this book for the parents of confirmation class.
Sailboard Church by Joan S. Gray  A good read for church leaders and sessions in our Presbytery during this Sabbath year.  An excellent book for any adult study group.
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans.  In this book, Evans exposes her thorny relationship with the church.  She articulates the concerns, frustrations and hopes of many of her peers. 
Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor by Jana Riess
Jan Riess tackles the impossible task of committing to and following twelve spiritual disciplines for one month for an entire year.  She begins with the assurance of success and discovers she flunks out a keeping every single one of them.  Her story of quest for spiritual perfection is a valuable lesson for all readers.  A must read for Lent.
What Christians Can Learn from Other Religions J. Philip Wogaman
In our increasingly and religiously diverse world where religion is often a source of division or the justification for violence and extremism, this book offers a much-needed resource.  The writing is readable and should become required reading for church leaders with study questions at the end of each chapter to facilitate  adult study groups.
Presbyterian Women
Winter Gathering
"Dangerous Waters-God’s Deliverance"

Saturday, February 6, 2016
10:30 am to 1:30 pm
First Presbyterian Church, Tonawanda, NY
Cost is $5.00 for registration and lunch

Program Leader: Jenna McArdle, Jericho Road Community Health Center
Worship Leader: Rev. Tracy Daub
Mission action offering: to provide pillows and blankets for Jericho Road Center

RSVP by January 18 to cluster leader or to Peggy Fanning, 826-7542

Directions to First Presbyterian Church, 149 Broad St., Tonawanda, NY: From north or south or east, take NY 384 (Delaware Avenue) to intersection of Delaware, Youngs and Broad.  Take Broad and proceed to church (on left), just before the town square.  From west, go north on NY 266 to Bouck Street, turn right, go two blocks to Broad and turn left, go around the town square and church is on the right.
Exodus and Exile:
North Church Adult Forum

Sundays at 9:15 (Note New Time!)

North Church has a long history of welcoming refugees that includes families fleeing the aftermath of the Vietnam War in the 1970s, Ethiopian civil war in the 80s, and the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early  90s. The conflicts of our current era have generated new streams of refugees and communities of newcomers to Buffalo. During February and March, an adult forum series will look at the geopolitical circumstances driving the flow of these newer refugees.

February 7Introduction to Refugee Resettlement Today. The Bhutanese Refugees from Nepal.   Our guest speakers will be Andy Cammarata and Bishnu Adhikari, staff members from Journey’s End Refugee Services.

February 14Family Issues among Immigrants and Refugees. Guest speaker Nadia Shahram is a practicing counsellor and attorney specializing in divorce mediation. She also authored Marriage on the Street Corners of Tehran, a 2010 novel based on true stories of Iranian Muslim women facing legal and cultural inequality in everyday life as well as in court rooms (available from the public library).

February 21Refugees from Iraq and Syria. The Rev. Rami Al Maqdasi, who served a church in Kharabba, Syria, is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Syria and Lebanon. Rami and his family have attended North Church since their arrival in Buffalo as refugees from Iraq two years ago. Prior to coming to Buffalo, Rami worked in the Middle East for agencies providing services to Syrian and Iraqi refugees and displaced persons.

February 28 -- Refugees from Burma. Our guest speaker, Lay Lay Moe, is a Burmese senior language interpreter at Jericho Road Community Health Center.
The series will continue through March 20 with presentations on Somalia, economic opportunities for refugees (Westminster Economic Development Initiative), and a panel of North Church members sharing refugee stories.
Russia Travel Study Seminar
 May 23 - June 4, 2016
Exploring the life, faith and ongoing challenges of the Christian church in Russia
These are challenging times in the former Soviet Union, but times have always been challenging in this part of the world. The character of the Russian people is shaped by what they have lived through over the course of generations. The character of Russian churches has also been shaped by the people’s experiences and their suffering. What was it like from within? How did the church survive 70 years of isolation and persecution? What do we have to learn from their experience? What does the witness of Russia’s faithful offer to our understanding of Jesus Christ?  

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the church continues to rebuild and restore the vitality of its ministry. The last 25 years have been a time of tumultuous change and periods of instability. What does it take to rebuild? What was lost and what lessons can we learn from their efforts?

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is in partnership with churches in Russia and partnership is for both the easy times and the more challenging times.  How has partnership in the last 20 years built bridges and restored relationships? What are the bonds that tie us together?

This 13-day trip (including 2 travel days) includes 2 nights in St. Petersburg, 2 nights each in the villages of Davydovo and Smolensk, 4 nights in Moscow and 1 night on an overnight train.  Participants will be away for one Sunday. 

There are still openings so they are extending the deadline for applications. Cynthia Wickwire Lundquist from Fredonia Presbyterian is currently registered for the trip. For more information on the trip click here.
Upcoming Youth Events

Feb 12-13-14-15. Mission trip to Rochester.  Leave Fri evening, back Monday afternoon.  Staying at 3rd Pres and doing meaningful work at Cameron Community Ministries.  $40 plus snacks and $ for a "go out to dinner event".  We are closing out at 40.  8th-12th graders and their advisors.  Let me know your intentions ASAP.  Preregistration plus $25 per person due by Jan 25.

March 6, Orchard Park Presbyterian invites your group to a HUNGER BANQUET from 5:00-7:00.  They are hoping you will like a shorter, mission focused fun event!  Hunger is all around us, and is one of the leading factors of conflict around the world.  Come experience, hear, taste and feel how hunger affects us all.  6th-12th graders with their advisors.  Contact Linda Babcock for more details

March 22.  School break, all day Youth Day for youth (6th-12th) and their advisors.  We’ll start with some meaningful Mission Work in the morning.  Following lunch, we’ll gather at a Church for Fun, fellowship,  games, fellowship and a hot topic discussion.  Around 5 we’ll head to Niagara Climbing Center for rock climbing, snacks and Pizza/pop until about 7.  All Day Cost- about $15 per person.  RSVP March 12

April 23.  Buffalo Riverkeepers Spring Clean-up 10AM-12PM.  We've been asked to take on the clean-up of the mouth of Scajaquada Creek.  We'll need 50-60 volunteers to work hard on this site.  Afterwards, we'll head back to back to Deerhurst to make and enjoy lunch ($7); then fellowship, discussions and games until 3:00.  RSVP by April 11.

July 19-23.  Presbyterian Youth Triennium.  There’s still room on the bus!  Open to rising 9th to graduated 12th graders, but Space is Limited.  About 6,000 from around the World are expected to attend this Life changing Event! Contact Jan in the PWNY office for more details (668-1995 or   Updated information on this was just emailed to you and your church

August.  At least 2 Mission opportunities.  Join Westminster (Buffalo) on their 4 day Middler Mission Camp (grades 5-8) Aug 15-18.  You can join Riverside on a weekend mission trip to Geneva Presbytery.  Watch for more details!

How about hosting an event at your Church?

Rich Lash (Deerhurst) cell/text 622-1922
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.
January 26
Clergy Celebrations
Ordination Anniversary
David Kunselman - 2/1/1975
Today in the
Mission Yearbook:

Presbytery of Grace

Mission Yearbook Online

Due to the high cost of printing the yearly Mission Yearbook, beginning in 2016 it will begin being provided in digital format only. Click on the link above to see each daily entry. It is no longer being published in its annual entirety, but is released a month or two at a time.
Around the Presbytery

January 28-30
Three Performances of Swingtime Canteen at First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown

January 31
Annual Service of Light at Clarence Presbyterian Church

February 12
Lenten Fish Fry at Lockport Presbyterian Home

March 20
Chicken Barbeque at Lockport Presbyterian Home

Submit your church events to be listed at
Job Postings

Shared Youth Director

Two Presbyterian churches in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY, (North Presbyterian and University Presbyterian) seek an enthusiastic Youth Director possessing good sense, tireless energy, and great organization to lead our youth in grades 7 through 12 in Christian fellowship.

The successful candidate will plan and supervise monthly fellowship activities with educational and fun programs that reflect our mission statement and maintain communications with all participating youth between fellowship activities in a way that builds a sense of caring Christian community.

Compensation will be $1,100 per month based upon an estimated need to dedicate 24 to 36 hours, with an average of 30 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. Resumes will be accepted until 5:00pm, Monday, February 15, 2016.

Buffalo City Mission

Our brothers and sisters at Buffalo City Mission are looking for candidates for current employment opportunities to serve on their team.  They asked us to spread the word, and they mentioned the following positions:  Food Service Attendant; Thrift Store Clerk; Major Gifts Officer; Manager, Donor Relations; Resident Coordinator – Buffalo City Mission; and Resident Coordinator – Cornerstone Manor.  More information is available on their website by clicking here. 

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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