News from the Presbytery of Western New York
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Presbytery of Western New York

Call to Prayer After Terrorist Attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad

God of mercy, whose presence sustains us in every circumstance, in the midst of unfolding violence and the aftermath of terror and loss, we seek the grounding power of your love and compassion. In these days of fearful danger and division, we need to believe somehow that your kindom of peace in which all nations and tribes and languages dwell together in peace is still a possibility.

Give us hope and courage that we may not yield our humanity to fear, even in these endless days of dwelling in the valley of the shadow of death.

We pray for neighbors in Paris, in Beirut, in Baghdad, who, in the midst of the grace of ordinary life--while at work, or at play, have been violently assaulted, their lives cut off without mercy. 

We are hostages of fear, caught in an escalating cycle of violence whose end can not be seen.

We open our hearts in anger, sorrow and hope: that those who have been spared as well as those whose lives are changed forever may find solace, sustenance, and strength in the days  of recovery and reflection that come. We give thanks for strangers who comfort the wounded and who welcome stranded strangers,for first responders who run toward the sound of gunfire and into the smoke and fire of bombing sites. 

Once again, Holy One, we cry, how long, O Lord? We seek forgiveness for the ways in which we have tolerated enmity and endured cultures of violence with weary resignation. We grieve the continued erosion of the fabric of our common life, the reality of fear that warps the common good. We pray in grief, remembering the lives that have been lost and maimed, in body or spirit.

We ask for sustaining courage for those who are suffering; wisdom and diligence among global and national agencies and individuals assessing threat and directing relief efforts; and for our anger and sorrow to unite in service to the establishment of a reign of peace, where the lion and the lamb may dwell together, and terror will not hold sway over our common life.

In these days of shock and sorrow, open our eyes, our hearts, and our hands to the movements of your Spirit, who flows in us like the river whose streams makes glad the city of God, and the hearts of all who dwell in it, and in You.

In the name of Christ, our healer and our Light, we pray,  Amen.

—Prayer by the Rev. Dr. Laurie Ann Kraus
Coordinator, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance


Multifaith Thanksgiving Celebration

33rd Annual!
“Giving Thanks & Caring for Our Earth”
Monday, November 23 at 7 PM
St. Joseph Cathedral
50 Franklin St., Buffalo
Bring a non-perishable food item for an offering.
Presented by the National Federation for Just Communities & the Network of Religious Communities.
More info at 853-9596 or by clicking here
Multi-Church Youth Group Events Are Back!

This past October, 70+ youth and advisers from various churches throughout WNY gathered for a weekend of fellowship, faith and nurturing at historic and picturesque Camp Duffield.  Thanks to a Presbytery grant, we were able to have this gratifying retreat at $60 per person! This gathering proved more than just a weekend of fun and laughs but of spiritual nurturing featuring a keynote speaker, multi-media presentations, energizers, group building games, small group sessions, Communion celebration and homemade heavenly s’mores.  This Montreat-like experience was new to many who attended.  It inspired deep conversations about bullying, faith formation, doubt, making a difference in our community and how to change the world one person at a time.  It was an experience that made life long impressions on the attendees and has inspired many to deeply consider their relationship with God. We have already begun planning next year’s conference, using the feedback from attendees to make it an even more life-changing experience.  Save the Date: Oct 7-8-9, 2016! Thank you for all of those who supported and attended the retreat.  It proved to be a huge success and great opportunity to really focus on youth issues in a safe and nurturing environment.  Thanks be to God!!!
On Nov 8, close to 70 youth and adults from Lockport, Clarence, North, Riverside and Deerhurst Churches attended the Lockport First Veterans Day Dance.  All enjoyed an evening of dancing, energizers, fellowship and FUN. This was the biggest attendance in years, and loads of fun for all who attended.  Thanks for inviting us all!
Save the dates for these upcoming events:
Sat, Nov 21. Help! We still need about 8-10 more folks.  All day or parts of it.  6th-12th. St Luke's Mission of Mercy, Recreation, Dinner, Fun, Fellowship, Games .....
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
A conversation with Jan about all those duplicate emails

Hi folks!  I get a lot of people wondering if I’m purposely sending them duplicates on the emails.  No, I’m not.  I wish I could just include everyone once, but Gmail doesn’t work that way.  When I am asked to send to “All Known Presbyterians in WNY” I actually send to 12 different distribution lists.  See, Gmail can only send to so many email addresses at once.  (Otherwise it registers it as Spam.)  Which is why I have 12 distribution lists.  Some of those lists combine committees, so if you’re on 2 committees and they are lumped together, you could be getting only 1 email – if Gmail is working right.

I’ll use Bronwen as an example, since she’s on the most committee lists.  She gets 1 email because she’s a minister; 1 for being on CRRR/CLT; 1 for COM; 1 for Nominating/Office Staff/OMT; 1 for Personnel/Council/Trustees.  So, unless Gmail doesn’t recognize her duplicates in the combined committee lists, she gets 5 of the same emails.  Otherwise, she could get 10.  Whew!
If you are on a committee, you will receive an email as an individual as well as committee member.  You might get an additional one if you are on more than one committee.  Please just delete any duplicates.  Better yet – send it on to someone you know doesn’t get them!

Sorry, it’s just the way Gmail works.  By the way, it usually takes at least 5 minutes when I send one of those out because I have to be sure the first email actually went through before I send the next one.  Isn’t technology great!?!
Triennium Transportation Deadline

The Presbytery of Western New York has a GO Team so we can gather a delegation to attend the 2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium on the campus of Purdue University. We want your youth to be a part of the delegation! Here is the first date to keep in mind.

Contact Jan in the office for more details (668-1995 or by November 23, 2015 (Monday before Thanksgiving) - this is the deadline for letting the GO Team know how many from your church are interested in attending. We are securing one bus for our delegation. This bus seats 56 people, and there are 53 churches in the Presbytery. Not all churches will have participants, however, we already know of a couple churches that want to send quite a few youth. If we need to secure additional transportation, we need to know right away.
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.
November 17
Clergy Celebrations
Ordination Anniversary
Debra Wright - 11/18/2001
Marilyn Hale - 11/23/1997
Today in the
Mission Yearbook:
Around the Presbytery

November 20
Orders due for Lockport Presbyterian Home Poinsettia & Wreath Sale

November 16-23
Drop Off for Operation Christmas Child at First Presbyterian Church of Lewiston

November 22
Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra Presents Viva Vivaldi at First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo

Tree of Tribute at Lockport Presbyterian Home

December 3 & 4
Holiday Bazaar at Lockport Presbyterian Home

December 4
Holiday Vacation Bible School at Faith United Presbyterian Church

December 5
A Christmas Carol starring Mike Randall at Kenmore Presbyterian Church

December 5
Annual Cookie House at Randolph United Presbyterian Church, 9 AM til Sold Out!

December 5 & 6
Alternative Christmas Marketplace at Fredonia Presbyterian Church

December 12
Breakfast with Santa at Maryvale Drive Presbyterian Church

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

Submit your church events to be listed at
Job Postings
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.

Organist / Pianist - Choir Director, Amherst Presbyterian Church:
One Sunday morning service with choir rehearsal following; one weekly evening choir rehearsal; 4-6 hr other worship services. Rodgers Scarborough 110E organ. Four weeks paid vacation. Salary: $7324. Send resume to

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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