News from the Presbytery of Western New York
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Presbytery of Western New York
It is 2016 – Happy New Year! With the new year comes some changes for some office staff hours. Jan is still in the office Monday – Friday 9am – 4:30pm; Dale will be in the office Monday through Thursday 9am – 4:30pm, but off on Fridays since his hours have been shortened. Laura is in and out of the office, so check with her if you’d like to meet her at the office. The best ways to reach Laura are email ( or her cell phone (716-716-6365). We all look forward to working together with you to foster community and communication during this year of Sabbath.

Grace Covenant Presbyterian planting the seeds to end food insecurity in Asheville

A natural outgrowth of the congregation's values

From Presbyterian News Service

A trip to Haiti and a community conversation planted a seed at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church that is bringing fresh vegetables and fresh hope to Asheville, North Carolina.

In January 2009, church member Bill Gettys traveled to Haiti to work on a project in the medical laboratory of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-worker Jenny Bent. While there, Bill learned about the agricultural work of Jenny’s husband, Mark Hare, who is also a PC(USA) mission co-worker. When Bill returned home, he enthusiastically introduced the church to Mark’s garden program.

That October, Grace Covenant hosted a forum on health care needs in the community. Discussion eventually focused on how the congregation could contribute to the wellness of the community surrounding the church. After identifying potential community partners and acquiring the necessary approvals, tilling began on the garden on the church lawn at the end of January 2010.

Here’s how the program works: at the beginning of the growing season, about 40 church and community members divide into four teams to till, plant, weed and harvest crops on alternating weeks. Summer crops vary from beans, squash and eggplant to peppers and tomatoes. In the fall, the teams plant cool weather vegetables. The volunteers box and deliver about 75 percent of the vegetables to local food pantries and community kitchens.

Then-pastor Mark Ramsey was supportive from the beginning and received approval from the session. Everyone liked the idea, but there was some hesitation about digging up the church lawn to plant vegetables. Some suggested that the garden might be in the back, hidden from the road. Ramsey said firmly that if the church was going to undertake the project, it was going to be front and center. And the Community Garden was born.

Read the full story here.

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.
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. 

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.
January 5
Clergy Celebrations

Happy Birthday!
Thomas Burian - 1/5

Ordination Anniversary
Daniel McKee - 1/11/1981
Today in the
Mission Yearbook:
Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery of WNY

Winter Newsletter
Around the Presbytery

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

Submit your church events to be listed at
Job Postings

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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