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

Give thanks to God at Thanksgiving!

We give you thanks, O God, for all things—food and fellowship, family and friends, all that we have and all that we are. Let our lives be a sign of great thanksgiving for the treasure of your grace. Take and use us for good in the world that you so love; we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

2015 Outreach Ministry Team Grant Recipients Announced

The following grant recipients were announced at the November 21 Presbytery meeting:

Community Missions of Niagara Frontier

Community Missions of Niagara Frontier, Inc. submitted an application to OMT requesting $7,500 for the Community Ministry and Outreach Initiative. They received a grant from PWNY for $5,240.  Bacon Memorial PC and First Youngstown provided letters of support for this application. 
A brief summary of the project’s vision and goals:  The Community Ministry and Outreach Initiative is a collaborative street ministry and ministry of presence to bring The Church “outside the four walls of churches” to people in need.  It will share the Gospel message of hope and love through proactively providing targeted information and referrals to services available through Community Missions and other service providers.
For more information, please contact Rev. Mark Breese, Agency Minister and Director of Ministry and Community Partnerships at
Family Promise of WNY
Family Promise of Western New York submitted an application to OMT requesting $12,000 for the Home Again Program.  They received a grant from PWNY for $5,000.  Orchard Park PC, First Buffalo, and University PC provided letters of support for this application.
A brief summary of the project’s vision and goals:  Family Promise of WNY has served homeless children and families since 1996.  Family Promise seeks to formalize the Home Again Program with funding from the PWNY.  It is our vision that the Home Again Program will assist families in becoming independent and help them move into available housing more efficiently.
For more information, please contact Charles LeFevre, Executive Director, at
Genesis House of Olean
Genesis House of Olean, Inc. submitted an application to OMT requesting $5,000 for the Security Deposits for Program Graduates.  They received a grant from PWNY for $2,000.  First Olean and Randolph UPC provided letters of support for this application.
A brief summary of the project’s vision and goals:  Residents of Genesis House who complete our program have successfully found an apartment but are having difficulty providing the security deposit needed.  Genesis House is having difficulty helping with security deposits because it is not in our budget.  A grant would help those starting out again with a little more security.
For more information, please contact Linore Lounsbury, Executive Director, at
Jericho Road Ministries
Jericho Road Ministries submitted an application to OMT requesting $10,000 for the Onsite Program Manager for Vive Shelter for Asylees.  They received a grant from PWNY for $5,850.  Orchard Park PC and First Buffalo provided letters of support for this application.
A brief summary of the project’s vision and goals:  Jericho Road desires to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus to the most vulnerable in Buffalo.  While we fully absorb the vital programming of Vive Shelter for Asylees, our new “Program Manager” will create ways to best integrate our service for refugees to best meet the immediate needs of asylees in our shelter.
For more information, please contact Heather Pennington at
LOVE, Inc. of Springville
The First Presbyterian Church of Springville submitted an application to OMT requesting $5,000 for the LOVE, Inc. Transportation Ministry.  A grant from PWNY for $3,760 was awarded to LOVE, Inc. of Springville.  First Springville and Glenwood PC provided letters of support for this application.
A brief summary of the project’s vision and goals:  The goal of this request is to secure funding to sustain the Transportation Ministry of Love In the Name of Christ, Springville NY, for the period of one year.  Love Inc. has provided the volunteer base and dispatch services for a vehicle owned by Healthy Community Alliance, based in Gowanda NY.  Together these two organizations successfully formed an 18-year partnership that gained nationwide recognition for best practices.  Unfortunately, because of funding cuts and a change of focus, Healthy Community Alliance is no longer able to maintain a vehicle for this use.  Knowing firsthand the great need the vehicle fills, Love Inc. Board of Directors decided to do their best to continue the ministry.
For more information, please contact Wendy Cocca, Executive Director, at
Arab-Israeli Relations Discussion at North Church Community Event

Four congregations--Temple Beth Zion, Congregation Shir Shalom, North and Westminster Presbyterian churches partnered together to offer two free lectures to the community on Sunday, November 15, at 7:00 p.m. at North Church in Williamsville. More than 60 people came to hear Dr. Claude Welch (in photos), SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, speak on “International Perspectives on Arab-Israeli Relations: A Historical and Political Overview,” and Dr. Daniel P. Kotzin, associate professor at Medaille College, speak on “Understanding the History of Zionism(s).”

Volunteers pour passion into getting youth to ‘GO’ to Presbyterian Youth Triennium

Teenagers who connect to ‘vastness of our faith’ emerge in key leadership positions

From Presbyterian News Service

Ann Graham and Christy D’Ambrosio have deeply impacted the lives of more than 100 youth through their volunteer efforts for the Presbyterian Youth Triennium. As registrars for their respective presbyteries, both are passionate about sending as many kids as possible to Triennium because of what they see as its ripple effect teenagers lives.

“They tell me ‘I had no idea there were people like me,’” says Graham. “Triennium’s diversity helps them feel less marginalized. It connects and helps them understand the vastness of our faith.”

Graham, who lives outside Lynchburg, Va., went to her first Triennium as an adult in 2004 and has handled registration for Presbytery of the Peaks ever since. She’s hoping that a record number of teens—she’s aiming for 45 from her presbytery—‘GO’ to the 2016 Triennium.

“I feel strongly that we should try to send as many kids as possible,” she says. “I’ve never had anyone’s child come back and say, ‘no, that was a mistake I shouldn’t have done that.’”

Click here to read the full story.

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
University of Dubuque Theological Seminary's CLP/CRE Program and Spring Course Offerings

The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that we will be offering nine online courses for Commissioned Ruling Elders in our CLP/CRE lay ministry program, scheduled from February 1 to May 13. 
Introduction to Old Testament – Rev. Martin Benckhuysen
Introduction to New Testament – Dr. Jim Gunn
Christian Education – Dr. Bonnie Sue Lewis
Pastoral Care – Dr. Beth McCaw
Reformed Theology – Dr. Gary Eller
Introduction to Preaching – Dr. Robert Hoch
Presbyterian Polity – Dr. Scott Nesbitt
Reformed Worship & Sacraments – Dr. Robert Hoch
NEW SPRING COURSE OFFERING:  Christian Leadership Ethics – Dr. Richard Shaffer
For the 2015-2016 academic year, we have added two new courses to our CLP/CRE course lineup.  During the Fall 2015 semester we offered Church Administration and Finance with Dr. Phillip Jamieson, and in the Spring 2016 term we are offering Christian Leadership Ethics which I am teaching. Christian Leadership Ethics will examine topics like sexual misconduct, confidentiality, boundaries, money, youth programs, volunteers, etc. and the implications for ministry.  Both are essential for anyone who is preparing for successful service in the church.
Application and course information for our CLP/CRE program can be found at and then click on “CLP/CRE Info” in the “Welcome” box under the news feed.
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 24
Clergy Celebrations
Ordination Anniversary
James Hills - 11/25/1956
Cathy Rieley-Goddard - 11/29/1992
Martha Carlson - 11/30/1986
Today in the
Mission Yearbook:

Middle East

The Mission Yearbook focuses on the Middle East from November 22 to December 11; learn about and pray for that region of the world.
Around the Presbytery

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
Classic Bag Sale at First Presbyterian Church of Tonawanda

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 6
Artisan Fair at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church

December 11
Rainbow Singers Holiday Concert at 7 PM at Riverside Presbyterian Church of Niagara Falls

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.
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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