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

Houston church provides gift of space, finances for Ghanaian church

New worshiping community receives church’s ‘earthly belongings’ to grow ministry

Westminster Presbyterian Church in Houston had a problem. When they established their congregation in 1981 their neighborhood, was predominately Caucasian. But as the neighborhood began to change, the church stayed the same.

“Most of the members had been there 30 years,” says the church’s treasurer, Forbes Baker. “They’d grown up together with their children.”

As the neighborhood diversified and the population approached 90 percent persons of Hispanic, African and Asian descent, church membership continued to dwindle. Only a few lived near where they worshipped, the others were commuting to the church. Worship attendance was down to 24. The church knew it had to do something. At Big Tent in Louisville in 2013, they discovered New Beginnings at a Presbyterian Mission Agency workshop.

Westminster went through the discipleship-based program the following year. The discernment and assessment process, which helps presbyteries and congregations envision a new future, brought clarity to the church.

Read the full story here.

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.
Community Services Brochure

The need for food, clothing, and shelter are ever present in our communities. Unfortunately, there are few sources where those in need can learn about available services. In response, two elders at separate Presbyterian churches involved in transformational initiatives published a booklet listing resources for their food pantry guests.

This booklet is free of charge for distribution or for use as a model for other areas in the Presbytery. Contact Marie Hewett, Kenmore Presbyterian Church at 693-8734 or Bob Prunchak, Curtis Park Presbyterian Church, at 870-4582 for a free copy.
Educator Share Group

Come join our Share Group of educators, volunteers and CE committee members.  Our next meeting is 6:30PM,  Thursday, November 12th at the Resource Center which is located in North Presbyterian Church, 300 North Forest Road, Williamsville.   Our topic will be Advent.  We come together to share best practices, and look at new resources.  If you have any questions, please call Debbie Katz at 444-3743.
General Assembly
Committee Nominations

The deadline — Tuesday, December 1, 2015 — is fast approaching for new application for nomination forms for persons wishing to be considered by the GA Nominating Committee for nomination to one of almost thirty entities to which the GANC makes nominations.  Please share this information with persons who might be considering the possibility of elected service on one of the ongoing boards, commissions, or committees at the General Assembly levels.  

Interested persons will find more information including descriptions of the various entities, skills and expertise needed, as well as access to the online application form at; see the links on the left hand side of the webpage.
Free Emergency
Preparedness Workshop for all WNY Scouts
Border Community SERVICE of Niagara University is offering a FREE Emergency Preparedness Workshop for all Western New York Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The workshop is taking place at Niagara University on Saturday, February 6, 2016.  Registration is at 8:30 am and the program is from 9:00 am till 3:30 pm.
This program is open to all WNY Boy and Girl Scouts ages 11-18 who have not previously participated in prior Scouting workshops offered here at NU and includes education and information to complete the requirements of the Girl Scout Emergency Preparedness Patch and the Boy Scout Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge, excluding the practical exercise (disaster drill). A complimentary lunch will be provided to all participants.
If your troop is interested in participating, please register online here.
Please note that there is limited space available.
If you have any additional questions, please contact Dana Estrada at 716.851.4299 or
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.
Driving Tips in Unfavorable Weather Conditions

Driving in perfect weather can be hard enough. But when severe weather hits, it's important to take extra precautions. Of course you already know that slowing down and increasing concentration can make a big difference. But there are some tips for different kinds of weather that can help you get to your destination safely.

Ice or Snow
• Slow down. Bridges and overpasses freeze first, so take it slow and avoid sudden changes in speed or direction.
• Keep windows clear. Visibility is crucial, especially in bad weather. Turn the wipers on and crank up the defroster, if necessary. And make sure that all items are removed from the back window area. If you're still having trouble seeing, safely pull over to the side of the road.
• Brake cautiously. Abrupt braking can cause lock-up and loss of steering control. If you have anti-lock brakes, apply constant, firm pressure to the pedal.
• Resist the urge to "floor it." If you get stuck in snow, straighten the wheels and accelerate slowly. Avoid spinning the tires. Use sand or blocks under the drive wheels.

• Turn on wipers. Obvious, right? But make sure your wipers are replaced every six to twelve months for optimal performance.
• Use headlights. Visibility is usually compromised in rainy conditions. Headlights can help.
• Keep windows clear. The defroster or air conditioner may help keep windows and mirrors clear.
• Be patient. Take it slower than normal. Roads are often more slippery than they appear.
• Go around. Never cross a flooded roadway because it's tough to tell how deep the water is. Take the time to find an alternate route. The last thing you want is to get caught in a flash flood.

• Turn on the low beams. Day or night, headlights should be on and set to low beam.
• Wait it out. If you’re having trouble seeing, safely pull over to the right side - well out of the traffic lane and turn on your emergency flashers. Wait until visibility improves before continuing. Remember, if drivers can’t see the shoulder, they likely won’t see your vehicle either — so pull far off! And if you do pull off, turn on your hazard lights to help other drivers know you stopped.
• Minimize distractions. Turn off your cell phone and the stereo.
• Reduce your speed. Because you can't see the road or other vehicles, a low speed can help you react safely.
• Use your turn signal. Other drivers may be using your taillights as a guide, so alert them that you’re pulling off the road or turning.
• Roll down your window to listen for cars.
• Use roadside reflectors as a guide. The markings can help you navigate twists and turns.
• Turn off cruise control for more control of your vehicle.
• Use windshield wipers and defrosters to limit excess moisture on the window.
• Drive with low beams and fog lights. High beams can worsen visibility because they reflect off the fog.

High Winds
• Look out. Keep an eye out for flying debris. And use extra caution near trailers, vans, or vehicles carrying lightweight cargo.
• Some cars shouldn't be driven. It's best not to drive a trailer, van, or other "high-profile" vehicle in high winds.

Severe Thunderstorms
• Turn on headlights and wipers.
• Listen to the radio. Tune into a local weather station for storm and traffic updates.
November 10
Clergy Celebrations
Happy Birthday!
Justin Marple - 11/13
Martha Carlson - 11/16

Ordination Anniversary
Cynthia Wickwire Lundquist - 11/13/1988
Today in the
Mission Yearbook:
Around the Presbytery

November 14
Annual Harvest Holiday Bazaar at Maryvale Drive Presbyterian Church

November 15
Community Leaders' Appreciation Sunday at Faith United Presbyterian Church

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

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

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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