Aug 2017 E-News – Presbytery of Genesee Valley (click here)

What’s on my mind…

I wrote a note for this e-news last week, and then we had web-based issues. Now, on Monday, it is clear that last week’s note is not adequate in light of what happened in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. In addition to following the news, I attended a rally in Washington Square Park on Sunday evening. I was gratified to see other Presbyterians there. My purpose was to highlight events that we have coming up this Fall, to encourage participation. My sense of urgency is now much greater, especially for the first two offerings.

Both “Come To The Table” and “Crossroads Anti-Racism Training” will focus on how we relate to each other, as we are different from each other, and as we are one in Christ. Our Synod has been focusing on the empowerment of younger and racially, economically, socially, and theologically diverse persons. “Come to the Table,” a 24-hour event at Stony Point, will be a nurturing, nourishing, challenging (and, dare I say) fun event for all ages, celebrating our diversity and our unity in Christ, as we seek together to serve God and our neighbors. The Cross-Roads Anti-Racism training will be just that! And the evidence that we need it, and should be seeking it out in this time of violence and turmoil, is palpable. The Faith Formation events focus on how we prepare both adults and children for a life of Christian discipleship.

Plan to participate with these events scheduled for the Fall:

September 22-23: Come to the Table, a 24 hour celebration at Stony Point Center, sponsored by our Synod of the Northeast ( see above )

October 21: Crossroads Anti-Racism Training Event, a day-long workshop at Gates Presbyterian Church with three other presbyteries, funded by our Synod ( see above )

November 3-4: Two Events, Friday and Saturday, presented by LIfelongFaith Associates on Faith Formation for Every Adult, and Nurturing the Faith of Children in the 21st Century ( also above)

Please be vigilant in prayer, and active in standing and speaking up, in the face of injustice. Do all that you can to Know Christ, Live Christ, Share Christ!

Grace and peace,
Rev. Amy Fowler, Presbytery Leader


Presbytery Meeting Report

June 20, 2017
The Genesee Valley Presbytery had a short meeting at the First Presbyterian Church of Leroy to hear reports
and take action on recommendations of the Committee on Ministry and the Board of Trustees.
On recommendation of the Committee on Ministry, the presbytery approved Candidate Rebecca Chaffee’s first
ordained call to the First Presbyterian Church of Caledonia as a full time pastor. She will be ordained on June 29th at the
Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church in Dewitt, NY and will be enrolled as a member of the Genesee Valley Presbytery. She
answered questions about her faith statement posed by pastors and elder commissioners. For example she was asked
what she had in mind when she wrote, “The body of Christ transcends any single denomination, nation, or culture.”
Rev. Nicholas Dorland will be installed on July 16th as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Brockport, and
an Administrative Commission was appointed for his installation.
CRE Anne Martin’s service to the First Presbyterian Church of Livonia has concluded. Both the conclusion of
service and her retirement as active CRE (Commissioned Ruling Elder) were celebrated.
Some information from the Book of Order about the duties of a CRE may be helpful in understanding the importance
of Anne Martin’s job in Livonia: “The presbytery may authorize a ruling elder to be commissioned to limited pastoral
service as assigned by the presbytery. A ruling elder so designated may be commissioned to serve in a validated ministry
of the presbytery. Presbytery, in its commission, may authorize the ruling elder to moderate the session of the congregation
to which he or she is commissioned, to administer the Sacraments, and to officiate at marriages where permitted by
law.” A commission is for a term of not more that three years, but the presbytery may renew it. Some churches in the presbytery
whose pastors have left or retired are served by CRE’s for a period of time determined by the presbytery.
The Board of Trustees presented three motions. Two motions involved selling small pieces of land. The Barre Center
Presbyterian church received permission to sell two narrow strips of land to their neighbor so he could put in a driveway. The
First Presbyterian Church of Batavia received permission to convey a permanent easement to the City of Batavia for a sidewalk.
The third motion was the much larger sale of the New Life Presbyterian Church building at 1006 Monroe Avenue
to the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star for $369,000. The sanctuary seats 420 people and the building has a number
of large meeting spaces which can no longer be supported by their small congregation (59 members in 2015). The proceeds
of the sale will be used as follows: $25,000 closing costs, $35,000 repayment of presbytery line of credit, $30,000
tithe to the presbytery, $25,000 gift to the Upper Monroe Neighborhood, $162,000 to support New Life’s covenant relationship
with South Presbyterian, $45,000 to lease space in the neighborhood for youth mission and ministry, and
$18,000 lease to continue housing their food cupboard. There was some controversy over this sale because of the nature
of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, so the approval was not unanimous. You are welcome to explore the history
and practices of this not-for-profit organization online, or ask me about it.

Martha Kumler, Elder Commissioner