Fresh Picks in the Resource Center!

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2017

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The Fresh Picks media items will now have a link to the Resource Center Online Catalog!

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Fresh Picks! (JAN)

Welcome to the Presbytery of Genesee Valley

Check out our Website!

Welcome to the Presbytery of Genesee Valley

“Genesee Epiphany”

 by Rev. Colin Pritchard

The Next Presbytery Meeting…

The next Presbytery of Genesee Valley Meeting is Tuesday, September 26, 2017


The meeting is being held at First Presbyterian Church of Honeoye Falls
(27 North Main Street, Honeoye Falls, NY  14472) 

** MORE TO COME – STAY TUNED **

 


 ** Click and Print a copy to bring to the meeting **

** Deadline for Reserving/Purchasing a meal and Requesting Childcare is XXX.  Payment for meals must be made PRIOR to the meeting – payment must be received to the office by XXX!! ** 



Click on the link below to register:


For more information regarding PGV Meetings, please refer to the Presbytery Meeting page

  **In the event of a severe weather forecast which would make traveling hazardous, Presbytery Meetings and Presbytery-wide events may be cancelled and rescheduled for another date.  Read More:  Presbytery Meeting and Event Cancellation Policy

2017-18 Presbytery of Genesee Valley Meeting Schedule (6-2-17)

We are Better Together!

The “Better Together” mission network focuses on promoting collaboration among congregations involved in local and global mission. Why such a mission network? Because working together sustains and promotes local Congregational mission better than working separately.

This network was formed last summer and has met four times: at Gates Presbyterian Church, at Central Presbyterian in Geneseo, at Cameron Community Ministries and most recently at Judicial Process Commission.

At these meetings we have found:

  1. Mutual spiritual encouragement of those engaged in similar mission projects.
  2. Excitement of learning best practices in our mission work, and
  3. The power of collaboration among those engaged in similar mission projects.

Please join us!

But in order to be effective in our “better together” mission network, we need to know two vital pieces of information:

  1. Who in your congregation would enjoy discussing mission opportunities, gathering quarterly with mission folk from other congregations? Maybe it’s you! Let us know so we can add you to the listserv by contacting Cheryl at the Presbytery office.
  2. What is your congregation doing? Please fill out one of the following forms and e-mail it to Rod Frohman.

    Once we have a complete listing of most projects, we will send the information to the above-mentioned listserv and post it on our Presbytery website for all congregations to access.

E-News Deadline is the 1st of Every Month

E-News is published monthly and posted to the PGV Website around the 10th of the month.

All submissions are to be made by the FIRST of each month.

All submissions should be in a ‘Ready to be Published‘ format (.doc or .pdf)

 

 

History of the "Triple Play Grant"

** As of June, 2015, Triple Play Grant applications are no longer being accepted.  **

The introduction of the Triple Play in 2012 marked the beginning of a sea-change in the Presbytery’s approach to mission and mission funding.  Mission grants had once been distributed directly to worthy community projects and organizations. The Triple Play began to modify that approach by linking support for community mission more directly to nearby collaborating congregations.  Now, in effect, the Triple Play experience has helped shift the entire focus of the Presbytery from centralized operations and mission to the focus on healthy, vital, sustainable congregations as they engage on the front-line of mission in their communities.

For more information, contact Susan Orr, Presbyter for Mission & Education at [email protected]

Jim Renfrew


 

written by Rev. James Renfrew, member of Three Committees Collaborating

Instant Replay 

     With a full count on the batter, the pitcher gets the sign from the catcher, checks the two runners, and throws a tight curve to the plate.  The runners go.  Whap!  Charging hard, the shortstop fields the line drive at the shoestrings.  One out.  The shortstop fires the ball over to second base and catches the runner unable to tag up in time.  Two outs.  The second baseman smokes the ball to first base.  Did the runner make it back in time?  No!   “Yer Out!” shouts the umpire.  Triple Play!  The crowd roars!   

Early Activity in the Bullpen

In 2012 Genesee Valley Presbytery presented something new to its congregations and to the wider world.  It’s called the “Triple Play Grant”.  Sounds like baseball, doesn’t it?  A triple play in baseball is a rare event when one batted ball leads to three outs.  But this isn’t baseball.  This Triple Play happens when three committees collaborate in the use of Presbytery funds.   The purpose of the Triple Play is not to get “outs”; it’s to get the crowd in our churches and surrounding communities roaring with excitement!  Are you in?

The Triple Play Grants took form during conversations in 2010 between the Mission & Advocacy Committee, Congregational Development Committee, and the Resource & Education Committee.  This led to the key question:  “How can we be most faithful to the calling of Jesus Christ?  How can we maximize the effectiveness of our three budget lines?  Is there a way we can collaborate?”

The Batting Order

The Mission & Advocacy folks had come to the realization that their traditional way of making grants to worthy community organizations was missing the mark.  In one survey, Presbyter for Mission and Education Susan Orr discovered that very few of these organizations had any on-going connection to, or involvement by, congregations.  It led to the uncomfortable feeling that mission dollars were not really doing anything to enhance congregational mission in the community, and that mission had been reduced to sending out checks.  This led to a key question:  “How can we use mission dollars to inspire community involvement by congregations more effectively?”

The Congregational Development Committee, responsible for encouraging congregational health, had become worried that a significant number of congregations in the Presbytery were experiencing membership decline, reduced youth participation, and diminished finances.  This led to a key question:  “Is there a way to target presbytery dollars to improve the health of some of these congregations?”

The Resource and Education Committee could see that diminished congregations have fewer funds and energy for community involvement, and that centralized mission grants separate congregations from the mission that ought to be generating excitement and community visibility.   This led to a key question:  “How can we use presbytery dollars to train congregational leaders with new skills for community mission and congregational health?” 

And so the three committees arrived at the Triple Play grants.  “If we’re going to have a sustainable mission as Presbyterians we need to have healthier congregations.  If we’re going to have energetic congregations we need to have an exciting and visible mission outreach in our communities.  If we’re going to have sustained mission and healthier congregations to support that mission we need to develop new leadership skills”.   

Infield Warm Up

Each of the three committees had to approve the idea of shifting budget lines to this new purpose.  The three committees also had to commit themselves to the plan for three to five years, because Triple Play grant recipients would be promised significant financial support for an extended time in return for significant results.    Instead of offering small grants to a wide variety of agencies and congregations, the decision was made to select a few projects and to make a strong commitment with Triple Play funding.

The next step was to seek the approval of Presbytery Council.  While the Triple Play grant did not require additional funding, existing funding was to be configured in a different way and it was important to keep Presbytery leadership fully informed.  More importantly, Council was encouraged to understand that the Triple Play is not just a useful mechanism for encouraging committee collaboration, it represents a new vision for holistic, systemic change in the life of congregations and their communities.

“Programs, Get Yer Programs Here!”

Now, the really challenging phase began:  to begin publicizing the Triple Play.  This required a year’s worth of lead time holding workshops and training sessions for congregations and agencies.  Agencies were nervous because for the first time an application had to be submitted in concert with at least two Presbyterian congregations.  Congregations were nervous, because of the need to identify a community agency close to their passion, and to also find another partner congregation to join in the application.

Meanwhile, efforts were made to acquaint the whole Presbytery with the new approach – at Presbytery meetings, training events, Resource Saturday workshops, and in other communications.

Umpires Take the Field

With excitement and trepidation the three committees waited for the applications to arrive.   In the end, ten applications were received, including connections with twenty four of the Presbytery’s sixty nine congregations.

Now, different work began.  Representatives of the three committees were appointed to undertake site visits with the different agencies and congregations.  Some of the grant proposals had been initiated by an agency, with congregational endorsement.  Other proposals were generated by congregations, centering on a link with a community agency or program.   Which of these proposals would best align with the intentions of the Triple Play?

Some of the questions that liaisons sought to answer:

  • To what extent are these partnerships solid, or to what extent are they still in the dream stage?
  • Are the partnership’s programmatic and fiduciary relationships well thought out?
  • Does this project have the potential to excite other congregations in the Presbytery?

“Yer Out!”, Ooops, we mean “Yer In!”

With a great deal of excitement, the decisions were made to support the following projects, beginning in January 2013:

  • El Agua Es Vida (Christ Clarion, Covington) – To purchase and install eight water disinfection systems in Chiapas, Mexico. The churches will send teams to work with village leadership to construct the systems over the next several years. The Covington area has many farm workers from Chiapas laboring on their farms. This provides an opportunity to connect a distant project in Mexico with people from Chiapas who are living close by.
  • Cameron Community Ministries (Christ Clarion, Laurelton, Third): Cameron has been a lifeline for many residents in Rochester’s Lyell-Otis neighborhood for nearly thirty years providing meals, clothing, advocacy and a welcoming community. Putting a Fork in Hunger funds will go to enhance and expand some of Cameron’s current services as demand is increasing exponentially.  This partnership aims to launch a publicity and educational campaign about the struggle to reduce hunger in our community.
  • Judicial Process Commission (Brighton, Pittsford First):   The New Journeys program trains mentors to work with women coming out of prison. The grant will fund the volunteer coordinator position at the Judicial Process Commission.  This person coordinates and trains all the folks who do the mentoring, as well as the counselor and social worker who offer these women important counseling and support.
  • Focus on the Children (Caledonia First, Caledonia Stone):  The focus of this grant proposal is to develop a Volunteer Training and Institute program, creating a trained volunteer base who will be able to work with struggling families who are in crisis or need.
  • Community Action of Orleans and Genesee, Inc (Albion First, Barre Center, Holley First, Lyndonville, Medina):  The goal of the Youth Service Partnership program is to train people to provide tutoring, mentoring, social skill training, life skill training and health and wellness training to at risk youth in Orleans County and Genesee County.

Play-by-play Coverage

It was never the intention of the three committees to simply decide on the grants and then retire.  From the start, it was understood that the three committees would be working to assist the projects, publicizing their work among all of the churches, and encouraging other individuals and congregations to become involved in them.  A key question:  “How can we make these projects our projects, that is, how can we expand the sense of ownership?”  For this reason, news about the projects will be frequently offered to the Presbytery at meetings and in print during the duration of the grants.     

Drafting New Players

Most importantly, the people of the Presbytery are invited to join the various Triple Play teams during 2013 and beyond.   There will be a series of work days spread throughout 2013 in which volunteers will be invited to come in for a day of hands-on support at each project site.

Up and Coming Minor Leagues Prospects

Will there be new opportunities for Triple Play grants?  Yes!  Some of the teams that did not receive a grant are being encouraged to prepare for the next round when grants will be offered, likely in 2014.  Committee members are available to consult with those wanting to make the jump to the Big Leagues.  Additional funds are being sought to add to the funds already committed by the three committees.

Batter Up!

 

 

Working Together, Building Hope from Chaos…

Mission Trip Blogs

 

Triple-Play Grants

tcc

** As of June, 2015, Triple Play Grant applications are no longer being accepted. **

The introduction of the Triple Play in 2012 marked the beginning of a sea-change in the Presbytery’s approach to mission and mission funding.  Mission grants had once been distributed directly to worthy community projects and organizations. The Triple Play began to modify that approach by linking support for community mission more directly to nearby collaborating congregations.  Now, in effect, the Triple Play experience has helped shift the entire focus of the Presbytery from centralized operations and mission to the focus on healthy, vital, sustainable congregations as they engage on the front-line of mission in their communities.

For more information, contact Susan Orr, Presbyter for Mission & Education at [email protected]

Jim Renfrew


  

After over two years of diligent, faithful work, Three Committees Collaborating is proud to recommend the following for the 2013 Triple Play Grants:

El Agua es Vida (Partners: Christ Clarion and Covington): $10,000

triple-play-1To purchase and install eight water disinfection systems in Chiapas, Mexico. The money will cover parts, an on-site engineer and training. The two churches will be sending teams to work with village leadership to construct the systems over the next several years. Covington, in its work with the Presbytery’s Migration Working Group, has realized that many farm workers from Chiapas are laboring on rural farms in Western New York. This provides an opportunity to connect a distant project in Mexico with people from Chiapas who are living close by.

Focus on the Children (Partners: Caledonia First and Caledonia Stone): $10,000

triple-play-2To develop a Volunteer Training and Institute program. The focus of this grant proposal is to create a trained volunteer base who will be able to work with struggling families who are in crisis or need. FOTC has been serving the needs of children in Livingston County since 1993. They provide financial grants, assistance in making community connections, and advocacy for families. Families served during the year are invited to a Back-to-School program that provides children with school supplies and gift cards for new shoes, as well as a Christmas program where they may select gifts for the holidays.

Judicial Process Commission (Partners: Brighton and Pittsford First): $5,000

triple-play-3To support their New Journeys program. The grant will fund the volunteer coordinator at the Judicial Process Commission, the person who coordinates and trains all the folks who do the mentoring; as well as the counselor and social worker who offer these women important counseling and support. The overall program trains mentors to work with women coming out of prison. The goal is to train as many mentors as possible and pair them up with the large number of women coming out of jail. Based upon past years, this mentoring program drops the rate of recidivism by 50%.

Community Action of Orleans and Genesee County (Partners: Albion First, Barre Center, Holley First, Lyndonville and Medina First): $7,500

triple-play-4To support their Youth Service Partnership. The goal of this program is to train people to provide tutoring, mentoring, social skill training, life skill training and health and wellness training to at risk youth in Orleans County and Genesee County. There is a possibility that this program will be able to work with the Judicial Process Commission to share good ways to do mentor training.

Cameron Community Ministries Put a Fork in Hunger (Partners: Christ Clarion, Laurelton and Third): $7,500

triple-play-5Putting a Fork in Hunger is unique among those receiving triple play grants in that the community agency already engages volunteers from many of the Presbytery’s churches. Cameron has been a lifeline for many residents in Rochester’s Lyell-Otis neighborhood for nearly thirty years, providing meals, clothing, advocacy and a welcoming community. The funds will go to enhance and expand some of their current services as demand is increasing exponentially. Another goal of the partners is to launch a publicity and education campaign in an effort to get the word out to churches about the volunteer possibilities as well as the needs that exist in the Lyell-Otis neighborhood, an effort that it is hoped will involve members of the three congregations.

Christian Educator’s Brown Bag Lunch

brownbaglunchA series of discussions for Professional Christian Educators employed by a church


The Next CE Brown Bag Lunch…

June 14, 2017

@ 12:15

On-line Teacher Training

odd-logo

Opening Doors to Discipleship is a series of three courses in the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition to help teachers and leaders equip themselves to be faithful teachers and leaders.

Once you register with this site, you will have access to all three courses. The three courses are:

  1. Teaching Skills,
  2. Bible Background,
  3. Presbyterian/Reformed Faith (to be released Fall, 2008).

Each course has 12 sessions which should, ideally, be done with a Learning Group from your own congregation.

The courses address questions like these:

  • How can I tell a story and use activities in such a gripping way that my students long to be disciples of Christ?
  • How can I communicate the broad sweep of biblical stories so that learners yearn to enter them?
  • How can I speak with passion and enthusiasm about the particular “flavor” of Christianity which we identify as Presbyterian/Reformed?

Site sponsorship:

  • The Cumberland Presbyterian Church
  • The Moravian Church in America
  • Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • The Presbyterian Church in Canada
  • The Reformed Church in America

Contact Susan Orr at the Resource Center, 242-0099 for the PCUSA login code.

The Thoughtful Christian

thoughtful-christian-logo

The Thoughtful Christian is a web-based resource center that seeks to help Christians wrestle with difficult questions by stimulating informed conversation and reflection about living faithfully in a complex world.

Office Volunteers

copierThe Presbytery Office needs a few more good Presbyterians (or friends of Presbyterians) to help in our office.  In particular we need someone for Tuesday 10am  – 2pm or whatever time works for you.

  • Can you spare one morning or afternoon a week?
  • Or a few hours one day a week?
  • Or maybe some time every other week?
  • Bring a friend with you to help. Your friend doesn’t even have to be a Presbyterian!

The Presbytery Office needs some help with answering telephones, greeting visitors, making copies, helping with projects, etc. We’re a nice group of people. We work hard, but we also enjoy working together!

Come be a part of our team!

Contact Cheryl (103) or Beth (104) at the PGV office (585-242-0080)

 

Spiritus Christi Mental Health Center (SCMHC)

  • Volunteer therapists, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners. Volunteer hours are flexible, so you can see as many or as few clients as suits your schedule. Paperwork is minimal, freeing you to do what you love: help motivated individuals to meet their mental health needs.
  • Volunteer shopkeepers needed at New Unto Others home furnishings consignment shop. They offer beautiful, well-tended furniture, rugs, artwork, and other home furnishings. If you’d enjoy surrounding yourself with beauty, getting to know like-minded volunteers, and helping out a good cause, this is a great opportunity. Retail experience is helpful but not necessary. The shop is staffed entirely by volunteers. It is located at 141 State Street in Rochester. All proceeds benefit Spiritus Christi Mental Health Center.

SCMHC is an ecumenical agency supported by the Presbytery of Genesee Valley. We offer mental health care and peer support free of charge to those in Greater Rochester who are uninsured or cannot afford the required co-payment for needed services. For more information, contact Maureen Marlow, 585.325.1180, ext. 114.

Letter of thanks to SDOP for its funding of The Center for Teen Empowerment

teen-empowerment-logoOn behalf of the youth and adult staff at The Center for Teen Empowerment, we thank you for granting the youth organizers at Teen Empowerment $2,000. This will be used for our second annual Southwest Rochester Peace March on June 14. It is designed to kick off a safe summer vacation season and highlight the role quality education, stable housing, jobs, health and justice play in creating community peace.

Typically, summer months see an increase in violent activity and crime among youth. The youth organizers (14–20 years old) believe that by bringing together the community in events such as these, building relationships between youth and among youth and adults, and providing alternative activities that meet the needs of our peers and help them better understand the way their behavior affects society and how society affects their behavior, we can shift the social norms among youth away from negative behaviors and toward positive community involvement.

Every day at Teen Empowerment, youth-some who have been incarcerated, are living in foster care, are struggling to raise their own children, are out of school with no diploma, whose lives have been violently disrupted by drugs, shootings, and even homicide in their families and neighborhoods-find our strengths and voices as we take on the challenging job of Teen Empowerment Youth Organizer.

We are proud to count you as a partner in our efforts.

2013 “Triple-Play” Grant

Three committees of our Presbytery are collaborating in the creation of a new “Triple-Play” grant process for congregations to apply in 2012 to receive funds in 2013.

The three committees collaborating are:

tccWe are seeking applications in which the categories of

  • congregational health,
  • community mission & advocacy, and
  • leadership training

are combined in a single project.

What we envision are projects that

  • aim to improve the worship/program/outreach health of congregations,
  • give visibility to congregational involvement in contributing to systemic change for a healthier community, and
  • that train leadership for engagement in this new effort.

Grants are available in the range of $10,000 to $40,000 per project, spread over three to five years, beginning in 2013 for a group of congregations in partnership with a community agency or program.

The deadline for the application is Monday, April 30, 2012.

Who may apply?

A partnership of at least two Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations and at least one community agency or program.

An ecumenical group of congregations may apply, but at least two of the participating congregations must be Presbyterian Church (USA).

See the grant application for more details.

2012 Mission Funding Partnership

2012 Mission Funding Form

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In Ephesians 2:10 we find powerful words proclaiming our identity and calling: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to devote ourselves to the good deeds for which God has designed us.” As individuals, as congregations, as a presbytery, and as a denomination, this is true—we have been carefully, lovingly fashioned by God and called to ministry together—called to great ministry that God has prepared for us!

As we live into this great calling, how exciting it is to understand – not just in our heads, but deep in our corporate bones – that we are indeed partners in ministry. We are a presbytery of 69 lively, uniquely gifted congregations. Our calling as a presbytery is to work together to encourage each church’s call to ministry and mission. This is the heart of our connectional nature as Presbyterians.

In the past year, we as a presbytery have taken bold steps to grow into this ministry. More than ever before, Mission & Advocacy and Congregational Development are encouraging mission that emanates from congregations, seeking to connect mission giving with hands-on opportunities. A key ingredient to this initiative is our partnership in ministry. Our ability to work together and yet to answer the call of our respective ministries is a unique gift that emerges when we put the work of the church above church work. Together we can have an impact on the lives of more people: those beyond our church attendees, individual communities, and organizational liaisons.

As a presbytery, we are keenly aware that the success and health of each individual church has an impact on the success and health of our presbytery as a whole.

As your Session undertakes the holy work of discerning how God is calling your church to use its resources for the coming year, please remember your brothers and sisters in this presbytery and in the larger church by paying your per capita and by making a generous gift to Presbyterian Mission. As the body of Christ, we can do far more to bring in God’s beloved community by working together than we ever could alone.

Together We Serve,

Self-Development of People Committee (SDOP) Grants Awarded

Self-Development of People (SDOP) is not a “normal” presbytery committee in that it relates directly to the national church office for its funding and mission. A portion of the One Great Hour of Sharing offering is given to the national level of SDOP, which is then allocated to the presbytery-level committees.

The Presbytery of Genesee Valley awarded the following grants to organizations that fit the definition of a “Self-Development” group.

  1. The Community for Social Justice (Rural and Migrant Ministry); $5,000 for educational work.
  2. Unity NE Surveillance Pilot Project; $1,030 for starting a “Neighborhood Watch” style project.
  3. Remington Super Urban Project Porch Security Pilot Project; $525 for starting a “Neighborhood Watch” style project.
  4. Eastern Service Workers Association; $2,500 for expanding its community organizing work.
  5. NEAD CDF Freedom School; $5,000 for mentoring and entrepreneurship of inner-city residents.

Here are other recent SDOP Grant Recipients-rev 3-2015

Presbyterian Hunger Program Awards Grant to Rural & Migrant Ministry

rural-migrant-ministry-logoIn October, Rural & Migrant Ministry gratefully accepted a grant from the Presbyterian Hunger Program for our work at the Liturgia Rural Workers Education Center. We want to extend our thanks to all Presbyterians who contributed to One Great Hour of Sharing to support the grant program.

Liturgia is a welcoming space where farmworkers in Central New York get to know each other and learn about workplace rights and grassroots organizing. This knowledge is the foundation for strengthening the Justice for Farmworkers campaign, an effort to establish fairer working conditions for farmworkers. As farmworkers come together to learn how to make their voices heard with policy makers, they’re joined by people of faith and others who are also receiving training at Liturgia.

All of these efforts fall under the Hunger Program’s category of Public Policy Advocacy, which addresses the root causes of hunger by dismantling “oppressive and unjust systems that fail to meet basic needs.” The people whose labor puts food on our tables live in poverty, but the support of the Hunger Program will help farmworkers to change that unjust situation.

Thank you again for joining in this work!

Laurie Konwinski, Grants Coordinator
Rural & Migrant Ministry, WNY Office
324 West Buffalo Street
Ithaca NY 14850
607-272-5062, ext. 12

Presbytery Partnership Group Awards Grant to Rural & Migrant Ministry

rural-migrant-ministry-logoThe Western New York Presbytery Partnership Group has awarded a $5,000 grant for support of Rural & Migrant Ministry, to the Presbytery of Genesee Valley.

Rural & Migrant Ministry is a mission partner of the Presbytery.

The organization will be holding a conference in the Catskills on the weekend of October 15, 2011, in conjunction with its 30th anniversary. They will bring together a large group of people from the rural and migrant communities and allies from the faith communities to explore issues of rural transformation.

They wish to be intentional about inviting the disenfranchised farmworkers, rural workers and rural women from the Rochester/Buffalo/Geneva region. The grant will cover the cost of transportation, lodging and translators for this group of people.

Learn more about the conference here.

New Ideas for Stewardship – Part 1

Jim Renfrew has used the concept of a “narrative budget” at his church. These skits to promote their stewardship program by introducing the narrative budget concept and and explaining theirs.

Synod Mission Interpretation Bulletin Insert

We are grateful to Bloomfield College for making available to us a bulletin insert to e-shared with presbyteries and their congregations in order to help us appreciate the quality and depth of this unique Presbyterian-related undergraduate education witness within the Synod of the Northeast. Bloomfield College (located in Bloomfield, NJ, Newark Presbytery) is the only Presbyterian-related college within the bounds of the Synod of the Northeast. It offers dynamic and modern educational programs to young men and women who make a difference in the world when they leave its hallowed halls.