An Open Letter to the Community of the Synod of the Northeast and Those We Serve

Dear Friends,  

As with many of you, I have become weary and sad at the constant flow of hateful speech and racist rhetoric from our president and his followers. The daily barrage of these words,  and devastating actions that follow them,  leaves me exhausted and wondering how to best use my public voice in ways that don’t simply add to the constant  flood of exchanges around them.  

This morning as I rise from morning prayer  there is a fire in my  bones that I cannot quench. It rises from the deepest part of my spirit and compels me to speak a word that makes it clear that there are regular episodes of our current president’s behavior  that  are undeniably immoral and contrary to the teachings of Jesus.

Actualización de la Ayuda a Puerto Rico

En los meses después que los vientos ensordecedores dejaron de gritar y las aguas retrocedieron sobre la isla de Puerto Rico, los presbiterianos/as han respondido al llamado de ayuda de los que fueron afectados. Un asombroso cuarenta porciento de los habitantes de la isla todavía carecen de electricidad, acceso a agua limpia y suficiente comida. 

A pesar de los bloqueos burocráticos (y aparente apatía) por parte de nuestra nación, las congregaciones y presbiterios en todo el noreste han puesto su fe en acción.

Puerto Rico Aid Update

In the months since the winds stopped howling and the waters receded over the island of Puerto Rico, Presbyterians have responded to the plight of those who have been affected, an astonishing 40% of whom still don’t have power, and an appalling number who still lack access to clean water and sufficient food. 

In spite of bureaucratic roadblocks (and seeming apathy) on the part of our nation, congregations and presbyteries throughout the Northeast have put their faith into action.

Robert Washington Scholars: Raising Up Diverse Voices in Leadership

Our Synod community is deeply blessed with incredible diversity. With this gift comes a profound responsibility to be sure that the gift of these voices is heard and reflected within the leadership of our governance structures. The Robert L. Washington Scholars Program is intended to lift up, support, and equip a diversity of leaders to serve our mid-councils and other areas of leadership.

Something Old & Something New: Emerging Leaders Gather Around Ancient Practices

In the midst of an autumn coldsnap, around twenty church leaders who are between the ages of 25-40 gathered in upstate New York at the Silver Bay YMCA Camp & Conference Center for the 2017 Emerging Leaders Gathering. Though the weather was chilly, the community was not!

The Synod of the Northeast is blessed with a strong cohort of younger leaders, and while only a fraction of their number attend the annual Gathering each year, they consistently report that the community it fosters is crucial to their ongoing energy and enthusiasm for ministry.

Hispanic Caucus Commemorates 500 Years of Reformation in the Places Where it Began

The “Concilio Presbiteriano Hispano/Latino, Sinodo del Noreste” (The Hispanic Caucus) sponsored a study trip to Germany, Switzerland, and France tracing the path of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century. A group of 19 people, members of 9 churches within the Synod of the Northeast and representing 5 presbyteries, engaged in this adventure from October 27 to November 9, 2017.

Presbyterian Women Mission Exchange to Indonesia

The eighteen women from across the United States who comprised the delegation of the Churchwide Presbyterian Women’s 2017 Global Exchange to Indonesia traveled south and west to “Build the Bridge of Understanding” as sisters in Christ. Over the two and a half weeks of September 12-29, 2017, we accomplished the program's two main goals: we learned how to live respectfully in a multi-faith culture, and encouraged and accompanied one another as together we are seeking a more peaceful and just world.  The communities we visited were Jakarta, Solo, Yogyakarta on the island of Java, and Bali.

Synod Commits $65k to Long-Term Puerto Rican Recovery Partnerships

There are four Presbyterian mid-councils in Puerto Rico - the Sínodo de Boriquén and its three Presbyteries - Presbiterio del Noroeste, Presbiterio de San Juan, and Presbiterio del Suroeste. The Synod of the Northeast holds a historic relationship with Puerto Rican Presbyterianism: Puerto Rico was a presbytery of our predecessor Synod of New York. For more than two years, our Synod’s Mission Team has been engaged in learning and conversation with Presbyterian leaders in Puerto Rico, and the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico, on matters of mission, vocation, and ministry.

Immigration Advocacy Fund Established

Immigration is a subject constantly in the news headlines these days, but for members of our own Marturia Presbyterian Church - a New Hampshire congregation in the midst of a growing Indonesian community (Presbytery of Northern New England) - it is more than a news topic, it is a lived reality.

Languages, cultures, and immigrant realities are among the many diversities that bless and challenge our ministry as a Synod community. In seeking to be faithful to this blessing, and to stand alongside our immigrant brothers and sisters in the midst of their challenges, the Synod Commission established an Immigration Advocacy Fund at its October 2017 meeting. In doing so, the Commission invites the whole Synod community to engage with our immigrant communities and work in collaboration with them.