by Nancy Talbot, Stated Clerk
The Synod Mission and Ministries Commission met April 28-29. In a 24 hour period the commission completed a significant amount of work. Actions taken included approving the following Innovation Grant and Network funds:
ADK Church WOW $11,000 for 2017.
Fourth Church Youth Theater: Re-Knitting the Neighborhood through Stories, Song, and Musicals, Fourth Presbyterian Church -- $15,000 for 2017 and $15,000 for 2018.
Eastern Korean Presbytery
Pastoral Care Mission Community Church, a new worshipping community -- $7,500 for 2017
Genesee Valley Presbytery
Firebird Spirit—Leadership Development and Resource Sharing through Creative Partnerships – $18,000 for 2017 and $14,000 for 2018
ROC SALT (Service and Learning Together) Mission Center -- $18,000 for 2017 and $15,000 for 2018
Hudson River Presbytery
The Pastoral Sabbath of Stony Point Center -- $12,000 for 2017
Long Island Presbytery
Community Youth Choir of Valley Stream Presbyterian Church -- $15,000 in 2017 and $15,000 for 2018
New Brunswick Presbytery
LGBTQ+ Dinner Church, an offshoot of Abundant Grace Dinner Church -- $10,000 for 2017.
Northern New England Presbytery
Transitioning MATE (Mission at the Eastward) to the 21st Century -- $20,000 for 2017 and $15,000 for 2018.
Elizabeth, Monmouth and New Brunswick Presbyteries
Digital Communication & Social Media Ministry Network -- $5,000 for 2017 and $3,000 for 2018 contingent upon each presbytery providing $5,000 in matching funds.
Hispanic Caucus -- $3,000 for 2017
Combating Racism Project of Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church and Morristown Presbyterian Church -- $3,000 for 2017
Hispanic Youth Cohort Event – up to $5,000 for scholarships
The Commission also approved $9,500 for the Northern New York COM Working Group Retreat to use for lodging, meals, speakers and travel with each participant contributing $50. In addition, the Commission approved up to $6,700 for the purpose of holding four Networking and Strategy Regional Gatherings and four Sanctuary Training meetings.
Synod Leader Harold Delhagen stressed in his report that the business of the Synod is to help people raise their eyes to come out of the daily tasks and to view the horizon to which they aspire. The Synod walks with presbyteries, providing support, both human and financial, as they seek ways forward. Part of the work is from the balcony, offering evaluative expertise and guidance. In other cases, the work requires more hands on effort, but in all cases, the approach is to have change be organic, coming from within, and not imposed from without. Regional partnerships, arranging coaching, vision teams, and an opportunity for presbyteries to create new cultures is a major goal of the Synod.
Commission Moderator Thia Reggio led a fish bowl discussion with the Synod Mission Team – Synod Leader Harold Delhagen, Stated Clerk Nancy Talbot and Synod Networker Amaury Tanon-Santos in which she asked four questions: 1-What is the mission team and how does it work? 2-What three things have been your foci since the last commission meeting? 3-What do you see as the most pressing matter for the Synod between now and the next meeting? 4-What do you see as the challenges and the positives of the New Way Forward? As each mission team member answered, it wove together a tapestry of the individual and collective daily work that helps to move the Synod forward. As always, we broke for meals and enjoyed fellowship and worship. Everyone left knowing that we had done good work on behalf of the Synod.