2018 Synod Assembly Highlights: Officer Elections

Amid the many fruitful conversations that comprised the 2018 Synod Assembly’s business, the Assembly officially elected officers for the Synod’s upcoming leadership terms. 

Moderator Roles
According to the Synod’s Bylaws, a person elected to moderatorial service moves through a progression of three roles: the Moderator-Elect becomes the Moderator of the Synod Assembly, who then becomes the Moderator of the Mission & Ministries Commission.

At the September 2018 meeting of the Synod Assembly, we thanked the Rev. Thia Reggio for her service as she completed her final phase of service as Moderator of the Mission & Ministries Commission (M&MC).

We also thanked Ruling Elder Warren McNeill (Newark) for his service as Moderator of the Synod Assembly, and re-commissioned him in his new role as Moderator of the M&MC.

During opening worship on Friday, September 21, the Assembly installed Ruling Elder Jacinth Hanson (New York City) as Moderator of the Synod Assembly (elected moderator-elect in 2016).

And on Saturday, September 22, the Assembly elected Rev. Leslie Latham (Western New York) as Moderator-Elect.

Biographical statements from Jacinth and Leslie are included below.

Other Officers
In addition to the moderator roles, the Assembly also re-elected the following officers for another four-year term:

  • Synod Leader – the Rev. Dr. Harold Delhagen

  • Stated Clerk – the Rev. Nancy Talbot

  • Treasurer – Ruling Elder Alan Ford

We are grateful for their ministry and continued willingness to serve.


Permanent Judicial Commission
The Assembly additionally elected the following people to the Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) class of 2024:

  • Rev. Casey Carbone (Northern New York)

  • RE Joe Martinoni (Newton)

  • RE Jim Mckinsey (Boston)

  • RE Daniel Ramirez (Palisades)

While this particular slate is not balanced on its own (all men and predominantly ruling elders), it reflects the need to rebalance the existing composition of the full PJC. For the current membership of the full PJC (prior to the upcoming term rotation), please see the Synod’s PJC webpage.

The number of people involved is both the beauty and challenge of the Presbyterian form of governance. We are so incredibly grateful to all of the above individuals, and the many others they are joining in current service, for their willingness to serve!!

Biographical Statements 

Jacinth Hanson - round.png

In January 2015, I attended my first meeting of the Synod Commission and was introduced to the New Way Forward. Over the course of that meeting, I became intrigued and excited; and as I approach close to [four] years as a member of the Mission and Ministries Commission, I am even more excited about the pathway that we are on as Presbyterians in the Northeast USA.

Since that first meeting, I have been serving as the convener of the Administrative Working group at Commission meetings. The working group provides assessments and recommendations to the Commission in the areas of budget, finance, investments, property, insurance, personnel, and policy matters. As convener, I am dedicated to facilitating our group in such a manner that all voices are heard, and that matters are addressed expediently, as we provide the Synod leadership and the Commission with the resources to carry out their missional purpose.

I represent the Presbytery of New York City. I have been a member for [seventeen] years of the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown, in Elmhurst, Queens, a historic and multicultural church established in 1652. I currently serve as financial secretary and assist with church administration. I am also team captain for FPCN in Action, our church team that raises funds annually for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. I believe that we are called by God to love people and to demonstrate His love by being His hands and feet, going and serving in His name.

In my secular life, I am the executive director of an adult academic and workforce development Center in downtown Brooklyn, funded by the State of New York. We educate and train students, providing a pathway for them to lifelong learning, college access and economic self-sufficiency. My academic training is in education, Spanish, and the political and economic development of Latin America. I have degrees from Adelphi and Georgetown Universities.

My experience as a teacher began at 15 years old when I started teaching Sunday School. Since then, I have also taught many confirmation and adult bible study classes. In both groups, I seek ways to engage our members not only in being Presbyterians, but in living as Presbyterians. How we live our daily lives as Christians is our witness to the world. Our experience cannot just be focused inside the walls of our church buildings, but must extend to our communities, whether it is at school, the workplace, in shopping or entertainment. It is in looking inward and outward: developing spiritually, and also working towards fulfilling the Great Commission by spreading the Good News.

I believe that the Synod of the Northeast is actively looking inward and outward. I thank God for the opportunity at this time to serve as [Moderator], and to participate in the creation of a new way forward in support of our presbyteries and congregations.

Prepared in advance of 2016 election as Moderator-Elect.
Edits included to correct current years of service and Synod role.

Leslie Latham - round.png

A few years ago I received a phone call from one of a very small number of people I cannot refuse who asked me, “Would you be willing to serve on the Synod Mission and Ministries Commission?” After we talked about The New Way Forward, the various ways the Synod had taken a deep hard look into its function, and what it would mean to be a commissioner, I agreed, and I’ve never looked back.

I have marveled at our Innovation Grants, which have propelled our applicants to think about NEW ways of doing ministry, and I’m grateful for the first-hand involvement of the Mission Working Group. I have stood in awe at our response to our sisters and brothers in Puerto Rico, and then gratefully and enthusiastically traveled to see the island first-hand—so I could be better prepared for the mission trips we are planning for late winter. I have applauded our efforts to hear every voice, ordained or not, and our not-yet successful path to change the Book of Order to a more inclusive and modern way of doing ministry. I have become a faithful cheerleader for the Synod of the Northeast!

Since 2007 I have been a minister member of the Presbytery of Western NY, first ordained to serve at Randolph United Church, and then called to serve at First Tonawanda, where I have been in ministry for over three years. I am a member of the presbytery Council, Chair of Committee on Preparation for Ministry, a board member of The Center for Christian Growth (our ecumenical Resource Center), and a board member for Presbyterian Senior Care. The newest ministry at my congregation is Memory Lane Respite Program, a free social program for people living with dementia that offers their caregivers four hours to take care of themselves without worrying about their loved one.

One of my greatest summer joys—and a perk of living so close by—is serving as a chaplain for the Service of Blessing and Healing at Chautauqua Institution. My godson’s parents live close by, so I am able to spend a good portion of Sunday there, never missing Sacred Song or evening vespers at the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. On Monday morning I attend worship, help lead Blessing and Healing, and then participate in the activities of the day. It is a way I am able to participate fully in worship, giving me strength and sustenance for the journey. As a pastor, I search out opportunities to be a liturgist (participant) as well as a leader in worship to restore my soul.

I’m a single mom to a 27-year old son who now serves as a youth minister for three churches in our presbytery; a graduate of Keuka College and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, an upcoming participant in Women Touched by Grace IV, an ecumenical spiritual formation program hosted by Benedictine nuns in Indiana, an avid cook, a so-so gardener (success with herbs; not so much with tomatoes), and huge fan of my adopted hometown of Buffalo.

I’m also a believer in our Synod and our on-going and evolving ministries, to reach out to those who have been ignored, belittled, and passed over. I’m very excited to be called to serve as Moderator Elect, and look forward to living out our call as God leads us.