It might not sound like such a revelation to offer a movie night, but Ogdensburg has no movie theater. The small city used to be a thriving port, but the economy tanked nearly a decade ago. Now there is poverty, isolation, and a constant flow of drugs over the Canadian border putting the town at risk of addiction and opening it to the destructive forces that loneliness and anger and a sense of abandonment can unleash.
The Synod has historically supported campus ministries throughout our geographical bounds. One of these ministries is the Protestant Chapel Community, a ministry of Genesee Area Campus Ministries, led by Presbyterian Teaching Elder Laurie Tiberi. She gathers students for weekly Sunday worship and Wednesday Dinner Dialogues, as well as Saturday student-led bible study and service in a local soup kitchen, game nights and social events.
Westminster Presbyterian Church in Buffalo received the Katherine Hawes Award, which recognizes ministries that engage youth in all areas of the church’s mission, extending beyond the church into the community and the world. The youth fundraise all year for an annual mission trip to Hartford, Maine, where they assist the community in preparing for winter. The youth bunk and worship daily with the Hartford Community Church. The Hartford church then sends their youth group to reciprocate in the Buffalo community. A bond was formed between two communities that dwell 600 miles apart but only inches apart in mission.