Other News

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Are you good at problem solving and negotiation? Are you interested in learning more about the long-term care system? Long-Term Care Ombudsman Volunteers set aside a few hours each week to visit a local long-term care facility to help promote the quality of life for residents. Ombudsmen advocate on behalf of residents and often work closely with residents, their families and facility staff to resolve problems to ensure the best quality of care. A free 36-hour training program is offered throughout the year for new ombudsmen. Contact Morgan or Becky at Action for Older Persons (607) 722-1251.


Witness in Washington Briefing Series

January 23, 10 am - 12pm - 100 Maryland NE - Washington, DC

Come hear policy experts discuss the pressing justice issues facing our country and the world. Learn how you can lift your voice with other people of faith and speak truth to power! We will be discussing two urgent topics:

 DACA  - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or "Dreamers" with

Meredith Owen, Policy Counsel, Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program and Israel/Palestine - Jerusalem, Anti-BDS legislation, and more with Lara Friedman, President,  Foundation for Middle East Peace

This is the launch of our new quarterly briefing series - we are also planning future in-person briefings for May, September, and December.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

We encourge participants to make appointments to meet with their members of congress in the afternoon after the briefing.

If you need assistance please feel free to contact us at 202 543 1126.

To RSVP and save your space click here.


BDS & Beyond: Prayerful Conversation

The 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) directed “the Presbyterian Mission Agency to facilitate dialogue events regarding  Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS), which would include the authors of the 2005 civil society call and interfaith partners who oppose the BDS movement and any interested Presbyterians.”

On Thursday, January 25th, the Presbyterian Mission Agency will host a dialogue for interested Presbyterians in New York City.

Location: Church of the Covenant
310 E. 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017 - Time: January 25, 2018, 9:00 a.m. —5:00 p.m.

Please register online here.

For more information, please contact Sue Rheem at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations at 212-697-4568 or sue.rheem(at)pcusa.org

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A Pilgrimage to Taizé, France for Young Adults (high school seniors through age 29) is being planned for June 30 - July 8, 2018 by our own Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley.  The leader is the Rev. Bobby Outterson-Murphy, Pastor of the United Ministry of Delhi.  This will be his third trip to Taizé.

As of December 30, 2017 about 10 young adults from our Presbytery are registered.  So, this trip is now being opened to young adults from other presbyteries and ecumenical partners in our communities.  Space is limited to a total of 20.  The new deadline for applications is January 31, 2018.

If you know of a young adult who may be blessed by this Christian enrichment opportunity, but has not registered yet -- please ask him or her to contact Bobby Outterson-Murphy ASAP at 607-746-2191, ext. 202 (church) or 607-431-8351 (cell) or pastor(at)umdelhi.org

WHAT: Taizé is an ecumenical community in central France made up of Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christians.  The community welcomes people, regardless of their faith, to join them in their rhythm of life and prayer.  Each week, anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand young adults from all over the world journey to Taizé.

WHY: Taizé is a special opportunity to step back from your ordinary life and experience God’s presence in community.  At Taizé pilgrims find a welcoming place to be accepted just as you are -- all listening for the Spirit of God.  Through sung prayer, silence, and community, people often find a deep peace and simplicity that enriches their lives.

Check out the Taizé website (www.taize.en) to learn more about Taizé.

Cost:  For Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley (PSV) pilgrims we hope to limit individual cost to $400 (1/3 of the total $1,200).  PSV will cover 1/3 and we anticipate that the last 1/3 will come from each participant’s local church and/or fundraising efforts.

Non-refundable deposits and application forms are due by January 31, 2018.

Thank you for sharing this email and attachments with young adults in your congregation and community who are eligible for this special opportunity for Christian enrichment.

Attached are:

1)    PSV Taizé Press Release (similar to message above)

2)    PSV Taizé Information flyer

3)    PSV Taizé Application form

May your New Year be filled with blessings and peace.

In Christ’s service,


Cynthia L. Walton-Leavitt (Rev. Dr.)
Pastor, First United Presbyterian
(aka The "Red Door" Church)
2 Walling Avenue
Oneonta, NY 13820
(607) 432-7520 church; 267-4333 study
(607) 437-9350 cell

Alert.jpgWashington Report to Presbyterians -- Call Congress to Pass a #DreamActNow!

United We Dream has taken over the Senate Building and several Senators' offices to demand a Clean Dream Act and a path to citizenship for Dreamers! Learn about what's happening live and how you can participate and support these efforts - http://weareheretostay.org/dreamact-sitins/

  The work of immigrant youth has brought us to this point! We need to continue urging congress to pass the Dream Act now. Call Congress and demand them a solution.

Congress has a choice: they can either protect immigrant youth or continue to expose thousands more to deportation from their home. Take action and call your Congress member for a #DreamActNow: 1-888-778-6856. Call your Member of Congress today and support 800,000 Dreamers as they continue to fight for their ability to live, work, and remain safe from deportation. We need a #DreamActNow. 

Last week, Judge Alsup in the Northern District of California set of cases halted the government’s termination of the DACA program.  So what does that mean?

The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) offers the following summary -
The judge granted the individual DACA recipients, cities and states who brought that case (except Maine and Minnesota, which it found did not possess the right kind of standing to bring their Administrative Procedure Act claims) a preliminary injunction. This is an extraordinary form of relief, and a temporary one.

 We need to push forward with our advocacy efforts to push for a clean Dream Act! 

Resources to assist with action:

1. Coming from the organizing of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, the Faith4Dream has a week of action that can guide action found at http://bit.ly/2AMmpqY

2. Call Congress to urge the passing of a clean Dream Act with script - http://p2a.co/h9D09nz

In 2004, the PC(USA) The 216th General Assembly passed a resolution to “advocate the establishment by law of a comprehensive legalization program for undocumented persons already living and working in the United States.” The resolution went on to say “the church is called to witness to the reconciliation that Christ brings to the world. This is no cheap covering over of divisions and differences. Instead, reconciliation points to a dynamic unity of richly diverse humankind in which justice is established and each one is treasured as a gift of the Creator. General Assembly policies consistently emphasize that the “confession of Jesus Christ as Lord transforms ‘strangers’ into neighbors who are welcomed into our communities” (Minutes, 1999, Part I, p. 353, a.(3)).

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The tax legislation signed into law by President Trump will not require changes to the Benefits Plan or its core benefits. Other tax-advantaged employer benefits and individual deductions are affected by the far-reaching law.

Most of the law's changes, including the tax rate changes, are effective January 1, 2018, demanding that employers and individuals take action early in 2018, once the Internal Revenue Service releases implementation guidance. We will share this information and other outside resources as they become available.

The Board of Pensions will post educational resources for church employers and members on its Board University site throughout the transition. We will promptly update our tax and financial planning resources and publish Q&A's as needed. We intend to develop an updated Tax Tips webinar for employers and make it available to employers and members.  As always, employer services and member services representatives are available to provide guidance Monday through Friday at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN), 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. ET.

2018 Liturgical Calendar

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary publishes a liturgical calendar each year online (8-1/2 x 11 with liturgical colors).  At the “Red Door” we find it very helpful.

Click here or to download look for the rectangle link at www.lpts.edu

Submitted by Cynthia L. Walton-Leavitt

Join us for Advocacy Training Weekend!

April 20-23, 2018  in Washington, DC

A World Uprooted: Responding to Migrants, Refugees and Displaced People

Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day April 20  8:00 – 4:30

Ecumenical Advocacy Days  April 20-23

We live in a time of upheaval and uprootedness – a world in which each year millions of people cross borders in search of more secure and sustainable lives, while white supremacist ideologies continue to impede the fight for justice and peace for all of God’s people.  As we witness historically high levels of migration, we also find that racism, sexism, Islamophobia, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination are also on the rise in our communities and used for political gain.  At the root of this global upheaval and migration are the push factors of violent conflict, climate change, and corruption which often intersect with one another.  At a time when there is such need around the world, we grieve that the U.S. has greatly reduced its refugee admittance numbers while smaller, poorer countries are stepping up to welcome and provide refuge for those in need.  As people of faith, we know we can do more.  We believe God is with Dreamers, the migrant and the outcast and calls us to create places of sanctuary; to offer hospitality to the stranger, to welcome all – regardless of faith, race, gender or nationality – and to break down the dividing walls that separate us.

Join us Friday April 20th for Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day - a day of fellowship education and organizing with Presbyterians.  Then, join our ecumenical brothers and sisters for a weekend of education and advocacy at Ecumenical Advocacy Days the evening of April 20th through the 23rd.

Keynote Speaker announced for Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day -  Matilde Moros is a decolonial, transnational feminist Christian ethicist, for whom theological and social ethics must respond to sexual violence and racism which have led to social exclusion of many peoples including Latin American and Latinx communities.  Her research on the communal and historical effects of violence has led her to an approach to liberation ethics in which resistance methods has become the primary focus.  Dr. Matilde Moros  is Assistant Professor with the Department of Gender Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA

More information on Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day coming soon!  To register, click here.  For more information about Ecumenical Advocacy Days and to register, click here!

2018 Standard Mileage Rates

WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2018 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

Mailing and phone number change for the Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley

The mailing address for the presbytery office has changed to PO Box 87, Nineveh, NY 13813.  The new phone number is 607-323-4477. The presbytery staff would like to thank you all for your patience as we head forward.


Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley is on FACEBOOK! “Like us” and share news of your congregation or team or committee!

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