Learning your song.

Hello, Cayuga-Syracuse!

I write this as I finish my first day of ministry in your midst, and as I prepare for the Presbytery meeting tomorrow.  I’m impatient (twitchy, even!) to get started – to plunge in head-first and to start casting a vision for what’s next…


I’m not going to do that.

You Called me to be your Resource Presbyter, and although I’m pretty sure none of us are sure of exactly what that means, I’m pretty certain it doesn’t involve me casting a singular vision for our work ahead.  Rather, I believe my task is to help equip us as a Presbytery to discern that vision together so that our congregations can effectively (and effusively!) share the transformative love of Jesus Christ.

I need your help in this.

College President J. Gordon Kingsley wrote that the real work of leadership is to learn the song of the tribe in order to sing the song of the tribe – to help others find their place in the song so that they can be participants in writing the next verse.  Over the next few months I hope to spend time listening to your song.  I want to meet you and yours where you are, so that I can better learn your song and your story.

Borrowing an idea from Sharon Core (Presbytery of Western Reserve), I’m scheduling a “Mobile Office Day” once a week.  What this means is that I’d like to come to your church with my laptop and hotspot and perch there for a day.  We’ll let folks in the Presbytery know that I’m there and that if anyone wants to stop by to chat or to share lunch (brown bag at noon!) they’d be welcome.  All I need is a place to sit – a Sunday school room, narthex or coatroom.  My goal is not to inconvenience you… so if this is impractical, we will figure out another way I can learn a bit about your congregation’s context.

I also covet invitations to visit your church on Sunday mornings (I’ll happily sit in the pew*) as well as attend the various meetings in and around your church – Session, Deacons, Youth Groups, Bible Studies, Knitting Groups (please?), etc.  Just send me an email at kchamis@cayugasyracuse.org and let me know what works for your congregation.

I look forward to learning your song… learning OUR song as a Presbytery.

Blessings –


*Happy to preach if you need me to (no honorarium!) but I’d really love to experience worship on a ‘normal’ Sunday.

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