Read our letters from Session about our COVID-19 response

Update from the COVID Task Force Committee – March 18 2021
Update from the COVID Task Force Committee – January 15 2021
When are we going to re-open? 062520
COVID Letter to Congregation 031820

Churchview Commons – our partnership for affordable housing
Gates Presbyterian Church has partnered with PathStone Corporation, developer of affordable housing, having entered into a 99- year land lease agreement for PathStone to build a two story 45 unit apartment building on land behind the church. CHURCHVIEW COMMONS will consist of 24 – 1 bedroom and 21- 2 bedroom units. We have also partnered with the YWCA of Rochester whose mission is to offer a continuum of supportive housing resources to single women and families who need a safe and secure home during times of crisis or homelessness.  Read more about this partnership here.


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Vital Congregations Initiative Update & Invitation

 Tuesday, April 13, 7 p.m.— on Zoom

  • What have we accomplished through VCI?
  • How to be vital in a Pandemic!
  • Could VCI be something for my congregation?

Facilitators: Susan Orr, acting Presbytery leader and Rev. Jim Renfrew, pastor of Byron Presbyterian Church

The Vital Congregations Initiative is a national effort of the PCUSA to strengthen and restore vitality in the ministry and mission of our congregations. Seven congregations in our Presbytery are currently engaged with VCI. Since this is a Presbytery project we thought it a good time to report on our progress.

What has been accomplished in our first year? No surprise, it’s been a challenge during a year of pandemic. If anything, the pandemic has demonstrated to us how vital congregations can be resilient, creative, and adaptive. Let’s hear some good stories of ways that our VCI pastors and leaders have kept us moving ahead!

In many presbyteries around the country a “re-boot” has been declared, a chance to revisit the Seven Marks of Vital Congregations and to re-engage with congregation and community. So we are in a time of “re-boot” in the Presbytery of Genesee Valley, too. It provides a perfect window of opportunity for other congregations to join with us. The Vital Congregations Initiative might be an excellent way for your congregation to move out of this past year’s isolation into new engagement.

This event is one of a series of “Congregational Learning Days,” special teaching and training events offered throughout the year. There is no fee involved, but you will have to provide your own goodies!

Register in advance here.

A confirmation message with zoom access information will be sent to you. This will be a unique link to you so be sure you keep it in an accessible place and is handy to you for the meeting.

Get more information about the PC(USA) Vital Congregations Initiative.

Contact Rev. Jim Renfrew with questions about this event at


2021 National Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD)The 2021 national Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) event will be virtual, and will take place from April 18-21.  This year’s EAD will advocate for Climate Justice, and will be an opportunity to support the global movement for climate justice centered on and led by the people and communities most vulnerable to climate impacts due to historic racial and colonial inequities.  If you or any member of your congregation is interested in receiving more information about this year’s virtual event, sign up for e-mail updates at the link below:


A course based on the book “Caste”, being offered by the Presbytery: Historical Roots of Racism

Thursday, April 22 & 29, 7 – 8:30 p.m.—via Zoom

Presenters: Rev. Dr. Carson Mouser and Elder Mindy Shaffer

This course explores how the roots of racism began in Europe through language and social structure before slavery began in the Western Hemisphere and continued in the creation of an American Caste System that is the heart of racial inequality today.

Historical Roots of Racism is designed as a two-part series, but each class can stand alone. It is based in part on the books: Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson, and White Man’s Burden, by Winthrop D. Jordan.  While not “required” reading for this course, these books provide a wealth of information.

Contact Elder Mindy Shaffer with questions about this event at