Advocacy at Third Presbyterian Church

How terrible it will be for those who make unfair laws, and those who write laws that make life
hard for people. They are not fair to the poor, and they rob my people of their rights. They allow
people to steal from widows and to take from orphans what really belongs to them. (Isaiah 10:1-2)

Advocacy is about taking action(s) to create the kind of world and community that Jesus wants us to have. We do as we are able ... knowing we are able to do.

  • About
  • Volunteer
  • FAQ
  • Contacts
  • Reps.

About Advocacy at Third

At Third Presbyterian our advocacy efforts are both internally and externally connected. Many times our congregation has responded to specific calls for petitions, letters, calls and other activities to our elected officials and community leaders. We partner with a number of other congregations, community organizations, and partnerships with the Urban Presbyterians Together (UPT) and the Genesee Valley Presbytery. We join with the national and international Presbyterian governing bodies.

All are free to tackle issues important to them and to express personal positions as Christians and citizens. You are welcome to get involved. The only restriction is that a position represented as being the position of the church must be supported by Session. Actions taken by Third Presbyterian may be supported by Advocacy, and then recommended to the Outreach Committee for disposition by the Session.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are many opportunities to support the advocacy efforts through Third Church. Some, but not all, suggestions:

  • Become a volunteer in one of the many Outreach programs. Most have an advocacy element,

  • Hunger Programs: Dining Room Ministry, Food Cupboard, Bread for the World

  • Housing related: RAIHN, Habitat for Humanity

  • Peacemaking: Kihumo, Amnesty International

  • Education: Tutoring at School 3 and School 35, The Corner Place

  • Gun Violence

  • Disaster Relief: Katrina & RHINO

  • Become a member of the Advocacy Committee

  • Get involved in a specific Social Justice Issue

  • Write a letter to your elected representatives (see CONTACTS)

  • Attend an Adult Education class on a Social Justice Issue

If there is an issue you feel passionate about, there are like-minded persons here that encourage you to put your ideas into action and to support your efforts.

Please contact:

Dale Maddock, Advocacy Chair

Rev. Lynette Sparks: Associate Pastor at Third Presbyterian Church
(585)271-6513 ext 106

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

How can I help? Get involved.

Put your talents, experiences, interests and expertise to work with like-minded persons to build a more Christ-like world today. Become part of our family and community.

Who are my elected representatives?

See the "Reps" Tab above

How have we supported it in the past?

Third Presbyterian Church has had a rich history of community involvement in Rochester. As early as 1838, stands against the abuse of liquor and against slavery were presented. We have been involved in education reform for over 100 years. The church was an early supporter of the Girl Scout movement. At various times in history, the church has started an employment agency, pushed for study of the city building code and helped in the reorganization of the school board and the beginning of night schools.

For over 20 years our Dining Room Ministry has been providing meals for the hungry. Our Food Cupboard provides food supplies for families in need. The RAIHN coalition provides shelter for families who find themselves without a home. Our support for Bread for the World is longstanding. We are a Habitat for Humanity partner. Our tutoring programs and The Corner Place are testament to our longstanding commitment to education. In addition to these hands-on programs, we press for social and legal measures through our advocacy actions so that permanent solutions to these issues can be realized. Our advocacy actions also support Bread for the World, Amnesty International and other peacemaking programs to press governments to act in a fair and just manner to their citizens. In addition, we offer many educational programs and talks concerning more topical issues such as hydrofracking and health issues.

What are we supporting now?

At this time, the events in Newtown, CT have been very much on our minds. The issue of gun violence is very complex and, and in some instances, very divisive. God compels us to act to take actions that will help prevent these very unnecessary deaths and injuries in the future. A committee of concerned members have formed to discern how we might address this issue. In March, there will be an educational forum concerning gun violence for the congregation. A showing of the film documentary ‘Trigger’ is being planned for a public viewing off-site. A committee is gathering materials and determining actions that can be taken to affect changes in gun laws and public health responses.

As a complement to our hunger programs, Third Presbyterian Church will host an area wide Bread For The World seminar. This presentation will address hunger issues, current advocacy activities and initiatives, and offer training to strengthen advocacy efforts on our local level. This will also take place in March.

The Urban Presbyterians Together (UPT) task force on education continues its series of monthly gathering to hear other community organizations and education professionals points of views regarding the important topic of the state of Rochester’s city schools. The goal is to develop actions and recommendations that UPT can coalesce around as a strategy to affect positive measureable results for our city’s students. UPT represents the 12 Presbyterian congregations within Rochester’s boundaries.

There are many other efforts from within the Outreach programs and other ministries of the church. We continue to press for our NYS legislators for a more balanced allocation of funding for programs within the state directed toward hunger needs. We anticipate that there will be additional letters and petitions to follow for these initiatives.

Advocacy - Contacts

If you are interested in supporting the efforts of Amnesty International, please contact one of the following people:

Dale Maddock - Advocacy Chair

Rev. Lynette Sparks: Associate Pastor at Third Presbyterian Church
(585)271-6513 ext 106

Let Your Voice Be Heard

As citizens we have not only the right, but the responsibility to express our opinions about the workings of our government. Become aware of the issues before the legislature. Write, e-mail - or better yet - visit your elected officials when they are in the district (usually on Friday) to tell them your views.

To find your federal or state representative

Find my representatives …
type your address and/or zip code.

Below you will find links to all elected representatives.

Federal: The President
Federal: Senate
Federal: House
New York State: The Governor
New York State: Senate
New York State: Assembly
Monroe County
City of Rochester and City/Village Officials

  • Email addresses:  To contact officials by email, click on their address

  • Web page addresses:  To contact officials through their web pages, click on the link and it will take you to their web site.



The Honorable Barak Obama, President of the United States, The White House,
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500  
to comment, call: (202) 456-1111
To contact by email:

US Senate

Senate majority leader

The Honorable Harry Reid, US Senate, 522 Hart Senate Office Bldg, Washington, DC 20510,
(202) 224-3542
To contact by email:

Senators for New York state

The Honorable Charles Schumer
US Senate, 322 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-6532.
To contact by email:

The Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand
US Senate, 478 Russell Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-4451
To contact by email:

US House of Representatives

Speaker of the House

The Honorable John Boehner, Speaker of the House, 1011 Longworth, HOB,  Washington, DC  20515
(202) 225-6205.
To contact by email:

House of Representatives for Rochester area by legislative districts

The Honorable Richard Hanna, US House of Representatives, 319 Cannon, HOB, Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3665 
To contact by email:

The Honorable Ann Marie Buerkle, US House of Representatives, 1630 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3701
To contact by email:

The Honorable Chris Lee, US House of Representatives, 1711 Longworth, HOB, Washington, DC 2051
(202) 225-5265.
To contact by email:

The Honorable Louise M. Slaughter, US House of Representatives, 2469 Rayburn, HOB, Washington, DC 20515-3228
(202) 225-3615
To contact by email:

The Honorable Tom Reed, US House of Representatives, 1037 Longworth, HOB, Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3161
To contact by email:

New York State


The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York State, NYS State Capitol Building, Albany, NY 12224-0341
(518) 474-8390  
To contact by email:

NYS Senate

Senate Majority Leader

The Honorable Dean Skelos, Room 907, LOB, Albany, NY 12247
(518) 455-3171
To contact by email:

New York State Senate districts for Rochester area

The Honorable Michael F. Nozzolio, 188 State Street, Room 413, LOB,  Albany, NY 12247
(518) 455-2366
To contact by email:

The Honorable James S. Alesi, 188 State Street,Room 304, LOB, Albany, NY 12247,
(518) 455-2015
To contact by email:

The Honorable Joseph E. Robach, 188 State Street, Room 608, LOB, Albany, NY 12247
(518) 455-2909
To contact by email:

The Honorable George D. Maziarz, 188 State Street, Room 708, LOB, Albany, NY 12247
(518) 455-2024
To contact by email:

NYS Assembly

New York State Assembly Speaker

The Honorable Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the NYS Assembly, LOB 932, Albany, NY 12248
(518) 455-3791
To contact by email:

Assembly districts for Rochester area

The Honorable Bob Oaks, LOB 448, Albany, NY 12248,
(518) 455-5655
To contact by email:                    

The Honorable Sean Hanna, LOB 543, Albany, NY 12248,
(518) 455-5662
To contact by email:

The Honorable Harry B. Bronson, LOB 553, Albany, NY 12248,
(518) 455-4527
To contact by email:

The Honorable Joseph D. Morelle, LOB 716, Albany, NY 12248,
(518) 455-5373
To contact by email:

The Honorable David F. Gantt, LOB 830, Albany, NY 12248,
(518) 455 5606
To contact by email:

The Honorable Bill Reilich,  LOB 322, Albany, NY 12248,
(518) 455-4664
To contact by email:

The Honorable Mark Johns,  LOB 643 ,Albany, NY 12248,
(518) 455-5784
To contact by email:

The Honorable Daniel Burling, LOB 635, Albany, NY 12248,
(518) 455-5314
To contact by email:

Monroe County and Towns/Villages

(No single site lists all officials) (a comprehensive cross-indexed site to all federal, state, and local officials) (Republican office holders across the county) (Current federal and state representatives)

City of Rochester

All city officials and services are located on this up-to-date site