Presbyterian Women

Presbyterian Women (PW) is an independent organization within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) of more than 300,000 women. It offers women in the church meaningful ways to live out their faith in the midst of a caring community of women. Presbyterian Women was created in 1988 with the reunited Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Presbyterian Women has a structure similar to that of PCUSA, in that there are groups called Circles at the Congregation level and Coordinating Teams at the Presbytery, Synod and Church-wide levels.

PW Purpose
Forgiven and freed by God in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to nurture our faith through prayer and Bible study, to support the mission of the church worldwide, to work for justice and peace, and to build an inclusive, caring community of women that strengthens the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and witnesses to the promise of God’s kingdom.

Birthday Offering of Presbyterian Women
The Birthday Offering is a PW offering received in the spring of each year to celebrate the blessings in the lives of Presbyterian Women. The offering funds up to five projects that are not included in ongoing General Assembly mission support, such as agricultural development, child care, community organization, criminal justice, drug counseling, economic justice, elderly care, employment training, homelessness, literacy, violence and women’s concerns.

For additional information and to download the application form, click here

Thank Offering
The Thank Offering is a PW offering collected in the fall of each year that gives women a tangible way to express their gratitude for the special blessings in their lives. The offering funds projects such as agricultural development, child care, community organization, criminal justice, drug counseling, economic justice, elderly care, employment training, homelessness, literacy, violence and women’s concerns. At least 40% of this offering supports health ministries throughout the world. The remaining 60% funds new creative ideas for mission.

For additional information and to download the application form, click here

https://youtu.be/roPBu3YuWZg

UPCOMING EVENTS

April 22, 2021: Spring Gathering of Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of Albany at First Presbyterian Church of Hudson Falls. The speaker will be Nancy Pienta, Moderator of Presbyterian Women in First Presbyterian Church in Valatie. She will speak on “The Climate Crisis.” 9:45-11:45am 

2021 Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women – The theme for the Gathering is “Rejoice in Hope” based on Romans 12:12–13, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” August 5-8, 2021 in St. Louis,Missouri. Click here for details and watch the trailer video below

SISTERS STAND AND WALK TOGETHER (SSWT)

This class can be up to a three-year program of Presbyterian Women in the Synod of the Northeast. It was originally designed to acclimate and motivate new immigrant women from congregations within the Synod to Presbyterian Women. They met three times a year. We hope to attract ALL women who are new to Presbyterian Women who want to start or enhance an existing PW group by learning skills to prepare for leadership roles. There is no financial cost to the participant.

The goals of the program are to build community and confidence, help women feel comfortable with public speaking and commit to the purpose of Presbyterian Women. The next class begins Sat., April 6, 2019, from 9:30 – 3:00 pm. More classes will be scheduled at everyone’s mutual need and availability. Click here for more details.

Albany Presbyterian Women’s Newsletter

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Psalm118:24

Fall 2020

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever

Message from Acting Moderator

It is very impressive that Presbyterian Women from the Churchwide, Synod, Presbytery and Congregation levels have sustained and kept faithful to the “PW Purpose” during this the strange and challenging time. As a result of the current technology, which seems like magic to me, I have been able to connect with PW women all over the country. I have attended PWSNE meetings, Zoom get togethers with PW women in other Synods and a webinar on the 2020–2021 Horizons Bible study Into the Light: Finding Hope Through Prayers of Lament.

Our Fall Zoom Gathering was on Oct.13. We had 32 people at the Gathering and 13 of them were from other presbyteries, which included the PWSNE and Churchwide Moderators. Lisa Gray, immediate past Moderator of Presbyterian Women in the Synod of the Northeast (PWSNE) presented the program Standing on the Gifts of Empowered Historic Women. She spoke about her experiences as a participant in the 2019 USA Mission Experience Trip to the Finger Lakes Region. Nancy Pienta also told us about the Mask Project.

PW groups throughout the country will be collecting funds for the Thank Offering grants. This year an organization in the Synod of the Northeast was one of the recipients. “Family Promise of Wayne County, N.Y., Inc. Day Resource Center “received a $22,500 grant for renovations to its “Day Resource Center”, which also serves as an emergency overnight shelter.

At the Oct. 30-31 PWSNE 2020 Triennial/Fall Gathering, Rev. MJ Pattison, former Parish Associate at Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church was installed as the Clergywomen on the PW in the Synod of the Northeast Coordinating Team. Two highlights of the program were the presentations by Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, President/ Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency and Sue Rheum, the Specialist at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, who spoke about the “Commission one the Status of Women”. Eight women for PW in the Albany Presbytery attended the Gathering.

The Steering Committee of PW in the Presbytery of Albany is looking for someone who will prepare a newsletter for us. This newsletter is pilot for what we hope to be able to send out in the

future. It would be up to you how fancy or not it is and how often to publish it. Please let me know if you have an interest in this role.

We are also looking for new members for our Steering Committee. It’s not a labor- intensive committee. We are mainly looking for news ideas. Our major work is planning our two

Gatherings each year. We make a lot of decisions via email and have started having Zoom meetings as needed at a mutually convenient time. We meet about twice a year.

Charlotte Hasselbarth

Pastor’s Perspective

Women have always been leaders in the church – even before there was a “church”, women were there. We have carried the faith, lived the Great Commission, stood up for and put our lives on the line for those who are oppressed and needy, taught our children, gathered together for fellowship, prayer and study, and preached the Good News.

I am grateful for all the women who nurtured me in the faith. While my mother didn’t go to church, she made sure the four of us were dressed in our Sunday best and walked the proverbial mile to Sunday School. Miss Valentine was one of those teachers who made such an impression on me, I walked to her house just to see where she lived and stood across the street to take it in. Mrs. Brisbane was the youth group leader with her husband, and they were instrumental in my growth as they challenged me to learn and lead in a time when girls didn’t take those positions.

When I decided to finish college as a married woman with a blended family of five, I was encouraged by the women of the church, even as I was the pastor’s wife.

Barbara Wheeler, the President of Auburn Seminary, gave me great encouragement to pursue seminary education. My sponsor from the Committee on Preparation for Ministry was a wonderful older woman who cheered me on when I wasn’t sure I could do it. And it was a woman who was moderator of the presbytery when I was ordained who lent me a stole for ordination as I didn’t have one (the church gave me a set for my ordination which didn’t arrive on time).

Many women have stood beside me over my 31 years since then.

I hope that there are many women who feel that I have been helpful to them. From marriage counseling, to study groups, to organists and secretaries, to confirmands, to teachers, colleagues, parishioners, neighbors, I have tried to remember what I learned at the feet of those who went before me and pass those lessons and that faith on.

I am grateful to God for my ministry and all who have helped me to grow in faith, courage and wisdom. I now understand those saints that led me and their joy at leading someone to a stronger understanding of the love of Jesus Christ through their own actions and words. Presbyterian Women are an amazing group and their work continues – one person at a time.

Rev. Kathi L. Jones

Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Valatie

Financial News

Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of Albany (PWP) relies on contributions from PW groups in the congregations plus income from registration fees at the Spring and Fall Gatherings to cover our expenses. Since there were no in person gatherings this year, there was no income from registration fees. We have gone from twelve active contributing groups a number of years ago to only two groups that have consistently made contributions in the past few years. Other groups and individuals have given money on an occasional basis, which is very much appreciated.

Each year we send a contribution to Presbyterian Women’s Synod of the Northeast (PWSNE) which goes toward leadership training, scholarships to gatherings, and operating expenses. We also offer an honorarium to speakers at our gatherings and pay a portion of the expenses for a voting representative to attend the business meetings of the PWSNE and the Churchwide Gathering. At this time the Churchwide Gathering is still scheduled for 2021 and we will be sending someone to attend meetings, elect officers, and vote on business matters. This year we had voted to provide $100 toward the cost for someone to attend the Bible Study workshop and bring back information for local groups. This event was unfortunately canceled in 2020 but we would still like to provide that scholarship next year. Maintaining connections with the larger Presbyterian Women’s organization and providing information to groups in the Presbytery of

Albany requires steady funding. Therefore, we would encourage you to consider a contribution to the operating fund of the PWP on an annual basis. We appreciate donations from Congregation PW groups and individuals.

Our Fall Gathering by Zoom was held October 13. Contributions to the mission of the speaker’s choice are going to the PWSNE USA Mission Experience Fund (USAME) to help with expenses for the representative who will be attending in 2025.

Please send contributions for both the USAME and PWP operating fund to Rosalie Hemingway, 3213 Church Street, Valatie, NY 12184 with checks made out to Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of Albany and PWPCT or USAME in the notation line. Both may be included on the same check with proper documentation.

Rosalie Hemingway, Treasurer

Albany Presbytery Mission Resource Videos

The Albany Presbytery has 6 mission partners. These are the groups that the Presbytery provides some financial support to. They are:

Campus Protestant Ministry at Union College

Protestant Campus Ministry at UAlbany

Rural and Migrant Ministry

Schenectady Inner City Mission

Troy area United Ministries

Troy United Ministries: Chaplaincy at the Sage Colleges

These programs align with 3 phrases in the Presbyterian Women’s Purpose.

To support the mission of the church worldwide,

To work for justice and peace,

To strengthens the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Each congregation’s contribution to the Presbytery budget helps to support these programs. To help members of the Presbyterian churches in the Albany Presbytery learn about these projects, the Presbytery Mission Committee has produced videos about each organization. You can find the videos at this link.

https://albanypresbytery.org/resources/mission-resources/

 

Mission

Mask Project

Since 1981 Rural & Migrant Ministry, a statewide, non-profit organization has been standing proudly with the rural and migrant communities throughout New York.

Mission Statement:
Rural & Migrant Ministry works for the creation of a just, rural New York State through:

  • Nurturing leadership

  • Standing with the disenfranchised, especially farmworkers and rural workers

  • Changing unjust systems and structures

The Presbytery Mission Committee wants to lift up a request from one of our six Mission Partners.

Rural and Migrant Ministry (RMM) needs re-usable face masks.  Here is a simple, non-financial way to support our partner – and in the process, to learn about their good work.

We invite all congregations to donate at least 10 re-usable masks. Perhaps you have people who can make them at home.  Perhaps they may know of other sources.  Our ultimate goal is 1,000 masks, which averages to about 20 per church. Whatever you can do – 10, 20, or 200 – will be much appreciated. Use your favorite mask pattern, or find a pattern online. You may also email us at the addresses listed below should you need assistance.

Please ship your church’s completed masks to: First Presbyterian Church of Valatie, Box 267, Valatie, NY 12184. Re-usable facemasks are needed by Rural and Migrant Ministry, a mission partner of the Albany Presbytery. You can find details on
https://albanypresbytery.org/hands-on-mission-opportunity-to-support-rural-migrant-ministry/

Thank you in advance for any support you can give to this effort.

In Christ,
Nancy Pienta
Ruling Elder of First Presbyterian Church of Valatie & Member of the Albany Presbytery Mission Committee

Presbyterian Women’s 2021 Churchwide Gathering

August 5–8, 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri

The theme for the Gathering is “Rejoice in Hope” based on Romans 12:12–13, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.”

For more information, see:


https://www.presbyterianwomen.org/what_we_do/build-community/churchwide-gathering/

Up Coming Events

Save These Dates

Nov. 7, 7-8 pm: Africa Family Night, a virtual fundraiser for Westminster Presbyterian Church’s African Mission. Westminster PW Co-Moderators, Felicia Kollie-Gambles and Anita Opoku-Asante will be participants in an African dance performance.

Date TBA: Spring Gathering of Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of Albany at First Presbyterian Church of Hudson Falls. The speaker will be Nancy Pienta, Moderator of

Presbyterian Women in First Presbyterian Church in Valatie. She will speak on The Climate Crisis.

Thurs., Aug. 5 – Sun., Aug. 8, 2021: Presbyterian Women’s Churchwide Gathering in St. Louis, Missouri. The Theme is Rejoice in Hope. 

For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations

Psalm 100:5

Elder Andrea Ralph

Acting Editor