Reflections from the February 10th Presbytery Meeting at the Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church in Guilderland, NY.

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The 316th Stated Meeting of the Albany Presbytery was held on February 10, 2018 at the Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church in Guilderland, NY.  Below are a few snippets/reflections offered from some of the shared business.  Official minutes will be offered at the next Presbytery meeting.

Major agenda items from the February 10th meeting listed below include the following reports.  See below for more details.

  • Guatemala Water Filters/PDA Presentation & Offering – Kathy Gorman-Coombs & Katy Stenta
  • Report from the Albany Presbytery Immigration Network – Terry Diggory
  • Personnel Committee: Approval of Temporary Presbytery, Bill Henderson – Viki Brooks
  • Budget & Finance – Tom Gregg : Please see Presbytery Meeting Page for details
  • Response to the SARC Report – Ted Wright
  • Speak Out –
    • Stewart – Wed: Learning about Islam
    • Laura – TAUM Event April 17 (Is there a flyer? We should get this on the Presbytery calendar)
    • Alexandra Lusak – Overture #30: Details below
    • Kate Kotfila – positive effects of the Pneumatrix training & Bridges Out of Poverty
    • Katy Stenta – Overture Young Pastors & TrailPraisers
  • COMAC – Holly Cameron: Please see Presbytery Meeting Page for details
  • Trustees – Carl Hasselbarth: Please see Presbytery Meeting Page for details
  • Committee on Representation & Nominations – Jerry McKinney: Please see Presbytery Meeting Page for details
  • Resolution Against Racist Nationalism – Terry Diggory

Kathy Gorman-Coombs
Chair, Guatemala Partnership Task Force

“Wow!  Thanks to the generosity of those at Presbytery on Saturday, $1000 was collected for the combined PDA/Guatemala Water Filter offering. For Guatemala, this means that with half of that, along with funds previously given designated specifically for water filters, we will be able to give $1250 to CEDEPCA to help provide clean water in Guatemala–that means 25 water filters, 25 households who’ll have clean water, who knows how many children who will have the opportunity to grow up with fewer of the health issues caused by impure drinking water.  Thank you!”

Kathy Stenta
Chair, Church Mission Committee

I would add Thank you for the Special Offering for PDA. The Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Fund is something the PC(USA) support especially during Lent to provide long term relief to victims of fire, flood, earthquakes, hurricanes and violence in the world. Here is the video we shared, in case you want to pass it along https://vimeo.com/241897222.

Terry Diggory, Co-Chair
Report from the Albany Presbytery Immigration Network

“Since initial conversation at the Presbytery meeting on June 6, 2017, the Albany Presbytery Immigration Network has held five meetings, most of them featuring presentations, for instance, from an attorney with the Albany Law Clinic and Justice Center; from a panel of immigrants from Costa Rica, Ghana and El Salvador; and from social workers engaged in rescuing victims of human trafficking in Saratoga County.  The next meeting of the network is set for March 8, with a program yet to be determined.   On January 22-23, Network coordinators Gusti Newquist (First United, Troy) and Terry Diggory (PNEC, Saratoga Springs) attended the inaugural Member Congress of the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), of which Albany Presbytery is now a member The email list for the Albany Presbytery Immigration Network now includes nearly 100 people, representing the full geographical range of Presbytery. Anyone interested in joining the list may contact Terry Diggory tdiggory@skidmore.edu

Viki Brooks
Personnel Committee

“The Presbytery approved the hiring of Bill Henderson, RE from Brunswick Presbyterian Church for the Temporary Presbyter position (6 months, 20 hours a week, renewable after 6 months).  Bill brings with him 20 years of work as an administrator in a medical office.  He is active in the Brunswick Church and offers his skills in preaching and teaching across the Presbytery.  He will be working with the following committees as a staff resource and coordination person:   Coordination Committee; Presbytery Meetings, Leadership and Development, Budget Committee, Mission Committee and Staff meetings.  

Welcome Bill!”

Response to the SARC Report – Ted Wright

“Ted Wright discussed the previous day’s meeting between Presbytery representatives and members of the Northeast Synod commission which had authorized the SARC report. Synod acknowledged difficulties in that process, and expressed support for Albany’s progress.”

Speak Out: Announcement & Events

Stewart Pattison: Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church is hosting the first four weeks of a twelve week study of Islam. There will be two weekly sessions beginning Sunday, Feb. 18 and Wednesday, Feb. 21.  Sunday sessions will be held from 11:30-1pm and Wednesdays from 10-11:30. Each session begins with a 30 minute lecture by Dr. John L. Esposito, Professor of Religion and International Affairs and Professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University.  The lectures are part of the Great Courses  and can be purchased at www.thegreatcourses.com

TAUM Annual Meeting: Laura Rogers: The Annual Dinner Program will include an update on 2017 activities and the election of Board Members.We are honored to have as our guest speaker Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm.  Please come join us.  RSVP by April 9th. Click here for location, time, and details: https://albanypresbytery.org/events/taum-annual-meeting-dinner-2018/

Overture #30: Alexandra LusakI urge pastors and sessions in Albany Presbytery to read and discuss General Assembly Overture #30 and its rationale. The overture was written and submitted by the Presbytery of San Francisco. It is entitled “On Jewish-Christian Dialogue and the Israeli Presence in Palestine” and is a courageous statement encouraging truthful, open, and bold interfaith dialogue with our Jewish partners in faith that engages the issue of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. At the April presbytery meeting, I will make a motion that Albany Presbytery concur with Overture 30.”

GA Overtures: Katy Stenta – “Thank you for concurring with all three overtures to GA about child and family leave. This effort has been established and coordinated entirely online via facebook, predominantly by younger pastors. If you want to see the future of the church, caring for each other in this way and building new relationships via the internet are put in their best perspective here.”

New Worship Service Opportunity: Katy StentaTrailPraisers is an Inclusive New Worshipping Community, designed to be welcoming for people of all ages and abilities. We had four churches represented at our Christmas Worship and our excited to have our next Lent Worship on March 24th 3pm.   Please like our Facebook page and let any and those interested as we are working hard to build relationships for this community. https://www.facebook.com/TrailPraisers/

Pneumatrix Training – Unexpected Results: Kate Kotfila – We have begun a “Warm Embrace” collection of winter work clothes as well as a collection of sweaters for the Guatemala Mission Team. We are intentionally connecting the migrant experience here in Washington County with the Mission Team’s charge to learn more about their homes and culture in Central America. We will work with Fran’s network to get the clothing delivered. We hope to get to know workers as we distribute. We also hope to hear ways we might serve them. We have already learned that transportation is a significant problem. It may be that Cambridge United Presbyterian Church is on the brink of adaptive change...”

Bridges Out of Poverty: Kate Kotfila – Please invite people to have and learn together. Those doing food pantry ministries or working with the poor.  Those tutoring children.  You don’t need to register, but it will help us plan for materials: https://albanypresbytery.org/events/presbytery-training-bridges-poverty-2018/

Terry Diggory, RE PNECC
Resolution Against Racist Nationalism

Thank you for your support.  Please read the following blog for more information: Resolution Against Racist Nationalism

Thank you all for your service.  Official minutes will be offered at the next Presbytery meeting.  See you at Cambridge United Presbyterian Church, Saturday, April 21, 2018 beginning at 10:00 a.m.  This will be a Presbytery-wide Training Event: Bridges Out of Poverty.  Registering isn’t necessary, however it will help us plan for materials: https://albanypresbytery.org/events/presbytery-training-bridges-poverty-2018/

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