We are delighted to welcome Andrea Joy Holroyd as Temporary Parish Leader serving the United Presbyterian Church in Schoharie. We wanted to take a moment to connect and learn a little more about her.
Before we get started, can you tell us a little bit about where you grew up, any siblings, your family, etc?
I grew up attending Union Presbyterian Church in Schenectady through my high school graduation; when I was five years old my parents followed a choir director from Broadway Methodist in Schenectady to Union Pres. Rev. Don Stake, Rev. Peg Miller, and Rev. Kay Truax, along with all the good people of that congregation who helped out with Sunday school, were in large part responsible for my earliest theological training. The most important lesson I learned while at Union Presbyterian Church was to question assumptions, think for myself, and see community in all manner of ways. When I attended college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, my parents switched choirs to the Westminster Presbyterian Church choir in Albany where they have been ever since. I love singing and see it as another form of prayer and communicating with all people about God’s message for us, and therefore personally find Congregational Song a vital part of worship. I have two younger sisters and grew up with a menagerie of rescued cats and dogs. My parents are down to two orange kitties at this time, Jack and Phryne.
Will you share with us a little bit about how you are associated with the Albany Presbytery?
I was under care at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Albany during my seminary education which I completed at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY. I have been inquirer and candidate in the Albany Presbytery, and I have had the chance to work with various ecumenical missions and organizations in Albany. A few summers ago I worked a joint summer role with the Capital Region Theological Center as well as the FOCUS mission and ministry organization, after which time I worked as a receptionist at Dr Bob Paeglow’s missional primary care office in Albany. I saw many of the same people I had met over the summer. While I did not feel a call to work in the cities, I was able to see how city blocks and missional organizations can help the poor in the cities, and how these groups can create community within the anonymity of the city. It was a good learning and discernment time. While I was not directly working with the Albany Presbytery for this missional work, I did feel connected to work supported by the presbytery.
What will be your role at the United Presbyterian Church in Schoharie?
I am the Parish Leader at Schoharie United Presbyterian church, a bit of a strange-seeming title, but very appropriate for the job I am doing. I have spiritual care of this parish area at a time of transition, including Worship and Pastoral Care. I will work with COMAC and other committees both for better care of the small churches in this area, and also for my own growth and discernment. I am not ordained, although I would like to be, and this opportunity serves the needs of this community and gives Albany Presbytery a chance to get to know me.
Share with us a little about your hobbies?
I knit, read many different genres of book, contra dance, sing and play music for fun. I enjoy cooking and baking, hikes in the woods, and kayaking/canoeing the beautiful rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes in this area. We are blessed with living in a wonderful corner of creation. I am looking forward to snowshoeing in the winter, and just received some cross-country ski gear which I am excited to use. Hopefully we get a little more snow!
What are your plans following your time at the United Presbyterian Church in Schoharie?
I hope this opportunity works out to be beneficial for everyone and we can make my presence in Schoharie United Presbyterian into an ordainable call. I have already moved in my books!
The purpose of the Albany Presbytery Blog is to share information, tell stories, and promote the mission and ministry of the presbytery, synod and beyond. While the breadth of this medium is intentionally broad, it is not a platform for opinion pieces related to business coming before the presbytery unless designed as part of an initiative to provide a diversity of viewpoints at the direction of the presbytery. Exceptions to this policy may be brought to the presbytery officers who will determine appropriateness of submissions.