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The 318th Stated Meeting of the Albany Presbytery was held on June 5, 2018 at the Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church. 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 June 5th meeting listed below include the following reports. See below for more details.

  • Recognition of Honorable Retirements
  • Commissioning GA Commissioners and YAAD
  • Offering for Guatemala
  • Open Microphone/Speak Out
  • SPAT Presentation and Staffing Discussion
  • COMAC – Holly Cameron
  • Personnel Committee – Viki Brooks
  • Committee on Representation and Nominations – Jerry McKinney
  • Budget and Finance – Tom Gregg
  • Church Mission Committee – Katy Stenta

Recognition of Honorable Retirements

Rev. John Barclay, Rev. Victoria Brooks, and Rev. Allen Siebold were recognized and thanked for their service. All three are now considered Honorably Retired.

Commissioning of the 223 General Assembly Commissioners and YAAD

Moderator Arthur Fullerton commissioned Rev. Larry Greenwold and Ruling Elder Charlotte Hasselbarth as Albany Presbytery Commissioners and Ruling Elder Maxine Quaye as our Young Adult Advisory Delegate to the 223rd General Assembly. You can learn more about them and who else will be traveling to #GA223 from #AlbPresby in this article: Introducing the #GA223 Commissioners from #AlbPresby

Offering for Guatemala

An offering of a little over $700 was received to support those affected my the volcanic eruptions in Guatemala. These funds will be passed through to our partners in Guatemala. If you would like to contribute, please send your donations to the Albany Presbytery Office at: 1915 5th Ave, Troy, NY 12180

Open Microphone/Speak Out

  • Donna Elia – Please consider supporting the TAUM Feast – Dining for a Cause on June 14th
  • Tim Coombs – The Albany Presbytery will pay for your to attend this class: Certification in Community Organizing & Congregational Leadership – Click here to learn more
  • Margaret Randall – Church Pews available! Westminster Presbyterian Church is remodeling their chapel and anyone interested in church pews should contact the church office: office@wpcalbany.org or (518) 436-8544
  • Kathi Jones – Presbyterian Women/Albany Voting Representative to the Churchwide Presbyterian Women Business Meeting that precedes the Presbyterian Women Churchwide Gathering: “There is still plenty of time to make a donation or send cards. We are collecting $10.00 gift cards from CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and/or Target in order to help underprivileged parents with new babies with items like diapers and basic items such as baby care products. Some of the families have babies in the neonatal units or care and others are immigrants with the extra stress of settling down in addition to a new baby. Click here for a flyer which has a brief explanation. Please consider joining us in this worthy mission. My goal is to be able to take 100 cards from Albany Presbytery. I know we can do it! Send your donations of cards or checks made out to ‘PW Albany’ earmarked gift cards to: Rev. Kathi Jones, P.O. Box 267, Valatie, NY 12184 or call me at 518-755-2557 and I will gladly make arrangements to pick up your donation.”
  • Alexandra Lusak – Rensselaerville has replaced their hymnals. If anyone would like the previous Presbyterian Hymnals, please contact Alexandra Lusak.
  • As many of you know, Rev. Jennifer Wegter-McNelly is very ill and this has been taking a toll on the family finances. If you would like to contribute, Trinity Presbyterian Church has a fund set up. You can send funds to the Wegter-McNelly Family to Trinity Presbyterian Church, 185 Swaggertown Road, Scotia, NY 12302
  • Margaret Ewart shared that New Scotland Presbyterian Church is happy to be celebrating their 20 years in ministry with the Rev. Holly Cameron.
  • Katy Stenta shared that State Street Presbyterian Church and New Covenant Presbyterian Church will be celebrating the ordination of Nazish Naseem by the Pakistani Presbyterian Church on June 24th at 10:00 a.m. and welcome everyone to join them.
  • The June “Given” Retreat will be June 18-19. Please Register ASAP. Click here for more information.

Rev. Ted Wright, HR – Moderator SPAT
SPAT Presentation and Staffing Discussion

The following plan was approved for Summer Convocations to determine the way forward for our presbytery.  The schedule is as follows:

Complete Summer Schedule for Presbytery Convocations:

Four 2nd Tuesdays at Stillwater United
747 Hudson Avenue
Stillwater, NY 12170

June 12 • 6:30-8:30 p.m.
What would a stronger presbytery look like?
(Relate this to worship, mission, communication, children & youth, etc.)

July 10 • 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Staff:  What roles do we see as most important?
(Duties? Part-time? Full-time? Strong executive? More collegial models?)

Aug 14 • 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Finance:  Our optimal investment in staff…
(And is this level sustainable?)

Sept 11 • 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Relationships:  Can we better support one another?

Rev. Holly Cameron, Co-Chair
COMAC

“COMAC distributed a check request form to be used when a visiting pastor comes to lead worship or moderate Session; the form includes 2018 fees and mileage rate. The form is also posted on the Albany Presbytery website for the convenience of church treasurers and visiting pastors. Click here for this form. We honored retiring pastors John Barclay, Viki Brooks, and Allen Siebold, and acted to concur with their congregational meetings for dissolving the pastoral relationships. We reintroduced the Rev. Bill Schram to the presbytery; Bill had previously served as Interim Pastor in Northville, and is now serving as Interim Pastor at Westminster in Albany. We added ruling elders to our list of those trained to officiate at communion by invitation of their Session at their own church when a clergy person cannot be present. We reported that the Rev. Ken Applegate was chosen as Interim Transitional Pastor for First Presbyterian Church in Glens Falls. We also announced that Healthy Boundary Training will be offered Wednesday, July 18, and Saturday, October 20, at Malta Presbyterian Church; clergy who are due for this every-five-year training will be notified by COMAC.”

Rev. Viki Brooks, HR
Member, Personnel Committee

“The Presbytery acted to extend Bill Henderson’s contract to the end of 2018. The purpose of this is to amortize Bill’s benefits. In addition Personnel requested and the Presbytery approved a 2% Cost of Living Raise for all the staff in 2019. Rev. Scott DeBlock will be the Chair of the Personnel Committee beginning on July 1, 2018”

Rev. Jerry McKinney
Chair, Committee on Representation and Nominations

“The Committee nominated and the presbytery elected the Rev. Michael Burkley to serve as our next Vice Moderator. Michael is the pastor of the Rockwell Falls Presbyterian Church, and he has served on the Triennial Visit Team. Michael describes himself as a bridge builder, and his ministry has demonstrated this gift.

The Committee also informed the Presbytery of our need for one Ruling Elder and three Teaching Elders to be nominees for Synod Commissioner. The Presbytery will elect two RE Commissioners and two TE Commissioners at the September stated meeting. Two candidates for each position are needed.

The Committee called attention to the form for volunteers to serve on Presbytery committees that is available on our website.”

Rev. Tom Gregg
Coordinator, Budget and Finance Committee

“If you missed the last presbytery meeting you are going to want to check out the new Budget & Finance Committee Report. Bill Hasselbarth’s summary and assessment of the year to date April 30 operating results for the Presbytery of Albany contains more information concerning our overall financial picture on one page then you have ever seen in the past. B & F Committee thanks the committees who have submitted their 2019 budget requests and begs the few we are waiting on to get them in immediately. While working on the 2019 budget the B & F committee is also preparing  for the convocation on 8/14 (Open discussion: Finance: Our optimal investment in staff? Is this sustainable?) lead by the SPAT Team. I believe we have a Kairos opportunity to consider the health of our finances (bank accounts) as we discern the Spirit’s will for our future.”

Rev. Katy Stenta
Chair, Church Mission Committee

“Albany Presbytery voted to accredit and commend all three of the Campus Ministries that we support to the Synod of the Northeast. Letters for SUNY Cornerstone Interfaith Ministry, TAUM’s ministry at Russell Sage, and the ministry at Union.”

Albany Presbytery Announcements

Thank you all for your service.  Official minutes will be offered at the next Presbytery meeting. See you at Brunswick Church, Saturday, September 15, 2018 beginning at 1:00 p.m.

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