“Will you be a friend to your colleagues in ministry…” by Alexandra Lusak

On Tuesday, September 5, shortly before noon, I arrived at El Mexicano restaurant on Route 50 in Saratoga Springs for lunch with sisters and brothers in Christ from Albany Presbytery. Jerry McKinney and I had met there for lunch after the second presbytery retreat, concerned that we had both been active participants and colleagues in ministry in the presbytery for many years yet didn’t know each other very well as friends. After what was a delightful meal, we talked about inviting others in the presbytery to enjoy the same opportunity that we had had to get better acquainted. So we decided to issue an open invitation to gather for lunch.

Just lunch. No agenda. Really.

On that September Tuesday, I was greeted by restaurant staff who wanted to know whether we wished to be seated outside or inside and how many of us there would be. I had a sense that there would be at least a dozen but beyond that had no idea. Much to my surprise and delight, more and more folks came, about 20 members of Albany Presbytery in all, and there were 8 who had e-mailed that they wanted to come but couldn’t because of schedule conflicts. We sat together at a long table that had been set indoors and enjoyed good food and good conversation.

We learned a couple of important things:

  1. We need to let the restaurant know a few days ahead of time the number for whom they need to prepare.
  2. El Mexicano’s custom, when there is a large number of diners, is to include all individual charges on one bill, and the restaurant also appreciates cash payment.

As lunch concluded, we were encouraged to do it again. Same time, same place, different day of the week.

SO – you are invited to come for lunch at El Mexicano in Saratoga Springs on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30, at 12 noon. No agenda – just a time to relax and get to know one another a bit better.

We look forward to seeing you there!


The Rev. Alexandra Lusak is a Teaching Elder member of Albany Presbytery who currently serves as Moderator of  the Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church.  She was Pastor and Head of Staff at Troy’s First United Presbyterian Church from August 2000 until her retirement in October 2010. Alexandra received her M. Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary and was ordained by San Francisco Presbytery in 1991. Throughout her 25 years of ordained ministry, she has been engaged in ecumenical and interfaith activities and has worked to promote social justice and peace locally and globally.

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