Moderator’s Monthly Musings:


When/how will we acclimate to so much change?  A November 17 Presbytery meeting seems so far behind us. Yes, I know we met, conducted business, held worship, and installed new leadership.  I was there.  That is right,  I became your new Moderator.    CHANGE.

First things first.  A sincere expression of gratitude to Rev. Michael Burkley for his service as our Moderator in 2020.  Making a swift pivot from in person meetings to virtual not skipping a beat.  That is flexibility.  Your adaptation  and perseverance  are recognized and appreciated, Michael. 

As our new Vice Moderator Rev. Kathryn Beilke, a capable Pastor, jumped into three days of new Vice Moderator training, offered by General Assembly via Zoom.   Equipped with a broad skill set, Kathryn has much to offer us.  I look forward to working with Kathryn as we build, learn, and grow the Presbytery,   Congratulations, Kathryn!  Before Presbytery members and together Kathryn and I promised to use our energy, intelligence, imagination, and love to accomplish great things in service of God.   More CHANGE, perhaps?

For three days I, too, attended GA Moderator training on Zoom.  A few of the topics included Presbytery meetings via Zoom, Community Engagement in a Pandemic, Roberts Rules of Order (RONA 12th Edition), Matthew 25 Presbytery or Church and a Presby Bingo get acquainted  game.  You will be pleased to know GA staff are professional, talented, prepared and stand ready to assist Presbyteries as we go forward.   

A brief history of my background remains posted on the Presbytery website.   Looking forward I have ambitious plans.  Do not worry, friends.  Nothing too scary or over the edge.   I want to become better acquainted with you and your church.  We need to  communicate in various ways between Presbytery meetings.  What would be helpful communication for you?  Please share your church’s needs.  How might I be helpful?   Of course, any plans we make will require flexibility in our current circumstances.   We all understand the need to adjust.   Have you heard?  If you want to make God laugh, make a plan!  CHANGE.

In 2021 I would like to spotlight one of the following 5 topics.  One at each Presbytery meeting.  Five meetings.  Five topics.  

Women of the Presbytery

New Worshiping Communities

Children, Youth, YADS

Social Justice

Creation Care

Watch for more details on this project.  You will be updated.   You will want to be involved.  

Throughout the holiday season, Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas and welcoming the new year, pray to be strong for today, have hope for tomorrow and cherish remembrances of the past.


Be in communication.  

Please pray for the Presbytery.



Albany Presbytery


About Judy Hartley

Judy Hartley is Albany Presbytery's 2020 Vice Moderator. She has served on Session in a total of eight churches, most recently at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Albany. Judy enjoys spending time with her two grown sons and her two granddaughters who also live in the Albany area. When she's not with family, other interests include bike riding, hiking, gardening, playing Bocce ball, live music, friends, walking, sewing, exploring NY history and volunteering.

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.