change picAt the May Council meeting, the Presbytery Council adopted the transitional planning process for our Presbytery for the next 18 months.
A full copy of the plan and the specific timelines of it are included in the pre-meeting packet for the Silver Bay meeting. I invite you to read this entire piece before arriving to Silver Bay. There will opportunities to ask questions, provide feedback and bring ideas to members of the Council and Vision Team during both workshop slots at Silver Bay.
Some highlights of the plan:
• During this summer for us to engage in an “environmental scan”, pulling together a full sense of the sea in which we swim; religiously, theologically, socially, etc. and what that tells us for the future ministry needs of this Presbytery. We will also engage in a beginning review of Presbytery financial projections and giving for future planning.
• The Council will take the lead on developing the plan of mission of the Presbytery and engaging this conversation throughout the larger Presbytery.
• The COM and related teams will work around plans for congregational renewal and plans for new and future ministries.
• A joint team of COM, CPM and with assistance from our partners at the Capital Region Theological Center (CRTC) will be invited to plan for future excellence in resourcing pastoral leadership and in the use of creative ways of expanding resources for congregations including better use of CRE’s.
• We will look into our current structure and ask the question of how can we provide better leadership as a Council as it is envisioned in the New Form of Government to be repurposed for mission in our local communities. How can we better integrate sound decision-making as well as engage the biblical role of confession and pardon into our work as a governing body?
• Taking a good look at staffing. What models for the future are needed? What is sustainable, and what do we need from the Presbytery staff that aligns with our plans and goals around mission?
• Continue to evaluate our finances and assets and how they can best be leveraged for the mission to which God calls us.
This is an exciting time in the life of our Presbytery! There is no question that we are all living in the midst of a time of great shifts and changes in the religious bodies that we are each a part of. This is an exciting time! We have the opportunity to be the ones that with God’s help – work towards putting into motion some of the foundation for an ongoing religious future! This is an important task, and one to be undertaken with great care. It is also not something we do alone. We are joined by our partners in neighboring governing bodies; both Presbyterian and ecumenical, our Synod and our larger denomination. We have each other—and most importantly we have God’s hand to guide us, and God’s Spirit to sustain us. We have the ministry of Jesus as our guide. God is already providing for us and I trust that God will continue to provide for us.
So now is the time for us to each roll up our sleeves and join this work. If you are not serving somewhere in the Presbytery and would like to be of service, please reach out to the Nominating Committee and let them know what skills and interest you bring to the table. If you know of someone you’d like to nominate who you think would be of help and that might not be on our radar screen—ask them about if you can make Nominating aware of them. And if you are already serving—we are so glad you are.
I look forward to seeing what God will do with us in this next phase of our time together. And I look forward with great anticipation to being with you at Silver Bay in a few days time!
Above all keep every one of us working on behalf of the larger ministry of Albany Presbytery in your prayers….

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