The presbytery will be moving to a virtual office
After eight and a half years located at 1915 Fifth Avenue (the home of First United Presbyterian Church in Troy), Albany Presbytery is closing its physical office. The presbytery will be moving to a virtual office. This means that the current staff – Dan Rogers, Jennifer Schoenfisch, Kim Deal and Bill Henderson – will continue to work on behalf of presbytery from their homes. The closing of the physical office will save the presbytery over $13,000 a year in expenses beginning in 2019.
What will change for you?
We will have a new mailing address effective December 24:
Presbytery of Albany
PO Box 83
Watervliet NY 12189
Please inform your treasurers, clerks of session, and other staff of this address change.
Can I still reach Albany Presbytery by phone and email?
The presbytery phone number (518- 273-4991) will remain the same. You will be able to leave voicemail messages for staff or speak directly with Jennifer on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (just from 1-5 on Friday).
Email addresses for staff will not be changing and will reach everyone, so there are no changes with email.
Thanks to TAUM (Troy Area United Ministries), we have found a place to store presbytery records that are only needed on an occasional basis. Over Thanksgiving week, eight boxes of presbytery minutes and pertinent minister files were transported to the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia. The minutes will be scanned, and digital copies returned to the stated clerk, while the original records will remain in storage in Philadelphia.
Although there won’t be a physical presbytery office starting in January, the staff will meet each month to address current projects, issues that arise and to continue to develop staff camaraderie.
How common is it for a presbytery to not have a physical office?
One question I have been asked is how common is it for a presbytery to not have a physical office? In the case of small presbyteries like ours (small defined by overall membership), it has become more and more common. In several presbyteries the stated clerk and even the presbytery executive no longer live in the state where the presbytery is located!
So how does the work of presbytery get done?
Several years ago, the presbytery transitioned to using Google mail and other cloud-based resources. The records of our committees are stored on DropBox, for example. This means that staff has access to all the documents they need and can readily share them. Staff communication occurs most often via email, but there are plenty of phone calls between staff and there will continue to be face to face meetings to help facilitate the work of presbytery.
Moving Day: Saturday December 15 – Can you use some of our office furniture?
Oh, I almost forgot to mention this – moving day for our files and important possessions will be Saturday December 15. But we can’t take everything with us. There are desks, chairs, file cabinets and credenzas that are in good shape. These items are available free and can be seen at the presbytery office beginning in mid-December. Please call the office at 518-273-4991 to make sure someone will be at the office before you come.
The following items are available on a first-come, first served basis and they must be taken from the office by February 14th:
- two wooden desks
- a wooden credenza
- two metal filing cabinets with three drawers each
- two metal filing cabinets with four drawers each
- two desk chairs
Please pray for your staff as they make this transition. Change is always a challenge and although the long-term benefits of this change will be positive for the presbytery, transitions are always messy no matter how well they are planned for. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.