Please share this information with all those interested in the work and opportunities happening in the Albany Presbytery. You may use the following URL to embed directly into your communications:

The 313th Stated Meeting of the Albany Presbytery was held on June 6, 2017 at the Northville United 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 6th meeting listed below include the following reports.  See below for more details.

  • Meeting OverviewCara Molyneaux, Moderator, Albany Presbytery
  • Coordination Committee – Arthur Fullerton, Vice Moderator
    • Welcoming Immigrants – Terry Diggory / Gusti Newquist
    • Summer at Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church – Alexandra Lusak
    • Tod Bolsinger Event: “Canoeing the Mountains” – Tim Coombs
    • Pride Month – Laura Rogers
    • Backstretch Kids Program – Scott DeBlock
    • VBS Dates & Facebook Poll Drawing – Kim Deal
    • Any support for organizing a “Friends of Albany Presbytery” group for grants? – Kate Kotfila
    • Communion Elder Training – Sue Getsch
    • EAD Conference – Barbara Floryshak
  • Katie Rivera Torea – SARC Update

Cara Molyneaux, Moderator, Albany Presbytery
Meeting Overview

Presbytery met at the United Presbyterian Church in Northville on June 6th for a day meeting.  The Rev. Rebecca Putman, the pastor of the Northville Church, greeted the attendees and following that the Stated Clerk, Dan Rogers, gave his report.  The next item of business was the Transitional Presbyter’s Report, which is described in her report.   Following her report, the Rev Shannan Vance-Ocampo was recognized for her years of service here in Albany Presbytery because she will be leaving this position at the end of June.  The Rev Miriam Leupold led the liturgy to thank Shannan and wish her well in her next position.”

Arthur Fullerton, Vice Moderator, Albany Presbytery
Coordination Committee

The Coordinating Committee of the presbytery presented three main items for consideration and approval at the June meeting.

First, the committee presented new standing rules for adoption to parallel the new presbytery structure. Also included within these new standing rules was a proposal to get more ruling elders involved in the life and ministry of the presbytery by having churches qualify to send more ruling elders to presbytery meetings. This proposal was approved and the new standing rules can be found on the presbytery website.

Second, the presbytery approved a meeting schedule for 2018 which should allow ruling elders who work during the day to attend all of the presbytery meetings. This is an incredibly important provision to secure ruling elder participation.

Third, the presbytery approved a revised budget for the balance of 2017 which fully funds our ministry and mission and remains within the presbytery budget guidelines adopted in November.

Lastly, the presbytery discussed the continuing question of future staffing of the presbytery with consideration of three proposals. After a spirited discussion that lasted into the afternoon, it was decided that the presbytery would regroup and enlist the counsel and support of the Synod Executive in developing a process to reexamine the staffing plan for the presbytery. After the meeting the Vice Moderator elect Kate Kotfila was asked by the current Moderator and Vice Moderator to take the lead on convening this task force/committee on behalf of the coordinating committee and to work with all interested parties to develop a new way forward. Kate has graciously agreed to take the lead on this project, and we look forward to sharing more news as it becomes available.”

Speak Out: Announcement & Events

Welcoming Immigrants – Terry Diggory / Gusti Newquist – “Terry announced the recent commitment by the Saratoga Springs church to offer sanctuary for immigrants. Gusti explained that she and Terry are seeking to build a network in Albany Presbytery among those with special interest in mission for supporting immigrants.  A signup sheet circulated at the meeting, but you can still sign up by contacting either Gusti or Terry.

Tod Bollinger Event: Tim Coombs Tim reminded the presbytery that our next scheduled meeting is our first official educational gathering.  The program for event is a day with Tod Bolsinger, author of the book “Canoeing the Mountains,” which we have been reading as a presbytery.  There is no cost other than the usual $8.00 lunch ticket.  The event will take place at the United Presbyterian Church of Amsterdam on Saturday, September 30.  Please register for this event.  Amsterdam can only provide a meal for the first 100 registrants.  More can attend the event, but will be on their own for lunch.  In other words, register early by calling or emailing the presbytery office. **Register Here**

2017 Rensselaerville Summer Worship Series: Alexandra Lusak Each year, guest preachers from different faith traditions are invited to deliver sermons on a common theme.  The Summer  2017 theme is:  “Finding A Way Forward: Is There A Path To Healing?”  This year, we’re very excited to have familiar preachers return and new ones, Imam Djafer Sebkhaoui of Al-Hidaya Center and Rev. Sam Trumbore of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, panelists at our “Questions for God” event this winter, as well as our Rensselaerville friend Joanna Bull, a Buddhist, join us.  Learn More here: 2017 Rensselaerville Summer Worship Series

June is Pride Month: Laura Rogers reminded everyone that June is “Pride Month.”

BACKSTRETCH KIDS PROGRAM: Scott DeBlock – starts July 22! For years our church has organized a Saturday program for kids of the racetrack workers where they can have a fun day of games, crafts, lunch and snacks. Various churches are involved in providing volunteers and supplies each Saturday. Our church is providing volunteers, food and programming for this first Saturday, July 22, and we hope you can give a morning, afternoon or help provide a healthy lunch and afternoon snack. We need 3-4 adults (children welcome) from 9 am-1 pm, and from 1-5 pm. Lunch/snack makers and deliveries also needed.

The Backstretch Kids Program runs every Saturday from July 22 through September 2.  We need various churches to take charge of one Saturday to provide volunteers, a fun program, and food and supplies. Please let Pastor DeBlock know if you can help! 423-7901,

VBS around Albany Presbytery – Kim Deal asked for churches to share the dates of their VBS programs so we can share them in our communications!  You can see the current list on the Albany Presbytery Youth Page.

Also, we did a fun Facebook poll: “What is your favorite coffee-hour snack?”  There was a 3-way tie between Fruit, Cheese & Crackers, and Cookies.  The most unusual entry was CALAMARI!!  😀  There was a drawing where all people who participated in the poll were entered.  Cara Molyneaux blindly selected the name, and the winner was….Dan Rogers!  Stayed tuned for future polls.

Any support for organizing a “Friends of Albany Presbytery” group for grants?: Kate Kotfila shared that it can be easier to get grants for a “Friends of …” charitable organization rather than the Presbytery.  Interested in trying to set something up?  Talk with Kate.

Communion Elder Training – Sue Getsch from First Presbyterian Church of Ballston Spa shared how beneficial the Communion Elder Training was which was hosted by the Utica Presbytery.  She asked for Albany Presbytery to offer something similar on a regular basis.  

“I was blessed to be able to attend the elder training in Cooperstown in May. The training was really an exploration of my own thoughts, feelings, and insights about communion itself and how it is expressed and the sacraments practiced within my church. The other attendees shared their own thoughts, so I went away with a lot to consider. While I know that I will need to do some additional practice and prayer prior to blessing and serving the sacraments “solo”, this was an amazingly wonderful experience for me personally as a Christian and elder. With God’s grace, I will be empowered to serve in this capacity for my church.”

EAD Conference – Barbara Floryshak once again attended the Ecumenical Advocacy Days and talked about how great the experience was.

Katie Rivera Torea, SARC
SARC Update

I read briefly from Mark 12 about how “they” sent lawyers to trip Jesus up by getting him to reveal himself in error. Then I talked for a moment about the SARC Team’s hope that folks did not see us or experience us in that light because we are sincere in our efforts to be of help. Because some people were saying they needed our report before the presbytery could move forward on staffing decisions, I noted that our report would be given first to the synod and then we would be directed to report to the presbytery, or the synod would report in a different way. I thanked everyone for their continued patience because we are in the position of needing to balance thoroughness and timeliness. I also thanked everyone who has been of aid to us in our work. Finally, I asked everyone to continue to think of us through the months to come and alert us to meetings so that we can attend and be present to the life and development of the presbytery.”

Thank you all for your service.  Official minutes will be offered at the next Presbytery meeting.  See you at United Presbyterian Church, Amsterdam, Saturday, September 30, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m.

About Albany Presbytery Communications

Albany Presbytery strives to provide relevant information using a variety of communication channels including our website, email, paper mailings, social media, and in-person meetings. Please let us know of any erroneous information you may find. If you have information to share, we would be happy to connect with you. You can contact us via email here.

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.