The air temperature had cooled, the leaves had changed to brilliant shades of red and orange, and SPAT, the Staffing Process Advisory Team, was “at it” again. This time, the venue was First United Presbyterian in Troy on Wednesday, November 1st for a Special Meeting of Albany Presbytery. Being that it was All Saints Day, much of the worship elements throughout the meeting touched upon that theme.

Before SPAT initiated small group discussion, there was a time of motions, and subsequent amendments and further discussion, brought forth by the Personnel Committee. As anticipated, this period of business took a significant amount of time, but I believe the end results will help Albany Presbytery along this long-term journey of discernment. It was clear to me during the time of discussion with each motion that everyone does truly care about this Presbytery. If that was not the case, why would 35 individuals allot their time on a dark, dreary Wednesday to attend a special meeting?

After the time of plenary was over, SPAT distributed a handout called “My Presbytery’s Well-Being”. It was a worksheet style document, with five distinct areas one could rate their Presbytery’s well-being on: Purpose, Stewardship (people and structure), Stewardship (money), Identity (within), and Identity (with others). After a brief time for each individual to discern and calculate their score of our Presbytery’s well-being, the body reconvened into small groups to discuss with one another thoughts and concerns realized from completing the handout.

If you were not able to attend SPAT’s first meeting on September 12 in Ballston Spa, or this second meeting in Troy, you are not “too late”! This process is still yours to partake in. The eventual permanent staffing structure at Albany Presbytery is not the decision of one alone. I encourage you to become, or continue to be, a part of this process. Bring others to the table with you! The success of this transition lies with all of us, as we together are Albany Presbytery.

The following resources provide access to the online Staffing & Conversation Google Forum or and what has been done to date.

Grace and Peace,
Samantha Brewer
Member, Staffing Process Advisory Team
Ruling Elder, First United Presbyterian, Hoosick Falls

About Samantha Brewer

Samantha’s home church is First United Church Presbyterian, Hoosick Falls, NY. At General Assembly 222, she is served as a Young Adult Advisory Delegate (YAAD) on the Church Polity and Ordered Ministry Committee. She has also led the YAADS at the Synod of the Northeast, Assembly in 2016, was a member of the SPAT in Albany Presbytery and is will be Albany Presbytery's Representative to the 2019/2020 Synod Mission and Ministries Commission.

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.