The Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church announces its schedule of summer services:
June 26 through September 4
1454 County Route 351 (Main St), Rensselaerville, NY
Everyone is welcome.
Each year, guest preachers from different faith traditions are invited to deliver sermons on a common theme. The Summer 2016 theme is: “An Eye For An Eye Leaves Everyone Blind.”
June 26 “Spirit of Peace”
Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Transitional Presbyter, Albany Presbytery
July 3 “Keep Your Eyes On The Prize—Hold On, Hold On”
Rev. Shaun Whitehead, Associate Chaplain, St. Lawrence University, Canton. NY
July 10 “Hindsight, Foresight and Insight: If We Are Blind, What Makes Sense?”
Rabbi Norman Mendel, Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Beth David, San Luis Obispo, CA
July 17 “Praying at Ground Zero”
Rev. Jan Carlsson-Bull, Universalist Unitarian Church
July 24 “Three Blind Dogs”
Rev. Dr. Jon Walton, Sr. Pastor, First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, NY
July 31 “Friendship As Social Witness”
Rev. James Calvin Davis, Professor of Religion, Middlebury College, VT
August 7 “Evil for Evil: A Nineteenth Century Presbyterian Worship Service”
Barbara Wheeler, formerly President, Auburn Theological Seminary, NY, NY
August 14 “Open My Eyes That I May See”
Rev. Eric Jackson, Smith Memorial Congregational Church, Hillsborough, New Hampshire
August 21 “How Often Must I Forgive?”
Rev. Richard Spalding, Chaplain, Williams College, Williamstown, MA
August 28 “Vision Quest”
Rev. Alexandra Lusak, Moderator, Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church
September 4 “Collectors: Collecting Beauty Instead of Injuries”
Rev. Donna Schaper, Senior Minister, Judson Memorial Church, NY, NY
A Celebration of the 220th Anniversary of the Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church
The tradition of summer-only services at the Presbyterian Church in Rensselaerville goes back more than 100 years. For a short period in the second half of the 19th century, the village was a lively industrial town as the first site of the Huyck Woolen Mills. When founder and Presbyterian Church member F. C. Huyck Sr. moved his mill to Albany, he did not sever ties with the village or the church. But as jobs left with the mill so did many of the village residents, leaving the church without enough members to maintain a year-round pastor. However, the Huyck family returned each year to vacation and provided for a pastor during their stay. It was F. C. Huyck Sr.’s granddaughter, Katharine Huyck Elmore, who in the middle of the 20th century expanded the vision of the summer services to other faith traditions and invited ministers, rabbis, priests and nuns to fill the pulpit.
The Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church is a nationally recognized example of Greek Revival architecture dating from the 1840s and is listed on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places.
More information about the church may be found on its website: www.rvillepres.org.
The Rev. Alexandra Lusak is a Teaching Elder member of Albany Presbytery who currently serves as Moderator of the Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church. She was Pastor and Head of Staff at Troy’s First United Presbyterian Church from August 2000 until her retirement in October 2010. Alexandra received her M. Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary and was ordained by San Francisco Presbytery in 1991. Throughout her 25 years of ordained ministry, she has been engaged in ecumenical and interfaith activities and has worked to promote social justice and peace locally and globally.