Congregational Resources

New* Reopening New York – Guidelines for Religious and Funeral Gatherings a list of mandates and recommended best practices as of June 6, 2020

Video: PCUSA Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson, II, urges caution as the COVID-19 pandemic continues

Click here to go to the NYS Department of Health (DOH) Website

The Congregational Resource Guide

This is one-stop “shopping” for many resources. Basically a “Google Search” for congregational resourcing! Scroll down the page to find resources for the following topics:

  • Communication Resources
  • Worship Resources
  • Opioid Overdose Training
  • Counseling | Coaching | Mental Health | Congregational Care
  • Mental Health Resources
  • Congregational Coaching
  • Educational Resources
  • Disability Ministries/Special Needs
  • Stewardships/Funds Development
  • Congregational Change
  • Gun Violence Prevention – Congregational Toolkit
  • Clergy Resources

Communication Resources

  • Online Communication Resources – A list of resources, ideas, and suggestions for people looking to set up communications within their church community. We plan to update this document as it evolves and encourage you to share your ideas, resources, your experience on what has worked and what hasn’t.

Helpful Articles

Communications at Albany Presbytery

Online and Social Media

    • #chsocm (Weekly Twitter class for congregational leaders about social media best practices)
    • TechSoup (an online shopping center for nonprofits where you can get software at a discounted rate)
    • NonProfit Tech for Good (great webinars, resources and best practices.  Hosts a weekly informational newsletter)
New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) is a recipient of a State Opioid Response grant (SOR) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Through this grant OASAS is offering free training in the use of naloxone (Narcan) to reverse suspected overdoses in New York counties.

OASAS offers this training to a wide audience and seeks to train professionals, community members and the public who are not otherwise trained through current local opportunities. This can include members of the opioid-using community and their families and friends; community and faith-based groups; employees and owners of public accommodations such as restaurants, malls, hotels, libraries, etc.; public school or college personnel AND students; members of law enforcement, corrections and probation personnel; medical office employees; staff at senior centers; fire departments, first responders and EMS agencies; and many others.  OASAS instructors are authorized by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to present to law enforcement members.

The civilian training is 90 minutes long, and we can accommodate groups of various sizes.  Participants will learn to recognize, respond to and reverse a suspected opioid overdose using naloxone.  Rescue kits are available for those with an immediate need and for all first responders.

For more information, please email or go to this website: New York State’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Initiative.

Counseling | Coaching | Mental Health | Congregational Care

If you are in need of mental health or coaching resources for yourself or your congregation we highly recommend the Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capital Region.  Samaritan has offices around the Presbytery and is our go-to resource for clergy and congregations. Contact Dr. David Olsen who is the Director of the Samaritan Counseling Center.

Another possible source for Clergy and Congregational Consulting is Dr. Keli Rugenstein who is president of Eastern Door Counseling Center. Keli’s firm can assist your congregation with needs around organizational change, conflict management and they administer the Congregational Assessment Tool through Holy Cow! Consulting.

National Resources for Sexual Assault Survivors and their Loved Ones

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, y in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

Mental Health Resources

Congregational Resource Guide (CRG)

You can stay informed about mental health resources on the Congregational Resource Guide (CRG). The CRG features web resources, organizations, books, articles and more to help your congregation increase knowledge about mental health and how to support those with mental illnesses and their families.

CRG resources are curated by our staff.  Descriptions are written by us and additional topic information is provided by the experts. If you’re looking for information on other subjects, go to the CRG and type your topic into the search bar.

A New State of Mind

A New State of Mind is a one-hour documentary unfolding the stories of everyday people. Yet, notables, such as Patrick Kennedy, also relate their recovery journey from mental health challenges. Award-winning actress and mental health advocate Glenn Close narrates the film. Professionals, politicians, blue collar workers, veterans, family members and those living on the streets share testimonials of hope and resilience.  Click here to read more.

Mental Health Ministries

Mental Health Ministries is dedicated to providing resources that help faith communities become more caring and supportive of people and families living with mental illness. The DVD Caring Congregations provides a five-step model of education, commitment, welcome, support and advocacy. It is also available in PDF format. These materials are beneficial for small group discussion health ministry teams developing education and awareness programs. Click here to read more.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Education, support, advocacy and research are central to NAMI’s national, state and local activities and goals. NAMI offers, at no cost to participants, a variety of peer-led education courses and support programs for family members, individuals with a diagnosis and the general public. Read more…

Pathways to Promise

Pathways to Promise is an interfaith organization promoting supportive faith-based ministries for people with mental illness and their families. With liturgical, educational, awareness and networking resources, Pathways equips clergy and lay leaders at all levels of religious groups – local, regional and national. Faith groups can download training manuals to develop a mental health team, a mental health training collaborative or a companionship ministry. Read more…

Congregational Coaching

Silver Bay Presbytery Meeting, June 4, 2016
Associate for Congregations Report, The Rev. Dr. Timothy Coombs

Congregational coaching seeks to bring a group of representative leaders together to discover and plan for a new path forward for the church.  Can a congregation do all this without a coach?  Perhaps, but why would you want to do so.  It is much easier with a coach. A congregation is less likely to get off track than without one. You can learn more in Tim’s blog: Congregational Coaching.

Educational Resources

Disability Ministries/Special Needs

Connie has many years of working with Special Needs Families and would be happy to talk with you.  You can reach her at:

Stewardships/Funds Development

Congregational Change

Gun Violence Prevention – Congregational Toolkit

Presbyterian Peace Fellowship offers Gun Violence Prevention Information and Toolkits.

Clergy Resources

  • NYC Hotel – Reduced Rate for Albany Presbytery Clergy
    • Leo House, a catholic hotel in NYC, offers a significant discount.
    • A clergy single room is $89!!! Lots of amenities.
    • For some reason a double (queen) room is the same price for clergy. Regular price is $235.
    • Go to their website for contact information:
    • (Pricing may change.  This was posted 9/2017)

We continue to build resources all the time!  

If you have resources to add please send them to and we’d be glad to add them to this growing resource list.