Today 7 years of hard work culminated in the signing of a new partnership agreement between the Mam and Albany Presbyteries. Yesterday we reviewed and finalized the agreement, and today, it was signed by the Moderator of the Mam Presbytery, the Secretary (Stated Clerk) of the Mam Presbytery, the Moderator of the Mam Presbyterial (women’s group), the moderator of the Distrito Mam (youth) along with the current moderator of Albany Presbytery (Jerry McKinney), the immediate past moderator of Albany Presbytery (Donna Elia), along with Bonnie Orth and myself.
In celebration of this holy occasion, we presented the Mam Presbytery with a proclamation of the event that was created by Shannan and Juan Vance-Ocampo, saying, in Spanish and in English:
A Proclamation on the occasion of the Reaffirming of the Partnership Covenant between the Mam and Albany Presbyteries
There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-28)
We of the Mam and Albany Presbyteries affirming anew that the foundation of our partnership is our unity in Christ. Trusting in the Holy Spirit to strengthen the bonds of fellowship we share, we renew our partnership in mission and ministry this 12th day of January, 2016 in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. All praise be to Jesus Christ our Savior.
We also presented 3 hanging crosses, designed especially for this occasion by Jennifer Pietrow, a member of Trinity-Scotia, one to the Executive Committee of the Presbytery, one to the Presbiterial (Women’s Association) and one to the Distrito Mam (Youth Organization). A similar cross will also be presented to Albany Presbytery, as a symbol of our unity with our Mam brothers and sisters.
And finally, all of the leaders of these groups of the Presbytery were given the small pin crosses that match those purchased here in the Presbytery, as yet another indication of our connection to one another.
We prayed together, laughed together, smiled a lot, and are grateful to God for bringing us to this moment. Thank you to all in Albany Presbytery and Presbiterio Mam who have worked over these years, supported the partnership, and celebrate with us now.
Kathy serves as co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY. In addition to working as a Teaching Elder, Kathy earned her Master of Social Work from Rockefeller College at SUNY Albany, and is a Licensed Master Social Worker and works part-time as a Domestic Violence Counselor at the YWCA of Schenectady, where her work includes a support group for women at the County Jail. You can reach Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.