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News from First Presbyterian Church!
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Advocacy Work

First Pres, through the Social Justice and Peacemaking Committee, has been working with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Here are opportunities for education and advocacy 
 
  

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DATE CHANGE - Tuesday Dec 7, 6pm - Hunger, Housing, and the 3rd Reconstruction, a Capital Region Truth Commission - Join us on December 7th to learn from the plight, fight, and insight of Capital Region community members who are engaged in struggles around food and housing insecurity. In recent years, New York has passed transformative legislation to meet the needs of poor and marginalized communities relating to food and housing. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the extent of these crises and thrown millions into poverty and precarity. RSVP here.
 

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Capital Region Poor People's Campaign Organizing Call Tuesday, December 14, 6:30pm Join us at our monthly organizing meeting! We'll reflect on recent actions, have breakouts with our working groups, and plan upcoming events.

In keeping with best practice to protect our community, we will NOT be holding an in-person meeting. Instead, we'll have a Zoom conference call meeting for the Capital Region PPC. RSVP and you will receive the call info. You'll be able to call in with just a phone, but if you have access to a computer with a camera and microphone, it is highly recommended. Please reach out if you have any technical questions.

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is bringing together people across the country who are organizing to build a broad and deep national moral movement — led by the poor, impacted, clergy and moral agents and reflecting the great moral teachings — to unite our country from the bottom up.

Continue Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s work confronting the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, militarism, and ecological devastation. RSVP Here.

 

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State Street Forum

December 16, 2021, 12 noon-1:00 pm

Advocating for Housing Justice

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are just beginning to be evident, especially when it comes to housing.  An eviction moratorium has only postponed the eviction of tens of thousands of families who were  unable to pay their rent due to job loss or other factors during the pandemic shutdown.  The recovery of our economy is dependent on finding a solution to this impending crisis, but the solutions must be more than band-aids.  Can churches and other faith communities be a part of the solution?
 

Our conversation will be informed by the insights of Ted Houghton, President of Gateway Housing, a newly-established not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote expansion of housing for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in New York City and across the state.  We'll also hear from a minister whose congregation is directly involved with creating affordable housing in its community.

 

 

A Message from Social Justice & Peacemaking Committee

Gift giving time is here! It is also a time to think about all that wrapping paper, bags and bows. The December issue of Real Simple magazine offers several easy ideas for recycling: Avoid buying bags, balloons, and bows made of polyester film, do the quick scrunch test-if you crumple paper and it bounces back, it likely cannot be recycled and think about buying wrapping paper that includes recycled materials. Click here to find more information about recycling during the Christmas season.

The little things we do are just as important as the big ones.

Looking Ahead
January Book Group


FOCUS Churches Book Study
Stride Toward Freedom
Wednesdays in January 2022
7:00-8:30 p.m.
 
 Please join us for a four-part conversation on Stride   Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, Martin Luther King's classic account of the first successful large-scale act of nonviolent resistance in America: the Montgomery bus boycott.  A young Dr. King wrote Stride Toward Freedom just 2 years after the successful completion of the boycott. In his memoir about the event, he tells the stories that informed his radical political thinking before, during, and after the boycott—from first witnessing economic injustice as a teenager and watching his parents experience discrimination to his decision to begin working with the NAACP. Throughout, he reflects on how his Christian faith inspired and sustained his activism, and how his activism shaped his faith.
 
Structured conversation will be facilitated by Joe Paparone, who is the Lead Organizer for the Labor-Religion Coalition and a long-time friend of FOCUS.
January 5 – the context of Montgomery and integration in 1955
January 12 – nonviolence and social change
January 19 – the role of faith communities
January 26 – King’s development between Montgomery and the Poor People’s Campaign


Books may be purchased through  the Open Door Bookstore in Schenectady. (opendoor-bookstore.com) or may be available through your local library.
We'll meet on Zoom, Wednesday evenings in January, from 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Advance Registration required. Click here

Youth Group News


 
High school youth - don’t miss out!
Gatherings for youth in high school on Sunday evenings 5-7pm!!
This could be the best part of your week!
Food - Friends - Fun

Youth will enter from the parking lot door & sign-in each week (for contact tracing + attendance purposes). We will follow safety protocols including masking and distancing while in doors. We have new air purifiers to further mitigate risk. If/when we eat, it MUST be distanced. We will meet either in the 2nd floor youth room OR one of the larger 3rd floor Upper Rooms. This is for high schoolers only at this time.


Please text or email Molly (518-810-3158) if you can join us Sunday 5-7pm! And pls indicate your pizza preference (cheese or pepperoni). 
We look forward to seeing you soon!

 
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Text @mdowellb to 81010 
To sign up for text alerts about youth events and info!

Opportunities

Would you like to help run the audio-visual systems during the church service? You would control the soundboard, which broadcasts the audio throughout the sanctuary and the Internet broadcasting software that delivers the Facebook livestream. And, of course, you'd receive full training. 

Our team shares these duties so that your commitment would be between 8 - 12 Sundays per year. 

If interested, please contact Dwight Cheu at dwightcheu@gmail.com. We also welcome high school students too -- this would be a great introduction to audio and video broadcasting.

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Would you like to sponsor a poinsettia plant to decorate the sanctuary in Advent and Christmas this year? You may do so in honor or memory of a loved one, and that dedication will be noted in the worship bulletin on December 19, 24, 25 & January 2. There are two ways to make your dedication. 1) By mailing a check to the church for a minimum of $16 per poinsettia, along with a note that spells out the dedication as well as name of the dedicator. It MUST arrive at the church by December 12. 2) By emailing the church office a note that spells out the dedication as well as name of the dedicator. Then visit the website and make your payment online.
Deadline is December 12.
 
Our goal is to have all the flowers sponsored as well decorate the sanctuary for our celebration of Jesus’ birth and the 12 days of Christmas.


 
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Finger Labyrinth Walks and Meditations occur each Thursday in December at 12:30pm via Zoom. Pastor Miriam, Certified Advanced Labyrinth Facilitator, leads each session. and our time together is 30 minutes. This time is open to all, whether you’ve walked a labyrinth in the past or not. Register here for Thursday, December 9, to receive the zoom link. Please have a Finger Labyrinth available - you can download a paper version if you don’t have your own or Jamie in the church office. Join us!

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The Youth are updating their space on the 2nd floor! We are looking for donations of gently used items to update & refresh the space. Please contact Molly or 518-810-3158 if you have any of the following to donate:

Large TV to hang on wall (that works with Roku),
Roku, 
wall mount for large TV,
Area rugs,
Plants and/or hanging contraptions for plants,
Individual seating (bean bags, gaming chairs, comfortable arm chairs),
Cushions for floor sitting.

 

Calendar

Tuesday, 12/7      9:00am   Men’s Bible Study via zoom
                             5:30pm   Membership Committee Meeting
                             5:30pm   Outreach Committee Meeting

Wednes., 12/8     5:00pm   Finance Committee Meeting
                             6:30pm   SWAT Team
                             7:00pm   Dads' Small Group

Thurs., 12/9         7:00am   Men's Bible Study (Rose Room)
                           12:30pm   Finger Labyrinth Walk and Meditation
                             7:15pm   Soloist/Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, 12/12    9:00am   Adult Education via Zoom
                            9:00am   Youth Education via Zoom
                            9:15am   Children’s Education via Zoom
                            9:30am   Choir Rehearsal
                          10:10am   Carol Singing on Willett Street
                          10:30am   In-Person Worship Service and
                                           Live Streaming Worship Service on Facebook
                          11:30am   Fellowship Time
                            5:00pm   High School Youth Christmas Party

Tuesday, 12/14    9:00am   Men’s Bible Study via zoom
                           11:30am   Clergy Meeting
                             6:30pm   Capital Region Poor People's Campaign
                                            Organizing Call

                             7:00pm   Joint Session-Deacon Meeting

Wednes., 12/15  10:00am   Women to Women Small Group

Thurs., 12/16      7:00am   Men's Bible Study (Rose Room)
                          12:30pm   Finger Labyrinth Walk and Meditation
                            6:30pm   Blue Christmas Service at
                                           the First Church in Albany

                            7:15pm   Soloist/Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, 12/19    9:00am   Adult Education via Zoom
                            9:00am   Youth Education via Zoom
                            9:15am   Children’s Education via Zoom
                            9:45am   Soloists Rehearsal
                          10:10am   Carol Singing on Willett Street
                          10:30am   In-Person Worship Service and
                                           Live Streaming Worship Service on Facebook
                          11:30am   Fellowship Time
                         11:45 am   Carol Sing in Parking Lot

                            5:00pm   High School Youth Gathering

Tuesday, 12/21   9:00am   Men’s Bible Study via zoom
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