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 



Get on the New York bus to the June 18th Poor People's And Low-Wage Workers Assembly and Moral March On Washington.

New York is joining people from across the nation to gather in Washington, DC for the June 18th Poor People's and Low-Wage Workers Assembly and Moral March On Washington. We will come together after months of mobilizing and organizing for this declaration by poor and low-income people and our moral allies to say that this system is killing ALL of us and we can’t…we won’t…we refuse to be silent anymore!

Saturday, June 18 departure times and locations in New York state are listed below. We will be returning in the late evening on June 18. We encourage all who are able to donate to cover the cost of their seat ($75). Lunch will be provided. Proof of vaccination will be required.

Join Us! Register now to reserve your seat!

 A Message from the Social Justice and Peacemaking Committee

Come Visit the Sustainable Albany Tent at Tulip Fest 2022

What:  The 1st ever “Sustainable Albany Tent” at the Albany Tulip Festival

When:  Sat. May 7 and Sun. May 8 from 11 am to 6 pm

Where:  Washington Park, Albany, in a 30x60’ tent near the food vendors and
               tulip beds

Who:  Many environmentally-focused organizations from in and around
            Albany will have information tables.  Plus there will be ½ hour
            workshops - see list & schedule here.

Change in the Deacon Ministry

The members of First Pres have been divided up by region and grouped into six “flocks” for fellowship and contact. This has been in place for at least 20 years, and was modified a few years ago to use the Zip Codes to determine the flock boundaries. A lot of time and energy went into creating the flocks and they’ve enabled some good ministry. 15 years ago when Glenn and Miriam arrived, the flocks were a mixed bag - some were communicative and connecting, others were all but inactive. A few actually met in person at least once a year and had some level of communication, others did not meet in person at all.  At that time, 2006, there were not as many groups to be a part of in the church outside of Session and its committees, the Choir and Bible Guys. Since then, we've added a bell choir, another guys group, several women's groups, and we've tried to make the committees of session a bit more like a Small Group experience.  The Giffen School partnership participants and tutors are a bit of a group and the Home Repair Ministry was a group while it was active. The Youth Group is a group. Those who always linger to the end of fellowship time could also be considered a group.

Recently the deacons met to discuss the future of the flock system.  We noted that people are showing a preference for making relational groups their main way to connect with the church beyond worship, instead of the flocks.  People feel a connection based on a common affinity or interest and not so much a group formed by Zip Code. With the flock system we were asking someone in a flock to be concerned or make cold calls to check on a person they may not know to tell them news about a need someone else nearby has that they may also not really know. This kind of connection has grown to seem artificial and forced. It is more common for a member, when faced with a need, to contact those in their affinity group (i.e. fellow choir members) than to contact a flock deacon. A group like the choir or a Bible Guys group functions like a flock organically and automatically.   

Convinced of the truth of this reality, and the way the flocks have not really been functioning for a while now, the deacons have decided to end the flock groups and allow the relational groups to fill that communication and need-filling role. While the flocks served a need in their time, we believe their time has passed. The deacons want to maintain connections to those who need it, so the deacons will shift their attention to those whom we know are not part of a relational group or governance group and build connections there and develop a ministry.  The exact nature of this will be seen over time. We look forward to what will be developed in the months ahead.  (This in no way affects the ministry of the Care Team that stays in touch with those who are homebound or have a special need. That is a separate ministry.)  If you have questions you can contact Glenn at the church (before May 2) or Deacon Moderator, Sue Haney.


There will not be choir/soloist rehearsal on Thursday, 5/5.
If you have questions please contact Michael.

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New and Exciting Educational Opportunity for the Entire Congregation

The new and exciting educational program “Trouble the Water:  Conversations to Disrupt Racism and Dominance" offered by the Anti Racism Task Force continues. Developed by the PC(USA) in response to the 222nd General Assembly’s call for church-wide conversations on race, the video series is designed to encourage conversations in local churches about race, racism, ethnicity and ethnocentrism.  Join us via Zoom on the next five consecutive Wednesday evenings, between 7:00-8:30 pm, to watch the videos and talk about them together.

Come to as many evenings as you can!  The dates and topics are:

                         Wed., May 4:     “Why Us, Why Now?”
                         Wed., May 11:   “Whiteness”
                         Wed., May 18:   “Racial Identity”
                         Wed., May 25    “Intersectionality and Disruption”
                         Wed., June 1:     “Where Do We Go From Here?”
Click here for the Zoom link.
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Adult education class – May 8, 2022
What role does faith play in addressing the climate and biodiversity crises of our time?
Christianity has sometimes been taken to task as a cause of the ecological crisis. Presbyterian thinker Lynn White Jr.’s classic 1967 essay, for instance, notes how uniquely anthropomorphic Christianity is, compared to other world religions. And yet, the Bible teems with creatures and seeds. Theologians and White himself have identified Christian ethics that provide a more expansive place for our religious obligations to the natural world. What are they? Might stewardship for the earth play a role in deepening our faith? How? Kendra Smith-Howard will lead this session and conversation about these issues.

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FELLOWSHIP TIME:  We're pleased to announce that Fellowship Time is once again being held either in Assembly Hall or outside on Willett St. following the Sunday Worship Service. The Hospitality Team Coordinator Deacon David Hinchen is organizing this effort. As we no longer have a custodian and are no longer relying on flocks to oversee this task, we're seeking members of the congregation to assist with making coffee, bringing snacks, setting up and putting things away.  If you're available on any upcoming Sundays, please contact:

David Hinchen
(518) 489-1854 (call or text)
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The Youth are updating their space on the 2nd floor! Help us out with skills or donations! Do you have building or design skills? Do you sew? (hoping to make pillows out of youth musical T-shirts!!)  Please contact Molly via email or text/call if you can help.

Donations of gently used items requested:

Area rugs
Hanging contraptions for plants
Individual seating (bean bags, gaming chairs, comfortable armchairs)
Old throw pillows to upcycle
Floor cushions  

Youth Group News

No regular weekly meetings this spring. We DO have several special events coming up. We hope you/your youth will join us in these opportunities to gather, serve, and have fun!


Save the Dates: 

May 22- Youth Usher for Worship

June 12- Albany Pride Parade

June 18- March on Washington D.C.



Parents/Caregivers, please take 5 minutes to respond to this Survey to help us set goals for our youth programming. 



School Play? Sports Event? Music Concert?

If you/your 6th-12th grader has a special event coming up, please let Molly know & invite her to come! 


 Sign up for Text Reminders
All youth and parents, if you haven't already, please sign up for text alerts!
Text @mdowellb to 81010


May Birthdays

Robert Dreher                                       Mary Vail                                
5/1                                                            5/16                                  
Meddy Jacques                                      Rose Jackson
 5/2                                                           5/20  
Peggy Schalit                                          Rowan Lindsley Fletcher
 5/2                                                           5/20  
Janna Pfluger-Boucher                         Ray Henrikson   
 5/4                                                           5/22  
Owen Gilbo                                            Jacquelyn Ellsworth
 5/7                                                           5/29 
Miriam Lawrence Leupold                  Todd Stevens
 5/9                                                          5/29 
Karen Smith                                          Eric Fagans
 5/10                                                        5/30
Susan Sneeringer                                  Sebastian Mikel Tañón-Elias 
5/14                                                         5/30 
Sam Rogers                                           Mary Kelly
5/15                                                         5/31

If your birthday is this month and it's not listed, please let Jamie know so we can update our records. 


Tuesday, 5/3       9:00am   Men's Bible Study via Zoom 
                          12:30pm   Staff Meeting 
                            5:30pm   Membership Committee Meeting
                            5:30pm   Outreach & Mission Committee Meeting
                            5:30pm   Property Committee Meeting
                           5:30pm   Worship Committee Meeting
                           7:00pm   The 35th annual Martin Luther King Junior and
                                           Coretta Scott King Lecture Series
                           7:30pm   Christian Education Committee
                           7:30pm   Social Justice & Peacemaking Committee Meeting

Wednes., 5/4      7:00pm   Trouble the Water

Thurs., 5/5         7:00am   Men's Bible Study (Rose Room)

Sunday, 5/8        9:00am   Adult Education via Zoom
                            9:15am   Children’s Education via Zoom
                            9:30am   Soloist/Choir Rehearsal
                          10:30am   Worship Service
                                           In-Person/Livestream on Facebook
                          11:30am   Fellowship Time

Monday, 5/9      1:00pm   Covenant Group Meeting

Tuesday, 5/10     9:00am   Men's Bible Study via Zoom 
                            6:30pm   Anti-Racism Task Force

Wednes., 5/11     7:00pm   Trouble the Water
                            7:30pm   Dads' Small Group Meeting

Thurs., 5/12      7:00am   Men's Bible Study (Rose Room)
                           6:30pm   SWAT Team Meeting
                           7:00pm   Soloist/ Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, 5/15      9:00am   Adult Education via Zoom
                            9:15am   Children’s Education via Zoom
                            9:30am   Soloist/Choir Rehearsal
                          10:30am   Worship Service
                                           In-Person/Livestream on Facebook
                          11:30am   Fellowship Time

Tuesday, 5/17     9:00am   Men's Bible Study via Zoom 
                            7:00pm   Session Meeting

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