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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 

 

 

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-wealth 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!

Opportunities


New and Exciting Educational Opportunity for the Entire Congregation
 
Your Anti-Racism Task Force hopes that you will join us for the new and exciting educational program “Trouble the Water:  Conversations to Disrupt Racism and Dominance.”  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.  We will gather on Zoom on six 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., April 27:  “Beginning the Journey”
                         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, and we hope to see you on April 27th!

 
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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.
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FELLOWSHIP TIME:  We're pleased to announce that Fellowship Time is once again being held in Assembly Hall, immediately 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)
ds.hinchen@verizon.net
 
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Finger Labyrinth Walks and Meditations occur each Thursday through April 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, April 28, 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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Brooks "To- Go" Chicken BBQ Fundraiser for FOCUS
today has been cancelled
 
New Date: Wednesday June 15th 3-6pm at Delmar Reformed Church. 

All pre-ordered meals for April 19th will be transferred to June 15th. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please call: (518) 443-0460 ext. 1

Thank you for supporting FOCUS Churches of Albany, which offers two food pantries and a soup kitchen in downtown Albany.  This fundraiser helps raise money to feed our food insecure neighbors. 

 
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CROP Hunger Walk 2022
We have one goal: building a world where there is enough for all
 
 
WHAT IS THE CROP HUNGER WALK?
Hunger is one of the greatest injustices facing our world, but it does not have to be this way. Ending hunger is possible in our lifetime. You can help make it happen.
One way we help end hunger is join with our neighbors here in the Albany Area, to participate in the CWS Albany CROP Hunger WALK.
CROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by local congregations or groups to raise funds to help end hunger in our communities and around the world.

ALBANY CROP HUNGER WALK
Last year the Albany CROP WALK raised funds for twenty-six food pantry agencies in the area to help feed our neighbors suffering food insecurity.
 
The Albany CROP Hunger Walk 2022, one of the largest in the United States, has set a goal to raise $100,000 to help end hunger and poverty and contribute to long-term sustainable approaches to reduce or eliminate hunger. As in years past, 25% of the funds we raise in  the Albany CROP Walk  will go to local  food pantries.
 
On May 1st , we want to stand with neighbors in our community and around the world, who rely on food assistance programs. This year more than ever, it is so important to support our neighbors struggling in the face of poverty, food insecurity and create opportunities to open new doors.
 
HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE
The John U. Miller Memorial CROP Hunger Walk in Albany, named after the former director, will be a “live”  and virtual event this year. The Walk will take place on Sunday, May 1, starting and ending at First Lutheran Church, 181 Western Ave. in Albany.
In person registration begins at 12:30pm, with opening ceremonies at 1:15 (also on Zoom) and begin at 1:30pm.
You can choose a 1-mile or 3-mile loop, walk as a small group or virtually in your own neighborhood any time during the month of May.

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN’S TEAM
At First Presbyterian Church we are  committed to stamping out hunger and want to do our part to help end hunger one step at a time.
We want to ensure that the work of the CWS and our local food pantries will continue to be there for those who need assistance, in good and tough times.
We are organizing a team to participate in CROP WALK 2022.
Our team is “Albany First Presbyterian Church,” and our goal is $8,000 this year. I know we can do this!
To join our team, please go to the Albany CROP Hunger Walk Web Page to register.
The web page is www.crophungerwalk.org/albanyny
  • Go to “Join or Start a Team”
  • select “Albany First Presbyterian Church” and join the team.
We also encourage you to invite others to join with us on May 1st  to demonstrate our commitment to helping our neighbors.

 

 
 
  • 58 People have registered
  • 24 Teams have registered
  • 1,471 Social Media Reach
  • $8,621.52 Raised

 
 
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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
Plants
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!

 

Upcoming Events: 

 

Crop Walk to End Hunger

Sunday May 1, gather @12:30pm, walk @1:30pm

Meet at First Lutheran Church 181 Western Ave.

The youth will walk as a group together as we join the “Albany First Presbyterian Church,” Team. 

Register Here to help raise $8000 as a team!  

>> Go to “Join or Start a Team” >> select “Albany First Presbyterian Church” and join the team.

 

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Save the Dates: 

May 22- Youth Usher for Worship

June 12- Albany Pride Parade

June 18- March on Washington D.C.

 

Survey

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! 

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

 

April Birthdays

Skip Meislahn                                        David Chapin                                
4/5                                                            4/25                                  
Lynn Ellsworth                                      Ekong Takor
 4/5                                                           4/25  
Ron Pettis                                               Robin Dowell Baum
 4/6                                                           4/26  
Fred Forba                                             Susan Easton   
 4/6                                                           4/27  
Elizabeth Leupold                                  John Knutson
 4/7                                                           4/27 
John Minerbrook                                  John Abunaw
 4/17                                                         4/27 
Sarah John                                             Ryan Rogers
 4/17                                                         4/28
Eli Rice                                                   Ani Dowell Baum
 4/17                                                         4/30 
Joyce Bascom  
4/20    
Gail Scott                                            
4/24


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

Calendar

Tuesday, 4/26     9:00am   Men's Bible Study via Zoom
                          11:30am   Clergy Meeting
                            6:30pm   FOCUS Board Meeting

Wednes., 4/27  12:00pm   Endowment Subcommittee Meeting
                           7:00pm   Trouble the Water
                           7:30pm   Dads' Small Group

Thurs., 4/28      7:00am   Men's Bible Study (Rose Room)
                         12:30pm   Finger Labyrinth Walk and Meditation
                           6:30pm   SWAT Team Meeting
                           7:00pm   Soloist/ Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, 5/1        9:15am   Adult Education 
                            9:15am   Children’s Education 
                            9:30am   Soloist/Choir Rehearsal
                          10:30am   Worship Service
                                           In-Person/Livestream on Facebook
                          11:30am   Fellowship Time
                          12:30pm   CROP Walk

Monday, 5/2       7:00pm   Music Rehearsal in Sanctuary

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)
                            7:00pm   Soloist/ Choir Rehearsal


Sunday, 5/8        9:15am   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

  
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