News from First Presbyterian Church!
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A message from FOCUS ministry:
We need volunteers!

Due to illness, a termination, and a grant reducing weekly staff work hours, we have been stretched very thin as we try to meet the needs of our guests. One year ago, in January 2022, we served 32 breakfast guests a day.  On January 5th this year we served 92 breakfasts.  We are close to tripling the numbers of people we are serving at our FOCUS soup kitchen.  We are struggling to do this with fewer staff.  And we are struggling to do this when the food supply chain is interrupted and we need to spend a lot of time finding food and non-food supplies at an increasing number of purchasing sites.  Our Food Pantry guests are also increasing. Here’s how you can help:
FOCUS Breakfast Program at Westminster (Our doors are open Tues, Wed and Thurs 7am to 8:30am) 
- Wednesday & Thursdays 6:45am to 8:45am (to help serve breakfast - by handing out coffee, breakfast plates, milk & juice, or bags of to-go lunch)
Breakfast Cook or Prep Cook (this commitment involves arriving early: around 5:45am to 6am and working until 8:30am or 8:45am.)  We need folks who can be "back-up cooks" or "back-up prep cooks" when our current volunteer cooks take a much-deserved break.  We need folks who are available Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday. 
Thursday clean-up (8:30am to 9:30am)  Since Thursday is our last day of the week to offer breakfast, we do a deep clean on Thursday morning.  Can you help us during this hour?  We sweep, mop, move items to our storage bin, and often move tables, chairs and plastic barriers to accommodate other groups who may use the fellowship hall during Thursday to Sunday. 
- Tuesday & Thursday Pastoral Care 6:45am to 8:45am -- listen and talk with individual guests, many of whom have few people available/willing to listen to their hopes and needs. 
FOCUS Food Pantry at Emmanuel Baptist
Thursday Pick up Food Orders at Regional Food bank (in Latham) from mid-morning to late morning. Or Help to Unload a Truck which comes to drop off groceries for our Food Pantry.
Belinda Quaye, our awesome Volunteer Coordinator, is happy to train you and schedule you. Send her an email:


During the months of January and February, our Music Director Michael Lister will be taking a hiatus involving additional responsibilities with the Department of Music and Theater at The University at Albany. He will return for the FOCUS service on February 5 and will resume his responsibilities on March 6. During the time he is away, guest conductor Xavier Ortiz-Reyes will assume the leadership of the choir, and Trevor Kahlbaugh and our soloists will continue to minister through music alongside the choir. More details about Xavier will be shared in upcoming Eblasts.  


The Outreach and Mission Committee is beginning to collect needed articles for the Giffen Elementary School’s “Clothes Closet.” Articles may be left in the box designated for this purpose in Assembly Hall. Our O&M Committee is also making $1,500 available for Ms. Terry, who supervises the Clothes Closet, to spend for immediate winter needs. Debbie and Eric Fagans will be assisting Ms. Terry.

*Needed for our box: healthy snacks, soap, wash cloths, towels, deodorant, tooth brushes, tooth paste, several bath mats (for the school showers), small hand gloves, small feet socks.


Join us online for Finger Labyrinth Walks and Meditations each Thursday through February 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 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!


Please Sign Up to Provide a Meal for the Youth Group!

We’re asking that families please sign up to take a turn to provide a meal for our regular meetings.

Click the link to sign up→ Meal Train for Youth Lunches


Capital Area Council of Churches Emergency Overflow Shelter 

First Pres has made a commitment for several years to provide dinner for the men at the overflow shelter   This shelter serves people who have no other shelter options in Albany County during the cold weather, November until April.
Our slot is the third Monday of the month. We received wonderful response last week!! Now we only have to fill April 17.

Cooking a hearty dinner for 19 hungry men may sound daunting.  Here are some ideas to make it more doable:

  • Sign up to share a week with another church member.
  • Your church small group could take one week & challenge other small groups to do the same
  • You love to bake….but do not cook – volunteer to make dessert.
  • You don’t cook!!  How about purchasing a ready-made dessert or contribute money to a member who is cooking to help defray the overall cost.

See the signup sheet and info page on the bulletin board by the Main Office. Please contact Karen Brown or 518-817-2295 for more info.


New Educational Opportunity

Members of First Presbyterian’s Antiracism Task Force Will Lead
“Dismantling Racism, Building Racial Justice in Institutions”


            When: Four Wednesdays, 7—8:30 pm
           Where: via zoom

          Format: Pre-recorded webinars and group discussions; webinars
                         produced by Crossroads for the Association of Partners
                         in Christian Education and the Presbyterian Youth Workers

January 18: “How does Christian Education uphold white dominant values
                      and stifle racial justice work?”
January 25: “What is antiracism, and what does it require of Christians?”
February 1: “Why must Christians denounce white supremacy and embrace
                      a gospel vision for antiracism?”
February 8: “How can Christian educators cultivate values that challenge
                      white supremacy?”


Contact the church office (518-449-7332 or in advance to sign up, obtain the video link and obtain the zoom link.  Participants will be asked to view a 1-hour webinar at home before each gathering. On the Wednesday evenings, we will watch a related 30 minute Q & A segment together and then discuss.

Youth News

Youth will be meeting this

Sunday, Jan 22nd 12:00-2:00pm

on the 2nd Floor. 


This week is all about Relaxing & Having Fun!

Lunch + Ice Cream Sundaes

Games, Puzzles, Coloring, and time to just check in and talk.

Come prepared to share a favorite song for our chillax playlist. If you have it, please bring an Wifi-enabled device for Party games on the big TV.


Info will be shared about our Summer Youth Trip for Service & Reflection


Sunday, February 5

10:30am Joint Worship w FOCUS Churches

12-2pm Lunch and Program on the 2nd floor


Sunday Feb 19

12-2pm Lunch and Program on the 2nd floor

January Birthdays

Maureen Mooney                                John Cheu             
1/18                                                      1/25     
Sarah Clermont                                   Mackenzie Robinson        
1/21                                                     1/28    
Wesley Frank                                      Neelam Mathias
1/22                                                     1/29    
Liam Kite                                            Mason Kite
1/23                                                     1/29   
Araglin Kite                                        Eliza Ruth Clermont
1/24                                                     1/29   
If your birthday is this month and it's not listed, please let Jamie know so we can update our records. 


Tuesday, 1/17     9:00am   Men's Bible Study via Zoom
                            7:00pm   Session Meeting

Wednes., 1/18   10:00am   Women to Women Small Group
                            7:00pm   Dismantling Racism, Building Racial
                                           Justice in Institutions

Thurs., 1/19        7:00am   Men's Bible Study
                          12:30pm   Finger Labyrinth Walk and Meditation
                            7:00pm   Soloist/ Choir Rehearsal

Saturday, 1/21    9:30am   Session Meeting

 Sunday, 1/22     9:15am   Preschool Education 
                            9:15am   Children’s Education 
                            9:15am   Adult Education
                            9:15am   Inquirers’ Class
                            9:30am   Soloist/Choir Rehearsal
                          10:30am   Worship Service
                                           In-Person/Livestream on Facebook
                          11:45am   Fellowship Time
                          12:00pm   Youth Group

Monday, 1/23     1:00pm   Covenant Small Group

Tuesday, 1/24     9:00am   Men's Bible Study via Zoom
                            6:30pm   FOCUS Board Meeting

Wednes., 1/25    7:00pm   Dismantling Racism, Building Racial
                                           Justice in Institutions

Thurs., 1/26        7:00am   Men's Bible Study
                          12:30pm   Finger Labyrinth Walk and Meditation
                            7:00pm   Soloist/ Choir Rehearsal

 Sunday, 1/29     9:15am   Preschool Education 
                            9:15am   Children’s Education 
                            9:15am   Adult Education
                            9:15am   Inquirers’ Class
                            9:30am   Soloist/Choir Rehearsal
                          10:30am   Worship Service
                                           In-Person/Livestream on Facebook
                          11:45am   Fellowship Time

Tuesday, 1/31     9:00am   Men's Bible Study via Zoom
* * * * * * * * * * *

Contact info: church office: 518-449-7332
First Pres website First Pres website
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Our mailing address is:
362 State Street
Albany, NY 12210

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