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This Sunday, October 4, is World Communion Sunday. We invite you to prepare your tables and your hearts this week.  Please prepare a slice or small loaf of bread, corn tortilla, or rice cake or what is sacramental and joyful to share and a cup or small cups of juice -- perhaps grape or cranberry -- or wine, with or without alcohol, or coffee, or coconut water all of which are used in worship in different places.
 
In addition, you are invited to spend this week praying for a country in the world which is not your own. Often on this occasion we celebrate the “world” in a particularly generic “global” way rather than actually thinking about real places. For the days leading to World Communion Sunday choose one country to pray for – it may be in the news or may be one that you have visited or may be part of your ethnic heritage or may be one with a cuisine you find delicious or a writer or artist who inspires you. There is no right or wrong choice. Read an online article on this country – its history, its products, its religious heritage, the challenges it faces right now, certainly including how it stands in this pandemic. Learn a word in one of its languages – maybe peace or gratitude or blessing. Google translate is a helpful resource and includes an audio pronunciation feature. You might even find a recipe to make sometime this week. Hold this country and its people in your prayers this week.
 
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Needed: Caring Adults unafraid to be goofy, vulnerable, and compassionate!
Youth Group relies on the help of dedicated Adult Volunteers— Is God calling you to be one? Accompany our middle schoolers and high schoolers as we play, pray, serve, and worship. We currently meet virtually on Sundays after worship at 11am. We will be scheduling other socially distanced in-person opportunities (such as the Washington Park Neighborhood Association clean up this Sunday). Volunteers will be on a shared, rotating schedule that we will create together. Background checks, training and ongoing support for all volunteers working with youth. Please call (712-986-6010) or email Molly.
 
 
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Be a witness of support to the Black Lives Matter movement
every Tuesday from noon to 1:00pm.
 Join others on State S.t in front of Westminster Presbyterian Church
with your mask (not-optional) and a sign (optional).
This effort is being spear-headed by Elizabeth McMillan at WPC.
 
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FPC invites you to join us for an online Finger Labyrinth Walk and Meditation every Thursday at 12:30pm in October! The sessions will be led by Pastor Miriam, Certified Advanced Labyrinth Facilitator. This time is open to all, whether you’ve walked a labyrinth in the past or not. We ask that you register for each event. 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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You are encouraged to vote in the upcoming general election. In order to do so, you must be registered, and the deadline to do that is on or before October 9. Registration requires filling out a simple form that is available online. Or you may go in-person to your county’s Board of Elections office to register to vote.

Vote Early!   (Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, November 1st)
If you want to make sure your vote is counted with all the other votes that are cast on Election Day, but do not want to go to the polls in person on Election Day, one option is to vote early in person at any of the following early voting locations:
(confirmed with Elections Commissioner Matt Clyne that any registered voter in the City of Albany can vote early at any of the 6 early voting locations listed above between October 24th and November 1st.)
Hours for early voting at all early voting locations are:
Saturday & Sunday: 9am-2pm
Monday & Wednesday: Noon-8pm
Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 9am-5pm
 
This gives you 9 different days to vote and an ability to pick which day, time and location is most convenient for you.
 
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First Pres, through the Outreach and Mission Committee, has been working with the New York State Council of Churches. Here are opportunities for education and advocacy offered by them:
 
SACRED CONVERSATIONS ON FAITH AND PUBLIC LIFE
Faith Based Responses to Wealth Inequality
The State Budget Crisis in the Age of Covid
Thursday, October 1, 7:00 PM

Ron Deutsch, Executive Director, Fiscal Policy Institute
Jasmine Gripper, Executive Director, Alliance for Quality Education
The Reverend Michael Livingston, Interim Senior Minister, The Riverside Church, NYC
Assemblyman Phil Steck, 110th Assembly District
(Colonie, Niskayuna, and Schenectady)

Moderated by
The Reverend Peter Cook, Executive Director, New York State Council of Churches

During October 1, join us for a lively conversation where we will consider:
Why fiscal austerity does not work and
how we can root our economic policies in the idea of God's abundance.
The problems with neo-liberalism and the need for bottom up rather than top down investment
What financial challenges faced by our schools in New York and what can we do about it?
What would a true progressive taxation system look like in New York
and what are the revenue options before us?
How do we offer mutual care to one another as a state and a nation?

Please register by clicking on this link.

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkdOChqDsuGdbMxGN2FwB21DX4L7DJzWB1

In preparation for this webinar, we invite you to listen to:
You can’t starve your way out of a recession (with Kitty Richards)
 
We know that state budget cuts and other austerity policies worsened the 2008 recession and led to a prolonged, uneven recovery. With state and local leaders already clamoring to meet the impending revenue shortfall caused by the COVID crisis, what have we learned, and what can we do differently? In this episode on the August 14, Pitchfork Economics podcast, hear Groundwork Collaborative strategic advisor Roosevelt Institute Fellow, Kitty Richards talk about how states can act now to invest in their residents, bolster their economies, and push back against skyrocketing inequality.
 
You can also listen to Assemblyman Phil Steck on the story on WAMC Capital Region State Lawmakers Push Restoration Education Funding speak about his proposal for New York to keep (instead of refund) the stock transfer tax they already collect.
Please also read:  Set Up to Fail: How Cuomo’s School Cuts Target New York’s Black & Brown Students, a report published by the Alliance for Quality Education and the Public Policy Education Fund of New York, articles on the website of Fiscal Policy Institute.
 
A Word About Sacred Conversations on Faith and Public Life (from NYS Council of Churches): Religious people have a very long history of bringing their faith to bear on the great issues of our time. We are bold to say that politics, public policy and faith DO mix. The New York State Council of Churches is pleased to inaugurate a series of webinars where we invite faith leaders, politicians and policy people to discuss the very challenging issue of wealth inequality and taxation and its implications for people for whom we care in our communities, state, nation, and world.

 
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First Pres, through the Social Justice and Peacemaking Committee, has been working with the Labor and Religion Coalition. Here are opportunities for education and advocacy:

Saturday, Oct. 3, 2pm, Organizing and Leadership Forum with the National Union of the Homeless: Join us for a conversation with leaders from the recently re-constituted National Union of the Homeless (NUH). We'll hear from leaders of the NUH about their experiences in the late 70s and 80s, organizing and leadership lessons learned, and how they're bringing those experiences forward to today, as part of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. We'll also join in conversation about Capital Region justice struggles today, reflecting on our present economic and organizing conditions, and the need for, and challenges to building, a mass, fusion movement of the poor and dispossessed. RSVP here.

 

 Monday, Oct. 5, 6pm, The Fight to Heal Healthcare: The double crises of COVID-19 and the economic recession are exposing and exacerbating the injustices of our healthcare system. While frontline workers continue to fight for better protections, they are also facing the threat of layoffs and cutbacks, even as they prepare for a likely 2nd wave of COVID-19. Meanwhile, the challenges New Yorkers face in accessing healthcare are increasing. An estimated 300,000 lost their employer-sponsored healthcare by May, on top of the millions already uninsured or underinsured. Join us for an online forum on Monday, October 5 to hear from frontline healthcare workers, patients, and community and union leaders about the stakes of this struggle and how we can organize for healthcare justice through these ongoing crises and beyond. RSVP here.
 
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Education and Spiritual Formation each Sunday via Zoom!
Adult Education at 8:45am–9:45am
Children’s Education at 9:15am–9:45am
Virtual Youth Group at 11:00am
Find the Zoom links in Thursday’s eblast.
 

Calendar

Tuesday, 9/29       9:00am      Men's Bible Study

Thursday, 10/1     7:00am      Men's Bible Study
                            12:30pm      Finger Labyrinth Walk and Meditation

                              4:30pm      Anti-Racism Task Force
                              5:30pm       Outreach & Mission Committee Meeting

Sunday, 10/4        
8:45am       Adult Education 
                              9:15am      Children’s Education  
                            10:00am      Worship Service via Facebook
                            11:00am       Virtual Youth Group

Tuesday, 10/6      9:00am       Men's Bible Study

                             4:30pm       Social Justice & Peacemaking Committee Meeting
                             7:00pm       Membership Committee Meeting     

Wednes., 10/7    11:00am       Staff Meeting

Thursday, 10/8     7:00am      Men's Bible Study

                            12:30pm      Finger Labyrinth Walk and Meditation
                            
Sunday, 10/11     
8:45am       Adult Education 
                              9:15am      Children’s Education  
                            10:00am      Worship Service via Facebook
                            11:00am       Virtual Youth Group

Monday, 10/12     1:00pm      Covenant Group

Tuesday, 10/13      9:00am     Men's Bible Study
                             12:00pm     Endowment Sub Committee

Wednes., 10/14     7:30pm     Dads' Small Group

Thursday, 10/15   7:00am      Men's Bible Study
                              4:30pm      Anti-Racism Task Force

Sunday, 10/18      
8:45am       Adult Education 
                              9:15am      Children’s Education  
                            10:00am      Worship Service via Facebook
                            11:00am       Virtual Youth Group

Wednes., 10/20    9:00am      Men's Bible Study
                             7:00pm      Session Meeting

 
******* All meetings will be held via Zoom.*******
 
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Contact info: please use this number 518-439-7492 (instead of church phone)

 
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Albany, NY 12210

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