Here is our traditional summer update, marking all we’ve already done about halfway through the year!
Easter seems forever ago, however it was beautifully celebrated. Palm Sunday was fun with the kids, parading their Palms during Worship. We had our traditional contemplative Good Friday, our 6:30 a.m. Sunrise Easter Worship followed by breakfast, and traditional 10:00 a.m. Easter Sunday with a plethora of eggs to find afterwards. It was a great resurrection celebration.
Nursery School had a great end of the year graduation and party with 17 kids. The co-head teachers Jillian Ludwig and Elizabeth Baldes’s program included calendar, letter of the day, craft, story, gym, banking, New-Trition Snack-tivities, and free play all in under three hours. The kids came a long way learning pre-reading skills, social skills, classroom etiquette and many of them progressed to being potty trained!
We celebrated the Ordination of Rev. Nazish Naseem, as an extension of God’s call to women for our Pakistani brothers and sisters. Over a hundred people showed up, and Nazish’s family in Pakistan and her husband in India were able to witness on livestream. Representatives from Albany Medical Center’s Chaplain’s department, where she works, were able to be present, including her supervisor Rev. Jacob Marvel. State Street Presbyterian Church where Nazish pulpit supplies and the Inclusive Catholic Church both joined us for Worship, and Albany Presbytery was represented as well. It was a blessing to be able to confirm Nazish Naseem’s Ordination and celebrate it at this interfaith event.
We have concluded our Messy Church school year with Summer Youth Sunday. During this service kids of all ages some of their favorite activities from the year. There we made clay reminders of who God is, added to our long gratefulness chain, and sang “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee.” New Covenant is pleased that Devon Gallagher will be joining Messy Church as Assistant Teacher next year!
We have class members coming along: through baptism, confirmation, transfer, declaring faith. They are varied in age, race, and walks of life. We feel blessed to be a part of their call to faith, and look forward to deepening our connection with them.
Following the hard work of our volunteers, we earned over $1,000 from the Chicken BBQ and our Farmer’s Market had its grand opening and is going strong. In its 7th season, we see up to 500 patrons a week. We continue to strive to make this a ministry about community. We fully appreciate the coordination by Ethel and Roger Cooper, the music put together by Don Hyman, and the tireless sign-work by the facilities committee.
Currently we are enjoying our more casual outdoor worship at 9:30 a.m. each Sunday. It is so wonderful to put our worship out front throughout July and August. There is nothing like hearing an anthem sung with the birds tweeting along.
A new ministry we are trying is a clothing donation shed which funnels clothing to those in need and/or sells it at low cost to industrial countries. This ministry will give us a little bit of money, but will also fit into our mission of helping others. Be on the lookout for a shed to donate clothes which will be installed once the permit goes through.
In terms of Stewardship, we now have digital giving on the website (www.albanyncpc.wordpress.com) where one time or automatic gifts can be made. Specific to budget, once again, by the grace of God, our giving and tithing is exactly where one would hope for it to be halfway through the year, and our income from sharing the building is also where we want it. We currently have 27 contractual relationships with the community to use our building including AAs, Mendelssohn Choir, Neighborhood Association, Girls on the Run Nonprofit, Pakistani Fellowship, Living Word Tabernacle, Inclusive Catholic Church, and Capital District Church of Christ.
I want to personally thank you for your giving. And would like to invite you to think and pray about what it is you would like to give in the fall when we have our stewardship estimation. We did not do a formal commitment last year, but will this year. For statements of your giving, please talk to Pat Foster, who is the only one with that information.
Unfortunately, our heating usage last winter was very high. We had a long and cold winter with multiple days below zero and the boiler staying on through April. Already we have spent most of our heating budget for this year. Because of this, we are taking more from our endowment fund than planned. The good news is it’s still less than we took for the first five year of my pastorate. The bad news is it’s still more than we budgeted. As such, if you have been feeling called to give more money to the church, now is a good time to do so. Every little bit helps, from the clothing shed, to our bottle donations, to turning off the lights behind us when we leave the building. Volunteers who help clean, fix and host our groups all are meaningful contributions to our task of being good stewards.
I am so proud of all the work New Covenant does as a church to be good stewards of our money, our building, our gifts, and our resources. This congregation works hard to use things well, to not waste, to help one another, and to serve the community, and I look forward to how God will continue to use us in the future. Thanks for the start of another great year together, and thank you for all the ways you contribute.
Peace Be with You,
Pastor Katy Stenta
P.S.-We are able to email the bulletin to you weekly. Please let the office know if you wish to receive it this way, at 518-482-8063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.