Northern New York COM Holds First Retreat

Reflections by the Rev. Sarah Hooker, Teaching Elder, First Presbyterian Church Delhi, Susquehanna Valley Presbytery

Our first retreat for the Northern NY Committee On Ministry Network was a great success. We met in Albany, NY over the weekend of May 20th. We had participants from all five of the presbyteries in the network (Albany, Cayuga-Syracuse, Susquehanna Valley, Northern New York and Utica), and some guests from other presbyteries close by as well. It was such a benefit to be in the same physical space as one another and to put faces and stories to our ministry settings.

In our workshops there were many discussions around topics relating to the work we do as Committees on Ministry. Emerging from these workshops were ideas for how the various presbyteries in the Network can share resources and build ministries.

A highlight were the workshops led by Laurie Ferguson. Her coaching wisdom provided us with basic knowledge and skills through that particular discipline to apply to our work on our Committees on Ministry. I know that I will personally use the tools she gave us in my relationship as a church liaison on COM.

I left the retreat with a greater connection to my colleagues in ministry and enlivened by the Spirit. We truly are doing our best to do good work for God’s people in a changing church world. To have the support and wisdom from others doing this work in Northern New York gives me great hope for our churches.