Leaders of different faiths to preach on the theme ‘And We Still Rise’

RENSSELAERVILLE — The Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church announces its schedule of summer services every Sunday from July 1 through Sept. 2.  Services are held at 11 a.m. in the church located on Main Street (Route 351) in Rensselaerville. Everyone is welcome.

Each year, clergy from different faith traditions are invited to deliver sermons on a common theme. The 2018 theme is “And Still We Rise,” after the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou. One of its nine verses says:

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

The theme honors the 50th anniversary of the death of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and recognizes the plight of immigrants, refugees, the oppressed and the poor.

The sermons will be delivered on these dates:

— July 1: “Rising to New Life in Prison” by Father Dennis Tamburello, O.F.M., professor of Religious Studies at Siena College in Loudonville;

— July 8: “The God Who Sees” by Rev. Kate Forer, senior pastor, Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church in Saratoga Springs;

— July 15: “Finding a Voice” by Rev. Dr. Richard Spalding, the recently retired chaplain of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts;

— July 22: “#Me, Too” by Rev. Karen S. Pollen, pastor of Delmar Presbyterian Church in Delmar;

— July 29: “Feeding a Revolution” by Rev. Will Critzman, minister of Discipleship at the First Presbyterian Church in New York City;

— Aug. 5: “Descent for the Sake of Ascent” by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat of the Congregation Beth Israel in North Adams, Massachusetts;

— Aug. 12: “Reclaiming Truth” by Rev. Alison Miller, senior minister at Morristown Unitarian Fellowship in Morristown, New Jersey;

— Aug. 19: “Just Keep On Singing” by Rev. Dr. Amaury Tañón-Santos of the  Synod Networker, Synod of the Northeast in East Syracuse;

— Aug. 26: “For Such a Time as This” by Rev. Alexandra Lusak, moderator at Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church; and

— Sept. 2: “After the Fall” by Elder Barbara G. Wheeler, former president of the Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City.

The tradition of summer-only services at the Presbyterian Church in Rensselaerville goes back more than 100 years. For a short period in the second half of the 19th Century, the village was a lively industrial town as the first site of the Huyck Woolen Mills.

When founder and Presbyterian Church member F. C. Huyck Sr. moved his mill to Albany, he did not sever ties with the village or the church. But as jobs left with the mill so did many of the village residents, leaving the church without enough members to maintain a year-round pastor.

However, the Huyck family returned each year to vacation and provided for a pastor during their stay. It was F. C. Huyck Sr.’s granddaughter, Katharine Huyck Elmore, who in the middle of the 20th Century expanded the vision of the summer services to other faith traditions and invited ministers, rabbis, priests, and nuns to fill the pulpit.

The Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church is a nationally recognized example of Greek Revival architecture dating from the 1840s and is listed on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places.

More information about each week’s guest preacher and the church may be found on the church’s website: www.rvillepres.org. Comments and questions may be sent to .

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