Episcopal Diocese of Albany, NY
Business Office: 68 South Swan Street - Albany, NY 12210 - (518) 465-4737
Christ the King Spiritual Life Center: 575 Burton Road - Greenwich, NY 12834 - (518) 692-9550

Men’s Ministry Morning - Courage and Strength: Our Faith in Action

On Saturday morning, February 17th approximately 50 men representing 20 different Albany Diocese churches and several denominations met for breakfast, prayer, study, and Christian encouragement. The morning was hosted by the Brotherhood of St Andrew at Calvary Episcopal Burnt Hills, Christ Church Ballston Spa, and St George’s Clifton Park. The theme for our gathering was "Courage and Strength: Our Faith in Action". Thanks to Fr John Scott, the inspiration for our focus came from the combination of the readings (Hebrews 11:1-7, Psalm 145:1-4,10-13, Mark 9:2–13) and the Saint for that Saturday (Janani Luwum).

Our invited speaker was Shawn Buice from the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and Trinity Baptist Church in Niskayuna, NY. He spoke about the courage and strength that Noah exhibited at a time when the world seemed to be crumbling from many perspectives. Shawn held Noah up as an example and challenge to men that we would live righteous lives, walk with God, and do what God asks of us. He pointed out that we need to strive for the goal even though many of us fall short of Noah’s example. And… we need to do this in spite of the fact that our world, like Noah’s, seems to be in disrepair at many levels. In fact, because our tendency is to veer off-course we need to have a sense of God’s vision for our lives so that we can make excellent decisions and realign ourselves with God’s course when we stray. The message was an excellent call to Lenten reflection and repentance. Shawn’s presentation was entertaining, thought provoking, and well received by the men.

We also discussed how starting a Brotherhood of St Andrew chapter could help bring men together in Christ’s name at the congregational level, the diocesan level, and the national level. Don Rohr offered to arrange a visit to various churches to talk with men’s ministry groups about the Brotherhood of St Andrew. Many said they would like to grow their men’s ministry group and viewed this as a way to accomplish their goals.

Eucharist was shared together with Fr John Scott and Fr Bill Hinrichs as celebrants. Fr Bill gave an inspiring sermon about Bp Janani Luwum and related it to his personal experience with forgiveness and healing. Fr John also shared some closing comments about his personal interactions with Bp Luwum; he challenged us to consider not just whose shoulders we rest on in building God’s Kingdom, but who will rest on OUR shoulders as Christian leaders and examples.

The general feedback from many who attended was that we need to gather more regularly as a community of Christian men. The morning was Christ centered, encouraging, and fun! With 50 men singing praises to our Lord during Eucharist, we were definitely rattling the widows of Calvary Episcopal. Many thanks go out to all who helped organize this gathering (clergy, musicians, cooks, setup, cleanup, and attendees). We hope to do this again soon and will pray for 100 men next time!

In Christ‘s Service,
Don Rohr

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