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

“Faith Alive” in the Diocese of Albany

by Tom Gizara

For several years the Albany Diocese has been active in the Faith Alive organization, having had several Faith Alive weekends over the past three decades. Fr. Walter Collins had a Faith Alive Weekend at Christ Church, Herkimer almost 20 years ago. St George’s Church in Clifton Park has had 2 weekends and is planning for a possible third one.

Faith Alive works well in big churches like St George’s and smaller churches like Trinity Church, Watervliet and St. David’s in East Greenbush. Mid size churches like Christ Church, Duanesburg under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Shaw and the Rev. Julie Mudge have done very well in planning, carrying out and benefiting from a Faith Alive Weekend.

For the past several years, the Bennetts from the Church of the Messiah in Glens Falls, have been Diocesan representatives for Faith Alive National. Bishop Bena has been a member of the Faith Alive National Board of Directors. Having completed a four year term on that board, he was unanimously appointed to serve as a special advisor to the Faith Alive National Executive Board.

Recently, Tom Gizara, of Trinity Church, Watervliet, was appointed as a Diocesan Representative for Faith Alive and to serve a four-year term on the Faith Alive National Board of Directors, which recently met in Golden, Colorado. Faith Alive realizes that it has a contribution to make to the national church in these times of troubled dialogue and mistrust.

Many people in the Albany Diocese have served as witnesses on teams for Faith Alive in various states. They have visited churches in our diocese, other dioceses in New York State, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Texas, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Faith Alive emphasizes the baptismal vows that all Christians have in common. Do you renounce Satan? Do you accept Jesus as your personal Savior? Do you ask for forgiveness for your sins? What are you doing for Jesus? How is Jesus working through you to spread His love and peace?

These questions and our answers to them bind us together, no matter where we go. Faith Alive brings all Christians together under the common cross of love and respect. Faith Alive stresses what we as Christians have in common; not in the ways we disagree. The Faith Alive team comes not to preach, not to teach and not to talk politics. We come to tell our stories and to listen to your stories. Together we witness to the ways we are following the Great Commandment and the ways we are fulfilling the Great Commission.

Faith Alive National has several goals for these next few years:

  1. To increase the number of weekends in dioceses which arealready active in Faith Alive
  2. To become involved in dioceses new to Faith Alive
  3. To increase the number of new people serving as witnesses on Faith Alive Weekend teams
  4. To encourage churches to give annual donations to the Faith Alive movement.

The financial support is necessary because Faith Alive services and materials are offered to churches free of charge. All team members travel at their own expense and the teens who serve on teams need some financial support. It is suggested that each church that has held a Faith Alive Weekend give a donation to Faith Alive each year on the anniversary date of their weekend.

If you are interested in serving on weekend teams or otherwise serving in this ministry, email Tom Gizara --- TAGValatie@AOL.com. You could also call Bishop Bena at the Diocesan office (518) 465-4737; email --- bishsuff@nycap.rr.com. Either of us will make certain that your name and availability is made known to Faith Alive National office in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Faith Alive has provided many people with the vehicle to spread the love and peace of God to others, near and far. It has aided many in letting….”your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”.

Both Bishop Bena and Tom have been told by people from various dioceses that we are blessed to have the bishops we elected. We need to spread the peace, love and patience that we have to other people and places who are suffering through strong dissension. Faith Alive is one of the groups which can help us spread this emphasis to “Keep your eyes upon Jesus”.

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