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FOCUS Celebrates 40 Years of Shared Community Ministry

Four major events will mark the 40th anniversary of FOCUS ministries this fall. Festivities begin on Saturday, September 8, with the third annual FOCUS Golf Tournament at Frenchs Hollow Fairways, 4681 Hurst Rd. Altamont. Tee-off time will be 8:30 a.m. Proceeds benefit the Winter Breakfast Program and the FOCUS Interfaith Food Pantry. For more information, please contact FOCUS Executive Council Member Allan Tedrow at 371-8765 or by e-mail at actedrow@earthlink.net. On Saturday, September 29, a Gala Dinner at Schuyler Inn in Menands will recall and celebrate highlights of 40 years of FOCUS ministries. The cost is $30.00 per person. E-mail focuschurches@juno.com for more information. In celebration of FOCUS tradition of shared worship, the six FOCUS churches will worship together on Reformation Sunday, October 28, at 4 p.m. at Emmanuel Baptist Church. After the service, worshippers will share a light supper. The final anniversary event will be an Awards Night on Friday, November 16, 5:308:00 p.m., at Westminster Presbyterian Church. The evening will feature a talent show and food from the FOCUS congregations as well as the presentation of awards to outstanding FOCUS workers.

Focus on FOCUS
Vol. 2, No. 2 Spring/Summer 2007
FOCUS Worship
9:30 a.m.
Aug. 5 1st Pres. 362 State St. Sept. 2 Westminster Pres., 262 State St.

Honorary Committee Seeks Members


Friends of FOCUS are invited to become members of the Honorary Committee for the FOCUS 40th Anniversary events. Honorary Committee members will be listed in the program book for the Gala and at other appropriate occasions. Donations will benefit FOCUS ministries. To join the Committee, please call the FOCUS office at 443-0460 or email focuschurches@juno.com. Donation levels are Friend at $50-$149, Supporter, $150-$299; Sponsor, $300-$499; Benefactor, $500-$999; and Angel, $1,000 and up. To date, 18 donations totaling $3,625 have been received.

On the Inside
Pantry Grant...2 Project Love....2 School Supplies..3 Breakfast Club4-5 Easter Service.6 CROP Walk...6 CRTC Courses........7 EBC Open House....7 Donations.8
FOCUS is the collaboration of six churches in Albanys Capitol Hill united in our common calling to serve our neighbors needs as Gods servant people in a broken and hurting world.

FOCUS President Receives National Ecumenical Award


Dr. Anthony Malone, President of the FOCUS Board of Directors, received the 2007 Luke Mowbray Ecumenical Award on June 29 from American Baptist Churches USA at their national convention in Washington, DC. Tony was nominated by the FOCUS churches, and one of his nominating letters said in part, Through his spiritual giftedness, (continued on page 7)

ABCUSA officers Rev. Jerrod Hugenot (center) and Rev. Roy Medley (right) present the Luke Mowbray Award to Dr. Anthony Malone.

State Increases Grant for Food Pantry as Pantry Seeks Additional Volunteers
Its hard to believe that the Interfaith Food Pantry has completed a full year of operating five days a week, said Doug Tatreau, its coordinator. The change last July 1 from two days a week to five was made possible by a state-funded grant (HPNAP). That grant has been increased from $50,000 for 2006-07 to $60,000 for 2007-08. The bulk of the increase is designated for food and food safety. This means we will be able to increase the quality and variety of foods items available to our guests, Doug said. We pride ourselves here at the Pantry on our ability to give our guests a choice in what they receive each month. The biggest challenge the Pantry has faced is having enough volunteers to cover the expanded hours of operation. We need a least two volunteers from 10 a.m. to noon and two from 1-3 p.m. each day, Doug explained. Guests arrive at the Pantry at random times, which means that sometimes volunteers are busy and sometimes there is not much to do. The important thing is that the Pantry is open when there is a need. If you are interested in volunteering, please call 443-0460 and ask for Robert or Doug. City Gardeners Another innovation at the Pantry is encouraging guests to grow their own food. Pantry workers are supplying guests with containers, soil, and tomato and pepper plants, as well as instructions on how to take care of them. People have been thrilled with the idea, and the demand has been much greater than we anticipated, Interim Minister Glenn Van Oort said. We have had to buy additional planting supplies to keep up with the demand. New and Permanent Space Doug said that the Pantry workers are watching with excitement as work progresses on the renovations of the Emmanuel Baptist sanctuary. Walls for the new Pantry space are expected to go up in the near future. In anticipation of this, Westminster PresbyteNEW NARTHEX rian Church has given the Pantry a significant grant to purSANCTUARY chase new equipment. Come by and see the new The shaded area of Emmanuel Baptist Churchs current sanctuary glass-front refrigerator and will become the Food Pantrys perother improvements made possimanent home later this year. The ble through this grant, Doug Pantry will have its own entrance on urged. The Pantry staff is althe southwest corner of the building. ways available to give you a tour and share with you the excitement of this outreach program of FOCUS Churches of Albany. Come by and say hello.

School Collection Equips Students for Learning


FOCUS churches will be collecting school supplies throughout the summer for children who use our FOCUS Interfaith Food Pantry. Our aim is to provide children with the basic supplies they need to begin school in September prepared to participate fully in class. With the defeat of the Albany School budget and adoption of a contingency budget, the District no longer has funds it can designate for school supplies. In past years, equipping a child for the start of school has cost an estimated $8-$10 for grades K-2 up to $35-$40 for high school. For parents who use the Food Pantry, these expenses can devastate their already meager resources. On the other hand, those of us who have cars and a few extra dollars can take advantage of special sales, rebates, and buy one get one free offers on school supplies during this time and provide supplies for these children far less expensively than their parents can. At the end of August, we will need volunteers to help sort and distribute the supplies. Monday, August 21, and Tuesday, August 22, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon will be the days to sort the supplies and put them in packs appropriate for each grade level.

Project Love Donations Can Send Kids to Camp


Project Love is a six-week day camp for children ages 7-13, run by the Albany Boys and Girls Club. The cost is $60 per week per child. FOCUS has set a goal of sponsoring five children for the summer at a cost of $1,800. Donors have already contributed $1,200 toward this project. Please help FOCUS reach our goal by sending a donation to Irving Smith, First Presbyterian Church, 362 State St., Albany 12210. Make checks out to FOCUS, earmarked Project Love.

Last year, volunteers prepared school supply packs for more than 125 children. Distribution will take place on Wednesday, August 23, through Friday, August 25, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Any extra supplies will be distributed to the Albany schools. Look for sign-up sheets at your church to volunteer during August, or contact the FOCUS office at 443-0460 or at focuschurches@juno.com.

Interim Pastor Leads Worship


Rev. Glenn Van Oort, Interim Minister for FOCUS, led worship and brought messages about FOCUS missions at Westminster Presbyterian on June 3 and at First Presbyterian on June 24. Rev. Glenn is available to all FOCUS congregations through July.

What We Need
#2 pencils Pens blue, black, green, and purple ink Pocket folders plain and 3-hole punched Marble composition books Rulers School scissors Glue bottles Glue sticks Colored pencils Colored markers Pencil sharpeners Pencil boxes Pencil pouches Pink erasers Notebook paper wide ruled and college ruled Spiral notebooks wide ruled and college ruled 3-ring binders Crayons24 count Calculators Combination locks

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Breakfast Club Creates Community for Guests and Volunteers


When FOCUS first started its Winter Breakfast Program more than 20 years ago, everyone expected it to be a short-term, stop-gap measure. Instead, the program has grown each year, as more and more people, especially those who work at minimum-wage jobs, find that even though they work full time, they cannot cover their living expenses. During the 2006-2007 season, which ran from November 1, 2006, to April 19, 2007, an average of 120 people sought a hot meal each Tuesday through Thursday. Seventy of them took a sack lunch with them as well. Total meals served were 802 more than the year before, and each of the two years before that had seen increases of about 800 meals per season. Feeding that many people requires quantities of food each morning. About 14 pounds of bacon or 10 of sausage, 15 dozen eggs or five boxes of pancake mix, 2.5 pounds of cheese, 6-8 boxes of cereal, 18 loaves of bread, and gallons of milk and juice are needed each day to provide hot meals and sack lunches. Beyond the logistics are the atmosphere and philosophy that have caused this breakfast program to be called The Breakfast Club by both guests and volunteers. This is not a get-and-go breakfast, one guest told Rev. Glenn, as guests stayed to enjoy conversation after eating. What makes this breakfast special is that it is prepared and served with love, another guest offered. Love and concern are shown in many ways each morning, as people greet each other with smiles and words of welcome. Volunteers enjoy chatting with guests and getting to know them. They also meet needs besides hunger. One volunteer comes to give free haircuts once a month. Another takes photographs that guests can give to their families. Others provide special treats for the holidays. All of these elements combine to create a community that guests and volunteers enjoy being part of. We miss it during the summer, one guest said. Another had mixed feelings about leaving. This will be my last breakfast, he said. Im starting work today. Im thankful for the experience of meeting the volunteers and guests of the Breakfast Club.

Food is served fresh and hot by volunteers who strive to know guests by name.

I Am Going To Bloom!
by Rev. Glenn Van Oort, Interim Community Minister

Dinner Thanks Breakfast Volunteers


Fifty Breakfast Club volunteers came to dinner on April 26 to celebrate the success of the 2006-2007 season. Rev. Glenn Van Oort, with the help of Marc Douglas, a breakfast/pantry volunteer, barbequed an appetizing array of hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, and veggie and turkey burgers. Volunteers contributed a variety of casseroles, salads, and desserts to round out the meal. Emmanuel Baptist hosted this breakfast volunteer appreciation event. After dinner, many of the volunteers recounted experiences that had made the Breakfast Club special to them. Kathy Linhardt, the Breakfast Club coordinator, thanked them for their service and said, You volunteers again made the breakfast program possible. You are wonderful! Kathy then took a seat as the volunteers presented her with gifts in appreciation of all she does to make the program a Rev. Glenn (right) and Mark Douglas barbequed five success. kinds of meat for the Volunteers Appreciation Dinner.

Volunteers arrive as early as 5 or 6 a.m. to begin cooking bacon or sausage for the hungry people who will be waiting when the doors open at 7 a.m.

Frankie snuggled his new puppy into the Breakfast Club, where the little dog, like other guests, appeared to feel right at home.

On the last breakfast program day, as I walked from the Westminster parking lot around the front of the building toward the side entry door, I saw the recently planted primroses in the planters along the sidewalk. They were having a difficult time being primroses. After they were planted with promise, during a few brief warm days the first week of April, the weather changed. Unexpectedly, unseasonably, unpredictably, cold air invaded from the north. The blossoms of several wilted. They were bowed down in the pots, as if the weight of a resurgent winter was too much to bear. That morning, there was snow. On the sidewalk, the crystals had turned to slush. In the open-air planters, it had accumulated. One primrose in one planter was holding its blossoms above the fallen snow. Unhindered by the circumstances, its yellow petals contrasted with the white icy surface around. It said to all who could see, World, do to me what you will. I am going to bloom! I went on down the stairs into the Breakfast Club. There I sawas though for the first timepromise. I saw people who had faced a bitter winter season, people who had lost a colleague to the ravages of the cold. The icy streets had claimed the life of Darrell Glass, Jr. Yet on that day, as I greeted guests I had come to know during the previous weeks, I saw many of them anew, as though for the first time. Beyond the circumstances of life that were threatening them, they laughed at my poor jokes. Seemingly unbowed by tragedy, the consequences of poor choices, or lingering winter winds, they were wearing smiles, saying, World, do to me what you will, I am going to bloom!

Muchese was new to the Breakfast Club this year, having just moved to Albany. He is an accomplished wood carver and hopes to sell his work in local craft fairs.

CROP Walkers Exceed Goal in Effort To Feed the Hungry


FOCUS walkers joined hundreds of others on Sunday, May 6, to raise money to feed the hungry in the Capital District and in more than 80 countries around the world. Together, they exceeded the goal of $100,000 by at least $3,000, with money continuing to come in through the end of June. More than $25,000 will go to Albany food pantries. CROP Walkers started on their fivekilometer walk from the First Lutheran Church on Western Avenue (right, top) and were glad to get to the rest stop at Westminster Presbyterian Church (right, below). Thanks, Westminster!

CRTC Courses Offer Broad Perspectives on Faith


Whether your interest is personal theology, exploring the great outdoors, or savoring centuries of church history, the Capital Region Theological Center (CRTC) has something for you. Faith & Understanding In mid-July, the Rev. Dr. Gregg Mast will teach Faith Seeking Understanding, an introduction to theology for those who want to learn more about the central theological tenets of the Christian Church. The class will explore biblical themes such as suffering and sin, creation and the cross, hope and the end times, and the foundation for a faithful life and death. Dr. Mast is the President of New Brunswick Theological Seminary and served as Senior Minister at First Church in Albany for many years. The course will run MondayFriday, July 16-20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The group will travel the Long Lake-Tupper Lake canoe route as they enjoy the beauty of the earth and reflect on the "good" creation. Participants should be in good physical condition and ready to camp out for three nights. Food and most of the gear will be provided. Instructor for the trip is the Rev. Kent Busman, an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America and director for the past 19 years of Fowler Camp & Retreat Center, a youth camp in Speculator, NY. Church History 20 Centuries in 20 Hours: A Whirlwind Course in Church History will be offered this fall beginning Saturday, September 15, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and continuing the next eight Wednesdays, September 19-November 7, 7-9 p.m. at Siena College. It will survey the history of Western Christianity from the age of the apostles to the present, paying attention to continuity and change in major themes of Christian life and doctrine and the relationship between Church and society. The course will be taught by Dr. James Hart Brumm, pastor of the Blooming Grove Reformed Church in DeFreestville, NY. Course and registration information are available at http:/ www.capitalrtc.org/ or by contacting CRTC at 160 Central Avenue Albany, NY 12206-2901. Ph: (518) 462-2470; Fax: (518) 462-2453; or e-mail info@capital rtc.org.

Worshippers Greet Easter Morning


Easter Sunday dawned bright and chilly. Thirty-two people braved the cold and greeted the early morning at West Capital Park for the FOCUS Easter Dawn service (below). As the group huddled together, Rev. Glenn Leupold proclaimed the Easter message: He is not here, He is Risen! With the help of trumpeter Beth Malone, the assembled group sang hymns of the resurrection. Their voices echoed off the surrounding stately government buildings for all to hear. The number of early risers increased to at least 50 as the group made its way to Emmanuel Baptist Church for breakfast. Thank you, Emmanuel, for hosting the breakfast.

Ecumenical Award...
(continued from page 1) Dr. Malone has blended the distinctive religious traditions of six member congregations into a unified ministering body on behalf of our community. Dr. Malone is a pediatrician working in private practice and as head of the Albany Medical College Department of Pediatrics and Development and Behavorial Pediatrics Division. He is also an Associate Medical Director of the Cerebral Palsy Center for the Disabled in Albany.
W U A V O Z S U Q W L M E H S R T F D Q J T D R U E K H X O N C Z D R V X D J E Q Q R M L C O M P A S S I O N S Q O L C H U I I L O F D Z O P P P T A I R P T S Y V R G C F U E O R Y T I L A T I P S O H D O C E T E H N K S Q N A N C L O T T H S S W S E R V I C E T Y O H D Y D Z A S S E N E L T N E G B P N Q C R S Q V R I A N F U B N E C C O M M U N I T Y W A Y T I L A U Q T G U O S L F L F G R A E K N I H K X C A W R V X F A N X D Z W Z P S D T M

Breakfast Club Values


W U A V O Z S U Q W L M E H S R T F D Q J T D R U E K H X O N C Z D R V X D J E Q Q R M L C O M P A S S I O N S Q O L C H U I I L O F D Z O P P P T A I R P T S Y V R G C F U E O R Y T I L A T I P S O H D O C E T E H N K S Q N A N C L O T T H S S W S E R V I C E T Y O H D Y D Z A S S E N E L T N E G B P N Q C R S Q V R I A N F U B N E C C O M M U N I T Y W A Y T I L A U Q T G U O S L F L F G R A E K N I H K X C A W R V X F A N X D Z W Z P S D T M

A Canoeing Retreat To experience God in a different way, join Canoeing through Creation, a Small Group Retreat, from Monday, September 10, to Thursday, September 13.

Emmanuel Plans Neighborhood Open House


Emmanuel Baptist Church plans to hold a neighborhood Open House on its Homecoming Sunday, September 9. The worship service at 9:55 a.m. will give worshippers a first look at the worship possibilities of Emmanuels new lighting and sound systems. A pasta dinner for a suggested donation will follow. During the afternoon, the Open House will feature displays of Emmanuels activities and missions and tours of parts of the building. Special activities are planned for the children, and free refreshments will be available. Three fundraisersa Farmers Market, Used Book Sale, and Bake Salewill be held to support Emmanuels renovations, which include a new home for the FOCUS Interfaith Food Pantry.

Breakfast Club Values

FOCUS on FOCUS is a publication of the FOCUS Churches of Albany, Inc. Rev. Debra Jameson, Editor. Graphic design and production by EHL Editorial Services, Albany NY. The FOCUS Churches of Albany, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 membership organization including Emmanuel Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, First Israel AME Church, Metropolitan Community Church of the Hudson Valley, Trinity United Methodist Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. Affiliates of the FOCUS Interfaith Food Pantry Program are Congregation Beth Emeth, First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, New Covenant Presbyterian Church, and St. Andrews Episcopal Church. The FOCUS office is located at 275 State St., Albany NY 12210. Phone: 518-443-0460 FAX: 518-443-0461 Email: focuschurches@juno.com Website: www.timesunion.com/communities/focus/

CARE COMPASSION COMMUNITY CONCERN CONVERSATION COURTESY DIGNITY FRIENDSHIP

GENTLENESS GOOD FOOD HOSPITALITY LAUGHTER QUALITY RESPECT SERVICE WARMTH