Welcome to Our Church

Joshua Bower

   I’m Josh Bower, and on May 3, 2015 I became pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Albany.  I’d like to invite you to join me as I come to a new place and together we see what God can do with a group of people willing to grow together and move out into this city and show the love of Christ to all people!  
   That’s what I mean by “Welcome to Our Church.”  Having been born and raised in the church, I can tell you that too often we think of it as “our” church, “my” church, like you’re free to come in only as long as you agree to look, talk, act, and believe just like us.  But that couldn’t be farther from what I mean.  When I say “Welcome to Our Church” it’s an invitation to make this your church, to be a part of a family where you can come as you are and join in shaping what we will be together.  That’s the kind of church this is, and that’s why I’m so excited to get to Albany and start our work together.  
   There was a time not long ago when it appeared this church had not option but to close down.  But instead they moved out into the city, and through serving those outside the church’s walls, dynamic pastoral leadership, and the power of the Holy Spirit they are now a growing church with a vibrant ministry in their city.  But it’s not just about the story, it’s about what this church has become as a result of it all: a warm, loving, energetic, welcoming group that’s digging in and making a difference in Albany, bringing Jesus’ hope and joy into the brokenness around them, all because of their love for Jesus and the city where God placed them.
   One of the members here said to me recently, “Stop calling this ‘your church;’ it’s our church now.”  So now it’s time for “them” to become “us,” for “they” to become “we,” for “this city” to be “our city” and “their church” to be “our church.”  I hope you’ll be a part of it, too.  Let’s see what more God can do with a group of people willing to continue to grow together and move out into this city and show the love of Christ to all people!