A good church?

church windows pewsStephanie, who's moving here from Ohio, asks via the Twitter:

Starting my church search! Looking for a great church in the Albany, NY area - any recommendations?
[Looking for] contemporary, community involvement, non-denominational would be cool, progressive...

Any suggestions for Stephanie? Please share!


This may not be what you are looking for but for anyone else who may also be looking--Westminster Presbyterian in downtown Albany is a great church--the congregation is welcoming and people come from a quite a variety of backgrounds. There are numerous opportunities to get involved in the greater Capital Region community.

Not sure if you're looking for Roman Catholic churches but Blessed Sacrement on Central in Albany is great, Mater Christi on New Scotland is good too, I'm also a big fan of the Siena College Sunday morning mass.

To Stephanie (moving here from Ohio) You've got to
check out The First Unitarian Society of Albany....it's exactly what you are looking for!

I moved from Ohio too and I am a student at RPI.

Terra Nova in downtown Troy is absolutely AMAZING! Terra is exactly what you described; contemporary, community involvement, non-denominational, progressive. The people are amazing and the worship is great.

Sunday at 10 and 12.


Hope to see you there!

not a church, but I'll put in a plug for the shambhala meditation center on madison avenue. they offer secular meditation instruction, buddhist programs, and offer many opportunities for participating in community and also living an examined life. a great resource to know of in the area...


Hi Stephanie! First, let me welcome you! I attend Lifechurch in Colonie (just outside of Albany). What I love about my church and what sets it apart from others is that the message delivered every week is RELEVANT to real life. It's extremely progressive and the band is phenominal. Finding Lifechurch changed my life. Check it out at www.lifechurch.tv. The site gives a feel for what Lifechurch is all about. Experiences are Sunday mornings at 9:30, 11 and 12:30. Hope to see you there! On another note: My partner and I are a real estate attorney and title company. Let me know if we can help you in any way!

Light of Christ Christian Ministries!
Currently holding services at the Schuyler Inn in Menands.

I can echo Patricia's comments about Life Church in Colonie. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

Journey UCC in Delmar! (http://journeyucc.com/default.aspx) I know the minister there and she is great! This church absolutely fits your criteria!!

http://www.capitalregionuu.org/ ? Looks promising to me, if I was a church-goer.

Reading these comments just reassures my belief that religion is no different from any company or sales-related organization... "Use mine!" "No come to this one!"

I'm really curious by the way, what is the point of a non-denominational church? I guess my now defunct Catholic upbringing has glossed over my religious reasoning.

My wife and I just joined Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church over on route 20 in Guilderland and I cant say enough good things about them.

The people are great, the services are very nice and we love going. Very glad we started going again.

@Save Pine Hills -- I'm guessing a non-denominational church is generically, vaguely Protestant, but I paused over that myself. Personally, if I'm going for the progressive politics and community involvement, there are plenty of secular groups that fill the bill.

I've got to put in another plug for the UUs.

If you're a reader pondering why bother with a "non-denominational" church, I think that UU churches are great options for people who are interested and curious about spirituality and all different faith traditions, even if they're not entirely sure about how they feel about God. It's community involvement & social action like you'd see in secular organizations, but there's also an emphasis on supporting each person's individual spiritual paths as each they search for the meaning of life. It's also nice if you've got parents of two different faiths and you want to teach the kids to be respectful of all different beliefs while seeking their own truth.

And if it sounds like salesmanship, I think that people who are particularly happy with something that they've found, whether it be a hand lotion, a great restaurant, or a church, just really want to tell people. Even if they don't get a cut of the profits.

You'll find friendly people excited about God and community in a great environment at http://www.gracefellowship.com/ (Location in Latham and Grace North in Clifton Park)
Just starting a series on Learning to Pray.
Welcome to Grace - 101 class on May 1st and HizKidz Summer Camp.
Check out Sunday Morning Live, Grace on the Go and Sermon Videos & Audio clips online today.

After taking a 20-something year absence from any organized religion, we looked around and decided to join 1st Presbyterian Church in downtown Albany - the co pastors Miriam and Glenn are excellent people, but what won us over was how 'true' the congregation was to their mission (here's a smattering):

"...We are committed to nurturing spiritual growth within and among ourselves, responding to individual, community, and global needs, to being dynamic and creative as an urban church moving into the 21st century.

We welcome persons of differing abilities, of all economic and
ethnic groups, of any sexual orientation..."

Stephanie, there are a lot of wonderful churches in the area, I happen to be Catholic and also attended the same in my schooling, but whatever you choose there are many wonderful choices, I do however have to comment on the posting from Patricia Westfall about plugging her business, I do not feel that this is a christian thing to do, Good Luck in your search

Id hhhiiiggghhllyyy recommend LIFECHURCH.TV!!! Experience times are 830,10,1130am n also 6pm!! 560 sand creek rd Albany.NY

I am Catholic. I happen to not care for most of the priests I have ever encountered, so I try to remind myself that it's not about the priest. It's about God. I feel better when I focus on that instead. With that said, we haven't gone to church in quite a while. We have attended a couple of services at the Teresian House chapel in Albany, and it was beyond peaceful. You are surrounded by nuns and older folks, and we happen to take comfort in that.

Lifechurch.tv Albany amazing place!!!! 560 sand creek rd albany.ny we have 5 experience times!! 830, 10, 1130am, 5& 630pm great great place for people of ALL AGES wonderful message and worship too

I'm not sure exactly what type of church you are familiar with or looking for, but I highly recommend Christ's Church, 4 Charles Park off Route 155 in Guilderland. It's one of those "warehouse" churches and it's an awesome church--not too big, and almost always a full-house. There are two services (9:30am & 11am Sundays). The service is contemporary, median age I'd say is mid-30's-60's, the teens have their own auditorium and worship service/band--they just started beginner band practice. The music is outstanding (turn on KLOVE 94.5FM and you'll hear those songs played in worship). Nursery and classrooms for children, free coffee when you come in the front door (you can also bring into worship auditorium with you). Sermons are usually in a lecture-style series format which is relative to issues today, with outlines you can fill out if you'd like. Pastor is a laid-back Dallas Cowboys fan who is an excellent, engaging speaker. Dress any way you'd like. Hope you can pop in for a visit!

Stephanie posed a question back in 2011 that I hope to revive as a recent transplant to the Capital area. Anyone want to provide any updates to the church recommendations already made above?

If I could add one footnote: like some other commenters, I also identify with more progressive (emergence church, anyone?) Christian congregations, so if you know of any churches that share an appreciation for authors like Phyllis Tickle, Brian McClaren, and the like, that too would be helpful to know.

Thanks in advance for any tips and recommendations, AOA readers!

I have searched for a few years, and just can't connect with a church at all. It is so difficult, I have to wonder if I have Christianity correct at all. I had one church in Albany tell me directly their church wasn't for everyone. I received other things, like someone telling me that I rejected the gospel. I had another church in the area also tell me that my problems were too great for them. I don't have a car to get around with. I am not sure anything else that fits. I still look, but when you are not local your life, and moved in, and have no social contacts, it ends up difficult to connect.

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