Success Stories

Featured Success Stories:

Transformational Learning - John Moak

Every year since its inception, CRTC has expanded the scope and vision of its programming. First developed more than a decade ago as a central source for preparing lay leaders to assist in the ministries of congregational settings, CRTC educational opportunities soon came to include support and continuing education for clergy, coursework in practical studies, spiritual development and the intersection of faith and culture. As our audience has grown, so have the themes and topics of courses and events. The attention to training lay leaders continues, however, and CRTC remains committed to that original call to train leaders in the church.

One such leader is John Moak, member of Niskayuna Reformed Church. John recently completed the entire series of nine courses which comprise CRTC’s Lay Theological Education Program, and as a result was able to be commissioned as a Preaching Elder in the Classis of Schenectady. With this commissioning, John has realized a lifelong dream of being able to convey the Word of God through worship leadership and telling the story of Christ.

John grew up in the Catholic church, awed as a small child by the traditions and ritual of the service, and feeling, even as a youth, the need to relate on a spiritual level. He considered becoming an artist early in his life, and says he has found creative inspiration through understanding the musicology of the church, the ability to preach, and in the growth of his spiritual development. By taking part in CRTC courses, he says he is inspired by the feedback from other participants, as well as the instructors. “All of my instructors have imparted something special that I am really grateful for,” says John.

“I’m impressed by the excellence of the teachers, and the depth of material covered in the courses. Every course had an element of humor, challenge, academia and deep spirituality. I’ve also appreciated the professionalism and dedication of the CRTC staff. They’ve gotten to know me and are always encouraging. Without the preparation I received through CRTC, I could not do what I now do.” John leads worship for area RCA congregations, works with his congregation’s worship committee, and serves on a church supervision team.

John says his CRTC experience has been wonderful, and he looks forward to investigating the potential to move into M.Div. course work through CRTC. John’s is a story that exemplifies how the training of one person can benefit a much larger circle! Through CRTC, education continues to Equip, Connect and Inspire!



Congregational Vitality - Creative Arts at First United Presbyterian of Troy

In collaboration with a CRTC Case Manager, First United Presbyterian Church of Troy became CRTC's first matching resource grant recipient. The church presented a four week Lenten series titled "Celebrating God Through the Creative Arts", applying suggested resources and matching ($1 to $1) funds. The program reached beyond the church walls to an intergenerational audience, utilizing a local arts center and the skills of local artisans. The program was deemed a great success not only as a much appreciated venue to explore the creative arts in the context of faith, but also by the community it created in the process. "Everyone was reminded of the importance of sharing our faith the safety of the community that came together for these programs, everyone, including the children, was willing to share with each other." (Leslie Kelly)