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Regional Synod of Albany
Mediation Team

We’re church members and Ministers of Word and Sacrament who have completed training by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center in how to have healthy conversations, facilitating difficult conversations and mediation. We have a passion to support our churches and Classes as they seek to speak the truth in love and handle conflict in a growth-producing manner.

What does the Mediation Team

Do for you?

  • –Provide educational events for Classes and congregations re: how to have healthy conversations and how conflict can be handled in growth-producing ways

  • Facilitate difficult conversations between persons or groups of people that need to happen but have been avoided, or that have so far been handled in ways that have resulted in distress.

  • –Plan and lead a mediation process between willing participants (e.g. between two church leaders, between a Consistory and pastor, or within a Classis or congregation divided over a particular issue)

The Mediation Team

Joan Garnar
Columbia-Greene Classis

Rick Behan
Albany Classis

Becky Town
Albany Classis

Greg Town
Albany Classis

Brian Engel
Montgomery Classis

Abby Norton-Levering
Albany Synod Ministries Coordinator

Paige Convis
Columbia-Greene Classis

Kay Grosch
Schenectady Classis

Bob Hoffman
Albany Synod Administrator

How do we get Involved?

We only enter in when we have been invited – and then only when we believe that we may have the skills to provide support in the ways most needed. Generally such requests will come from a Consistory leader, pastor, or Classis leader or committee liaison.  


Please contact the Synod Office ( and we will arrange for a team member to schedule time to discuss the situation you are concerned about and explore with you what type(s) of support might be most helpful.

Need help Navigating Conversations about Covid-19?

This is a new conversation. Use this process as a tool to help your church navigate conversations about gathering in person for worship and other meetings.

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