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Bishop Matthews asks God for integrity during opening prayer

5/31/2012
During the opening prayer of centering for the Third Session of the Upper New York Annual Conference, Resident Bishop Marcus Matthews asked God to most importantly provide integrity to the members assembled. “Make us faithful in our service; keep our heart centered on your good news,” Bishop Matthews said. “Give us clarity and understanding of differing views … when we come to voting, give us wisdom and most importantly: integrity.” Bishop Matthews affirmed...

Tilling the soil is 'messy work'

5/31/2012
About 50 people gathered for the Extension Ministries Luncheon on May 31, one of the first events that will be part of the Annual Conference Session that convenes this evening. Those in extension ministry, or in positions other than church pastor, are serving a wide range of places and people. Among those at the annual lunch were an Air Force chaplain and a Syracuse University dean, as well as someone in ministry with truck drivers in Pennsylvania and another who counsels those who have...

Caughdenoy UMC helps 'Change the World'

5/30/2012
We asked churches that participated in events May 19-20 to tell us about what they did to Change the World. "... We certainly took our first steps towards changing the world with the ReThink Church program last week in Caughdenoy," the Rev. Robert Dean, pastor, wrote.    About 30 people attended a May 20, 2012, benefit concert at the Caughdenoy United Methodist Church (Crossroads District) helped...

Pulaski group hits NYC roads, serves homeless

5/25/2012
New York City may be well known for its tremendous size and frenetic pace, but a group from the Pulaski United Methodist Church found a sense of community and belonging during a recent weekend trip. The Rev. Brian Homan, pastor of the Pulaski UMC (Northern Flow District), was one of six cyclists from Pulaski participating in the TD Five Boro Bike Tour. He also brought along a group of confirmation students for a mission weekend in New York City. The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is America’s...

Stop by the Benefits' booth at AC

5/24/2012
Upper New York Annual Conference Benefits Officer/Director of Human Resources Vicki L. Putney is encouraging everyone attending the Annual Conference Session to visit the Benefits' booth in the display area (in the Grand Ballroom on the lower level of the OnCenter). Stop by and speak with General Board of Pension & Health Benefits representatives Barbara Hora and John White to learn more about all of the programs offered, including the: Comprehensive Protection Plan (CPP), which...

Employee Assistance Program available to part-time clergy

5/24/2012
The Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits voted to provide an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to part-time clergy appointed to local churches, beginning July 1; there will be no additional cost to the church or clergy person.  This program is provided by ESI Employee Assistance Group. Included in the EAP benefits are: Three free counseling sessions (provided by master's- and PhD-level licensed counselors) per issue, per year; counseling and information on child...

Hands4NY, Rochester's Native American Cultural Center receive $4,500 in grants

5/24/2012
Two ministries from the Upper New York Annual Conference (UNYAC) have been awarded grants from the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) totaling $4,500. The Native American Cultural Center in Rochester and Hands4NY are two of the 22 Peace with Justice ministries from around the world that are sharing in $60,000 in funding. The grants are awarded in conjunction with the denomination’s Peace with Justice Sunday, which witnesses to God's demand for a faithful, just,...

Groups endorse Sung Ho Lee for bishop

5/24/2012
The Rev. Dr. Sung Ho Lee, district superintendent of the Mohawk District, has been endorsed by the National Association of Korean-American United Methodists and the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists (NFAAUM) for episcopal office. Three bishops will be elected during the 2012 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference set for July in Charleston, W.Va. "It is a great honor and privilege to be endorsed as an episcopal candidate by the community of the Asian...

Apply for Native American Ministries Sunday grant

5/24/2012
The Upper New York Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) is now accepting Native American Ministries Sunday grant applications. The grants are intended to benefit Native Americans within the Annual Conference (Book of Discipline, ¶654). Funds can be used for Native American missions, ministries and communities to support native churches, community outreach, leadership training, education, and cultural survival projects. These grants, which do not require...

Versailles UMC helps 'Change the World'

5/24/2012
We asked churches that participated in events May 19-20 to tell us about what they did to Change the World. The Versailles United Methodist Church, south of Buffalo (Niagara Frontier District), took on a highway cleanup project. The 13 to 15 volunteers cleaned an area from Main Street to Versailles Road, a distance of about 1.5 miles. Afterward, the church offered a free lunch. This was the first time Versailles UMC participated in this type of event, said the Rev. Dawn Quesenberry,...

23 UMC ministers to be ordained, commissioned, welcomed on June 2

5/22/2012
During the Upper New York Annual Conference Session, 23 ministers will be ordained, commissioned or welcomed. Area Resident Bishop Marcus Matthews (center) recently met with some of these clergy members at Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center. Photo by Beth DiCocco A total of 23 United Methodist Church (UMC) ministers will be ordained, commissioned and celebrated on Saturday, June 2, during the 2012 Session...

Four churches had the drive to Change the World

5/22/2012
The Rev. Craig Buelow, left, and the Rev. Stephen Crowell get ready to sprinkle Mr. Carey's new red car on May 20 during the Change the World service at Delevan Town Park. Photo by Eric Comstock. The 8 a.m. sun is shining brightly in a brilliant blue sky. A light breeze rustles the leaves of the large maple trees that cast their cooling shadows over the Delevan Town Park lawn. A gentle slope leading down...

VIM mobile shower trailer nears completion; still needs prayers, funds

5/22/2012
Pictured above is the mobile shower facility, showing the depth of the unit. For more photos on the progress, visit St. Paul's UMC's website. Photo courtesy St. Paul's UMC. On June 9, a six-stall mobile shower facility for Volunteers in Mission (VIM) could roll out of Oneida. On June 10 it could roll into Earlville for a Walk-A-Thon raising funds for the trailer. On June 11 it could be in Middleburgh for a...

Building vital congregations: Johnson asks laity to build relationships

5/19/2012
Conference Lay Leader Scott Johnson speaks at the May 19 Pre-Conference Briefing. Photo by Matt Williams. For a time of centering during the afternoon laity session at the Pre-Conference Briefing, Upper New York Annual Conference Lay Leader Scott Johnson reminded the attendees why they were there. “Let’s take a second to breathe, and remember why we are truly here,” Johnson said, before reading...

First-time attendees urged to 'be engaged' at Annual Conference

5/19/2012
Scott Johnson offered a primer on how Annual Conference works and how those attending for the first time can best fulfill their role. Photo by Matt Williams By definition, Annual Conference happens every year, but that doesn't mean that all the members have been through it before. As part of the Pre-Conference Briefing on May 19, there were four workshops offered for laity – including an orientation for...

Discover who you are at the Conference Camp & Retreat Centers

5/19/2012
Associate Director of Camp & Retreat Ministries Mike Huber presented a workshop for laity during the Pre-Conference Briefing. Photo by Matt Williams. Whether you have two children or six children, you love them equally. That was the message imparted by Mike Huber, associate director of Camp & Retreat Ministries for the Upper New York Annual Conference. Giving an analogy of the camp and retreat centers...

Workshop challenges laity to 'own your Methodist roots'

5/19/2012
Workshops for laity following the Pre-Conference Briefing included a session on the newly renamed Lay Servant Ministries (formerly Lay Speaking Ministries). Photo by Matt Williams. Carmen F.S. Vianese, director of Lay Servant Ministries, challenged the laity in her workshop to “own their Methodist roots,” and remember that the Methodist movement “was a Jesus-centered and laity-led.” The...

Understanding the 'dynamics of gender-specific groups'

5/19/2012
United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men were the topic of a laity workshop May 19. Photo by Matt Williams. “Men and woman are wired differently, and that is not always a bad thing.” Those words were spoken by Upper New York Annual Conference (UNYAC) United Methodist Men (UMM) President Buddy Heit during “UMM/UMW: the Dynamics of Gender-Specific Groups,” one of the four...

Budget, brief reports wrap up Pre-Con morning

5/19/2012
Conference Treasurer Sherri Mackey answers questions regardind the budget. Photo by Matt Williams  The morning at the Pre-Conference Briefing on May 19 was rounded out by brief reports from the Council on Finance & Administration, which discussed the budget, a report by Nominations and Leadership Development, an Equitable Compensation report, and a report from the Board of Pensions and Health...

Four projects highlight Conference Leadership Team presentation

5/19/2012
Since June 19, 2010, the Conference Leadership Team (CLT) has been tasked with and working on discerning, discovering and helping the Upper New York Annual Conference (UNYAC) commit to a path of ministry. During their presentation at the Pre-Conference Briefing at the War Memorial, Syracuse, members of the CLT outlined that path of ministry, highlighting four areas of ministry focus over the next quadrennium. The CLT is “involved in a multitude of ministries,” said Scott Johnson,...
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