News & Publications
Council of Bishops Takes Action Following Same-Gender Ceremony
Lake Junaluska, N.C.: Following the action of a retired bishop to conduct a same-gender ceremony in violation of church law, the United Methodist Council of Bishops took a series of actions to address the issue during their annual meeting this week in Lake Junaluska, N.C.
The Council requested that Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the Council, and Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett of the North Alabama Conference file a complaint regarding Bishop Melvin Talbert’s action, for...
Delegate Counts Per Annual Conference Released; UNY will have 12
The Commission on the General Conference voted to reduce the total number of delegates for the 2016 General Conference from nearly 1,000 to approximately 850 at its October 2013 meeting. The result is that the Upper New York Conference will send 12 delegates to the 2016 General Conference; four fewer than it sent in 2012.
That number was announced today when the secretary of the General Conference, Rev. L. Fitzgerald Reist, released a list of the numbers of delegates by annual...
Youth can apply for Council of Churches' trip to UN
The New York State Council of Churches is accepting applications for its annual trip for senior-high youth to the United Nations in New York City. The trip will take place Feb. 17-19, 2014.
This year’s study is Gender Justice: Why Girls Matter & How EVERYONE Can Make a Difference, and is held at the United Methodist Seminar Office; youth will also tour the UN. The seminar is designed to equip youth to be advocates for change in their home communities. The cost...
Upper New York clergywomen invited to three-day retreat
Sometimes you just need to talk to someone who gets it.
You want to spend time with someone who's been on the path you're on, and understands your experience.
You need friends.
For itinerant United Methodist clergy, who can sometimes feel isolated by being in new communities and in their role as church leaders rather than congregation members, fulfilling that need means forming a network of colleagues.
It's something all clergy need, but clergywomen can benefit from spending time...
Meet Mikaela Thomas: A 2013 Student Day Offering recipient
There’s (tepid) good news about tuition and fees at public universities, according to an article by The New York Times. Those costs increased less than 3 percent this academic year, the smallest rise in three decades.
But that doesn’t mean that college is now cheap.
One way students can get financial assistance is through The United Methodist Church, specifically, through one of the six ministries that are celebrated with a Sunday special offering.
United Methodist Student Day...
NEJ Directors of Connectional Ministries visit Upper New York
For the next couple of days, the Conference has a few more Directors of Connectional Ministries than usual.
So what is a DCM?
Rev. Gottschalk-Fielding described the Director of Connectional Ministries as "the steward of the vision" for the Annual Conference in which he or she serves.
¶608 of the Book of Discipline (page 407 in the 2012 Discipline) expands on the role. It begins: "Each Annual Conference...
Domanico named Conference Treasurer
The Rev. Lawrence Lake, president of the Upper New York Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CFA), is pleased to announce that Kevin Domanico has been named Treasurer of the Upper New York Conference effective immediately.
Domanico has been serving as Interim Treasurer since April 2013. He came to the Conference as Controller in April 2011.
The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church charges CFA with the...
Philippines: UMCOR Grant Meets Emergency Needs
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) approved an emergency grant in response to Super Typhoon Haiyan, a category 5 storm, which barreled through the Philippines on Friday, November 8.
The $97,000 grant will provide emergency food, water, and water purification tablets to 7,500 individuals (or 1,500 families) in Tacloban City, Leyte Province, an area worst hit by the typhoon. To ensure that food is delivered in a timely fashion, it has been UMCOR’s strategy to...
NEJ-BMCR 2013 annual meeting
UNY Caucus Chairperson LaVerne Ampadu is urging interested people to attend the Northeastern Jurisdiction BMCR (Black Methodists for Church Renwal) 2013 annual meeting, hosted by the Baltimore-Washington Conference BMCR, Dec. 13-14 in Beltsville, Md. Featured guests include Bishop Marcus Matthews, Resident Bishop of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, Mrs. Sandy Ferguson and Pastor Rudy Rasmus. This year’s theme: Christian Leader’s Called to Action. Click here to...
Bishop Webb urges prayers, support for the Philippines
Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb has issued this statement in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan:
Super Typhoon Haiyan from Global Ministries.
On Nov. 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan brought devastation to the Philippines. Designated a super typhoon, the storm has killed an estimated 10,000 people and injured countless others.
In the wake of this tragedy, I urge us all to offer our prayers for the people of the Philippines – to...
Spiritual direction training fosters relationship with God
The Rev. Wendy J. Miller is professor emeritus of Spiritual Formation at Eastern Mennonite Seminary and an adjunct professor of spiritual formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
There was a time, some 30 years ago, when she didn't really know what a spiritual director was, "but I knew I needed one."
Rev. Miller found her spiritual director, but was hesitant to start the process because it felt as if she was...
GBGM to end insuring VIM teams
Effective Dec. 31, 2013, the General Board of Global Ministries will no longer offer insurance to UMVIM teams.
Anyone planning a team for after this date will need to obtain insurance from a different source.
The Northeastern Jurisdiction has offered this type of insurance the past few years, and Sylvia Reimer, Upper New York Conference VIM coordinator, said she recommends it for Conference teams.
“It costs a bit more than the GBGM insurance, but is much better, covering accidental...
Open VIM trip to the Holy Land planned
Each year, the Methodist Liaison Office in Palestine and Israel hosts two open trips to the Holy Land for Volunteers in Mission.
The next trip is scheduled for April 27 to May 9, 2014.
These "open trips" provide an opportunity for folks who may not have a team leader or cannot get enough people to make up a team, but still wish participate in a VIM trip to the Holy Land.
Trip highlights will include volunteering on Methodist-sponsored projects; visiting holy sites such as...
Pastor focuses on hope after fire at Brocton church
The flames are extinguished and the congregation has gathered for worship, but the effects of an early-morning fire on Nov. 3, 2013 that heavily damaged the Tri Church Parish in Brocton will be felt for a long time yet.
"Right now, prayers and words of encouragement for Pastor Kevin Connolly and the congregation are what’s needed," said Cornerstone District Superintendent Sherri Rood.
And Pastor Connolly said he's felt...
Celebrate the contributions of Native Americans
This is great time to celebrate the legacy of Native American traditions and gifts to our present culture and country.
The United Methodist Women, in their reading program, have suggested a valuable resource: A Native American Thought of It: Amazing Inventions & Innovations by Rocky Landon is a stimulating book naming many ideas and ways of life Native Americans experienced long before Europeans arrived on this continent more than 500 years ago.
Those of us who are European Americans tend...
Community meal one way we're 'sharing our story'
During his 2013 District Days tour, Bishop Mark J. Webb has been talking to laity and clergy about "Sharing Our Story."
That means sharing the Gospel, the bishop said, but there are other ways to share the story. At the Canton UMC in the Northern Flow District last month, Bishop Webb gave an example.
"I was amazed to learn that 62,000 people, since 1999, have been fed through the ministry of this congregation," Bishop...
Learn about wellness programs for seniors and caregivers
The Upper New York Conference Older Adult Ministry team is offering an opportunity for church leaders and volunteers to learn about programming and strategies aimed at improving the wellness of seniors (55+) and their families.
Second Half of Life: Programs and Possibilities sessions will take place at three sites around the Conference during November 2013, and will present strategies and grant information on a variety of programs.
Locations and meeting times for Second Half of Life:...
Meeting about 2015 Holy Land trip is Nov. 24
Those interested in traveling to the Holy Land, walking the same land that Moses, Abraham, Isaac and Jesus walked, are invited to Journey Through the Bible 2015, a 12-day tour that begins Feb. 13, 2015.
The trip, organized through Educational Opportunities Tours (EO), will be led by the Rev. Caroline Simmons, the Rev. Dennis Lawton, Pastor Michaela St. Marie, Paul Thompson and Donald R. Day, EO tour host.
There will be an informational meeting...
Annual Election for 2014 HealthFlex Plan: October 30 through November 14
Annual Election for the 2014 HealthFlex Plan is scheduled for Wednesday, October 30 through Thursday, November 14, 2013. Eligible individuals were mailed information from the General Board of Pensions & Health Benefits with instructions on how to make the following elections for the plan year beginning January 1, 2014:
Enroll in HealthFlex (if eligible but not yet enrolled)
Elect a Medical Plan (PPO-B500 or CDHP)
Elect a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
'Promised Land' reminds pastor of Aldersgate experience
Beyond the fact that electric was provided by a generator. Beyond the extremely steep dual staircases that featured treads that were not even the same distance apart. Beyond the 100-gallon tank that towered over and provided the only water to the kitchen, along with an outdoor shower and bathroom.
Beyond all of that, the Rev. Jane Wagner still saw the potential in a 3.5-acre plot of land (she has additional acreage underwater) in the northern...