News & Publications

   

Ontario Street UMC grows with new Mizo members

7/17/2014
Pictured above is some of the Mizo congregation that was welcomed as new members of the Ontario Street UMC in Buffalo. Photos by Christian Vischi  At a typical membership service, the congregation welcomes a few new members into its ranks. But during the June 22, 2014 service at the Ontario Street United Methodist Church in Buffalo, an entire new faith...

Feeding the spirit: Summer Lunch Wagon ministry a success

7/16/2014
Susan Hardy, Reaching Our Neighbors Ministry Oversight Team (RON MOT) convener, has toured some of the ministries that received grants in RON MOT's 2013 round of funding. In this story, she recounts her visit to Schenectady Inner City Ministry's Summer Lunch Wagon. Watch the E Advocate for more in this series. Applications are being accepted for RON MOT 2014 funding; click here to learn more/apply. SICM Summer Lunch Wagon Until I toured some of the Schenectady Inner City Ministry's...

NEJ UMW to hold 2016 meeting in Syracuse

7/16/2014
The United Methodist Women of the Northeastern Jurisdiction will hold their quadrennial meeting June 16-18, 2016 at the OnCenter in Syracuse. Pictured from left, front: NEJ UMW President Phyllis Doane, Demetrio Beach, Upper New York Director of Program and Outreach for Camp & Retreat Ministries, and Nominations Committee member Tammy Verity; back: Secretary Colleen Cates, Nominations Committee member Denise...

Retreats of interest at Rolling Ridge

7/8/2014
Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center in Andover, Mass., is hosting a couple of fall/winter events that may be of interest to Upper New York clergy and laity. Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center in Andover, Mass. Oct. 9-12, 2014 New England three-day Academy for Spiritual Formation titled A Quiet Pentecost: Personal and Congregational Transformation Discover how faith communities are reaching out...

Registration open for Bishop's Retreat 2014

7/8/2014
Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb is inviting clergy and their families to the third annual Bishop's Retreat Oct. 22-24, 2014 at the High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid. Registration is now open. "This retreat is a time to encourage each other and learn together," said Bishop Mark J. Webb. "As pastors seeking to maintain healthy ministries, it's vitally important that we take some time to care for own spiritual lives...

2014 Living Well workshops begin July 15

7/2/2014
The Upper New York Conference's Second Half of Life Ministries and New Faith Communities teams are co-sponsoring a series of Living Well workshops across the Conference. There is also an online version of the workshop that can be taken anytime. Living Well is a new approach to help churches deepen the discipleship of the spiritually independent, the spiritually passive and the lonely by: reaching out to your community and your existing members integrating theology with concepts...

Certified Lay Ministers: Laity called and connected

7/2/2014
They provide pulpit supply, pastoral leadership and staff support in cooperative parishes. Harrisville UMC in the Northern Flow District hosted a special service and lunch to celebrate a new class of Certified Lay Ministers, who often serve churches that could not otherwise afford a pastor. They lead Bible study, VBS, and children's and older adult ministries. They perform funerals and make hospital or...

Apply for 2014 Reaching Our Neighbors funding

6/25/2014
Faith-based communities affiliated with the Upper New York Conference that are doing ministry with the poor are invited to apply for program funding through the Reaching Our Neighbors Mission Oversight Team (RON MOT). Application forms  are available through the 12 district offices and  here on the Conference website. The applications are due Aug. 15, 2014. ...

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School offers Wesleyan D.Min. program

6/25/2014
Wesleyan tradition as foundation for the future There are four students from across the connection, including one from Upper New York, enrolled in the newly created Wesleyan/Methodist Studies concentration in the Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min.) program at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. Photos by Beth DiCocco John Wesley has valuable lessons to teach the leaders of today's United Methodist...

A Story of Revival: Readiness and inspiration meet in Beaver Dams

6/24/2014
A dose of inspiration When I started as a temporary pastor at Beaver Dams UMC, I saw a church that had a loving spirit, but was struggling. They were shocked at the sudden passing away of their pastor only a few weeks before. Their spiritual life was stagnant. Several of the members said they really needed revival. Not knowing about any Bible studies, but having read part of Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby, I suggested trying the...

Sign up for October 2014 Hand to Plow Phase 1

6/19/2014
Since 2012, congregations across the Upper New York Conference have been engaging in the Hand to Plow church revitalization process. In all, nearly 700 lay persons and clergy have journeyed together to learn Register for Phase 1 Registration for the October 2014 Phase 1 is currently open; the deadline is Oct. 1, 2014. Click the links to register. Phase 1 Laity Phase 1 Clergy ...

Conference to host creative worship workshops

6/18/2014
If churches want to be truly effective in this digital age, they must employ 21st-century methods of communication to deliver the message of the Gospel in worship. To help churches in Upper New York Make Worship More Creative the Conference is hosting four one-day workshops led by creative worship specialist, author and worship coach Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions. Regardless of your church's worship style or size, the world has...

Springville First celebrates bicentennial

6/17/2014
The First United Methodist Church in Springville celebrated its bicentennial on Sunday, June 8, 2014 with a special worship service and historical program. Attendees at the Springville First United Methodist Church's bicentennial celebration form a living cross on the church’s back lawn. Among the guests at this “Once in a Lifetime Celebration,” were Bishop Mark J. Webb, Niagara Frontier...

Meal-packing mission exceeds the goal; will be part of AC 15

6/11/2014
In the first hands-on mission project at Annual Conference in Upper New York, members exceeded the goal of packaging 75,000 meals for the hungry around the world; 76,040 meals were prepared in less than three hours on Friday, May 30. This year, the Conference worked with the Raleigh, N.C.- based nonprofit Stop Hunger Now (SHN) to package dehydrated meals used to feed those in need and victims of disaster. Members signed up in advance...

Group finds Nepal filled with the Spirit

6/11/2014
Ten United Methodists traveled 7,340 miles across the world to a place that is, in many respects, unfamiliar, yet, they said abounds with the spirit of faithful Christians. The group from Asbury UMC in Watertown was in Kathmandu, Nepal, from April 16-27, 2014. Making the trip were Max Bovee, Bill Hickox, Jean Gianfagna, Martha Jablonski, Lynn Morgan, Pam Quimby, Mary Radley, Marianne Scott, Barbara Simmons and the Rev. David Simmons,...

Clergy invited to 'Tending the Fire' training retreats

6/11/2014
UPDATE: The deadline to register for Tending the Fire has been extended. The dates of the retreat-based training have also changed to Sept. 23-25, 2014, Nov. 11-13, 2014 and Feb. 10-12, 2015. For clergy who are asking "How can I be the leader my church needs?" there is an answer. Tending the Fire is a retreat-based training process focused on helping clergy meet the challenges they face as leaders by helping them to understand the...

Feeling the call? You won't succeed 'in hiding from God'

6/9/2014
According to Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb, the Upper New York Conference has a very unique distinction within the denomination: “We are the only Annual Conference that has within our ranks two United Methodist seminary presidents.” Bishop Webb shared that fact during introductions for the Rev. Dr. Wendy Deichmann, president at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and the Rev. Dr. Thomas Wolfe, president at Iliff School of Theology in Denver. Both took the stage to offer...

UMC 'exceptionally active' in rebirth of National Council of Churches

6/9/2014
Ron Bretsch, one of three United Methodist representatives on the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. (NCC) Interfaith Relations Commission, offered the following report about the newly re-organized group and its first nationwide meeting in nearly three years. The United Methodist Church was one of the founding denominations of the NCC in 1950. Over the past three years, the NCC has undertaken a period of study that has resulted in “renaissance, rebirth (and)...

Leadership report: 'God is up to something'

6/5/2014
Being God’s Church at any time “is challenging,” said the Rev. Bill Gottschalk-Fielding. The Conference Director of Connectional Ministries was speaking as a quasi-moderator during the Conference Leadership Report. The Leadership Report is a three-prong report that includes the Bishop’s Address, the Report of the Conference Lay Leader, and the Superintendents’ Report; although it does not contain action items, it is not included on the Consent Calendar. “Pet...

Adopted: Resolutions question validity of ¶101, ambiguity of ¶806.9

6/5/2014
Although the Committee on Petitions and Resolutions received nine submissions, only a pair of resolutions from the Rev. Steven Clunn made it to the floor of the session for debate and passage. Among the others, two were directed to standing committees and one was returned to the submitter for revision, but that author “decided there was not enough time to do that,” according to Hudda Aswad, chair of the committee. R2014.1 Constitutionality and Powers of ¶101 The first...
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