News & Publications
New job titles for Finance Ministry Team
The Upper New York Conference Finance Ministry Team, from left: Kevin Domanico, Vicky Jo Colbert, Pat Toukatly, Beth DuPont, Leah Robinson, Linda Roseman and Mike Weaver. Photo by Christian Vischi.
The names and faces are the same, but six members of the Upper New York Conference Finance Ministry Team now have new titles.
Conference Treasurer Kevin Domanico announced the new...
UNY logo contest voting now open
We received 18 entries to the Upper New York Conference logo contest, and now it's your turn to choose the one you like best.
You can view the 18 designs here and vote for your favorite. If you click on the image thumbnail, a full-size version will open for better viewing.
Voting will be open through Dec. 10, 2013, and you can vote once per day.
When contemplating your favorite design, keep in mind the criteria put forward to the designers: “Submissions should express the faith,...
Double your gift this Giving Tuesday
United Methodists can double the size of their gifts – and the impact of their donations – by making an online donation today, Dec. 3, 2013.
As part of UMC #GivingTuesday, the General Board of Global Ministries has designated that gifts made online to any project through The Advance will be matched dollar for dollar for the first $500,000 in gifts made up until midnight tonight.
The Advance is the denomination’s giving channel that ensures that 100 percent of each gift...
Umtoo: Another way to do church
Umtoo is a new faith community started by Batavia First UMC. The walk-in mission is located in a downtown storefront. See more photos here
First UMC in Batavia is a large and lovely building. There's plenty of green space around the church; lots of parking. It fulfills many needs very well, said its pastor, the Rev. Pam Klotzbach.
But the community that First UMC...
Eagle Scout builds outdoor chapel at Casowasco
T.J. LaDuca has been going to camp at Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center since he was 7 years old.
Two-hundred kids sing and praise the Lord during the dedication program at Casowasco's new outdoor chapel, which was built this past summer by T.J. LaDuca as his Eagle Scout project. Photos courtesy of Mike Huber.
One of the things he loves about camp, he said, is that there's "always something...
GCFA issues statement on Wisconsin clergy housing case
Nashville, TN – On November 21, 2013, a federal district court judge in Madison, Wisconsin held that a portion of Section 107 of the tax code is unconstitutional. Section 107 is the provision dealing with tax-favored housing benefits for clergy. Specifically, the court held that Section 107(2), which permits clergy to receive a tax-free cash “housing allowance,” is unconstitutional because it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S....
Let's make demonstrating gratitude more common
From the desk of Bishop Webb: November 2013 Advocate
He lived from 1865 to 1936. He was English; born in Bombay, India. He wrote poetry and books like Captains Courageous, How the Leopard Got His Spots, and The Jungle Book. His name is Rudyard Kipling.
Kipling’s writing not only made him famous, but also brought him fortune. There is a story of a newspaper reporter who approached him and said, “Mr. Kipling, I just read that somebody calculated that the money you make from...
Still time to join Hand to Plow for 2014
There is still time!
For all those who have wondered if it is too late to sign up for Hand to Plow in 2014, there is still time to join the journey. Over the past year, clergy and laity from across the Conference have invested in the life of their congregations by joining in with the Hand to Plow process.
When asked about Hand to Plow, one...
Retreat brings 'Accountable Discipleship' to the table
Casowasoco Camp and Retreat Center did not disappoint. The weather was perfect. God’s peace was tangible. It was a glorious weekend.
Thirty-three people, from six different Districts gathered to hear the Rev. Steve Manskar, D.Min., director of Wesleyan Leadership at the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) in Nashville, lead a workshop about his book: Accountable Discipleship: Living in God’s Household.
Drawing on the...
Trustees choose Church Mutual
Church Mutual has been selected by the Conference Trustees to provide our Conference Master Insurance plan coverage for 2014 effective Jan. 1. Our insurance program provides coverage for property, causality, liability, vehicle and Workers' Compensation as well as an umbrella policy.
The Trustees have been working on an improved insurance program for some time, a process that resulted in quotes from four respected insurance companies. A comparison of proposals and capabilities showed that...
Congregation creates Methodist Native American Reconciling Tree
Beginning in the late 19th century, many Native American children were placed in government-controlled – and often church-run – boarding schools in an attempt by the U.S. government to assimilate them into the dominant society.
Seneca Native American Lenny Fitzsimmons shared his story about being placed in a Methodist boarding home with his siblings with Sue Clark, Upper New York CONAM member and member of First UMC in...
Reaching our Neighbors to host grant-writing workshops
Do you have a great ministry idea, but don't know how to get it funded?
Participants at one of the workshops held in October and November.
The Reaching our Neighbors Ministry Oversight Team (MOT) has scheduled another three regional workshops aimed at helping churches and agencies design projects and write proposals that will attract funding.
Leading the workshops is United Methodist Deacon Jeff...
Finger Lakes DS Barton to retire
Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb has announced that Finger Lakes District Superintendent Richard Barton will retire as of June 30, 2014.
Rev. Barton, who served as dean of the Cabinet before the formation of the Upper New York Conference and since June 2011, said he made the decision to retire for personal reasons. "Family concerns make it reasonable for me to retire at this point," he said.
"I am extremely grateful and honored to have the...
Conference's Board of Trustees Insurance Committee evaluates insurance proposals
Upper New York Conference Treasurer Kevin Domanico has written a letter to local churches addressing concerns with the Conference’s Master Insurance Program.
To: Local Church Pastors, Trustees and Church Treasurer
For the last several months, the Upper New York Annual Conference’s Board of Trustees Insurance Committee has been meeting with the goal of evaluating and improving the Conference’s Master Insurance Program which...
Pastoral letter from Bishop Mark J. Webb
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Upper New York Area:
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus!
I write to share my deep love for you and to acknowledge the many emotions raised in light of recent events within our Church around human sexuality, specifically same-gender unions.
As we hear the outcome of the church trial of Rev. Frank Schaefer in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, read the statement released last week by the Council of Bishops regarding Bishop Mel Talbert and...
Meet Kirstie Mosher: A 2013 Student Day Offering recipient
*To learn more about United Methodist Student Day, including another student's perspective, click here.
Kirstie Mosher, a student at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., had similar sentiments to Thomas about the importance of United Methodist Student Day.
“Every little bit that people can contribute ends up making a huge difference in the lives of students. With the scholarship, students like me are given the chance to go to our college of choice and to succeed,” she...
'Pilgrimage Into the Last Third of Life' retreat to begin Dec. 4
Older Adult Ministries is offering a free online retreat titled Pilgrimage into the Last Third of Life: Seven Spiritual Gateways.To register for this free online retreat, visit http://www.nevertooold.net/SecondHalf.html.
The retreat is based on the book Pilgrimage Into the Last Third of Life, however, it is not necessary to buy the book to participate.
The retreats will take place on Wednesdays beginning Dec. 4, 2013, and...
Native American Heritage Month: Thankful God moments
Have you ever had a God moment?
An experience that may have left you in tears of joy or in tears of sadness and doubt? Maybe you were in a situation you never in a million years would have pictured yourself in or had an experience you did not realize was God at work until years later as you began to truly know what it meant to live as a child of God and “experience” the love of our Creator.
To me, an experience is more than what Merriam-Webster defines as “something...
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...