News & Publications
Listening for the voices of strong women
My Mom died in March of 2008, but I can still hear her voice. A voice that encouraged, corrected – and even embarrassed at times, when she would brag about her children and grandchildren.
Her life and her voice shaped me.
I can still hear the voice of my first grade Sunday School teacher, who taught me the stories of my faith and shared the truth of God’s amazing love through Jesus.
I can still hear the...
Register for 2014 Local Pastor Licensing School
Registration is now open for the Upper New York Annual Conference's 2014 Local Pastor Licensing School.
Licensed local pastors perform all the duties of a pastor, but have that authority only within the setting and during the time of their appointment.
Bishop Mark J. Webb preaching at Upper New York's first Local Pastor Licensing School in June 2013. Photo courtesy of Rev. James Fenimore.
Licensing School is...
Church makes ministry share a priority
Celebrating the small steps is the way to make the big ones happen, says Pastor Michael Terrell, who serves the Canton UMC.
The church paid 49.7 percent of its 2013 ministry shares, which may seem like a small step, until you compare it to the 18.3 percent the church paid in 2012.
"I applaud them every week," Pastor Terrell said. "They did a really good thing paying almost half of our global giving. You have to talk it up; be proud of small accomplishments."
Equitable Compensation Application for July - December 2014 Now Available
The Commission on Equitable Compensation has issued guidelines and an application form for salary grants to local churches for July 1 through December 31, 2014.
To apply for salary assistance from the Equitable Compensation Fund, applicants should review the policies and procedures in the application document for guidelines, and then complete the application by the April 4, 2014 deadline according to the directions provided. The Commission anticipates notifying churches of the...
Conference's first retreat for clergywomen exceeded expectations
It was a chance to recharge and reconnect, and they’d love to repeat it.
Unforced Rhythms of Grace was the first retreat for clergywomen of the Upper New York Conference. The event was held Feb. 3-5 in Auburn. About 30 women attended. From left, retreat leader the Rev. Jane Vennard, the Rev. Heather Williams, co-organizer of the retreat, and Nairobi Smith. Photo by the Rev. Beth Quick.
New UNY Peace with Justice Coordinator named
The Upper New York Social Holiness Team has named Heather Smith as the new Peace with Justice Coordinator for the Conference. The vote was held on Feb. 25, 2014.
Smith said she's looking forward to bringing her own personality and passion for justice to the position. A Certified Lay Servant, Smith said she hopes to bring that training to bear on this role as well.
"I'll be trying to keep Peace with...
Cady Grant applications now available
Application forms are now available for the Upper New York Conference Cady Grant. Cady Grants are awarded twice annually to fund a ministry, program or experience that benefits or provides education to African Americans and/or Native Americans.
Cady Grants are available to individual United Methodists, local churches, district or Conference ministry teams within Upper New York.
Grants are offered in the spring and fall. Applications will be accepted from April 1 to May 1, 2014 for...
A first step: Act of Repentance begins with education
Sharon Schmit (left) looks on as Blenda Smith, a member of the Conference CONAM, lights a candle following a reading in unison of Matthew 3:8.
Photo by Christian Vischi
How do you get 12.5 million United Methodists to repent for something many of them don’t even know about?
Answering that question is at the heart of Upper New York’s Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) District...
Director of Vital Congregations becomes full-time appointment
The Upper New York Conference is pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Aaron Bouwens will begin serving full-time as the Conference Director of Vital Congregations.
Rev. Bouwens, 38, has led the Conference's church revitalization efforts since the position was created in July 2012; until now it has been a half-time appointment. Rev. Bouwens also serves as co-pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Liverpool.
The full-time appointment begins on July 1, 2014; the adjustment was made...
Grant workshop participants encouraged to tell their story
The fifth Upper New York grant writing workshop in a series of six was held on Feb. 8 at the Batavia United Methodist Church and it was well attended, according to participants Ken and Marilyn Kasperek of the Akron First UMC.
Workshop leader Deacon Jeff Hodge
Participants traveled from across western New York – including Dunkirk, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Cuba and Buffalo – to hear United Methodist...
Conference UMM elects new president
Mark Jones, who has been president of the Mohawk District United Methodist Men for the past 10 years, was elected president of the Upper New York Conference United Methodist Men. His two-year term began on Jan. 1.
He will make a recommendation to elect two vice-presidents at the Conference UMM meeting on Feb. 22.
Jones’ main focus for the next two years will be a return to prayer.
Nominations sought for Harry Denman Evangelism Award
The Foundation for Evangelism celebrates the outstanding personal evangelism ministry of United Methodist clergy, laity and youth by sponsoring the Harry Denman Evangelism Award.
Nominations should be submitted to the Rev. Bill Gottschalk-Fielding, Director of Connectional Ministries, via email at DCMOffice@unyumc.org.
To learn more about the award and download the nomination form, click here; the application deadline is April 15, 2014....
Task force urges: Follow United Methodist guidelines for Holy Land trips
The Conference Task Force on Peace with Justice in Palestine/Israel wants to remind United Methodists who are planning tours of the Holy Land that the Church has guidelines for such trips outlined in the Book of Resolutions.
This United Methodist News Service file photo shows the dome atop the Church of the Holy Sepulcher framed by archways inside Jerusalem's ancient walled city. The church is considered to contain...
Mohawk DS Lee responds to Folts Homes receivership
In the wake of financial difficulties, Folts Homes in Herkimer, which is served by Upper New York deacon the Rev. Cathy Lee, as chaplain, was placed into receivership. In October 2013, it was announced that the nursing home would become Folts Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing and Claxton Manor, operated by FRNC, LLC.
Mohawk District Superintendent Sung Ho Lee during a visit to Folts in 2013. Photo by Beth DiCocco
Sign up now to attend Third Annual New Faith Communities Event
The Upper New York New Faith Communities Team is hosting its Third Annual New Faith Communities Event on Saturday, April 26, 2014, at Liverpool First United Methodist Church. Gather at the church beginning at 9 a.m.; the event will start at 9:30 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.
The Rev. Dave Masland, Director of New Faith Communities, will present his State of the Planting Address highlighting what God has been doing through New Faith Communities this year.
Task Force hosts 20th annual Palestinian Dinner
The Upper New York Task Force on Peace with Justice in Palestine/Israel is again sponsoring an authentic Palestinian buffet during the 2014 Annual Conference. The dinner begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 30, at the Plymouth Congregational Church, 232 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse. The church is just a couple of blocks from OnCenter, where the session is held.
Folks enjoying the 2013 Palestinian Dinner. Photo by Alice Trost.
Retired clergy, spouses are up off their R.U.M.P.S.
The Rev. Betty Morey, retired, acknowledges that she raises a few eyebrows when she talks about "R.U.M.P.S."
That's R.U.M.P.S. as in Retired United Methodist Pastors and Spouses.
"I love to tell people I'm going to R.U.M.P.S.," Rev. Morey said. "It gets a reaction."
Lee Potter, left, talks during a Jan. 15, 2014 meeting of R.U.M.P.S. (Retired United Methodist Pastors and Spouses). The...
Bioethics: The voices of our fathers' past affect the present
In 2009, I became a volunteer at the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care. Tuskegee University President Benjamin F. Payton referred me to Dr. Rueben C. Warren, director of the Bioethics Center, and I represent all of the
descendants of the 623 men who participated in the syphilis study.
Bioethics looks at research being done and evaluates the ethical issues...
AC 14 Memorial Service preacher, Bible study leader announced
The Episcopal Office has announced that Mountain View District Superintendent Cathy Hall Stengel will be the preacher at the annual Memorial Service and Bishop J. Michael (Mike) Lowry has accepted Bishop Mark J. Webb's invitation to conduct the Bible study at the 2014 Annual Conference session.
The Memorial Service...
Come for a 'Stellar' performance at UP!WORD '14
UP!WORD will welcome Stellar Kart, a Christian pop punk band from Phoenix.
UP!WORD is an opportunity for youth to adventure with God through a variety of music and worship experiences and new friendships. This year’s theme is Called to Catch Fire: an adventure with God. Past event favorites include unique workshops, games and late-night options.
It will be held April 4-6, 2014 at the Liverpool Holiday Inn.
Stellar Kart has been an opening act for Kutless on its Strong Tower Tour...