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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    News Stories from November 2016

    FLSA Minimum Wage and Overtime Ruling update

    November 30, 2016 / By UNY Communications

    A federal judge has just struck down the FLSA overtime ruling to increase the minimum salary for exempt employees to $913/week ($47,476/year) just two weeks before it was supposed to take effect on December 1. What does this mean for local churches? The federal minimum salary for exempt employees will now remain at $455 a week; however, New York State already has its own minimum salary for exempt staff of $675 week. Some …more

    Philadelphia UMC embraces creative fundraising

    November 29, 2016 / By Beth Johnston, Philadelphia UMC

    Editor’s Note: In 2015, Philadelphia UMC (located in the Northern Flow District) increased their Ministry Shares by 45 percent. In 2016, Philadelphia UMC has paid 100 percent of their Ministry Shares. The Philadelphia UMC is a small church composed mainly of people over 50 years young. Our local area is impoverished with no industry and few if any employment opportunities available locally. Our younger families have moved from the area to seek employment …more

    GBHEM to award $5 million to more than 2,300 students

    November 28, 2016 / By Kathleen Christiansen

    The General Board of Higher Education & Ministry’s Office of Loans and Scholarships will award more than 2,300 students a total of $5 million in financial assistance for 2016. Of those students, 25 are from the Upper New York Conference.  “Thank you for your support in recognizing United Methodist Student Day, World Communion Sunday, and Native American Sunday, which all help fund a portion of our scholarships,” wrote Allyson …more

    Africa University—what’s next?

    November 28, 2016 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Editor’s Note: On Saturday evening, November 19, Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey was the featured speaker at a dinner at Drumlin’s Country Club in Syracuse, celebrating Africa University. Bishop McCleskey served for 45 years as an active United Methodist clergyperson, including 12 years as a bishop. Today, in his retirement, he volunteers part-time for Africa University and serves as the Executive Vice President of Development. While in Syracuse, he educated …more

    The four Sundays of Advent

    November 16, 2016 / By UNY Communications

    The season of Advent is celebrated over four Sundays in The United Methodist Church – this year, those Sundays are Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, 11, and 18. The season begins four Sundays before Christmas, ending at sundown on Christmas Eve. The end of Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical or church year for Christians. During Advent, United Methodists prepare for and anticipate the coming of Christ. “We remember the longing of …more

    How Ministry Shares support young people at the local level: The UNY Conference Media Center

    November 15, 2016 / By Tasha Gottschalk-Fielding

    While Conference Ministry Shares fund youth and young adult outreach on a national and even global level, the ministry provided by churches’ connectional giving also returns to the youth of the churches themselves. A key example of this level of ministry is the Conference’s Media Resource Center in Endicott. which lends resources to youth and young adult groups in churches all across the Conference. Diane Miner, the …more

    My reflections on the Leadership Institute 2016

    November 15, 2016 / By Pastor Alicia Wood

    Our Upper New York Annual Conference session three-day meeting in spring 2016 included a three-part learning time with Adam Hamilton, the lead church planter of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan. He started this church 26 years ago, and now it has four sites/campuses. The church is so generous that it hosts a Leadership Institute annually, sharing what the congregation has learned as they planted and grown …more

    The Connection: What Ministry Shares mean for the local churches

    November 14, 2016 / By Rev. Bill Gottschalk-Fielding

    When I started serving as the UNY Conference’s Director of Connectional Ministries, it wasn’t long before I was asked, “so what do we get from the Conference?”  This question, asked by both clergy and laity, usually came up in a discussion about shared ministry payments and conference budgets.  Heard in the wrong way, it could sound like a consumer demanding a vendor …more

    What not to buy for Christmas (or anytime)

    November 11, 2016 / By Merle Showers, Upper New York Task Force on Peace with Justice in Palestine/Israel

    In 2015, we as an Annual Conference voted to divest in several companies that were doing business in Israel that supported the occupation of Palestine. HP (Hewlett Packard) was one of those companies, because it supports Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and its people by supplying some of the security equipment/technology to control the Palestinian people. Our General Board of Pensions (now Wespath) has worked very hard to …more

    From the desk of Bishop Mark J. Webb: Why Ministry Shares matter

    November 8, 2016 / By Bishop Mark J. Webb

    Editor's Note: The fall 2016 issue of the Advocate reveals the UMC Connection and how Ministry Shares spark change locally and around the world. Here is an excerpt of Bishop Mark J. Webb's article. See the full article in the print copy of the UNY Advocate/2016/Issue 4 (coming out the third week in November). United Methodists accomplish big things together. That is true around the world and it is …more



    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 867 local churches and 65 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."