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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    Bishops urge Methodists to deny themselves for the sake of Gospel this Lent

    February 13, 2018 / By UMC Council of Bishops

    In a message sent on behalf of UMC bishops to United Methodists throughout the world, Council of Bishops President Bishop Bruce R. Ough challenged fellow Christians to reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ words in Mark 8:34-35, where he said: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” 

    Bishop Ough said losing one’s life for the sake of the gospel means that one has to live the same purposeful life Jesus lived. “It means to deny our preferences for the sake of Jesus’ kingdom purposes. It means to set aside our self-interest so that others may have a more abundant life. It means we are saved in order to participate in the salvation of others. It means our hearts will break for the very situations that break the heart of God.”

    For the Lenten Season that starts on Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018, the UMC bishops are asking Methodists to engage in spiritual disciplines that include praying, fasting and sharing their resources with others in their communities. 

    “During this Lenten season, let us continue to live out our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Together, let us lose our lives for the sake of the Gospel,” Bishop Ough said in the message.

    Click here to read Bishop Bruce R. Ough's letter.


    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."