Earlville UMC will leave a lasting legacy in Mission Central Hub
Earlville United Methodist Church has spread the love of Jesus and changed lives for 202 years, but with a recent vote to close, that is changing. Like many small churches, Earlville UMC was in ministry to a community that was shrinking. The members of the Earlville UMC realized that the church was becoming unsustainable and they decided to be proactive about the legacy of their church.
As a part of their vote to close, the congregation voted to give resources to a variety of United Methodist Churches and ministries that would continue their mission.
Their decision was based in scripture, specifically John 12:24 “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
It was further inspired by the Hymn of Promise, Hymn 707 in the United Methodist Hymnal:
In the bulb there is a flower;
In the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise:
Butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter
There’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season,
Something God alone can see.
Earlville UMC gave an outdoor electronic sign to CenterPoint UMC that will help direct people from the highway to where there is the good news of Jesus. They donated $20,000 to the New Harvest, a new faith community to help in transporting members without vehicles to worship. They donated money and resources to Aldersgate Camp and many other churches in the Mohawk District. However, by far, the largest gifts were given to support the new Upper New York Conference Mission Central Hub.
“Earlville has always been a very mission-minded church, so this was a natural fit” Mohawk District Superintendent Rev. Abel Roy said. “Conference leaders and I met with the leadership of Earlville last spring and shared the vision for the Mission Central Hub. Earlville was very excited about the potential of supporting a mission that would have such impact both locally and around the world.”
From training the Conference’s Volunteers in Mission and Disaster Response teams to collecting and assembling flood buckets, health kits, and more, the UNY Mission Central Hub is the perfect answer to local churches who feel called to expand their outreach ministries. It is a resource for becoming the hands and feet of God in service.
This vision is becoming a reality now, thanks in large part to the legacy of Earlville UMC. Their vote to discontinue included donating enough money to the new Upper New York Mission Central Hub to allow it to start operations.
Bishop Mark J. Webb who personally met with them said, “This church offered decades upon decades of rich ministry. Through these gifts their ministry will continue for many years to come.”
The gift from Earlville UMC provides enough money to cover the salary of a Director for at least two years. They also gifted a 1.2 million dollar trust to help with operations well into the future.
The Conference has already started the search for a Director of Missional Engagement who will form a comprehensive mission strategy for the Mission Central Hub and other UNY ministries. The position will oversee the planning, management, and evaluation of the mission and operations of the Upper New York Conference Missional Engagement ministry to include Mission Central HUB (MCH), UNY Volunteers in Mission, and UNY Disaster Response.
Click here to learn more about the position of Director of Missional Engagement or to apply.
Rev. Bill Gottschalk-Fielding was one of the Conference leaders who helped to cast the vision of the Mission Central Hub for Earlville UMC. He said, “Earlville UMC is an amazing example of what it means to leave a legacy in ministry.”
Earlville UMC consulted with the Upper New York Conference Legacy Team in making its decision. To learn more about this ministry click here.
“Every church has a lifecycle,” Gottschalk-Fielding continued. “But what a church chooses to do when it has truly reached the end of its life, can leave an impact for generations to come. Earlville’s legacy will continue to change lives and spread the love of Jesus long after we are all gone.”
While Earlville UMC’s amazing gift is a great start for the ministry of the Upper New York Conference’s Mission Central Hub, it is only the beginning of what will be needed. Simply turning on the news and seeing the devastating reports of hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and more shows the desperate need for such a ministry.
Others wishing to support the Upper New York Mission Central Hub can do so by visiting http://www.unyumc.org/mission/mission-central to learn more and donate online or by sending checks to the Upper New York Conference (7481 Henry Clay Blvd. Liverpool, NY 13088) with FUND # 951 – “Mission Central Hub” on the memo line.