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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    Update on Milford UMC and Fonda-Fultonville UMC

    March 16, 2017 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Please continue to pray for Milford UMC and Fonda-Fultonville UMC as they recover from the fires that destroyed their buildings earlier this week.

    The Milford UMC, which caught on fire Sunday March 12, begins moving forward.

    In a letter to her congregation, Millford UMC pastor, the Rev. Sylvia Barrett, explained the logistical and administrative procedures that have taken place since the fire. She said, “We are working on an inventory of the church, on plans for the Food Pantry to be relocated, and on all the arrangements needed to begin our worship on Sunday mornings, at the Cultural Center, which has generously offered us a temporary home until our church is rebuilt. And yes, our church will be rebuilt, and from the blackness of Sunday night, there will come a day when we all stand in the sunlight and look at a new building with happiness and peace in all our hearts. I have received over 100 emails from other ministers, other congregations, other denominations, total strangers, people who worshipped at Milford in the past, and concerned friends and family members. I am sure we all can recall kind words spoken, sympathetic hugs, and offers to help.

    The fire at the Fonda-Fultonville UMC took place on Tuesday March 14, amidst Storm Stella, that swept the Northeast. We will release future plans for the Fonda-Fultonville UMC as soon as we are made aware. In the meantime, Albany District Superintendent, Rich Weihing, said, “The church building…is considered a total loss. Thankfully, no one was hurt. Vital ministries of worship, service, and outreach have used this structure as a home and a headquarters. This is a tremendous loss to the church and the community. Times like this remind us of a powerful truth that we sing, ‘The church is not a building... the church is the people.’ Powerful worship, Christ-like service, and life-changing outreach will certainly continue through Fonda-Fultonville UMC.  At this point, though, let us put our faith into action by upholding, supporting, praying for, and loving our brothers and sisters of the Fonda-Fultonville UMC and community.”

    As we continue to pray for these two churches and their congregations, let’s also offer up prayers of praise for fire and rescue personnel.


    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."