District Newsletter



October 23, 2014
District Contact Information
Albany District Superintendent – Rev. Rich Weihing      richweihing@unyumc.org
Albany District Assistant – Maxine Getty                     albanydistrict@unyumc.org
Albany District Office schedule - Mondays 8 am – 1 pm; Tuesdays and Thursdays 8 am – 4 pm 
Albany District Office Phone:  (518) 608-1246 or e-mail:  albanydistrict@unyumc.org
Albany District Mailing Address:  PO Box 511, Newtonville, NY 12128
Please visit the following Web Sites:
Upper New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church   www.unyumc.org


Prayers and Joys
Prayers for Bishop Susan Hassinger; Bishop Hassinger suffered a fall last week, fracturing her pelvis, and is currently in a rehabilitation facility to begin the healing process.   
Since retiring in 2004, she has been bishop-in-residence and adjunct faculty at Boston University School of Theology. She served as the interim bishop of the Albany Episcopal Area from September 2006 to June 2010.
Notes and cards can be sent to Bishop Hassinger at the Golden Living Center, 25 Armory St., West Newton, Mass. 02465.  
Prayers for the Rev. Martin "Marty" Fors; He has been diagnosed with lymphoma, and will soon begin treatment. Rev. Fors, who lives in Lyndon, Vt., was a member of the former Troy Conference. 
Prayers for Pastor Nancy Pullen, retired. Prior to retirement Nancy served Salem (east Stone Arabia), and Fonda Fultonville UMCs. Nancy is recovering at home from knee replacement surgery.
Prayers for the family of Pastor Ginny Deyo (Ginny serves Mechanicville UMC and Melrose UMC) Ginny’s sister Barbara Sand is going thru extensive rehab due to broken bones.
Continued prayers for….
Joy and continued prayers for David Suits (Albany District Committee on Ministries); David has received the good news that his cancer is in remission. Prayers work!
For the former Troy Conference Camp and Retreat Executive Director Deborah Paterson needs your prayers as she is currently recovering from her last brain surgery for Parkinson; Send prayers and concerns to 24831 Pennington Terrace Venice Florida 34293
For Karin and Jason Wheatley as Jason continues to recover from a traumatic brain injury. Karin is Newtonville’s secretary and Director of the Pre School.
For Pastor Marianna Rodriquez (serving First UMC, Rensselaer and Emmanual Faith) and her family as her brother Hector Cardosa continues his battle with throat cancer. 
For Rev. Brolin Parker as he continues his fight with cancer. You may still send cards and words of encouragement to: The Rev. Dr. Brolin Parker, 205 Patio Dr., Endwell, NY 13760.
For Judy Humphrey-Fox (pastor in Broadalbin and Edinburg) and her husband Tim. Tim continues to recover from a stroke.
For a dear friend of mine, Daphne, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, thank you and blessings, Maxine
For Kathy Reese (Kathy serves Bleecker and No Bush UMC’s), Kathy’s husband Robert Reese fell on ice in Jan and is having a hard time recovering. He has brain trauma and is looking at a long recovery. 
For Rev Bob Boston and wife Beverly now residing at Ellis LongTerm Care Center at 600 McClellan St, Sch’dy 12304.
For Pastor Eric Kerwath (Center Glenville UMC) and wife Linda as Linda continues to heal.
For Deborah Roberts-Delamater wife of Rev Alan Delamater (Shenendehowa UMC) as she continues her recovery.
For Rev Robert and Nancy Osgood as they continue to heal at home, your well wishes may be sent to PO Box 80, No Hoosick, NY 12133.


Dates and Useful Resources  - Please do not plan church events that will conflict with important Conference Date
Ø Oct. 22-24 - Bishop's Retreat - DETAILS  
Ø Oct. 28-30 - Extended Cabinet
If you are not receiving news from the UNY Annual Conference and wish to do so please use this Link Sign Up Here to sign up for the E-Advocate.
Media Resource Center Newsletter(Please click on the link)
Please make use of this resource, this is your Ministries Shares at work;   Link to Newsletter
Living Well is an opportunity for churches to deepen discipleship while reaching out to your neighborhood and larger community.  Our new website at www.FindingMoreLove.org offers a training program, other resources an opportunities for collaboration.


New Items

New - Safe Sanctuaries Training
The Conference approved Safe Sanctuary training to be held again at the Broadalbin UMC on Saturday, Nov. 22nd, from 9AM to noon.  It will be led by the Rev. Judy Humphrey-Fox and Wendy Proctor.  There is no cost for this training.  Everyone who works with children, youth, or vulnerable adults is encouraged to attend.  
To register please contact Pastor Judy at pastorjudyhf@gmail.com by Nov. 17th.
New - "Working toward healing relationships with Native American and indigenous peoples: Next Steps in Reconciliation.”
This is the theme with which The Rev. Thom White Wolf Fassett will engage participants as guest preacher at First United Methodist Church, 905 State Street, Schenectady, NY, on Sunday, November 9, 2014. Rev. Fassett is both a Native American of the Seneca Nation in Central New York and an ordained pastor of the Upper New York Conference of the United Methodist Church. He recently wrote the study guide for the United Methodist School of Missions Course on Native Americans, entitled, Giving Our Hearts Away. 
Thom is emeritus General Secretary of the international rights organization of the United Methodist Church and The General Board of Church and Society. He has invested much of his life working in the fields of faith, public service and social justice. His experience spans ministry from local, conference and national levels of the United Methodist Church to Assistant to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to delegate to the United Nations Summit on Social Development. He is a clear spoken defender of Native and Indigenous rights.
Dr. Fassett will focus on expressing faith in an Act of Reconciliation with Native Americans.
He will resource an adult forum following worship.
Rev. Fassett will be the presenter at an area wide workshop to be held at 3:00 pm that afternoon [November 9] in the social hall of First UMC. He will engage those present with some “next steps” toward an Act of Reconciliation with greater integrity ... building upon ingredients presented during a workshop last Spring. This workshop is open to all United Methodists and the public.   
New - From the Desk of Bishop Webb
Bishop Mark J. Webb has written a letter about The United Methodist Church's response to the Ebola epidemic. In the letter he asks the Upper New York Conference asking to pray fervently and invite them to consider as individuals and congregations to give financially.

Read the full letter on the Upper New York Conference website

On Going News Articles (Conference and District)

Albany District Ministry Team Invitation

What: The Albany District Ministry Team invites clergy and laity to join together for a day of worship, celebration, and learning.

When & Where: We will be gathering at the Pine Grove United Methodist Church, 1580 Central Ave., Colonie, NY on Saturday, Nov 1 from 9 AM to 3:15 PM.
Coffee breaks, and lunch will be provided.

Learning Opportunities and Facilitators:
(Participants will be able to attend two of the three learning opportunities)
A. Creative Worship: Rev. Sara Baron, First United Methodist Church, Schenectady
B. Staff Parish Relations Committee: Rev. Rich Weihing, District Superintendent,
Shirley Readdean, Albany District Lay Leader and Donna Markessinis,
McKownville United Methodist Church
C. Finance Committee: Rev. Terry O'Neil, retired; Paula Miller, Burnt Hills
United Methodist Church

Cost: $5/person
Questions? Contact Dave Suits, Albany District Ministry Team Chair at (518) 869-9436

Albany District UM Women’s Fall Meeting
UMW Fall meeting to be held Saturday, November 8, 2014, at the Burnt Hills UMC on 816 Rt 50, Burnt Hills,NY
Registration begins at 9:00 AM
There will be fellowship time and book browsing from 9 to 9:30 AM. In addition to the program, there will be a short business meeting, unit reports, special music, mission school update, report on Assembly 2014, as well as a worship service, communion service, installation of officers and a special closing.
We would like to collect some items for our Domestic Violence shelter; here is a list of things needed:
Bath towels, twin sheets and twin comforters, women’s sweat pants and pajamas (especially larger sizes), Diapers for babies (all sizes).
Diane Cameron, Development Director at UNITY House in Troy, will be speaking about how they are helping so many people on a daily basis.
Half of the day’s offerings will be given to “IMAGINE NO MALARIA” with the rest going to the general fund.
To register, call Sharon Clairmont at (518) 265-6187 or email her at donshar922@hotmail.com.
Lay Servant Ministries Courses being offered
Advance Lay Servant Course being offered
An advanced course, LS Lead in Prayer, will be held at Amsterdam UMC, Golf Course Rd., Amsterdam, led by Pastors Carl and Heidi Chamberlain, on Saturdays Nov. 1 and 8, from 9:30am to 2:30pm.
Contact:  Amsterdam.umc@gmail.com, Office: 585.843.2611; cell: 607.382.1403.
Basic Lay Servant Course being offered
A Basic Lay Servant course is being offered on Sundays at 2:00 PM November, 2, 9, and 16 at the Melrose UMC located at 20 Church street Melrose NY 12121the course is being led by Pastor Ginny Deyo if you are interested please contact Pastor Ginny at 518.376.1849

Help is needed for a very important project
RAMPING UP FOR DULAC: Funding/Building Wheelchair Ramps with the Houma Indians of Dulac, Louisiana
A Shared Effort of the Dulac Community Center, Union College Sociology students, and capital district area congregations
Since 2007, Union College in Schenectady, NY, has sent approximately 120+ students in a sociology class led by Professor Janet Grigsby to south Louisiana in December. This community service class studies the culture of New Orleans and the surrounding wetlands. Students study the many issues related to both the hurricane and oil disasters and the sociological and environmental problems the communities face. The central part of their experience on the trip, however, is fulltime community service for 2 weeks. The class works for 1 week at the DCC. Students have constructed ramps, laid flooring, sheet rocked and taped home interiors, painted and done a variety of other maintenance and repair tasks.
GOAL: To raise $6,000 for the purchase of supplies to construct entry ramps for two homes in Dulac, LA.   Dulac is located in the wetlands area of south Louisiana, approximately 2 hours southwest of New Orleans. This continues the Katrina Recovery in areas hard hit by Katrina but also Hurricanes Rita Gustav, and Ike.
First United Methodist Church, Schenectady, has agreed to manage area church donations. Individuals and churches may send donations to FUMC. Donations should say “Dulac Ramps #N550222” in the memo line, and should also include the donor’s church affiliation. This will allow individual and church donations to be noted with the Conference.
For more information please contact:
Prof. Janet P. Grigsby, Department of Sociology, Union College, Schenectady, NY
Email: grigsbyj@union.edu
Phone: 518-388-8023 – office; 518-598-4660 – cell
Register online now for CCYM Fall Gatherings
The Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM)
is asking young people: Are you searching for God? Is God searching for you? Youth that want to explore those questions are encouraged to ask their youth leaders to register their groups for the upcoming Fall Gatherings:
Fall Gathering - EAST
Nov. 14-15, 2014 at Schenectady First UMC
Click here to register
Fall Gathering - WEST
Nov. 21-22 at Aldersgate UMC, Rochester
Click here to register
Two Revival Meetings with Anointed International Evangelist and Teacher DR. MICHAEL K. PAK
Sunday November 9 and
Monday November 10 at 7 PM
566 Brunswick Road, Troy NY 12180
www.troyhopeumc.org                             518-279-1403
International Evangelist and Teacher, the Rev. Dr. Michael K. Pak,
at Hope United Methodist Church in Troy, NY, November 9, 10 and 11
Dr. Michael K. Pak will conduct two “REDEMPTION AND RESTORATION BREAKTHROUGH ANOINTING” meetings on Sunday November 9 and Monday November 10 at Hope United Methodist Church, located at 566 Brunswick Road, Troy, New York 12180. Both meetings will begin at 7 PM and all are cordially invited to attend. God has used Dr. Pak’s ministry to edify and strengthen local churches throughout entire cities and regions in Asia. He has a strong prophetic gift as well as an anointing for healing and miracles. Gifted for power evangelism, Dr. Pak preaches the Word with signs and wonders following. A love offering to support World Harvest Ministry, Dr. Pak’s pastoral training and evangelism training ministry in Taiwan, will be received.
Dr. Pak will also offer two days of “WORLD HARVEST MINISTRY ANOINTING SCHOOL” at Hope United Methodist Church for pastors and church leaders on Monday November 10 and Tuesday November 11 beginning at 10 AM. World Harvest Ministry exists “to help spread the fires of revival and ignite a fresh passion in the hearts of believers to go deeper in their relationship with God in the local church.” There is no charge for the Anointing School.
Lunch will be available for those attending the school. Advance registration will help us with planning, so please contact Pastor Dave Martin at 518-279-1403 or hopeumctroy@juno.com by November 5 to let us know how many from leaders from your congregation will be attending the Anointing School.
AUMS THANKSGIVING. Albany United Methodist Society invites Albany District United Methodist Churches to help us provide Thanksgiving baskets to 200 families this Thanksgiving.  We are requesting between 10-20 turkeys per church (weight: 12-14lbs), including stuffing mix, gravy, canned fruit/peas/beans/corn/sweet potatoes, instant mashed potato, cranberry sauce, bread/muffin mix, and desserts for each basket.
Delivery of turkeys and trimmings can be on or before Friday November 21 (for distribution Thanksgiving week) to AUMS, 340 First Street, Albany.
AUMS CHRISTMAS.  We also invite donations for Christmas toys for youth 13yo and under delivered to AUMS on or before Friday December 19 (for distribution Christmas week). Gift certificates from area stores in $20 increments for 14-18 year olds are also requested.
We also seek donations of adult gifts - to be selected by youth for their caregivers.  Deadline for these donations: Monday December 15; Inquiries (518) 432-0818. Thank you.  
Media Resource Center
The Albany District Superintendent would like to encourage all Churches in the District to use the Media Resource Center; this is your Ministry Shares at work.  
The Center has the ability to help a church with resources for programs, Sunday schools, Bible studies, Vacation Bible School, Stewardship, the list goes on. Please go to the conference website www.unyumc.org and scroll to the bottom of the page (the black area) and click on Resource Library you will find a very informative page; on the right side of the page in the grey area you will find links for the resource catalog, monthly newsletter (also find the newsletter link at the top of the Albany District Newsletter), helpful links, Vacation Bible School Resources, Stewardship Resources and much more. If you have questions please contact the resource center’s director Diane Miner, you will find her a very knowledgeable and helpful person.
Churches in the Albany District who are regular patrons of the resource center are: Melrose UMC, No Main UMC- Gloversville, Green Island UMC, Burnt Hills UMC, Newtonville UMC, First UMC – Schenectady, Delmar UMC, First UMC – East Greenbush, Cornerstone Community, Voorheesville UMC, Averill Park UMC, Trinity UMC, Scotia UMC, Shenendehowa UMC, Broadalbin UMC, Grace UMC – Nassau, Northville UMC and Pine Grove UMC. The DS would like to thank these churches for using this resource and encourages you to contact them if you want to know how satisfied they are with this resource.
The contact information for the Media Resource Center is 800-799-9664 or 607-757-0608, email diane@unyumc.org or resourcecenter@unyumc.org the Center is located at 53 McKinley Ave, Endicott, NY 13760 (you do not have to go to the center to order or receive) the Center is open Monday thru Thursdays 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM

We are looking for volunteers to join us on the 2015 Volunteers In Mission Belfast Peace Project. The cost of this VIM activity is estimated to be $2500. This includes air fare, all transportation, food, rooms, insurance and entry fees while in Northern Ireland. The dates for the 2015 trip are April 27 - May 9. If you are interested please call Pat and Mike Thomas at 885-5889 or Email them at pmthomas6@mac.com. The 2014 blog can be found at vimbpp2014.blogspot.com.
The stated purpose is to work on building relationships with the Belfast Communities while also promoting peace and reconciliation. Our second stated purpose is construction. We have worked on repurposing the building and grounds to support Forthspring's  community building activities.
For the past 10 years the United Methodist Church’s Volunteers In Mission (VIM) has sponsored a mission trip to one of the poorest areas in the United Kingdom. The VIM-Belfast Peace Project has brought 10 volunteer teams to Northern Ireland.  Teams vary in size from 10-16 members. There have been a total of 128 volunteers on trips although some people have returned on several occasions. Each volunteer is also asked to seek funds to pay for all the work and materials we use while in Belfast. As part of the VIM team they are expected to return to their own churches and communities to share their experiences and what they have learned about peace and reconciliation efforts in Northern Ireland. 
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: You must be able to walk 1-3 miles unassisted and participate in 2-5 hours of physical activities including stairs.
TERRAIN: We will travel over diverse terrain and uneven walking surfaces including steep and unpaved paths, hills, 25-50 stairs with no handrails, and cobblestones. All can be slippery in wet or colder conditions. Many areas and building we will visit are not handicapped accessible. 
 “The Priory Retreat Center” in Chestertown. 
It offers, in a beautiful wooded property, scheduled and resourced programs, personal spiritual direction, and a well-equipped setting for churches or other groups to hold their own retreats, plus other features.  Please go to their website for more information http://www.prioryretreathouse.org/
Rev Henry Frueh will be holding a program “Rest and Renew in Nature: An EcoSabbath” at the Priory retreat Center on Sat Oct 25th?   Do you long for a day of rest and renewal? Would you like to be more alive to nature? Both Sabbath and Creation are oft-neglected allies of health and wholeness. Befriend and welcome these twin graces into the rhythm of your life. Guided reflection on Scripture and other writings precedes a communal “nature trek of awareness.” This afternoon provides the gift of solitude, and closes with conversation and ritual. The day is for all who seek Sabbath rest and renewal, rediscovering God’s Creation as a healing presence.  For more information visit this Link to Rest and Renew in Nature
Date: Saturday, October 25, 10am-3pm
Donation: $45-55 (as you are able) includes lunch
Facilitator: Rev. Henry Frueh
Lay and clergy are equally welcome.
Youth invited to Upper New York's first Confirmation Retreat
Upper New York Camp & Retreat Ministries, in conjunction with the Episcopal Office and the Order of Deacons, will host the Conference's first Confirmation Retreat for youth who are preparing for the sacramental rites of confirmation, reception or reaffirmation of their baptismal vows.
The Confirmation Retreat will take place on Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21, 2015, and be held simultaneously at Asbury, Casowasco, Findley, and Sky Lake
Camp & Retreat centers.
Using technology, participants at all four sites will also have several opportunities to interact with each other and to connect live with Bishop Mark J. Webb.

 Confirmation Retreat 2015 will include times of worship, learning, and fellowship that are specifically designed to offer youth a chance to encounter God in new ways with peers who are at similar points in their faith journeys.

 As participants will come from confirmation classes throughout Upper New York, this retreat will also be an excellent opportunity for young people to learn about the connectional nature of The United Methodist Church firsthand.

 Churches should register participants in their confirmation classes. Registration will open Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Watch the Conference website for more information.
Nominations for Conference leadership posts now being accepted
The Upper New York Conference Nominations & Leadership Development Team is seeking gifted, passionate and committed women and men to serve on various
Conference committees, boards, commissions and teams, and has developed an application form for those who are interested in being considered.
If you are experiencing a call to serve Christ, the Church and/or your community in this way, please complete and return the form. You will bless many as you serve.  
Download and complete this form and submit it via email to unynominations@unyumc.org.  
2014-15 Charge Conference Forms are now available

The Charge Conference Forms for 2014-15 are now available online. This year, all forms (except the statistical forms) are in one place with one address:

As in years past, there are several ways to get to the forms, and those remain as they have been; for instance, you can go to the homepage of the Conference website, click on Tools & Resources, then click on Forms.

The first item on the page will be a 2014-15 Annual Form Checklist. Please print this out and use as a checklist of forms completed.

If you have any questions about Charge Conference forms, please contact your district office
Still time to register for Tending the Fire(8/4/14)
There is still time to register for the 2014 Tending the Fire training. This retreat-based training is focused on helping clergy meet the challenges they face as leaders by helping them to understand the dynamics of the interpersonal relationships in their churches and in their lives. Retreats will be Sept. 23-25, 2014, Nov. 11-13, 2014 and Feb. 10-12, 2015 at Casowasco Camp and Retreat Center.
Read the story/register
See the brochure   .
Register now for Hand to Plow Phase 1; begins October 2014(7/17/14)
The next cycle of Phase 1 of the Hand to Plow church revitalization process will launch in October 2014, and registration is open now. Phase 1 is the first year of the process in which clergy and laity gather for peer learning; clergy for nine sessions and laity for five sessions.
The Rev. Richelle Goff describes how Hand to Plow has helped Auburn UMC, which has completed Phase 2.
"It was almost as if they (Hand to Plow consultants) were able to hold a mirror up to our church;" it helped the congregation better see "things we knew, but we didn't know."
Click the link to learn more or to register. DETAILS
Ministry News from the Schenectady area (6/9/14)
[Every Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Hamilton Hill Clergy prayer gathering] (Contact Rev. Heise rev.david61@verizon.net for weekly locations)