District Newsletter



Albany District Newsletter
December 4, 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
Please keep the family of the Rev. Alice Hobbs, retired, in your prayers. Rev. Hobbs died Dec. 2, 2014. 
Before retiring in 2001, she served churches in Rexford, Port Henry, Moriah and Crown Point. From 2011 to 2012, she served as coordinating pastor at the Crown Point UMC. 
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, at the First United Methodist Church in Ticonderoga
A Celebraation of Life service is also planned for Dec. 20 at the Amsterdam UMC at 1:00 PM;
Cards can be sent to David Hobbs, 13 Fourth Ave., Apt. A, Amsterdam, N.Y. 12010.

Please keep the Rev. Robert and Beverly Boston in your prayers. The Boston’s are now both in nursing care; Mrs. Boston is in hospice care. Rev. Boston served churches in Troy and Schenectady among others before retiring in 1998. They would appreciate hearing from their colleagues. Cards and words of encouragement can be sent to them at the Ellis Health Center, 600 McClellan St., Room 304, Schenectady, N.Y. 13204.
Please Keep Mildred Mason in your prayers as she deal with health issues, Millie had a seizure on November 27 and is going thru testing to insure continued healing and health. 
Continued prayers for….
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. 
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.  
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.
ForKathy 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. 
ForPastor 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
Media Resource Center Newsletter (Please click on the link)
Please make use of this resource, this is your Ministries Shares at work;   Newsletter Link
Living Well is an opportunity for churches to deepen discipleship while reaching out to your neighborhood and larger community. Would you like to start a Living Well Ministry in your church or community?   ...Or just learn about providing practical help to seniors, adults and teens while deepening your own faith?
The program has been approved for ten continuing education hours for lay servant in our UNYUMC conference.  Please forward this to others in your church or community who may be interested.
Our new website at www.FindingMoreLove.org offers a training program, other resources an opportunities for collaboration.


New Items

As you are all aware by now, the building that houses the Refugee and Immigrant Settlement Services of Emmaus (RISSE) program at the Emmaus United Methodist Church, suffered significant damage due to an early morning fire on, Dec. 2, 2014. The Rev. Rich Weihing, Albany District Superintendent, would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers and love for RISSE and those it has affected. 
Many of you have asked what you can do, at this time we need to wait, the District Office will keep you informed about what RISSE will need and when, as RISSE assesses their needs. Expression of caring and support can be sent to: EMMAUS UMC, 715 Morris St, Albany NY 12208 or call the church office at 518-482-0486. Again Rev. Weihing thanks you and asks that you keep the prayers coming.
New - Church Mutual Visits
Church Mutual has been visiting churches in our area; we know there are some churches that have not yet been visited.    
If your church HAS NOT HAD a visit by Church Mutual yet, you should contact their representative (on the policy) and schedule an appointment.
New - AUMS
Thank you to all in Albany District who helped us provide for Thanksgiving turkey baskets for 220 families in West Hill.
AUMS Christmas; We invite donations of Christmas toys for youth 12yo and under delivered to AUMS office (340 First St, Albany) on or before Friday December 19 (for distribution Christmas week). Gift certificates from area stores in $20 increments for 13-17 year olds are also requested.
We also seek donations of adult gifts - to be selected by youth for their caregivers at our Christmas store on December 17.  Deadline for these donations: Monday December 15; Inquiries (518) 432-0818. Thank you.  
New - Urban ministry in Schenectady:
In support of St. Joseph’s Place, an outreach ministry at 837 Albany Street, Schenectady, provided by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, we are looking for donations of Children’s Bibles, Good News Bibles, and New Testament Bibles.   If you are interested in this outreach to the inner city you are invited to stop by for a visit.
I have been working with a Hispanic Pastor in Schenectady.   His ministry involves support for inmates as they prepare to re-enter society upon release from the Schenectady County Jail.   To help support their re-entry a book entitled “Houses of Healing,” A Prisoner’s Guide to Inner Power and Freedom” authored by Robin Casarjian is part of the support being provided to these inmates – English and Spanish versions are available.  
If your mission outreach would be interested in helping provide this book to inmates, please contact Rev. Heise for more details.
During this time of the year there is always need for warm winter clothing, especially socks, mittens and hats. As a reminder, places like City Mission, SICM (Schenectady Inner City Ministry), St. Joesph’s Place, Bethesda House, Salvation Army are all places looking for donations.
Thank-you in advance for the many ways that you can help in this ministry;   Any questions or thoughts give me a call 518/428-3124 or send me an E-mail     rev.david61@verizon.net
God Bless,   David Heise
November 2014
Since what I call Day Two, of the floods from Hurricane in August 2011, I have been working with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). One of my tasks was to be sure those known to be working with us, and the number of hours worked were recorded. Those hours are seen by FEMA as “in kind” which means they would count as donations toward the local match for FEMA funding (for things like roads, bridges etc.) There were hundreds of volunteers and hours of service which were not recorded, but the hours and teams listed here were recorded through UMCOR. UMCOR has provided volunteers (by linking those of many faiths to Middleburgh as a Mission Site) as well as provided funds for repair materials.
As of November 1, 2014, we have hosted 438 UMCOR sponsored teams. Some teams were as small as two persons; some as large as forty or more. They numbered 38,044 volunteers and the number of hours worked stands at 304,352. These hours translated to “in kind” donation of $6,391,392 (based on $21 per hour , which is below the FEMA figure allowable) Some of the teams came for the day, some came and lived at the church for a week or more at a time. They came from as far away as Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Florida………….and from as close as places like Valley Falls, Burnt Hills, Newtonville, Voorheesville, Averill Park, East Greenbush,, Scotia, Schenectady, Troy and around the corner ( Middleburgh, Breakabeen and Berne.). Ninety two properties received some sort of assistance from the most minimal of attention to extensive rebuild. Those properties reflect in excess of 260 persons.. 
When I spoke about those volunteers who were from “close by” (if you consider as much as 85 miles close by). These are my special heroes. Every single volunteer from in or out of our community has been a blessing.. But this crew of Volunteers in Mission…..by their consistent unwavering commitment to us, have stood as a constant reminder that healing and renewal are possible. They have been here since Day Two..EVERY Monday..sometimes every day. They eat in local restaurants, do business with local merchants…They have come to know us and we to know them. They have been the joy in the midst of sorrow, and the “something good” that we can always find in the midst of life’s worst moments. Where ever the road of life takes them...or us...we will forever be a part of each other.
Our prayers for our “special hero’s” are that they know good health, great joy and much peace. Our prayer for us is that we prove to be the same hero’s for someone else that they have been for us!
 All God’s blessings from R. Carol Coltrain and the citizens of Middleburgh

On Going News Articles (Conference and District)

Save the Date for Albany District’s “Zany” Afternoon
Save these dates; 8 February 2015 with snow date of 22 February 2015
Laity and Clergy will gather for “Zany”   afternoon, watch for more details. “Y’all Come”
A Shared Sabbath
To Active Pastors, Retired Pastors, Pastors on Extension Ministries, and Candidates
Thursday, December 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Newtonville UMC. We welcome the Rev. Meredith Vanderminden who will share leadership with DS Rich Weihing during our time together.
Because this is one of your busiest seasons I want to offer you an opportunity to seek rest and renewal together. Our theme will be “Watching and Waiting”. We will start with worship at 10:00 a.m., followed by discussion and fellowship. Come for whatever amount you are able - it is fine to leave at any point. If you can stay into the lunch hour, please bring something to eat. Beverages will be provided. 
Albany District Youth Ministries
There is a lot of exciting things happening in youth ministry in our area. We are trying as a district and a conference to increase our numbers at youth events this year. Mark your calendars for these upcoming events.
January 11th from 4-7pm: We will be having a winter beach party. There will be food games and music. Come in appropriate beach attire or just come as you are. This event is a free event that is being hosted by Jonesville United Methodist Church. This event is open to youth in grades 6-12. You can respond to Debbylac@yahoo.com with your ages and numbers of youth attending.
February 27th-28th from 7:00-12:00 noon: Registration will open at 6:30pm. This is our annual Project Jesus gathering. This will be held at First United Methodist Church at East Greenbush. There will be food, games, workshops, worship, music and late night options. This event will be $30. The theme is: “The best things in life aren’t things.” Register your youth group at Debbylac@yahoo.com.
Upword will be held in Liverpool April 24th-26th. Wayne Kerr will be performing a concert at this event as well as many other exciting things.
May 16th from 9:00-2:30pm at Rotterdam UMC will be a youth leader training. This event is for adults. We will have food, worship, music and a speaker. This event is to motivate, excite, and energize youth leaders. This will give you a chance to network and learn some new things. This is appropriate for people looking to start a youth group as well as for people that have been in youth ministry for years. Come and enjoy the fun.
December 29th 2015 at 6:30pm at Colonie Center, no this is not a typo; this event is planned for a year from now. We will eat and have a scavenger hunt in the mall. This will then be followed up with games and an overnight at Calvary UMC in Latham. What a great chance to have fun on winter break.
United Methodist Women of Albany District Make Contribution to “Imagine No Malaria”
I want to thank the UMW of Albany District for the work you do on behalf of the district. The many missions that you support shows how you can make a difference. The women of the Albany District are keeping our World Wide and Local connection alive and I want to personally thank you – Rich
This is a copy of the letter I received at the district office from Bishop Bickerton, also thanking you for your generous contribution.
Dear Albany District of Upper New York Conference,
Thank you for your gift of $ 491.00 to Imagine No Malaria supporting the United Methodist Church's commitment to eliminate malaria as a major source of death and suffering in Africa by 2015. Your support serves as an example of how we are living Christ’s call to heal the sick and help those in need.
Imagine No Malaria includes continued bed net distributions, community education programs with medical outreach training, radio communications programs reaching remote areas with vital information, and programs that strengthen clinics and hospitals to better diagnose and treat malaria.
Thank you for your generosity. Please continue to pray for our work and those we serve.
Peace and Joy!
Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton
Chair, UMC Global Health Initiative
Confirmation Retreat registration now open
Youth who are preparing for confirmation are invited to register now for the Conference's first Confirmation Retreat. 
The Confirmation Retreat will take place on Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21, 2015, and be held simultaneously at AsburyCasowascoFindley, 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.
Transportation will be available from centralized locations within the Northern Flow, Adirondack and Albany districts to Sky Lake and Casowasco. Information will be forthcoming.
Click here to register.

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. 
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.