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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    about / UNY COVID-19 Response

    Coronavirus FAQs

    Will the Upper New York Annual Conference happen as planned?

    Due to the ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Thursday, April 2, Upper New York Area Resident Bishop, Mark J. Webb, after consulting with the Sessions Committee and the executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, recommended to the Upper New York Cabinet that the Upper New York Annual Conference session, originally scheduled for May 28 – 30, 2020, be postponed. This recommendation was approved unanimously. 

    October 3, 2020, a date previously reserved for a potential Special Session of Annual Conference, will now be the 2020 Session of the Upper New York Annual Conference. This one-day session will allow the necessary business of the Annual Conference, as outlined in the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, to be cared for. In addition, the 2020 Clergy session will be held in the afternoon of Friday, October 2, 2020, followed by the Service of Commissioning and Ordination that evening.

    Regarding the decision, Bishop Webb said, “The decision to postpone the Annual Conference session is not an easy one and is disappointing. However, we believe it is the most responsible decision to make in this time in order to protect the safety of those who would attend, the individuals who would have served us and the community at large. Please, keep the Sessions Committee, the executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Conference staff in your prayers, as they help us navigate this change.”

    Over the next few days and weeks, more information will be made available related to logistics of this change.

    Should I be doing or participating in Holy Communion at church?

    The decision is up to each individual church whether or not to offer Holy Communion during services. Click here to access additional resources to address concerns related to the risk of infection if sharing the Lord’s Supper.

    Should my church be doing more to safely clean and disinfect our sanctuary to prevent the spread of the COVID-19?

    Many common household disinfectants and daily cleaning are effective in removing germs that make people sick. Click here to review guidelines for proper disinfecting to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    What should my church do with regards to weddings, baptisms, and funerals with all the COVID-19 restrictions in place?

    To prevent the spread of the virus, there are limitations on how many people should gather at one time while still maintaining the 6 feet space restrictions between individuals. Click here to read some guidelines when it comes to these important social gatherings. Click here to read guidelines regarding funerals from the Office of New York Govenor Andrew Cuomo.

    I have a group meeting coming up where I will be in close contact with others. Are there any alternatives to meeting in person?

    The UNY Conference strongly recommends that team meetings and other gatherings scheduled at the United Methodist Center be rescheduled or shifted to an online meeting platform. Click here for more information on how to use Zoom.

    What if my church makes the decision to close. Is there a way to way to live-stream Sunday service and still reach my congregation?

    Consider recording your sermon and posting it on your website or Facebook. You could also live stream your sermon or even a full worship service, but use caution when live streaming to avoid using copyrighted music, video, or images within my live stream or recorded event. Even if you have the rights to use them within your church, you may not have the same rights to use them online or within videos. Click here for information about live streaming and licensing.

    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 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."