Over 2000 years ago, Jesus invited others to join him in a movement that would change the world. United Methodists in Upper New York are committed to being a part of that movement. We believe the truth within the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world and that God’s plan for that good news to be proclaimed within the world is through the local church. Below are the key statements that guide our participation in God’s movement and demonstrate our desire to join the work of God already begun. We invite you to join us!
Mission is the work God gives us to do. The mission of The United Methodist Church is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
Vision is a picture of the world God intends as we live out our mission. The vision of The Upper New York Conference is “to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be God’s love with our neighbors in all places.”
Purpose is the way we do our work. The purpose of The Upper New York Conference is “partnering to increase the vitality of existing congregations and create New Faith Communities by discovering, developing and deploying Christ-following transformational leaders."
As we join in the movement of Jesus and seek to fulfill our mission, vision and purpose, the primary tasks of the Upper New York Annual Conference are to:
- Discover, develop, and deploy Christ-following transformational clergy and lay leadership so that our congregations will joyfully and faithfully live out the vision of UNY.
- Resource leaders in our local churches with effective tools and practices for effective disciple-making in the 21st century, and reforming the church for vitality, relevance, and fruitfulness.
- Nurture a planting culture where people are recognizing the movement of the Spirit in their neighborhoods to plant new communities of faith; and provide the training, support and resources needed for people to plant new, sustainable communities of faith.
- Align resources to support the purpose of the Conference and implement a system of accountability for mission and ministry at all levels.
- Communicate how we share a common mission as United Methodist Christians in the 21st century.
Faithful and fruitful movements have clarity on key terms and expectations. Through conversations at district gatherings, small group gatherings and periods of discernment and prayer, we believe for this season the following definitions provide clarity and accountability for who we are called to be and what it means to fully live out our mission, vision, and purpose as followers of Jesus Christ.
Disciple - A Disciple of Jesus Christ is a person who:
- Confesses faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord
- Is continually transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit
- Seeks accountability to grow spiritually and missionally
- Boldly connects with the world around them while dismantling all forms of oppression and building up marginalized communities
- Proclaims the Good News of Jesus Christ
- Participates with God to make other disciples
Christ Following Transformational Leader - A Christ Following Transformational Leader is a disciple of Jesus Christ who leads transformation by:
- Fostering a culture for people to be open and available to the work of the Holy Spirit
- Understanding the gifts and needs of their ministry setting
- Equipping a disciple-making culture
- Discovering, developing, deploying, and leading new and existing leaders
- Inspiring and equipping others for works of evangelism, justice, and mercy
- Building a culture of transformation that will outlast the leader
- Creating, leading, and empowering a system of accountability to the mission
Vital Congregation - A vital congregation is:
- Inwardly transformed and outwardly focused
- Spirit-filled, forward leaning communities of disciples
- Grow, both numerically and spiritually over time
- Welcome all people (Galatians 3.28)
- Serve the world radically like Christ, through life-changing ministry and mission that build up the community of faith and transform lives and social conditions in the community and world (Micah 6:8 and Luke 4:17-21)
- Joins God in the work that God is already doing
- Have powerful stories, measurable fruitfulness and life changing ministries
- Inviting and inspiring worship
- New and growing Disciples
- Active Accountable Discipleship Groups (i.e. Classes and Bands)
- Engaged Disciples in mission and outreach
- Generous giving