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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Legacy Ministry Consultation Process

    A Legacy Ministry Consultation will take different forms and happen in different ways depending upon on each local congregation’s needs and questions. A typical process goes something like this:

    When contacted by the clergy and lay representatives of a local congregation the Legacy Consultant would ask to see ahead of time:

    • The most recent church appointment profile
    • Mission Insite demographic data, if available
    • The results of a self-study process, if one has been done
    • Any other helpful information such as problems in the church’s past, merger conversations, recent discussions about its future, etc.
    • The consultant would likely talk with the district superintendent about any plans the annual conference or district envision for the church/community.

    At the initial meeting with the congregation:

    • The Legacy Consultant will briefly describe the Legacy Church ministry and its goals and aims.
    • Mainly, the Legacy Consultant will want to hear from the congregation; its story, its hopes, dreams, fears, and concerns.
    • The Legacy Consultant will lead the congregation in conversation and guided discussion until the congregation is ready to make a decision. This may require more than one meeting. It is important that there is broad agreement (though not necessarily unanimous) among the congregation’s leadership.
    • If the congregation prefers to not continue with the Legacy process, the consultant will refer the church back to the District Superintendent to discuss other strategies and ideas for its future

    If the congregation wants become a Legacy Church and move towards faithful closure, the Legacy Consultant will “walk along side” of the church and assist in contacting the necessary conference bodies such as Board of Trustees, the District Committee on Church Building & Location, or others as needed.

    The Legacy Consultant can guide the congregation is determining its legacy (i.e. how its assets will be employed after closure) and can assist the pastor in planning a final, closing worship service.

    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."