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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.


    Safe Haven Congregations

    Safe Haven Congregations are local churches among United Methodists of Upper New York equipped to offer radical hospitality to anyone whose church closes or has chosen to disaffiliate or close. Regardless of our theological leaning, as United Methodists, we are all encouraged to follow the example in Acts 2 of the community of Jesus’ followers caring for each other – a diverse community that is ready to receive unity as a gift from God.

    Safe Haven Congregations are places where people can find a place to belong for a season, a year, or a lifetime.

    To apply to be a Safe Haven Congregation, click here to complete this form to be considered for this ministry. Safe Haven Congregations should excel in hospitality and be equipped to welcome and walk with people coming from disaffiliated or closed congregations.

     Safe Haven Congregations will:

    1. Provide a welcoming place to belong during this time of grief and transition, which might be for just a season or for a lifetime. This includes a safe space with caring relationships, listening hearts, and unconditional love within a congregation that is confident it is remaining in The United Methodist Church.
      1. Provide all forms of pastoral and laity-driven care.
      2. This may also include providing physical space for “Remnant” groups to gather as they consider what it looks like to stay together.
    2. Offer ministry opportunities in which to engage – or not. There will be no pressure.
      1. Worship: Providing worship opportunities, whether online or in person. These services will intentionally engage and welcome new people into their midst. They will also include the sacraments of communion and baptism.
      2. Discipleship: Creating space to learn and grow through small group gatherings, Bible studies, and prayer opportunities.
      3. Mission: Inviting fellow United Methodists into opportunities to serve through hands-on ministries. These might include anything that involves making a difference and sharing the love of God with others.
    3. Organize local Remaining UMC groups by proactively finding and connecting with individuals and groups displaced by disaffiliating churches.
    4. Connect individuals or groups with Conference and District resources to help them discern their next steps as they consider a new church home.

    Safe Haven Congregations will be there for you during this transition, whether you are an individual or a group of people who have become displaced or churchless because of closing or disaffiliation. As you consider what is next, specific pathways you may choose will continue to emerge as the Conference, Districts, and local churches come together to be The Connection at its best.

    We see you. We love you. We care about you. We're here for you.

    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."