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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    mission

    Conference Advance Specials

    What is an Advance Special?

    The Advance Special began in 1948 and is an official church program for voluntary financial giving. Through the Advance Special, United Methodist individuals and groups support specific, approved mission programs or personnel with their financial gifts. Click here for additional information on the Advance, including different projects, missions, or ministries.


    Africa University Endowed Scholarships #300 
    Anti-Poverty Initiative (University UMC: Syracuse) #904
    Beechwood Continuing Care/Pastoral Care #3124
    Brown Memorial UMC: Syracuse #910
    Campership Fund #912
    Chautauqua County Rural Ministry, Inc. #916 
    The Children’s Center for the Common Good #972

    Gary Bergh Scholarship (Task Force on Peace with Justice in Palestine and Israel) #932
    Haiti Partnership #936 
    Mission Central UNY HUB #951
    Native American Mission, Onondaga Nation UMC #948
    Native American Outreach/Transportation Program #950
    New Places for New People (New Faith Communities) #664
    Protestant Cooperative Ministry at Cornell #958
    Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus (RISSE) #423
    Seneca Street UMC: Buffalo #964

    UMCOR Kits Shipment Dollars #974
    Volunteers in Mission Scholarship Fund #988
    Watertown Urban Mission #990


    Africa University Endowed Scholarships #300 

    As the Upper New York Annual Conference came together, Bishop Marcus Matthews called a team together to help raise awareness and one million dollars to permanently endow eight scholarships to Africa University. Under the leadership of Shirley Drake Byers, the team worked for several years to raise that awareness and those funds. Over the years the first four scholarships have been named for those who have been strong supporters of Africa University and the scholarship fund. In 2021, through the generous donations and the interest gained by the fund, the million-dollar goal was reached, and the additional four scholarships will be named at this year’s Annual Conference. 

    Funds are still being collected in the anticipation that more scholarships will be made available to students and the scholarships named into the future. Churches and individuals can help support the scholarship program through this advance special. 

    Fundraising Goal: $2,000 

    Contact Info:

    Rev. Jeff Childs
    5164 St. Rt. 89
    Romulus, NY 14541
    Phone: (315) 729-4464
    Email: revchilds@hotmail.com

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    Anti-Poverty Initiative (University UMC: Syracuse) #904 

    University UMC: Syracuse University Church in Syracuse, New York has, in many ways, redefined itself to meet the needs of nearby residents, the City of Syracuse, and its congregation throughout the pandemic and the residual effects of this crisis. University UMC's outreach efforts have increased exponentially and strives daily to meet the diverse needs of all Syracuse City residents.  

    At the core of everything University UMC does, their mission of “Feeding God’s people body, mind and spirit.” In a very literal interpretation of their mission, within University Methodist Church they include an Interfaith Food Center that provides Emergency Foods and services to 1000 people each and every week. The Food Center @ 324 University Ave. is a model site created by the Food Bank of CNY and University UMC. Neighbor food pantries joined University UMC in creating an Emergency Food Access site for all Syracuse city residents which includes: diverse food distributions, to-go hot meal distributions, to-go breakfast distributions at 2 separate sites simultaneously, free clothing/outerwear access, baby diaper/supply distributions, personal hygiene access, pet food distributions, vaccine (COVID and Flu) distributions, health assessments, health information and medical appointment securing, voter registration, census participation, teaching/internship and field work opportunities for area university students.  

    As University UMC is called to support Syracuse city and its residents in COVID recovery, they consider themselves fortunate to have a committed, interfaith, intergenerational volunteer work force, food from the Food Bank to feed many, a network of generous and mindful supporters, and a physical home that is bound to their efforts and to the people of Syracuse.  

    Pictured is the The Food Center @ 324 University Ave. University United Methodist Church, Syracuse, NY Emergency Food Distribution work crew (inclusive of Outreach & Food Center Coordinator, Galyn Murphy-Stanley) taken in October 2021.

    Pictured is University UMC To-Go Sunday Community Breakfast distribution work crew (inclusive of Pastor Alicia Wood) taken in July 2021.  

    Fundraising Goal: $10,000     

    Contact Info: 

    Galyn Murphy-Stanley
    University United Methodist Church
    1085 East Genesee St.
    Syracuse, NY 13210
    Phone: (315) 475-7277
    Email: outreach@uumcsyracuse.org  
    Website: uumcsyracuse.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/UUMCSyracuse   

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    Beechwood Continuing Care/Pastoral Care #3124 

    Beechwood and its Pastoral Care Department maintain a comprehensive program of care that addresses the spiritual needs of the diverse, interfaith, resident community. Beechwood is exploring creative ways of providing spiritual care in the new, and continually growing, Culture Change movement of which Beechwood and the Welcome Home center in Western New York. Residents live in households, sharing a kitchen, dining and living rooms, in addition to enjoying their individual bedrooms with private baths – smelling the aroma of food cooking; hearing the sounds of dishwasher, washer and dryer – just as they did in their own homes. This way of living opens so many new possibilities for Bible studies, chaplain chats, worship, and other celebrations. Please join Beechwood in breaking new pastoral ground! 

    The full-time Director of Pastoral Care/Chaplain provides supportive, compassionate, spiritual care in the day-to-day as well as crisis times – for residents, their families, and staff. In addition, the chaplain supervises the in-facility work of pastoral volunteers and non-employee clergy – Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish. 

    Fundraising Goal: $2,000        

    Contact Info:  

    Rev. Ken Keenan, Chaplain
    2235 Millersport Hwy.
    Getzville, NY 14068 
    Phone: (716) 810-7109 
    Email: kgkeenan3@gmail.com 

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    Brown Memorial UMC: Syracuse #910 

    Brown Memorial is a mission church in the Conference, located on the Near Westside of Syracuse. The 13204-zip code is one of the poorest zip codes in the United States. The neighborhood is known for its cultural diversity, low homeownership, high transiency, poor graduation rate from high school, high poverty, illiteracy, drug/alcohol abuse, and crime (75% of shots fired calls in Syracuse are in our zip code.) 

    The church’s mission statement is to “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.” Brown Memorial UMC does this by offering a free community meal every Sunday at 3:00 p.m. (cooked and served by multiple congregational partners). Dinner is designed to build connection with the community. The weekly worship is held immediately following dinner on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. Browm Memorial UMC offers homework help on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and the church upgraded its Wi-Fi during the pandemic to create a space for children to access the internet for homework purposes. Brown Memorial UMC has hosted Lay Servant training, National Grid fairs, a clothing closet, and multiple small groups. They fund the community food pantry, legal aid, AA, NA, and the facility is used as a community resource. 

    The pandemic has been especially hard for Brown Memorial UMC. Pre-COVID, the congregation had grown to 45 people in their Sunday worship celebrations. Post-COVID, the congregation is now 12 to 15. Brown Memorial continues to serve between 75 and 140 people every week at their community meals – but COVID restrictions required them to serve “take-out” only. In April 2022, Brown Memorial resumed their dine-in meals. There have been two dozen children in the tutoring programs and nearly 25 adults and youth in the life skills groups. 

    Brown Memorial hosts mission groups, confirmation classes, youth groups, and VIM teams who are looking for local mission opportunities. They partner with the Syracuse United Methodist Ministries for winter break “Safe Space” for kids and other city-wide projects. 

    Fundraising Goal: $8,000 

    Contact Info:

    Rev. Dr. B.J. Norrix
    228 Davis Street
    Syracuse, NY 13204  
    Phone: (315) 726-2815 or the church (315) 478-5074
    Email: bjnorrix@gmail.com 

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    Campership Fund #912 

    Camp and Retreat Ministry creates environments of Christian hospitality and learning designed to help people affirm and expand their faith in God, learn spiritual practices of Christian discipleship, grow in wisdom and in healthy self-esteem, establish lifestyles of loving interdependence with one another and all God's creation, and develop as spiritual leaders who serve to enhance the common good. 

    The campership fund enables children coming from families who cannot afford to pay the full amount of the summer camp fee, to receive a campership from the annual conference for the purpose of attending one week of summer camp at one of our conference owned facilities: Aldersgate, Asbury, Casowasco, Skye Farm, and Sky Lake.  

    Fundraising Goal: $12,000 

    Contact Info:

    Shari Mudge
    7481 Henry Clay Blvd.
    Liverpool, NY 13088 
    Phone: (315) 898-2026 
    Email: sharimudge@unyumc.org 
    Website: www.unyumc.org

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    Chautauqua County Rural Ministry, Inc. #916 

    Chautauqua County Rural Ministry, Inc (CCRM) began in the mid-1950’s and is an interfaith, non-denominational human service agency based on the belief that all people are deserving of adequate food, clothing, shelter and work opportunity by which to acquire basic needs. CCRM encourages self-determination and development, empowering clients to become contributing members of society. Currently operating 15 programs, which includes a soup kitchen, emergency food pantry, thrift store, book shop, gleaning project, food recovery program, advocacy, community gardens, cooking and nutrition workshops, Furniture Gallery, Nourish NY Food Distribution Program, Thanksgiving Holiday Program, Christmas Gift and Food Baskets, Muriel’s Closet (a higher end thrift store), Seed Starting Program, Emergency Housing Crisis, and Supervised Visitation Program. Below are some statistics for the programs for the year 2021.

    • Friendly Kitchen – 38,974 meals served
    • Emergency Food Pantry/Nourish NY Program – 174,732 meals distributed 
    • Gleaning Project: gleaned 42,030 pounds of food that otherwise would have been left in the fields to waste
    • Cooking and Nutrition Workshops – held 12 Cooking and Nutrition workshops to assist families in eating healthy foods
    • Food Recovery Program: received 159,000 pounds of food through local businesses, academic institutions and private donations which were in turn offered to those in our community as well as other emergency food relief organizations.
    • Thanksgiving Holiday Program – provided 155 families with a Thanksgiving basket
    • Christmas Gift and Food Baskets – provided 250 children with gifts and 175 families with a Christmas basket
    • Supervised Visitation Program – this program provides supervision of families whose children are in foster care with the hopes that the families can be reunited if it is in the best interest of the children. In 2021, CCRM supervised over 40 families whose children were in the foster care system.
    • Seed starting program – provided 50 families with seeds or plants for their own home use
    • Emergency Housing Crisis – sheltered 23 families that were in homeless status or suffering a housing crisis 

    CCRM is supported by New York State Department of Health which provides a portion of the salaries for 6 of the 9 staff, which allows donations to go into direct service. CCRM’s management and fundraising costs is .03%. Other supporters include local churches, individuals from the community, and United Way of Northern Chautauqua County. 

    In 2018, CCRM moved to 319 Washington Avenue in Dunkirk so all of the programs are located in one site. CCRM is overseen by a board of directors consisting of up to 18 members who assist in fundraising and policy making. The goal is to give a “hand up, not a hand out.” COVID – 19 was very challenging, however, all of the emergency programs were kept open as staff were considered essential workers. 

    Fundraising Goal: $3,000       

    Contact Info:

    Kathleen G. Peterson 
    127 Central Ave.
    P.O. Box 362
    Dunkirk, NY 14048
    Phone: (716) 366-1787
    Email: ccrmkp@gmail.com 

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    The Children’s Center for the Common Good #972 

    The Children’s Center for the Common Good™ has as its primary ministry an Internet radio station and missional web site ministry, www.commongoodradio.org.  This website and radio ministry is devoted to the goals of arts as valid expression of faith; that expression claiming fruits of the spirit. The Center uses media as a tool with this aim in mind reaching children and families, demonstrating good, faithful practices of media and its messages. This missional ministry uses digital tools of communication to be a presence for and with children and their families in a media saturated culture. They lift diverse styles of music, sounds of voices and interpretations of God’s amazing love. Music and arts as valid faith expression contributes to the well-being of our lives in community. 

    Common Good Radio™ (CGR) invites children to the unique experience of speaking their faith through Common Good Radio Club™ where they are invited to create digital media. This creation process contributes to the programming of the Common Good Radio project by affirming and nurturing leadership, public speaking, and critical thinking skills in children as it builds loving character, faithful disciples and persons who are encouraged to speak God's presence into their life experience contributing to the common good. By creating media, children and families are embracing media literacy skills that enable them to participate in a media culture with a lens of faith. As a result, we all listen to the children. Galatians 5:22 and 1 Corinthians 12:7 are some of the scriptural and theological inspirations for this spirit driven ministry.  Presentations at your church are available. By partnering with CGR you do your part to stand in faithful resistance to the exploitation of children in a consumer and media driven culture. 

    Fundraising Goal: $2,000        

    Contact Info:  

    Rev. Dr. Robin Blair
    5164 St. Rt 89
    Romulus, NY 14541 
    Phone: (315) 729-4485 
    Email: revrobinblair@gmail.com
    Website: www.commongoodradio.org 

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    Gary Bergh Scholarship (Task Force on Peace with Justice in Palestine and Israel) #932 

    The Gary Bergh Scholarship is intended to increase contact with and awareness of life in Palestine/Israel. “We join with Palestinian Christians as well as our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters in feeling a deep sense of rootedness to the land that has special meaning for our three religious traditions.” The purpose of the Gary Bergh Scholarship Fund is to further the United Methodist stance that, “We seek for all people in the region an end to military occupation, freedom from violence, and full respect for the human rights of all under international law.” 

    The preceding quotes from Res.  #6073 in the 2008 Book of Resolutions are echoed in spirit by the 2016 Holy Land Tours Res. #6031, found in the 2016 Book of Resolutions.  In addition, the 2021 UNY “Because We Care” petition urges all to “come and see.” 

    This purpose will be advanced by a) sending young adults, (though not limited to that age group) on trips to Palestine/Israel to witness the situation there. And b) sending young adults to attend U.S. conferences related to Palestine/Israel, in which their awareness of peace and justice issues will be increased. 

    After their trip or conference, scholarship recipients will be expected to make presentations to United Methodists and to other faith and community groups/Congressional offices.  This will give more people an exposure to the current situation and allow ideas and actions toward peace and justice to move forward. 

    The Reverend Gary Bergh had been active in peace and justice issues for many of his 36 years in the ministry. The scholarship was created upon his death in 2007 to honor his passion for peace and justice and with the hope of sparking the next generation. 

    When Gary Bergh visited Bethany in January 2006, the wall that now separates it from Jerusalem was under construction. Loui Alawawda, whose family hosted Gary, explained how the wall separates the village from commerce and services, including medical. Shortly after this picture was taken, the wall was extended to where Gary and Loui were standing.  Gary hoped that young people in the UNY Conference could meet young Palestinians like Loui to break the isolation felt by the creation of the wall.  The Gary Bergh Scholarship Fund will carry out the dream. 

    Fundraising Goal: $2,000 

    Contact and scholarship applications:

    Karen Peterson
    116 Greenridge Dr.
    Horseheads, NY 14845
    Phone: (607) 739-3141
    Email: dpeterson1@stny.rr.com      

    Linda Bergh
    116 Edna Road
    Syracuse, NY 13205
    Phone: (315) 492-8507
    Email: lindagarybergh@gmail.com

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    Haiti Partnership #936 

    The Haiti Partnership is a partnership between churches in the Upper New York Conference and the Susquehanna Conference and the Methodist Church of Haiti. This partnership began in 1995 by the Wyoming Conference. Although, due to the pandemic and current civil unrest in Haiti, the Haiti Partnership has not been able to send VIM teams in recent times, but they have been able to continue their support of the many missions to the people of Haiti. The Haiti Partnership has sent several thousand dollars in earthquake relief, following the August 14, 2021 earthquake in SW Haiti. They have also been able to send support to the Leon circuit in the SW to aid with transportation for lay ministry, support for the Leon School, and to provide a discretionary fund for the Methodist Superintendent so he can provide some much-needed aid and relief. Your donations also provide ongoing support to the Hermitage School that was built in 2005-06, enabling dozens of children to attend school who otherwise could not afford to do so. 

    The goal for the Haiti Partnership Advance Special #936 this year is $10,000, which will enable them to continue to do all of the above and, once the country reopens to Volunteer in Mission teams, will provide project money for each team. 

    Pictured is the Hermitage Methodist School students with school supplies.

     

    Also pictured is a motorcycle purchased so lay pastors in the Leon Circuit can ride to their churches in remote villages all supported by the Haiti Partnership.

    Fundraising Goal: $10,000 

    Contact Info:  

    Roger G. Richards
    733 Partridge Place
    Endwell NY 13760
    Phone: (607) 761-7340 
    Email: rrichards52@gmail.com
    Website: www.haitipartnership.com    

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    Mission Central UNY HUB #951 

    In partnership with Mission Central of the Susquehanna Conference, the UNY Mission Central HUB helps our local churches bring hope and assistance across the Northeast and around the world. It is a resource for becoming the hands and feet of God in service.  

    The UNY Mission Central HUB not only assembles cleaning, hygiene, and school kits, but also is engaged in many other ministries such as blessing boxes, ramp building, training the Volunteers in Mission and the Early Response Team, and so much more. The UNY HUB is supported solely by donations. Your church or group can help fill and drop off Cleaning, Hygiene, or Menstrual Hygiene "Period Pack"  Kits.  

    Fundraising Goal: $10,000

    Contact Info:  

    Kristina Clark
    7481 Henry Clay Blvd.
    Liverpool, NY 13088
    Phone: (315) 898-2000 ext. 2066
    Email: kristinaclark@unyumc.org

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    Native American Mission, Onondaga Nation UMC #948 

    Built in 1848, the Onondaga Nation United Methodist Church was the first church on the Onondaga Nation Indian Territory near Nedrow, New York. Ministry focuses on worship, spiritual growth, mission, hospitality, and fellowship. Onondaga Nation UMC serves the Nation with their Linen Closet, which provides gently-used blankets, sheets, and more. Annual events such as a Fall Turkey Dinner, Native American Ministries Sunday Open House, and June Strawberry Festival provide opportunities for fellowship with brothers and sisters on the Nation and in the larger community. Members welcome visits from youth groups to mission teams and seek to be an active part of the UNY Conference. In cooperation with the Onondaga County Office of Aging and Youth, the Upper New York Conference, and the Committee on Native American Ministries, the church participates in a van ministry which provides transportation for Native American elders on the Onondaga Nation to the greater Syracuse area. Support for the Onondaga Nation UMC through the Advance Special enables the church to continue its mission and ministry as part of the United Methodist connectional system, celebrate its diversity as Native Americans, and maintain a presence on an ancient land, demonstrating Christian love for all.

    Fundraising Goal: $500 

    Contact Info:  

    Rose Kingsbury
    105 Kellogg Street
    Syracuse, NY 13204  
    Email: waterfallrosek.rk@gmail.com

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    Native American Outreach/Transportation Program #950 

    The Native American Outreach/Transportation Program provides transportation to Native Americans sixty years and older who live on the Onondaga Nation and in the surrounding Syracuse area. While the majority of rides are for medical appointments and treatments, services also include transportation to pharmacies, nutrition sites, food pantries, the post office, banks, shopping, and other necessary places. 

    As there is no bus service on the Onondaga Nation Indian Territory, this program insures elders are able to keep medical appointments and obtain necessary medical treatments on a timely basis. Support for this Advance Special provides funds for needed maintenance and repairs of the present bus and for future vehicle replacement. This ministry is made possible through a grant from the Onondaga County Department of Adult and Long-Term Care Services.  

    Pictured is Darlene Papineau, van driver and outreach worker beside the van. 

    Fundraising Goal: $10,000     

    Contact Info:

    Rose Kingsbury
    105 Kellogg Street
    Syracuse, NY 13204  
    Email: waterfallrosek.rk@gmail.com

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    New Places for New People (New Faith Communities) #664 

    Since 2012, the Upper New York Conference has been actively planting New Faith Communities (NFCs). Well over 150 New Places for New People have been started in rural, suburban, and urban areas throughout the Conference! In each case, these NFCs have started as the seed of a dream in the heart of God’s people. Potential planters have been supported through discernment conversations with experienced planters, extensive training, group and individual coaching, and in some cases, financial support via a grant process. There are now thousands of new followers of Jesus because of the new places United Methodists have planted in Upper NY. Most significantly, the Upper New York Conference is much more diverse than it was ten years ago! 

    The good news is, God is still putting dreams in the hearts of God’s people! God is still calling gifted folks to plant new communities of faith! Many of them will need seed money to get started. Any gift to the New Places for New People Fund gets used to support the work of new church planters and their teams! 

    Fundraising Goal: $5,000 

    Contact Info:   

    Rev. David Masland
    Phone: (607) 435-3048                      
    Email: davidmasland@unyumc.org

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    Protestant Cooperative Ministry at Cornell #958 

    The Protestant Cooperative Ministry encourages the members of the Cornell community to seek God’s transforming power and struggle with the dynamic tensions of a life of Christian faith. It strives to follow the will of God by: 

    • Fostering spiritual search and growth in a relationship with a loving, living, life-giving God. 
    • Providing opportunities for friendship, fellowship, and fun. 
    • Building an inclusive and compassionate community, breaking down the walls that divide us. 

    Opening avenues of witness and service as a part of the world-wide community of the faithful. 

    Pictured is the Protestant Cooperative Ministry at Cornell from the Fall 2021 Retreat at Casowasco Retreat Center. 

    Fundraising Goal: $5,000 

    Contact Info:

    Taryn Mattice, Chaplain  
    P.O. Box 7052
    Ithaca, NY 14851 
    Phone: (607) 255-4224
    Email: protestant_coop@cornell.edu
    Website: https://scl.cornell.edu/osmm

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    Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus (RISSE) #423 

    Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus, Inc (RISSE) was founded in 2007 as an outreach project of Emmaus UMC in Albany, NY to help one family from the Congo get established in their new home. Fast-forward to 2022. Emmaus, First Methodist Delmar, Jonesville UMC, Burnt Hill – Ballston Spa UMC, Saratoga Springs UMC, and First Methodist East Greenbush are vital partners with RISSE. They actively support RISSE with their time, talent, and treasure. 

    RISSE incorporated in 2012 and has helped hundreds of people over the past decade. The mission is to help refugees and newly arrived immigrants create safe and sustainable lives. RISSE provides comprehensive, year-round English Language instruction and support services to the refugee and immigrant community. RISSE operates After-School and Summer Youth Programs, Adult English Literacy/Language Program, civics classes, life skills orientation, Job Search Assistance, Family Helpers, and more. 

    RISSE works directly with about 250 families a year utilizing one or more of their services. Their families are originally from more than 25 different countries, so they demonstrate racial and religious diversity. 98% of their family incomes are below national poverty levels. Some newcomers are victims of human trafficking; almost all suffer from some degree of PTSD. They come from war-torn or famine-stricken areas around the world. Families can spend up to 10 years in refugee camps. All families follow the established legal channels to become productive, tax-paying community members. 

    Volunteer opportunities are as varied as the RISSE families. Some volunteers work in our After-School classes to help with English as New Language, math tutoring, or listening to or reading to students. Others participate in our Adult Literacy Program where they can be one-on-one tutors online with students, many of whom are new arrivals from Afghanistan. Here’s one volunteer’s input: “I loved my time at the school. It is so full of energy, engagement & community spirit.” - Cindy, volunteer 

    Some congregants from the churches already mentioned make sure ALL the After-School students have Christmas gifts, warm coats, and mittens each year. A new community playground was built at RISSE in 2019. It was a love letter to their children from an ecumenical team of these churches, Jewish temples, Roman Catholic Deacons, and individuals from many faith communities. 

    The churches also created a free bike program in 2021 to help families with transportation to work or the store. Congregants interact with RISSE clients to help purchase bikes and deliver to their homes. Often, it is the first-time church members from the suburban areas are able to meet refugee families. This program was funded by a Mustard Seed grant from UMCOR to help establish connections and convey the message that refugees are welcome. 

    Here is an example how RISSE impacts clients’ lives. R. and her family originally came from Sudan as refugees. She has four daughters, and her son has special needs. RISSE found an appropriate after-school program for her son so she could work. She is the sole support of the family because her husband suffers from severe depression and is unable to work. Mental health problems, particularly PTSD, are common among our families. Two of her daughters still attend RISSE. R. attended English and civics classes at RISSE (where she also works). She achieved American citizenship and therefore, so have her younger children. She has learned how to drive and now owns a car. This family is an excellent case study of how RISSE helps the whole family with multiple services. 

    RISSE is now seeing an increased demand for services in 2022. The Federal Government increased the cap for accepting newcomers from 15,000 people to currently 125,000 per year. US Committee on Refugees and Immigrants anticipates 1-4 new families per month in the Capital Region and possibly more later in year. 300 people from Afghanistan have settled in the Capital District in the last six months. RISSE is the lifeline for new families to bridge the cultural and language gap between their lives in dire circumstances and new lives in the US. 

    RISSE thanks their church partners for their generosity and loyalty. Christ told us to love one another. Our UMC partners live out that commandment in so many ways. We are very grateful. 

    Fundraising Goal: $5,000

    Contact Info:

    Cheryl Lasher, Development Director
    715 Morris St.
    Albany, NY 12208
    Phone: (518) 621-1041
    Email: cheryl.lasher@risse-albany.org
    Website: www.risse-albany.org

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    Seneca Street UMC: Buffalo #964 

    The Seneca Street UMC is an inner-city mission for children and their families. It's in the second generation of making a difference in South Buffalo in New York State. People in the neighborhood need social and emotional support and the church is engaged with them. The Church, together with the non-profit Community Development Corporation staff, work with volunteers to provide activities for all ages. Seneca Street UMC assists children and youth with educational support, basic services, and adequate nutrition. Children and youth participate in the extensive, free after-school program, which along with homework help and mentoring, provides science, exercise, musical instrument lessons, cooking classes, yoga, health workshops, field trips, computer access, guidance, recreation, gardening, and an evening meal. A seven-week long summer program features theme weeks.VBS, and a two-week Reading Camp along with fun weeks, and a field trip.  

    Sunday dinner was provided for 50-75 neighbors every week along with baked goods, household items, furniture, and much more. With COVID, Seneca Street UMC now offers take-out meals and continues to give over 200 meals a week.  

    Over the course of the year, more than 150 children are served by the 100 volunteers. The church ministry has evolved to empower people as leaders and to love our neighbors. Women attend retreats with other church women and weekly Bible chat over lunch invites all who attend to put the scripture into life. This church continues to be a safe haven and a beacon of hope. It's exciting so many people from the neighborhood now helping out others with the assistance of many churches. 

    This mission is entirely supported by the grace of God and the financial gifts of United Methodist churches and individuals.  

    Fundraising Goal: $2,000 

    Contact Info:  

    Rev. Dee Finch
    1218 Seneca St.
    Buffalo, NY 14210
    Phone: (585) 330-2710 or the church at (716) 368-7914
    Email: pastordeefinch@gmail.com

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    UMCOR Kits Shipment Dollars #974 

    To assist with the transportation of the Cleaning Kits (formerly called Flood Buckets), Health Kit,s and School Kits, UMCOR has asked that $2.00 per bucket be donated to help transport each Flood Bucket due to their heavier weight and $1.00 per kit be donated to help ship the other kits. These dollars are not to go in the kits, so this Advance Special was added to offer a way for churches to send their contributions through the Conference office. UMCOR has asked that information on what to pack in each kit or bucket can be found on the UMCOR web site at: www.umcor.org

    Fundraising Goal: $2,000 

    Contact Info: 

    Rev. Jeff Childs
    5164 St. Rt. 89
    Romulus, NY 14541
    Phone: (315) 729-4464
    Email: revchilds@hotmail.com  

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    Volunteers in Mission Scholarship Fund #988    

    This Upper New York scholarship fund provides funds to volunteers engaged in mission. Persons can apply for financial support for taking in Volunteers In Mission (VIM) education courses, participating in VIM academy, and leading or participating in mission journeys led by trained leaders. The fund supports volunteers leading and engaging in mission. 

    Fundraising Goal: $2,000        

    Contact Info:  

    Kristina Clark
    7481 Henry Clay Blvd.
    Liverpool, NY 13088
    Phone: (315) 898-2000 ext. 2066
    Email: kristinaclark@unyumc.org

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    Watertown Urban Mission #990 

    The Watertown Urban Mission begins is an ecumenical interfaith venture to provide food for the hungry (averaging 530 households per month), clothing for those in need (Impossible Dream Thrift Store), help for the sick, visiting the imprisoned, independence/self-sufficiency for the working poor (Wheels for Work), and fellowship with spiritual supports at our drop-in center. All of their programs are seeing increased numbers of participants who are finding it difficult to make ends meet with the high cost of energy and rent. 

    Fundraising Goal: $1,000 

    Contact Info:

    Dawn Cole, Exec. Director
    247 Factory Street
    Watertown, NY 13601
    Phone: (315) 782-8440
    Email: dcole@watertownurbanmission.org
    Website: https://www.facebook.com/YourMission/ 

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    With more than 134,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 85 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."