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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    News Stories from April 2020

    Relief efforts from Wespath and the CBOPHB during the COVID-19 Crisis—Amendment to Arrearage Policy Enforcement Delay

    April 28, 2020 / By Susan Latessa, UNY Director of Human Resources/Benefits

    The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits (CBOPHB) amended its former decision to delay the enforcement of the new arrearage policy until June 15, 2020. The only change is the date - the delay of the enforcement of the new arrearage policy is in effect until July 1, 2020. In an effort to support Annual Conferences who would like to provide assistance to local churches that may be struggling to meet their monthly …more

    New Form I-9 effective May 1, 2020

    April 23, 2020 / By Tracy Rickett, Human Resources Generalist

    A new version of the I-9 employment eligibility verification form is available and is mandatory for use effective May 1, 2020. The new form is available here. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) publishes a paper I-9 Form and an electronic, fillable I-9 Form. The new version of the paper form has no changes from the prior version. The form is used to verify the identity …more

    CARES Act Update

    April 22, 2020 / By Bob Flask and the Rev. Susan Ranous

    The following statement was sent to the Upper New York (UNY) Conference on April 22, on behalf of UNY Treasurer, Bob Flask, and Chair of the UNY CF&A, the Rev. Susan Ranous. As I am sure most of you have seen, the funding for the Paychex Protection Plan (PPP) and the EIDL Loan under the CARES Act has been fully exhausted. However, there is another stimulus package that is …more

    Why I am grateful for VIM work

    April 21, 2020 / By Janet Huston, Schenectady First UMC

    Editor’s Note: The Spring 2020 issue of the Advocate will be available electronically in May 2020. The issue will focus on mission work. Mission work has been an enriching part of many peoples’ lives across Upper New York. Below, you will be able to delve into Janet and Peter Huston’s experience with mission work that spans over 50 years.   I am very grateful for the United Methodist …more

    Now more than ever! Faith community support for those experiencing abuse

    April 14, 2020 / By Rev. Dr. Anne Marie Hunter, Elder New England Annual Conference Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse

    Last week, in downtown Boston, a sign appeared in an apartment window that is visible from the adjoining apartment where older adults live. The sign says, “Call me if you need help,” and provides a name and phone number. As COVID-19 spreads in our families, congregations, and communities, we are all reaching out to those we know and love - even to complete strangers. During this difficult time, …more

    Christian Stewardship live conversation with Rev. Bill Gottschalk-Fielding and Rev. Susan Ranous

    April 9, 2020 / By UNY Communications

    We believe in a God of abundance, not scarcity.  But how do we translate this belief into effective stewardship practices in a time of pandemic, social distancing, and economic insecurity?  On Tuesday April 14 at 2 p.m. and Thursday April 16 at 7 p.m., the Rev. Bill Gottschalk Fielding, Upper New York (UNY) Director of Connectional Ministries and Assistant to the Bishop, and the Rev. Susan Ranous, Chair of the …more

    Enhance your Easter service with Casowasco resources

    April 9, 2020 / By UNY Communications

    Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center is first and foremost an extension of and resource to the local church. As congregations venture into uncharted waters during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Casowasco staff is seeking new ways to be in ministry with the churches and congregations of the Upper New York Conference. With Easter Sunday approaching, they want to help churches enhance their Holy Week experience with a variety of resources, including …more

    The UNY Cabinet and Bishop Webb urge congregations to avoid gatherings of any kind

    April 7, 2020 / By Bishop Mark J. Webb and UNY Cabinet

    Editor's Note: On Tuesday April 7, 2020, The Upper New York (UNY) Cabinet and UNY Area Resident Bishop, Mark J. Webb, sent  the following letter to the UNY Conference. Dear Pastors and Laity of the Upper New York Conference: Grace is yours and peace through Jesus Christ! Almighty God, hear our prayers for the Church and for the world. Grant that all who confess your name may be united in …more

    Chaplaincy in a COVID 19 World

    April 7, 2020 / By Rev. Cathy Hall Stengel

    - “I just pray,” responded an RN when asked how she got through the code and death of a young man. - “I imagine it’s my brother because it might be next week,” said a provider caring for a man in his 50s. - “He’s my daddy; I know he’s sick, but he’s the only daddy I will …more

    Broad Street UMC Face Mask project

    April 7, 2020 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    The coronavirus pandemic is a frightening time and many people feel inclined to help, but do not know how. Many UNY Methodist churches are helping in ways permissible with the social distancing mandates. Broad Street UMC is one of them! Broad Street UMC has started a face mask project for area hospitals and medical centers. One of the church’s members works in the ER at a local hospital …more



    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."