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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    News Stories from May 2022

    Accountability groups healing souls in UNY

    May 31, 2022 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Asbury First UMC of Rochester is one of the larger congregations in UNY. Over the last year Asbury First UMC has started Class Meeting accountability groups through The Discipleship Project. They have 8 groups from 8-12 members, and 10 commissioned lay Class Leaders, coordinated and led by clergy leader, the Rev. Rachel Dupont. Asbury uses a process that shepherds people through group spiritual formation toward mutual accountability. Their participation and retention rates …more

    Celebrating the life of DS Vonda

    May 29, 2022 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    “The teacher,” Pastor Stephen McKnight said, pointing to the Rev. Vonda Fossitt’s casket. “The student,” he said pointing to himself. This is how, Pastor McKnight opened the Celebration of Life service for DS Vonda on May 26, 2022, at New Light United Methodist Church, where Pastor McKnight serves. DS Vonda was District Superintendent of the Genesee Valley District in the Upper New York Conference. She died …more

    From the Desk of Bishop Mark J. Webb: Texas elementary school shooting

    May 25, 2022 / By Bishop Mark J. Webb

    Editor's Note: Upper New York Area Resident Bishop, Mark J. Webb, sent the following note to the Upper New York Conference on May 25 as a response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24. Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Again! Again, we are faced with senseless violence, murder, and destruction of any sense of normalcy. African Americans should not have to fear being shot …more

    A statement and call to action from the Conference Commission on Religion & Race

    May 25, 2022 / By Conference Commission on Religion & Race

    As we continue to process the overwhelming grief, pain, and outrage of the hate-driven murders in Buffalo on May 14th, we ask our Lord and Savior to move us from prayers to actions that bring an end to racial violence in all its forms. As we consider specific responses to systemic racism, it is important that we first remember the historic relationship between acts of white supremacist terror and other …more

    Children and Youth Ministry, the very heartbeat of our churches

    May 25, 2022 / By Lynne Kimpland, Director of Children and Youth Ministries at Endwell UMC

    Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the 2022 Issue I of the Advocate, which focused on children and youth throughout the UNY Conference. Click here to access the Advocate.  The year 2019 was the culmination of effort, planning, inspiring, and training leaders. The six years leading up to this time at Endwell UMC produced numerous family-fun entry points in our community with our Children and Youth Mission Statement …more

    A snapshot of Asbury First UMC’s children’s ministries

    May 25, 2022 / By Paula Dugan, Asbury First Children’s Ministries Director

    Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the 2022 Issue I of the Advocate, which focused on children and youth throughout the UNY Conference. Click here to access the Advocate.  Asbury First UMC, in Rochester, NY, endeavors to create an open, supportive, and lively environment for our children and youth. These ministries thrive due to the enthusiasm and passion of the leaders and the hard work of the …more

    Tending to your soul so you can tend to others’ souls

    May 24, 2022 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Are you feeling an inkling to become closer to God? Do you feel like your life is like a hamster wheel or are you riddled with anxiety and yearn to feel God’s love deep in your soul? Do you feel a draw to help others feel God’s presence whether it be friends, family, your congregation, or people in your workplace or community? If your answer is …more

    Justice in Israel–Palestine: Travel for Awareness! through the Gary Bergh Scholarship

    May 24, 2022 / By NY Task Force on Peace w/ Justice in Palestine/ Israel

    Editor’s Note: This is available for youth, young adults, young clergy, and people of all ages who long for peace and want to act for justice in the Holy Land: “Come and see!” is the cry that echoes through worldwide invitations sent by our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters, from the 2009 Kairos Palestine document, to the more recent “Cry for Hope.” The story of …more

    Celebrating the life of Bishop Joseph Yeakel

    May 24, 2022 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Bishop Joseph (Joe) Yeakel died July 4, 2021, at the age of 93. He served as Resident Bishop of the New York West Area, which at the time included three Conferences (Western New York Conference, Northern New York Conference, and Central New York Conference) from 1972-1984. The Upper New York Conference, as well as Methodists across the Connection, mourn his death. Bishop Yeakel’s Memorial Service was held Friday May 20, 2022, at …more

    Skye Farm offering summer programming that will appeal to all

    May 24, 2022 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Whether your child loves sports and games, diving deep into God’s natural creation, or doing wacky things like having ice cream for breakfast, Skye Farm Camp & Retreat Center has something to offer them. Robyn Vernon, the new site director of Skye Farm, said, “I am really excited to see Skye Farm come alive with campers having fun and making memories all summer long.” The COVID …more



    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."