Bishop Webb continues 2015-2016 District Days tour
Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb kicked off his 2015-2016 District Days tour in late October last year and has since visited the Niagara Frontier, Cornerstone, Binghamton, Mohawk, and Crossroads districts. Bishop Webb will visit each of the districts in the Upper New York Conference during the tour, spending the morning and lunch with clergy and hosting an evening session open to both laity and clergy. The theme of the tour is “Increasing Our Capacity: A Time of Conversation and Encouragement.” Click here for a full story on the District Days tour. Below is more information about the Niagara Frontier, Cornerstone, Binghamton, Mohawk, and Crossroads district days as well as photos from each.
Cornerstone District Day
On Nov. 16, 2015, Cornerstone District clergy and laity gathered at the Christ First United Methodist Church in Jamestown for the 2015 Cornerstone District Day with Bishop Webb. The clergy gathered for lunch then moved to the sanctuary and kicked off the session with a rousing round of “Name That Tune,” before moving into a time of conversation. At the evening session, the Rev. Steven Taylor, pastor at the Panama UMC, presented the Rev. Bill Gottschalk-Fielding, Conference Director of Connectional Ministries and Executive Assistant to the Bishop, with a check for Africa 360, encouraging others to participate in the Africa 360 Challenge 2.0. The session continued with a time of learning and sharing. At the close of their time together, Bishop Webb invited those present to share what they were thankful for, before concluding with communion.
Niagara Frontier District
On Nov. 17, 2015, Niagara Frontier District clergy and laity spent time with Bishop Webb at the Clarence UMC for the 2015 Niagara Frontier District Day. Bishop Webb shared a noon meal with the district’s clergy. The evening session kicked off with songs from Clarence UMC’s praise band and included a skit, which featured “Starducks Coffee” and a brief message from Niagara Frontier District Superintendent the Rev. Wayne Butler. The evening came to a close with communion and finished as those present prayed over Bishop Webb.
Binghamton District Day
Laity and clergy in the Binghamton District met with Bishop Webb, Rev. Gottschalk-Fielding, and Conference Director of Vital Congregations the Rev. Dr. Aaron Bouwens on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. During this fifth stop of Bishop Webb’s 2015-2016 District Days tour, more than two dozen clergy were in attendance for the morning session, followed by lunch and a time for open discussion. A delicious lunch and dinner were provided by the United Methodist Women; Bishop Webb spent the dinner hour meeting with the Binghamton District Leadership Team. Also on hand, in the parking lot, was Doug's Fish Fry mobile unit, a food truck specializing in seafood with a home-base in Cortland. Part of the proceeds from Doug’s sales in Endwell go to benefit Red Bird Mission and Clinic which is located in the Appalachian mountains of Southeastern Kentucky and provides ministry in five areas: Education, health and wellness, community outreach, economic opportunity, and community housing improvement. More than 50 were on hand for Bishop Webb’s evening address to the district’s lay and clergy members. All sessions were held at the Endwell UMC.
Mohawk District Day
On Jan. 11, Bishop Webb, Rev. Gottschalk-Fielding, and Rev. Bouwens visited the Mohawk District, where they went to the Queensbury UMC for a morning session with clergy, followed by lunch featuring warm soup and chili as well as a nutritious salad bar. After lunch, Bishop Webb met with a small group for open discussion. In the evening, Bishop Webb enjoyed a dinner and fellowship with the Mohawk District Leadership Team. Following the dinner, Bishop Webb held an evening session with both clergy and laity from the Mohawk District. At the beginning of his presentation, he called Mohawk District Superintendent the Rev. Abel Roy to the front of the sanctuary and asked attendees to lay hands on Rev. Roy as Bishop Webb prayed over him.
Crossroads District Day
On Jan. 14, Crossroads District clergy gathered with Bishop Webb in the morning to explore both increasing leadership capacity and Wesleyan ethos. However, prior to the time of learning, Bishop Webb invited forward Crossroads District Superintendent the Rev. Nola Anderson and the Rev. Everett Bassett, who was recently announced as the future superintendent of the Oneonta District. He then invited all those gathered to come forward and pray for the pair. In the afternoon, Bishop Webb and Conference staff met with a smaller group of clergy. Later, they enjoyed dinner with the District Leadership Team. The evening capped off with a large gathering of laity, where Bishop Webb shared about what it means to be a “radical church” and encouraged all those gathered to work towards the vision.