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

    news article

    Building youth leadership throughout UNY

    May 10, 2022 / By Kevin Clark, CCYM Publicity Chair

    Editor’s Note: This article was first published in the 2022 Issue I of the Advocate, which focused on children and youth. Click here to access this issue of the Advocate.

     The Conference Council on Youth Ministry, or CCYM, is an organization that plans events and promotes leadership among peers. The council is made of youth from across the Upper New York Conference, Each District elects 4-6 youth that make up the committee, Within CCYM, there are four committees:  Worship, Gathering and Organization (aka GO), Publicity and Presentation (aka P3), and the Youth Service Fund, (YSF), Worship committee plans the worship services for our events. This includes locating a band and/or speakers during youth gatherings. The Gathering and Organization committee organizes dates, times, and schedules for events held by CCYM. Publicity and Presentation is responsible for putting out news and articles about CCYM and our upcoming events. They also are responsible for making and playing presentations for our worship services. YSF is money raised by youth for youth. This committee sells snacks and CCYM/YSF/MOP Merchandise at youth events, The money can be requested by Youth Groups when they need financial support with mission trips.

    Before COVID-19, CCYM held events in the fall and the spring. In the fall, we divided up into our own Districts and planned our own District event. Some Districts joined together to make planning easier and create a larger event, A few Districts held overnights while others, a full day of fun. We had planned to hold a large Spring event in March 2020, which we refer to as “Outward.” This event has been held in Syracuse for years and is a whole lot of fun. There is music, games, workshops, and it helps strengthen your connection with God! There are also people from all over the Upper NY Conference you can meet. Everyone’s different which makes it easy to make friends!

    As youth, we prefer to embrace our differences as we are all God’s children, You can meet people completely unlike you who have a different perspective on life and God. Finding out how other people believe and worship can really help strengthen your connection with God. But if you are a youth who prefers to worship in a quieter, more personal way, we also offer peaceful spaces to draw, color, pray, or just sit in silence.

    It’s an incredible event for anyone that comes.

    After the worldwide outbreak of COVID, we sadly canceled Outward 2020. We then put a pause on everything until fall 2020, when the CCYM held camp clean-up days at some of the Upper New York Camp & Retreat Centers. We held these camp clean-up days at Asbury, Skye Farm, and Casawasco. They were all a success with helping the camps get ready for the winter and having a great time while doing so.

    In the Spring, a very similar event was held at Asbury and Skye Farm. We had people from all over the state go to both, with a great turnout for each event. This time instead of focusing on getting ready for the winter, the cleaners focused on unpacking from the winter. The days were spent taking out supplies and cleaning up pathways to prepare for summer. Once again, everyone who went had a blast.

    Throughout the tough times of COVID, our CCYM has been presented with challenges in meeting its goals, but we have stayed alive through meeting over Zoom as a whole committee, and as smaller break-out groups, Members have been spending time at their local churches continuing to work on their spiritual leadership skills, We are hoping to bring District and Conference-wide events back to Upper NY Conference, Stay tuned for more information,

    CCYM is currently accepting new members, If you are interested in learning more about CCYM, you can reach to your District coordinator or District Superintendent. If you are an adult interested in helping, you can contact Tony Hipes at

    TAGGED / Advocate

    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."