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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Peace with Justice Program announces participation rates

    June 16, 2015 / By Heather Smith / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    The Peace with Justice Program is about building community by breaking down the walls that divide us. The grant program helps fund ministries that work toward this goal. Half of the Peace with Justice offering stays right here in the Upper New York Conference to support justice ministries, including the Committee on Native American Ministries, Albany United Methodist Society, and Faithful Citizen. Visit the Conference website for more details on these important ministries. Just like anything worth doing, the more of us who support the Peace with Justice Sunday Offering, the more we can do.

    Last year, I told you about our 2013 participation rate as a Conference being almost 19 percent of all UNY congregations. I’m afraid we did not improve this number in 2014. With only 162 of our approximately 900 congregations submitting Peace with Justice funds, our participation as a whole has dropped below 18 percent. But with bad news also comes good news; one district not only raised their participation, but quadrupled it. Join me in celebrating the Oneonta District!

    At the 2015 Annual Conference session, each district superintendent received thank you certificates for each church in their district that participated last year. I hope you have received it and that you will share it on Sunday as a celebration of our connection!

    The prescribed Peace with Justice Special offering was May 31, but it’s not too late. This collection can be moved to fit with your congregation’s ministries. I know a pastor who has presented this giving opportunity during Advent.

    When I asked a friend, who is an elder, why her church did not participate, she told me her church is just too poor, and she couldn’t ask them for any more money.

    I gathered two thoughts from this:

    1. The Special Sundays offerings – all of them – are opportunities for giving. Not everyone will feel called to give to everything, but we shouldn’t decide for them which things they’ll want to support.
    2. One dollar, just $1, equals participation! Her response was “I can do better that that!” I can report that the Mooers United Methodist Church took the Peace with Justice Offering on May 31 and supported it very generously. Thanks, Mom.

    I look forward to coming back next year to celebrate good news of an increase in the number of churches supporting the Peace with Justice Offering and more ministries funded. Until then, I’m happy to help you apply for a grant to help fund your justice-related project or to speak about the importance of this program. Contact me at

    TAGGED / Connectional Ministries

    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."