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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Peace with Justice Sunday is June 16

    May 20, 2019 / By Heather Smith

    Pentecost is June 9 and traditionally Peace with Justice Sunday is the following week. I like the way they scheduled that – the first thing we do as United Methodists after celebrating the birthday of the church is take an offering in support of justice ministries. This year, I have great hope that our Conference-wide participation will increase – hopefully meeting the 30% goal that we set for ourselves at the 2017 Annual Conference Session. Remember, it only takes $1 to be counted as participation – just send it to the UNY Conference treasurer’s office with the correct fund number 315 on the memo line.

    Half of all the Peace with Justice money collected in our Conference, stays right here to fund ministries of local churches, community groups, and individuals who are starting or expanding a project that addresses one or more of the United Methodist Social Principles. The Social Holiness Team has just completed our first round of grants for 2019. Those grants include:

    • $2,000 to be divided as scholarships to help some of the UNY delegation attend the UMC-Next event that Adam Hamilton and others are hosting in Leawood, KS. This gathering, by invitation only, will include discussions about how the UMC moves forward in light of the results of the Special Session of General Conference. Look for our team of 10 delegates to return with lots to talk about and share with us over the summer months.
    • $2;000 to support a Young Adult Skill Building initiative of the Bellevue Heights UMC in Syracuse. They are seeking to teach 19-30 year olds life and citizenship skills – resume writing and job searching; cooking and shopping on a budget; and goal-setting and self-care – and hope to see them turn around and pay it forward by mentoring the next group of participants. BHUMC is hoping to address the crime and poverty issues before folks become statistics.
    • $1,500 to Rev. Dana Horrell of Faithful Citizen, Inc. to hold workshops around the state, focusing on the work he lays out in Engage! Tools for Ministry in the Community.  Watch for workshops to be held in the Fall of 2019 in both urban and rural communities within our conference. Participants will learn the importance of discerning problems, doing social analysis, touring the community, building relationships with neighbors, and engaging in public policy discussions.
    • $2,000 to the Vestal UMC for The Hope Epidemic a hands-on ministry of caring and clean-up. The project seeks to help those in nearby neighbors with yardwork and light repairs. The idea is that helping those who aren’t physically able or lack the time and/or finances to complete these tasks will foster relationships, good will, and pride in the neighborhood and with the church. All this in effort to help reduce the potential of crime in those areas.

    It’s exciting to see the ways United Methodists are in ministry in our state and beyond. We look forward to our next round of grants in the Fall to seeing what other projects are being formed.

    Peace with Justice Sunday is June 16, but you can move it to another Sunday if that suits your congregation better. The important part is to talk about it and make this giving opportunity available to all those in our pews. Resources can be found at or contact Heather Smith at

    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."