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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    Spotlight on Wesley’s Place, an UNY New Faith Community

    July 17, 2018 / By Rev. Gregg and Rev. Heather Stierheim

    Wesley's Place Faith Community is part of the Upper NY Conference New Faith Community movement. It is a unique expression of "church" that seeks to connect unknown people in unfamiliar places with God and with each other. We hope to be a diverse group and the areas around the Buffalo/ Niagara Medical Campus are a perfect environment for that to occur in.

    Over the past 1.5 years we have worked hard at building relationships with residents, employees, businesses, nonprofits, and other faith groups to be partners in ministry in the future.  Many of those partnerships are now bearing fruit:

    • We meet weekly at Ulrich's Tavern for conversations revolving around faith, life, and God.
    • Five area restaurants that rotate weekly serve as a gathering place during lunch hours for people working in the area.
    • A teacher appreciation meal was hosted at the Health Science Charter School for 80 teachers, staff, and faculty. What better way to thank them for their work than with warm food, goodies, and reusable water bottles!
    • Over 400 fleece socks, hats, and headbands have been distributed to people needing warmth on the streets of downtown Buffalo through "Socks from a Savior.”
    • We have made it a best ministry practice to participate in community events such as the Allentown West Art Festival, BNMC Block Party, Juneteenth Festival, and Elmwood Arts Festival.
    • We recently received a grant from United Methodist Communications for $4,000 in promotional items such as stainless-steel mugs, pens, pop sockets, t-shirts, and custom printed display banners!

    Some exciting developments coming in the next few months:

    • Worship will be offered in an apartment building for its residents and anyone else that would like to. We are still looking for a few musicians, travel size soaps, travel size lotions, a Keurig machine, and assorted pods for this.
    • Through a partnership with the new Oishei Children's Hospital, Pastor Gregg is undergoing training to be approved as a chaplain. This will allow us to adopt an entire floor in the hospital to minister to families, patients, and staff.  We plan on adopting the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
    • Spiritual care is an unmet need for the 15,000 medical professionals working in the campus each day.  We are developing a Spiritual Support Group ministry to meet that need.  It is being developed in conjunction with the Christian Medical and Dental Association, several medical professionals, and a trauma therapist.

    Wesley's Place has many additional dreams for ministry as we seek to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit to connect people with God and with each other.  If you have questions or would like to help support Wesley’s Place, contact Gregg Stierheim at 716.218.8273 or pastorgreggumc@gmail.com


    With more than 168,000 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."