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

    news article

    Steve Alexander named new Site Director at Casowasco

    January 9, 2024 / By Shelby Winchell, UNY Director of Communications / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center’s newest site director is no stranger to Upper New York. Steve Alexander is a member of Lansing United Methodist Church and a former certified Early Response Team leader. Steve stepped into the role on Jan. 8 following an extensive search. He replaces the Rev. Dr. Pam Harris, who has served as the Acting Site Director since October 2022. Rev. Dr. Harris will remain in the role as the Interim Executive Director of Camp & Retreat Ministries.  

    “I am thrilled that Steve is joining the Upper New York Camp & Retreat Ministries’ leadership team as the Director of Casowasco. Steve brings many years of experience as a team leader, and as a person who can move an organization toward realizing its vision for the future. The search team did its work very carefully and thoroughly, conducting a nationwide search, and making sure that it fully understood the needs of Casowasco at this time and for the future. Steve brings strong skills and experience to his new role at Casowasco. He is deeply committed to the experience that Casowasco offers to all persons, an experience of welcome, hospitality, and invitation to grow in one's relationship with God. We have a deeply committed team of people at Casowasco, and I look forward to how Steve will become a part of that team and will lead that team into effective ministry,” said Rev. Dr. Harris. 

    Serving in leadership roles isn’t foreign to Steve. He’s a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel, serving our country for 22 years. From 2009 through 2012, he ran the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, or ROTC, program at Cornell University. He then moved on to the private sector as the President of Central Recycling in Horseheads, NY.  

    “I feel called and compelled to enter a position that I have to rely on God and others,” said Steve. 

    Coming to Casowasco is a bit of a homecoming for the Alexander family. Steve’s wife, Laura, has been serving as a cook at Casowasco since August 2023. Both of their sons, Thomas and Patrick, attended summer camps at Casowasco many years ago. Thomas also worked at Casowasco for three summers; one summer in the kitchen and two summers as a camp counselor in the Highlands. Now in their late 20s, Steve says they both grew in their faith because of camp and Kevin Dunn, who served as both Thomas and Patrick’s youth leader at Lansing UMC. Kevin served as Casowasco’s Assistant Director until his death in November 2016. In 2018, he posthumously was awarded the Harry Denman Evangelism Award as a laity member of the Upper New York Conference. 

    “God is here. God loves you and God wants to have a relationship with you. We really want you to experience that at camp again. If we keep that in our hearts and open our hearts to that, I think a lot of things will fall in place.” 

    Faith can be fun and church can happen anywhere. As Steve explains, Casowasco facilitates that fun aspect of faith and he’s ready to introduce more people to God. 

    “My camp is your camp. It’s our camp. Nothing is different here except there are people here who have an open heart to God. Our hearts are open. The camp is open. Everything that you experienced here as part of your faith journey is still here and it’s waiting for you to come back and tap into it. We want to welcome you radically.” 

    TAGGED / Camp and Retreat Ministry (CRM) / Communications / Youth / Districts / Missional Excellence

    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."