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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    The Conference Center’s post-COVID open doors

    March 14, 2023 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    COVID is not as scary as it once was. While COVID is still around, the mutations are becoming weaker. It is nice to be together again and many people feel safe doing so. The thriving work of ministries and staff in Upper New York is evident as more people feel safe coming together and using the beautiful Conference Center in Liverpool. We understand that some people feel safer wearing masks and that is perfectly acceptable. We want everyone to feel comfortable gathering.

    Many staff members, including the Finance Ministry area, are working in the office every day and have been even during the height of the pandemic when they were required to wear masks.

    UNY Finance Manager, Beth Dupont, said, “With the nature of our ministry area, we need access to printing and scanning technology and many paper files; we need to sort through the daily mail; we need to still print out checks and mail them; these kinds of job duties required us to be in the office, as they cannot be done from home. Many of us would have even preferred to have been in the office, anyway. This kept us more focused, and we could still share in the camaraderie of each other’s company. We still felt like a true team working together to efficiently complete our jobs!” 

    Autumn Wells, UNY Administrative and Accounting Service Specialist, said, “It’s a beautiful building to be in! Working in the office is so much more efficient than working at home. I have all the resources I need right here at my fingertips and with constant connection to technology. Having your coworkers close by is also conducive to teamwork and collaboration. It’s also great to have fellowship with everyone and monthly worship is such a highlight! Lastly, when I leave for the day, my work stays at work which is important for my family life.”

    Enter the building any weekday, and you will be greeted with a warm smile by Chris Lupini, our Welcoming and Support Specialist.

    Currently, most staff members work on a hybrid basis. All staff can be reached via voicemail and email even when they work remotely.

    UNY Video Specialist, Mary Dalglish said, “The hybrid model allows me to have a healthy balance of socialization and work while increasing my productivity when I really need to buckle down and complete a project.”

    The Cabinet is back to their regular pre-pandemic schedule, meeting at the Conference Center a couple of times a month.

    Ministry teams are now meeting frequently at the Conference Center too.

    “From my perspective, the most important thing about meeting in the Conference Center is that it helps to strengthen our working relationships with the rest of the Conference staff. We feel more like we are part of the Conference team and that we are working together when we deepen those relationships,” said the Rev. Pam Harris, the UNY Interim Executive Director of Camp & Retreat Ministries

    As Autumn mentioned, worship is also now happening at the Conference Center.

    Every Friday night, a New Faith Community called BLVD gathers in Conference Room B for fellowship, worship, and a message from a local pastor. All are welcome to this service and those folks who are not nearby can watch the service as it is live-streamed on BLVD’s Facebook page.

    Bishop Héctor A. Burgos Núñez hosts worship services one Wednesday morning a month for the staff and anyone in the Conference who can attend.

    Click here if you or your team would like to make use of the Conference Center.  

    TAGGED / Connectional Ministries

    With more than 125,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises of more than 800 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."