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

    news article

    UNY Archives Hires Archives Assistant

    February 22, 2024 / By Tara Barnes, UNY Commission on Archives and History member / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    The Upper New York Commission on Archives and History (UNYCAH) is excited to welcome Reilly Callahan as Archives Assistant to help with the important work of keeping the historical records of our churches. Reilly graduated summa cum laude in May 2023 from Syracuse University with a master’s degree in information studies. She worked as an archives intern at the university’s Special Collections Research Center and is a member of Beta Phi Mu, Pi Gamma Mu, and Phi Alpha Theta

    Reilly began with Upper New York as an archives intern in the summer of 2023 and was hired to this new 29-hour position in the fall.  

    When the North Central, Western New York, and parts of Troy and Wyoming Conferences merged in 2010, the new UNYCAH operated with only volunteers and the help of the Upper New York Conference’s Media Resource Center Coordinator and Archives Assistant, Karen Campolieto, one day a week. After Karen’s retirement in 2021, volunteers and part-time intern Brielle Popelia did their best to keep up with incoming records of closed and disaffiliated churches, but the sheer number of files being sent required more hands.  

    Among its regular work, the commission must approve local church records sent to the conference as complete in order for the church to finalize a closure or disaffiliation.  

    Brielle completed her internship in Sept. 2023, the same month the commission approved the new assistant position and enthusiastically offered Reilly the job. Reilly, along with volunteer Loreen Jorgensen, have devised excellent systems for handling the paper and digital disaffiliation records, which UNYCAH has shared with General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) at Drew University. 

    The commission meets regularly via Zoom, and in the past few years has been coordinating with GCAH in confirming the history of former Indigenous schools in our conference, part of a larger United Methodist Church effort to account for the shameful practice of forcing native children from their families and to forget their native heritage and languages.  

    We now look forward to working with GCAH on a new unified United Methodist digital repository called the Virtual Circuit Rider Project. Stay tuned for more to come! 

    You can find Reilly in archives all day Monday through Wednesday and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays. The archives are located at the United Methodist Center at 7481 Henry Clay Blvd. in Liverpool. You can join in welcoming Reilly and celebrating the ministry of story by volunteering to help review and catalog records. Learn more by e-mailing and by visiting their website

    Photos courtesy of Reilly Callahan, Sue Slenker, and Chip “Archie” McEvers.

    TAGGED / Benefits and Administrative Services / Communications / Connectional Ministries / Episcopal Office / Finance / Ministry Shares / Disaffiliation / Districts

    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."