Close X
  • Our Focus
  • Home
  • About
  • Ministries
  • Missions
  • Events
  • News
  • Resources
  • Our Focus



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

    news article

    Upper New York response to Netflix documentary, “The Program”

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

    United Methodists of Upper New York were made aware of a new Netflix documentary featuring audio clips of Thomas Nichols. In the docuseries “The Program,” Nichols is identified as the former Public Relations Coordinator for the Academy of Ivy Ridge, a boarding school in Northern New York that ceased operation in March 2009. The series details several allegations of abuse.  

    Nichols is currently associated with Galilee and Kendrew churches. Nichols and these churches disaffiliated from the Upper New York Conference and The United Methodist Church on February 9, 2024. Nichols’ prior work at the Academy was independent and never endorsed by the Upper New York Conference. 

    In The United Methodist Church, credentialed pastors must complete a thorough process that includes mentoring, a criminal background check, psychological assessment, and more. Upper New York had no knowledge of the events portrayed in the docuseries and no knowledge of Nichols’ involvement in the alleged abuse.  

    United Methodists of Upper New York are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of the people we serve, especially the most vulnerable among us. Our congregations are required to enact and maintain a Safe Sanctuary policy to reduce the risk of abuse of children, youth, and vulnerable adults participating in the ministries of our churches, districts, agencies, and ministry groups.  

    We stand with those harmed by the alleged abuse and questionable practices portrayed in the documentary and recommit ourselves to confronting abuse in all the ways it manifests in our society.  

    Click here to view the official press release.

    TAGGED / Communications / Episcopal Office / Bishop Burgos / 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."