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

    news article

    With Bishop’s help, Liverpool First burns its mortgage

    May 22, 2024 / By Charles McChesney, Liverpool First United Methodist Church

    It was a double celebration at Liverpool First United Methodist Church on Pentecost Sunday. Along with celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, the more than 200-year-old church celebrated paying off a mortgage it took out decades ago to enlarge and improve the church building and later refinanced to update the kitchen to commercial grade. 

    The celebration included a rededication of the building and the congregation to the church’s mission of making disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world. It was capped by a burning of mortgage documents. 

    The service was led by Bishop Héctor A. Burgos Núñez who preached on “Come Holy Spirit, Come.” In his message he recalled that it was at Liverpool First where he was installed as Bishop in 2022. “I get chills coming into this church,” he said, adding that he hoped others did too as they came into the House of the Lord. 

    The service drew clergy who had served the church in the recent years, including the Rev. Dr. Russell Hall, the Rev. Penny Hart, the Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Quick, and the Rev. Dr. Aaron Bouwens. Each offered a reflection of their time with the church and were warmly applauded in turn. 

    Two members of Liverpool First’s three-person clergy team, the Rev. Bill Mudge and the Rev. Susan Ranous, assisted at the service and joined the Bishop and others for the ceremonial burning of the mortgage. Judith Lieber-Butler, pastor of Apple Valley United Methodist Church, was the original signer of the mortgage and had the honor of putting the mortgage to the flame. 

    Addressing those standing around a firepit in the church’s backyard as Liverpool First Finance Chairman Richard Ertinger held the mortgage with a pair of tongs, the Bishop urged the church to redirect the money that had been going to the monthly mortgage payment to further expand the church’s efforts to fulfill its mission locally and globally. 

    TAGGED / Finance / Bishop Burgos / 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."