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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Perspectives: Bishop Webb’s letters of support to UNY clergy

    Bishop Webb: March 24, 2020

    April 2, 2020 / By Bishop Mark J. Webb

    The following email was sent from Bishop Webb on March 24, 2020 to clergy, certified lay ministers, and other congregational leaders in the Upper New York Conference.

    Dear Friends,

    I want you to know that each of you continue in my prayers during these unusual and remarkable days. It has been a blessing to witness the many creative ways in which you are leading and providing ministry.

    Today, as the Cabinet met, we shared glory sightings that lifted up many of the stories we have heard and the ways in which we have seen each of you helping the Church to carry out its mission and offer the good news of Jesus Christ in these days.

    We celebrate the on-going ministry of meeting the very real needs of those within our communities and congregations. We have heard testimonies about on-going and new food distributions, aiding the elderly and vulnerable, offering online worship, Bible study, devotionals, and prayer opportunities. We celebrated the stories of you working with one another, sharing experiences, gifts, and knowledge to strengthen one another’s leadership. Obviously, this is just a sampling of your creativity and faithfulness. Thank you!

    As you continue to lead the Church in this time, I offer words I saw shared by another: “please take care of your soul; take care of your health; and be simple in what you are trying to do.” Trust that God has provided you with the gifts needed and that God will increase what you offer to impact the lives you touch.

    I want to remind you that the Communications Team has provided a host of resources that you may find helpful. You can find those resources at http://www.unyumc.org/about/uny-covid-19-response. If there are specific things we can be of assistance with, please do not hesitate to reach out to your District Superintendent, me, or a member of our Conference staff. We want to help in any way we can.

    I also want to share again that is there is a specific way in which I can join you in prayer, please do not hesitate to let me know. 

    Words do not seem to be enough to express my gratitude for each of you. You are appreciated! 

    In closing, I wanted to share with you a prayer I found in my devotional time today. It is a prayer credited to Susanna Wesley – one that I found meaningful in this time.

    “Help me, Lord, to remember that religion is not to be confined to the church, or closet, nor exercised only in prayer and meditation, but that everywhere I am in thy presence. So may my every word and action have a moral content. May all the happenings of my life prove useful to me. May all things instruct me and afford me an opportunity of exercising some virtue and daily learning and growing toward thy likeness. Amen.”

    Blessings,

    Mark

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    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."