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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Perspectives: Meet the DLTs

    Meet the DLTs: Albany District

    January 8, 2020 / By District Superintendent Rev. Rich Weihing and Albany District Lay Leader Ellen Mall-John

    Our purpose as a District Leadership Team is to equip the congregations of Albany District to live their mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” We are rooted in this mission statement, and our vision statement, too! 

    When we have fully-equipped clergy, laity, and congregations in Albany District for their mission, we expect to experience the vision of Upper NY Conference: “Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Being God’s love with our neighbors everywhere.” We are filled with passion and excitement as we make our way on this journey of faith! 

    We are getting there!!!

    Past History of DLT:

    The District Leadership Team used Survey Monkey in 2018, to invite Albany District clergy and laity to assess their congregational needs.  We were pleased to hear back from representatives of over 40 of our 67 churches through SurveyMonkey. We found certain needs kept coming to the top for many Albany District churches: 

    • How do we connect with our neighbors in deeper forms of relationship?
    • How do we move beyond mission as giving money or things?
    • How do we transition from ministry primarily within our building(s) to a greater focus out in the community?
    • How do we move to clarity about our mission and purpose in this time and place?
    • How can we grow a spirit of unity around our mission and vision?
    • How do we do new things in new ways without alienating long-term members?

    We heard a deep longing for relevance and inclusion for both long-term members and potential new disciples, and a deep longing for real equipping from the District and Conference that truly builds up local church leaders for their ministry setting(s).

    In addition to District Training Days, including Jason Moore on Worship and Welcoming, Jorge Acevedo on Vital Congregations principles, clergy on Building Community, and several with Conference staff for training of local church teams and committees, along with ongoing Safe Sanctuaries and Lay Servant Ministries offerings, and Pastoral Leadership Development led by Superintendent Rich Weihing and Rev. Gary Kubitz, we began our focus on developing a Laity Leadership Curriculum that would not only help empower laity, but also help laity and clergy walk along side one another as we continue to do God’s work by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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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."