Keeping you informed of happenings around the New York Conference, UCC.

Happenings Around Our Conference
My Thoughts
Rev. Ryan Henderson
An Open Note to Lenten Stress
Dear Stress,
I had hoped that having you visit during Christmas was going to be one of the things I could leave behind in 2016, but here you are following me in to the Lenten Season of 2017. Why do you forsake me Stress?
It is not like we are strangers. Stress, I saw you on the highway during rush hour traffic and sitting across from me on the bus. I spotted you out of corner of my eye at the gym when I was seeking to find the open elliptical machine out of the many rows of moving bodies. You were there during the last church council meeting and you even stayed late to talk in the parking lot. Your pew never seems to be open during worship, and your chair is always full during coffee hour as you sip fruit punch out of the small styrofoam cup.
Stress, most days my prayer for you is that you find Jesus in your life. I don't believe God wanted humanity to have such an intense relationship with you. The writer John reminds us of the words of Jesus when he spoke about the harmony of our human condition saying "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid" (John 14:27) God's peace is given as an answer to you; a response, a substitution, a transformation, and a liberation for living a faith-filled life in balance.
Here's my suggestion Stress, as we move toward Holy Week-Why don't we take some time apart to gain perspective and see how much time we really spend together? I'm going to filter my emails from you, turn off my Facebook to your posts, and stop responding to your txt messages. Call it a last-chance Lenten cleansing fast that may last until we gain some clearness to how we react together.
May God continue to bless the space between me and Thee, while we are absent one from another.
Grace and Peace~ Ryan

Rev. Ryan W. Henderson
Associate Conference Minister for Youth, Young Adults, and Emerging Ministries  Twitter: @revjava
A Huge Thanks from Nicaragua

This is a the moment to say Thanks to all of the people and sponsors that made the most recent mission trip on behalf of the New York Conference possible. February 21-27 was full of teaching youth about brushing teeth, love of God, and honoring of our bodies as holy. Thanks to Chris, Sueli, Dawn, Geri, Kelly, Eddie, Milane for giving of their time. Thanks to Plymouth and Bayberry Churches in Syracuse along with the Onieda Association and Wider Church Commission for their financial support of those going. Thanks to Hermano Enrique, Hermana Sonia, Mision Christiana and Staff of Escuela Luz Y Vida NI226 for the Generosity of open arms and open doors to welcome us. The group has more plans in the works for the next year to come; a presentation will be given at the upcoming UCCNY Woman's retreat. If your church would like to participate or you would like to participate please contact Sueli at the Conference office, you can all see some of our pictures and thoughts at

Reminder Regarding Copyright Laws

Please do all that you can to communicate to Local Churches that if they have any portion of the poem "The Dash" by Linda Ellis included in their hard copy or online publications, including websites, Facebook, Instagram, etc. they are at risk of being threatened with a copyright enforcement action by The Dash Management, the company that enforces the copyright. This company essentially makes a living by finding copyright violations and threatening a lawsuit. Publishing any portion of any work without permission may result in a church's liability for statutory damages, which are generally not covered by insurance. Properly attributing the work is not a substitute for getting a license (permission) from the copyright owner, and copyright owners are entitled to enforce their copyrights. We have discussed this particular poem before as several of our churches have fallen victim to it, and more are continuing to do so. Thanks.
Heather E. Kimmel
General Counsel
United Church of Christ
Welcome, Lisa!

The Conference Staff is pleased to welcome Ms. Lisa Delgado as the new bookkeeper of the New York Conference.  Lisa comes to us with 26 years of experience in accounting and bookkeeping.   She holds a B.A. in accounting from Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT and is a MBA candidate at Columbia College in Syracuse.  Lisa began work on March 9th.
Join the Climate March in Washington, DC on April 29

A climate march in Washington, DC on April 29th is being organized by the same broad coalition of groups that brought together more than 400,000 people for the 2014 climate march in New York City. The UCC Council for Climate Justice along with the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries are official co-sponsors for the upcoming march. We want to have a strong UCC presence at this march. RSVP to join the UCC contingent and receive updates from the Rev. Brooks Berndt, UCC Minister for Environmental Justice. One can also look online for the nearest sister march .

Sister March Webpage:
Free accommodations for DC marches

Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ is offering free sleeping space and basic accommodations for any UCC groups coming to Washington DC for the following events
  • March for Science, Saturday, April 22
  • People's Climate March, Saturday, April 29
  • Immigrants March, Saturday, May 6
  • Equality March for Unity and Pride, Sunday, June 11 
Westmoreland UCC is located at 1 Westmoreland Circle in Bethesda, MD -- immediately across the street from DC at the intersection of Massachusetts and Western Avenues. From senior minister Rev. Tim Tutt: "The accommodations we can offer are not luxurious -- basically floor space for sleeping bags and pillows. But the cost may be right -- free."

Interested people can contact the church at 301-229-7766.
2017 UCC Musicians Association National Conference

Click here for the website dedicated to this national conference.
To download a brochure for the conference, click here.
Videos Wanted

Would you consider making a 30 second video of yourself answering: "What I appreciate most about the United Church of Christ in New York is.... Or, What I appreciate most about what the New York Conference does, is......" Videos from cell phones are fine (just try not to shake too much!).
By submitting the video to us, you will give us permission to use it in a variety of settings, possibly including online website, social media, annual meeting, or association meetings. When you have completed your video-selfie, please email Marsha Williams ( and she will give you instructions on how to get it to her via a Dropbox. Thanks for your help in telling the story of the United Church of Christ in New York!
Registration open for Annual Meeting

Registration is now open for the Annual Meeting and pre-meeting Authorized Ministers Retreat. Annual Meeting will begin at 2:00 on Thursday, May 25 at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown. For more information, visit the conference website:
To register, use these links:
Hotel Reservations - click here to book your group rate for New York Conference of the United Church of Christ, Inc.
Annual Meeting - click here to register for the meeting and meals
Retreat - register for the Pre-Annual Meeting Authorized Ministers' Retreat by clicking here
Choirs invited to free workshops, festival

The Festival of Choirs USA® is a free church choir event, open to the public and scheduled for Saturday, May 13 at Sawyer Evangelical Church, 777 South Kendall Ave., Bradford, PA from 10:00a-6:00p.
The Festival is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for: Promoting public awareness of the need to reestablish and reinvigorate the choirs that were once in small town churches and communities.
Come for the day and enjoy great fellowship, music, workshops, and food or just come to hear the choirs perform in the afternoon. For more information or to register, click here. If you would like more information please contact:
Arcade UCC Choir:  Dona Roll- 716-676-2573
Festival Founder:  Jerry Goochee- 757-630-1490. 
Click here for a schedule of events.
Register now for New York Women's Annual Conference

Join the New York Women of the United Church of Christ for their annual conference on May 4-6 at Watson Homestead. This year's theme is God Brings New Beginning
. The conference features: workshops, Biblical drama, worship services, mission projects, card making, crafts, fellowship and activities, meditation room, book exchange, and Pennies for People.

For more information and pictures from last year's retreat, click here.
For a printable flyer to share or hang in your church, click here.
For a registration form, click here.
National gathering, advocacy training set in Washington 

Join Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington for " Confronting Chaos, Forging Community"  from April 21-24, 2017 to grapple with the intersectionality of racism, materialism, and militarism , and learn more about the impact they have around the world, in our communities, and in our own lives. Through prayer, worship, advocacy training, and networking with other Christians, we will face the current manifestations of these 'triplets' and together advocate for change in public policy that better reflects the Beloved Community about which Dr. King spoke. After a weekend filled with education and training, Ecumenical Advocacy Days will culminate with a Lobby Day on Monday, April 24, 2017, where participants will converge on Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress. We seek to renew this revolutionary spirit as we affirm the vision of a day when 'Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.'" (Isa: 40:3)

Click here for more information.
Free meals at Central Square 

Free! Lenten Soupers: 
  • Wednesday, March 29
  • Wednesday, April 5
  • Maundy Thursday, April 13

Meals are from 6:00-7:00 pm at Central Square Community Church, 833 US Rte. 11 Call 315-668-6278  to make a reservation.

Bronxville church to host piano performance 

Pianist Raj Bhimani will perform in the sanctuary at West Center Congregational Church, 101 Pondfield Road West, Bronxville, on Sunday, April 2 at 2 PM.  The critically acclaimed Mr. Bhimani, will be premiering a new piece written for him by two French composers -- Thérèse Brenet and Jean-Thierry Boisseau each contributed two movements to a work called Mixed Doubles (Double Mixte).  Mr. Bhimani will also be playing two favorite compositions by Maurice Ravel -- Sonatine and Valses nobles et sentimentales, both of which are to be recorded on his next CD.  Rounding out the program is Variations on a Theme by Handel written by Johannes Brahms, which Mr. Bhimani describes as being "full of joy and optimism".

While there is no admission charge, a $10 donation is suggested. The  sanctuary is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, and there is parking on the street.  For further information, please call the church office at (914) 337-3829, send an email to or log on to its website,

Click here for an event flyer to download.
Register: United Church of Canada's Women's Conference

Women in the United Church of Christ are invited to the "55th Anniversary National United Church Women 'Celebrating Women'" conference. Please find below an electronic copy of the Conference Brochure as well as the Registration Form for the upcoming United Church Women (UCW), the women's conference of the United Church of Canada. The gathering is in Vancouver July 10-14, 2017 at the University of British Columbia.
Click here for a brochure.
Click here for the registration form.
Click here for the event website.
Conference Minister Endorses Camp Fowler

Two years ago Camp Fowler (and several other summer camps) requested that I endorse and promote their summer youth programs. Having worked extensively with summer camps in both Maine and New Hampshire, I am aware that a camp accredited by the American Camping Association is of critical importance in order for a conference to stand behind their programs. ACA accreditation ensures the highest standard for program safety in the summer camp industry. For this reason I told every camp that requested my backing that as soon as they achieved the ACA standard, I would support them.
I am very pleased to communicate that Camp Fowler on the shores of Sacandaga Lake in the Adirondack Mountains responded to my challenge and has been granted ACA accreditation. Having gone through the accreditation process in Maine, I can attest that this is no small achievement. For this reason I will promote Camp Fowler (or any other ACA accredited facility) for New York youth to enjoy! Camp Fowler is associated with the Reformed Church in America (Albany Synod). Ryan Henderson and I have met with their Director several times and we are pleased to support their program.
Registration for summer camp is now open online at Check out their programs. Several members of the New York Conference have been very active in their programs throughout the years including Marian Shearer, Janelle Richardson, and Emily Otto. They will attest to the inclusive, spiritual, and safe attributes that make Camp Fowler a wonderful experience for youth. Visit their website. You can also call Camp Fowler at 518-631-6789.
David Gaewski
Association Spring Meeting schedule

April 29
Susquehanna Association, McLean -- All Ministry Team members present
Metropolitan, St. Albans
Genesee Valley, Community Christian
Suffolk, Middle Island

April 30
Oneida, Pulaski -- Marjorie Purnine

May 7
Black River/Saint Lawrence, Hopkington -- Marjorie Purnine
Western, TBA -- Ryan Henderson
Essex, Lewis -- David Gaewski

May 13
Hudson Mohawk -- Marsha Williams  
Staff Preaching Schedule

Rev. David R Gaewski
April 30 - First Congregational Church, Ithaca
May 14 - Henrietta United Church of Christ

Rev. Ryan W. Henderson
April 9 - St. Stephens Bethlehem UCC, Buffalo
May 7 - St. Peter's UCC, West Seneca
May 14 - Kenilworth UCC, Buffalo

Rev. Freeman L. Palmer
April 9 - Corona Congregational Church, Queens
April 16 - Nazarene Congregational Church, Brooklyn
April 30 - Christ Community Church, Cortland

Rev. Dr. Marjorie Purnine
April 30 - Groton Community Church

Rev. Dr. Marsha Williams
April 9 - Clinton Heights UCC
April 30 - Greene UCC
Opportunities for Education
Free Upcoming Webinar

Thursday April 6, 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Leader: Elizabeth Christie
Join us as we talk about ways to observe Pentecost with children. We will discuss projects, books, and activities to help children and their families celebrate the birthday of the church, the arrival of the Holy Spirit, and ways to "fan the flame."

Elizabeth Christie is a Christian Educator with the United Methodist Church. Additionally, she is a certified special education teacher and has worked extensively with children and adults with various needs. Elizabeth loves finding ways to make activities work for all ages and abilities, and is usually covered in markers, paint, and glitter.
Upcoming Boundary Training Opportunities:

REGISTRATION OPEN: ½ Basic offered online April 24 and May 1
Mondays, April 24 and May 1, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
In the UCC, authorized ministers need to take Boundary Awareness Training. After the basic unit is completed, a "refresher" course is taken every few years. Associations offer refresher courses, since that is what most folks need. However, some still need the basic unit. With NYSOM's technological support, Penny Cannon will be offering the first half of a basic unit of BAT training via web conferencing, on Mondays, April 24 and May 1, from 7-9 pm.

If you have ever taken a Boundary Awareness Training, this IS NOT for you. And these two sessions are not a complete unit: they need to be combined with a face-to-face refresher  to constitute a basic unit of Boundary Awareness Training. The cost is $50 for the two web-conferenced sessions. Participants will read Cloud & Townsend's, 
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life, in preparation for the sessions. Click here to register now. The registration deadline is April 11 (so that participants will have time to order and read the assigned book). If you have questions, contact Leigh McCaffrey at .

Renewal Class offered at Conference Office, May 20
The Oneida Association will be providing a one day refresher Boundary Awareness Training on Saturday, May 20, from 9am to 3pm, at the Conference Office in Dewitt. Cost is $75 and will be collected the day of the event. Registration can be made through Diana Pelletier, Oneida Registrar, at . A maximum of 20 individuals can attend. Registration deadline is May 10th. Please bring your lunch.

Renewal Class offered in Western, May 23
The Western association is hosting a one day renewal Boundary Awareness Training on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at Ebenezer UCC,630 Main Street, West Seneca, NY 14224. This is the only scheduled BAT for 2017, so if you are due this year, this is the training for you. Cost for the training (9:00a-4:00p) is $75 if paid before May 10, or $100 at the door. For "no-shows" at the training event, a $25 fee will be retained from your refund. To register and for further information, please contact Rev. Robert C. Dievendorf at  or 585-492-4530.
News from Our Committees
From Global Ministries:
The Westras, Global Missionaries to Honduras, to visit UCCNY

Don and Maryjane Westra will be itinerating in the New York Conference in June. They have served the last 4 years with  CEVER (Center for Vocational Education and Evangelical Reformed) in Yoro, Honduras.  Sponsored by the Evangelical and  Reformed Church of Honduras, CEVER's mission is to provide vocational education, such as welding, automotive repair and  culinary arts to young people ages 14-30 with an emphasis on spiritual and moral development,  Maryjane, a medical social  worker has also been working with the church to reopen a rural health clinic whose mission is to provide basic health care  and nutrition support to an indigenous community in Yoro.
The Westras will be preaching in Honeoye UCC on June 4, Arcade UCC on June 11 and Henrietta (Rochester) UCC on June 18. They  will be available June 5-10 and June 12-17 to present programs in the Western Area and the Susquehanna Association. Please consider organizing a daytime or evening program where they can talk about their work. Also, you can invite them to meet with a women's, men's, youth or retirees group, or participate in a Bible study. They would also enjoy hanging out with  a small group of interested people. If you would like to invite the Westras to  your church or if you have questions,  contact Kay Woike:; (716)834-9781.
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What's Happening at Your Local Church?

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Please note that the New York Conference does not publish news related to fundraisers.
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