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

Happenings Around Our Conference
My Thoughts
Rev. David Gaewski
I think every person who I asked "How are you?" this week, has answered: "Not very good." In each case the dis-ease was a result of stress over our unfolding national politics. Two persons had seen a doctor, one was told to see a counselor. I know that the circles in which I walk are mostly socially progressive and theologically liberal people, and so it is not surprising that the current political agenda is causing distress.
 
For me the question is: what are we going to do about it? Or perhaps more fundamentally: what will we do? As a socially progressive and theologically liberal Christian, I am thinking: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So I am listening for what is new and who is thinking aloud radically new thoughts.
 
I resonate with my friend and colleague Dwayne Royster who was struggling mightily with MLK's witness of non-violent resistance on FB a couple of weeks ago. King has been a beacon of light for several generations. But I am certain that whatever approach made sense to oppose injustice in 1964 does not easily translate into a post-modern, post-truth era.
 
I don't have a clue as to what God is calling the church to do.... Well, no, that's not true either. I know this: "The spirit of the Lord is upon us because God has anointed us; God has sent us to announce good news to the poor, to proclaim release for prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind; to let the broken victims go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19) And I know this: "You have my Father's blessing... For when I was hungry, you gave me food; when I was thirsty, you gave me drink; when I was a stranger, you took me into your home; when naked, you clothed me; when I was ill, you came to my help; when in prison, you visited me." (Matthew 25:34-36)
 
So beloved, how shall we sing the Lord's song in this new foreign land?

David

Rev. David R Gaewski
Conference Minister
DavidGaewski@uccny.org  Twitter: @davidgaewski1
Announcements
New and Right Spirit:
Understanding race, racism, and white privilege
$10,000

Our goal is to raise $10,000 on March 1st  (Ash Wednesday) for the "New and Right Spirit" flash campaign to expand our understanding of race, racism and white privilege in our communities and churches in New York.  Ten Thousand Dollars will fund specialized training for persons who will be deployed around New York State to facilitate honest, safe, and yes unsettling conversations that acknowledge our struggles with race, racism, and white privilege. These are conversations for communities, sometimes in a church, sometimes in a school, sometimes in a town hall. Please give generously on Ash Wednesday and be part of the change we long for.
Become a better Minister

Do you need:
Support and encouragement in your ministry
Nurture of your individual practices of spiritual discipline
Authentic relationships with other ministers
Engagement in ongoing theological reflection and study
A place to share your ministry concerns and life challenges?
 
Become part of a Community of Practice. In-person and online groups are forming now in the New York Conference. Visit the links below for more information.

Calling all toothbrushes!

The Mission Team going to Nicaragua Feb. 21 thru the 27 representing the Bayberry UCC, Plymouth UCC from the Syracuse on behalf of the NY Conference is looking for Donations of Toothbrushes to be handed folks who need in Managua. If you have extra new toothbrushes to donate please send them to the Conference office: 5575 Thompson Rd, DeWitt NY 13214 or if you have any questions please contact Sueli Gaewsky 315-446-3073 or email SGaewsky@uccny.org

State Youth Event registration now open!

Registration is now open for 2017 UCCNY State Youth Event. This year's theme is "Realize, Relax, Reassure." The event will be March 3-5 at Watson Homestead Convention Center. For more information and to register, click here.


If you have any questions about the Youth Event, email Ryan Henderson at  rhenderson@uccny.org.
  
If you have any problems with registration, contact Patti Rodrigues at 315-446-3073 ext. 15 or email her at  bookkeeper@uccny.org.
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 campfowler.org. 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
UCCNY churches at Women's Marches

Several churches in the New York Conference were represented at the Women's Marches on January 21. Click here for more information and pictures!
Clergy Called to Sign Letter

The Faith Integration Coalition has compiled a letter supporting refugee resettlement. Clergy are asked to sign. Originally, 2000 signatures were sought, but 3,500 religious leaders have signed so far. Click here to read the complete letter and add your signature.
United Church of Christ releases new video

Trading Places
Trading Places

The United Church of Christ has released an important video titled "Trading Spaces." This video  shines a light on religious bigotry in a unique way-by depicting religious leaders of different faiths experiencing the power of walking in one another's shoes -and into one another's houses of worship.

This video is intended to tell the world who we are in the United Church of Christ and what we dream of.

If you care about interfaith understanding and building a world free of religious intolerance, you will share this message.


Visit tradingplacesucc.org for more information.
Clergy Well-Being Study to Begin Next Month

All UCC clergy and Members in Discernment are being invited to participate in the Flourishing in Ministry project, a national study on clergy well-being. This research is being done in partnership with the UCC national setting and all Conferences. Ministers and MIDs will be receiving an email on February 7, 2017 that will invite you to participate in this study, though you are not required to do so. Details can be found here: http://www.uccfiles.com/pdf/ucc_clergy_wellbeing.pdf
Tomorrow: Join New York rallies to support the environment

One of the many extremist positions of the new Trump administration is its rejection of policies that protect our water, air, food and climate.

On February 2, New Yorkers will rally outside Senator Chuck Schumer's offices across the state , calling on him to lead the charge against President Trump's anti-environmental agenda. Will you join?  As the nation's most powerful Democrat, Schumer must use his clout and visibility to block Trump's pro-corporate, anti-environment plans. As his constituents, New Yorkers have an important role to play in demanding this. Join Food & Water Watch and a dozen other groups Thursday rallying in solidarity at Senator Schumer's offices in Manhattan, Melville, Peekskill, Binghamton, Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester.  Can you join at the office closest to you?

What:  Statewide Day of Action: Stand Up Chuck, Resist Trump!
When:  Thursday, February 2 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Where:  Senator Chuck Schumer's offices
Staff Preaching Schedule

Rev. Freeman L. Palmer
March 5 - First Congregational Church of Corning
March 12 - United Church of Rockville Centre
March 19 - United Church of Spring Valley

Rev. Dr. Marsha Williams
February 5 - Stanfordville United Church of Christ
February 12 - First Congregational UCC, Norwich
February 26 - Corona Congregational Church UCC
Opportunities for Education
Boundary Awareness Trainings offered in Metro

The Metropolitan association is hosting a Boundary Awareness Training on Monday, March 27 at the Garden City Community Church. Regular BAT is being offered as well as the Clergy BAT Renewal. Cost for the entire training (9:00a-4:00p) is $80 if paid before March 13, or $100 at the door. Cost for the renewal training is $60 paid before March 13 or $80 at the door.  Click here  for a registration form, registration information, and directions for the training.
Boundary Awareness Trainings offered in Western

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 dievenrc@gmail.com or 585-492-4530..
Support the New York Conference
Covenant Share

Covenant Share is the Special Offering approved by the New York Conference in 2013. This offering can be taken up any time during the year. Covenant Share is to be received in the manner as One Great Hour of Sharing and Neighbors in Need. The Covenant Share Offering makes possible ministries specific to the United Church of Christ in New York.

Click to Learn More and Support:
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Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the  New York Conference of United Church of Christ  whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.
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What's Happening at Your Local Church?

Do you have an item of news that you would like to share throughout the New York Conference? Please email our Communications Coordinator at  communications@uccny.org and send the details - preferably with links and pictures!
Please note that the New York Conference does not publish news related to fundraisers.
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