Albany District and Conference News
June 30, 2022
“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.”
-- Confucius
Please share with us how your church is making disciples for the transformation of the world!
Focusing on discipleship
The mission of the United Methodist Church is creating disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. So, what is a disciple?

The Upper New York Conference has updated its website to better highlight the focus of our Conference—the tab for “our focus” is on our homepage— https://www.unyumc.org. In this section are listed six characteristics that define a disciple of Jesus Christ. Click here to read “Our Focus.”

Another great resource to learn more about creating disciples is the See all the People website, which is a movement to “stop fixing our church and start seeing all the people Christ calls us to reach.” #Seealllthepeople has dozens of resources on creating intentional discipleship systems and methods of building relationships.

Click here to learn more about the #SeeallthePeople movement and watch their four-minute video that defines a “disciple.”
Step by step process for developing an Intentional Discipleship Plan

The Northern Flow District has created training resources for congregations and persons to walk through a “step-by-step” process for developing an Intentional Discipleship Plan.

Click here for steps 1 and 2 of the training; follow the guidance of the video trainers, use the provided PowerPoints and the resources (links) to enable your church and team to develop and implement your congregation’s Intentional Discipleship Plan.
 
Additional training steps will be provided over time. Imagine what God will do as more and more churches develop their process for Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World!
Please keep family and friends of Carole Carver in your prayers. Carole, 90, died on June 18. She was predeceased by her husband, the Rev. Sherwood “Woody” Carver in 2017. Rev. Carver served several Upper New York churches, including First: Gloversville, Voorheesville, Calvary UMC: Latham, and Burnt Hills UMC in the former Troy Conference. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on July 2 at Calvary UMC, located at 15 Ridge Place in Latham, NY. Condolences can be sent to Carole’s daughter, Diane Kendall, at 4324 Buckingham Drive, Schenectady, NY 12304. Click here to read Carole’s full obituary.

Continued prayers are requested for Pastor Paul Sweet (Christ Church, Troy) who sustained injuries in an accident in May. He has moved to the next step in his rehabilitation. Paul's mom, Rev. Rebekah B. Sweet asked us to share that Paul's condition continues to slowly improve. The family is thankful for your prayers. Cards of care and concern can be sent to him c/o Rev. Rebekah B. Sweet, 208 East Court St., Ithaca, NY 14850, or you can send an email to beckieb.sweet@gmail.com

Please also pray for:

Rev. Dr. Camillus Mourice, who is having a lot of pain and problems with his knees, and also for his wife Clementine Mourice, who has health issues.

Rev. Judy Humphrey-Fox and her husband Tim.

If you'd like prayer for yourself or others, or you'd like to share a joy, please be in touch with Carrie (518) 608-1246 or albanydistrict@unyumc.org
What's New
Mission u to be held in August
The Upper New York United Women in Faith are holding an in-person Mission u event this summer.
 
Click here for the flyer and registration forms for the UNY UWF 2022 Mission u event, scheduled for August 18 - 20 at Fayetteville UMC, 601 Genesee St., Fayetteville, NY 13066. This is an intergenerational, in-person event. A separate Zoom event will be scheduled for a later date. 
New 'Bridge' available
The July 2022 issue of the Bridge is ready for download. It is available in both color and black & white formats. Click here to select the version you prefer and make copies as necessary. The stories that are featured in the Bridge can also be accessed from the news section of the Upper New York (UNY) Conference website for easy copying and pasting for those who wish to electronically distribute news featured in the Bridge. Click here to access the UNY Conference news items.
 
This issue of the Bridge shares all of the fun camping opportunities that are taking place at the UNY Camp & Retreat Canters, offering our children and youth tons of fun while growing in their faith.
Church membership growth
Some churches saw a decline in membership during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also, some saw an increase due to digital discipleship (through Zoom, Facebook live, or YouTube for example).
 
Now that most areas in our Conference are considered safe according to the Center for Disease Control, churches are starting to offer in-person services regularly.
 
Has your church found creative ways to increase church membership either before the pandemic, during the pandemic, or in recent months?
 
The Conference staff would love to hear your story.
 
Click here to fill out this brief form with your story.
Bishop Webb's laity webinar FAQs
There were several frequently asked questions (FAQs) during the June 21, 2022 webinar with Upper New York Area Resident Bishop, Mark J. Webb. This webinar was with the UNY laity.
 
Click here to read some of those FAQs. This list will be updated as more questions are answered. If you have a question that isn't featured on this page, please submit it to news@unyumc.org.
How do you prioritize
taking a Sabbath?
Do you take a Sabbath—do you truly give yourself a day of rest? Many use their supposed Sabbath day to catch up on chores or run errands. It’s hard to fit all our obligations within a week, but God wants us to rest!
 
The Conference's next issue of the Advocate will be focused on spiritual wellness. They are looking for stories of people throughout our Conference who truly take a Sabbath. Tell them about your Sabbath by emailing news@unyumc.org by July 8.
How the Sacred Sites program helps preserve UNY local churches
Many of the local churches in the Upper New York (UNY) Conference are considered landmarks; several of our churches are over 100 years old. Over time, these church buildings face structural damages from the foundation to the roof, from the stained-glass windows to the steeples.
 
Our churches are more than just buildings; they are gathering places not only for congregations, but also, communities. These churches evoke meaning for Scouts groups or recovery groups that meet there weekly, for the couples that were married there, for the community members who rely on the food bank at the church, and for so many more.
 
What can be done, beyond bake sales and chicken barbecues, when a church building needs repairs that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars?
 
Some churches have endowments that help. There are also several grant programs. One of them is the New York Landmark Conservancy’s (Conservancy) Sacred Sites grant program.
 
Click here to read about example of church renovation projects that were possible because of the help from the Sacred Sites grant program.
Why choose to be
a United Methodist?
Each of us made a choice to be United Methodist, to #BeUMC. In doing so, we connected with others around the world who are also called to share God’s love and put their beliefs into action. We are the church. Together.

Click here to watch this video to be reminded of why you chose to #BeUMC and to see how you are a vital part of The United Methodist Church’s continuing mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Social Media Day today at 1 PM
United Methodist Communications will celebrate Social Media Day today, June 30, highlighting the many resources the agency provides to help churches maximize their social media potential.
Over the past few years, churches have adopted new ways of connecting through social media. John Haney – Senior Training and Development Specialist – will host a special live learning session on Facebook Groups at 1 PM (Noon Central) at Facebook.com/UMCom.
Did you know?
One of the best things about learning something new is being able to share the knowledge.
That is the groundwork behind the “Did You Know” campaign – to increase your understanding about the UMC connection.

To read more, click here.
What's New from the Lewis Center
4 ways to expand the reach
of small groups

How can you prevent your small groups from becoming inwardly focused and impenetrable to newcomers? Doug Powe and Ann Michel of the Lewis Center staff outline four strategies to help groups maintain an outward focus and an invitational posture.

To learn more, click here.
Listening to your community

It’s easy to lose sight of the ways God is alive and at work in our communities without intentional efforts to know and understand our neighbors. Paul Nixon describes three strategies for reconnecting with the pulse of your community.

To learn more, click here.
Lay Servant Ministries
(Updated) Adirondack District Lay Servant courses

The Adirondack Lay Servant Ministries continues to offer the 7 courses required for Lay Speaker Certification, and are excited to be offering some new advanced courses to support you in your continuing faith journey.

Here are upcoming courses:

Advanced Course: Polity
Wednesdays, July 6, 13, 20, 27: 6-9pm
Zoom: Fee $15
Facilitator: Jacqueline Kim

Basic Lay Servant Course
Mondays, July 18, 25, Aug. 1: 6-9pm
Thursdays July 21 and 28: 6-9 p.m.
ZOOM: Course Fee: $15
Facilitator: Jacqueline Kim

(New) Advanced Course: Leading Prayer
Tuesdays: August 2, 9, 16, and 23:  6-9pm
Zoom: Fee $15
Facilitator: Jacqueline Kim
 
(New) Advanced Course: Afire with God
Thursdays: August 4, 11, 18, and 25: 6-9pm
Zoom: Fee $15
Facilitator: Bruce Hazard
Advanced Course: Leading Worship
Mondays, August 8, 15, 22, 29: 6-9pm
Zoom: $15
Facilitator: Bruce Hazard
 
Advanced Course: Called to Preach
Thursdays, Sept. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29: 6-9pm
Zoom: Fee $15
Facilitators: Jacqueline Kim
 
Advanced Course: For the Common Good (Spiritual Gifts)
Oct., 4, 11, 20, 24, 27: 6-9pm
Zoom: Fee $15
Facilitators: Jacqueline Kim
 
Advanced Course: Opening Ourselves to Grace
Thursdays, Nov. 10 & 17: 6-9pm
Tuesday, Nov. 29, Dec. 6 & 13: 6-9pm
Zoom: $15
Facilitator: Jacqueline Kim
 
If you are interested in taking any of these courses, contact registrar Arlene Schmidt at arlenedschmidt@gmail.com
Albany District Lay Servant Ministries
Please note that all sessions of a course must be attended to receive a Certificate of Completion!

For more detailed descriptions, click here.

Lay Servants Lead in Conflict Resolution
Saturdays, August 6, 13 via Zoom and in person at First UMC of East Greenbush
9:00 am-2:30 p.m.
Facilitator: Pastor Danyal Mohammadzadeh
Course Fee: $10
Contact Nancy Goddard bngoddard@davespc.net for a registration form
 
Transforming Evangelism
Saturdays, September 10 and September 17 via Zoom
9:00 am-2:30 p.m.
Contact Facilitator: Rita Pickett vrlenprita@aol.com for a registration form.
Course Fee: $10
 
Living Our United Methodist Beliefs (Heritage – Required Lay Speaker Course)
Mondays, October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 via Zoom
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Contact Facilitator: Bruce France bfrance@nycap.rr.com for a registration form.
Course Fee: $10
Lay Servant Courses Offered Around the Conference

Click here to find out when, where and how you can sign up for a lay servant course that you need or are interested in taking. This link connects you to all the Districts in UNY Conference that are offering courses.
Revisiting
Skye Farm offering summer programs that will appeal to all
Whether your child loves sports and games, diving deep into God’s natural creation, or doing wacky things like having ice cream for breakfast, Skye Farm Camp & Retreat Center has something to offer them.

The COVID pandemic has hampered children’s opportunity to experience summer camp the past two summers. Following health departments’ advice, Upper New York is taking every measure possible to make sure that children and youth can safely enjoy camp this year.

This summer at Skye Farm, your child can enjoy several different types of camps. And back for the first time in many years are camps for children ages 3-7!

Click here to learn about all of the summer camp opportunities at Skye Farm starting in July!

To view the Skye Farm Camps & Programs click here. To visit the website, click here.

If you'd like a PDF of the summer programs, contact Carrie in the District Office, adirondackdistrict@unyumc.org
A message from UNY Camp and Retreat ministries
The UNY Camp & Retreat site directors are so excited to be able to offer full programming at their sites for the first time since 2020.
 
Click here to hear the positive news from the site directors themselves in this video and learn how you can explore all the wonderful summer camp opportunities throughout the Conference.
Applications are now open for
2022 Mustard Seed Migration Grants
Every day, thousands of people flee their homes in search of a better life for their families.
 
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Mustard Seed Migration Grants, inspired by the well-known parable, are available to provide up to 50 congregations in the United States with up to $2,000 in funding to support one-time, community-based projects that assist refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented persons and migrants of all types.
 
Applications will be accepted at any time prior to the Sept. 1, 2022 deadline, and will be reviewed and processed within a month of receipt. Churches receiving grants in 2021 are not eligible for the 2022 program (review 2021 list here).
 
For information on the application process, including selection criteria, click here.
Mission Central HUB in need of donations and volunteers

Mission Central HUB at the Conference center is looking for donations you can collect in your community and also for volunteers to come into the HUB for various projects. The HUB has been struggling to receive donations, and volunteers are few.
 
What do we do here you ask? We help folks in need when a natural disaster strikes their community. The HUB helps train and coordinate ERT (early response teams) and collects UMCOR supplies and kits. Mission Central HUB donates the supplies to organizations (Red Cross, fire departments, churches) in communities affected by a natural disaster. These items are often used by ERT as well. We not only help locally, but nation wide. Many UMCOR kits we receive are delivered to the Mission Central HUB in Mechanicsburg, PA. then distributed to folks in need. Or sometimes to Sager Brown, LA. Our main warehouse...nothing goes to waste! All is needed. Items not UMCOR approved are donated to local non-profits. Without you the HUB would not exist.
 
Projects for volunteers are but not limited to:
·    Verification of UMCOR approved supplies
·    Preparing for shipment
·    Counting of supplies
·    General needs that might arise in the HUB.
 
Please consider volunteering at Mission Central HUB! The need is now and everyday. Large groups, small groups, folks of all ages welcome even if just a few people are a big help. Contact Marybeth Ingalls at the Upper NY Mission Central HUB. She will be happy to set up a time for you or your group to volunteer for a few hours.
 
Please follow us on Face book. For more information visit our website.
 
Upper New York Conference
Mission Volunteer Coordinator
7481 Henry Clay Blvd., Liverpool, N.Y. 13088
1-315-898-2064
1-315-372-0285
UNY Young Adults Council wants to hear from UNY Young Adults!
Are you a part of a young adult ministry in Upper NY? We want to hear about it.

The UNY Young Adult Council is collecting information about young adult (ages 18 to 35) ministries in our Conference, whether they're young adult-specific or just happen to include lots of young people. We want to spread the word about existing opportunities and help new young adult ministries get started! Send us a message on our Facebook Page: Upper NY Young Adults: click here, or send an email to youngadults@unyumc.org
Support the UNY Taskforce on Peace with Justice

Affected by a third year of COVID-19, the Upper New York (UNY) Taskforce on Peace with Justice in Palestine/ Israel is not able to host their annual dinner—a dinner that supports the Gary Bergh scholarship.
 
Even though the dinner cannot happen, the Taskforce invites all people in the UNY Conference churches and friends who long for Palestinian peace with justice to join in an “imagined” Palestinian dinner with a donation in any amount in support of the Gary Bergh Scholarship so that, once again, young and “not-so-young” may respond to the Palestinian invitation to “come and see.”
 
Tax-deductible donations should be checks made out to “UNYAC” with “Gary Bergh Scholarship” on the memo line by July 30. Please mail to: Linda Bergh, 116 Edna Road, Syracuse, NY 13205 or Karen Peterson, 116 Greenridge Drive, Horseheads, NY. 14845. 
 
This 27th Palestinian Dinner (imagined) is in honor of Leah Mae Carlisle who, in 2005, responded to the dinner speaker, well-known American Palestinian pastor, Alex Awad, to “come and see.”
 
Click here to learn more about the annual Palestinian dinners and Leah Mae’s work with the Taskforce.

See related article below.
Justice in Israel–Palestine: Travel for Awareness through
the Gary Bergh Scholarship

The Gary Bergh Scholarship is offered especially to youth and young adults for travel to Palestine-Israel to witness the need and hear possible solutions toward justice, peace, and security for ALL in the Holy Land. This scholarship, a Conference Advance Special, (#932) is offered by the UNY Task Force on Peace w/ Justice in Palestine/ Israel (co-chaired by Linda Bergh: 315-492-8507 and Karen Peterson: 607-739-3141). It has enabled young adults and clergy to join “justice-seeking” delegations almost yearly since 2010.

This year, the UNY Task Force is offering two or three sizable scholarships to enable young adults to see for themselves the effects of Israel's military occupation of Palestinian lands (the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza,) the demolition of Palestinian homes and mistreatment of Palestinian children.

Click here to learn more about the scholarship and to read eye-witness accounts of UNY travelers to Palestine.
CAMPUS MINISTER POSITION OPEN: The Protestant Campus Ministry at the University at Albany is searching for a new part-time Protestant Campus Minister. Candidates must be ordained and have a love for college students, mentoring, connecting with students, faculty and congregational partners, as well as an ability to embrace diversity. Skills include Microsoft Office, Social Media, grant writing and reporting.  Send cover letter and resume to uacornerstone@gmail.com by August 15. Projected start date: January 1, 2023.

For the job description, click here 
2022 Annual Conference has been postponed until Oct. 6-8 and will now be virtual

This news item was released April 21 by the Upper New York Conference office.
 
The Sessions Committee of the Upper New York Conference gathered by Zoom on the morning of Thursday, April 21 to discuss growing concerns about the uptick in COVID-19 cases in Upstate New York and throughout the United States.
 
Annual Conference will be postponed to Oct. 6-8 and it will be a virtual gathering. The plan is to use the same technology that was used at the 2021 virtual Annual Conference gathering, which was relatively well received.
 
Anyone who has already registered for the planned in-person Annual Conference gathering will receive full refunds. The processing of refunds will start immediately but could take a couple of weeks to complete. If you made a hotel reservation, you should contact the hotel directly to cancel.

To read the full article, click here.
UNY 2023 Ministry Share budget posted

The Upper New York Conference 2023 Ministry Share budget, is now available. The budget will be voted on at the 2022 Upper New York Annual Conference, which is scheduled to be held June 2-4 at the SRC Arena in Syracuse. Click here to view the budget

Denman award nomination deadline extended to July 1

The Denman award honors United Methodists in each Conference whose exceptional evangelism brings people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Each year, Annual Conferences join the Foundation for Evangelism in recognizing one youth, one clergy member, and one lay person in each Conference.
 
The 2021 recipients in the Upper New York Conference were Pastor Della Ludwig (clergy) and Pastor Sean Chanthasone (clergy). The 2020 recipients were Nolan Carner (youth), Rick Fisher, Jr. (laity), and Pastor Jose Rodriguez (clergy).
 
Read about all the past recipients by clicking here.
 
The deadline for submitting your 2022 nominations to the Conference has been extended to July 1, 2022.
 
Click here for a nomination form. Email dcmoffice@unyumc.org with your completed nominations or if you have any questions. 
UMC Clergy Education Offering Courses for Credit
  
ClergyEducation.com is a resource for clergy and church leaders, offering CEUs accepted by most United Methodist annual conferences.
 
Click here for a complete catalogue of recorded courses.
 
Click here for a list of all upcoming courses
Disaffiliating from the UNY Conference and the UMC
During the Upper New York (UNY) Annual Conference held virtually in June of 2021, the body passed Resolution UNYAC2021.7 which created a Study Commission to examine the readiness in the UNYUMC for the Implementation of the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation.
 
Last fall, the UNY Study Commission issued surveys to clergy and congregations in the UNY Conference about the Protocol. Despite there only being a 30 percent response rate, some congregations and clergy did report that if the Protocol passes, they will leave the United Methodist Church. Click here to read the survey report.
The Global Methodist Church launched on May 1, 2022. Click here to read the announcement.
 
Given these changes, the Conference Board of Trustees anticipated there would be congregations who might now desire to explore disaffiliation.
 
Click here to read an article that outlines the disaffiliation process.
Upcoming Safe Sanctuaries
classes announced
The Conference team has issued a new brochure announcing upcoming classes. Open the brochure by clicking on the link in the box above.

Classes will be held Aug. 6 and Nov. 5. See the brochure for registration information.

Our next training will be August 6, 2022 to prepare for the Fall Sunday School Season, so we recommend getting registered as soon as possible. 

There will also be a Training of Trainer class on Oct. 22. This applies to those who wish to become a trainer in their local churches or Districts.

You will notice that the dates are strategic as the team wants to make training available prior to summer VBS programs, Fall Sunday school start up and a couple others in between. 

Pastors and church office administrators: Please post the brochure in your churches!

If have questions please contact the Safe Sanctuaries team via email @ safesanctuaries@unyumc.org
Supporting the humanitarian response in Ukraine
The General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church is deeply troubled by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the ominous implications it has for escalating tensions between Russia and Western nations. They join many Christian leaders and organizations worldwide in deploring the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, and they ardently pray for a redirection of military action toward diplomatic measures to resolve grievances.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the humanitarian relief arm of Global Ministries, is in communication with partners in the region and actively exploring the coordination of humanitarian response in Ukraine. You can support UMCOR’s international disaster response efforts by writing a check to the Upper New York Conference with either Advance #982450/Ukraine or UMCOR/Ukraine written in the memo line.

Send checks to UNYAC, 7481 Henry Clay Blvd., Liverpool, NY 13088.

Click here to read more about this response from Roland Fernandes, the General Secretary of Global Ministries and UMCOR.
Other giving opportunities in response to the war in Ukraine

Individuals can give directly to the Ukrainian people through local church offerings by writing a check to the Upper New York Conference with Advance #14053A in the memo line of the checks. These checks can either be placed in an offering plate or sent directly to the Conference office at 7481 Henry Clay Blvd., Liverpool, NY 13088.
 
The Ukraine UMC has created a crisis committee that will oversee all the global support that is coming in through UMCOR’s Advance #14053A “Eurasia In Mission Together - Ukraine and Moldova.” The money channeled through this Advance fund will go to the Ukraine UMC church account and decisions on how this will be used will be considered by the crisis committee, which includes pastors as well as lay leaders. 
 
UMCOR also offers other opportunities for more specific giving to Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. You can designate giving by stating it is for "Ukrainian Refugee support" to the following Advance numbers.
 
  • Hungary In Mission Together (Advance # 00175A)
  • Poland In Mission Together (Advance # 00408A) 
  • Romania In Mission Together (Advance #00211A)
  • Slovakia In Mission Together (Advance # 00236A)

Donations for Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia should be mailed directly to UMCOR Mission Together Advances at 458 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308.

FAQs about giving for Ukraine: click here
United Methodists
stand with Ukraine
United Methodists across the globe condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand in solidarity with those experiencing violence, displacement and suffering in the midst of war. Learn more about the ways United Methodist prayers, aid and witness are being directed to Ukraine.

To read more, click here.
Trauma evident
in Ukrainian refugees
Many Methodist women and men in various countries prove to be wide-hearted and helpful. However, the longer people in Ukraine have to live with the war, the more psychological support will be required. Click here to read a summary of the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe’s efforts to support Ukrainian refugees.
United Methodists extend BSA charters through June 2022
Leaders in The United Methodist Church have reached an agreement with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to extend existing UMC-sponsored Scouting charters through June 30, 2022. This is an extension from the March 31, 2022 extension as legal proceedings continue in the BSA's bankruptcy case. This new extension provides uninterrupted ministry with young people through Scouting.
 
Churches do not need to take any action to extend their current organizational relationship with the BSA until June 30, 2022.
 
Click here to read more about how organizational leaders are working to develop a long-term solution regarding the church’s relationship with Scouting for future generations of young people.
Boy Scouts of America settlement announced
Pending court approval of a settlement agreement in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) bankruptcy case, United Methodists have agreed to contribute $30 million to a $3 billion Survivor Trust Fund that will receive contributions from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), insurance companies, and charter organizations. To read more, click here.
 
Click here to read a full press release to learn more about the Survivors Trust fund, the goals Upper New York United Methodists had through the mediation process, and the commitments they have made to help prevent abuse against children, youth, and vulnerable adults.
Tending the Soul 2022-2024
A Two-year Training Program
for Lay and Clergy 
 
What is it? Tending the Soul is a program designed to train individuals in Spiritual Direction and Congregational Formation.
 
The two-year training program offers learning and formational experiences in classroom and small group settings. The training includes home-based reading and reflection, experiential learning, and attention to the practice of spiritual disciplines. Participants will receive guidance in discerning their sense of giftedness and call to one-on-one spiritual direction and congregational direction and formation.
 
Where and When? All six training retreats will be held at Casowasco Camp and Retreat Center in Moravia, NY (campsandretreats.org). Attendance is required at all six retreats. Retreats will be held on: • November 14-17, 2022 • February 24-27, 2023 • April 17-20, 2023 • November 10-13, 2023 • February 19-22, 2024 • April 8-11, 2024 
 
Click here for more information.

Click here for a glimpse of the most recent training that was completed last week and the lives that were transformed.
Holy Land Trip 2023
The clergy team of Syracuse United Methodist Ministries (Revs. Andy Anderson, B.J. Norrix, Jee Hae Song, and Alicia Wood) invite you to join them on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Feb. 14 – Feb. 24, 2023.
 
You will explore, learn, and fellowship as you visit Caesarea, the Sea of Galilee, Cana, Nazareth, Samaria, Jacob's Well, the Dead Sea, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and much more. The cost of the trip starts at $3,448, leaving from JFK, New York. There is also an option to extend your trip through Jordan for an additional cost.
 
You are encouraged to register immediately with only $100. Register by July 14 ($50 off), August 14 ($25 off). Brochures with more details and registration forms are available. Please contact Pastors B.J.: bjnorrix@gmail.com, 315-726-2815 (cell); Andy: andmcand@hotmail.com, 917-723-0901 (cell); Alicia: pastoraliciawood@gmail.com, 315-450-1632 (cell); or Jee Hae: jeehaesong611@gmail.com, 404-825-8025 (cell), for a brochure, online registration link, if you have any questions, or need more information.
 
There will also be an informational session on May 3 at Erwin First United Methodist Church that you can attend in-person or via Zoom.
 
Click here for more information.
NYS HERO Act Update

On March 18, 2022, the NYS Department of Labor updated its NY HERO Act website to confirm the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health under the HERO Act ended. Private sector employers are no longer required to implement their workforce safety plans. No more health screens! 
 
While this is great news, there are other obligations the NY HERO Act (NY Labor Law Section 218-b) that remain even when no designation is in effect. These obligations include creating an airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan, giving a copy of the plan to employees within 30 days after its creation, giving a copy of the plan to any new employees when they are hired, posting the plan in each work site so employees can view it, and updating the plan as necessary.
 
Any questions about the NYS HERO Act obligations can be addressed to Upper New York Conference Director of Human Resources/Benefits, Susan Latessa at susanlatessa@unyumc.org or 315-898-2002.
New York State required sexual harassment annual training prevention reminder

New York State Law requires that employers who have at least one or more employees must conduct sexual harassment prevention training for all employees on a yearly basis. The timing of when to hold the yearly training is up to the employer as long as it is completed annually. A notice of the employer’s sexual harassment policy must be provided to all employees during this time and the employer should maintain records of the training for audit purposes.
 
Safe Sanctuaries training does not exempt churches from the New York State sexual harassment prevention training requirements.
 
Click here to learn more about what’s required in the training, how to create a sexual harassment policy if you haven’t already, and free training opportunities offered by New York City that satisfy the state’s requirements.

If you have questions, you can contact Tracy Rickett, Human Resources Generalist in the Conference Office at (315) 898-2017 or via email at tracyrickett@unyumc.org
Van needed for Restoration Ministry
Restoration Ministry is a bilingual ministry in the Amsterdam/Fultonville/Gloversville area. It serves people from many Latin American backgrounds, including Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Colombia. A significant number of the participants in the Ministry don't have cars or licenses. For the past few years they have been borrowing a van for their work. They have used it to transport people to Bible studies and worship services.They have also made weekly food deliveries to needy families, provided rides for medical appointments, and taken people shopping for groceries and other necessities. Many of the Ministry's activities would be impossible without the van. Soon the van will have to be returned to its owners. Restoration Ministry will need its own van. They are looking for a new or gently used 12 passenger van. Do you know of one that is available for free or for a greatly reduced price? Would you like to donate toward the purchase of a van? If you can help with this in any way, please call Pastor Jose' Rodrigues, the Ministry's Supervisor, at (315) 567-5990. Thank you for your help!
From the Conference Center
Media Resource Center
Please consider subscribing
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These will keep you updated on all the news coming from the Conference.
 
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Click here to Subscribe to UNY-Notes
 
Weekly Digest- will be sent every Wednesday. It will contain a round-up of that week’s UNY Notes, along with feature articles, direct links to several “hot spots” on the Conference website, photos, and more.
Click here to Subscribe to the Weekly Digest
Explore Volunteers-in-Mission opportunities
Volunteers-in-Mission (VIM) is one way United Methodists offer their skills and talents for Christian Service at home or abroad on short-term assignments in areas affected by disasters and hardships. A missionary movement of the United Methodist Church, VIM sends short term volunteer teams into areas of need to work on construction and spiritual formation projects.

To read more, click here.
CBOPHB delays enforcement of direct bill arrearage policy

Understanding the struggle faced by many congregations, the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits (CBOPHB) had voted to delay enforcement of the direct bill arrearage policy that went into effect Jan. 1, 2020, for years 2020 and 2021. The CBOPHB has approved to continue the delayed enforcement through Dec. 31, 2022, recognizing that there are churches that are still struggling financially.
 
Click here to learn more.
NY Paid Family leave
changes for 2022

New York State Paid Family Leave provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job protected, paid time off to bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service. This time can be taken all at once, or in increments of full days.
 
Paid Family Leave may also be available in some situations when an employee or their minor, dependent child is under an order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.
 
Click here for all the details you need to know about 2022 Paid Family Leave in UNY.
 
If you have additional questions on the New York State Paid Family Leave benefit, please contact Tracy Rickett, Human Resources Generalist, at (315) 898-2017 or tracyrickett@unyumc.org. You may also contact Guardian directly at 1-800-268-2525. 
'CONAM' grants available

The Upper New York Committee of Native American Ministries (CONAM) is accepting grant applications to fund Native American missions, ministries, and communities to support native churches, community outreach, leadership training, education, and cultural survival projects.

The grants are funded through Native American Ministries Sunday offerings. Native American Ministries Sunday is one of six special church-wide Sunday offerings. There is no deadline for submission of an application. For further questions, contact Sharon Schmit at conam@unyumc.org.  
 
Click here for an application.
Positions Open with UNY Conference

The UNY Conference is seeking the following well-qualified applicants:
 
·   Part time Maintenance Assistant – Skye Farm
·    Reservation Specialist – Casowasco
·    Summer Camp positions – Aldersgate, Asbury, Casowasco, Skye Farm, Sky Lake
Full Time Seasonal Food Service Manager: Skye Farm

Check out any of these jobs and get an application at: https://www.unyumc.org/about/jobs
Handbook of spiritual practices
Click here for a handbook of spiritual practices, written by the Rev. Nancy Dibelius. It was originally conceived as a supplement to the Conference spiritual direction training program, but Nancy is hopeful that it will find a broader use throughout the Conference. It provides history, Christian heritage, and basic how-to for a broad range of spiritual practices. To view it, click here.
Resources
from United Methodist Communications
Fall is the perfect time to invite people back to church and celebrate back-to-school time with customized banners, yard signs, sandwich board signs, postcards, invitation cards and more. Use coupon code UMCFA22 for $300 worth of free resources.

Advocate 2022 Issue I available
The 2022 Issue I of the Advocate has been mailed to local churches. This issue focuses on youth and children’s ministries throughout Upper New York. These inspirational stories and resources illustrate ways to think outside-of-the-box to create vibrant youth and children’s programs at your church.
 
Click here to read or download the electronic version of the 2022 Issue I of the Advocate.
Take advantage of Digital Discipleship membership
 
Your district superintendent has purchased a one-year membership for your continuing education on Digital Discipleship! This subscription is available to your church teams and volunteers who want to learn how to make the most of your online ministry. 

For information, click here.
Learn from the
comfort of your couch!

United Methodist Communications offers a variety of free webinars to help you enhance your marketing and communications skills as well as to keep you informed about the latest resources and church initiatives. Click here to find upcoming as well as archived webinars.
Crash courses in youth ministry

New Youth Ministry eBooks designed with the Youth Worker in mind.

Each eBook is loaded with practical tips and basic wisdom that you can read today and put into practice tomorrow! If you are a part-time or no-time (amazing volunteer!) youth worker, these crash courses are especially for you. Click here to learn more and download for FREE
Start a conversation around social justice topics

Engage your adults in a conversation around social justice topics, like refugees and sexuality, to explore what these topics mean to individuals and your community.

Read about Dialogues On: click here
Mission Insite free to churches

A reminder that Mission Insite is a web-based demographics provider for local church use. In planning ministry, it is important to know the context. 
 
Mission Insite provides demographic data that is updated on a regular basis and the reports are user friendly to the novice or experienced demographer. 
 
The reports are free to the local church because the Annual Conferences is under contract with Mission Insite, but in order to access the website you will need to register your local church.
 
Click here for details.
Free shareable social graphics
United Methodist Communications offers free shareable images for use in inspiring and informing your members year round.

To read more, click here.
News Links From the Conference
If you want to keep in the know of what is happening in the Upper New York Conference and the United Methodist Church please consider these links.
Around the District
Start the day with Debbie

Our District Superintendent Debbie Earthrowl shares a devotion via Facebook Live at 7:30 AM every Monday through Saturday. The devotions are also posted on her Facebook page and our District Facebook page, so you can tune in at any time. I personally find this an inspirational way to start my day. I trust you will, as well. To view, click here:

or

Blessings to all,

Carrie B
Albany District
of the Upper New York Conference
 
Rev. Deborah (Debbie) Earthrowl
District Superintendent 
Ellen Mall-John
 Albany District Lay Leader and District Associate
Carrie Boyer
Minister of Administration

 
Our office is located in the Newtonville UMC
568 Loudon Rd., Latham, NY 12110

Mailing Address:
PO Box 511, Newtonville, NY 12128

(518) 608-1246