Albany District and Conference News
June 9, 2022
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.”
-- Mother Teresa
Please note!
Carrie is on vacation June 14 through June 18. There will be no newsletter next week. The next newsletter will be sent on Wednesday, June 23. If you have an emergency, call our District Superintendent Debbie Earthrowl at (518) 391-3215 or send an email to debbieearthrowl@unyumc.org She'll get back to you as soon as she's able.
Please share with us how your church is making disciples for the transformation of the world!
Capital region United Methodists:

You may remember reading this story earlier in the year (click on the link).
 
Four Albany district churches have joined with Emmaus Church and the Refugee and Immigrant Support Services-Emmaus to provide adult bicycles to new neighbors. These bicycles help recent immigrants commute to their jobs, English classes, shopping and more.
 
At the end of the UMCOR grant period for the project, the group committed to continue the ministry. Participating churches have made financial contributions to the fund so that volunteers can keep providing bikes, helmets and locks. Recipients are nominated by RISSE staff; Jonesville church coordinates the volunteers; Burnt Hills church administers the funds.
 
The group would be happy to have additional volunteers, AND the program needs donations of mission funding in order to continue this ministry of generosity. You can help by volunteering or donating: please contact Patty Blackman of Jonesville UMC pwblackman@nycap.rr.com  or Cherie Lasher, Development Director at RISSE, (518) 621-1041, www.risse-albany.org.
 
If you’d like to contribute to the overall work of RISSE, The Advance is a great way to do that. The Advance giving number for RISSE is 3021057.. Click here to donate.
South Glens Falls launches Creation Care Team
South Glens Falls UMC in teapplied for and received a $1,500 grant from the Common Roots Foundation for the purposes of enhancing ecological awareness in the community.

The vision of the newly created Creation Care Team at South Glens Falls UMC is based on our belief that “Fostering Care of God’s Creation Starts Here.”

To address the environmental crisis and demonstrate our responsibility to make a difference, the church is creating a pollinating garden, along with building and placing birdhouses around the property, and building a seasonal farm stand to offer free garden vegetables to the community.

To read the complete article by Rev. Penny Brink, click here

To view a post on the UNY Conference Facebook page, click here.
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 continue to keep family and friends of the Rev. Erik Smith in your prayers. Rev. Smith, 75, died on May 13. He served several churches including Saranac, Warrensburg and Bolton Landing in the Adirondack District and Calvary: Latham, Alplaus, Fremont St.: Gloversville and Good Shepherd: Green Island in the Albany District. He also served as Chaplain at Schenectady Community Hospice. A Memorial Service was held on May 23 at Burnt Hills United Methodist Church. Condolences can be sent to Rev. Smith’s son, Nathaniel Smith at 28-15 42nd St., Apt. C2, Astoria, NY 11103. This is an updated address. We've received word that some of the cards were returned to sender. Click here to read Rev. Smith’s full obituary.

Continued prayers are requested for Pastor Paul Sweet (Christ Church, Troy). Paul recently sustained injuries in an accident. 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

Please know that we will need to contact folks to be sure they feel comfortable with us publishing their information.Please keep Debbie Robinson in your prayers as she struggles with Parkinson's Disease. Debbie is the daughter of Doug Baker (lay supply at Raceville UMC). Cards can be sent to Debbie in care of Doug @ 5 Madison St., Apt. E, Granville, NY 12832.

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 adirondackdistrict@unyumc.org

Please know that we will need to contact folks to be sure they feel comfortable with us publishing their information.
What's New
Six ways we can observe Juneteenth

On June 19, 1865, two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, federal troops under the command of Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas. They brought a life-changing message for the estimated quarter-of-a-million slaves in the state: “All slaves are free” and entitled to payment for their labor.
 
This important day in history became known as Freedom Day, or Juneteenth, now a U.S. federal holiday.

Juneteenth be a time when people of Christian faith—especially white Christians—should recommit to, evoke, stand on, and live out the promises of God to deliver all people everywhere from bondage and oppression.
 
Click here to learn more about Juneteenth and learn six ways we can observe Juneteenth.
The 2022 Lottie Brown Scholarship recipients announced

Each year the Upper New York Annual Conference College Scholarships Committee offers Lottie Brown Scholarships for undergraduate students who are intending to enter a career in Christian service. This year’s recipients are Dakota Stott, Joshua Chun, Jonathan Smith, Will Allen, and Amethyst Gardener.
 
Click here to learn more about these recipients.
Supporting the marginalized and oppressed: Berlin UMC

Berlin UMC in the Albany District has many ministries that reach the marginalized and oppressed. For 10 years, they have hosted a clothing giveaway that runs from two-six weeks depending on the year. This giveaway is set up under a tent in their parking lot. For the past two-and-a-half years, they have hosted a Community Food Closet and have offered monthly community meals. Last year, they started a unique ministry to feed children in the summer, called the Lunch Bucket program.
 
Click here to learn more about Berlin’s great ministries that are helping the marginalized and oppressed individuals and families in their community.
 
Does your church have a ministry or ministries that helps the marginalized and oppressed? If so, we’d love to hear about it! Click here to fill out a form where you can submit your story.
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, and two others in the "Revisiting" section.
Common Table Podcast episode features the Peace with Justice in Palestine/Israel Taskforce
From the Social Holiness Team of the Upper New York (UNY) Conference, The Common Table podcast reaches out to voices that have been quieted by culture and privilege. The UNY Social Holiness Team hopes that this podcast will inform, educate, and inspire the ministries of justice in your community of faith.
 
In the May 10, 2022, podcast, you can learn more about the Peace with Justice in Palestine/Israel ministry with the Rev. Alex Awad.
 
Click here to listen to this informative and eye-opening podcast and to find out ways you can participate in this ministry.
GCFA Adds Neighbor® Storage As Newest Ministry Partner
 
Nashville, TN – The General Council on Finance and Administration—UMC Support (GCFA) Connectional Relations Team is pleased to report that Neighbor®, a self storage marketplace, has become a vetted ministry partner with GCFA. This is a program for churches to lease unused space like classrooms, or meeting spaces to provide safe, convenient, and affordable storage to the communities in which they are located. Connecting with Neighbor®, churches can become a “host” for any unused space for people to reserve – for just a month, or longer, as the needs of the church or the renter dictate. 
 
Churches can set their own rental prices for space, and Neighbor® provides host churches with up to $1,000,000 personal liability insurance.
 
Kellie Schmeal, Relationship Director at GCFA said, “We are constantly looking for ways to help United Methodist churches and affiliated organizations raise funds to support all the ministries they are involved in. Adding Neighbor® to our list of ministry partners helps us do that.”
 
"Neighbor’s® platform allows churches and members to generate income on their unused space ‒ basements, garages, parking lots, and more," said Joseph Woodbury, CEO and co-founder of Neighbor®. "We're excited to join hands with GCFA to help spread the word to potential hosts for our renters. We couldn't be more grateful for this opportunity." 
 
To learn more about the Neighbor® program, visit https://www.gcfa.org/partners/neighbor. To learn more about the GCFA Ministry Partner program, visit the GCFA Partner page: https://www.gcfa.org/partners, or contact the Connectional Relations team at ConnectionalRelations@gcfa.org or 615-369-3393.
 
UMPH extending permission to use resources for online worship
 
Nashville, TN – The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) is extending full permission to all churches for use of UMPH copyrighted worship materials. Due to the extraordinary challenges faced by churches and others, UMPH (Cokesbury and Abingdon Press) is assuring easy access to essential worship aids and use of the Common English Bible for online worship and studies. Read the full article: click here.
The copyright page in the 1992 United Methodist Book of Worship grants permission as follows: 
“United Methodist congregations may reproduce for worship or educational purposes any item from The United Methodist Book of Worship for one-time use, as in a bulletin, special program, or lesson resource, provided that the copyright notice and acknowledgement is included in the reproduction.”  
Each worship service is a one-time use. Therefore, churches are free to reproduce the liturgical text as needed (with the exception of the copyrighted service music on pages 173-223).
Further, during the COVID-19 crisis, UMPH is waiving the need to ask permission to livestream and/or record worship services which read, perform, or display liturgical text from the UM Book of Worship. UMPH encourages churches to utilize streaming licenses from OneLicense or CCLI to stream copyrighted service music from The United Methodist Hymnal. Many items appear in the UM Hymnal by permission of the copyright holders and UMPH cannot grant blanket permission to use their intellectual property.
Leadership Academy
begins July 15
Registration for the 2022/2023 Adventurers Leadership Academy is now open. Join Rev. Dr. Michael Beck during this year-long immersion into Fresh Expressions.
 
Churches - consider sponsoring a layperson from your congregation to attend. 
 


Flyer: Click here
What's New from the Lewis Center
A simple approach to creating a culture of accountability for ministry leaders

Kelly Brown says that creating a culture of accountability can be simple. SIMPLE is an acronym for remembering these six key principles: setting expectations, inviting commitment, measuring progress, providing feedback, linking consequences, and evaluating effectiveness.

To learn more, click here,
Four incarnational benefits of bi-vocational ministry

Steven Van Ostran challenges the common perception that bi-vocational ministers are second class or somehow “less than” those serving full time. He names four specific ways bi-vocational ministry can make the church more present to the community, more relevant, and more prophetic.

To learn more, click here.
Lay Servant Ministries
Adirondack District Lay Servant news

The Adirondack Lay Servant Ministries has planned new course offerings for 2022. We plan to continue offering 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: Called to Preach
Mondays, June 13, 20 and 27: 6-9 pm
Thursdays, June 16 and 23: 6-9 pm
Zoom: Fee $15
Facilitators: Jacqueline Kim and Arlene Schmidt

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

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 and Arlene Schmidt
 
Advanced Course: For the Common Good (Spiritual Gifts)
Tuesdays, Oct., 4, 11, 20, 24, 27: 6-9pm
Zoom: Fee $15
Facilitators: Jacqueline Kim and Arlene Schmidt
 
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
Bishop Webb to offer a virtual conversation with
with UNY laity on June 21

Upper New York (UNY) Area Resident Bishop, Mark J. Webb, had planned on in-person meetings with UNY laity this month, but these meetings had to be canceled due to expressed concerns related to the COVID pandemic.
 
To create an opportunity for these conversations to be held, Bishop Webb will be hosting a live webinar on Vimeo on Tuesday June 21 at 6:30 p.m.
 
During this webinar, Bishop Webb will address recent denominational developments and discuss the importance of keeping focused on the mission of the Church. The webinar will include a time for questions and answers.
 
Individuals are invited to send questions in advance, along with their name and church, for Bishop Webb to address by emailing them to news@unyumc.org by June 17. An opportunity to submit questions during the webinar will be available through a chat function.
 
Click here on June 21 to join this webinar.
Supporting marginalized or oppressed individuals and communities
For the month of June, the UNY Conference Communications team would like to share stories about churches who are supporting marginalized or oppressed individuals and communities. Click here for a form to submit a story about your ministry.
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.
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
Peace with Justice this Sunday:
June 12
United Methodists relate to this special Sunday by seeking peaceful solutions, creating and supporting peace-related ministries in their Conference and learning about peaceful, just efforts around the world. Our Social Principles call us to love our enemies, seek justice, and serve as reconcilers of conflict. We insist that the first moral duty of all nations is to work together to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises between or among them.
 
Donations for this special Sunday support programs and ministries to educate, equip and mobilize actions in support of identified Economic, Health, and Gender Justice Priorities. Each Conference has a Peace with Justice Coordinator developing local social justice ministries. Fifty percent of the offering remains in the UNY Conference to support this ministry.
 
Click here for more information about Peace with Justice Sunday.
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.
Casowasco Trail walk/run on June 18

Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center is having a Highlands Trail Run/Walk on Saturday, June 18. This race starts at 9 a.m. and the cost is $30, with the proceeds going toward camper scholarships.
 
Click here to register.
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  
How do you help your pastor renew and replenish?
Pastors have a lot of responsibilities that go far beyond preparing for worship. They are on call to congregants who need support; they perform weddings and funerals; they have meetings throughout the week with different ministry teams at their church.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic placed more demands on these pastors—for many, they had to recreate the way they did worship to digital platforms.
 
We want to know how congregants are helping their pastors renew and replenish their souls and we’d like to share these stories with the entire Upper New York Conference.
 
By sharing these stories, our hope is that others throughout the Conference will be inspired to help their pastors prioritize wellness during these difficult times.
 
Email your stories to news@unyumc.org by June 15.

See related article under "Revisiting" below.
UNY Pastoral Wellness Initiative launches
Over the past year, the Upper New York (UNY) Conference has formed a Wellness Team, comprised of Conference leaders and wellness experts. The Wellness Team was derived from conversations among the UNY Conference Leadership Team and the UNY Operational Team and formed to gain a deeper understanding of the stresses those in pastoral leadership are facing, and to form some holistic solutions.
 
The Wellness Team is now working on collecting data specific to the UNY Conference.
 
They recently sent a survey to UNY church leaders to determine such factors as
 
·    What spiritual practices do they engage in regularly?
·    What would help them in their spiritual growth?
·    What helps them to take a Sabbath?
 
In addition to the Wellness Team issuing a survey, in the coming months, the UNY Cabinet and Wellness Team will partner with the UNY Communications Team to publish stories of how pastors are successfully supporting their personal wellbeing. Resources will also be shared on ways in which church leaders can replenish their souls.
 
Click here to learn more about the UNY Pastoral Wellness initiative.
Are you looking for a fun activity to help folks in need?

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.
 
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
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

Grants available for projects
It is the desire of the UNY Conference United Women in Faith (formerly UMW) to offer grants to non-profit community and faith-based organizations that follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and address the needs of women, children and youth within the boundaries of our conference.

Deadline to apply is June 15.

Click here to read more.
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.
 
Earlier this month, the Global Methodist Church announced that it will launch 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
Presentation on General Conference recorded
The Rev. Bill Mudge Senior Pastor of the Baldwinsville United Methodist Church, former Adirondack District Superintendent, and clergy General Conference delegation leader, was present on the Adirondack and Albany districts in February to answer questions and offer information and thoughts about the upcoming General Conference. There are things we know, things we don’t know, speculation, information, and misinformation. This was an opportunity to sort some of this out so that we may stay focused on our mission, and keep looking for what God is doing among and through us. Many people expressed appreciation for Bill's efforts to offer clarity and insight.

We recorded one of those gatherings. The link to the ZOOM presentation is below.

Topic: #3 Conversations about General Conference
Start Time: Feb 28, 2022 06:11 PM
 
Meeting Recording:

Here are links to related documents:

 
 
 
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 June 14 ($75 off), 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
to these links

These will keep you updated on all the news coming from the Conference.
 
UNY-Notes are targeted email blasts:
·    From the Desk of Bishop Webb
·    Alerts
·    Announcements
·    Prayer Requests
·    Death Notices
·    Camp & Retreat
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
·    Director of Missional Engagement for the HUB
·    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