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

Happenings Around Our Conference
My Thoughts
Rev. Ryan Henderson
A little over a week ago, I was part of the 4000 United Church of Christ Youth, Young Adults and Chaperones in Lake Buena Vista Florida at the National Youth Event, whose theme was "Believe." During one of the large group worship times- someone shared a quote attributed to Walt Disney "When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable."
Whenever the United Church of Christ gathers nationally in one place, I am always in awe of our diverse expressions. We are a beautiful mixture of regional quirkiness, different understandings of our theology, a variety of languages spoken, a broad palate of skin tone, orientation and gender expression and ways of being United in Christ. Yet, the cross triumphant, the comma and the words "That They May All Be One" connect all of us to something larger than our local congregation or conference. This is one of my favorite and unique features of being the United Church of Christ.
The unique, extravagant diversity is one of the many reasons why I have attended National Youth Event since 2004. It is this experience, or as Walt Disney says the "Thing", that solidifies my love for the United Church of Christ - "all the way, implicitly and unquestionable" that no matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, we are welcome to #Believe
God is Still Speaking,
Reverend Ryan Henderson
Associate Conference Minister
Youth, Young Adults and Emerging Ministries
The Building Bridges Initiative
In light of recent events including the back-and-forth between the Khan family and the Donald Trump campaign, the UCC Communications Team wants to make you aware of an interfaith initiative of inclusivity we launched last month, and invite you to encourage you and your congregation to participate.
The Building Bridges initiative invites all people across the wider church build relationships between Christians and Muslims in local communities around the country. The one-church effort to extend the extravagant welcome of the United Church of Christ to all is building on a successful Pacific Northwest Conference Ramadan initiative, 'Honoring Sacred Time,' which posted visible signs of welcome, solidarity and support for Muslim Americans in dozens of churches around Washington state.
"This initiative is very much in line with the spirit of love and compassion that the gospel invites us to bear witness to. While we celebrate this bold, public witness, we also realize that Muslims in America live in fear all the time. It is going to take a concerted, collaborative effort on our part to shift the dialogue and engender feelings of trust, of love, and of mutual support across interfaith lines."  John C. Dorhauer, UCC General Minister and President

There are four simple actions individuals and congregations can do to get involvedGet educated about Islam, meet with your Muslim neighbors, offer a visible sign of solidarity, and become an advocate.
The Building Bridges webpage offers resources and ideas to help you get started.


"Thank You to all who supported, prayed for, and attended the National Youth Event of the UCC at Disney in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
The theme of the event was "Believe" and the 200 youth, young adults and chaperones from NY Conference were encouraged to
"Believe" in Faith, Kindness and Justice in new ways each day of the event.
Our days began with large Group gatherings and ended with worship~ being led by inspirational speakers and preachers.
Speakers included: Hadiqa Bashir- Recent Mohamed Ali Humanitarian award recipient,Trisha Prabu- creator of ReThink- A website created to combat Cyberbullying,  and Aidan Thomas Hornaday who created a website called AidanCares to teach  youth how to care for others.. 
Our NY Conference group had a great time and many are planning for 2020 for the next National Youth Event..."
Make sure to Follow the New York Conference facebook feed for pictures and updates or follow the hashtag #NYBelieve2016   

Communications Coordinator Needed

The New York Conference, UCC together with the Regional Synod of New York, RCA are jointly seeking a Communications Coordinator.This is a part-time position (10 hours/week).
Tasks include maintenance of two websites and the sending of both the UCCNY weekly e-blast as well as the Regional Synod electronic communications.
Interested persons should contact Rev. David Gaewski at no later than August 19.

Time to Order Your Fall Curriculum and Faith Formation Resources

We interrupt your summer with a very important message.

Don't forget to order your Fall Curricula.

Thank you. Please resume your summer.

For more information and to order Click Here
Sign Your Name to Support NY Conference Letter to Gov. Cuomo: "Stop denying our rights. Rescind your executive order now!"

Dear Governor Cuomo,

I am writing on behalf of the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ, a judicatory with 260 churches in the state of New York. For decades our denomination, the United Church of Christ, has been committed to supporting a just peace in Israel/Palestine. We have sought to build relationships with people of all faiths in the region - both Palestinian and Israeli - who share our desire for justice and healing. Through those relationships we have learned about the realities of the Israeli Occupation and the truly devastating impact it has on everyone in the region, especially Palestinians. We have asked ourselves and our partners in the region how we, as American Christians, can be in solidarity with those who are tirelessly struggling to end the occupation. One of the clearest answers was to use our financial resources to apply economic pressure to the structures supporting it. Keep reading and SIGN YOUR NAME in support!
Donna Schaper Books on Sale

The following books are on sale from the New York Conference and include Free Shipping and Handling!

Approaching the End of Life - A Practical and Spiritual Guide
Regularly Priced $32.00 -  Sale! $20.00
Prayers for People who Say they Can't
Regularly Priced $16.99  Sale! $12.00

Contact Sueli Gaewsky to order:
Constitution and Bylaws Survey

  A new survey out today is intended to include all voices of the wider church in the conversation about proposed changes to the United Church of Christ Constitution and Bylaws. 
Take the survey >>

Faith for a Fair NY 2016 Conference
September 25-27, Syracuse

New Yorkers of all faiths are compelled by our traditions to seek justice. How do we do so faithfully and effectively in a time of increasing inequality, poverty and ideological division?
Over three days of presentations, workshops, and small group reflection, we will:
  • Build connections with other justice-seeking New Yorkers from different regions and faiths
  • Build knowledge of issues and movements through a moral/faith-rooted lens
  • Build the capacity to do justice work through skills training and strategic reflection
  • Be energized and inspired to continue working for justice - or to get involved for the first time
Pastoral Coaching Opportunity from the Center for Progressive Renewal

Attention church leaders, the start of the church program year is right around the corner! Use this summer as an opportunity to reboot and be renewed. We have created a diverse coaching program that excels in meeting you where you are and helping you figure out what to do next. Sign up for a free coaching session today.
Staff Preaching Schedule

Rev. Dr. Marsha Williams
August 28 - Binghamton Eastside

Rev. Freeman Palmer
August 14:  Emmanuel UCC Massena
August 21:  Walton First Congregational Church, Walton
Rev. Dr. Marjorie Purnine
August 28:  Plymouth Congregational Church, Syracuse
September 18:  Homer Congregational Church, UCC
August 26-28 in Indianapolis

¡Missionworks! is an experience for pastors, mission board members, and anyone interested in global mission to connect with the global work of the church. Over the weekend of  Aug. 26-28  in Indianapolis you will find out how to build on your congregation's existing passion for mission and receive tools for sharing about God's mission in the world.  For more information go to 

Opportunities for Education
Register Now for NYSOM Fall Courses

There are just two weeks left to register for NYSOM's web-conferenced courses:
Introduction to Theology with Steve Johnson and Family Systems and Pastoral Leadership with Wayne Gustafson.
For more information and to register, click here.

Global Missionary Available to Speak

The Rev. Judy Chan, who has served with Global Ministries for 22 years will be available to speak to congregations and groups around the New York Conference from Saturday, Oct. 22-Wednesday, Nov. 9.

Western/Central Region: Oct. 22 - Nov. 1
Metro Area: Nov. 2-9 

Judy serves with the Hong Kong Christian Council, as a communications Specialist in charge of Ecumenical Broadcasting Ministry and Editor of English publications and speaks fluent Cantonese.  She has a powerpoint with pictures of her work and enjoys meeting with small groups.    

If you would like to schedule Judy or have questions, contact Kay Woike at:; 716-834-9781

Join a Justice Ministry Education Group 2016-17

The Justice Ministry Education program uses the action-reflection-action form of learning. Participants will engage in intense hands-on field work and reflect on their experiences with a supervisor and a small group of peers.
Small groups will explore suffering caused by injustice, practical skills for leading communities in social change, the spiritual nature of public capacity, personal reflection on one's role in pursuing justice, self-care for prophetic leadership, and the religious or theological grounding of justice work.
Justice Ministry Education groups are expected to have between 4-12 participants. Five pilots are being launched in the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017. 

For more information and registration Click Here
News from Our Committees
Stewardship Committee

This week's question: 
What is Our Church's Wider Mission money used for? 
For 2017 OCWM is budgeted to be $650,000 which is 49% of the Conference Income. 10% of OCWM received goes to support the national United Church of Christ; you can see how the money is used in the national setting in the flyer below.
Briefly, here in New York State your
Associate Conference Ministers,
Reverend Freeman Palmer, Reverend Dr. Marsha Williams, Reverend Ryan Henderson, Reverend Dr. Marjorie Purnine and your Conference Minster Reverend David Gaewski
assist with pastoral transitions, last year 48. As part of the process they attend church council meetings and Association Committee on Ministry meetings. The Ministry team also preaches around the state, call and invite them to preach at your church! 
Your team of five ministers divides the work done on your behalf into the following general areas:  Leadership Development, Congregational Development, Authorized Ministry, Youth and Young Adults, Emerging Ministries, Justice Advocacy, and Ecumenical and Inter-Faith co-operation and dialogue. 
73% of all Conference income is used to support these programs, 100% is used to accomplish our mission.
Did you know you can call the Conference office and ask for help or ask a question! 

This fall's stewardship webinars:
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
7:00 to 8:00 PM Eastern
Leader: Grace Duddy Pomroy

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
7:00 to 8:00 PM Eastern
Leader: Grace Duddy Pomroy

You can always call me or email me with Stewardship questions

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:
Amazon Smile
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.
AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.

Click to Sign Up:
Donate Directly

Make your contribution to the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ today.

Join Us in Ministry:
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 and send the details - preferably with links and pictures!
Please note that the New York Conference does not publish news related to fundraisers.
New York Conference | United Church of Christ
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