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

Happenings Around Our Conference
Conference Minister Endorses Camp Fowler

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

Focus on the praxis of ministry, learn from colleagues, be fed spiritually and physically. The challenge for clergy is often how to find ways to continually be renewed in your own faith and practices. Communities of Practice (CoP) groups are designed to do that and so much more.

Led by trained, experienced facilitators, these groups offer pastors, new ministers, and those in specialized ministry settings an opportunity to find affirmation, support, and accountability within a peer-learning environment. Ministry becomes a shared endeavor and ministers are stronger because of their group experience.

Groups are now forming. Don't miss out on the opportunity to be a part of this exciting new ministry endeavor. In-person and virtual groups are available.  For more information or to sign-up to participate click here.
Public Servants Describing Public Service

A UCC Minister from Maine is spearheading a project of collecting essays from public servants, such as ministers, local, state, and federal governmental workers, librarians, etc. The purpose of collecting these essays is to guide a national discourse on what public service means to us as Americans.
Reverend Brian Gruhn writes: "I am asking you to speak directly to the aspects of public service that you see as being most vital, and speaking directly to what we should expect of any public servant looking to serve. It is my hope that this could be the basis for a new dialogue, a dialogue that breaks us out of our current public discourse that is forever stalled by wedge-issues, scandals, false accusations, and flamboyant personalities. This would be an attempt to reset our discourse, to center it around shared values that help us to properly identify the goals of Public Service, identify Public Servants with the ability to honor that work, and separate them from con artists who cannot be trusted to serve the public good, or individuals desperately seeking a pay check more than they seek a higher call.
My goal would be to collect these into a single work and publish it by January 20, 2017, the day our next President takes the oath of office. With that deadline in mind, I would ask for all submissions to be emailed to  by January 17."
Metro Association Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

The Metropolitan Association, UCC, invites you to join us for A Song in a Weary Throat: Racial Justice and the American Church, our annual tribute to the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 16 at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, New York from 9:00a-12:00p. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Yolanda Pierce, Director of the Center for Black Church Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary.
2016 Offerings Reminder

The final date to send in your 2016 offerings is January 17, 2017. Any offerings received after this date will be included in the year 2017. To be a 5 for 5 Church in 2016, we must receive offerings from OCWM, One Great Hour of Sharing, Neighbors in Need, Strengthen the Church and The Christmas Fund by January 17, 2017. Thank you for support of the ministries of the New York Conference and the United Church of Christ.
Clergy Well-Being Study to Begin Next Month

All UCC clergy and Members in Discernment are being invited to participate in the Flourishing in Ministry project, a national study on clergy well-being. This research is being done in partnership with the UCC national setting and all Conferences. Ministers and MIDs will be receiving an email on February 7, 2017 that will invite you to participate in this study, though you are not required to do so. Details can be found here:
"Day of Remembrance" liturgy and study resource

worship and study resource for the "Day of Remembrance" for Japanese Americans who were exiled and imprisoned during World War II has been prepared by Ellen Godbey Carson of the Hawaii Conference. Ellen is a retired attorney and member of Church of the Crossroads in Honolulu, Hawai'i. She was one of the lead counsel in the class action suit for Americans of Japanese ancestry who were exiled from their homes and imprisoned in racial prison camps by the United States government during World War II. That case assisted in obtaining a Presidential apology to those imprisoned and Congressional redress payments to those who survived.
Permission is granted for use in our churches. Day of Remembrance is typically recognized February 19.
Western Area Youth Advisor's event coming in January

The Western Area Youth Advisor's/Minister's Education Event is scheduled for Saturday, January 21 at Ebenezer United Church of Christ in West Seneca, NY. The event is 10:00-4:00 and your $10 registration includes lunch. Topics include trends among teenagers, drug use, LGBTQ and our teens, and worship. Click here for more information and a printable flyer.
Staff Preaching Schedule

Rev. Freeman L. Palmer
January 28 - Church of the Living Hope (ordination: Chris Lawrence)
March 5 - First Congregational Church of Corning
March 12 - United Church of Rockville Centre
March 19 - United Church of Spring Valley

Rev. Dr. Marsha Williams
January 22 - Briarcliff Congregational Church
February 5 - Stanfordville United Church of Christ
February 12 - First Congregational UCC, Norwich
February 26 - Corona Congregational Church UCC

News from Our Committees
NYC Justice Ministries Coordinator

Call-In Week to Governor Cuomo
January 23 - 27, 2017
The Pilgrim Pipelines would carry explosive fracked oil along the New York State Thruway and through six counties, from Albany to New Jersey, and return flammable refined products north.
If constructed, the two pipelines would threaten our drinking water, risk the safety of dozens of communities, and promote fracking and climate change chaos.
Fortunately, Governor Cuomo has the authority to stop this dangerous project by denying Pilgrim's Thruway Right-of-Way permit.
The Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines - NY is seeking nonprofit organizations, community groups, houses of worship, businesses, political clubs, unions, and other institutions to help make this call-in week to Governor Cuomo as successful as possible!
Fill out this organization sign-up form, and we'll follow up to make sure you have the information and materials you need, like fliers and sample email alerts.
Click here to download a flyer or bulletin insert to share information about the Pilgrim Pipelines.
Global Ministries

This past Christmas Eve at Church of the Nativity UCC in suburban Buffalo was particularly special because of the presence of some long-time as well as new friends at the 4:30 service. Former Laotian refugees Boulien and Bounlome, sponsored by the congregation in the 1980s, along with other family members, were in attendance, as were former Iraqi refugees, Ali and Emann with their three children, who were co- sponsored by Nativity in 2007. They joined Welongo and his family, refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were welcomed by Nativity in August.

Nativity has had a refugee ministry dating back to the mid-1980's. Over the years the congregation has welcomed refugees and asylum seekers from Laos, Ethiopia, Iran, Liberia, Serbia, Somalia, Iraq, and most recently the DRC. 
Opportunities for Education
January Free Webinars from Practical Resources for Churches

For more information about the webinars, the leaders, and to register, click on the title of the webinar.

Thursday, January 19; 7:00-8:00p

Tuesday, January 24; 7:00-8:00p

Tuesday, January 31; 7:00-8:00p
Boundary Awareness Trainings offered in Metro

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

Saturday, January 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oneidea Association will be holding a Boundary Awareness Training Refresher Course on Saturday, January 14, from 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the Conference Office. Cost is $75, and you need to bring lunch. Register with Oneida Registrar, Diana Pelletier, at Payment will be made the day of the event.
Support the New York Conference
Covenant Share

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

Click to Learn More and Support:
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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.
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