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

Happenings Around Our Conference
My Thoughts
Rev. David Gaewski
I have this apple tree in my front yard that I named "Applezilla". This is because for two of the three years that I have lived at this house, Applezilla produced an un-natural abundance of apples. I'm not talking about just a lot; I'm talking day after day of picking up wheelbarrows of rotting apples for the compost pile. I'm talking about a freezer FULL of applesauce and apple butter. One year the weight of all the apples nearly killed the tree from all of the breaking branches. I had it professionally pruned.
This year my apple tree looks beautiful. It is perfectly shaped. On the entire tree I believe there are less than a half dozen apples. It is almost completely void of fruit. Yes, I still have a few containers of apple butter still in my freezer, but I will soon run out. No apples for 2016. Blasted tree is not producing anything! What good is it?
Dear Applezilla that has taught me so much year after year, this year continues to open my eyes. Rest is good. Sabbatical allows for future productivity. Let it suffice that this year I will sit in the shade of a beautiful tree. Breathe deep.
Rev. David R Gaewski, Conference Minister Twitter : @davidgaewski1
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.


Registration is now open for the:
Authorized Minister's Fall Retreat
on October 3-5, 2016

at Stony Point Retreat Center,
Stony Point, NY
The theme of the event is: 
"Authenticity & Vulnerability in Ministry"
Presenters are:
Rev. Holly Miller-Shank and Rev. Dani Loving Cartwright.
For more information and to register please click here.

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
September 11 - First Congregational, Phoenix

Rev. Freeman Palmer
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
Registration for Theology and Family Systems Courses Ends Next Week

Two of NYSOM's web-conferenced courses are beginning in September.
Registration for:
Steve Johnson's  Introduction to Christian Theology, a required course for the Christian Leadership Program, ends on August 24.

We're also offering Family Systems and Pastoral Leadership with Wayne Gustafson, which will provide pastors with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of their congregation's characteristic responses to the inevitable challenges and crises of life and to hone their leadership skills. An audit provides 20 hours of continuing education! The registration deadline for Family Systems is August 26.

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:
So the Ministry team works in those general areas but what does that mean for me or my congregation?
Although a congregation might choose not to take advantage of the opportunities the UCCNY has to offer, your OCWM contribution makes these ministries possible for all churches from Niagara Falls to Orient, from Corning to Ogdensburg.  You can call the Conference office and ask for help or ask a question! 
Some 2015/2016 highlights include:
Rev Ryan Henderson and Rev Freeman Palmer attended the State Youth Event i n March of 2015 at Watson Homestead to celebrate the yearly event's 30th anniversary.  This celebration made the NY Conference State Youth Event the longest youth-led state-wide youth gathering in the entire United Church of Christ. Then at the end of July one hundred and seventy-eight attendees from nineteen churches around the state, together with a 10-person delegation from your EKHN partner church in Germany proudly wore UCCNY tee-shirts at this year's National Youth Event in Orlando.  Reverends Ryan Henderson and Freeman Palmer were also in attendance.
Last October the Conference held the Authorized Ministers Retreat:  "With Joyful Abandon: A playful Clergy retreat, with fantastic facilitator, Rev. Rachel Hackenberg. And then in May the UCC New York State Women's Conference, "Arise and Build", where the closing worship celebrated the Ministry of Rev. Marian Shearer, Associate Conference Minister upon her retirement.
Rev. Dr. Marsha Williams and Rev Emily McNeil facilitated and helped organize four "Sacred Conversations on Race" around the state: Hudson Mohawk Association, Susquehanna Association, Women of the New York Conference, and the NYSOM Fall Learning Event. This is ongoing programs that can be held at your church.
Rev Freeman Palmer conducted a Visioning Retreat for Journey UCC, a Vitality Retreat at East Side Congregational Church, From Ministry to Discipleship Workshops in Henrietta and the Bronx, organized a Governance and Ministry Workshop with Dan Hotchkiss at Riverside Church in Manhattan and an ONA Workshop in Garden City.  Some of these are also ongoing programs that can be held at your church.
Reverend Dr. Marsha Williams is dedicated to well-being and continuing education of our authorized ministers.  She is excited by the growth of Communities of Practice to ensure excellence of ministry. Rev. Dr. Marsha Williams and Rev. Dr. Marjorie Purnine developed a "MID and mentor" manual as a guide for Church & Ministry Committees. And Reverend Dr. Marjorie Purnine oversees the growth and expansion of the New York School of Ministry (NYSOM) program.
And so much more! Remember y ou 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
315-446-3073 | |