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

Happenings Around Our Conference
My Thoughts
In early 1997 John sat me down, opened a thick notebook and said,
"This is how you do conference ministry."
He preached at my installation as conference minister in Maine and
Rev. David Gaewski
I knew he was proud that the Central Atlantic Conference had given
Maine their c o-co nference ministers. For many years he teased me for entering conference ministry so early. Since my first gathering with conference ministers, John was there: nineteen years. I have usually agreed with him and always admired him.
John unquestionably taught me more about conference ministry than anyone else. Perhaps he taught me more about ministry than any other person. I did not learn these things from his notebook,
but rather from the example of his life. These are the lessons he taught:
Love your congregation. Care deeply for your people even when they are disagreeable. Be their pastor even when you are told that church bureaucrats cannot be pastors to pastors. Be a pastor anyway.
Love this United Church of Christ. It has many faults, but in the history of Christianity, the creation of the UCC was a unique triumph for the causes of unity, inclusivity, ecumenism, and justice. Remember where we came from because the path forged guides our future. Honor those who paved this road.
Be passionate and tireless advocating for those who are oppressed. While at the end of the day you can return from your workplace to a safe home, a good meal and a warm bed, most people on this planet cannot do the same. Never rest from advocating for the rights of all. Every life on this planet is of equal worth in God's sight.
Be serious about the tasks that God has given us, but never be too serious about yourself. You have as many faults as the next person. You are no better. But God has bestowed upon you great responsibility. Take this seriously.
I am shocked and shaken by the death of John Deckenback.  It is surreal to me. I am thankful for what he taught me and humbled to have considered him a close friend.
Job well done, good and faithful servant.

Rev. David R. Gaewski,  Conference Minister Twitter : @davidgaewski1
Join Us for Prayer Vigil During GOP Convention to Address the Nation's #CrisisOfHate

As a way of reaffirming our shared values and rejecting the Crisis of Hate that grips the nation and the current campaign cycle, we call on our fellow citizens from all cultures, races and religious affiliations to join the Prayer Vigil for Tolerance and Respect. This vigil will take place in churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship across the nation on Wednesday evening, July 20 - which is the night before the GOP nomination is made official.

The Prayer Vigil for Tolerance & Respect will urge Republicans meeting in their convention in Cleveland, as well as all other Americans, to reject the politics of fear and hatred that divides us. The vigil will call upon Americans to turn away from any candidate that gains popularity by vilifying others or showing disrespect to women, minority groups, immigrants or followers of a particular religion.

In NYC, we will meet at Saint Peters Church (an inclusive Lutheran church at 619 Lexington Ave & 54th St) at 8pm. The church is housed in the Citigroup Center building and is near TV networks' headquarters which we hope will help us get national coverage. We encourage others around the U.S. to organize similar vigils at their houses of worship and contact organizer Eric Lazarus (
is this weekend

200 Youth, Young Adults, Chaperones and Advisors from New York will travel to Orlando from Tuesday July 26 till July 30 to gather with almost 5000 from the United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ along with ecumenical partners from across the globe. 
Please pray for the groups that are traveling back and forth. Thanks to all parents, churches, Associations and friends that have supported all the participants.. Make sure to Follow the New York Conference facebook feed for pictures and updates or follow the hashtag #NYBelieve2016   
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!
LGBT Faith Days 2016!
Please join the New York Conference as during Faith Days at the LGBT Booth at the New York State Fair in Syracuse on Saturday, August 27 and Sunday August 28.  We need volunteers willing to  'person' four- hour shifts at the Fair beginning 10A on Saturday and ending 10P on Sunday.   Our Conference, along with ecumenical partners, has been a sponsor of this booth for several years as part of our witness as an Open and Affirming Conference.
You will meet great people, get a free t-shirt, and if you have never been to the New York State Fair, well, there's little, if anything in New York State quite like it!  Come and be a witness to our core value of Extravagant Welcome and have some fun too!
To sign up or obtain further information, please contact Freeman Palmer at 

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.

MID and Mentor Summer Retreat has been Cancelled

This week's retreat at Stony Point Retreat Center will not be held, because of low enrollment. In the coming months, Marsha Williams and Marjorie Purnine will seek to provide virtual ways for MIDs to connect with one another and for Mentors to gain access to resources and share best practices. 
Staff Preaching Schedule

Rev. Dr. Marsha Williams
July 24: North Congregational, Middletown
August 7 - Homer Community-wide Worship service
August 28 - Binghamton Eastside

Rev. Freeman Palmer
August 7:  Sayville Congregational UCC Sayville
August 14:  Emmanuel UCC Massena
August 21:  Walton First Congregational Church, Walton

2016 UCC Office Support Staff Network Annual Conference
August 4 - 6 in Gaithersburg, MD

You are invited to the 2016 UCC Office Support Staff Network Annual Conference which kicks-off on Thursday, Aug. 4 with a welcome dinner at the Hilton Gaithersburg. The event continues on Friday at Rockville United Church in Rockville, Md. with breakfast, fellowship, break-out workshops, lunch, the keynote presentation and interactive workshop. The event concludes Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Hilton Gaithersburg with breakfast, fellowship, the UCCOSSN business meeting, a peer group workshop and lunch. Click here to learn more and register...
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
Study of Islam

First Congregational United Church of Christ, 171 West Pulteney Street, Corning will be hosting a six week series on Islam.

The series will be offered from Sunday, June 10 - Sunday, August 14th, at 3PM. It will be based on the DVD lecture series The Great Courses - Great World Religions: Islam by John L. Esposito, professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University.

For more information contact the church at: 607-962-7423 or
Boundary Awareness Training Refresher Course
Wednesday, July 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Oneida Association will be holding a Boundary Awareness Training Refresher Course on Wednesday, July 27 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the Conference Office. Cost is $75, and you need to bring lunch. A maximum of 20 individuals can attend, and there are 13 slots still open.  Register with Oneida Registrar, Diana Pelletier, at . Payment will be made the day of the event.
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

News from Our Committees
Stewardship Committee

Here is an article written by our stewardship webinar presenter this fall; Grace Duddy Pomroy
Also two articles about Crowdfunding, the topic of our first webinar,

This fall's stewardship webinars:
Tuesday, August 9, 2016                                                    
7:00 to 8:00 PM Eastern
Leader: Dana Ostomel

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 | |