Upstate Update for October 30, 2019
Mission Stories Around the Church:
Why Storytelling Matters
" When the church uses storytelling, it becomes a shared space where each person is a part of history "
My grandmother tells a story, entirely in Spanish, of a viejita, an old woman, who collects small logs on her way to her casita, her little home, and gets caught in an aguacero, a downpour. My grandmother sings this story to life, inching her fingers up my arm to the rhythm of the song in a scissor motion like a small pair of legs.

At the point when my grandmother sings that the rain has caught the old woman, her fingers ram into my armpit, giving me tickles of delight.

In an instant, any trouble or pain is vanquished by laughter.

I had always assumed that my grandmother made up that song just for me. But recently, I told it to a group at a women’s leadership and spirituality course. At the end, a young woman in the audience started crying. Her grandmother had sung her the same song.

Suddenly, we weren’t just speaker and audience. The two of us shared a moment -- we connected through this story, and a shared history.

Just a reminder that The Upstate New York Synod is currently enrolled in the Amazon Smile Foundation program. This program donates 0.5% of your purchase price of to our synod. This is a donation from Amazon, and costs the purchaser nothing. Details on this program and how to apply your purchases can be found at   When you do your shopping on Amazon, they automatically donate. It's that easy!! 
The theme the theme of the 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering is "boundless: God beyond measure," based off of the scripture Ephesians 3:19 (CEV). Make sure to head over to to see their updated website!
Bishop Macholz, DEM Pr. Norma Malfatti and Asst. to the Bishop for Faith Formation Lori Kochanski spent three days in Texas with four other synods working on resources to help care for the people and leaders of congregations in the midst of merger, consolidation and holy closure. This is part of the Partner Synod Project work that UNYS began in 2018.

October 31 - Reformation Day

November 1 - All Saints Day

November 2 - Ordination of Laura Wade at Christ, Norwich

November 7-10 - ELCA Church Council (Pamela Hoh - Hope, N. Greenbush and Bishop Macholz serve as part of these leaders of the church)
Employee Selection Period Now Open

  At this time each year, Portico asks Rostered Ministers and others covered by Portico to consider their benefits and what they’ll need to live well in the coming year.

Plan members will be able to make your selections through Nov. 13 for benefits effective Jan. 1, 2020. Contact Portico with any questions at 800.352.2876.

Advent is not that far off. As you approach the season of waiting and wonder, think about joining thousands of Christians across the country in being a part of the  #AdventConspiracy  to spend these weeks worshiping fully, spending less, giving more and loving all.
Today's Book Study on Love Big has been rescheduled to next Wednesday, November 6 at 1 and 7 PM.

The Zoom links for next week are the same:

7 PM -

Commemorating Witnesses of the Faith
Martín de Porres, renewer of society, died 1639 - Sunday, November 3, 2019
Martín was the son of a Spanish knight and a freed black slave from Panama. As a lay brother in the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), he engaged in many charitable works in Lima, Peru. He founded an orphanage, a hospital, and a clinic for cats and dogs.

Reformation Day - Thursday, October 31, 2019
By the end of the seventeenth century, many Lutheran churches celebrated a festival commemorating Martin Luther's posting of the Ninety-five Theses, a summary of abuses in the church of his time. At the heart of the reform movement was the gospel, the good news that it is by grace through faith that we are justified and set free.

All Saints Day - Friday, November 1, 2019
The custom of commemorating all of the saints of the church on a single day goes back at least to the third century. All Saints Day celebrates the baptized people of God, living and dead, who make up the body of Christ. On this day or the following Sunday, many congregations will remember the faithful who have died during the past year.

We are praying for:

  • The Foothills Conference who met for their Fall Assembly on October 19
  • Laura Wade as she is ordained on November 2
  • Those who will be marking the first All Saints Day since their loved one has died
  • The Holy Spirit's guidance as we begin the discernment process to elect a bishop
  • Those who will be voting in next Tuesday's elections and for all the candidates running for elected office.

We give thanks for:

  • The retired pastors and deacons of Upstate New York