From: Finger Lakes District []
Sent: Tuesday, December 5, 2017 1:13 PM
Subject: December 5, 2017 e-Newsletter
Finger Lakes District E-Newsletter   December 5, 2017

Rev. McDowell
Welcome to the Finger Lakes District e-Newsletter! Please share this with church members and staff, teams and organizations. We hope that you will find this an invaluable resource as we work to promote the missions, ministries and events of the Finger Lakes District. If you have something you would like to see included in a future issue of this e-newsletter, send to
May you have a blessed week!
Your friends at the Finger Lakes District Office,
       Rev. Jeffrey McDowell, District Superintendent
            Pam Deckard, Administrative Assistant
NEW**Office Hours:  Pam will be working from home Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and in the Seneca Falls Office Tuesdays and Fridays 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.   You can call the office at any time, the phone number is monitored (315-781-0188).  Or email at any time.  Thank you.
 DS thoughts

We get church all wrong in our minds. We think church should comfort us, not equip us to pick up our cross and follow Christ. Even Christmas catches us up short. This time of year we long for an old fashioned Christmas, with family gathering around the table in a Norman Rockwell, picture - perfect theme.  But Jesus did not come just to comfort our ridiculous sentiments. Christmas at its most spiritual meaning is not comfortable, sentimental, or nostalgic.  It is a radical departure from the status - quo.  The long - awaited Messiah came in under the radar: he was no king by earthly - standards; he was immature, vulnerable, poor, and comely.  And the entire world got salvation through him.  Jesus' coming challenged the established religion, shook the upper class, surprised the poor and outcast, gave hope to the downtrodden, and was the most uncomfortable event in history. Why do we want our church to do any less?

A melancholy hymn was written by Christina Rossetti in 1872 about Jesus' birth, the first verse of which reads, "In the Bleak Midwinter, frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, in the bleak midwinter, long ago." We are called to offer comfort to sin-sick souls through Christ who saves us. We are led to walk the path of most resistance in a society that would rather enjoy a quick - fix.  New ministries are often resisted by those who seek only comfort from their church.

 The "little church in the vale" is not what Jesus came to found. I am looking across the district for churches which see more than padded pews to sit in. I am looking for radical followers of Jesus, the light of the world. I am seeking mission and ministry and giving and sacrifice for the sake of love.  I am looking for you.
                                    For Jesus, Jeff McDowell
The next edition of this eNewsletter comes out on Dec. 19, 2017.  To submit an item for the newsletter, please have it to the district office by December 15th.   Thank you.
Appointment season begins in January for changes in July
Appointments change for a variety of reasons. Appointments are made by the Bishop and cabinet in consultation with the PPR committee of each church, annually. Your pastor is either re-appointed annually to your church, or appointed to a different church, or to a change of status such as retirement. Much prayer goes into each and every appointment as the cabinet meets and discusses each ministry. In our conference of 867 churches we are looking for God's direction to provide every church with pastoral leadership. Please keep your cabinet and bishop in prayer during this process and know we are looking at the entire conference, not just one church. 
Flood Buckets * DropOff Center

Cortland 1st has graciously agreed to be a drop off point for Flood Buckets.  Their address is:  734 Route 222
Cortland, NY 13045.  Please call the district office (315-781-0188)for access information.

If you drop off buckets, please contact the district office by phone or and let us know how many you have delivered.  We will then have our district coordinators arrange to pick up the buckets and bring them to Mission Central at the Conference Center in Liverpool.  Of course, churches are always welcome to take the buckets directly to Mission Central.  You will need to call first to find out when that facility is open to receive the buckets.  The conference office # is:  315-898-2000.

2nd location now available:  Sodus United Third Methodist Church, 58 West Main St, Sodus, NY 14551
Please contact Mary Ann Riker, cell: 609-651-3696 to make arrangements.
DS Calendar (Subject to change)
Dec. 4-6 cabinet meetings
Dec. 7    district committee on ministry
Dec. 9 cabinet Christmas party
Dec. 10 day off
Dec. 11 office
Dec. 12 lead class for pastors in district office
Dec. 13 office; charge conference port Byron, Weedsport
Dec. 14 office; council on finance and administration meeting
Trustee Tip: Officers are voted into office by the Trustees with Pastor presiding, as soon as possible after January 1 each year.
Finance Tip: Financial audits protect the church and all its workers. When the 2017 record books are closed in early 2018, they are to be handed to the auditing committee of the local church, acquired by the chair of finance, and an audit will be due to district office March 15. 

A Word from Wesley
December 1745 by Charles Wesley
Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
 Born to set thy people free,
From our fears and sins release us,
 Let us find our rest in thee.
By thine own eternal Spirit
    Rule in all our hearts alone,
By thine all-sufficient merit,
    Raise us to thy glorious throne.
 Thank You to all churches and pastors who did so much to be accountable for the work of the church. We appreciate your faithfulness to the task of administration.
For those who still need to turn in forms, please do so at once. 
Of special note: the appointment season has begun. There are many churches who have NOT entered your church info on the Profiles, Advisory Forms and Covenants website:

The District Office is compiling all these right now and would love to include your church's information with what the Bishop and Cabinet will be using.
If you haven't sent it, the places where your church information should appear will be blank and the Bishop and Cabinet will not have your input to guide them in the appointment process. 
Please care for this right away. The deadline was Nov. 1 for Advisory Forms.
Did you know?
"Christmas Conference" is the name given to the conference at which the Methodist Episcopal Church in America was formally organized. The conference began on December 24, 1784, and lasted until January 2 or 3, 1785, at the Lovely Lane Chapel in Baltimore, Maryland. Because of meeting through the Christmas period, the conference has traditionally been called the Christmas Conference. It was at this conference that John Wesley's instructions for the new church were received and approved. Thomas Coke was received as general superintendent. Francis Asbury, designated as a general superintendent by Wesley, was elected to the office by the ministers present and consecrated. Ministers were ordained, and ministerial appointments to churches and circuits were made. The initial policies for the new church were chosen. The founding date of 1784 for The United Methodist Church comes from this meeting of the Christmas Conference.
Latest UNY Camp & Retreat Ministries' newsletter available for viewing
The Fall 2017 UNY Camp & Retreat Ministries' newsletter, Xenia News, is now available to view on our website. The issue includes a note from Mike Huber (the Director of Camp & Retreat Ministries), staff updates, and news about each of the sites. Click here to read this informative issue and see how your Ministry Shares support the Upper New York Camp & Retreat Centers. 
It's not over yet - Keep that paperwork coming -
all paperwork can be downloaded at :
Due Nov. 27th 
Form 16. Leadership Interface Sheet

Due by December 1, 2017 (Do not mail printed copy - just update or complete and save online) *
Church Profile (requires Church login)
 Pastor's Profile (requires Pastor login)

Due by February. 15, 2018 (Mail completed & signed copy of each to the District Office) *
 Report of Trustees
  Report of Finance Committee
       2017 Year End Financial Report (your format) 
        2018 Church Budget (your format)  
  2017 Statistical Report (complete online at **
We now have EZRA tables in Korean and Spanish. Please let us know if you'd like to receive them in that format.

Due by March 15, 2018 (Mail completed copy of each to District Office) *
 2017 Local Church Annual Audit
The latest copy of the Bridge is now available for download. It is available in both color and black & white formats. Click here to select the version you prefer and make copies as necessary. 
As a bi-monthly publication, the Bridge can be used this Sunday or next, whichever is most useful to the local church. The Bridge is a communications tool designed for local churches to stay connected to each other and to the ministries taking place around the Upper New York Conference and The United Methodist Church. The newest volume will be listed at the top of the webpage, with older volumes below. The Bridge is designed to be handed out in worship, as a church bulletin insert, or as a standalone item. If you have questions or are unable to make copies, please contact
FYI - Shared Ministry Payments:

As we near year-end for 2017, we would like to express the cut-off date for churches remitting 2017 Ministry Share payments to the conference office by 4:30pm on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.   It would be greatly appreciated if you could communicate with your churches within your district to plan to have all 2017 remittances paid by that date.  Remittances received after that date will be credited to 2017 Prior Year Ministry Shares. 
We have the capability to accept ACH (electronic funds transfers e.g.)  payments as well which will allow payments to be withdrawn on or before the deadline.  Thank you, UNYUM Conference Office
Shared Ministry:  Dear Church members of the Finger Lakes: Keep up the good work in Sharing Ministry with churches across the conference, and across the world!  Click Here for a listing of our shared ministry payments by category.  Please prayerfully consider where your church is on this aspect of ministry, and give thanks for the sake of Christ.
CCLI License Guidelines for the Conference
(Church Copyright Licensing for Christian Music)
Updated October 10, 2017
Seeking Christian Education Coordinator

Come Grow with Us!
We are looking for an experienced person or persons with a personal commitment to follow Christ and a passion for ministry with children, youth, and their families to coordinate our Christian Education programs. Full- and/or part-time positions available. If this sounds like work God is calling you to do, please send a letter of interest and resume with three references to Lansing United Methodist Church, CEC Search Committee, 32 Brickyard Road, Lansing, NY 14882. For more information, go to Applications will be accepted through December 30, 2017. (No phone calls please.) Lansing United Methodist Church is a vibrant and welcoming Christian community located about seven miles northwest of Ithaca, New York. We are dedicated to Christian growth and excited about what God is doing in our midst. Come grow with us! 
Pastor Alison Schmied
Lansing United Methodist Church

Protecting Your Congregation When the Unthinkable Happens

In an effort to help you provide a safe haven for your ministries, United Methodist Insurance provides the following guidance from the Department of Homeland Security and in the event of an active shooter on the premises. Click here to access a downloadable pamphlet from the Department of Homeland Security.
Your local law enforcement organization may also have information for your particular area. 
Click on the link below for helpful tips in the event an active shooter is in your church:

How Do I connect?

Denominational Website: The United Methodist Church
District Website: Finger Lakes District 
If you would like to subscribe to this e-newsletter, please send your email address to:
Finger Lakes District
of the Upper New York Conference

Rev. Jeffrey McDowell, District Superintendent
Pam Deckard, Administrative Assistant

12 North Park St., Suite 11
Seneca Falls, NY 13148  (new address)
Office:  315-781-0188     efax: +1-315-282-2367 
Upper New York Conference, 7481 Henry Clay Blvd, Liverpool, NY 13088
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