From: Rachel [bretty14770@yahoo.com]
Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2019 9:02 PM
To: jrboyer@ottcmail.com
Subject: Fwd: February 15, 2019 e-Newsletter


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From: Finger Lakes District <fingerlakesdistrict@unyumc.org>
Date: February 15, 2019 at 10:09:04 AM EST
To: bretty14770@yahoo.com
Subject: February 15, 2019 e-Newsletter
Reply-To: fingerlakesdistrict@unyumc.org

Finger Lakes District E-Newsletter  February 15, 2019

WELCOME FRIENDS !
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 a useful 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 FingerLakesDistrict@unyumc.org
May you have a blessed week!
Your friends at the Finger Lakes District Office,
       Rev. Jeffrey McDowell, District Superintendent
            Pam Deckard, Administrative Assistant

******************************************************
Messages for the office:    Please continue to contact the office via email (above) or phone (315-781-0188) and your messages will be responded to.   
The next edition of this eNewsletter comes out on March 12, 2019.  To submit an item for the newsletter, please have it to the district office by March 7.   Thank you.
DS Notes:

Friends, after recovering from surgery since Jan. 4th, I am back "on duty" and excited for this New Year with you. Did you miss me? I missed you, but mostly all the great conversations we have in the life of the churches on the Finger Lakes. Thank you for your prayers and for those who sent cards and provided meals. Thank you for many Elders on the district being available for help / advice if needed, and thank you to Pam Deckard, our district administrator, for handling most of what came our way!
 
I am going to attend our General Conference February 23-26 as a visitor. I hope to be part of prayerful gatherings and avail myself to pray with and listen to all / any who would need it. I share with you below in italics, my notes from last May in this newsletter, then I follow it up with today's thoughts:
 
==
DS JEFF NOTES May 7, 2018
"Our Denomination is in pain. Intense debates regarding human sexuality and its expressions in church and society continue. I am sure that most proponents of opposing beliefs think they are defending God. Each team seems to choose select parts of God to defend such as holiness or mercy, but not often both. Some people try to calm their anxiety through posturing, politicking, promoting and policing. Trust is at an all-time low; anger toward sisters and brothers is at an all-time high. Name-calling is common and sins against one another are building up to a total break of relationships. To reconcile with one another would mean we give up defending God, and this is too scary for most people.
 
There is another way to be. Think of the people you've known who've most strongly shown you the love of Christ. These "gems" accepted you, taught you, modeled for you a way to live without bitterness and strife. They did not judge you but did gently call you to be your best self. They did not speak poorly of other people to you. They did not equivocate on the truths Jesus taught. They did not assume evil intentions based on actions of other people. They did not draw circles around those who only thought like themselves. They sought first to understand rather than to be understood. They cared enough to pray for you to become all God may intend."
 
==
 
Dear Friends, this year (2019) is not the only year there will be challenges and changes in our denomination. Perhaps if we look long - term we will find a way to release ourselves to God for our future and seek to control each other less. Please be kind. Please be careful what you say and how you say it. Be especially careful of the incendiary nature of social media posts. Please consider the ways of Christ in communicating with your fellow Christians. Pastors and Lay leaders, I ask you to lead the way. And I will do the same. Here is a link to our Upper New York conference's excellent resources to inform you and all our congregations of what is occurring in St. Louis February 23-26. http://www.unyumc.org/events/special-session-resources-the-way-forward
 
In Christ with you, Jeff McDowell

A Word from Charles Wesley:
 
Help us to help each other, Lord,
each other's cross to bear;
let each his friendly aid afford,
and feel another's care.
Touched by the lodestone of thy love
                                               let all our hearts agree;
                                               and ever towards each other move,
                                               and ever move towards thee.
District Superintendent's preaching schedule:

         March 10 at Midlakes and Scott
         March 17 at Alton
                     March 31 at Homer Ave and Virgil
               April 28 at Harmony and Forest Home Chapel
               May 5 at Geneva (both services)
         May 19 at E. Homer/Truxton and Freeville
   June 2 at Varna
   June 23 at Newark First
Regional Gatherings after Special Session

January 29, 2019 / By Upper New York Communications:

We do not know what to expect at the 2019 Special Session of General Conference taking place Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis, MO and this uncertainty can be uncomfortable. Whatever the outcome of Special Session is, our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world will continue. There may be a new reality that we will have to acclimate to so that we can continue to fulfill our mission as United Methodists. To that end, Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb will host an all-clergy gathering and six regional gatherings to process the new reality.

Bishop Webb said, "The purpose of these gatherings is for us to gather together after the Special Session of General Conference to worship together, pray together, understand the decisions or actions of the Special Session, and remember our individual and collective call to ministry and mission in the name of Jesus Christ."

It is expected for all clergy to attend the clergy gathering, which will be held at Rochester: Asbury First United Methodist Church on Saturday March 9 from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. This location was chosen as opposed to a centrally located church because of the venue's ability to host the large number of clergy members who will be attending.
The gatherings open to both laity and clergy will take place on the following dates at the locations listed:
Plan now to attend one of these gatherings, and as we approach the Special Session of General Conference please keep the delegates to the Special Session, all those attending the Special Session, and the entire United Methodist church in your prayers.
2018 EZRA Reporting Opens Jan. 1, 2019

The 2018 Ezra reports will be ready and open on the 1st of January and end on February 15th of 2019.
Complete your reporting at:  http://ezra.gcfa.org 

Important Note:  I will send a book from my collection to each pastor whose church leaders complete their Statistical Reports correctly and ON TIME.  -Jeff McDowell-

EZRA             FingerLakes District Completion Status:

Overview of EZRA Statistical Reports for 'FINGER LAKES' District:

Not Started:  5%
In Progress:  25%
Completed:    69%
DEADLINE IS: FEB.15TH **TODAY !!

If you are unable to login, Please call or email the district office to reset your username/password.  
Bishops Agree to Covenant for GC2019
WASHINGTON - United Methodist bishops are preparing to preside over the special General Conference set for Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis. In a letter released Feb. 12, Council of Bishops President Bishop Kenneth H. Carter Jr. noted that the bishops will be bound by a covenant of presiding. The letter was written in collaboration with the Commission on the General Conference.

Editor's Note: The following is a pastoral letter written by the Bishops of the Northeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church

We bid you grace and peace from the Lord Jesus Christ:
 
During the Northeastern College of Bishops meeting, January 28-30, we your Bishops prayed for the Church and in particular the clergy and laity of the Northeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church.
 
As the Special Session of the General Conference in St. Louis, MO, February 23-26, 2019, is just days away, we invite each congregation and every member to join us in even deeper and more fervent prayer. We seek your prayers as the delegates receive and act upon the report from The Commission on a Way Forward and corresponding petitions. Along with the Apostle Paul, we pray that the "God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope in the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13 CEB).  
 
Please lift this session of holy conferencing in prayer in each of your churches this Sunday and throughout the week. On Saturday, February 23, the General Conference will dedicate the entire day to prayer. This will be available through live-streaming (umc.org) and we invite as many as possible to pray along with the Conference delegates, Bishops and attendees.  
 
We are confident that God will work all things together for good as God's people are faithful in prayer and obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. As John Wesley said, "Best of all, God is with us."
 
Grace and Peace,
Bishops of the Northeastern Jurisdiction 

IT ALL STARTS HERE.

REGISTRATION FOR SUMMER CAMP 2019 IS OFFICIALLY OPEN!

Registering for Aldersgate,Casowasco,Sky Lake, and Skye Farm is easy and online.
 
Go to our site:  
campsandretreats.org/2019 

What better way to spend your summer than at camp? Our summer camps offer lots of action and plenty of fun, sun-soaked days. Meet lifelong friends, eat great meals, and have the time of your life in a spectacular setting! What makes our camp weeks so special? We offer a wide variety of programs and activities for children and youth to experience while they are at camp.

REFER A FRIEND ** SAVE $40
 
REGISTER ON OR BEFORE MAY 1   **  SAVE $10

Each program is designed to provide an unforgettable, life -changing week.
STOP WATCHING LIFE*** IT'S TIME TO STAR IN IT!
Reporting 2019 Compensation

The Conference Council on Finance & Administration (CF&A) wishes to remind all church treasurers and persons responsible of the finance work of the local church, that pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code, clergy compensation is reported to clergy on a Form W-2. The payroll report due date is January 31. Forms 1099 are not applicable for clergy compensation.

MINIMUM WAGE POSTER (CLICK HERE)
Special Session of General Conference

The Special Session of General Conference will be held from Feb. 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri at The Dome, part of the America's Center Convention Complex . 
Please pray for all the delegates and presenters.
 
The Upper New York Conference is posting prayer videos (vlogs) from delegates who were willing to share their prayers as they prepare to attend the Special Session of General Conference (The Way Forward) Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis, MO. 
The first vlog is from the Rev. Bill Allen, the head of the Upper New York Delegation.  Click here to view his vlog where he asks God to come in power to guide the delegates and support those watching and praying about Special Session.
You are also invited to share your prayers for Special Session by commenting on any of the posted vlogs in this series, on our Facebook page, or by sending your prayer to news@unyumc.org.  
CAMPS AND RETREATS:

There is still space for YOU at one of our fall, winter, or spring gatherings - explore the opportunities available at our Camp & Retreat Centers. Head to www.campsandretreats.org for more information or to sign up/register, contact the site directly, or contact the CRM Central Office at 315-898-2026 with any questions.
 
Casowasco:
March 1-3, 2019: Women's Chocolate Getaway (Women)
April 11-14, 2019: Quilt by Faith: Spring (Women)
May 12, 2019: Mother's Day Brunch (Families & Adults)
 
Sky Lake:
April 5-7, 2019: Church Family Getaway (Families & Adults)
-Taken from Francis Asbury's journal, 1805-
 
Friday, Feb. 9th. We stopped to feed our horses at a Quaker preacher's, a friend Nixon: we would not eat ourselves, where it was not agreeable we should pray. We found the wind so cold and cutting as we made towards Petersburg, we could hardly bear up against it.
Saturday, Feb. 16. Colder Still! Snow in the north, five and six feet deep in New York. Ice! Ice!-awful time!
Sunday, Feb. 17. Calm and cold. I preached upon Rev. iii.3-5; the people came very late, and my mind was fettered.
Monday, Feb. 18th. We rode away to the high hills, Notaway, and stopped with Sith Perham; on Tuesday we came to Robert Jones's; on Wednedsday to Peter Pelham's; on Thursday to William Ruffin's; on Friday to Sterling Ruffin's, where I preached, and then came on to Ira Ellis's. On Saturday brother Whatcoat preached at the Olive-Branch. We visited Matthew Myrick, who was sick.
Sabbath, Feb. 23. I had a most serious talk at the Branch chapel on Rev. ii.1-5. We lodged at Ed. Drumgoold's.
Upcoming DCOM Training

WHO: For all District Superintendents, DCOM Chairs, DCOM Registrars (or designees)
WHAT: DCOM Training!
WHEN: April 3, Noon (lunch provided) to 3:00 PM.
WHERE: Upper New York Conference Center
                7481 Henry Clay Blvd.
                 Liverpool, NY 13088
WHY: To share changes in the Handbook * To share best practices * To answer your questions

The new DCOM Handbook is on the Conference website!
Is God calling YOU to serve on a mission team?
This opportunity is for you!
 
CLICK HERE for flyer

Join a UMVIM Team from McGraw UMC going to Costa Rica April 27- May 4, 2019
The team is hosted by Rice and Beans Ministries in Alajuela, Costa Rica. Each afternoon, after construction or VBS activities, our team will pack food bags to deliver door to door in the neighborhoods. Currently, Rice and Beans Ministries serves 80+ communities with food and prayer. Through this ministry they meet an immediate need and offer hope, an encouraging word, and prayer while building relationships with the families.
 
Cost of the trip is $1500 which includes Accommodations--lodging, meals, transportation to worksites and AIRFARE. 

Contact:      Pastor Beth Bouwens @ 607-346-6634          Pastorbeth@outlook.com

A note from Beth:  I am available to visit churches to share about Costa Rica and Rice and Beans Ministry.  This will be the fifth time I have taken teams to CR. 
 
Update on Puerto Rico Mission Trip-we have a team of 23 people going to serve Jan. 19-26, 2019.  5 people are from the Finger Lakes District and 16 from the Genesee Valley and two are from out of state.  
Continuing Education Requirements for Clergy
 
Attention:  All clergy under appointment or assignment are required to complete 2 CEUs (20 contact hours) per year or accumulative 8 CEUs (80 contacts hours) per quadrennium and will provide documentation to the District Superintendent, unless enrolled and attending Course of Study or Seminary Degree Program.
 
COS Information
Our registrar is continuing to receive registrations with 2015, 2016 & 2017 dates on them. Please a make sure you are using the most updated form.  You can download the correct form HERE

Young Adult Ministries
 
Maya Smith has recently created a facebook page for the young adults of our conference. This is a great way for churches and young adults in all districts to keep up on what they are doing in our conference and beyond. We really want to get more young adults involved in gatherings, bible studies, etc. that the young adults committee will be hosting. These events/gatherings will be posted on this facebook page so more people can get involved! If there are any questions regarding the social media or the young adults in general, you can contact Maya at  unyyoungpeople@gmail.com 
Mountain View District (but available to interested parties from other districts)
Lay Servant Ministries

2019 Spring Weekend Training

To be held at:
WATSON HOMESTEAD
Retreat and Conference Center
9620 Dry Run Road
Painted Post, NY 14870

Friday March 29 -31, 2019

Participants will assemble for worship at 7:00PM on Friday evening, with classes held Friday night, Saturday morning, afternoon and evening and a closing program on Sunday morning. Cost of program will include breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday plus brunch on Sunday, as well as double occupancy room accommodations. There will be time for contemplation, reading, and fellowship and a chance to explore the 100+ acre campus.

Tuition $225.00 per person*
Registration ends Feb. 28, 2019

Clergy Tax Exemptions information

Clergy who own their homes may be eligible for a tax exemption.  For more information, and the Exemption Application Forms, please 
UNY Local Pastor's Licensing School

First, this year's UNY Local Pastor's licensing school will be held May 5-11, 2019. This is an earlier date than in year's past. The venue is unknown at this time.
Second, the elders and provisional elders in the Northern Flow district that are requesting to remain less than full time for the 2019 appointment year can begin to send in to the Bishop's Office the annual letter requesting to remain in the less than full time status for the 2019 appointment year.
Please Note:

If there are changes in the names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses  for you, and/or any of your committee chairs, please contact the district office with the changes. Thank you  
2019 Employer Updates 

There are two changes that will affect Upper New York churches and employees in the new year.

Effective Dec. 31, New York State's hourly minimum wage rate is increasing to $11.10. All employers in the Upper New York Conference must pay non-exempt employees minimum wage regardless of how many people they employ. Click here to read more about the wage increase.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, New York State (NYS) Paid Family Leave is increasing to 55% benefit and 10 weeks for eligible employees. Click here to learn more about the updates and changes.

If you have any questions, contact Tracy Rickett, Upper New York Conference's Human Resources Generalist, at (315) 898-2017 or tracyrickett@unyumc.org.

New York State Employers required to adopt a sexual harassment policy and training
Due to a new law, every employer in New York State is required to establish and distribute a sexual harassment prevention policy. The policy can be distributed in writing or electronically.  Employers are encouraged to have employees acknowledge receipt of the policy, and to post a copy of the policy where employees can easily access it.  
Every employer is also required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training by October 9, 2019. This is an annual requirement as part of the new regulations.
Additional resources for sexual harassment training will be shared once that information has been gathered. 
Click here for more details on New York State's Sexual Harassment regulations.
If you have any questions regarding New York state's sexual harassment requirements, please contact Tracy Rickett, Upper New York Conference's Human Resources Generalist at (315) 898-2017 or TracyRickett@unyumc.org.

How to use VitalSigns

We introduced you to VitalSigns, a platform that can help your church to track key indicators and uncover important insights. Click here to watch a video that shows you just how easy this program is to use. 
 
Track data, gain insight, and help your church with VitalSigns
The VitalSigns dashboard is a tool that allows churches to track church growth indicators, such as weekly worship attendance, professions of faith, small group participation, missional participation, and financial giving. It is a deeper level of insight, support, and accountability that tracks and trends vital information in an easy-to-understand dashboard.
 
The General Council on Finance and Administration pays for this software through General Church apportionment's - which the Upper New York Conference paid in full in 2016. The UNY Conference began using VitalSigns about 18 months ago, and so far, 38 UNY churches have signed up. Click here to learn how VitalSigns can help your church.
 
For more information about the VitalSigns tool, free to all United Methodist churches, contact Aaron Bouwens, Upper New York Conference Director of Vital Congregations at AaronBouwens@unyumc.org

Disaster Preparedness 

You can't prevent disaster. But you can prepare. United Methodist Insurance has created a comprehensive, robust handbook on Emergency Preparedness for Natural Disasters and Extreme Weather for Churches. 
                                                  Click here to download the eBook
Did you know?
  1. All Pastors are in the itinerant system of the United Methodist church. This means they are willing to itinerate, or move, as the bishop determines which are the best appointments of all pastors to churches. District Superintendents are involved in this through consultation with local churches, in light of the greater mission of making disciples over the largest geography of our conference. When you think of only your one church, remember the bishop is thinking of over 800 churches. Don't be selfish. Do be appreciative of the gifts each pastor brings.
  2. All pastors moving or retiring as of July will attend a 'right start' workshop to ensure smooth and caring transitions of leadership for them and our churches.
  3. Long tenures of pastors tend to ensure better health for churches.
Golden Bucket Award

The UNYUMC Mission Central HUB is announcing the Golden Bucket Award to the District that donates the most UMCOR Cleaning Kits!  The District that collects the most UMCOR Cleaning Kits throughout the period will be awarded the prestigious Golden Bucket Award! Please tag your buckets with a removable tag (ex. string and piece of paper) include your church name and District
 
This award started on October 1st, 2018 and runs till May 25th, 2019. 
The Golden Bucket will be awarded at the 2019 Annual Conference.
 
It is important to follow the UMCOR Cleaning Kit last updated May 
2018. Any questions please contact Mike Block.
 
Click here for an updated UMCOR cleaning kit supply list.  
Resolutions & Petitions for 2019 Annual Conference session due no later than March 15th, 2019

The Committee on Petitions and Resolutions is charged with overseeing the submission, review, and presentation of petitions and resolutions to the Annual Conference.
 
All resolutions and petitions for the 2019 Annual Conference session must be submitted to the Committee no later than March 15, 2019. Submissions should be emailed to the Petitions and Resolutions Committee at petitions@unyumc.org.
 
Click here for writing and submission guidelines as well as a petition and resolution template and sample document. 
 
All reports and materials to be published in the Journal Vol. I are due on February 15, 2019. These items should be submitted to the Connectional Ministries' office at DCMOffice@unyumc.org

 UNY Local Pastor's Licensing School at Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center
 
This year's UNY Local Pastor's licensing school will be held May 5-11 2019.  This is an earlier date than in year's past. The venue will be Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center, 158 Casowasco Dr, Moravia, NY 13118. www.casowasco.org

"Bearing the Cross: Stations, Reflections and Prayers"

Fourteen iconic photos from the life of Dr. King are hung about the sanctuary, and a devotional booklet with context, quote and prayer for each station. 

The exhibit will be on view through Easter (April 21). The sanctuary is open to all Sunday mornings for worship at 10:30, and is open and empty from 11:30-12:30, a good time for quiet viewing of the installation. If you would like to schedule a private viewing, please use the Contact Us page on this website. To download the booklet, please click Here.
The Upper New York United Methodist Historical Society was organized by the Upper New York Commission on Archives and History to promote and preserve Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren history within the bounds of Upper New York Conference.  Its mission is to Preserve the PAST; Inform the FUTURE.  
Counseling available for all of our appointed Clergy, part time and full time, and some paid church staff...

ESI's (Employee Assistance Group) TotalCare EAP can help
with virtually every area of life.  See flyer (click here) for more information. Or go to: www.theEAP.com or call: 800-252-4555
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 Communications@unyumc.org
United Methodist Women
Calls on members to pray for the upcoming special session of the United Methodist General Spread the News!!
Please make sure to have upcoming UMW events put in your weekly bulletins and newsletters and posted on your bulletin boards and websites, welcoming all women to attend. Your church does not have to have an "official UMW group" to be a part of these events! All women are welcome to come to every local, district or national UMW event. We try to plan interesting, different programs - it would be wonderful to have a lot of attendees. PLEASE JOIN US!!

Upcoming Dates:
Sat, March 16, 2019,FLD UMW Day Apart, Pastor Karen Heit, Rose UMC, 9:30 am-2:30 pm
Sat, April 13, 2019,FLD UMW Mission Message, Rev Robin Blair, Penn Yan UMC, 9:30 am-2:30 pm
Tue, May 7, 2019, FLD UMW Spring Banquet, Club 86, Geneva, 5:30 pm Registration, 6:00 pm Dinner
Fri, July 12, 2019- Sun, July 14, 2019, Mission u, Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, NY
Fri, July 25, 2019- Sat, July 27, 2019, Mission u, Asbury Camp & Retreat Center, Silver Lake, NY
Fri, Sept 6, 2019- Sun, Sept 8, 2019, Mission u, Silver Bay Conference & Retreat Center, Lake George, NY
Fri, Sept 20, 2019- Sat, Sept 21, 2019, Upper New York UMW Annual Meeting, Place TBD

See all the pertinent information about UMW in the Winter 2019 Newsletter by CLICKING HERE.
 
In other news:    Beginning in January 2019, the United Methodist Women Mission Resources (PBD) will no longer stock books on the Reading Program lists.   CLICK HERE to read what this means.   UMW staff contact for the Reading Program is Andris Salter at: asalter@unitedmethodistwomen.org
 
Beginning January 2019, United Methodist Mission Resources (PBD) will no longer offer consignment orders for events.
CLICK HERE to see what this means.   Staff contact for resource ordering for SPR's and others is: Andrew Cheu at acheu@unitedmethodistwomen.org
Bishop Webb announces clergy appointments 

Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb has announced eight new appointments pending approval of clergy session. View the full list of changes here.
"A Contemplative Quiet Day: Preparing for Lent"
 
"There is no room for God in a cluttered mind." The Cloud of Unknowing
           
Lent is a collective retreat for the Church where we aim to de-clutter our minds and our lives as a whole. Thomas Keating says Lent is not about giving things up for God, but is rather about letting go of the things that get in the way of God (de-cluttering).  It's about leaning into the "Mary" side of life that Luke describes in his story about Mary and Martha (Luke 10: 38-42). It's an opportunity to sit at Jesus' feet and learn from him while letting the "Martha" side of busy activity rest a little.

            Join us for a half-day "retreat" and learn how to de-clutter your mind and life! Keith Kristich will lead participants in exercises of "centering prayer," Lectio Divina (ie. praying the Scriptures), personal reflection, and group discussion from 9:30 am - 12 noon on Sat., March 2, 2019 in the Memorial Room at the Seneca Falls United Methodist Church, 2 Chapel St., Seneca Falls. Keith is a certified Spiritual Director from Buffalo, NY. Cost is $5.00, which includes all materials and snacks. To register or obtain more information, call the church office at: 315-568-6306.

To obtain a flyer with more information, CLICK HERE
UNYUMC Conference Center

The Communications Ministry has launched a volunteer section on our website which lists current volunteer opportunities at the Conference level. 
If your ministry is in need of a volunteer, please send your request to news@unyumc.org
Churches are encouraged to continue using the classifieds section 
At the 2018 UNY Annual Conference a petition was adopted for local churches to hold a Disability Awareness Weekend.

Submitted by Rev. Missy McCarthy and the Accessibility Committee, the petition recommends that local churches designate the first weekend in February (February 2-3, 2019 or another weekend chosen by the local church) as Disability Awareness Weekend. The purpose of the weekend is to promote awareness issues as well as ministries that provide fuller inclusion of people with disabilities. A special collection to support those ministries is suggested.

The following links offer a variety of ideas and resources for your church:
 
 

 
 
Rev. McCarthy also recommends the book, Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability and Inclusion by Mark Pinsky. The book offers examples and stories of inclusions of persons who are disabled.
   
The UNY Communications staff invites you to share how your church will honor Disability Awareness Weekend: News@unyumc.org
OFFERED BY A RETIRED PASTOR IN OUR DISTRICT:

An Invitation to Experience God and Grow into the Experience

The world in which we live is so often a noisy, busy, and distracting world. Do you sense a desire to spend more time with God, but you aren't sure how? Maybe you have been wondering...
Where is God in the middle of noise and distraction?
How do I know what God wants me to do?
How can I learn to hear God's "still small voice" in my life?

"Growing with God" is a program endorsed by the Upper NY Conference of the United Methodist Church, and it is designed to help you deepen your relationship with God and notice how God is active in your everyday life. "Growing with God" is being presented as a series of 4 - 5 spiritual retreats, one Saturday per month from 10 am until 2 - 3 pm, breaking at noon for a 'brown bag lunch.' Together we will learn prayer exercises and spiritual disciplines which quiet our souls and focus on God's voice in our lives. You are invited to the first retreat on Saturday, February 16, 2019, at 10 am to hear more about the program, and to learn two of the spiritual practices that encourage us to meditate on and pray the scriptures. The dates are:
February 16                          
March 16                            
April 13                                        
May 18
(and one other Saturday to be determined by the participants)  
                        
The sessions build on each other, but each session focuses on two different spiritual disciplines. Therefore, if you have to miss one or two sessions, you will still gain insights and spiritual practices for your personal daily prayers. Each session is being led by Cheryl Hine who has been the pastor of United Methodist churches in Mecklenburg, Bainbridge and Sidney. Cheryl is also a 2016 graduate of the 2-year Tending the Soul program offered through the Upper NY Conference of the United Methodist Church.

     If you are interested in the "Growing with God" retreats, please come to the first gathering! We will meet on Saturday, February 16, at 10 am in the Fellowship Room of the Trumansburg United Methodist Church, 80 E. Main Street, Trumansburg, NY. It would be helpful to receive the Registration form which is included with this announcement. However, if you decide, at the last minute, to try the first retreat, then just show up at 10 am on February 16! We welcome you! To register before February 16, please fill out and mail the registration form to:

Cheryl Hine
10 Kentucky Avenue
Trumansburg, NY 14886
OR send information on the registration form to this e-mail address:
 chine@twcny.rr.com   (Note that there is no "s" after my last name)
Thank you for considering this opportunity!
______________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                                     Registration
Name: ___________________________________
Address: _______________________________
               ________________________
E-mail address:                                                                       Phone Number:
 


The Upper New York Conference College Ministry Team invites high school and college undergraduate students to apply for the Lottie Brown Grant. The application deadline is April 10.  Click herefor more information and to apply.

2019 UMFF Rev. Dr. Keith Muhleman Ministry Grants
Information for Applicants:   CLICK HERE

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: fingerlakesdistrict@unyumc.org
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  
Office:  315-781-0188     efax: +1-315-282-2367 
Upper New York Conference, 7481 Henry Clay Blvd, Liverpool, NY 13088
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