From: Finger Lakes District []
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2018 1:00 PM
Subject: July 24, 2018 e-Newsletter
Finger Lakes District E-Newsletter   July 24, 2018

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
May you have a blessed week!
Your friends at the Finger Lakes District Office,
       Rev. Jeffrey McDowell, District Superintendent
            Pam Deckard, Administrative Assistant
Office Hours:  Pam will be working from home Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and in the Seneca Falls Office Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.   You can call the office at any time (315-781-0188).  Or email.  Thank you.    During the Summer, call first as hours may vary.
The next edition of this eNewsletter comes out on August 7, 2018.  To submit an item for the newsletter, please have it to the district office by August 1.   Thank you.
Join us for the 2018 Bishop's Retreat

Bishop's Retreat
October 23-25, 2018!
Genesee Grande Hotel, Syracuse, NY
 "Living, Leading and Equipping for Biblical Stewardship"

Our Keynote Speaker: Dr. Clif Christopher, M. Div., CFRE Dr. Clif Christopher founded the Horizons Stewardship Company in 1992 following a challenging career in pastoral ministry.  He serves as the company's CEO to this day.  In his twenty years as a pastor, he led numerous major building and capital campaigns.  Since founding Horizons, he and his strategists have led consultations in over 2,000 churches, conferences, synods and diocese in all phases of building, finance, and church growth.
Dr. Christopher is a certified church growth consultant and has earned the coveted title CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive).  In 1995, he was given the National Circuit Rider Award by the United Methodist Church for outstanding leadership in developing vital congregations

Click Here for information and to register  

Director's Invitational (DI)

Many of our youth around the Conference are leading Sunday school, youth events, local and global mission projects, serving on church committees, and leading school and community activities. They have demonstrated leadership potential, but often lack confidence, training, direction, or opportunity to develop their gifts. Soon they will be adults working in a variety of careers, be parents, and spiritual leaders. We recognize the opportunity the church has to guide them into their adult roles by offering them the skills that will enrich their faith, build their confidence and teach them how to use their potential.
Director's Invitational (DI) is a five-day, spiritual leadership seminar, held August 5-9th, at Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center, developed to help youth recognize their style of leadership and to develop their own unique God-given gifts. Nominate a youth ages 14 through 2018 high-school graduates for this program by August 1. Churches and individuals making nominations will be invoiced for the $375 program fee once the individual nominated accepts an invitation to attend by returning the registration form.
Click here to read Upper New York Annual Conference's Director of Camp & Retreat Ministries, Mike Huber's letter about the Director's Invitational.
Click here for a Director's Invitational nomination form.

Sky Lake Campbassador E-mail Sign-up Link
 Click here to sign up.

The Upper New York Camp & Retreat Ministry Area is excited to share our 2018 summer camp and retreat programs with you!  Discover five awesome sites with over 200 programs. Summer Camp provides endless laughter, meaningful worship, and important friendships. 
Retreats provide a unique experience in a  beautiful  setting.   Click here to discover the best program for you or your child based on age, interests, and sites.
THERE ARE SPACES for campers, families, and retreat-goers in almost all of our programming for this summer/fall, so it's NOT TOO LATE to inquire about or register for camps and retreats!
October 13, 9am-4pm: Volunteer Work Day (All Ages)
July 29-August 1: Retreat: Asbury Express III (Ages 13-18)
August 5-7: Family: Together Time: A Family Retreat (All Ages)
August 19-21: Retreat: Welcome to the Table: A Women's Retreat (Adults)
September 28-30: Retreat: Craft & Quilt Retreat (Adults)
August 5-8: Special Needs: Summershine (Ages 16+ with Special Needs)
August 5-8: Family: Father-Son Adventure (Ages 4+); Mother-Daughter Adventure (Ages 4+); Family Camp (All Ages)
August 5-9: Leadership: Director's Invitational (Ages 14-18)
September 1: Leadership: Youth Worker's Training Day (Adults)
September 20-23: Retreat: Quilt By Faith (Adults)
December 5-7: Retreat: Be Still {a silent retreat} (Adults)
December 30-January 1, 2019: Retreat: Camp Echo (Ages 7-18)
Sky Lake:
August 12-15: Family: Intergenerational Camp (All Ages)
August 31-September 3: Family: Labor Day Family Weekend (All Ages)
October 5-7: Retreat: Ladies of the Lake (Adults/Women)
October 21: Retreat: S'MORE Time (Grades 6-12)
November 8-10: Leadership: L.E.A.D. (Leadership Enrichment & Development) (Adults)
Skye Farm:
August 5-8: Family: Family Adventure Camp (All Ages)
August 10-13: Family: Alumni Reunion (All Ages)
2018 Camp and Retreat Ministries spring newsletter available

The most recent Camp and Retreat Ministries (CRM) Xenia News newsletter is now available on the Conference website and

 Click here to read this issue, which includes: a letter from CRM executive assistant Joan Newlon (who shares exciting news), updates from CRM staff, exciting programs taking place this summer, and news from each of the CRM sites.
165th Anniversary of
Antoinette Brown Blackwell
's Ordination

Saturday, September 15th at 1:00
First woman to be ordained as a mainstream Protestant minister in the US.

Butler United Methodist Church
Route 89, South Butler, NY

Featured Speaker: Dr. Barbara Spies
of Cardinal Stritch University
Author of: The Prophetic Voice: Antoinette Brown Blackwell & the Social Purity Movement
For more Information email: or call (202) 309-1207                                                                    

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  
Students: Apply now for 2018
UNY Conference Scholarships

United Methodist high school seniors and college students are invited to apply for two scholarships offered by the Upper New York Conference: Conference Merit Awards and Lottie Brown Grants. Application forms and guidelines are available now. Click here for more information and to  apply.
2018 Appointments Updated

Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb has made the 
final July 1, 2018 updates to the full list of 2018 clergy appointments. This list indicates the latest appointment status and Conference relationship of the pastor appointed to each church in the Upper New York Conference. This list is alphabetical by District.
Click here  to view the updated appointments.
General Conference Special Sessions Registration Fees Reduced 

Thanks to a $450,000 grant from United Methodist Communications (UMCom) and budget reductions identified by the General Council of Finance and Administration (GCFA) and General Conference staff, there will be no registration fees for the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference.

The Commission on the General Conference voted this week to rescind the registration fees after United Methodist Communications agreed to provide $450,000 to cover communication-related needs outside the scope of their responsibility that would normally come from the General Conference budget. Click here to learn more.
Laity Banquet   Sunday, October 21, 2018 at Club 86 in Geneva. 
3:30 - 6:30 pm. 86 Avenue East, Geneva, NY 14456   $22 per person.   Reservations to the District Office.
More information to come in later issues of this newsletter.
Ways to Connect with the UNY Conference
The Conference Communications staff have a number of ways to share information throughout Upper New York. Here are a few of them:
UNY Notes are simple text-based emails that will immediately alert you to important news and events of the Upper New York Conference. UNY Notes are targeted email blasts in nine categories from which to choose: From the Desk of Bishop Webb, Alerts, Prayer Concerns, Announcements, Missions, Justice, Camp & Retreat, Young People and Death Notices. If you prefer fewer emails, remember that all of the week's UNY Notes are included in the 
Weekly Digest, published on Wednesdays. Click here to subscribe to UNY Notes and here to subscribe to Weekly Digest.

You're also encouraged to "like" Upper New York Conference on
Facebook. Here you'll find pictures, short videos, questions from fun to serious, the latest news from the Conference and ways to try to engage with our followers. These posts will appear in your news feed along with posts from your other Facebook friends.
You may follow Upper New York on Instagram to see pictures and short videos from around the Conference. Posts will appear in your news feed along with everyone else you follow on Instagram.
So stay connected and up-to-date with your friends and churches from throughout the Conference!
Lay Servant Courses for August

1.     Basic Lay Servant course at Newark UMC on August 3 (5-9pm) and 4 (9am-3pm) with pastors Charlie and Bobbie Valentine teaching. Fee: $20. BYO Lunch, snacks and beverages included.

2.     "Polity" at Newark UMC on August 3 (5-9pm) and 4 (9am-3pm) with pastor Della Ludwig teaching. Fee: $20. BYO Lunch, snacks and beverages included.  This course is a required course for Lay Speaking Certification and is an advanced course for Lay Servants. 
Save the date:  November 9-11 annual Lay Servant Retreat at Casowasco.  Marc Brown, director of Connectional Ministries of the Virginia United Methodist Conference and co-author of the book Lay Servants as Christian Transformational Leaders will be our guest leader.  Plan now to attend this powerful weekend that is open to all, Laity, Pastors and Lay Servants.  This course satisfies advance Lay Servant credit.
Please contact Jennie Young-Walczyk at 603.667.8273 for more information.  

CLICK HERE for registration flyer
Each year, more than 3,500 Church Mutual Insurance Company customers are affected by water damage. Unchecked, water can wreak havoc on unmonitored facilities, causing thousands of dollars in clean up and repairs.
To help prevent future losses, Church Mutual has developed the CM Sensor Program to help protect your organization against water damage. This innovative program is offered at no cost to you as a Church Mutual customer. The program alerts you to temperature fluctuations and the presence of water in your facility. To date, more than 5,000 houses of worship have already enrolled in this innovative program!
Enroll at or call 1 (800) 554-2642, option 1 to receive your no-cost CM Sensor kit. For a limited time, enrollment in the sensor program comes with FREE professional installation! *
Find more information on the CM Sensor Program click here.
*Professional installation is not required. Sensors are designed to be self-installed. Editor's Note: The following email is a follow-up about the Water Sensor Program from Church Mutual that was discussed during the Trustee's Report at the Upper New York Annual Conference. 
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

NEW UMCom Social Media Webinars Coming Soon

The United Methodist Communications Public Information Team is hosting two upcoming webinars to support local churches as they strive to embrace social media and its uses for outreach and ministry. Both webinars are free and appropriate for users at all experience levels; the events will feature experts answering questions and sharing information about strategies, tips, best practices, and more. Need more details? Email:
  • July 26 at noon CT - Live Q&A: Social Media for Churches. Click here to register.
  • September 12 at noon CT - Live learning session: YouTube for Churches (registration page coming soon! 
Friends and Colleagues, I'm doing my first ever webinar coming up ... please see content and link below, as well as some new info about my new book publisher and the republishing of BUILDING WORSHIP BRIDGES. Please let me know if you have questions. THANKS!

Connecting Your Church to the Neighborhood
Webinar Leader: Cathy Townley, Author of: Building Worship Bridges
August 7 at 2 p.m. Eastern / 1 Central / 11 Pacific

Free registration is available now at:
D     M
Pastors, Mentors, and Candidates for Ministry

The District Committee on Ministry will be meeting in the Fall.
Do you know a Candidate who is planning on being Commissioned in 2019?
The DCOM will need to schedule an interview with them at our September meeting and be sure all required steps are completed.

If so, please let me know
Rev. Dr. Jeff Losey, Chair of Finger Lakes DCOM at:

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.  
In 2016 a web-based resource site was created at  In 2017 the Society began public meetings.  
In 2018 a quarterly newsletter UNY Historical News & Views started.  Attached is the Spring issue for Methodist members to see.  The first issue can be accessed through a link at 
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: 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
Volume 10, Issue 2, of the Upper New York Advocate focuses on vital congregations and leadership. The theme is "Spiritually planning our way forward." You will learn about the five markers of vitality and churches that are succeeding in those areas. You will find testimonials of pastors who are learning that VitalSigns is an incredible resource. Looking for courses or programs to strengthen your leadership? You will learn about many opportunities in this issue of the Advocate. This issue also points to dozens of resources that can help you on your path to becoming a vital congregation.
Click here for the latest issue of the Advocate on the Conference website; the printed version of this newsletter will be available in your local church. The Advocate is the Conference's ministry magazine. 


     Mission u (formerly known as School of Christian Mission) was created by Methodist women in the early-20th century in order to educate women and inspire them to a sense of mission at home and around the world.  The United Methodist Women remain dedicated to the planning and promotion of this program.
     The schools were formed by and for women but over the years the demographic has changed as men, children and youth take advantage of this rich opportunity. In our Upper New York Conference, Mission u is a "cooperative school", sponsored by both Conference United Methodist Women and the churches of our Upper New York Conference.  We welcome women & men and, in the case of the Cazenovia venue, children and youth.
     We offer opportunities for study and fellowship in three different venues, each held on a different weekend in the summer. Each venue has its own special flavor. At Mission u, we grow in understanding of the mission of the church in the current world context as we "learn together for the transformation of the world".  The three studies offered each year cover three aspects: spiritual growth, geographical and social issues.   CLICK HERE for more information. 
UMM Retreat

We are very excited to be hosting this dynamic retreat at Skylake in Windsor, NY on September 7-8, 2018.
This retreat is open to everyone, of all denominations as well as to women, children, families etc. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me via email or phone. Thank you so much and may the Lord bless you as you continue to do the Lord's work.   FLYER
In Christ,Sanjay Solomon, (937) 626-5247
CLICK HERE for the registration link.
UNY's Imagine No Racism initiative off to a great start!

Since the April 21, 2018 launch date of Imagine no Racism (INR), each District has created small groups who have committed to meeting six times over the next six months to ultimately understand the sin of racism so that work can begin toward eliminating it. The six sessions are from a curriculum developed by the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR); in May, all small group leaders attended a GCORR training on how to effectively teach the curriculum.

Small group leaders, District Advocates, and Regional Coordinators have positive things to say about the training and the small group meetings that have since taken place. Click here to learn about the progress made in the INR initiative so far.   
Join Port Byron UMC to experience the production of JESUS
We are taking a bus to Lancaster Pa. on Tuesday, October 2, 2018
For a one day trip (8am to 11pm)
We have reserved 50 fifty seats and a comfy tour bus.
on the ride down two rest stops and a lunch break.
Total cost for trip $116 for adults and $86 children under 12
Non-refundable deposit of $60 due by May 1st
2nd payment $30 due by June 1st
3rd final payment $26 due by September 1st. ALL CHECKS MADE OUT TO 'PBUMC"
please send checks to:   Port Byron 1st Methodist
PO Box 344
Port Byron, NY 13140
Phone: April Kurtz 315/776-4051 Ron Mills 315/253-4016
North Rose UMC Vacation Bible School

NRUMC's VBS will be Sunday July 29 - Thursday August 2, 2018 from 6 - 8 pm, ages preschool through those who have just completed fifth grade. The theme of our VBS will be: "Rolling River Ride - Catch The Current Of Christ' Power."
To celebrate and launch our Summer VBS Program, North Rose UMC will be hosting a:"Splash into VBS,' Community Party, Saturday July 28, 2018 from 12 noon - 5 pm. Hot Dogs/Ice Cream/Soft Drinks for refreshments, with games for all ages, A Bounce House, Water Slide, Featured Favorites for kids. Basket Door Prizes, will be given for those who attend. Pre-registration for VBS will also be available on Saturday, for parents/guardians who would like their children to attend VBS, the next evening. 
Workshop and Conference Sponsored by the Voyagers

For Leaders and Coaches: Clergy, Educators, Therapists
Location: Buffalo, New York Area

The Voyagers are a gathering of clergy and church leaders exploring Bowen family systems theory and its application to congregations and leadership by Rabbi Edwin Friedman. We believe that the factual approach of Murray Bowen that underlies his theory and the creative and imaginative use of theory by Edwin Friedman provide a unique understanding of human functioning for life, leadership, coaching, and ministry.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - Bowen Theory Introduction and Application
Location: Westin Hotel, Buffalo    Time and Cost: TBA

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - Conference with Dr. Michael Kerr
Theme - Bowen Theory's Secrets: The Hidden Life of Families
Location: Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, NY
               Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM     Cost: TBA

For information and early bird registration,
contact Rev. Robert Spilman,
phone:  716-479-7933
363 Darwin Drive, Amherst, NY 14226
Puerto Rico Mission Trip

Is God calling you to be part of the solution in working with the people of Puerto Rico as they recover from Hurricane Maria? The Methodist Church of Puerto Rico is ready to host teams as they serve rebuilding in their country.
Join the Finger Lakes District Mission Team: January 19-26, 2019
Accommodations-Retreat Center or local church--bunks, meals, water, transportation to worksites.
Cost: $1200 includes airfare
Contact: Pastor Beth Bouwens at or call 607-346-6634
Red Bird Mission 2018

CLICK HERE for shoebox information for Red Bird 2018.   Please consider being part of this vital mission.  If you have any questions, please let us know, you can contact the Endwell UMC at 607-754-5735 or Dave Alexander at 607-743-8955.

Aloquin-Flint Church will again serve as a distribution center for the boxes.  Their address is:  
2760 State Route 5 & 20 
Stanley, NY 14561

Please contact David Mott, 585-526-6713 to set up drop off time.
There is a wonderful opportunity for you and your church with the Mission Trip Base Camp at Camp Whitman on Seneca Lake, August 5 - 10Kick off your multigenerational fall program with an easy-to-do mission trip.  We do the groundwork, you participate with youth and adults!  What a way to experience the joy of fellowship through mission trips at a low cost, close to home!  You'll also be able to experience summer camp on Seneca Lake - It's all in there!
Camp Whitman on Seneca Lake is practically in your backyard.  Check out the flyer (attached).  It isn't too late to give us a call or shoot us an email to get your trip underway.
For more information or to register, contact Lea Kone at (315) 536-7753 extension 4, or
Conference Position Available

Payroll Specialist

CLICK HERE for more details.
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  
Office:  315-781-0188     efax: +1-315-282-2367 
Upper New York Conference, 7481 Henry Clay Blvd, Liverpool, NY 13088
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