From: Finger Lakes District []
Sent: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 2:04 PM
Subject: March 6, 2018 e-Newsletter
Finger Lakes District E-Newsletter   March 6, 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 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
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.

Simon of Cyrene probably didn't intend to get close to Jesus at all, but he was grabbed and compelled to carry the heavy crosspiece of Jesus' cross. I wonder if he stayed there at the cross and watched the cruel torture of this stranger.
          The Roman soldiers assigned to carry out the torture and crucifixion were also close to Jesus by someone else's orders. But spiritually, were they close to him at all? The Two thieves on the cross were certainly close to Jesus, but only one reached out and grabbed the lifeline of faith in him. Jesus promised him paradise, but the other chose mockery and Jesus let him go that way.
          And then there are the women, grieving at the foot of the cross, expressing the emotions of all who loved Jesus, and hoping that his promise of eternal life would not die on the cross. These are the first to find evidence that he was gone; that death could not defeat the Lord of life!
          Would you have been like Peter, who swore on a stack of Bibles he would not deny his Lord, but did that very thing in a moment of weakness, or like Judas, who sold his loyalty for 30 gold coins? Would you have been like Pilate, possessing great power but dodging its great responsibility, or like James and John, who fell asleep while Jesus was praying in the garden?  How close would you have been to Jesus had you lived in Jerusalem when he rode there in triumph to his own death?
          When you go to church on Easter you will see, hear, touch, smell, and taste the goodness of the resurrection. Our churches do an excellent job with holiday worship services. But how close you get to Jesus is totally up to you.
          For Simon, the soldiers, Joseph, Nicodemus, the two thieves, the unnamed women; for Peter, Judas, Pilate and even James and John, Easter morning offered grace heaped up on grace.

The next edition of this eNewsletter comes out on March 20, 2018.  To submit an item for the newsletter, please have it to the district office by March 15.   Thank you.
Regstration for 2018 Summer Programs is now open! Click here to browse all of our 2018 summer programs and to register.  Don't forget to take advantage of our Early Bird ($10 before May 1), Sibling ($20 per camper), and Refer-A-Friend ($40 for the referring friend) Discounts!  We've got big things planned this summer and we want YOU to be part of it!  Register today! If there are any questions, please contact us at (toll free) 855-414-6400 or
Bishop Webb invites UNY to pray for Florida shooting victims 

Following the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that killed 17 dead and injured more than two dozen others, Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb released a statement.

"Our hearts ache and our spirits grieve as once again senseless violence and evil has taken the lives of innocent people," he writes in the statement. "I invite you to join me in praying for the victims and families of the shooting yesterday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Our prayers are with our United Methodist brothers and sisters in the communities of Parkland and Coral Springs, Florida, as they seek to be the presence of Christ during this horrific time."

Click here to read Bishop Webb's full statement.
DUE 2/12***DUE 2/12****DUE 2/12***

Finger Lakes Status: (as of today)

5% - NOT STARTED  (4 churches)  : (

Please let us know what you need!   Thanks, Jeff McDowell

Saturday, March 10, 2018   
Christ United Methodist Church
of Locke and Moravia (Finger Lakes District)

Upper NY Annual Conference' s Safe Sanctuaries® Training

WHO: All adults with responsibility for the safety of children, youth, and vulnerable adults in the churches' ministries, including pastors, youth group leaders, and all those responsible for Christian education.
* This course is a prerequisite for Upper NY's Safe Sanctuaries Training of Trainers.*
WHEN: Saturday, March 10, 2018   9:00 a.m. - noon
Please arrive between 8:40 and 8:55 so we can begin on time.
WHERE: Christ United Methodist Church, 36 Church St., Moravia NY 13118
PLEASE PRE-REGISTER by March 1, 2018.
Class size is limited to 40 participants. There is no charge for this training.

Please print, read and bring a printout of this participant guide:
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. 
The deadline for applications for each of these scholarships are:
Conference Merit Awards: March 5, 2018
Lottie Brown Grants: April 10, 2018
UMW Calendar:

Saturday, March 17, 2018 
     Enrichment Day, Dundee UMC, 9:30-10:00 am (registration) to 2:30 pm, Review/Discussion Reading Plan 2018 books led by Karen Peterson, bring a bag lunch.
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 
     Spring Banquet, Club 86 in Geneva, 5:15pm (Registration), 6:00pm Dinner.
 Attached (CLICK HERE) find the FLD UMW Winter 2018 Newsletter.  Please share this with other UMW members who do not receive email. 
     Also feel free to copy any of the Spring meeting notices on church bulletin boards, newsletters, Sunday bulletins to get the information out on our programs and activities.
     I'm looking forward to seeing you on February 24 at our Day Apart meeting at the Lyons UMC! Blessings on your day, Marcia Waterman
UMM Retreat

We are very excited to be hosting this dynamic retreat at Skylake in Windsor, NY on September 7th & 8th, 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
Bishop Webb announces clergy appointments

Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb has announced new appointments and retirements.  CLICK HERE for the latest appointments.
Church Mutual advice on preventing frozen pipes

With the frigid temperatures we've been experiencing this winter, the water inside your building's pipes can easily freeze. Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes which puts tremendous pressure on the metal or plastic pipes containing it. No matter the strength of these materials, expanding water can cause pipes to burst and lead to costly damage to your building and contents. The pipes most susceptible to freezing are those exposed to severe cold in unheated interior spaces or exterior walls with little or no insulation.
Click here to watch a video from Church Mutual that explains how you can reduce or eliminate the risk of frozen pipes and other cold-weather threats.
OUTWARD! event coming soon

The Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) will host OUTWARD! 2018 from April 13-15 at the Syracuse-Liverpool Holiday Inn, 441 Electronics Parkway in Liverpool.

Embrace" is the theme based on Mark 11:22b: "Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you" (The Message). This year's Outward (formally UpWord) will focus on how we can put our Inward growth into Outward action. Workshop and activities are designed for youth in grades 7-12. Any questions regarding the registration, contact Judy Hipes at 607-624-2145 or
This year's event has a different focus. The schedule will include opportunities for hands-on mission work. But the event will also feature some beloved traditions, including workshops, late-night options, Spirit-filled worship experiences, and an awesome band, SAMECITY. This year's worship speaker is Michael Jordan, dean of the chapel and chair of the biblical studies, theology and philosophy department at Houghton College.

Registration will open soon. Click here for more information and to see a slideshow of last year's event.

CLICK HERE for registration in .pdf format
CLICK HERE for registration form in word format
Rev. Debbie Earthrowl to be appointed to serve
as Adirondack District Superintendent

Bishop Mark Webb intends to appoint the Rev. Debbie Earthrowl to serve as the new District Superintendent for the Adirondack District starting July 1, 2018.
Please pray for Debbie and her family in these days of transition and change.
To read more about this change as well as Bishop Webb's reflections on this news, Click here 
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
Lay Servant Courses:
Four Courses offered March 23-24 at Auburn UMC
99 South St, Auburn, NY 13021
Open to All * Laity & Clergy
For registration information contact Jennie Young-Walczyk at or

1.  Course:  Basic Lay Servant Ministries

Friday, March 23rd from 5:00 to 8:30 pm
Saturday, July 15th from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Course Facilitators:  Michael Aiken and Jennie Young-Walczyk
Text:  Lay Servant Ministries Participant's Book. by Jackson & Jackson
Cost:  $25 includes snacks, light lunch, beverages
Basic Lay Servant Credit

2.  Course:  Storytelling

Friday, March 23rd from 5:00 to 8:30 pm
Saturday, July 15th from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Course Facilitator:  Pastor Della Ludwig
Text:   Purchase, read, and bring to class:
            Dancing with Words by Ray Buckley
Cost:  $25 includes snacks, light lunch, beverages
Advanced Lay Servant Credit

3.  Course:  Heritage: Living Our Beliefs

Friday, March 23rd from 5:00 to 8:30 pm
Saturday, July 15th from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Course Facilitator:  Patty Pierleoni
Text:   Purchase, read, and bring to class:
Living Our United Methodist Beliefs by Kenneth L. Carder
Cost:  $25 includes snacks, light lunch, beverages
Advanced Lay Servant Credit - a required course for Lay Speaker

 4.  Course:  Heritage: Transforming Conflict
Friday, March 23rd from 5:00 to 8:30 pm
Saturday, July 15th from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Course Facilitator:  Rev. Wilson Jones
Resource fee is $20 for materials received when you register.
An additional online fee of $8 is charged when you take an assessment.
Cost:  $45 includes snacks, light lunch, beverages and resources
Advanced Lay Servant Credit
Annual Conference Registration:

Registration is now open for the Upper New York Annual Conference session, held May 30-June 2 at the SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse.
Click here obtain more information about the 2018 Annual Conference session, including the registration form, the menu, and the housing form. 
What you need to know about 2018 Annual Conference: Getting There 

Unlike the past few years, this year's Annual Conference is not taking place at the Oncenter; it is taking place at Onondaga Community College (OCC) SRC Arena. The Upper New York Conference has you covered. We will be frequently releasing news items related to "What you need to know about the 2018 Annual Conference." Click here to read the first article that explains how to get there and also details about accommodation options.
Looking for Equalization Members to Annual Conference

Annual Conference is Wednesday, May 30th  through Saturday, June 2, 2018 at Onondaga Community College. If you would like to be considered as a Finger Lakes District Equalization Member, please talk with your pastor or worship leader and fill out the application here, then return
it to the District office as soon as possible.
SESSIONS has indicated that only one application for adult EQ member will be accepted from each church/charge.
If you have any questions please call or email the District office. Thank you!  CLICK HERE to read DS Jeff's entire letter.
Upper New York Conference Week of Prayer starts March 4  

"Praying Our Way Forward" is an initiative created by the Council of Bishops, in which every Conference around the world is invited to participate and engage in a week of intentional prayer for the Commission on A Way Forward.

The week of March 4-10 was selected as the week for the Upper New York Conference to pray.
Click here for creative ways you can have your congregation engage in intentional prayer for the Commission as they prepare recommendations for the Council to offer to General Conference on the matter of human sexuality related to ordination and marriage. 

AUDITS DUE BY March 15th

As of today, we have received 19 Audits.  Please be sure to get yours in on time.  Thank you.

Church and Pastor Profiles
Church and pastor profiles need to be updated on a yearly basis.  Some have still not been submitted.  The District Office can submit the profiles for those churches and pastors that do not have computer/internet access.  Find the downloadable and fillable forms below:
They can be submitted to the District Office via mail. CLICK HERE to fill in and submit online.

The February 15, 2018 deadline has passed - If you have not turned in the reports listed below - please complete them and get them to the District office :
all paperwork can be downloaded at :
  • __Report of the Trustees
  • __Report of the Finance Committee
  • __2017 Year-End Financial Report (your church's format)
  • __2018 Local Church Budget (your church's format)
Compliance posters and paid family leave information et al
Everything can be found on the UNYUMC website.  Below are the links you can provide to churches to help them find and print anything they need.
The new minimum wage posters need to be posted. The Paid Family Leave Notification also needs to be posted in all employment locations (in a common area like a break room).
Folks will also want to make sure their DBL and WC certificates are up to date. If they are close to the expiration dates, they should request new ones now so they are not behind the 8 ball when they have an event they need it for and it is expired. The link with contact information is - the last blue link in the list - questions can be directed to:
Paid Family Leave:
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Susan Latessa
Director Human Resources / Benefits
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
An Opportunity to Serve 
Imagine No Racism District Volunteer Advocate

Racism is a disease that infects the hearts, minds, souls and bodies of individuals. churches and communities. Our Social Principles state, "Racism is the combination of the power to dominate by one race over other races and a value system that assumes that the dominate race is innately superior to others." Racism is contrary to the purpose and will of God. As children of God who are to "do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8)," we are called to action.
In Upper New York Annual Conference we are going to Imagine No Racism together! Read more about the Team here, and if you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Advocate, let us know and complete an application! Click here for the application.

The Imagine No Racism Launch Day is Saturday, April 21 from 12:30 pm - 4:00 PM.  These events will be held across the districts on the same day in the "hub" church locale.  Finger Lakes "hub" church is: Cortland First UMC.  .  The participation of all persons under appointment or assigned is mandatory. Retired clergy not under appointment are invited and encouraged to attend.  You are also asked to bring one or more of your laity who are passionate about racial justice.

Varick UMC is once again offering 3 campership scholarships this year.   Policy is the camper pays the $75 deposit and the church will pay the rest. 
Campers are to enroll online for one week of camp, pay the $75 deposit up front, and Varick Church will pay the rest. If there is a hardship case, they will pay the $75 as well. It is a ministry they love to do. Send children to camp.
Please contact Barb DeAngelis at or
Don Andrus, 607-869-5627 for any questions.
Announcement: Center for Health Newsletter from the UNY Conference Benefits Office
The Benefits Office of the Upper New York Conference is happy to provide a new resource promoting personal wellness. This newsletter is produced quarterly by the Center for Health, which is a division of Wespath, dedicated to health and wellness products and resources addressing the five dimensions of well-being: physical, emotional, spiritual, social and financial. Click here to read the first newsletter.
Announcement: Upper New York Conference 2019 Narrative Budget booklet available 
With Annual Conference right around the corner (May 30-June 2), now is the time to become familiar with the 2019 Conference Budget.

Click here to gain an overview of how Ministry Shares support the Upper New York Budget in a new, dynamic video, starring many youth and adults across the Conference.

Click here to view our updated 2019 Narrative Budget booklet online.

Printed copies of the Narrative Budget booklets are currently available at the United Methodist Center. Contact your District office to request your copy.
We are often asked: how often do people need training in Safe Sanctuaries?

Short versionAll adults (paid staff or volunteers) who have regular contact with children, youth, and vulnerable adults will be SS trained by the UNY SS trained leaders.  Workers who have had this standard/basic training need an annual orientation or update.  Usually done by reviewing the church's SS policy and procedures.  
Every two years!
If you have any question, you can check the Minimum Standards as well.

CLICK HERE for detailed information.
New issue of the Advocate available

Volume 10, Issue 1, of the Upper New York Advocate focuses on the ministry of the laity throughout the Upper New York Conference. You will learn about the purpose of the laity and will read stories of how active the laity is in disaster relief, feeding the hungry, helping the grieving, serving individuals with special needs, and more.

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.
The Upper New York United Methodist Historical Society (UNY-UMHS) announces a new publication UNY Historical News & Views.  This emailed newsletter is a benefit for members of the Society.  The publication includes Methodist historical vignettes, pictures/scans of Methodist/EUB historical materials from the UNY archives and elsewhere, tips, and news. The first issue is available to read and can be accessed via this LINK.  Submission guidelines for article contributions are available through the contact information on page 5 of the newsletter. 
The UNY UM Historical Society was organized by the Upper New York Commission on Archives and History to promote and preserve Methodist and EUB history within the bounds of UNY Conference.  Its mission is to Preserve the PAST; Inform the FUTURE.  Information on the Society can be found HERE.
Pulpit Supply 

Dear Friends; Below is a list of potential guest preachers available for pulpit supply.  Please contact any of them directly to work out details and dates.  DO YOU know of others?  Email their names to the district office.

RE     Carol Keller, Auburn                315-882-4624   (June-July only)
RE  David Bergner, Rushville  585-526-5379   (short drive/lead time)
LP      Marcia King, Auburn   (H) 315-889-7727; (C) 315-703-4294
LP      Ellen Knight, Lyons     315-945-5557
RE      Sue Walters, Bloomfield  (C) 716-983-5760  
RE    Judy White-Wunder, Penn Yan   (H) 315-694-9064; 
                                           (c) 607-215-5193;
RE   James Carroll, Lyons          315-406-1771;
Lay Pulpit Supply
Bobbie Valentine, Ledyard          315-406-9562

Two new Conference job opportunities have been posted:

ERT Basic and ERT Recertification classes are scheduled for Clifton Springs UMC on May 12. Details and registration are at:
This can replace the Rush UMC event (cancelled due to lack of enrollment) information on the page
Registration closes April 28. A minimum of 12 participants per class is the UMCOR guideline. Distribution to area districts/churches appreciated.

Right Start Workshops Scheduled

Because healthy moves are important for the life of the church, clergy and their families, "The Right Start:Beginning Ministry in a New Setting" workshops have been scheduled at six locations across the Upper New York Conference.
Attendance at the workshop is mandatory for all full-time clergy who are moving to a new appointment, retirement or extension ministry. Less than full-time clergy are welcome and encouraged to attend.
CLICK HERE to register online through the following link: 
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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