From: Finger Lakes District []
Sent: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 9:34 AM
Subject: May 9, 2017 e-Newsletter
Finger Lakes District E-Newsletter   May 9, 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 
Office Hours:  M-F, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
DS Word:

"People were overcome with wonder, saying, 'He does everything well!  He makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who can't speak.' " (Mark 7:37, CEV) I love Jesus for this, but I have not been able to do everything well.  Have you?  St. Paul wrote that he had become "all things to all people, to save some by all possible means."  (I Cor. 9:23)  But I have tried that and failed.  I have learned over my lifetime the importance of focusing my mind, heart, and energy.  I constantly have to refocus.  Plus, no one person can do it all; we need each other in the body of Christ called church.  Our United Methodist church has been extremely distracted.  We need to focus.  We cannot solve all the problems of the world. Let alone bridge the gap within our denomination on human power.  We need God's direction.  Pray for our Commission on a Way Forward.  Pray for our General Conference Special session in 2019.  Pray for our upcoming Annual Conference.  This is a great time to focus again on our mission.  Please read the following article from our United Methodist News Service.  Our Council of Bishops is calling us back to basics together, through the Four Areas of Focus.
-Rev. Jeffrey McDowell-
P.S. Please join me and our Lay Leader, Shafeegh Habeeb, in Praying with me for our denomination, on May 21 at 2:30, at the Rose UMC.  (See article in this newsletter about these prayer meetings)
The next edition of this eNewsletter comes out on May 23, 2017.  To submit an item for the newsletter, please have it to the district office by May 17.   Thank you.
DS 2017 Preaching Schedule:

May 21: Clyde and Rose at 10:30am
June 18: Aloquin/Flint 9:30am & Chapin at 11:00am
Bishop Webb announces clergy appointments

Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb has announced new appointments and retirements, pending approval at the 2017 Clergy Session during Annual Conference. View the full list of changes here

Please welcome into our District as of July:

Rev. Sung Jun Park, Korean Methodist  Elder, to serve Homer 1st

Rev. Anne Canfield, UM Elder, to serve North Rose
Rev. Sonya (Sunny) Mauser, UM Elder, to serve Gorham & Middlesex
Rev. Brian Fellows, UM Elder, to serve Clifton Springs
Safe Sanctuaries Training

Location:  Ithaca: St. Paul's
402 N. Aurora St, Ithaca, NY 14850
Time:  5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Date:  Wednesday, May 17
Trainers:  Laura Alexander and Bonnie Blair
or 607-533-4869 
There is no fee, and a light meal will be provided.  Please register soon.
2nd opportunity for Safe Sanctuaries Training

Location: Red Creek-Westbury UMC
6837 Church Street, Red Creek, NY 13143
Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Date: Saturday, June 10
Trainers: Bonnie Hall and Rev. Steph Brown
         or 315-781-0188   
Join in District Prayer Events for our church, our denomination, our nation.

DS Jeff McDowell and Lay Leader Shafeegh Habeeb will lead guided prayer meetings on (6) Sunday afternoons at the following locations across our district.  Most events will begin at 2:30 p.m.   We will adjourn in 1 hour, while leaving time open afterward for people to continue in prayer in the sanctuary, or fellowship over light refreshments with one another in the fellowship hall.  You do not need to sign up individually for these events!  But please promote them through your newsletters, bulletins, email lists, and social media sites.
March 19          Homer First UMC       
April 2              Auburn UMC
April 30            Mecklenburg UMC
May 21             Rose UMC
June 25            Seneca Castle UMC
September 17   Milo Center UMC

These prayer events are a response to the Council of Bishops initiative called Praying Our Way Forward. We are called to a posture of prayer, praying for God's leadership to guide us effectively in fulfilling the mission of the church. We invite you - clergy and laity, conferences and congregations - across the denomination to pray for God's guidance.  In prayer, we can be one in Christ.

The Upper Room has developed, a website where spiritual leaders and intercessors can share prayers, information and resources. 
DS word about Shared Ministry Payments:
We do not pay our Shared Ministries to the Annual Conference so we can keep our Pastor.  We do not pay them to be patted on the back.  We do not pay them to get our own way when appointments are made.  We pay our Shared Ministries because we share ministry with 866 other United Methodist churches in Upper New York.  We are connected through Christ.  Do you want to learn more about where your money is spent?  Go to the Conference website at The money goes to support YOU: your missions, your ministries, and your clergy persons.  
Rich Methodists?
"John Wesley encouraged the early Methodist preachers to live among the poor in order to maintain solidarity with them. He and his brother Charles sometimes acted as arbiters between the poor abused by the early industrial revolution and civil authorities. One mayor accused the Wesleys of causing "much mischief" in England, but they won him to the cause doing justice for people.  The Wesleys were keenly aware of poverty as the result of systems of injustice. They combined a positive concern for the welfare of people with protests against specific forms of injustice. John sharply criticized the exploitation of the poor by industrialists, merchants, doctors, lawyers, and distillers; he condemned colonialism and slavery. To a large degree, the treatment of the poor became for Wesley the litmus test of the value of Christian life and service."  - from
NEW - Invitations now being accepted for Bishop Webb to preach 
The Bishop's office is now accepting invitations for Bishop Webb's preaching schedule for the months of January 2018 through December 2018. If you wish to extend an invitation for Bishop Webb to preach in your church, please contact Mary Bradley or mail to 7481 Henry Clay Blvd., Liverpool, N.Y. 13088  If this is a special occasion in the life of your church, please make note of it in your request. Flexibility of dates is also important and will give the Bishop a better opportunity to honor your request. The deadline to receive requests for the 2018 preaching schedule is June 16, 2017.
* Summer Camping 2017 *

Upper New York Camp & Retreat Ministries (CRM) is excited to announce that registration is now open for its 2017 Summer Camp & Retreat programs. Program details are available online and brochures were mailed this week! Brochures were sent to past participants and campers as well as all Upper New York Annual Conference churches. 
Click here to learn more. 
Camperships Available

Varick UMC is offering 3 camperships to the first 3 people to contact them.   Campers are to enroll online for one week of camp, pay the $75 up front, and the 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.
Church Records belong at Church!

From a liability standpoint, records of financial and legal transactions should be stored at the church for the following reasons:
  • Maintain the security of confidential documents
  • Other church leaders will have access to appropriate records when needed. This is more difficult if kept in someone's home.
  • Easier to protect from water/fire damage in an office where you have room to store on proper shelving/boxes
  • Insurance may not cover records lost in fire/flood off church property.
  • If person holding the documents in their home leaves the church or passes away, it may be difficult to retrieve those documents
  • Church leadership may not even realize documents are being held at someone's home
Please comply with this sensible suggestion for everyone's protection.  Thank you.                                         Pam Deckard
   Conference Offices Have Moved

The Upper New York Conference office has moved to the new:      United Methodist Center
                     7481 Henry Clay Blvd
                     Liverpool, N.Y. 13088

NEW Phone: 315-898-2000 Toll Free: (same) 1-855-424-7878   
For additional information, click here. 
DS Notable Fact: The new Conference Center of Upper New York is now occupied and open for the Lord's business!  We are glad to not be paying over $10,000 a month in rent and instead, have paid for the center from funds invested since the sale of our four former conference Centers.  We did not have to borrow any money.  We came in under the estimated cost.   Praise be to God!
Open House at the New United Methodist Center, May 31

On Wednesday May 31, the day before the 2017 Upper New York Annual Conference, the doors of the United Methodist Center will be open for all from 3:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. The Open House will showcase the Media Resource Center, Mission Central, all office areas, and all meeting rooms. A service and dedication will follow at 7:30 p.m. 
Additionally, the Syracuse United Methodist Churches will be hosting an open-air service on May 31 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Columbus Circle, which is located two blocks north of the Oncenter where Annual Conference will be held again this year. This will be a nice gathering for worship and fellowship. Rev. BJ Norrix said, "We have a good band ready to go and expect to have a great time."
2017 Lay Servant courses - Save the Dates
(click on course for flyer)


Basic Course at Varna UMC May 13 & 20, 9-1. Fee: $10. with the Valentines.  **NEW DATES**


Fall Retreat at Casowasco, November 10-12.  Program TBD


For more information and to receive a brochure, contact Jennie Young-Walczyk at . 

**Lay Servants can use them to gain credits they need, but everyone can learn from these courses. 

Finger Lakes Lay Servant Team
Jennie Young-Walczyk, Team Leader
Giving Just Became Easier

The Joyfully2UMC giving app allows members of local United Methodist Churches the chance to give to their church electronically. The free app, available for Android and Apple® operating systems, provides a convenient way for local church goers to give to their church that already uses Electronic Funds Transfer.
It's easy:

*Download the app
*Search for your church
*Complete a few questions to set up your account

It's that simple. Questions? to get answers to the most frequently asked questions. For more conversation about this and other programs provided by GCFA, email or call our Shared Services department, 866.367.4232.
Coming in October!


Finger Lakes District Laity Banquet
Sunday, October 8, 2017
3:30 - 6:30 pm   at Club 86, Geneva

More information will be coming.
Be thinking about the mission your church would like to honor.
Thank you to all the churches listed below for getting their 2016 audits in.

Aloquin-Flint, Dawn Cheney                Middlesex, Joy Leet
Alton, Gene DeWispelaere                  Milo Ctr, Della Ludwig
Auburn, Richelle Goff                        St. Andrew, Val White
Benton, Natalie Bowerman                 Newark: Emmanuel
Bluff Point, Sandi Perl                       Newark, Hyun Joo Yang
Branchport, Kim Lyons                      Newfield, Mike Kelly
Butler, Marti Robinson                       North Rose, Rich Neal
Caroline Valley, Dan Phillips               Palmyra, Penni Farrington
Cayuga, Kevin Grish                          Penn Yan, Jeff Childs
Cayutaville, Steve DeWalt                  Phelps, AJ Tierson
Clifton Sprgs, Steve Deckard              Port Byron, Brett Johnson
Clyde, Karen Heit                             Port Gibson, Judy Selover
Cortland, Chuck Smith                       RedCreek-Westbury, Ann Blair
Cort. Homer Ave, Paul Winkleman       Reynoldsville, Mike Kelly
Countryside, Marti Robinson               Rushville, Jay Suh Yang
Cuyler, Nelson Stafford                     Seneca Castle, Terry Wiliford
Dresden, Marilyn Wood                     Seneca Falls, Susan Hadley
Dundee, Marilyn Wood                      Sodus Point, Julie Foos
E.Homer, Dan Breidenaugh                Sodus Third, Judy Selover            
Fleming, Glynn English                      Sterling, Ann Blair
Freeville, Paul Winkelman                  Truxton, Dan Breidenbaugh
Friend, Tom Wunder                          Tyre, Kevin Grish
Geneva, Tae Kun Kim                        Varick, Barb DeAngelis
Gorham, Kate Benton                        Varna, Charlie Valentine
Homer, Rachel Morse                        Victory, Marti Robinson
Forest Home, Rebecca Dolch              Vine Valley, Natalie Bowerman
Jacksonville, Geri Judd                      Virgil, Stephanie Brown
Lansing, Alison Schmied                    Waterloo, Laura Calos
Ledyard, Brett Johnson                     Weedsport, Val White
Lyons, Patience Kisakye                    Yatesville, Tom Wunder
Manchester, Penni Farrington              
McGraw, Cathy Lee                             62 audits rec'd, 13 to go !!      

UMW events:  
Click here to get the UMW Newsletter for Spring 2017k

Click Here for minutes from last meeting.
United Methodist Men

Prayer is the vehicle to communicate with God
1 Timothy 2:1-8
UNYUMC UMM will be holding their annual Fall Men's Retreat at Casowasco starting at 4:00 pm Friday, Sept. 15 - 4:00 pm Saturday, Sept. 16th.   They will start reservations after Memorial Day.  The Main Speaker will be Pastor Mark Lubbock, General Commission UMM employee and based in Louisiana.  
Pre-Registration for Blueprint for Wellness

Wespath Benefits and Investments and The Center For Health has again teamed up with Quest Diagnostics to offer "Blueprint for Wellness," a free health screening program for eligible participants* in the Upper New York Conference.

Quest Diagnostics will be at the Upper New York Annual Conference event at the OnCenter (Meeting Rooms 2/3) on Thursday, June 1, and Friday, June 2, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Pre-Registration is strongly recommended; you can register for an appointment between now and May 18.
Click here to learn more.

*IMPORTANT! Please note: The screening is only available to participants and spouses covered by the HealthFlex PPO B1000 and CDHP plans, and participants and spouses enrolled in One Exchange. The screening is not available to participants or spouses enrolled through AmWINS.
The latest Issue 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. 
Put it on your calendars:  Annual Conference, June 1-3, 2017 at the OnCenter, Syracuse, NY.
NEW - Pre-Conference Briefing video now available 
In previous years, Pre-Conference Briefings have been live events held on multiple days across the Conference. This year, a different approach has been taken. A Pre-Conference Briefing video has been created for you to watch any time. The hope is that an on-demand video will provide Conference members access to needed information at their convenience.  
You can watch the video on your own, with a small group, or as a congregation! 
Click here to view the video.
Should you have any questions or concerns about the Annual Conference after watching the video, please email 
Volunteers needed to help prepare Conference session packets
Preparing the packets for the 1,800 members that attend the Upper New York Annual Conference session is a large undertaking. The Conference is looking for volunteers to help prepare the packets the week of May 22-26. Hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in meeting room B at the new Conference Office in Liverpool. To volunteer or for more information, contact Cherish McGowan at 315-898-2012 or
2017 Conference Journal Vol. I now available
The 2017 Upper New York Conference Journal, Vol. I (formerly known as the Pre-Conference Booklet) is now available for download as a free PDF and for purchase through online publisher To view an online version or download a copy from Issuu, click here. To purchase the printed version for $6.02 (plus shipping and applicable sales tax) from, click here. DETAILS

Media Resource Center Newsletter
The latest issue of Upper New York's Media Resource Center newsletter is available for download. The Media Resource Center - a free lending library supported through your shared ministry dollars - publishes the monthly newsletter, which features new resources that are currently available or coming soon along with assorted pieces of information about the resource center from Director Diane Miner. Click here to view and/or download the current newsletter. If you have questions, please contact Diane at

Below is a link for a guide and covenant for:

Pastoral Protocol After Leaving an Appointment

 "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth." I Corinthians 3:6

The following is a guide to clarify expectations and practices at the time of a pastoral change so that healthy relationships between pastor and parishioners will be established, maintained, and brought to closure in appropriate ways.
 CLICK HERE for full guide
Who can serve Communion?  Communion is one of the responsibilities and duties of a pastor. The pastor may "train deacons and lay members to serve the consecrated communion elements." (The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church)   During the worship service "lay persons as well as other clergy may assist the pastor in giving the bread and cup."  (The United Methodist Book of Worship)  The official statement on communion, This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion, explains, "The Communion elements are consecrated and consumed in the context of the gathered congregation. The Table may be extended, in a timely manner, to include those unable to attend because of age, illness, or similar conditions. Laypeople may distribute the consecrated elements in the congregation and extend them to members who are unavoidably absent.... An elder or deacon should offer appropriate training, preparation, and supervision for this important task."  -from -
Register Now for Local Pastor License School 
Registration open for the UNY Local Pastor License School
The 2017 Upper New York Conference Local Pastor License School (LPLS) will be held June 4-9 at the Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center in Moravia. Registration is 4-5 p.m. June 5. Dinner is provided at 5:30 p.m., and students must be present for worship at 7 p.m. The school is in session from registration on Sunday and continues through dinner on Friday.
The LPLS experience provides an opportunity to learn with other students about the basics of ministry, to interact with and share ministry practice with the faculty and students, and to be creative in beginning pastoral ministry. Students in the LPLS should be in the process of completion or have completed the requirements for certified candidate. Click here to learn more and/or to register
25th Annual Palestinian Dinner- Plymouth Congregational Church
Thursday, June 1 serving begins at conclusion of afternoon session
Authentic Palestinian food
Brief program centering on the plight of Palestinian children 
Reservations: Linda Bergh (315) 492-8507, 116 Edna Rd., Syracuse, NY  13205, or Karen Peterson, (607) 739-3141, 116 Greenridge Dr., Horseheads, NY  14845. 
Checks for $20.00 made out to "UNY Conference", with Palestinian Dinner" on the memo line/ an additional amount may be designated for the Gary Bergh Scholarship Fund, which enables young adults/ adults to travel to Palestine/ Israel to learn first-hand about peace and justice issues there. 
Volunteers in Mission Team Leader Training
Trained team leaders for Volunteer in Mission and Early Response Teams are essential. The conference Volunteers in Mission Coordinators, Roger and Donna Cullen, are offering team leader training on June 17 from 9 am - 2 pm at the conference office in Liverpool.  Grants to support mission journeys are contingent on teams having a trained leader. If you are interested in leading teams of adults or youth in taking mission trips or interested in supporting your team member, registration and details are on the Upper New York Volunteers in Mission Facebook page, or go to
Scholarship Aid available to United Methodist Seminary Student:

Rev. Robert L. Homer Seminary Scholarship Fund
This is a specific scholarship for a United Methodist Student who is ready to attend, or attending, an approved theological seminary.  The candidate is to be pursuing a career in ordained ministry for the United Methodist Church.  The deadline for applications is June 1, 2017.  For further information please contact the church at either of the addresses below.
Contact the church at:
Scholarship Committee
Fayetteville United Methodist Church
601 East Genesee Street, PO Box 158
Fayetteville, NY  13066
Rev. Dr. Robert Sherburne,

Applications must be submitted by June 1, 2017
The UNY Conference Commission on Archives and History (UNYCAH) will be hosting in spring 2020 in the Finger Lakes District the annual meeting of the Northeastern Jurisdictional Commission on Archives and History.  We will want local aid in this.  For now, we are soliciting ideas for the historical tour and for on-site historical presentations.  Especially wanted are places/events in the area with Methodist/EUB historical significance. 
Please communicate your ideas to UNYCAH.  These may be sent to Cathy Lee, P. O. Box 84, McGraw, NY 13101 or  Thank you.
Kairos Outside  
          Each year Kairos Outside in the Finger Lakes area offers a 2 and 1/2 day Christ-centered experience for women who have been impacted by incarceration. 
          The purpose is to demonstrate God's grace and love through Christian support for women who have loved ones and/or friends who are or have been incarcerated, and to former residents of correctional institutions. This year the retreat will be held in Auburn, New York May 19-21, 2017. On the weekend women gather to hear talks, have table conversations, sing, worship and find support from other as we share the love of Jesus.
          Everyone can help make this weekend meaningful.  
          First, please pray for Kairos Outside, the leadership and the guests who will attend the retreat.
          Second, if you know of someone who could benefit being with other who have a similar experience and would like further information please contact Pastor Beth Bouwens at 607-346-6634
FREE ***  A local business is donating cafeteria-style tables to the first church who contacts us.  Please contact the district office at:  Thank you
Job Posting - Assistant Director, Asbury Camp & Retreat Center
Posting Date:   4/19/17
Location:          Silver Lake, NY
The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church has an exciting new opportunity for the right individual to join our mission-based team as a full-time Assistant Director at Asbury Camp & Retreat Center.
Located on the shores of Silver Lake in Western New York, Asbury is a premier retreat center that offers a variety of facilities. The site boasts over 60 acres and over a quarter mile of shoreline on Silver Lake. In addition to providing facilities for groups to conduct their own retreats, meetings, worship services, and programs, Asbury assist's with program planning for retreats and workshops, facilitates a low ropes challenge course, and supervises pool and waterfront activities. Asbury also offers year round retreats for families, children and youth, clergy, and adults.
This position is responsible for the development, implementation, and administration of a wide range of program services in accordance with policies established by the Board of Camps and Retreat Ministries, and directives set by the Director of CRM. This would include program leadership, personnel management, public relations/marketing/promotion, and facility oversight.
The successful candidate will have a bachelor's degree, at least three seasons experience in leading camping and/or retreat ministry programs, at least one of which is in an administrative capacity, demonstrated ability to effectively relate to people of different ages and skill levels, and be familiar with and have experience with professional Camping and/or Conference Center Associations. Certification in Camp and Retreat Ministries preferred.
Please refer to the job description online at for a complete list of qualifications and responsibilities.
Application Instructions: To be considered for this position you must apply online at and include the following:
  • Completed online application
  • Resume
  • Contact information for 3 professional references
Application Deadline: May 12, 2017
The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to building a diverse team. We strongly encourage women and men from all races and backgrounds, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

Pianist/Organist Needed

Position needed immediately for pianist/ organist for Varick UMC, Romulus NY. Contract or weekly fill available. Requirements are for Sunday worship and some work with special music. Service time 9:30 am.   Please contact Pastor Barb @ 315-255-2958 or Carol @ 607-869-5627 or email at
Course Availability:
Greetings from GBHEM in Nashville!  
Leadership and Fundraising, with Dr. G. Douglass Lewis.  The course is easily available, which is found on UMC Cyber Campus or by clicking the first story in our UM Continuing Education News e-newsletter, at  
Joshua P. Hestand, MBA
Coordinator, Clergy Lifelong Learning & UMC Cyber Campus
Division of Ordained Ministry
General Board of Higher Education & Ministry
Office: (615) 340-7432
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
Office Hours:  M-F, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
537 Exchange St,  Suite 213, Geneva, NY 14456
Upper New York Conference, 7481 Henry Clay Blvd, Liverpool, NY 13088
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