From: Finger Lakes District []
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 11:41 AM
Subject: November 20, 2018 e-Newsletter
Finger Lakes District E-Newsletter  November 20, 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

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 December 4, 2018.  To submit an item for the newsletter, please have it to the district office by November 28th.   Thank you.
An update on Rev. Steve Deckard.

Dear Friends.  As many of you have heard, our District's Administrative Assistant's husband Steve suffered a hemorrhagic stroke on September 12th.  After a lengthy hospital stay and inpatient therapy, he is recovering at home with outpatient therapy.  Steve is doing very well and continues to improve.  It will be a long journey, and his spirits remain positive.  Pam was home caring for him for that time.   She has returned to work as of this week and will continue to work primarily from home and coming in to the office 1-2 times/week.   She and her husband wish to thank everyone for their prayers, cards, and wishes.  Truly Steve's remarkable progress is God's work and we are extremely grateful.    Thank you, Steve and Pam Deckard
DS NOTES: November 6, 2018
I just can't wait until Christmas!
          How many more shopping days until Christmas?
                   What do you want for Christmas?
We have to wait, be patient, and plan ahead. 
Christ the King Sunday is the last day of the Christian year. In it we celebrate Jesus Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords. But even as we do, we must admit:
          Christ does not seem to be fully in control.
                   God's reign has not yet come on earth as it is in heaven, and God's perfect vision for the world is net yet fully realized.
Turn with me to the book of Isaiah.
"In that day, the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and all the nations shall flow to it." Is. 2:2
"In that day, the lion will dwell with the lamb." Is. 11:6,9
"In that day, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. . . I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy." Is. 65:17,18
Great things are promised but not yet realized, otherwise why do we pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven?"
We are living in the in - between time of God's reign. John 17:11 says "And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee." Turn with me to Revelation chapter 1. Rev. 1:6 indicates what God has done through Christ, while verse 7 promises the completion of redemption when he comes with the clouds.
Our task as Christians is to "occupy until I come." See Lk. 19:11-13. It is all about preparing for the coming kingdom. What is it that you are doing that you could give up and still serve God? What is it that you could take on in order to better serve God? Now is the time to re assess. And in the life of our church, what is it that we should take on? Give up? We need to seek the Lord together about how we occupy the world he has given us.
The time is now ripe for us as a church to act, grow, and reach out for Jesus Christ.

District Superintendent available to preach and/or lead worship

The DS is available to preach and/or lead worship on the Sundays noted below. These opportunities are an opportunity for the DS to worship with you and, if desired, to provide the message (as opposed to providing vacation pulpit supply). Other days of the week are possible as well with an inquiry. Please send a request to both Pam Deckard at and Jeff McDowell at

In 2019: avail. On 1/13; 2/3; 4/28; 5/5; 5/19; 6/2; 6/23. 
Remaining Church Charge Conference Schedule 



When: Fri. Nov 30
Where: Seneca Falls
Time: 7:00 pm
Seneca Falls
When: Sun. Dec. 2, 2018
Where: Auburn UMC
Time: 2:15pm - 5:45pm
2:15pm Session:
Mottville: St. Andrews
Port Byron
New Hope: Midlakes
3:30pm Worship
4:45pm Session:
Moravia: Christ Church
Ithaca: St. Paul's

Special Offerings have been taken at each of the cluster charge conferences for a variety of needs. Here is a list of the ministries supported through your generosity:
Cortland First: the offering supports building repairs, $330 raised
Penn Yan: the offering supports the Living Well mission, $495 raised
Clifton Springs: the offering supports the church food pantry, $308 raised
Wolcott: Faith:  The offering went to the free Thanksgiving Dinner offered to the community, $228 raised.
Loreen Jorgensen of the Commission on Archives and History has been asked to determine which church building in the Finger Lakes District is the "oldest"; i.e. which church building in the Finger Lakes District has been in use by the same Methodist Congregation for the longest period and is still using it today. Please email the date when your church building began to be used by your congregation to  THANK YOU!

Also from Loreen:  
I was one of several trained by Karen Staulters in what church papers to keep and what to toss. I could do a couple of workshops in the District. I am also available to assist churches planning on closing on what to keep, what to donate, and what to toss. I would prefer that I meet with a cluster of churches or 3-4, rather than individual churches. My presentation would be about an hour. Questions would extend the time, but are very welcome. I even have suggestions for those precious things "we can bear to throw away." 
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 
2760 State Route 5 & 20 
Stanley, NY 14561
Please contact David Mott, 585-526-6713 to set up drop off time prior to November 17.

Christ Church of Locke & Moravia
36 Church Street 
Moravia NY 13118
Golden Bucket Award
The Upper New York Conference of the United Methodist Church Mission Central HUB is announcing the Golden Bucket Award to the District that donates the most UMCOR Cleaning Kits!

Monthly recognition will be shared throughout the conference with a certificate to be displayed at the District Office. The District that collected the most UMCOR Cleaning Kits throughout the period will be awarded the prestigious Golden Bucket Award!

This award starts 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 (see below).  Any questions please contact Mike Block.

Click here for a list of UMCOR certified supplies used in cleaning kits and click here for your closest drop-off location. 

If you or a few friends can help assemble kits in the very near future at the UNY Mission Central HUB, please contact Mike Block at (315) 898-2066 or

As of 11/18/2018, these churches have contributed flood buckets and/or needed dollars to the UNY Hub: 
Amazing Grace Parish - 5 buckets & $142 
Clyde - 10 buckets 
Fleming Federated - 25 buckets
Freeville - $556 
Newark First - $100 
Penn Yan Cluster - 48 buckets
Red Creek - $98 
Seneca Falls - 1 bucket 
Looking for a Local Mission to be Involved With?

Interested parties who want to schlep out muddy basements and do other home repairs in the Finger Lakes or Mountainview Districts should call the "Lodi flood phone" which will coordinate helpers coming in.  That number is: 585-319-7227.  Pastor Charlie Valentine is involved as District ERT and Roger Cullen is there as VIM coordinator for the conference.  Recent flooding in Seneca County and throughout Pennsylvania has caused a shortage of UMCOR flood buckets within the Upper New York Conference. (see article above)
Trombone Choir Christmas Concert by Bones East
1 p.m. December 2, 2018
Christ United Methodist Church of Locke and Moravia
36 Church Street
Moravia, NY 13118
CUMC of Locke and Moravia will host a Bones East (trombone ensemble) Christmas Concert at 1 p.m. Sunday, December 2d. This trombone extravaganza will offer those who attend an exciting and memorable experience. A free will offering can be made to help support youth summer camp programs offered by the Upper New York Conference of the Methodist Church. Refreshments will be served after the concert. The concert will feature traditional Christmas music. Bones East was founded in the early 1980's by Howard Kelley and is comprised of 15-20 of Central New York's finest professional, amateur and student trombone players.  


EPIPHANY CHOIR FESTIVAL                        
O Come Let Us Adore Him! The Council of Churches invites you to share in our Epiphany Choir Festival scheduled for Sunday January 6th at 3 pm at Homer Ave UMC, 30 Homer Avenue, Cortland, NY 

This Festival gives everyone a chance to hear the music of the season, offered by many of the choirs from our area churches. A free-will offering will be received to support the ministry of the Council of Churches. Mark your calendars, and plan to experience the gifts given by these choirs and their directors. Our community is blessed with rich music.

This impressive choir of over 40 people will be performing at the Homer Ave UMC on Sunday December 2nd at 4:00 pm. These folks have performed all over and even at the White House! Yes! They are good! Invite everyone you know, for this free event. We will have a free will donation for the choir.

McGraw Festival of Music

Saturday, December 8, 2018
Program begins 6:30 pm sharp
For more information, call 607-836-8972
Handicap Accessible
Save the date for Order of Elders Gathering

Elders, mark your calendars and save the date for the Order of Elders
Gathering with the theme, "Leading with a Heart of Peace." Join Bishop Webb as he welcomes Bishop Grant Hagiya from the California-Pacific Annual Conference. The event will be held Dec. 6 from 10-3 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool. All elders are expected to attend. Additional details and registration info will be released soon.
Click here for more information.  
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 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.
January 4-6, 2019: Youth Winter Retreat (Youth & their Adult Leader(s))
December 7-9: Retreat: Be Still {a silent retreat} (Adults) **Note: Date Correction**
December 30-January 1, 2019: Retreat: Camp Echo (Ages 7-18)
January 25-27, 2019: SOLID: Youth Retreat (Youth & their Adult Leader(s))
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:
January 3-5, 2019: Special Needs Winter Retreat (Ages 18+ with Special Needs)
January 18-21, 2019: Family Winter Weekend (Families & Adults)
February 15-18, 2019: Family Winter Weekend II (Families & Adults)
April 5-7, 2019: Church Family Getaway (Families & Adults)

                                                                        Subject: From the Desk of Bishop Webb: Imagine no Racism engagement

Dear Imagine No Racism Group Participants,

I am grateful to each of you for your participation in Upper New York's Imagine No Racism ministry. You are engaging in the urgent work of addressing racism in ourselves, our Church, and in our communities. This is holy work that we join our sisters and brothers throughout the Northeast Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church in doing. Thank you.


CLICK HERE for a list of District Advocates.

Greetings, UMW members,

CLICK HERE for the Fall 2018 Newsletter.

CLICK HERE for the Winter 2018 Newsletter.
Any questions can be directed to President Mary Anjo 315 573-0553.
Pastors and the Sacraments, and Weddings and funerals:

All pastors may perform the sacraments of communion and baptism in their local church. Ordained Elders may perform them outside the confines of their local church if there is cause for this. 

Funerals may be performed by anyone, including lay speakers and lay servants.  

Weddings may be performed by local pastors in the context of their church building and congregation's members, but not outside of those boundaries. Ordained Elders may perform weddings any place, with appropriate reason and coordination with local clergy so as not to impose on the work of other pastors. All pastors are responsible to provide pre-marriage counseling for couples seeking marriage. Anyone who is or is planning to become a pastor may not be certified by an online service for the purpose of performing a wedding. We do not recognize online certifications or ordinations for these purposes. No clergy are allowed to perform weddings or "hold unions" for same gender couples and none can be performed by anyone within our church buildings. This stance is up for reconsideration by our General Conference in February of 2019.
Did You Know?

Your church has beliefs and stances we have agreed upon, called "Social Principles" which are a great study for your small groups. They are found in our Book of Discipline but can be ordered and studied through Cokesbury book store.
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

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  
UNY Media Resource Center

Don't forget to order your Stewardship and Advent/Christmas resources!

If you've never used the Media Resource Center before, I invite you to give us a try. Funded by your Shared Ministry dollars, we can supply you with small group discussion materials, Bible studies, children and youth curriculum, adult curriculum, and a myriad of subjects such as stewardship, evangelism, social issues and VBS materials, just to name a few. Our quick and easy online ordering is just a click away. You can add things to a "shopping cart", then once submitted, you'll receive an email with your invoice attached. We send your order through the USPS and we'll supply the mail back envelopes and label with instructions on mailing. Your only cost is the postage to return it. Please feel free to search our online catalog below.

Check out these resources: 
Earn, Save, Give by James A. Harnish
John Wesley believed money was important as a way of expressing and living out Christian faith. To Wesley, the task was simple: earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can. In this essential little book, pastor and author James A. Harnish presents Wesley's concepts and beliefs in plain, useful language, suitable for individuals to grapple with and groups to discuss and act upon.

Treasure by Jacob Armstrong
Whether you are in plenty or in want, money has a direct connection to your values, your faith, and the health of your relationships. It's no wonder that in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presented a radical message about our "treasure" and our hearts. 

We now have some of the books written by the Bishop's Retreat speaker and author, J. Clif Christopher on stewardship.

If I can assist you in any way, please don't hesitate to give me a call at 315-898-2027 or email me at
Click here for the latest Media Resource Center Newsletter.  
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

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

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.
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. 

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!
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

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
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: 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
This is newly updated information about the Jan-Feb and March-May classes.
All 8 classes will be taught with a minimum of 3 students per class.
Full or Partial Scholarships will be provided to every student who registers for classes in the Winter or Spring Quarters.
In order to qualify, you must send a simple email or snail mail request to indicating that you would like financial aid for one or both sessions.
Requests must be received NO LATER than Dec. 1, 2018 in order for us to know how many students are applying.  This will determine whether we can give full or partial scholarships.
If you have already signed up for the January session, and have paid tuition, either part or full will be refunded.    NO LATE FEES WILL BE CHARGED IF YOU MEET THE DEC. 1 DEADLINE AND WISH TO SIGN UP FOR A JANUARY COURSE.
When filling out your registration forms, if you are requesting assistance, do not include any payments at all.  Simply write "Scholarship Request" at the top of the form.  You will still need the required signatures.

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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