Finger Lakes District E-Newsletter  October 22, 2019

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

Please contact the office via email (above) or phone (315-781-0188) and your messages will be responded to.   
From Superintendent Jeff McDowell

          I often wonder what church I want to attend on a Sunday. For the first time in my 30 years of ministry, I am not tied to one church on Sundays and with Barbara, I enjoy traveling and worshipping in many different places. You should try it! Some are large sanctuaries, and some are small; some ornate and some plain. Some sermons are long and some quite short. Some churches have children and some don't.  
          What church do I want to attend? A real one. I have studied and worked to understand the trends of church growth. I know the power of hymns on the organ, a fully robed choir and traditional liturgy; I have experienced the blessing of praise teams and multi-media worship. Some congregations are folksy and some are formal on Sundays. 

          But all the forms of worship and kinds of buildings are secondary. What I want is a church where people really care I am there, because we are siblings in God's family. Where I want to go is a place people love Jesus and worship to express their love. What I want is a place where being a stranger lasts 5 minutes and being a family member 5 years. I really don't care so much about the form of worship or the type of building or the style of music. I just want a real church where people automatically care about all people and express it with love. Is your church real? Tell me about it, we just might come there.
          Come with me on Bishop Webb's Wesley Heritage Tour February 11-19 in England. I invite you to come with me and the clergy and laity across the conference as we visit key sites where John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement traveled, preached and was used by God to form a movement of the Holy Spirit. You can also go online and see the itinerary and register to travel with us and learn together. Go to and put in the tour number HE20, MY Host ID: 60028 . I believe this tour will be both sightseeing and a spiritual renewal for all who attend. Pray and consider coming with me, and when you register send me an email and let me know. I look forward to our time together!

The next edition of this eNewsletter comes out on November 5, 2019.  To submit an item for the newsletter, please have it to the district office by November 1.   Thank you.

OCT. 26  CORTLAND FIRST UMC ( 9:00 am - 12:30 pm )
OCT. 26 LANSING UMC (2:00 pm - 5:30 pm)
NOV. 2 WOLCOTT: FAITH UMC ( 9:00 am - 12:30 pm)
NOV. 2 GENEVA FIRST UMC ( 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm)
NOV. 16 PENN YAN FIRST UMC ( 9:00 am - 12:30 pm)
NOV. 23 AUBURN UMC (9:00 am - 12:30 pm) 


It's that Time of Year again

In preparation for the upcoming Church/Charge Conferences, the following information is now available:
Charge Conference forms are all located on the following page click here: 2019-2020 Charge Conference forms. There is a downloadable/printable forms check list to help ensure that each church is on track to completing the forms necessary for their Church/Charge Conference on time. Many of the forms need to be submitted to the District Office two weeks prior to your scheduled Charge Conference. Other forms, such as the annual audit, have later deadlines. Questions can be directed to your District Office or as noted on the forms page. 
The 2020 Clergy Compensation Package information has been e-mailed to the Staff Parish Pastor Relations Committee (SPPRC) chairs for those churches which have provided contact information. Pastors have been emailed the materials and local church treasurers have been advised where to obtain the basic information contained in the packet. The United Methodist Discipline directs the SPPRC to consult with pastor and staff regarding all aspects of compensation and to then recommend appropriate proposals to the Church Council on an annual basis.

Information and forms, including the Salary Report Form and benefit cost information for 2020, can be on the following page: 
2020 Pastor's Compensation. Questions about completing the compensation form can be directed either to your District Office or to the Benefits Office. 
Thank you for your attention to these important administrative ministries of your local church!
DS Calendar (always changing)


10/22-24              Bishop's Retreat for Clergy
10/25                     Off
10/26                     Cluster Charge Conferences @                                                  Cortland First and Lansing
Sun. 10/27           Preach Yatesville @ 9:00 a.m.
10/29, 30, 31      Office Pastoral conversations
11/2                       Cluster Charge Conferences @ Auburn and Geneva
11/3                       Preach at Fleming Federated 9:00 a.m.
                                Branchport and Milo Center Charge Conferences
11/4                       Lead new Pastoral Leadership Development Class
11/4-6                   At Garrett Seminary for recruitment
11/7                       District Committee on Ministry
11/8                       Lay Servant Retreat begins
11/11                     Office
11/12-14              Cabinet meetings
11/16                     Cluster Charge Conferences @ Penn Yan
11/17                     Preach at Dryden @ 10:30
11/18                     Office or Off
11/19                     Mentor Training
11/20,21               Office
11/22                     Off
11/23                     Cluster Charge Conferences @ Wolcott  


DS Available to Preach or Lead Worship at your church:
Jan. 12  
Jan. 19
Jan. 26           Ovid Federated Church: Annual Meeting
Feb. 2
Feb. 9
Mar. 15
Mar. 22
Apr. 19
Apr. 26

Dear Friends in Christ, 
Below is a link to a list of our district churches and where they stand in paying our shared ministries. This is meant to encourage all of us to do our part, and to not let this commitment of "sharing" lag too far behind in any calendar year. I always encourage church leaders to pay monthly so your income and expenditure sheets are more accurately reflecting a balance. Use this list carefully, not to judge one another but to know the realities of our struggles and uphold one another in prayer, as members of the body of Christ.  -DS McDowell-

Equitable Compensation Application for January-June 2020 available

September 23, 2019 / By UNY Communications

The Commission on Equitable Compensation has issued guidelines and application forms for salary grants to local churches for the period January 1 to June 30, 2020. Salary grants are available only to churches with a pastor under full time appointment. 

To apply for salary assistance from the Equitable Compensation Fund, applicants should review the policies and procedures in the application document for guidance, and then complete the application according to the directions provided by the  October 29, 2019  deadline.

Please note that there have been changes made to the applications and more information is required to be submitted with your application to be considered complete. Please read through the application thoroughly and provide all required documentation. Lack of required information could result in the denial of your application.

Submit the appropriate application, along with the required documents to your District Superintendent by  October 29, 2019.

NOTE: The application is set up as a template. To add text, tab through the document to each box and start typing. Once completed, save the document to your computer as "[your church name] January 2020."  The Commission anticipates notifying churches of its determination by mid-December.

CLICK HERE for the article and applications.
  From our Team Leader for Lay Servant Ministries:

I'm so excited to share with you all the details of the Finger Lakes District Lay Servant Ministries Fall Retreat at Casowasco!  Please share this information with your friends and church families.  All are welcome!  First timers and youth have the opportunity to request a scholarship for the weekend registration.  You can register online using the link in the brochure or by sending the brochure to Paula Aiken, registrar.  See you there!

Lay Servant Retreat * Leading Public Prayer
What: Advanced Lay Servant Retreat - Leading Public Prayer
: Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center, 158 Casowasco Drive,        Moravia, NY 13118
When:   Friday, November 8 at 5pm - Sunday, November 10 at 2pm
Who: Youth & Adults, Laity & Clergy

Cost: $210 with linens, 6 meals; 
$200 no linens, 6 meals; 
$100 commuter, 6 meals

Do you long to say, "It's my joy to lead in prayer," even though you hope you aren't called upon to do it? Leading public prayer can be daunting. You are invited to learn ways of leading prayer and to craft prayers and prayer experiences that are faithful, careful, creative and beautiful. Let the God of imagination grab hold of our prayer lives so that you can lead others into the presence of God in deep and meaningful ways.

Leading Public Prayer 

led by Lucina Hallagan and Pastor Della Ludwig

We look forward to this prayer journey with you.
Please register by October 24. You are asked to purchase and read the entire book before the retreat.
Shaping the Prayers of the People, the art of intercession , by Samuel Wells & Abigail Kocher. ISBN 9780802870971

Optional helpful materials:
Contemplative by Design, by Gerrie L. Grimsley and Jane J. Young. ISBN9780835899697
Praying with Mandalas, a Colorful, Contemplative Practice by Rev. Sharon Seyfarth Garner. ISBN9780835816342

Online registration link 
Payment is due at registration. Send check written to UNYAC to:
Paula Aiken
515 W. Dryden Rd. 
Freeville, NY 13068

Youth and 1st time retreat participants are eligible to apply for a partial scholarship. Contact Jennie Young-Walczyk for scholarship information. PHONE: 603-667-8273 EMAIL:
Registration and Scholarship Application Deadline: October 24.

Finger Lakes Lay Servant Ministries Team
Jennie Young-Walczyk, Team Leader

CLICK HERE for Flyer/Brochure
Safe Sanctuaries Training Opportunities

A Safe Sanctuaries basic 2-hour training and Training of Trainers opportunity has been planned for October 26 in the Mohawk DistrictCLICK HERE for flyer and more information.

Another opportunity at Kenmore UMC in the Niagara Frontier District.  Scheduled for Saturday, November 9th.   CLICK HERE for flyer and more information.
 A word from Wesley's Journal, In Bristol, October 1758
Fri. 25.-I rode to Cowbridge, and preached at three in the afternoon, in the new assembly room. I observed no trifler there, though there were several of the better rank. About six I preached in a green court at Llanmaes, to a company of right old simple Christians. I could not get from them so soon as I designed; so that we did not reach Fonmon till near nine.

Sat. 26.-One undertook to guide me the nearest way into the main road; but in five or six miles he lost his way, so that for some time we wandered upon the mountains. About noon, however, we got into the road, and an hour and half after to 1'yle. Before we left it I spoke a few words to the woman of the house. She seemed quite struck. How few words suffice, when God applies them to the heart!

I knew not where to go at Neath; but, as we entered the town, a man fixed his eyes upon me (though he had never seen me before) and said, ' Sir, that is the house where the preachers put up their horses.' I had been there only a few minutes when another came in and said, ' Sir, Mrs. Morgan expects you. I will show you the way.' To Mrs. Morgan's we went, and were as cordially received as if she had known us twenty years. It was market-day; so I preached about five in the room, a large, commodious place. I believe most that were present (several of whom were backsliders) felt that God was there.
Download the latest issue of the  Bridge
The latest issue II 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. This issue focuses on ways to celebrate Pentecost at home and also informs readers about the meaning of Peace with Justice Sunday.
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 web page, 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 .
The  Bridge is a bi-monthly publication from September-May and for the months of June-August, the  Bridge is published during the week prior to the third Sunday of the month. 
Red Bird Mission - Shoeboxes

Aloquin Church at 2760 State Rte 5 & 20, Stanley, NY 14561 is a drop off location for the shoeboxes. Last day to drop off at Aloquin is Nov. 20 (FIRM DATE!) Please contact Dave Mott at 585-526-6713.  

Another Drop off location is Christ UMC Church  in Moravia, 36 Church St, Moravia, NY 13118.   Contact Jerry Hall, (315) 515-9866.

shoe box items for adults and children,   CLICK HERE

school supplies list, CLICK HERE

United Methodists have Four Areas of Focus which helps churches use their resources effectively as they live out God's vision for the church.

Focus 1: Overcoming Poverty Together

Christ calls us to be in ministry with the poor and marginalized. Our emphasis is on "with" - standing with those who are regarded as "the least of these," listening to them, understanding their needs and aspirations, and working with them to achieve their goals. It also means addressing the causes of poverty and responding in ways that lift up individuals and communities. United Methodists believe working side by side with those striving to improve their situation is more effective long term than top-down charity.

Stay tuned for foci 2, 3, 4 in future newsletters or go to
Disaster Training Opportunity

"We have scheduled another basic Early Response Team (ERT) disaster training course to be held November 2nd in Clifton Park, NY near Schenectady.  It is scheduled to start at 8:30 AM with registration and coffee and concluding at 5 PM.  The course will be facilitated by Rev. Carl Shepard and Marybeth (Beth) Ingalls.  Both are experienced in disaster relief and are approved United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) ERT Trainers.  Guarantee you will be blessed by these two people and well prepared for the field by the end of the day.  If you are able to attend, please register at . The website provides additional information prior to the registration submission.
In addition, Mike Block and Marybeth, both from the conference center Mission HUB, will hold a Team Leader Training (TLT) on Nov. 3 from 1 PM to 5 PM at the same location.  This class will help you become not only qualified but also competent to lead an UMVIM team for disaster response, medical missions, youth trips, and even international mission trips.  This course also includes fund raising ideas and a suggested time line for team preparations, especially for large groups taking trips within a year."
If you have questions, please contact Mike Block or Carl Shepard 
The Upper NY Local Pastors Licensing School for 2020 is as follows:
Date:  April 19-25, 2020
Location:  Camp Casowasco, Moravia, NY
Arrival time:  Welcoming will begin at 4:15 on the 19th, dinner will be served at 5:30

On-line registration availability will be set up at the appropriate time.
If interpreter is required please inform me as soon as possible.
Caroline Simmons
CLICK HERE for the Media Resource Center Newsletter for October 2019

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.  ONLINE RESOURCE CATALOG
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:

Note for Local Pastors:

All Local Pastors must take COS-121 and COS-122 BEFORE they will be allowed to take any other classes in the COS system.  Each seminary will determine how they are acquiring the information on whether the LP has taken these classes.  Some will ask a question on the registration form others while others will be requesting transcripts to accompany any registration for classes.
If an LP needs to obtain a copy of their transcript they can email  I receive a copy of the transcripts for this conference in February of each year.  If they contact me at I can email them a copy of this. However if they prefer to get the most updated transcripts they would need to contact GBHEM at the email listed above.

The Book of Discipline states part-time local pastors must complete 2 COS courses per year to make satisfactory progress. You may take as many as your Conference approves. 
Any questions please feel free to contact me.
Thanks for your help in spreading the word.
Betsy O'Flynn
Candidacy, BOM
1050 East Ave, Rochester NY 14607 (mailing)
Tending the Soul is a program designed to train individuals in Missional Spiritual Direction and Congregational Formation. The two-year training program offers learning and formational experiences in classroom and small group settings. 
Along with one-on-one soul care in a more formal spiritual direction setting, this training moves participants toward a posture of spiritual direction within the wider context of the neighborhood of one's work, travel, and life in community. 
The program will be held at Sky Lake Camp and Retreat Center and will begin in November 2019. 

CLICK HERE  (link to brochure) for more details about the program.
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  
Safe Sanctuaries Minimum Standards

The Minimum Standards have been established by the Upper New York Annual Conference for all ministries. They are not inspirational, but set minimum standards to protect children, youth, and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation. Without exception, these standards apply to all local churches/charges, district and annual conference ministries, and those who serve within. Click here for more information. 
Click here  to go to UNYAC safe sanctuary information.  
Background Checks - will be conducted every two years.

Click here  to learn more about background checks and for information on the Trusted Employees services, a corporate partner of Church Mutual. 
Suicide Prevention Event

What : A Documentary and Movement spreading hope and preventing suicide
When : Saturday, November 16, 2019 @ 4:00pm.
Where : Manchester UMC, 12 State St., Manchester NY
Register at OR search for Suicide The Ripple Effect with our location and date information.

  • On average, there are 129 suicides per day. (
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-24 years. (
  • 1 in 100,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
  • 7 in 100,000 youth ages 15 to 19 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
Minimum Wage to Increase

Effective December 31, 2019, New York State minimum wage will increase to $11.80/hour. Employers in the Upper New York Conference, regardless of number of employees, must pay non-exempt employees minimum wage. The minimum wage will continue to increase annually until it meets $12.50/hour on December 31, 2020. Future increases after 2020, will be determined by the NYS Director of Budget in consultation with the NYS Commissioner of Labor and will be announced on or before October 1 each year.
An updated NYS Minimum Wage poster must be posted at your work site for your employees to see by December 31, 2019. Once it is available, the Conference office will post it on our Church Employer webpage under Employment Law Compliance and Posters
If you have any questions, please contact Tracy Rickett, Human Resources Generalist, at 315-898-2017 or 
Group Ruling on Tax Status

United Methodist Churches are classified as 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. 

Your church may need to prove this status to various organizations. They will be looking for your tax ID and a copy of the Group Ruling Letter. General Conference on Finance and Administration (GCFA) has automated the process for obtaining this letter.
Click here  to request a copy for your church from the legal department of GCFA. You will need to provide your church's name, address, Employer Identification Number (EIN), and approximate charger date.
Contact GCFA Legal Services Department at  with additional questions.
CCRM Retreat Opportunities

As we transition here at Casowasco into our retreat season, we are looking for new opportunities and new ways to partner with local churches. We are looking to offer the Mt. Tabor Cabins at a very affordable rate for youth groups which desire an outdoor, rustic retreat experience. Click below for a flyer detailing pricing, facility information, and program offerings.  Mt. Tabor Rental Flyer
Wayne County Sudden Loss Resource Network

What is a sudden and/or traumatic loss?    death by suicide, drug overdose resulting in death, fatal car/ATV/snowmobile accident, drowning, homicide, medical related death.

Resources can include but are not limited to:    1:1 conversations, telephone conversations, information and referral, problem solving and practical assistance.

For more information, contact:  Suzanne Catholdi, Coordinator
Office: 315-946-5754

Operated by Wayne County, Department of Mental Health
Syracuse Crunch UMC Night

Tickets are now available for the UMC Nights at the Syracuse Crunch.  Tickets are $17 each (savings of up to $10 off Box Office rate).  There is no limit to the number of tickets you can purchase.  Tickets are available at . You may also contact Mark Hayes at the Crunch office at 315-937-9501 or email him at .  Please be sure to use PROMO CODE unyumc to receive the discounted price.  
Saturday, November 16, at 7 pm    vs. Cleveland Monsters
Saturday, January 11, at 7 pm        vs. Rochester Americans

Saturday, November 2
Seatings: 4:30, 5:30 or 6:30 *  Take-outs available at 5:00
Pre-Sale Tickets: Adults - $10, Kids 6-12 - $7.00, Kids 5 & Under - Free
    Tickets at door are $1.00 more  ($11.00 and $8.00)
Tickets available at Lyons United Methodist Church, 93 William St.
    call: 315-946-6035, email:  or Facebook us
Christmas Shoppe & Bazaar 2-7 *  Crafts, baked goods, candy & more
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 
 click here for: Finger Lakes District Map 

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