Finger Lakes District E-Newsletter  September 24, 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

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

        One of the programs I have always wanted to participate in is Educational Opportunities. I will be going on Bishop Webb's Wesley Heritage Tour February 11-19 in England. I will lead a group from the Finger Lakes District. 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. Brochures have been in our churches for some time. 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. 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!

Our District Clergy Day Sept. 17 went well with about half our pastors able to attend. We began our time with communion together and an encouragement to press on and take care of ourselves as leaders in tumultuous times. I reviewed Charge conferences, clergy benefits and expectations, and outlined resources available to our churches.

Our Bishop's Retreat for all clergy is in October. You should consider this top priority if you are serving a church, though it is not mandated. Learning and fellowship as clergy is vital. The keynote speaker is Grace Imathu and if you have not heard her expound and share Bible knowledge, you are in for a treat. I know it is expensive to attend, but you can apply for Board of Ministry Continuing Education funds and your church also has an "accountable reimbursement plan" you can access. If you need more financial assistance to attend, please email me.

Our Laity Banquet is set for Sunday Oct. 20th late afternoon. Choose a ministry group to highlight in your church and write it up for our booklet, one paragraph only. Submit this by October 10th to our office. This year's theme is "Serving Christ in the world." Registration information to be announced next issue. Cost will be $22 per person for the buffet smorgasbord, made out to UNY conference, memo: FL Laity Banquet.

The next edition of this eNewsletter comes out on October 8, 2019.  To submit an item for the newsletter, please have it to the district office by October 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 through October (always changing)

  • 9/25-28                New Room Conference in                       Nashville: "We Worship an Uncontainable God"
  • Sun. 9/29             Worship Ithaca St. Paul's 200th Anniversary                                              Worship Celebration @ 10:00 a.m.
  • 9/30                     Lead new Pastoral Leadership Development Class
  • 10/3                       District Committee On Ministry
  • 10/4-5                   Off
  • Sun. 10/6             Cornerstone DS installation service in Olean, NY                               @ 4:00 p.m.
  • 10/8                       Elder's orientation meeting for Charge                                                Conferences
  • 10/11-12              Off
  • 10/15-17              Cabinet meetings
  • 10/19                     Off
  • Sun. 10/20           Preach Sodus Third @ 10:00 a.m. / Laity                                             Banquet late afternoon
  • 10/21                     Lead new Pastoral Leadership Development                                            Class
  • 10/22-24              Bishop's Retreat for Clergy
  • 10/25                     Off
  • 10/26                     Cluster Charge Conferences begin
  • Sun. 10/27           Preach Yatesville @ 9:00 a.m.
Bishop's Retreat Registration is Open

The 2019 Bishop's Retreat is  October 22-24, 2019 at the RIT Inn and Conference Center in Rochester, NY. The theme is, "Biblical Risk Takers" and the keynote speaker is the Rev. Grace Imathiu

CLICK HERE to register
                                       CLICK HERE for more information
Women's Commission Approves GC2020 Legislation

CHICAGO - In their last face-to-face meeting of the quadrennium, directors of the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women finalized and approved legislation for General Conference 2020 and celebrated the commission's work.

CLICK HERE to read their press release
Register now for Pre-retirement seminar

All clergy looking to retire in the next year should register now for the UNY pre-retirement seminar. Scheduled for Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the United Methodist Center in Liverpool, the seminar will highlight and explain benefits available, including the current pension plan, health insurance options, Social Security, and information about moving assistance. 

Online registration is required, as we will provide clergy-specific retirement projections and also need to plan for lunch. Spouses of retiring clergy are also invited to attend. The deadline is Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.   Click here to learn more about the event and to register.  
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.
Everyone: Please read this notice

New York State Employers arerequired to provide sexual harassment prevention training.
The deadline is quickly approaching for NYS employers to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training upon hire and on an annual basis-this is a law and all UNY church employees must complete this training. For this year, the training must be completed by all current employees and new hires by October 9, 2019. Once the initial training is complete, the employer can decide the timing of the annual training (calendar year, anniversary date, or any other date). Employers are encouraged to track completion of training through attendance sheets or some other manner for audit purposes.
In addition to the sexual harassment prevention training requirement, each employer is required to have a sexual harassment prevention policy in place. This policy should be shared with employees prior to the training. If you have yet to create a sexual harassment prevention policy, click here to learn more.
To learn more about programs that qualify for the sexual harassment training, click here.

If you have any questions regarding the New York State sexual harassment prevention requirements, please contact Tracy Rickett, Human Resources Generalist, at 315-898-2017 or  

  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
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

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
Videotaping kids at church

Is it okay to videotape kids at church?

According to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998, the short answer is no.

Each person owns their face. No one may use his or her face (or other individual identifiable characteristic) in any commercial manner. If the church uses the videos or images to promote the church or makes them available on the web, then the courts will likely find that the church used the images in a commercial manner. This use may create an invasion of the privacy lawsuit for the individuals whose image appears in the video or photo.

Click here to read more about COPPA  

It is okay to photograph or videotape children in your church if their parents or guardians sign a release form.  Click here to find these release forms and other resources available on the Upper New York website. 
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 
Hurricane Dorian
Messa ge from Missional Engagement

Please click  click here for a message from Mike Block, UNY Director of Missional Engagement, regarding how the local church can respond to those affected by Hurricane Dorian and its aftermath.
CLICK HERE for the Media Resource Center Newsletter for June/July 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:

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. 
Updated CF&A section of the Conference website

Your Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CF&A) have been working on developing the CF&A section of our Conference website. Some new arrivals on that section of the web page include handbooks. The topics covered by these various handbooks is:
  • Clergy Tax
  • Finance and Standards
  • Payroll
  • Clergy Compensation
  • Internal Church Audits
  • Ministry Shares
  • Two-part Handbook with multiple resources
You can locate these handbooks on the Conference website ( ), selecting "Finance" under "Resources" and then selecting Conference Council on Finance and Administration (on right-hand sidebar), where the handbooks are located.  CF&A takes all tasks seriously and hopes to be a resource for all. These handbooks are part of that.
  Greetings, UMW sisters-

We hope to see you at our Finger Lakes District UMW Annual Fall Meeting at North Rose UMC (September 28th).  The information is on page 10 of the Newsletter.
     Angie Gage and I are Co-Chairs of Program Resources.  We have developed a Traveling Library of the Reading Plan books, that we hope will get the books out to local UMW units with a  two month time frame to have them before they will be passed on to another UMW unit.  There is no cost for these, just read and return in good condition for the next set of readers.  That information is on page 6. 
Marcia Waterman,

CLICK HERE for Fall 2019 Newsletter
When Churches Neglect Payroll Taxes!!!

The UNY Council on Finance and Administration (CF&A) wants to share information with you on requirements for payroll taxes when it comes to church employees. They have outlined requirements for clergy employees as well as non-clergy employees.
Click here to read this informative article and avoid the consequences that could happen if you are not properly filing your employees' payroll taxes. 
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
Are you passionate about working with youth and adult volunteers to help them grow in their faith? 

The Lansing United Methodist Church (LUMC) Youth Coordinator position is an opportunity to coordinate and deliver engaging programs for middle and high school youth to foster their understanding of Christ's love for them and the world. This academic year, 20 hour/week position may be your opportunity to answer God's call for you. LUMC is a vibrant and welcoming Christian community located about seven miles northwest of Ithaca, New York. We are dedicated to Christian growth and excited about what God is doing in our midst. Come grow with us!  

If you are interested, please send a letter of interest and resume with three references to: LUMC Search Committee, 32 Brickyard Road, Lansing, NY 14882. A copy of the job description can be downloaded from: . Applications will be reviewed as they are received and position will remain open until it is filled. 
Christ UMC Moravia Job openings:

Position Opening: Administrator
Job Description: The Administrator will provide the administrative and secretarial services of the church, assisting the pastor in all administrative duties.
Position Opening: Treasurer
Job Description: The Treasurer will maintain the Church's bank accounts, Pay all invoices that come in, create and present monthly financial reports for Finance and Church Council. Report payroll information to payroll company and distribute paycheck stubs to employees.
Call the church office at: (315) 497-2783
Benefit Concert for Ithaca Sanctuary Alliance:

WHEN:  Saturday, September 28 ~ 7:00 pm
WHERE:  St. Paul's United Methodist Church
            Corner of N. Aurora & E. Court Streets, Ithaca
Free-Will Offering ~ Immigration Sanctuary
Music Includes:
St. Paul's Sanctuary Choir & Festival Chimes
The Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers
Ithaca Gay Men's Chorus
Opus School of Music
Emily Preston ~ Caleb Bates ~ Andi Merrill

The First Congregational Church of Ithaca declared in May that it is now a sanctuary church and has pledged to "provide shelter as needed for any undocumented immigrant who is seeking sanctuary while the legal challenge to deportation is in process." As part of the Ithaca Sanctuary Alliance, St. Paul's is committed to supporting Ithaca's first sanctuary church and all our migrant neighbors. We celebrate 200 years in our church home and are dedicated to working toward a world where all have a safe and secure "Place to Call Home"    CLICK HERE for flyer

On October 20, 2019 the United Church of Phelps will be having a musical afternoon. The concert will start at 2:00 pm. We are located at 58 Main St., in Phelps, NY. The fee is $10 payable at the door, to support ministry of the church.
All of the performers are current or past members of the United Church of Phelps. There will be bagpipes, piano solos, organ solos and even an organ/piano duet. You'll also hear an original composition played on a bass guitar and 7 stringed guitar. An acoustic guitar will appear in the concert as well. There will be vocal solos and the UCP Tone Chimers will ring an exciting piece.
We hope to fill the house but can't do it without YOU! So please come to this wonderfully amazing musical time of sharing our talents and gifts from God!
Worship Books and other Resources available from Eunice Tabor.  Please contact Eunice at 607-319-0228 (home) or by email:
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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