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Special Session of Annual Conference

Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb has announced that a special session of the Annual Conference will be held in three locations over two days on Sept. 6 and Sept. 7, 2014 to make a recommendation to the Conference Trustees about the potential purchase of a property located at 7481 Henry Clay Blvd. in Liverpool to serve as the Conference Center for the Upper New York Conference.
A task force has recommended this building at 7481 Henry Clay Blvd. in Liverpool as the site of a new Conference Center. A special Session of the Annual Conference will take place Sept. 6-7, 2014 to consider the matter. See more photos. Photo by Steve Hustedt.

The building would be the long-term home for the Episcopal and Conference offices, which have been in temporary offices since the Conference came together in 2010.

The Liverpool property was identified by a task force responsible for determining a long-term plan for a Conference Center, and was selected over many other potential properties in the Syracuse area.

“Special thanks goes to University UMC, Cicero UMC and Baldwinsville UMC for providing temporary office space for our Conference staff and the Episcopal Office,” said Bishop Webb. “Their hospitality and generosity has been greatly appreciated, but the task force that is responsible for the long-term plan to house our Conference’s resources and offices believes the time has come to pursue a long-term solution.”

The task force is making the recommendation to the Conference Board of Trustees at this time because they feel that the building they have identified meets all the needs, will allow for new mission opportunities, and is available for a very good price.

To make it as easy as possible for voting members of the Annual Conference to participate in the special session, the Conference will gather over two days at three different sites.

The locations and times are:

10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 6, at Rush UMC
3-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at Liverpool UMC
3-5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7, at Saratoga Springs UMC

“We know that this will be a busy time of year, but this is an important step in our future together as the Upper New York Conference, so we are bringing this special session of Annual Conference to as many of our members as possible instead of asking everyone to come to Syracuse,” Bishop Webb said. “Our hope is that the format we’ve chosen for the special session will allow as many people as possible to participate.”

The special session is being called in accordance with Paragraph 603.5 of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, and will consider only the matter of the recommendation on the property.

“Our new Conference has successfully liquidated most of the building assets of the predecessor conferences and is now in a strong position to situate itself in a new, permanent, accessible location designed to serve its mission in UNY and beyond,” said the Rev. Dr. Wendy Deichmann, Conference Trustee and chair of the task force.

“As we are still beginning new life as an Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, it is essential that we position ourselves to maximize effective ministry and mission opportunities,” said Dr. Deichmann. “The Upper New York Conference Center must be a place that belongs to – and is accessible to – all our congregations and members, and provides appropriate resources for our bishop, Cabinet, staff, and volunteers to perform their respective missions. Its focus upon ministry and mission must be clear and facilitated by its setting and built environment.”

The recommendation results from two years of study and research. The full report from the task force will be available the week of Aug. 18 as part of the pre-conference materials. Registration for the special session will open the week of Aug. 4. Notification will be sent out through Conference communications channels when each is available.

“The fact that we have come to this place as a Conference should be celebrated,” said Bishop Webb. “I am thankful for the many gifted individuals who have invested much time and energy to assist us in arriving at this moment. I encourage you to be in prayer as we prepare to act on this important recommendation.”

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August 10 – worship & picnic at Riverview Park

AUGUST 10TH, 2014
Rain location – 1st UMC, 34 Grove Street

We are having an outdoor worship and a picnic on August 10th. Worship starts at 10:00am at the double pavilion, Riverview Park – W.Barney Street -past the hospital. The meat, drinks and plates will be provided. People with last names beginning with A through L – bring salad, veggie or fruit. People with last names beginning with M through Z – bring desserts.

Bring a comfy chair along with a soft ball glove or golf putter.

We also need three people to bring a grill. Please contact the office (287-2440) know if you can bring a grill. Hope to see you there!

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Your giving impacts – where?

Visit the UMC Giving website (http://www.umcgiving.org/) to find out. Share with your fellow church members when you read something that resonates with you!

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What do you think?

What isn’t Said At Every Dying Methodist Church

Was reading this article earlier today about a 142 year old United Methodist Church that is dying a typical slow death in the UMC. Nothing really out of the ordinary with a UMC falling in membership. We’ve had these before, one such instance I could find with a quick search. What was most interesting to me with this article was the responses of ‘why’ this is happening and their total blindness to their own control over it.

The size of the congregation whittles down each year as older members pass away and younger generations choose to attend what Strauch refers to as mega churches. Main Street United claims just 35 members and averages between 15 to 20 for its services.

The future of the church is in peril, considering the average age of the congregation is 82 and the youngest families in the church are in their 60s.

“A lot of it has been due to deceased members,” says Robert Hunt, who is nearing his 15th year as the church pastor. “We’ve had a lot of walk-in traffic from the neighborhood, but they don’t stay.”

First off if you want to be a church that is growing you need to stop worrying about, and playing the victim of, the mega-church. Faith population wise the mega-church only covers a small percentage of people. If trends pan out there will be continued movement back towards a close, relational, faith community by generations to come. The mega-church will continue to be around, but this relationship will be a both/and not an either/or.

If you are a church that has ‘a lot of walk-in traffic from the neighborhood’ (which is awesome) but they do not stay then you need to be asking yourself as a congregation, “WHY?” Why are they not staying? Reading on we might have some idea.

The Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church owns Main Street United, and Hunt says conference officials advised him and the trustees to merge with another or modernize by putting in a projection screen and musical instruments for worship.

The congregation opposes installing new technology and prefers praise and worship as traditional as the three-floor structure the church operates out of on the corner of East Main Street and Pershing Drive in the Emily Kimbrough Historic District.

What does this tell whomever visits? This congregation is just fine dying. They do not care to revive the health of their church. To anyone who visits, they will sense this. No, projection and contemporary music are not the cure-alls for a dying church. Changing the culture of the church, which changing up worship and technologies is a step, gives people something to look forward to in the future.

What I found crazy with this church historically was this nugget in describing the church architecture (which sounds pretty impressive in places).

There is a wood accordion door that cuts the sanctuary ground floor down in size by about a third. Strauch says an orchestra played there in the days when hundreds attended services.

Pretty sure the insertion of an orchestra was a pretty contemporary thing do some 100-80 years ago. It’s in this church’s DNA to be innovative in worship, but they’ve totally stalled at one point in this aging congregations life as ‘the sweet spot’ and they are happy to take their ship/church down with them.

This ends how we all know it will. They know it as well.

For Strauch and the rest of the shrinking but unwavering congregation, the idea of shutting the doors on the church is incomprehensible. The Main Street United members have no intention of being another statistic.

“Most of us will hold out because we don’t want to go to the big churches,” Strauch says. “There’s some people that want us to close it down, but we’re going to keep it open.”

These doors will close and it is a shame. This church could have had a lasting life if the people who claim to love it would actually live into the culture the church had when they probably started going to it.

Photo from the Star Press photo gallery of this church

The post What Isn’t Said At Every Dying Methodist Church appeared first on gavoweb. From: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/04/what-isnt-said-at-every-dying-methodist-church/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook

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July newsletter

The Cornerstone
A newsletter for and by the people called United Methodist in Gouverneur and North Gouverneur.
34 Grove Street, Gouverneur NY 13646 315-287-2440
We’ve already made the move to the sanctuary for summer worship. The service begins an hour earlier, at 10:00 a.m. Nursery care is still available and we’ll have a simplified fellowship time* afterward. We meet in the air-conditioned Brown Chapel, so just come over to the newer side of the building . Informal attire is always fine!
Our Scripture readings will take us on an adventure with the Gospel of Matthew. The choir has promised to sing a couple of times and there usually some extra gifts of music shared.
A couple of special days to highlight:
July 13th we’ll be celebrating another great year of VBS!
July 27th T-Shirt Sunday is coming back ’round for a visit. Wear that special shirt that lets us know one of your passions or exciting experiences.
We are working out the details for a Sunday worship – Church picnic at Riverview Park one week in August. Unfortunately there is not yet a definite confirmation of the date. We will be getting that word out as soon as possible.
August 24th is WGYB Sunday as We’ve Got Your Back to School
First a HUGE thank-you to those who help out with our after worship fellowship time. Whether you’ve brought a dish to share, provided coffee, washed dishes, wiped goo of the floor or just sat and enjoyed – it really helps us experience the joy that is church family!
A really big THANKS to Annetje who goes above and beyond to hold the whole thing together so we can enjoy one another’s company and cooking.
And an ahead of time “Way to Go” for those who will bring juice, lemonade, punch, etc in for a cool after worship beverage this summer (That was a hint, by the way!)
Breakfast and Lunch available -
ANYONE 18 or younger can get a free BREAKFAST and/or LUNCH at the high school, Monday – Friday, July 18th through August 21st. Breakfast: 7:15 – 9:15, Lunch: 10:30 – 12:30
Maxx Standard Marshall, son of Angel and Timothy
Chance Matthew Cardinell, son of Scott. (Chance’s godfather took part via smartphone from Afghanistan!)
Do all those graphs, accounts, budget lines, general funds and special projects get just a little overwhelming? A tad bit confusing? Well… our financial picture is improving. Several folks have really stepped up! With special one time gifts, increased pledges and a little here and there we’re chipping away at our debt.
The Finance Team is also looking into an option for online giving (ACH) so you can do a one-time set up and not have to remember your check or gift each week.
And, notice of a wonderful gift from the estate of Dorothy Coates reminds each of us of the importance of taking steps to remember the ministry of the church in our wills.

SPECIAL CHARGE CONFERENCE, JULY 22 to receive Dorothy’s gift!
Amber Ormasen is making exercise fun with her frequent Rip It classes held here at the church. It doesn’t have to cost you anything to get that heartbeat going, find your muscles and enjoy lots of laughter Everyone is welcome…. men, women, teens.
“I’m not training for a 5K. I’m not preparing for a competition. I’m not trying to set a new record. I’m not trying to impress you. I’m saving my life.”
Marthalyn Sweet will be attending the Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly, July 16 -20, in Tagaytay, Philippines. Tackling issues, celebrating oneness in Christ, learning from each other, and experiencing the UMC in the Philippines will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for participants.
Katie Peck will be heading in the opposite direction. She leaves the week before with a group of specially selected students to visit locations in Europe.
From the Pastor:
Grace and Peace in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I am just writing a short note to thank you for your faithful support of the ministries here at First United Methodist. Because of your tithe or gift we are able to reach out to our neighbors here in the community and, through the denomination, we are touching lives all around the globe.
➢ a child feels loved and welcomed in Sunday School or dance…
➢ a family in the community receives food, fuel oil, a warm coat…
➢ mourners celebrate the life of a loved one at a personalized funeral…
➢ Scouts, 4-H, special needs persons, dieters have a place to meet…
➢ worship lifts our spirits and challenges our daily living…
➢ the resource center provides free materials for our study groups…
➢ engineers, educators, doctors venture across national boundaries…
➢ people of faith take a stand in the face of injustice and prejudice…
➢ families, teens and children encounter God via one of the camp programs…
➢ men and women have a place to ask questions, disagree, learn about themselves and Christ…
➢ a hot meal is shared along with table conversation….
➢ a family, new to the community, finds a place to belong with fellow Christians…
➢ a soldier in Afghanistan receives a box of breakfast goodies and prayers for safety…

While we might be tempted to think in terms of budgets and bills, your financial support of this church is all about ministry – providing a place, a pastor, a program, a people – that touches lives and makes a difference in the world.
If you pledge and support this ministry on a regular basis: THANK YOU!
If you would like to be listed as one of those who makes an upfront and consistent gift to First UMC: JUST START DOING IT! AND THANK YOU!
If your giving potential is extremely limited: THANK YOU FOR DOING WHAT YOU CAN!
To everyone: let us continue to rejoice together as we are the body of Christ through our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness to the world.

$75. AND GO
Have you got your registration in for camp?
There’s been a little confusion, but this year it’s $75 and go. The camper pays the registration fee and we will do the rest. Brochures are available in the office or check online at unyumc.org. Get camping!

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Free Webinars

Visit the www.gbod.org website for more information. Webinars are available in many topics.

Upcoming webinars

Free webinar “Finding Treasure: The Story of our Newest Stewardship Resource,” Thursday, July 10 – 6:30 p.m. CT. Jacob Armstrong, pastor and church planter, will share how he helped his congregation discover “where our treasure goes, our hearts will follow.” Details

Free webinar “What’s the Job of Conference and District Lay Leaders?” Wednesday, July 16 – 6:30 p.m. CT. Jodi Cataldo of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship will facilitate a conversation on these ministries. Details

Free webinar “Creating a Culture of Innovation Part 1: Can My Leaders Innovate?” Thursday, July 17 – 6:30 p.m. CT. This 90-minute session led by Craig Kennet Miller of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship will introduce tools for implementing new ministry strategies in local churches. Details

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Fall Adirondack Get-Away

October 3 – 5

Come enjoy the beauty of autumn at Aldersgate amid the tall pines, quiet lakes, and breathtaking scenic paths. Whether experiencing the stillness of a cabin nestled in the woods, taking a quiet walk down to the lake, or sitting in one of the outdoor chapels, this is the perfect place to find rest and renewal. Some activities will include enjoying an Adirondack storyteller, a popular bluegrass band, guided nature hikes, and renewing fellowship and worship. Join us for a weekend you will remember for a lifetime! (Adults Only)

For information on how to register, contact us: 315-348-8833 or info@aldersgateny.org or http://aldersgateny.org/index.php/join-us/all-events

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AdironDog Retreat

September 5 – 7

Take your best friend on an unforgettable 3-day weekend retreat to the beautiful Adirondack Bark… err Park. Enjoy the company of other dogs and dog lovers, celebrate the full expression of your pet’s personality, and embrace the sacred nature of your bond with your dog. Activities will include wilderness hikes, lots of open space for play time, homemade dog-treat baking, specialized guest speakers, a pet blessing, and dog grooming by appointment. Sign up soon, space is limited!

For well-socialized dogs with up-to-date vaccinations.

For more information and how to register, contact us: 315-348-8833 or info@aldersgateny.org or http://aldersgateny.org/index.php/join-us/all-events

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Committee on Native American Ministries

http://www.unyumc.org/pages/detail/1508 Information regarding the Committee on Native American Ministries.

The journey toward Repentance and Healing of Relationships with Indigenous Persons continues in Upper New York with a series of District Learning Sessions hosted by the Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM).

Upper New York has a rich heritage and presence of Native Americans. These District Learning Sessions are an opportunity for listening, learning and building relationships with Native Americans and learning how to use the Act of Repentance DVD in local churches.

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