Christmas letter from Pastor Beth

Grace, Peace and Joyful Advent to ALL!

It’s kind of fun letting the senses help guide us toward Christmas: visits with family, anticipating special goodies, constant carols if you choose, lights illuminating the night, smiles and greetings on the lips of strangers . . . .

Usually we have a special Love Offering during Advent and Christmas. It’s our way of reaching out to community, nation and world with missional giving. As you probably have noted there is a special offering envelope enclosed for “Shared Ministries”. That’s the way we join with other United Methodist churches in funding missionaries, camping and retreat ministries, resource staff and materials, schools and medical clinics, refugees, administrative support staff, and a whole host of other ministries. (And, no, none of this goes toward the purchase of buildings).

We are significantly behind in our fair share of these apportioned costs. While some may think of it as a “tax” to those strangers at the Conference Center, I encourage you to see Shared Ministry as an incredible way for our congregation to reach out literally around the world with life-changing ministries. Together with other churches we are able to share the love of Christ in ways we couldn’t even consider on our own.

Won’t you please join me in a special Love Offering to help not only to defray our end of year obligation, but more so to spread the love, hope, peace and joy of Jesus to others? Donations received by the end of the calendar year are especially appreciated.

“I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:
to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior,
who is the Messiah, the Lord.”

May we all have a blessed and peace-filled season.

Pastor Beth

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Internet security for your family

The United Methodist Communications shares the following advice. . . .

By Gavin Richardson

The Internet is a vast ocean of information and people. It is easy to find oneself in a trouble spot on the web. What are the best options for a church to protect its congregation and visitors from exposing themselves or others to damaging images and information on the web? Within your home, what are some options to protect your children from stumbling into the wrong corner of the web?

Here are a few software programs specifically developed to protect people from finding their way to the wrong places and connecting with the wrong people on the web.

NOTE: These reviews are not an endorsement of one product over another. We are highlighting some of the unique features of each product and why a product could be considered for your church or family’s Internet protection. Products like these change frequently, and new products appear often. Figure out what your needs are, and then use this as a guide to evaluate software options to determine the best fit for your circumstances.

K9 Web Protection has some neat features for a free software download. K9 performs many of the standard site blocks, scheduled time restrictions, category blocks, a safe search function (only shows approved search results), spy ware/malware protections and more. In addition, it has features that would be great for a parent or church lab network administrator. It has override password options as well as reports to monitor activities. K9 is available on iPhone/iPad and Android operating systems as well as Mac- and Windows-based computers. The price is great — free — as they will give you a license code for a single machine download. If you like the product and want to install it on more machines, you can purchase a multi-license option.

Webroot and its Secure Anywhere product for the home is a great option for the person with multiple devices who wants protection from inappropriate web finds and from incoming attacks and identity theft. If you have a lot of work or personal information online, consider this option. For $60, you get a complete Internet security package that will work across five devices together. The unique perks for Webroot include a data-storage option, network monitor and online activity trace eliminator. Webroot works on both Mac and Windows platforms as well as on most mobile operating systems.

NetNanny is another popular, family-directed Internet software option. It provides many of the same basic features as K9 Web Protection. The language blocker will switch out a foul-language word (in a comment on Facebook or YouTube) with a string of gibberish characters. NetNanny will also record all activity on the device and have it available for review for the following 24 hours. If something happened to a family member and you were curious about his or her last day of correspondence, you can look through the recordings. NetNanny’s pricing structure can get complicated with different products for each operating system. It has a Family Protection Pass that gives 10 licenses for $80, but those licenses do not work on Windows XP or iOS (iPhone/iPad) systems. This, however, could be a plus to customize your needs versus the larger license package that other companies provide. The NetNanny blog offers good content on security issues with children and teenagers.

SafeEyes is one of many security options from McAfee. The neatest aspect about SafeEyes is its design for the family. McAfee also has business options that can work for a church computer lab. You will probably want features similar to those of SafeEyes, which allows you to block/monitor social activity on platforms that can give access to people or images you do not want to see. From online videos and games to instant messaging, music and more, they have options to protect your family. Similar to other software options, these can send reports of activity over the network. McAfee’s pricing structure puts it on the higher end pricewise. You can get set up for $50 to $70 (or more depending on your products), but the costs are subscription-based, so you will pay the same amount each year. If you do not maintain your subscription, your software will stop updating and become more of a drag on your computer than a help. SafeEyes and most other McAfee software has a free download option letting you try it before purchasing. You can have more confidence moving forward from there.

Qustodio is a solid option to use for protecting your children and monitoring their activity across computers and platforms. A unique feature is the option for reports on with whom and how much your child is text messaging. Because of their focus on mobile protection, they can also track your child’s activity in real time. The interface for setting up individual users and their safety settings is friendly to navigate. Qustodio also gives detailed social media reports. If you want to know how long you, or a child, was on a social media website, that can be reported as well. Pricing is on a yearly subscription basis and in the same range as McAfee. Qustodio is different from McAfee as it offers a slightly larger package (five devices versus three devices) for similarly-priced options. Their school packages could be used for church computer labs.

BrowseControl is designed for business. If you operate a computer lab at the church, this could be a solid option. It has options for banning specific websites as well as keyword/category bans for sites you might not know need to be banned. You can also block any file downloads (or at least download and then run), which can help protect a network from virus or malware infections. If you know you want to allow your older kids access to certain websites while blocking younger ones, BrowseControl has a scheduling option for blocking sites. You can also set up different permissions for each user on the network. If you are unsure how to get this installed on all your computers, there is a remote install option. The pricing starts at $79 for a single user. The pricing structure for multiple computers and license needs is clear. BrowseControl also offers a free 21-day trial period.

InternetLock is a cost-effective solution for the home computer owner who wants many customized parameters for Internet security. For $29.95, you can password protect, schedule block, define user restrictions and more for your home computer. They also offer a fully functioning free trial to use without a time limit. Only after InternetLock has proven worthwhile for your needs are you asked to pay for it. You will see a reminder-to-pay button until you get a registration code/license. One limitation with InternetLock is that it is currently only for the Windows operating system.

Barracuda Network’s price puts it beyond many church budgets. However, when it comes to security, you will not find much better. The question is whether you need that much security. If you have a problem with Internet security, a large network of computers or want to monitor a wireless network for a big congregation, Barracuda might be the option to consider. Detailed reporting, tons of security features and options, and a dedicated support team are just a few options that set them apart from stand-alone installed software.

The particular software platform you choose to protect your congregation and/or family does not matter a great deal. What does matter is that you are doing something to protect the people that God has entrusted to your care. Take some time to invest in protection for those whom you love and care.

From: http://www.umcom.org/learn/ironclad-internet-security-software-for-church-and-family

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Shopping and helping First UMC

While preparing for purchasing school supplies…or for the change in the seasons…doing some home remodeling…or planning late summer or fall travel…doing some early holiday shopping…or you just love to shop online… There is a way to shop online for your needs and benefit your local church or other UM organization. Shop www.umcmarket.org.
UMCMarket.org

When you use UMCMarket.org to shop, a percentage of your purchase (donated by the retailer) – combined with the purchases of other members of your congregation – are donated back to your church. You can select your local United Methodist Church as the recipient of your donation, or you can select from a long list of other United Methodist related organizations like the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCor), The Advance, JustPeace, MARCHA, among many, many others.

Not a current user? Go to www.umcmarket.org and Log in. It takes just a couple of minutes. Each time you shop online, first log into umcmarket.org, search for the retailer you want to shop online with, click their logo and start shopping. When you visit the retail site through the UMCmarket.org portal, your total spending is accumulated for your church and when the total donations reach $100+ your church will get a check.

Now, what about the donation? The donations are processed by the support staff at UMCMarket.org. Once your total donations (generated from a percent of purchases) equal or surpass $100, your church or other organization you designate will receive a check. And then, as you make more purchases throughout the year, the process is repeated. Everyone benefits – you conveniently shop online as you have always done and the church or other UM organization you want to help receives monies for ministries to do the things throughout the connection that make us United Methodists.

Be sure to share www.umcmarket.org with family and friends. The more shopping that is done through this portal, the more assistance is given throughout the United Methodist connection to support the global ministries of the connectional United Methodist Church.

Note: Este comunicado de prensa está disponible en español.

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“Like” us on Facebook

Search for First UMC Gouverneur and “like” us on Facebook. Here you will find information about upcoming worship services and activities.

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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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December 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
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WORSHIP NOTES FOR DECEMBER
Worship Notes for Advent & Christmas
“Sense, not Cents”
Dec. 7 “Taste” Communion, candy canes and courtesy tastes
Psalm 34:1-8, Act 13:46-47
December Birthday Celebration
Dec. 14 “Smell” To the stable for some fresh country air!
Genesis 8:20-21, Luke 2:1-7
Fellowship Feast Potluck
Dec. 21 “Sound” We sing with the angels and make a joyful noise!
Luke 2:8-14, Communion
Dec. 24th at 7:00 p.m. “Touch”
Wouldn’t you like to hold the baby?
Luke 2:15-20
Sunday School pageant, Movers & Shakers, candlelight
Dec. 25th – NO planned service. Enjoy time with family.
Dec. 28 “Sight” Isaiah 61:10-62:3
Jan. 4th Magi Matthew 2:1-12, Communion, January Birthday Celebration
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Angel Tree giving opportunities abound as we use our weekly “sense” to guide our shopping and gift giving to others.
Taste – special treats, basic staples, sugar free items, grocery gift cards,
Smell – hygiene products (soap, shampoo, etc), air fresheners,
Sound – calling cards, cds, dvds, make a phone call, stop for a visit,
Touch – warm fuzzy socks, mittens, scarfs, socks, pjs,
Sight – cards, stamps, calendars,

Our Angel tree will have reminder notes with suggestions, but be creative. Gifts should be returned unwrapped any time through Christmas Eve, and will be distributed during the twelve days of Christmas. If you’d like to help out as a delivery elf just let Donna know in the office.
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Top 3 Reasons to use UMCmarket for your holiday shopping.
Spend more time with your family. December is a time of hustle and bustle. By doing your holiday shopping online this year, you can stay snuggled and warm and spend more time with your family!
Give more than a gift this year. It feels great to give thoughtful gifts to those we love during the holidays. By shopping through UMCmarket, you can also give to your ministry helping you fulfill God’s mission this holiday season.
Save money with online deals. You can shop an abundance of online deals and sales through your favorite stores. With hundreds of stores to choose from, there is something for everyone!
Check out UMCMarket for links to online shopping at most popular sights. You can choose any UM church, school, etc to receive the designated percentage of your purchase, but we hope you’ll choose Gouverneur or North Gouverneur!
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Chiz Rider Concert
The public is invited to attend a concert featuring one of America’s foremost trumpeters, touring and recording artists, Chiz Rider. He will be appearing in concert on Friday, December 12 at 6pm at the First United Methodist Church, 627 Caroline Street, Ogdensburg, New York. At 29 he has released his sixth album titled, “A Big Band Christmas.” Chiz is touring with large screen video enhancement. This is a concert experience that people of all ages will thoroughly enjoy. While entertaining and professional its focus and goal is to glorify Christ, to present the gospel, and to encourage believers. For further information please contact: Rev. Dave Piatt at 315-393-1289.
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Grace, Peace and Joyful Advent to ALL!

It’s kind of fun letting the senses help guide us toward Christmas: visits with family, anticipating special goodies, constant carols if you choose, lights illuminating the night, smiles and greetings on the lips of strangers . . . .

Usually we have a special Love Offering during Advent and Christmas. It’s our way of reaching out to community, nation and world with missional giving. As you probably have noted there is a special offering envelope enclosed for “Shared Ministries”. That’s the way we join with other United Methodist churches in funding missionaries, camping and retreat ministries, resource staff and materials, schools and medical clinics, refugees, administrative support staff, and a whole host of other ministries. (And, no, none of this goes toward the purchase of buildings).

We are significantly behind in our fair share of these apportioned costs. While some may think of it as a “tax” to those strangers at the Conference Center, I encourage you to see Shared Ministry as an incredible way for our congregation to reach out literally around the world with life-changing ministries. Together with other churches we are able to share the love of Christ in ways we couldn’t even consider on our own.

Won’t you please join me in a special Love Offering to help not only to defray our end of year obligation, but more so to spread the love, hope, peace and joy of Jesus to others? Donations received by the end of the calendar year are especially appreciated.

“I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:
to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior,
who is the Messiah, the Lord.”

May we all have a blessed and peace-filled season.

Pastor Beth
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FREE CHRISTMAS DINNER
December 26th, Noon
1st United Methodist Church
Eat at the Church
Get Take Outs
Have meals delivered
Call 287-2440 to make a reservation or to sign on as a volunteer.
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COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS CONCERT – Sunday, Dec. 21rd @ the Presbyterian Church, 3:00 p.m.
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What’s happening with the parsonage???
Yes, very soon the Kellogg-Sweet family will be moving out of our parsonage and into a new district parsonage. They will still be in the community and as active as ever. However, we will be losing the housing allowance they’ve been paying. That income has been turned right around to pay Pastor Beth’s housing allowance of $11,400. For now, we are continuing that housing allowance while the trustees determine what the best course is. Most immediately you may notice roofing work being done at 32 Barnes Street. There are other maintenance and structural matters the trustees will need to evaluate, as they work with the Finance Team and the Staff-Parish Relations Committee to determine the best plan of action.
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Thank-you’s and correspondence:

Thanks to Unit 2 of the UMW for hosting a great Advent luncheon. With Unit 4 and other guests we came right in at twenty women enjoying food & fellowship.

Dear Beth and Church Friends,
A very special thank you for sharing your Walmart “booty.” Many items were used in gift boxes, some will be taken to the Open Door Clothing Closet and some given to families who use our local food pantry. All items were greatly appreciated! Your Palmyra UMC family thanks you for helping us to support these important missions. Love in Christ, Linda Zukauskas.
(The pastor tells me that at least 341 Shoeboxes are going Sunday, the 7th to the Open Door Mission in Rochester to help homeless adults, children and infants. The Palmyra UMC congregation averages only 30.)

THANKS to all those who helped in the effort to serve or deliver hot turkey dinners all over town on Thanksgiving Day. It took shoppers, bakers, cooks, cleaners, drivers, dishwashers and lots of teamwork.
Note: Judy Bush has let us know that the annual Christmas Dinner will be served on Friday, December 26th. Let’s all help out again!

Pat Bellinger has been working hard to help get our Praise Band going, and recently replaced our failing drum set with a brand new “used” set. Let’s thank Pat and encourage Peter Parrish as he learns his way around all that new equipment!
Victor Correa has also taken on the task of being the band leader!
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BELL RINGERS – Donna Boscoe is looking for bell ringers: to ring the Salvation Army bells at the Kinney Drugs store by the bridge. You will be able to be inside. All the money raised will stay in this area and help buy the backpacks for the We’ve Got Your Back to School program. Call the office 287-2440 to help.
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New Directory and Mailing list – Please call the church office (287-2440) to update your information in lieu of printing this form.
Please help: Donna is trying to update the directory, and mailing list. There are a lot of new people, folks who have moved, and those who have changed their information.
EVERYONE — Please fill out the following and bring it back or send it back to the office. If you know
anyone who would like to get a newsletter please send in their name and address as well.
Please Print.
Name:___________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Phone Number(s):___________________________________
Do you get a newsletter ______yes ______no
Would you like a newsletter ______yes ______no
Email:________________________________________________________________
Family members and birthdays:
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FLAG GIVEN BY DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Do you remember all those pink and green Christmas stockings we stuffed last year and sent off to Afghanistan? In return for our support, gifts and prayers, the Army has sent us a flag that flew over Afghanistan. Our Memorial committee has provided a great display frame. We will officially dedicate the flag on Nov. 9th as part of our recognition and gratitude for all veterans and military personnel. It will then be displayed outside the office near Brown Chapel.
“It is this American quality of loyalty and your group’s quality of dedication that make the big and small sacrifices worth suffering.”
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Alice Weldon Receives 2013 UMW Special Mission Recognition
A beloved member of our church, Alice Weldon, has received the United Methodist Women Special Mission Recognition pin and certificate for 2013. She was recognized at the UMW District Meeting last May as one of the recipients in the Northern Flow District.

Alice has been a UMW member, past co-leader of the General UMW, current President of Unit 2 of the UMW, soprano in the church choir, and in past years, Certified Lay Speaker, and Lay Leader. She has written biographies in the church newsletter of church members such as Luella Whitton, Irma Fredenburg, Jim and Aileen Brown, Helen Love, and Faye Lockwood. Many of us in church have received one of Alice’s kind, caring cards and handwritten notes of Christian thoughtfulness and encouragement. She has spent many years in learning and teaching Scripture in devotions, Bible studies, as a past Release Time teacher, and her example to all of us at the church. She has been involved with the Home Communion Ministry to shut-ins and ill members.

She and her husband, Douglas, worked together for many years on the family farm and raised their children, Larry, Steve, Diane, Danny, and Teresa during those years of hard work. Alice, also, went to school while raising her family and became an LPN working for E.J. Noble Hospital, Public Health, and private duty nursing. She is a member of the Gouverneur Garden Club and past officer and currently on the Nominating Committee.

Alice grew up in Oxbow, NY, the daughter of Randolph and Beulah Youngs who had a farm and large family to help with all the hard work of farming in those days, too. She and Douglas now have a large extended family of their own of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

When told that she had received the Special Mission Recognition, Alice stated that there are others more deserving of the award, but most would agree that she is a deserving recipient of this honor by the General UMW of the First United Methodist Church.
Laura
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e-Giving is coming to First UMC! Don’t panic, thinking you now have to give your offering online. This is just an option for those who conduct most of their business via the internet. The new program will give those that choose a way to set up their giving to the church electronically. Others can continue to give with cash or checks as you are now. Not only will this option help some of us to give regularly and consistently, it will also give our treasurer an even better of idea of expected monthly income. More details will be coming soon. Thanks for considering it.
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CHOIR REHEARSALS – SUNDAYS @ 9:30 AM.
Our choir is open to all interested persons. Why not add your voice to the mix? It’s a lot of fun and adds so much to our worship.
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LIKE US ON FACEBOOK – First United Methodist Gouverneur has a page. Please invite your friends to like us to! Thanks. Posting is done by the Pastor and our IT Geek – Glenda Schuessler!
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Faye S. Hopper Scholarship Award by Glenda Schuessler
The scholarship was established to honor our own Faye Hopper and her commitment to musical excellence in our church and community. Mrs. Hopper served as our organist for 62 years prior to her retirement December, 2007.

A $500.00 scholarship is awarded each year to a senior graduating from Gouverneur High School. The student honored has demonstrated a commitment to musical excellence and has shared this gift with the school and community.

Donations from church members, family and friends of Mrs. Hopper enabled the church to establish the fund which has been invested by the Board of Trustees; the interest accrued results in the award each year. This year the committee was able to award two $500.00 scholarships, recipients were Bridget Hall and Dan Kalina.
Previous recipients are Elizabeth Girard (2013), Nick
Leonard (2012), Taylor Gale (2011), Chelsea Erdman (2010),
Joe Schuessler (2009) and Christopher Dixon (2008).

Thank you to Faye as she continues to share her gift of music by
accompanying our choir and serving as substitute organist.
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STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN CHALLENGES US TO BE HEART HEALTHY – AND GENEROUS!
As the newsletter goes to press, we are anticipating a heart-filled and generous response to the Extravagant Generosity campaign. There is so much happening here thanks to an energized and faithful congregation. We continue to hear how welcoming we are – the epitome of caring church family! All of us need to get on board to financially under gird the facility, our staff and the cost of ministry. It also helps when everyone pitches in to do help. Thanks everyone!
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FELLOWSHIP FEAST – 2ND SUNDAY
We have a pot-luck “feast” on the second Sunday of each month.
If you can, why not whip up one of your favorites to share.
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RIP IT EXERCISE CLASSES
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.”
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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.
Remember: ALL PEOPLE ARE WELCOME HERE!

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United Methodist 101 and other Free Webinars

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

Upcoming webinars:

United Methodist 101 On-line Course

Lifelong United Methodist? New to United Methodism?

United Methodism 101 is designed for new church members and anyone else wanting to know more about our history, Structure, beliefs, Ministries and Challenges.You may be surprised at all there is to discover about our denomination! Click here for Registration ($9.99 fee)

Find more courses at this link: https://umctraining.org

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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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Summer camp . . . spring retreats

2014 summer camp is history. For new information please check the website: www.aldersgateny.org or call Aldersgate Camp & Retreat Center at 315-348-8833.

2015 summer camp brochures should be in the mail early in January.

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Camp & Retreat Ministries Newsletter

http://www.campsandretreats.org/

Click on the link for the latest from Camps and Retreat Ministries. Check out retreats and summer camp listings.

Why should your child attend church camp? http://www.thereisgrace.com/why-your-kids-should-go-to-church-camp/

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