“The Bridge” Conference news highlights

The complete Bridge contents can be found here: http://www.unyumc.org/images/uploads/March_2015_-_UNY_Bulletin_Insert_the_Bridge_BW.pdf

Highlights include:
A new communications tool for local churches By Stephen J. Hustedt
You are holding in your hand a new communications tool designed for local churches to stay connected to each other and ministries taking place around the Upper New York Conference
and The United Methodist Church. This is a simple bulletin insert your local church has downloaded from the Conference website and run off copies of, but it’s also much more than that. It is a bridge to your ministry that takes place far beyond the doors of your local
church. That is the inspiration for the title.
The Bridge will tell stories of ministry, but it will also have bits of news and
information that will be useful to church members. It will be published in the first
and third weeks of every month. Notice will be sent to churches through UNY Notes when it is ready to be downloaded.
This new tool was created mostly as a result of feedback received around the needs at local churches. There is a strong desire for local churches to stay connected, but there is not always a lot of time for clergy and staff to integrate information into local church communication tools, like newsletters and bulletins, so it can be shared with the rest of the congregation. Conference electronic communications like the Weekly Digest, the
Conference website, and UNY Notes help, but not everyone has access, and there aren’t enough copies of communication tools like the Advocate to be shared by all. The need was clear, and the Bridge is an attempt at an answer. The hope is that it will support other
Conference Communications channels like the Weekly Digest and the Advocate by filling a hole that other channels cannot. It’s intended to be viewed in print and for there to be enough copies made for all local church members at a very low cost. Should a church not be able to afford to print off and photocopy issues of the Bridge, they are asked to contact
the Communications department so copies can be sent to them.
The Bridge will be available on the Conference website both in color and black & white versions. Graphically, it will remain simple so that copies can be made on a photocopier without concern for loss of quality. Tweaks to the format, design, and the creative process for the Bridge will continue to be made as more feedback is received. Please share your thoughts by sending them to stevehustedt@umyumc.org.

Rev. Gottschalk‐Fielding to assume role of executive assistant to Bishop Webb
Upper New York Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb has announced that the Rev. Bill Gottschalk‐Fielding will assume the position of Executive Assistant to the Bishop, effective July 1. Rev. Gottschalk‐Fielding will continue his work as the Upper New York Conference Director of Connectional Ministries, in a move that combines two previously separate positions.
In discerning and creating this combined position, Bishop Webb looked at models from around the United Methodist connection, in consultation with current staff and episcopal colleagues. In the Northeastern Jurisdiction, both the West Virginia and New England
conferences have successfully combined the Executive Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries roles.

Posted in News | Comments Off

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

Posted in News | Comments Off

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.

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.

Posted in News | Comments Off

“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.

Posted in News | Comments Off

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!

Posted in News | Comments Off

March 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
March 8 – Girl Scout Sunday
Joel 2:11b-13, Matthew 6:16-18
Topic: Fasting
March 15 – Acts 2:38-42, Matthew 27:3-4
Topic: Repentance
March 22 – Isaiah 40:3-5, 62:1-12
Topic: Preparing
March 29 – Palm Sunday
Mark 11:1-10
April 2 – Holy Thursday
Cantata, 7:00 p.m., Sanctuary
April 3 – Good Friday
Both the Sanctuary and Brown Chapel will be available for prayer, reflection, quiet time… noon – 3:00.
April 12 – Easter!!!
7: 00 Sunrise Service, Hurlbut Farm,2287 Co Route 11 (past N. Gouv church on Rock Island Road).
8:00 Easter Breakfast @ N. Gouv. Church (the intersection of County Route 11, Cream of the Valley Road and Maple Ridge Road)
11:00 Easter Worship, Sanctuary
Here’s some of the latest developments in our ever growing prayer ministry:
• Monthly gathering on the 2nd Saturday, Brown Chapel, 10:00 am. Anyone interested is invited to gather for a short time of worship, group and silent prayer, sending of cards, and wherever else the Spirit takes us. If you can’t be at the Chapel, stop what you’re doing and join in prayer where you are.
• Easter Egg Prayer Partners – those who choose to participate will exchange names via plastic eggs and pray for that person through to Pentecost on May 24th.
• Ministry of the Month – You’re encouraged to always remember our various ministries and leaders in your prayers. Over the next several months we will lift up one ministry and its participants. This month: please keep our choir members in prayer.
WGYB 2 SCHOOL (We’ve Got Your Back to School) planning is already underway, as we need to contact businesses for donations early in their ordering process. You may also want to be watching end of school year sales for the opportunity to pick up supplies. In addition to basic school supplies we are also going to be expanding into hygiene supplies: combs/brushes, soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc. We’ll even find a storage spot for you if needed. Check with Melissa Simione if you’d like to be more directly involved or have ideas. JoAnne Stowell is working with haircutters.

SHOEBOXES, SHOEBOXES, SHOEBOXES! One of our Christmas 2015 giving opportunities will be filling shoeboxes with practical gifts. Right now, we all need to start saving any “regular” sized shoe boxes (not giant boot boxes or tiny children’s boxes). A list of gift ideas will be coming so everyone can keep their eyes open for shopping opportunities.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner with all the fixings on Tuesday, March 17! The dinner begins at 4:30 PM, Adults $8, Kids (ages 5 – 12) $4, under 5 free. The meal also includes beverage and dessert, there is a grilled cheese sandwich option. Proceeds will support camping scholarships for children and youth. Take out’s available.
One Great Hour of Sharing envelope –
One Great Hour of Sharing shares the goodness of life with those who hurt. The Offering provides administrative expenses for UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) and supports programs of food, shelter, peace and health.
We have Lenten coin folders available for those who would like to observe the Lenten practice of giving a daily amount to benefit mission. Our giving will be split between the Neighbor-hood Center here in town, and mission projects funded via our giving to the annual conference.
We are off to a shaky start this year. It may be partly due to the weather that kept attendance down a few weeks and heating and snow removal costs up for all of us. Please do what you can to help us meet our salary, utility and ministry expenses; and more importantly, to let God know we appreciate all the blessings we receive.
Our budget has six sections:
• Payroll – includes eight persons, all are part-time, except pastor
• Office expense – paper, postage,
• Ministries – vbs, senior luncheon,
• Utilities – church and parsonage
• Insurance – Including liability
• Maintenance – trash
Oooops, we missed our full payment of conference responsibilities by one month!
While it won’t be credited to 2014, that payment will be made!
Our budget for 2015 is just over $173,000.
The amount actually “spent” in 2014 was slightly under $166,000.
Over the next months we’ll give you some info on what’s in the budget and how we’re doing!
Are you organized? Do you follow through on your responsibilities? Are you looking for a way to help out at church? Do you a “do it” and move on kind of project?

With many new individuals and families in the congregation it may be time for a photo directory. While the company does lots of the work, and Donna has many addresses, etc. there still needs to be someone to “take charge.” If you think that someone is you, please speak to Pastor Beth to see what actually is involved, discuss time frame, and perhaps even get the camera rolling.

Do you like the idea of an updated photo directory? It’s the classic get your picture taken, have options if you want to purchase additional prints, and we get directories with member photos, contact info, etc.
“We want to thank you for the continued use of your Hall. We really appreciate it.”
Grace Gates, Care Packages for Soldiers

Martha Willenbacher sends her greetings and continued prayers for the ministry of our church. Martha loves to get a card or have a visitor: River Ledge Residence, 8103 State Highway 68, O’burg NY 13669

A precious letter has come from Lowell Joerg, age 86, Stockton California. It included an old postcard of the church he found at a sale. Mr. Joerg returned it to us saying, “By golly, I’ll send it back home where it can be appreciated.” And then he asked for reimbursement!

THANK-YOU to all those who have helped prepare, serve and cleanup our Sunday morning fellowship time.
A CANTATA FOR HOLY WEEK “The Shadow of the Cross”
Rehearsals on Sunday afternoons: March 15 from 1 – 2 PM, March 22 and 29 from 4 – 5:30 PM. The presentation will be the Tenebrae Service on Maundy Thursday, April 2 at 7 PM.
That’s right, just around the corner from the offices and past the rest rooms. You can borrow books or videos at any time. For a small space, there’s a lot of variety: UMWomen’s reading program books, study and research materials, teen and children’s books, fiction, bible studies, tapes, and books covering a broad spectrum of religious themes. There are several items by Max Lucado, Billy Graham and Joyce Meyers as well as United Methodist authors and history.
We just ask that you bring back what you’ve borrowed so others can enjoy.
There is also a rack with more children’s books up in the sanctuary.
We are going to have a massive cleaning of the kitchen, fellowship hall and other areas of the church. The area we cover depends on how many folks pitch in to help. Watch and listen for a date. In the meantime, if you have vested interest in a particular area get it cleaned and sorted before we get there! This is a take no prisoners operation!

Do you have a pile of kitchen towels and dish cloths at home? Ours in the church kitchen are starting to get a little “ratty” looking. How about sharing? Just drop them off on the counter. Thanks.
Our NEWSLETTER DEADLINE for submission of articles is the Thursday immediately following the third Tuesday of each month.
PLANNING AN EVENT? Please – check with Donna Boscoe, our keeper of the calendar, to be sure the date and space you’ll be using are available. It gets busy!
Quilt by Faith – March 26-29
Visit the website: wwwcasowascoorg for details.
*Casowasco is one of our United Methodist Camps, located just south of Auburn NY
United Methodist Men’s Retreat @ Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center, Brantingham, NY
April 17 – 18, details coming.
Aldersgate Work Day, May 16. Details: http://aldersgateny.org/join-us/event/2658
Did you know we have an account at the bottle return at Trackside Plaza? Take your bottles and cans there, and make a donation to the church for the amount of your returns Simple….
Unit 2 will still be meeting the first Tuesday of the month as it has in the past, but the meeting time has been changed to 12:30 pm. Our new president was elected in January, Sally Hayden.
Many thanks to the outgoing president, Alice Weldon, who has been Unit 2 president for many years. As it states in the United Methodist Women Purpose: we are a supportive fellowship of women, and our other Unit 2 officers and members hope to be a support for Sally in her endeavors as our new president.
Contact the office with your latest contact information, including birthdays, anniversaries, email, phone and mailing address.
Check our website:
Find us on Facebook (1st UMC Gouverneur) and please “Like” us!
Email: 1stumc@centralny.twcbc.com
Top 3 Reasons to use UMCmarket for your online shopping.
Spend more time with your family. December is a time of hustle and bustle. By doing your 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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.”
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.

Posted in News | Comments Off

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

Posted in News | Comments Off

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. 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.

Posted in News | Comments Off

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.

Women’s Chocolate Getaway – March 6-8
Quilt by Faith – March 26-29

Visit the website: www.casowasco.org for details.
*Casowasco is one of our United Methodist Camps, located just south of Auburn NY

United Methodist Men’s Retreat @ Aldersgate Camp & Retreat Center, Greig, NY
April 17 – 18 Details will be found here: http://unyumm.org/

Posted in News | Comments Off

Camp & Retreat Ministries Newsletter


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/

Posted in News | Comments Off