Golf Tournament – Save the Date!

The church will hold a golf tournament at the Gouverneur Country Club on Saturday, September 12. Please save the date and invite your fellow golfers (or duffers!) to join you on that date. More details coming. Look for great golf, great fellowship, great food, great silent auction – an all around GREAT time!

Posted in News | Comments Off on Golf Tournament – Save the Date!

July/August Newsletter

10:00 a.m. Brown Chapel
(it’s air-conditioned!)
Nursery opens at 9:45 a.m.

July 5 Mark 6:1-13, “Going Out”

12th Amos 7:7-15, A Working Formula”
Celebration of Vacation Bible School
Baptism of Jaydelynn Tamblin

19th 2 Samuel 7:1-14a, Who’s Building
What?” Communion

26th Pastor also at Spragueville
Psalm 14, “Fools!”

Aug 2 Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15, “Whine & Cheese”

9th At Riverside Park, lower pavilion
1 Kings 19:4-8, Psalm 34:1-8
“Under the Broom Tree”

16th 4 week series on the Lord’s Prayer
“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

23rd “Thy kingdom come, the will be done…”

30th “Our daily bread…our trespasses…”
Sept 6 “Deliver us from evil…”

Meets the second Saturday of the month, 10:00 a.m. in Brown Chapel.. We have spoken and silent prayer, and send cards to different folks each month. Participate on a level where you feel comfortable – or join us in mind, spirit and prayer wherever you might be at that time.

This past month we were sure to include members and friends who are in area nursing homes: Louise Hardy, Betty Tyler, Ed Snyder – Canton; Martha Willenbacher, Keith Tyler, Alice Coates – Ogdensburg; Margaret Ryder – Carthage. If you know of others, please let Donna know – 287-2440.
Yes, a huge thanks to Don Schuessler and his VBS team as we close in on yet another week of awesome Vacation Bible School! All the fun is right here at First UMC as we turn to the scientist in each of us to learn more about our relationship with Jesus. Dozens of teens and adults volunteer to help pull it all together.
Pre-schoolers through grade 6 may attend.
VBS is 9 to noon, Monday – Friday, July 6-10
Volunteers always needed to help with cookies and drinks, and to do iron on T-shirt work.
GP4U = Jesus
For some time both Karen Lancto and JoAnne Stowell have been the steady force behind our Sunday School. This coming fall we will start a new season without either of these saints at the helm of the good ship Sunday School. With a huge THANKS to them for their years of service, we will be having an organizational meeting Tuesday, July 14th at 6:30 p.m. to begin making plans. Any and all parents, would-be teachers, helpers, and idea people are encouraged to attend.
Is God tugging at your heart to get involved?
#1 – We’ve Got Your Back to School
Mark August 30th as the day to help out with our WGYB2S ministry. Once again we will be providing back packs, school supplies, undies, socks and haircuts for kids heading back to school. Lots of helping hands are needed, as around 300 people visit us that afternoon.
Set up begins right after worship with the actual hand-out going from 1 – 2:30.

After VBS is over, the big bus will be pulling up to Brown Chapel to receive your donations. Among the items needed: lined paper, colored folders, pencils, crayons, glue sticks, spiral notebooks, markers, colored pencils, dry erase markers, ear buds. erasers, pencil boxes, undies, socks, and back packs for children.
#2 – Shoeboxes of Hygiene Products for the Neighborhood Center. While this project won’t get into full swing until the fall, it’s never too soon to start. Our Mission Team is asking each family to prepare at least one shoebox with a collection of everyday hygiene products as a Christmas giving project. Your box may be for a child, teen, man or woman. Items might include: soap, shampoo, tooth brush & paste, deodorant, bath soap, tissues, roll of tp, etc. Boxes can be an actual shoebox or the plastic ones. Get your box and start saving! Extra empty boxes can be brought into the office.
Nothing has to change. You can still give via the Sunday morning offering plates or through the mail. But these is a new option!

Visit our webpage at and look for the link for VANCO and online giving. It will just take a few moments to set up a regular weekly or monthly amount to come to First UMC. No more trying to remember your check or envelope OR missing a week when you are away from worship. At offering time you can still give thanks for your blessings and now you gift is there helping us in ministry.

Some members have also gone to their local bank and set up a regular direct giving process.

Have you been by the parsonage lately to check out the new roof? The trustees have us one step closer to the pastor moving into town! Yeah!
August 9th, 10:00 til 3:00
Meat, rolls and drinks provided.
Last name A-L please bring a salad, veggies or fruit; M-T please bring dessert,
U-Z get chips!
Bring your ball glove and bat. Let’s have enough for two teams….. and we’re inviting our brothers and sisters from area UMCs to join us.
Would you like to help with worship as a reader, serving communion or taking up the offering? Contact Donna in the office, 287-2440

How about helping with a simplified Fellowship Time? We will just have coffee and cold drinks most weeks, and cake for the birthday celebrations. No Fellowship Feast ‘til fall.
We’re sponsoring a Golf Tournament September 12th @ the Country Club
If you’re a golfer, enter a team.

Everyone – plan to join us for the dinner. There also will be a silent auction. More details to come, but save the date.
Congratulations to Marthalynn Sweet, who has been elected to serve as a delegate to the 2016 General Conference of the United Methodist Church. There are only 1000 delegates worldwide; half are clergy and half are laity. Ms. Sweet was chosen by our Upper New York Conference laity as one of five laypersons from our area. Her mom, the Rev. Beckie Sweet, was elected by the clergy as one of five clergy delegates. There will be lots of reading and meetings in their future as they prepare for the GC next spring in Oregon. They will also take part in the Northeast Jurisdiction Conference next summer, where bishops are elected.
A Letter from our Trustees:
At its June 17th meeting, your Board of Trustees updated both the building use policy/fees and the building access policy in an effort to add to the safety of all persons using our building. The full policies are available in the church office if you wish to view them. Please direct any questions, comments or complaints to members of the trustees.

As part of this policy, all persons and organizations using the building will need to fill out the appropriate form. These will be reviewed by the trustees. All will need to complete a new form, even if it has been previously approved. Previous policy directed that the door code be changed semi-annually. This Board will endeavor to adhere closely to that policy. We hope to change the door code at the end of July.

The biggest change in policy is that in order to have the door code, you MUST complete a very short form requesting the code. This will allow us to keep track of who has the code and will help us to make notifications when the code is changed. It is important that the code is NOT shared person to person, even among members, and that all who want the code fill out the form.

We are hoping to implement a key system for non-member organizations utilizing the building to prevent unlimited access by numerous members of organizations that are not members of the church. Current events, repeated incidents of items missing from the kitchen and the overall safety of those using the building necessitate action be taken. We know that change like this is difficult, but we ask your cooperation in this change over.

Board of Trustees,
Dan Holmes – Chair, Ron McDougall – Vice-chair, Andy Leonard – Treasurer, Travis Dann – Secretary
Joe Boscoe, Mary Tessmer, DeAnna Hadfield, Helen Harrington, Wayne Hayden
If you serve on a church committee, are involved in a particular ministry, or would like to have some “official” position, now is the time to speak up and let your wishes be heard.
The Lay Leadership team is tasked with updating the list of nominations for those who are elected or appointed to a church committee. That means seeing where we have openings because someone has either rotated out of an office, resigned, etc. AND prayerfully considering the recruitment of new persons to take a leadership role in the life of the church Help! If you don’t want to continue let us know. If there’s a position or area you’d like, let us know. There also will be a giant sheet for your feedback and inspection!
Peggy Cronk and the Neighborhood Center have again extended thanks for our support of their work.

Thanks to Birney Kellogg and Judy Sibley for helping to hold down the fort while the pastor was at continuing education, vacation, sick and annual conference.
Each month we try to highlight a special giving opportunity to give a little extra boost to our income. This summer it’s the Sunday School that is looking for that something extra to help offset the cost of materials. Thanks!

Posted in News | Comments Off on July/August Newsletter

June newsletter (excerpts)

NOTE: Starting July 5th summer worship will be at 10:00 a.m. in the air-conditioned Brown Chapel!
Sunday School
We’ve had another amazing year of Sunday School! We have been blessed to have interacted with 31 students, 1 teen assistant, 1 photographer/store manager, 3 teacher’s assistants and 2 teachers . We’ve learned lessons of love, obedience and faith through bible lessons and scripture, but also with just good old-fashioned conversation and sharing. We have a very special group and I am going to miss them more than they know. I pray that everyone has a blessed and safe summer and that God protects them, keeps them safe and shows them His amazing love!
Megan Barr
Charles Dann
Emily Farrell
Lauren Infield
Nick Melillo
Nikolaus Simione
May God guide your paths and your journey into the future!
We have been confronted by some tough decisions regarding our parsonage (32 Barnes St.) and the provision of housing for our pastor. The trustees have considered our options:
• extent and cost of needed repairs,
• looking into a different location,
• going with a housing allowance so we don’t maintain a building,
and, of course, funding sources and financial impact.

At this time, staying with the current house is looking the best, with repairs to the roof as the top priority. Then repairs to windows, walls, flooring, painting, etc can take place.
Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer before Pastor Beth can live in town!
Neighborhood Center Food $en$e
A program of the Food Bank of Central New York
Food $en$e offers everyone the opportunity to stretch their food budget dollars by purchasing quality and delicious food units at a discount-not to mention the great specials available.
Everyone is eligible to purchase food from Food $en$e, including senior citizens, college students, singles, disabled, shut-ins, working and military families.
There are no income requirements! If you eat you can get Food $en$e!
Food $en$e is NOT a federal, state or local government program. It is NOT part of any social service agency or any religious organization.
It is not a hand out! Food $en$e is a Helping Hand!
How do you purchase food from Food $en$e ?
Register and pay in advance for your unit and/or specials at the Gouverneur Neighborhood Center. On Distribution Day you can easily sign up for the following month.
Pay $15.50 in cash or Food Stamps (EBT). More than one unit can be purchased. In addition to the basic food “unit”, special items are available for purchase also.
Pick up your food unit on a designated Thursday at The VFW, 100 W.Main St., Gouverneur. Bring your receipt with you. If you are unable to pick up your unit give the receipt to a friend or relative to pick it up for you.
Food must be picked up on time. Food not picked up on Distribution Day will be donated to the Gouverneur Neighborhood Center Food Pantry. There will be no refunds or credits on food not picked up.

Posted in News | Comments Off on June newsletter (excerpts)

“The Bridge” Conference news highlights

The complete Bridge contents can be found here:

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

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 on “The Bridge” Conference news highlights

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

When you use 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 and Log in. It takes just a couple of minutes. Each time you shop online, first log into, search for the retailer you want to shop online with, click their logo and start shopping. When you visit the retail site through the 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 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 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 on Shopping and helping First UMC

“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 on “Like” us on Facebook

Your giving impacts – where?

Visit the UMC Giving website ( to find out. Share with your fellow church members when you read something that resonates with you!

Posted in News | Comments Off on Your giving impacts – where?

United Methodist 101 and other Free Webinars

Visit the 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:

Posted in News | Comments Off on United Methodist 101 and other Free Webinars

Committee on Native American Ministries 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).

Posted in News | Comments Off on Committee on Native American Ministries

Summer camp . . . fall retreats

Find summer camp and retreat information at:

Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center, Greig, NY is the closest UM camp to Gouverneur. Check out the website:

Posted in News | Comments Off on Summer camp . . . fall retreats