Fruits of the Spirit


Bishop Lyght's Call to Build Trust

Previous Bishops

December 11, 2014

Dear Pilgrim Disciple, In this Advent Season I greet you in the precious name of our Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Psalmist said: Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me (Psalm 23:4). On this 5th day of December in the aftermath of grand jury decisions, first in Ferguson and now in Staten Island, I am mindful of the pain and the anguish of the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the ...


Church Revitalization: Digital Ministry

December 11, 2014

A few years ago, I was making phone calls to invite people to an event that my church was putting together, but none of the college students and young professionals answered my phone calls. A few days later, I discovered that they were communicating with each other almost instantly via SMS (text messaging) and via social media such as FaceBook. Once I started inviting them via their communication channels, the events were full of young people. I was again struck by how our ways of communicating ...


Innovative Outreach Ministry: Festival of Nativity Art

December 11, 2014

The Nichol’s UMC in Trumbull, CT first created their Festival of Nativity Art to spread the Good News of Christ in 2008 with 50 nativity displays.  This year the Lay Ministry Team on Liturgical Music and the Fine Arts sponsored the Festival that displayed 102 nativity scenes - in a variety of art mediums including the nativity in needlepoint and even a jigsaw puzzle - all borrowed from members of the congregation and the community.  The theme this year was Star of Bethlehem.  A special display ...


Local Mission Opportunities: Sandy Recovery Program

December 11, 2014

Since Super Storm Sandy swept through the area two years ago the New York Annual Conference Sandy Recovery program has been responsible for volunteer teams in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Long Island, has just begun working in Queens, and is working with CT Rises to develop a structure for volunteers in Connecticut. The Sandy Recovery Program has provided: 'muck and gut' and debris removal in the relief stage and repair/rebuild in the recovery phase. It has funded the purchase of building ...


Missional Strategies: Children's Home Binghamton, NY

December 11, 2014

Most of us assume that safety for children is a given right. That is not always true. At the Children’s Home in Binghamton, NY we offer safe environments and opportunities to help children and families learn and develop skills they can apply to give them that safety. Using a strength-based family centered approach, we work on enhancing the safety, stability, and well-being of every child. The Children’s Home was begun in 1912 by the Deaconesses of the Wyoming Annual Conference, serving needy and...


Bringing New Life To Your Church

Derrick-Lewis Noble

November 20, 2014

Call me crazy. Call me a dreamer. Call me unrealistically positive (as one of my fellow clergypersons did a few years ago). Call me all of these things, but I just believe that the same Holy Spirit who birthed the church is able and willing to revive dead, dying, stagnated churches and breathe new life into them, thereby enabling them to reach thousands. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve pastored churches where it has happened. And yet, I have also seen the very people the Spirit wants to use quench ...


Creating Seeds of Vitality in the Local Church: Working with the Imagine No Malaria Initiative

November 20, 2014

Ardsley UMC (AUMC) is a small church worshiping less than 25 each Sunday and with no children.  Although the church runs a small preschool during the week and its building space is used by both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, the church is not on the radar of most young families in the area.  In order to elevate the church’s profile in the community, the church started hosting a table at Ardsley Day, a kid-focused event in the small village of Ardsley, NY featuring bouncy houses, rock ...


Get Their Name: Grow Your Church by Building Relatinships

November 20, 2014

Are you willing to experiment or are you comfortable in your decline? Most church members know to answer the former, but all too often we live out the latter.  The Rev. Bob Farr’s workshop on Sat. October 25th  at Woodbury UMC is based on his book of the same name, Get Their Name: Grow Your Church by Building Relationships.  In both he has outlined a multi-year process of helping people come to faith as well as a way toward transformation of the way we typically ‘do’ church. Engaging in ...


Innovation in Practice: Praising God through Gospel Jazz Music at St. Stephen’s UMC

November 20, 2014

Jazz Wednesdays are unique. “Where else can you get free professional jazz music on a Wednesday afternoon in the Bronx?” said Jackie Flowers, a vocalist at Jazz Wednesday and member of St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church. The sweet sound of gospel jazz music is alive and well every Wednesday at St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church. The Wednesday Word & Jazz service is led by Rev. Nathaniel Dixon, Pastor of St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church in the Marble Hill section of The Bronx. It ...


Shalom Zone: Midtown Rising, Kingston, NY

November 20, 2014

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19). Once a month, a group of about twenty people in Kingston, NY meet together to nurture the “new thing” that is springing up in their own community – a neighborhood Shalom Zone they call “Midtown Rising.” The folks who attend are from the neighborhood in and around Clinton Avenue and St. James United Methodist Churches and are discerning ...