Earthquake in Japan - Update from Hikari Kokai Chang


It was Thursday, April 14th when the southern island of Kyushu in Japan was hit by a M6.5 earthquake. On Saturday, another M7.3 quake caused even more damage. In particular, the Kumamoto Prefecture - the epicenter of the quake - was hit so hard that numerous buildings collapsed and caught fire.  Infrastructures across Kyushu were severely damaged, and landslides caused by quakes made relief work more difficult. Despite their difficult circumstances, many NGOs and religious organizations, ...

Prayer vigil focuses on deportation plan


Photo by the Rev. Joanne Utley, New York Conference Tereza Lee told those gathered for an interfaith prayer vigil on April 25 sponsored by the New York Conference about the struggles her family faced as undocumented residents of Chicago. By Linda Bloom April 25, 2016 | NEW YORK (UMNS) Tereza Lee, a straight-A student in Chicago’s public schools, was so dedicated to her education that she won a savings bond for having perfect attendance from kindergarten through eighth grade. It was only ...

Two Viewpoints on Sexuality and the Church


NYAC delegate to General Conference, Dorothee Benz, and the Rev. Tom Lambrecht, vice president and general manager of Good News, offer their thoughts on issues that will be debated at the 2016 gathering. Wesley chose people over policies NEW YORK (UMNS) — John Wesley chose people over policies when he ordained bishops in America without church authority. The United Methodist Church in the 21st century needs to adopt that “profound emphasis on grace,” writes Dorothee Benz, a General Conference ...

Bishop seeks help for Ecuador


By Michelle Maldonado and Joey Butler April 18, 2015 | UMNS In the wake of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck coastal Ecuador on April 16, Bishop Silvio Cevallos of the Evangelical United Methodist Church of Ecuador asks that people “continue to hold our country in prayer.” The quake, Ecuador's most powerful since a 1987 earthquake that killed 1,000 people, has so far claimed the lives of 350. Officials say that number is expected to rise. At least 2,500 are injured and others are missing. ...

Preparation for Annual Conference #1


On June 8-11, over 1000 United Methodist lay and clergy persons from Connecticut and New York will gather for the 217th Session of the New York Annual Conference. This message is the first in a series detailing what happens at annual conference. Today’s focus is on the four special offerings taken. Many churches organize fundraisers or take special offerings and send their contribution with their delegate to annual conference. The offerings for Annual Conference 2016 are:    Imagine No ...

Preparations for Annual Conference #2


This message is the second* in a series detailing what happens at annual conference. Today’s focus is on a new feature - workshops led by leaders from the UMC general agencies that focus on practical ministry topics with the goal of giving participants something to take home to their own ministries as we “Go… in Jesus’ name!” Each participant chooses from one of the seven workshops below. For more detail about the workshop or the presenter, please click on the title or go to

United Methodist New Church Starts Stand Out in National Survey


NASHVILLE, Tenn. April 15, 2016 /Discipleship Ministries/ – United Methodist new church starts outpaced new church starts by other protestant denominations in three of five key benchmarks – average worship attendance, new decisions for Christ and reaching previously unchurched people – according to a survey of 17 U.S. evangelical denominations and church planting network organizations. The survey, conducted in 2015 by LifeWay Research, received responses from 1,200 pastors and new church leaders...

Bishop Middleton Invites All to Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Immigration Reform


Dear Sisters and Brothers, Grace and peace to you in the name of the risen Christ! I would like to invite you to participate in the Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Immigration Reform that will take place on April 25 at 11a.m. at St. Paul and St. Andrew UMC (263 W. 86th St.) in New York City. I am delighted to partner in this important work bringing awareness to the present issues that our immigrant brothers and sisters face every day. This Prayer Vigil is being sponsored by the NYAC Immigration ...

Lesbian pastor moves closer to church trial


By Kathy L. Gilbert and Heather Hahn April 5, 2016 | (UMNS) The Rev. Cynthia Meyer moved a step closer to a church trial after she and Bishop Scott Jones failed to agree on a just resolution to the complaint that she is a “self-avowed, practicing” homosexual. One option the Great Plains Conference bishop offered Meyer was that Edgerton United Methodist Church, where she is now pastor, could withdraw from the denomination and retain Meyer as pastor in a new denomination. Meyer rejected that ...

Slashed church budget heads to GC2016


By Heather Hahn April 4, 2016 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) The United Methodist Church’s lowest general church budget proposal in 16 years is now heading for a vote at the 2016 General Conference. Two denominational leadership bodies in the past week have agreed to propose a bottom-line budget of $599 million for general church funds in 2017-2020. General Conference — the denomination’s top policymaking body — establishes the total amount of money needed to support churchwide ministries. That ...

Interim Shared Eucharist Planned in New Paltz


An “interim shared eucharist” will be celebrated among the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on April 13 at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in New Paltz, N.Y. Bishop Andrew Dietsche of the Episcopal Diocese of New York will be the celebrant at the 6 p.m. service; Rev. Timothy Riss, superintendent of the Catskill Hudson District for the New York Conference of the United Methodist Church, will preach. The pastors and congregations ...

NYAC Summer Camps, Camping & Retreats Ready to Welcome You!


Summer Camp From second graders to senior high students, camp brings new experiences, creating friendships and memories that last a lifetime. Our three unique locations provide outdoor adventures from sailing, swimming, outdoor cooking, arts, hiking, and rock climbing. We offer day and overnight camps, including introductory opportunities for new campers. Join us this summer! For more information about the summer camp offerings and registration:   Kingswood, Hancock, NY http://www.kingswoodcamps...

Bishop Middleton's Easter Message


Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:   Grace and Peace to you in this Easter season. On March 8 and again on March 14, I spent several hours during long layovers in the Zaventem International Airport in Brussels while traveling to and from Sierra Leone. It is a beautiful, modern and serene facility. It is very passenger friendly. All of that changed in a moment on March 22, 2016, when two explosions wreaked unspeakable destruction on innocent people, killing and maiming dozens of women, men and ...

Top 10 church faux pas that turn off millennials


  By Jeremy Steele The reality in the church world is that many pastors are in a different generation than the millennials they are trying to reach. That can sometimes create tension between generations. Here is a quick list of faux pas compiled using current research and conversations with millennials across the U.S. to help you steer clear of the big ones. Top 10 church faux pas that turn off millennials and how to avoid them. 1. Politics Millennials are much more politically independent ...

Sierra Leone Conference begins with street celebration


United Methodist clergy lead the “march past,” marking the beginning of the 136th session of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference at Brown Memorial United Methodist Church. In the foreground are Bishops Jane Allen Middleton and John K. Yambasu. By Phileas Jusu and E. Julu Swen March 18, 2016 | FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UMNS) The first sessions of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference since the Ebola outbreak began with marching brass bands that brought together about 2,000 United Methodists. But the...

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