Santa teaches lesson in grace


Photo by Bokerbokblogg, courtesy of Pixabay Around Christmas time in Sweden, one of the biggest celebrations is St. Lucia’s Day celebrated by a girl dressing in a white dress with a red sash round her waist and a crown of candles on her head. By Kathy L. Gilbert Dec. 8, 2016 | UMNS Will Santa be wiggling down your chimney, or using his magic key to get into your home on Christmas Eve? Is he a distant relative of St. Nicholas, a generous saint/monk/bishop who secretly threw gold coins through ...

Grandma’s Kindness To Homeless Inspires Church Volunteer


The Church of the Village in New York City is thankful for the volunteers who keep their weekly community meal and food pantry going. One of the most stalwart is member Sheila Washington, who overcame homelessness and now comes to The Church of the Village twice a week to feed hungry neighbors. Washington says her grandmother told her to always help those in need.

Pipeline protest supporters cheer re-route ruling


By Sam Hodges and Doreen Gosmire December 5, 2016 | MITCHELL, S.D. (UMNS) United Methodists who supported the Standing Rock Sioux protest of the Dakotas Access Pipeline cheered the federal government’s decision to deny a construction easement under a dammed section of the Missouri River, and to look for alternative routes. “We’re so excited over the decision, and mindful of all the people who have worked so hard to get to this point,” said the Rev. David Wilson, superintendent of the Oklahoma ...

Update on Hurricane Matthew Relief in Haiti


December Newsletter By Tom & Wendy Vencuss Last Monday (November 21) we returned from a week-long, whirlwind trip to Haiti. Much of our time was spent in meetings, formal and informal. We met with Eglise Méthodiste D'Haiti  (EMH) leadership, Lauren James from UMCOR, Dr John and Sharon Harbottle, the EMH head engineer, the UMCOR agriculture specialist, Pastor Ezaus, and so many of our friends. While the visit was great, it was also hard, as Haiti is once again going through a difficult time as ...

#GivingTuesday is November 29


Tomorrow Is UMC #GivingTuesday! UMC #GivingTuesday is almost here! Tomorrow you can join with thousands of United Methodists to shine the light of Christ. When you give to The Advance, you give light, love, and life throughout the world. And more than that: you shed light, love, and life on your own heart. At you can browse and search more than 300 United Methodist missionaries and more than 800 United Methodist-related projects to find the best fit for your ...

Recalling The Past, Preparing For Future


October 12 worship service celebrates the 250th anniversary of the John Street UMC congregation.

Responding to Disaster – Wherever it Comes


Long-term recovery is just that . . . long. Saturday, October 29 marked the fourth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s devastating arrival on the northeastern shoreline. On that weekend, communities throughout New York and Connecticut gathered to remember, offer support, and recognize both the achievements and the challenges facing the continuing recovery effort. For too many families the anniversary represented the fourth year they have been unable to return home, or worse – the fourth year of ...

Yim Installed as LIE District Superintendent


Rev. Julia Yeon-Hee Yim was formally installed as superintendent of the Long Island East District in a joyous service on October 16.

Church & Society urges all to send Christmas cards to prisoners


Are you looking for a social justice project for Advent?  Need a church activity for the first Sunday of Advent? Join the Conference Board of Church and Society in sending Christmas greetings to incarcerated persons in our conference. All ages can take part in this Christmas activity. Here’s what you do: Go to the Conference Board of Church and Society page and find the “Christmas Card Project” section Download the Christmas cards in various designs and suggested greetings for the cards ...

The Journey Continues, ... Responding in a Post-Election World


Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 This week I have had a series of conversations with pastors in our annual conference regarding the events surrounding the recent presidential elections.  During the course of those visits, a similar statement emerged from each one – “What do you say when you don’t know what to say?” The events leading up to, surrounding, and following the elections will be studied and analyzed for years to come.  Those events go deeper than two candidates.  This was a vote that revealed ...

How to support the military on Veterans day and beyond


By Tricia Brown According to the Department of Defense, in 2015, 266 active-duty members of the United States military committed suicide. So did another 209 reserve members. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimated in its 2012 Suicide Data Report that about 22 American veterans killed themselves each day. Those are frightening statistics; the numbers are staggering. Other research indicates that as many as 20 percent of veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, while many others...

Jazz-playing pastor keeps the faith and the beat


Photo by Edmar Flores, Third Eye Photography The Rev. Nat Dixon plays at Manhattan’s West End Lounge, during an Oct. 22 release party for his new CD “Made in New York: Nat Dixon & Friends.” Dixon is pastor of St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church in the Bronix, N.Y.   By Sam Hodges Nov. 9, 2016 | UMNS The Rev. Nat Dixon used to be a full-time jazz musician, and he never preaches without first picking up his tenor saxophone and riffing a bit. Blending the gospel message with jazz is what he’s ...

Moving on after Election Day: Tips for finding healing and peace


Reconciliation can be difficult after a period of conflict. Experts help us find ways to reconnect. Reconciliation by Vasconcellos. Photo by Martinvl, courtesy Wikimedia Commons A Feature by Joe Iovino* November 9, 2016 has finally arrived. The votes have been counted and the United States has a new president-elect. After more than a year of campaigning, it’s over. Or is it? The Rev. W. Craig Gilliam helps us find ways to reconnect after times of conflict. Photo courtesy of the Rev. ...

New York Board Responds to Ruling on Gay Ordination


By Linda Bloom and Vicki Brown Nov. 4, 2016 | NEW YORK (UMNS) The recent Judicial Council decision related to a New York Conference bishop’s ruling on gay ordination issues has prompted statements from the conference board of ordained ministry, the current bishop and advocacy groups. New York was one of two conferences — the other was Northern Illinois — where the top court of The United Methodist Church asked for a further ruling from bishops regarding public affirmations by boards of ordained...

An Open Letter from the Chair of the New York Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:   Over the past few days, members of the New York Annual Conference (NYAC) of The United Methodist Church, especially members of its Board of Ordained Ministry, (BOOM) have awaited the Judicial Council’s decision regarding an appeal submitted by a member of the NYAC. Central to this case is a well-known phrase coming from the Book of Discipline (BOD), “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing ...

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