Vencuss At Work on Sandy Recovery Ministry

Disaster Recovery Ministries Team

October 07, 2013

  September 1, 2013 Dear Friends,                                                                                          It is with a profound sense of gratitude and privilege that I find myself back in the New York Conference after nearly three years in Haiti, serving now as the coordinator of disaster recovery ministries. Wendy and I (and our Haitian dog, Blackie) returned at the end of July and I formally assumed work on August 12. We have taken up residence in the Bellmore, N.Y., ...

Love & Affection May Help Ease the ‘Whys’

Jim Stinson, Consultant on Older Adult Ministries

October 01, 2013

“Grandpa, I wish Uncle Chay could be alive again.” So began yet another conversation with my newly minted, “now-I’m-six-years-old” grandson.” “I know you do Benjamin, we all wish the same thing, but it doesn’t work that way…” “Why?” Benjamin can be “fresh” in a bad way, but more often than not, he is “fresh” in the best sense of that word. At six years of age everything seems new to him. He still sees life through eyes of wonder. He still sees life as an adventure. But he also sees the ...

Seeing Our Lives Through Changed Eyes

Jim Stinson, Consultant on Older Adult Ministries

September 01, 2013

“And The Mountains Echoed” is a fascinating and disturbing novel by Khalem Hosseni, author of “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns.” In heart-wrenching detail, he tells the story of a family from Afghanistan who, over a 60-year period, continue to be affected by decisions made in earlier generations. It is a sometimes grim reminder that, while we are free to alter our responses to the events of our lives, thus changing ourselves in some real way, we are always to some extent the ...

Empathy Can Help Alleviate Aging Fears

Jim Stinson, Consultant on Older Adult Ministries

August 01, 2013

“May you live to be 120!”   This traditional Jewish birthday blessing comes from the book of Genesis (6:3). The Lord said, “My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”   There was a time when this wish was at best a metaphor and, at worst, trite and meaningless. The likelihood of living that long is still not reality for most of us, but it is increasingly more within the realm of possibility. We now have centenarians as an ...

Retirement Can Mean Start of Something New

Jim Stinson, Consultant on Older Adult Ministries

July 01, 2013

I had the privilege of attending a retirement event for a friend recently. He is, by normal standards, an older person. And with that standard comes certain societal assumptions—the attitude that he should retire, that he should not be in the work place. Presumably these assumptions are made purely on the basis of aging. What was so wonderful about this event is that it was the third time he retired. Someone evidently asked him if he was going to bow to the realities of aging and really retire ...

Martin D. McLee - Journeying with the Beloved Community

Previous Bishops

June 14, 2013

NYAC Family: I write to thank you for your support, participation, prayers and for the experience of community at the celebration of our 214th Session of the New York Annual Conference. Thank you for responding so well to new approaches to the experience of Annual Conference. I have received multiple notes of appreciation and compliments. All of the glory goes to God. It is with great expectation that I look forward to what God has in store for us next year! On our journey toward becoming the ...

Ministry to Elderly Starts With a Visit

Jim Stinson, Consultant on Older Adult Ministries

June 01, 2013

“I just don’t want to be alone!” He is nearly 90 years old and has just been told he is terminally ill, with a very short time to live. His fear of being alone as his earthly journey comes to an end is certainly not uncommon; nor is it limited to older people. Despite the fact that he has embraced a life of faith throughout his years; despite the fact that he believes there is life after death; and despite the fact that he knows he is surrounded by God’s love, he is still fearful! When he ...

Martin D. McLee - A Letter from Bishop McLee - Recent Tragic Events

Previous Bishops

May 22, 2013

The paradox that sometimes unfolds in nature has resulted in a tornado that has brought devastation to the state of Oklahoma. In the aftermath of the recent tornado, we are called to pray for the victims, the first responders and for the city of Moore, Oklahoma. In the New York area we have experienced similar natural catastrophes and we can testify that prayer is helpful. I invite you to pray.

Martin D. McLee - Issues Confronting the Church

Previous Bishops

May 07, 2013

Many of you may have read the recently published article in The New York Times that centered on same sex marriage and The United Methodist Church. The confidentiality requirements of the complaint process prevent me from discussing the case in detail. However, as is the case on many issues confronting the church today, there are multiple perspectives associated with human sexuality.

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