"Write the vision clearly on the tablets, that one may read it on the run." — Habakkuk
The Vision
The Newspaper of The New York Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. April, 2015

In this issue:

Skeeters Framed By IGNITE Campers

A bit of fabric, netting, and pipe cleaners came together with youthful creativity when the teens attending the IGNITE weekend created a video for Imagine No Malaria. Costumes were made and nets hung for the video that will shown during the mission celebration at annual conference. The youth gathered on Palm Sunday weekend at Camp Quinipet.

The conference is making one last push to reach the $1.2 million that it pledged for the denomination’s campaign to eradicate the deadly disease in Africa. April 25, which is World Malaria Day, has been targeted for fundraising efforts.

Call to 2015 Conference Goes Out

Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

What joy it will be to gather as clergy and lay members for the 216th session of the New York Annual Conference from June 10 to 13 at Hofstra University! Our theme this year is “Dancing with the Spirit: Conference as a Means of Grace.”

My prayer is that this will truly be a grace-filled, spiritually renewing encounter with Christ, present in one another and in our midst. One of the great joys will be the fulfillment of our goal of $1. 2 million dollars for the Imagine No Malaria campaign!

From our opening worship to inspirational speakers including Greg Jones, former dean of Duke Divinity School, and Bishop Ernest S. Lyght, former bishop of the New York Annual Conference, to important decision-making to ordination, we pray that our hearts will be strangely warmed. May this be an experience that will carry us into the coming year with renewed vigor to fulfill the mission of the church, “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

In Christ’s love,
Bishop Jane Allen Middleton

Skip down to "2015 Annual Conference — What You Need to Know"

4/20–21 Multicultural Leadership Training
If you are clergy, a lay pastor, or a member of a District Committee on Ordained Ministry or conference Board of Ordained Ministry and you have not fulfilled your anti-racism requirement, this is your opportunity. “Effective Christian Leadership in a Multicultural World” is sponsored by the NYAC Commission on Religion and Race, and runs from 8:30 a.m. Monday until 4 p.m. Tuesday. The cost is covered by the commission. You must be present the entire time to receive credit for the training. A summary will be forwarded to the cabinet. The location is the Stony Point Center, 17 Crickettown Rd., Stony Point, NY 10980. Register online at www.nyac.com/eventdetail/67378. Contact Roena Littlejohn with any questions at: bobsroe@optimum.net, or 203-331-9653.

Spring VBS “G Force” Previews
Come and take part in an exciting hands-on workshop for this summer’s Cokesbury Vacation Bible School program. Activities will include crafts, music, games, safe sanctuaries and much more. Make connections with other churches to share resources and supplies. Refreshments will be served. This event is free but registration is required. All workshops will be from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact Cassandra Negri at childrensministry@nyac-umc.com to register.

  • April 25: Vail’s Gate UMC, 854 Blooming Grove Turnpike/ Route 94, New Windsor, N.Y.
  • May 9: New Milford UMC, 68 Danbury Road, New Milford, Conn.

4/29 Boundaries & Sexual Ethics Training
Long Island East District Superintendent Adrienne Brewington will lead this training, which is mandatory for all clergy, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the NYAC Learning Center, 20 Soundview Avenue, White Plains, N.Y. Contact Brewington at RevvyBrew@aol.com for additional details.

5/15–16 “Day of Dance” Conference
The Spirit Builders Ministry of the NYAC is sponsoring this event at the New Rochelle UMC. No dance experience is necessary; choose from five different classes that will meet from 6–9 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $20 per person; or $15 person for a group of five or more. Registration form and more information can be found at www.nyac.com/eventdetail/1003823. Contact Rev. Sheila Beckford at sheila.beckford@nyac-umc.com with any questions.

5/16 Sower: Seeds of Faith & Finance
Ed Ruppman, a strategic planner, is bringing this program of
financial planning with a Christian perspective to the Simsbury UMC from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Ruppman considers this free service as ministry; nothing will be sold at these sessions. The program is for both pastors
and laity concerned about their finances. The church is at 799 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, Conn. Contact Jon Gice at jon_gice@sbcglobal.net to register.

5/16 Mozambique Luncheon
The Mozambique-NYAC sister connection will be celebrated with a lunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the NYAC Learning Center, 20 Soundview Avenue, White Plains, N.Y. Contact Annette Griffith, at annette griffith@earthlink.net, for additional details.

5/17 City Society Annual Meeting
New Jerusalem UMC will host the society’s annual meeting at 3:30 p.m. Featured speaker will be Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, senior minister at Middle Collegiate Church, New York, N.Y., and the executive director of The Middle Project, an institute that prepares ethical leaders for a more just society. The church is located at 484 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. For more info and to register, go to www.nyac.com/eventdetail/818132.

6/10–13 Gathering for Annual Conference
Clergy and laity will comes together at Hofstra University for the 216th session of the New York Annual Conference. With a theme, “Dancing with the Spirit: Conference as a Means of Grace,” the event will begin with a joint worship service for clergy and laity at 1 p.m. Wednesday. For additional details see the stories above and below, to register go to www.nyac.com/ac.

7/23–25 Mission u
This year’s program will explore “Journeying to Wholeness, Holiness, and Happiness,” as it convenes at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. The Saturday sampler for those looking for a one-day program will also be offered. For details and registration, go to www.nyac.com/eventdetail/910766.

More events available on the NYAC calendar>>

Got an Event to Share?

We welcome the opportunity to help publicize events that have a wide appeal to people across the conference in The Vision. To make it easier to publish your event, please send the information as a simple Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx suffix). Do not send it as a completed flyer, poster or as a PDF. Your event information will most likely appear on the “Save the Date” page. Email the event details directly to vision@nyac.com, and be sure to include contact information. The deadline for all the remaining 2015 issues is the first Friday of each month, with posting to the web site approximately 10 days later.

2015 Annual Conference What You Need to Know


Register online at www.nyac.com/ac as soon as possible, or no later than May 27. There will be no onsite registration at Hofstra this year. Those who register before May 1 receive a $25 discount; those who register after will pay $250.

The one-day fee for clergy retirees and spouses for Thursday, June 11, is $20 per person. The cost for the mission dinner on Friday night is $25 per person. Register online for both of these events.

Please remember that your registration is not complete until payment has been received—either by receipt of your check or by credit card at the time of online registration.

To Be Excused

Per ¶602.8 BOD 2012, “It is the duty of every member and all provisional members and local pastors of the annual conference to attend its sessions . . . Any person unable to attend shall report by letter to the conference secretary, setting forth the reason for the absence.” Please note lay members are included in this requirement. Email messages to Fred Jackson at confsecy@nyac.com are acceptable.

If you have already registered and cannot attend, refunds will be sent after the June gathering to those who notify Barbara Eastman at website@nyac.com, and Conference Secretary Fred Jackson at confsecy@nyac.com by May 29.

Wednesday, June 10

10 a.m. Check-in begins

1 p.m. Opening worship celebration and communion for all clergy and laity

7 p.m. Clergy session in Student Center multipurpose room

7 p.m. Laity session with interactive presentation, “Caring for the Whole Person: A Holistic Approach,” in the arena

Thursday, June 11

6 a.m. Blueprint for Wellness health screenings for clergy and spouses

6:15 a.m. Morning worship and communion in the Greenhouse

Thursday (cont)

10:15 a.m. Memorial service and communion

7 p.m. Celebration of retirement

8:30 p.m. Celebration of the NYAC as a “Means of Grace”

Friday, June 12

6 a.m. Blueprint for Wellness health screenings for clergy and spouses

6:15 a.m. Morning worship and communion in the Greenhouse

8:30 a.m. Act of Repentance service in the arena

5 p.m. Mission dinner in the Greenhouse

7 p.m. Celebration of mission and Imagine No Malaria campaign

Saturday, June 13

10 a.m. Service of recognizing, commissioning and ordination

Worship Volunteers

The 2012 General Conference resolved that all annual conferences shall hold an Act of Repentance service as a part of our efforts to create and continue reconciling relationships with Native American people in our churches and communities. This service will be at 8:30 a.m., June 12, in the Hofstra Arena. If you are interested in participating in the planning of this service, or any other aspect of annual conference worship, please contact Rev. Heather Sinclair at heather.sinclair@nyac-umc.com.

Reports, Petitions and Resolutions

All annual conference reports (not more than 700 words), resolutions and petitions to appear in the pre-conference booklet are due April 29 and should be sent to Conference Secretary Fred Jackson at confsecy@nyac.com.

Petitions to the 2016 General Conference desiring approval from the annual conference must be submitted by April 15, eight weeks before the start of annual conference. They should be sent to the conference secretary

at the email address above. (See related story below.)

The pre-conference reports and petitions will be posted as they come in at www.nyac.com/ac.

Shirley Parris Service Award

Nominees may be either lay or clergy persons who have demonstrated a consistent pattern of faithful, uncompensated service and tireless devotion to Jesus Christ and the United Methodist connection.

Nominations for the 2015 Award are to be received no later than May 1 and emailed to Conference Lay Leader Renata Smith at Renata.Smith@nyac-umc.com. Each nomination should include a descriptive resume of that individual’s service to his or her local church, the district, annual conference, jurisdiction and the general church.

Relief-Supply Kits

Relief-supply kits help provide care for the most vulnerable people during times of crisis. UMCOR collects seven types of kits for distribution in the United States and across the globe. These kits will be collected
on Wednesday and Thursday in the arena, and shipped out on Friday.
For information about building a relief-supply kit, go to:
www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies. Note: We are not collecting cleaning buckets at annual conference.

Live Streaming

Live streaming of all of the events in the arena will begin at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10, with the combined opening worship for clergy and laity. All plenary events will be live streamed through a link available on the NYAC web site.

Cabinet Donates $40,000+ To Imagine No Malaria

Members of the extended cabinet of the New York Annual Conference have raised more than $40,000 in personal donations for the Imagine No Malaria campaign. This information was celebrated at the cabinet’s April 7 meeting, after the group totaled their donations.

With the cabinet’s offering and the donations raised in response to a recent appeal letter from Bishop Jane Allen Middleton, the conference is now more than halfway in its campaign to raise $1.2 million for the worldwide effort to eradicate malaria.

Churches are being asked to donate $10 per member by the time of annual conference on June 10–13. At 7 p.m., Friday, June 12, we will celebrate what we have raised in donations and pledges. For fundraising ideas and World Malaria Day (April 25) resources, go to the Imagine No Malaria web site: http://imaginenomalaria.org/page/bring-change.

Help to Prepare for Annual Conference

Lay members of the New York Annual Conference play a pivotal role in our gathering at Hofstra University each year as well as in their local churches. They give of their time and gifts to serve Christ and the church by interpreting the work of the annual conference to their respective congregations. Of course, all members of annual conference do this, but this is addressed mainly to lay members.

If you are a lay member to annual conference, you were probably chosen because you possess spiritual gifts such as servanthood, teaching, and generosity. Previous to your being elected, someone recognized that you showed an interest in learning about the issues that confront the church and that you possess both good listening and communication skills. You are active in your local church. Does this describe you? Remember that many times, others see gifts in you that you do not always realize in yourself!

On June 10–13, you will join the other members of annual conference at Hofstra for a time of holy conferencing under the theme: “Dancing with the Spirit: Conference as a Means of Grace.”

The laity session will be all about taking care of you! An exciting and informative time is being planned. This year, conference will open with a combined clergy/laity worship celebration and Holy Communion at 1 p.m. in the arena.

Attendance as a lay member is a privilege that comes with responsibilities. One of these is that you are required to be present at all sessions. This is very important. If you are unable to attend, a letter must be written to the conference secretary stating the reason for the absence.

Please make sure that the alternate lay member is available to take your place if you are unable to attend. Last year, we had an unbelievably large number of lay members who were absent. We do not want to have a repeat of that this year. Your presence does make a difference!

Now is the time to make the necessary preparations so that conference is successful.

• Registration is now open. Register early! You should have received your Call to Conference in the mail by now. If you did not, you can download it from the conference web site, www.nyac.com/ac. It has relevant information for you.

• Read the preconference reports and petitions that will be posted on the web site.

• Attend the preconference briefing that we are asking all districts to place on their annual meeting agendas.

• Download and read the “Lay Member Guide to Annual Conference” from the conference web site at ww.nyac.com/laity. This was prepared just for you by the Board of Laity.

If you are preparing a report or a petition to annual conference, please note that they must be submitted to the

conference secretary confsecy@nyac.com by April 29.

Please pray for the June proceedings. The Board of Laity has taken very seriously the matter of praying and seeking God’s guidance and direction regarding annual conference.

Under the leadership of Warren Whitlock, lay speaker from the Connecticut District, you may call in to join a five-minute devotional at 6:55 a.m., Monday to Friday, from May 4 to June 5. This brief time of worship and prayer will be led by laypersons. Please call 605-475 4700, and use the access code 191759#.

You are an important connection between your church and the annual conference.

“The lay member(s) of the annual conference, along with the pastor, shall serve as the interpreter of the actions of the annual conference session. These persons shall report to the local church council on actions of the annual conference as soon as possible, but not later than three months after the close of the conference.” (Paragraph 251.2, page 176 The Book of Discipline, 2012)

Your willingness to serve God and your local church by being a lay member to annual conference is a testament to your dedication and commitment to Christ and the church. Please call, text or email me with any questions, comments or concerns.

Plan to be present! Prepare! Pray!

Renata Smith
NYAC Lay Leader

GBGM Missionaries Available for Church Visits
Three missionaries with the General Board of Global Ministries will be itinerating in the New York area this summer and early fall and are available to speak at local churches. They are:

• Grace and Jay Choi from the Philippines are available from June 17–25. Grace serves as a community health worker to community outreach programs of Harris Memorial College. She also teaches piano and voice at the school. Jay is serving at Union Theological Seminary, Dasmarinas, Cavite. His work is with the seminary’s Center for Geocentric Ministries where issues of land justice and ecology are researched and taught. Both the Chois are supported by a covenant agreement with the New York Conference. Their last blog can be read at: www.nyac.com/blogdetail/489444.

• David Guinkpa is the mission finance auditor for Central Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya, and is available September 10–17. Guinkpa who travels throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Tanzania, and Zambia, is well versed in mission projects, UMCOR, and the cultures of several countries. A native of Monrovia, Liberia, he was commissioned as a missionary in 2007. Guinkpa presently has no connections with U.S. churches and no missionary support.

To schedule a missionary visit with your church please contact Jill Wilson, the NYAC’s covenant relationship volunteer at missionaries@nyac-umc.com.

Petition Submission Begins for GC 2016

Petitions for consideration by the 2016 General Conference may be submitted to the Petitions Secretary through October 13, 2015.

According to church law, “Any organization, clergy member, or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference...”

Detailed instructions for submitting a petition are available on the General Conference web site at gc2016.umc.org. Petitions must be typed and may be submitted through the General Conference web site, by postal mail, or via e-mail to petitions@
. This e-mail address should be used for petition submission only. Petitions submitted without digital media need to be submitted by July 1, 2015 to allow time for transcription and translation.

The mailing address for petitions (hard copy accompanied, if possible, by digital version on CD or USB drive) is:

Rev. Gary Graves, petitions secretary
United Methodist General Conference 2016
230 2nd Street, Paris, KY 40361

Eligible petitions are given numbers and assigned to one of 12 legislative committees or the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters. The committees will debate the proposals and determine whether to approve, amend, combine or reject them for recommendation to the full body of General Conference.

When submitting a petition, you must indicate whether a petition has “general church budget implications,” meaning a petition that causes the need for funding through the general church apportionments. Such petitions require review by the General Council on Finance and Administration to verify if the funding is already included under the recommended quadrennial budget.

Submitters must also indicate whether a petition has “global implications,”

meaning it is a constitutional amendment, has a direct effect on the global work of general agencies, places requirements or expectations on all annual conferences, districts, or churches, or speaks to societal concerns regardless of the particular form of secular government.

Questions about the petition submission process may be submitted by e-mail to Rev. Graves, petitions secretary, at petitionsquestions@

General Conference Volunteers

Volunteers are needed for a variety of roles during the 2016 General Conference, which will meet in Portland, Oregon from May 10–20, 2016. At this time, volunteers are needed for the following positions: 28 recorders, 10 channel “B” identifiers and 20 verbatim transcribers/copy editors.

• Recorders will serve as members of the staff of the secretary of the General Conference and work in direct support of their assigned legislative committee. Recorders are responsible for entering data such as the time, date, and results of committee votes, as well as making changes to pre-entered petition text to reflect the amendments approved by the committee. The recorder is not responsible for taking minutes or tracking the discussion of the legislative committee.

• Channel “B” identifiers will serve as members of the staff of the editor of the Daily Christian Advocate (DCA), the official record of the activity of the General Conference. Channel “B”

identifiers will follow action of the plenary, repeating delegates’ names, annual conferences and vote tallies into a microphone.

• Verbatim transcribers/copy editors also serve as members of the staff of the editor of the DCA. They are responsible for using Microsoft Word to enter data. They will listen to audio files and transcribe the recordings.

All volunteers are responsible for their own travel and expenses. Those interested can apply here now through July 1, 2015.

Marshals, Pages Needed

Volunteers can now apply online before July 31 to serve as marshals or pages during the United Methodist Church’s 2016 General Conference. The denomination’s top legislative assembly will meet in Portland, Oregon, May 10–20, 2016.

Approximately 150 volunteers are needed in these positions; preference will be given to applicants who can serve throughout the entire conference.

Marshals are responsible for assisting visitors and special guests in the seating galleries, checking credentials to make sure that only authorized persons are admitted to the bar of the conference or that of legislative committees, and other duties as assigned.

Pages assist delegates, secretarial staff, bishops, members of the Judicial Council and official visitors. They distribute approved materials and deliver printed information.

Volunteers are responsible for their own travel and expenses. Those interested should submit an online application that can be found at www.umc.org/who-we-are/general-conference-2016. If you have additional questions, contact Dick Hooton at revshoot@gmail.com.

Ruiz to Lead Camps for Summer

The Camps Governing Board has announced that Lauren Ruiz has been appointed interim director of Quinipet Camp and Retreat Center starting May 1 through September 30. The conference is currently seeking a full-time executive director to replace Greg Nissen who is leaving that position on April 30 (see job listing below).

Ruiz has been the administrative director at Quinipet for the last 10 years and is looking forward to serving as director for the summer. The camps board has every confidence that Quinipet will be in good hands during this period of transition.

Camps/Retreats Director Sought

The New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is seeking a full-time executive director of our Camping and Retreat Ministries.

The executive director is the on-site director of Quinipet Camp and Retreat Center, a year-round facility on Shelter Island, N.Y., with oversight and support for Kingswood Campsite, a seasonal campsite in Hancock, N.Y. The ministry encourages Christian community and spiritual growth through overnight summer camp and year round retreats, and works to develop and nurture the leaders of tomorrow. The executive director guides staff and volunteers in partnership with the Camps Governing Board to accomplish overall goals.

Must agree to live on-site, year round at Camp Quinipet, on Shelter Island, N.Y. Some travel within the New York Annual Conference area is expected.

For more details, go to www.nyac.com/classifieds. Application deadline is April 30. Expected start is September 2015.

Ministry of Memory: Telling Our Stories

Do you know who first organized your church? Why did it come into being? Who attended your church over the years? What church activities did they participate in? How did the congregation serve the wider community? You may know the location of your church’s membership, baptism, and marriage books, but do you know the stories behind the names in those registers?

You may be thinking, “Well, that might be interesting, but what do these questions have to do with my church today?” The answer is that there is both inspiration to be gained and lessons to be learned from the past. Discovering and sharing the stories of your church’s past can create connections across years and generations that will inspire renewed faith and ministry. The NYAC Commission on Archives and History (CAH) has recently embarked upon a journey that emphasizes discovering and sharing the stories of the conference and the local church.

The C. Wesley Christman Archives, home to collections documenting the New York Annual Conference’s rich history, is guided by the NYAC CAH and has for several years been helping local churches organize their records through records management workshops, distribution of records management guidelines, and on-site assistance. This has helped numerous churches preserve the stories found in those written documents and record books. However, it is also important to look beyond the record books, both to identify additional records that will help tell the story and to devise methods for sharing the stories that have been discovered.

In 2014, the CAH shared the story of the first two Hispanic Methodist churches in our conference. Part of that project involved collecting stories through oral history interviews and gathering

additional historical records such as photographs. These efforts cast new light on some little known events in the histories of both churches, and both churches were recognized at annual conference for their accomplishments (see www.nyac.com/

On May 12–14, the NYAC CAH will host the Northeastern Jurisdiction Commission on Archives and History (NEJCAH) meeting, to be held at the UMC of Westport and Weston, and the Westport Inn in Westport, Conn. The meeting’s theme is “Telling Our Stories,” and activities will include a musical sermon by Rev. Kristina Hansen; the story of Rev. John Mars, the first African American received in the New England Conference, which will be presented by Pat Thompson in memory of Bishop Martin McLee; a day-long tour of Methodist-related sites in the New Haven/Westport area; a presentation by Jerry Eyster on United Methodist stories of struggle, ministry, mission, and faith; and finally, a workshop by well-known storyteller Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi on techniques to share our faith stories with our congregations and communities.

Anyone in our conference with an interest in Methodist history is welcome to attend the NEJCAH meeting. See www.nyac.com/nejcah2015meeting for more information about the meeting and to register. The CAH hopes that the

meeting will inspire the archivists, historians, and others who attend to think about and share their own faith stories and their churches’ stories. Keep an eye out for additional workshops and programs about telling Methodist stories in future.

Collecting, Sharing Local Church Stories

 Do oral history interviews with older members. Record and transcribe these.

 Look for old photographs, scrapbooks, minutes of church clubs and organizations, or other items that tell the story of church life.

 Encourage members to look through their attics and basements for church-related items.

 Ask members to identify and date photos and scrapbooks. Ask about the stories behind these items, and write them down.

 Hold a “history night” in which volunteers tell stories of the church and its members.

 Collaborate with a local historical society (and other local churches) to share the religious history of the community through storytelling.

Joining Together for Change

After seven months of training, a group of dedicated volunteers in Kingston, N.Y., were commissioned on March 21 for service with Communities of Shalom through Drew University. The group, known as Midtown Rising, met at the Clinton Avenue UMC with national trainer, Rev. David Cooper, at right rear in photo. The group will join their unique gifts and those of their associates to improve the quality of life in their midtown neighborhood that is home to both the St. James UMC and the Clinton Avenue church.

Encounter with Christ Launches New Initiative

With the naming of a new mission interpreter and three recent large gifts, the Encounter with Christ in Latin America and the Caribbean ministry is poised to make an even greater difference for the Methodist churches throughout that region.

Rev. David L. Harvin began work this month as the mission interpreter for the Encounter with Christ’s permanent fund. The interpreter of mission is the chief fundraiser and communicator for this ministry in conjunction with the General Board of Global Ministries.

Harvin has been an elder for 38 years in the North Carolina Annual Conference, and served as their coordinator for the Imagine No Malaria campaign. Harvin also helped initiate Project Agape in Armenia, and was director of development for the General Board of Church and Society for two years.

The permanent mission fund was begun in 1992 as a means to support ministries with partner churches across

Rev. Wilson Boots, right, introduces Rev. David Harvin as the new mission interpreter for the Encounter with Christ permanent fund.

Latin America and the Caribbean. Rev. Wilson Boots, now a retired elder in theNew York Annual Conference, was its first interpreter of mission as part of his missionary assignment in Latin America from 1993 to 2012. Since reaching the $1 million mark in 2006, the fund has provided more than $700,000 in support from returns on its investments. Three recent gifts put the fund over the $2 million mark. The advisory board has also set an ambitious goal of raising an additional $1 million in the next three years.

Encounter with Christ is working to extend community-based health care into rural communities as one of its priorities. The fund also supports evangelism, new church development, and meeting the needs of women, children and youth. Countries engaged in ministry partnerships through Encounter with Christ include Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and Panama.

“It took us over 20 years to reach the $2 million dollar threshold,” Harvin said. “We are going to raise $1 million in the next three years to secure this vital ministry . . . This is legacy giving, your gift to the permanent fund will live forever. Many of our former missionaries in Latin America and the Caribbean have been significant contributors, and we will be working with them to secure this fund for the future.”

Harvin can be contacted at DHarvin@nccumc.org. To give to the permanent fund, go to www.umcmission.org and select Advance #14729A.

"God Talk" May Hinder Caring Ministry

By Rev. Jim Stinson
Consultant for Older Adult Ministries

Jim Stinson

After knocking on his door and asking permission to come in, I introduced myself to a new resident at Wicke Health Center, where I am the director of spiritual life. His response was similar to those I’ve heard many times over since taking this position. “You may not want to talk to me. I do not go to church, am not religious, and am not sure I believe in God.”

“Well, I did not come to push church going or religious beliefs, I came to say hello, hopefully to get to know you, and to let you know I am always available to you.”

“Oh,” he said, “If that is all you want, have a seat.”

Jim Stinson

The rest of the visit was most interesting. He, voluntarily, shared more of himself during that first visit than expected. It did not take long before he raised the issue of religion, of his spiritual journey (what he referred to as “what makes sense out of my life.”) Out of that, lively discussions have grown as well as a meaningful relationship.
The impressive thing about this story is a growing awareness for me, as a United Methodist pastor, is that church talk, God talk, and other such language often speaks to our own needs and comfort levels rather than the needs of the one to whom we are ministering. It can shut down conversation even before it begins.

Meeting a person on his or her turf is far more productive. It more easily opens the door to a person’s spiritual journey and needs. It more easily opens the door for effective ministry. Notice how

few of Jesus’ healing encounters with persons in need centered on temple language. Notice how often Jesus opened the doors to deeply meaningful conversations using the language of love.

For those of us seeking to minister to and with older adults, it is good to remember that most people are only too happy to talk about their spiritual journey. Especially if our language and approach is non-threatening; especially if they sense we are not ‘pushing’ our religious agenda, and really want to hear their story! There is always the possibility that even church people are uncomfortable with church language and creedal witness.
Does this mean that there is no place for such language and witness? Of course not! It is a matter of when it is appropriate.

From personal experience allow me to witness to what I experience almost daily. When, and only when, people feel that we are truly listening and using language that is comfortable to them, will they share their inner selves and bare their souls. Then and only then are they able to grasp the relevance of our faith and connect it to their own life stories, which is surely the goal of a caring ministry.

WellSprings Journal Available Online

“WellSprings: A Journal of United Methodist Clergywomen” is now available online at www.wellspringsjournal.org. The need for “an instrument of some kind that could not only connect, but bond United Methodist clergywomen in a new and exciting way” was recognized 34 years after full clergy rights for women were granted in 1956. The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry has published WellSprings since 1988.


Youth Minister
Hamptons UMC, located in Southampton, N.Y., is seeking a youth leader/minister/pastor to oversee their youth department. This is a stipend position that requires attendance two days per week; Sunday mornings and one evening. If interested, please call the church office at 631-283-0951 to speak to Rev. Leslie Duroseau.

Frontier Foundation Director
The United Methodist Frontier Foundation is seeking president/executive director, responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Foundation’s mission and vision in the States of New York, Connecticut and neighboring areas. As chief executive officer (CEO) of the Foundation, the executive director supervises all Foundation staff and implements programs and services. In addition, the CEO plans, implements, and supervises programs in the areas of asset management, fundraising, stewardship education, and planned giving. For additional information go to www.nyac.com/classifieds.

Record Number of Conferences at 100% Giving

UMNS—If The United Methodist Church had a “Paid in Full” rubber stamp it would likely need more ink.

That’s because—looking at recent years at least—a record number of conferences have paid 100 percent of their apportionments, part of an overall bright picture in denominational giving.

In 2014, 25 of 57 U.S. annual conferences paid full apportionments to support the national and international ministries of the general church. That number is up from 20 in both 2012 and 2013, and it’s the highest number in at least 10 years—the period of time for which the General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination’s finance agency, has ready records. 

The previous high was in 2007 when 23 conferences paid in full—just before the world economic crisis. At the time, the denomination had more than 60 conferences in the United States.

Apportionments are the share each conference or local church pays to support international, national and regional missions. At the general church level, the money supports bishops, United Methodist ministerial education, most general agencies and denomination-wide efforts such as the Black College Fund and Africa University in Zimbabwe. The offering also pays for the work of United Methodist News Service.

The number of conferences in the 100 percent club is not the only positive sign.

Preliminary figures from the General Council on Finance and Administration show 2014 United Methodist giving to support the denomination is up almost across the board.

Last year, United Methodists gave more than $130 million to general church funds, nearly 91 percent of the requested apportionments. That’s an increase from 2013 when United Methodists gave $128.6 million to general church funds, an apportionment-collection rate of just under 90 percent.

The denomination’s budget for general funds is based on the assumption that 86 percent of apportionments will be collected.

In 2014, giving also grew for five of the six Special Sundays—special offerings scheduled throughout the year to support various ministries of the church. Only Native American Ministries Sunday, which supports Native American seminary students and congregations, saw a downturn in remittances from 2013.  

The following U.S. conferences paid full general church apportionments in 2014: Alaska, Baltimore-Washington, Central Texas, Desert Southwest, East Ohio, Greater New Jersey, Holston, Illinois Great Rivers, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, New England, North Carolina, Oklahoma Indian Missionary, Oregon-Idaho, Peninsula-Delaware, Rio Grande, Rocky Mountain, Susquehanna, Tennessee, Western Pennsylvania, West Michigan, West Ohio and West Virginia.

Society Seeks $ for Mongolia Center Repairs

Korean Community Associate

I attended the Mongolia Mission seminar February 23 and 24 at the Arcola Korean United Methodist Church in New Jersey. Rev. Dr. Timothy Ahn, president of the Mongolia Mission Society since 2002 and senior pastor at Arcola, hosted the event. Some 30 people attended including UMC pastors and laity from New Jersey and the greater New York area. Two other colleagues from the NYAC—Rev. Paul Moon, and Rev. Jongbum Lee—also attended.

At the opening worship, Bishop Jeremiah Park, who is the episcopal leader for both Mongolia, and the Susquehanna Conference, mentioned the mission spirit of the Korean Church that was given by God through the United Methodist Church 130 years ago. It is also our duty to pay back the debt through our love mission; “go-send-support” would be our mission theme for the glory of God.

Rev. Myungim Kim, who is the coordinator of the Asia-Pacific Mission for the General Board of Global Ministries, reported that seven churches had been established and were being served by four Korean missionaries.

She reported that the United Methodist Mission Center of Mongolia, a building purchased in 2002, has never been used because of needed repairs. But recently the city of Ulaanbaatar has threatened to rebuke the center’s land use permit unless the repairs are made as soon as possible.

It will require an estimated $150,000 in U.S. dollars to renovate the building. According to Dr. Sangchun Lee, who came to the gathering from a Korean UMC in Detroit, the center would be an ideal location to open a medical clinic similar to the YonSei University’s Severance Hospital that was built by United Methodist missionaries in Seoul, Korea.

The mission society members discussed how best to help the mission center and agreed to send out an urgent request to Korean United Methodist churches for funds to repair the roof. The UMMC may also request that Ulaanbaatar postpone the planned closing date for the center.

The mission society is also planning a trip to Mongolia from August 25–31, at a cost of $2000 per person.

New Leader Named For UM Communications

Daniel Krause, a former corporate communications executive who is also a candidate for ordination, will take the helm of United Methodist Communications on June 8.

Krause brings more than 11 years of management experience at Frontier Airlines, where he was most recently vice president of marketing and customer experience.

In his new role, Krause will oversee the agency charged with meeting the messaging, public relations and marketing needs of the 12.8 million-member global denomination. He also will be the publisher of United Methodist News Service. Krause will succeed the Rev. Larry Hollon, whose tenure ended April 1 after 15 years as the agency’s top executive.

“He has many of the things we were looking for,” Chicago Area Bishop Sally Dyck, president of the denomination’s Commission on Communication, said April 6 in announcing Krause’s selection. That includes experience in finance and team leadership, as well as marketing and branding. “We’re excited that he also is on track to be ordained.”

She said the commission elected Krause from a field of more than 500 candidates.

Since 2013, Krause has attended United Methodist Iliff School of Theology in Denver, where he has completed more than two-thirds of the credits required for a Master of Divinity degree. He is currently an elder candidate in the Rocky Mountain Conference.

He also has spent the past two years at Denver’s Trinity United Methodist Church as a pastoral intern supporting evangelism and new-member outreach.

Latest New Appointments

Halley Low to North Shore UMC; Low currently serves Wesley UMC in Franklin Square.

Iwy Patel-Yatri to UMC at Shrub Oak; Patel-Yatri currently serves Great Hill.

Peter Preiser to West Granby UMC as district hire: Preiser is currently unappointed.

Alexandre da Silva-Souto to New Milford UMC; Souto currently serves Trinity UMC in South Meriden, Conn.

Jeffry Wells to UMC of the Village; Wells currently serves Community UMC of Massapequa.

John Joon Woo Lee to Great Hill UMC; Lee currently serves Higganum and Rocky Hill.

Seungho Shin to Morningside UMC; Shin currently serves as associate pastor at First UMC of Stamford.

David Czeisel to Bayport UMC; Czeisel currently serves Village Church of Bayville and Carpenter Memorial UMC (Glen Cove).

Lynn Hazel to Dix Hills UMC; Hazel currently serves Memorial UMC of Modena, N.Y.

Soon Kook Ahn to Rocky Hill UMC and Higganum UMC; Ahn currently serves Hamden Plains.

Chung Ho James Kim to UM Korean Church of Central Queens; Kim currently serves Korean Church of Atlanta UMC in Duluth, Ga.

Susan Chupungco to Sugar Loaf UMC and Goshen UMC; Chupungco currently serves Sugar Loaf (LFT).

Won Tack Lee to the Trinity UMC in South Meriden, Conn. (LFT); Lee currently serves Dix Hills (LFT).

Robert Leibold to Grace UMC in Lindenhurst (LFT); Leibold currently serves Bethpage UMC (LFT) and Simpson UMC in Amityville (LFT). He will remain appointed (LFT) to the church formed by the merger of Bethpage and Simpson.

Paul Fleck to Hamden Plains UMC. Rev. Fleck currently serves New Milford.

Stephen Shick to Jefferson UMC and Brimstone UMC, which are both a part of the Mountain Valley Larger Parish. Shick, a retired elder, is currently unappointed.

The full list of announced appointments can be found here: www.nyac.com/2015newappointments

15 Clergy Plan 2015 Retirement

Bishop Jane Allen Middleton has announced that the following clergy members will retire at the end of this conference year:

Estella Voner Abel

Walter C. Barton, Jr.

Susan Chadwick

Jacob S. Dharmaraj

Robert Ellis Kersten

DaleEllen Krazmien

Koonae Annie Lee

James W. Moore

Barbara J. Mungin

Anne M. Rossini

Wendy Karen Steed

Louise Stowe-Johns

Russell G. Waldmann

Elizabeth Levant Williams

Kenny Kang Yi

Africana Hymnal Now Available

The Africana Hymnal Project, a multiyear effort to provide music and worship resources from African-American traditions and to preserve the rich history of music forms born out of slavery, is now available for future generations of musicians and worship leaders.

The project, a joint effort of Discipleship Ministries and the United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) consists of a USB drive with 150 songs, an award winning documentary film chronicling the history of traditional music forms that are quickly disappearing from existence and a small group study guide for exploring these music forms.

The 2008 General Conference authorized a study to determine if a need existed for an official UM hymnal for people of African descent worshipping in UM churches in the United States. The 2012 General Conference approved the development of the Africana Hymnal Project.

“Without this body of work, I think in a generation from now, or even less than that, this music could be totally forgotten and maybe just be a footnote in some book on African-American history and worship,” said Bishop Julius C. Trimble, who oversaw the Africana Hymnal Project.

For more information about the project including a brief trailer of the DVD and a complete list of the songs included, go towww.abingdonpress.com/africanahymnal. The web site also offers links to buy the product that is retailing for between $200 and $300.


Dorothy S. Holman

Dorothy Setchel Holman, widow of Rev. William (Bill) W. Holman, died March 5 at age 95, after a short illness. Mrs. Holman was born in Cuba, N.Y., on November 28, 1919.

With the highest score on the Regent’s Board exams in New York, she won a scholarship to Barnard College in New York City where she majored in physics. Upon graduation in 1941, Mrs. Holman began her career with Time, Inc., where she served as the assistant to the executive vice president, editorial researcher, writer, editor, and, ultimately, director of public relations for the company based in Los Angeles.

In 1956, she married Bill Holman, a fellow Time executive. A few years later, in his late 40s, Holman returned to college, ultimately earning a master’s of divinity degree from Yale University. The couple served churches in Derby, Conn., and Tarrytown, N.Y., before Rev. Holman joined the faculty at Yale University. They retired to Baddeck, Nova Scotia, where they had a summer home, and eventually, split their time between Baddeck and Jekyll Island, Ga.

After her husband died in 1994, Holman lived year-round in Jekyll Island, Ga., before moving to The Pines at Davidson, N.C. in 2003 to be close to her daughter. There, she was a member of Davidson United Methodist Church.

Survivors include daughter, Jeanne Holman Thomsen; son, Scott Holman; daughter-in-law, Laurel (Mike) Goodgion; son-in-law, Guy Ross; daughter-in-law, Wendy Hyatt; brother, John Setchel; 16 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by sons, Gerry Goodgion, Bill Holman and John Holman; daughters, Ann Goodgion and Peggy Ross; and brothers, Bill Setchel and Merritt Setchel.

A memorial service in Stamford, Conn., will be held at a later date. Donations in Holman’s memory may be made to Second Harvest Food Bank, 500 Spratt St., #B, Charlotte, NC, 28206, or Catawba Regional Hospice, 3975 Robinson Rd., Newton, NC 28658.

Joyce Reid

Joyce Reid, widow of Rev. Jacques (John F.) Reid, died March 23 at age 98. Joyce was born May 28, 1916, in Tannersville, N.Y. She had been employed by Paul Fromer, and subsequently the Fromer Corporation for many years.

Reid was a member of the Kaaterskill United Methodist Church, where she served in a variety of activities and ministries. Her pastor, Rev. Dr. Karen Monk, described Reid as “a gracious lady and beloved in our community. She was a faithful steward of all God’s gifts to her, and a joy to know.”

The following tribute to Reid is found in the memoir of her late husband: “In 1974, his beloved (wife) Estella died suddenly and his life crumbled. Alone four years, with Ian and Orlinda in college, the parsonage was now cold and empty. It was Joyce Valk, a lady from the Haines Falls Church, pillar of strength and long-time friend who brought new meaning to his life. They were married in 1978 in Haines Falls, with his son the Reverend Ian Reid conducting the ceremony.” (1992 Journal of the New York Annual Conference, pp. 512–515)

Survivors include her children, William Valk of Freehold, N.Y., Beverly Elbert of West Columbia, S.C., and Dianne Slusar of Philmont, N.Y., as well as her stepchildren Alex Reid of Williamson, N.Y., and Orlinda Carafello of Troy, N.Y.; 12 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. She was also predeceased by her first husband, James Valk, and a brother, Dexter Martin.

A funeral service was held March 28 at the Kaaterskill UMC. Donations in her memory may be made to the Kaaterskill UMC (General Fund), PO Box 225, Tannersville, NY 12485.

Time to Schedule Wellness Screening LI Church to Show ‘Cowspiracy’ Film

It’s time again for all clergy and spouses covered by the HealthFlex medical insurance to schedule their Quest Diagnostics Blueprint for Wellness. The screening is:

Quick: One blood sample and a few measurements

Convenient: Available at annual conference at Hofstra University June 11 and 12 or any Quest Lab.

No out-of-pocket cost: For participants and spouses enrolled in healthflex

Easy way to earn: $100 HealthCash through your Virgin Pulse enrollment

Blueprint for Wellness is a comprehensive “biometric”

screening that provides information about your heart, liver, kidney function, cholesterol, blood sugar control, thyroid function, iron and more. Confidential results are mailed directly to you to share with your doctor.

You may register:

• By phone at 1-855-623-9355. Employer group is HealthFlex or United Methodist Church.

• Online at www.gbophb.org. Log into HealthFlex/WebMD and select “Quest Blueprint for Wellness.”

For more information, go to www.gbophb.org, and click on “HealthFlex/WebMD” and scroll down to “2015 Incentives Frequently Asked Questions.”

North Shore UMC in Wading River, N.Y., will be showing the documentary, “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret” in a special Earth Day screening at 7 p.m., April 22. The film is an environmental documentary that explores the destructive effects of the animal agriculture industry on the planet today.

A freewill offering will be received. The church is at 260 Route 25A, Wading River, N.Y. 11792. For more information, contact 631-929-6075, or nsumc@optonline.net.

The Vision, Newspaper of the NYAC, of the UMC

Resident Interim Bishop: Jane Allen Middleton

Editor: Joanne Utley

Vision e-mail: thevision@nyac.com

Web site: www.nyac.com

New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

20 Soundview Avenue
White Plains, NY 10606

Phone (888) 696-6922

Fax (914) 615-2244