"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. March, 2016

In this issue:

BOOM Formally Welcomes Gay Clergy Candidates


The New York Conference’s board of ordained ministry announced March 1 that it would not consider sexual orientation in evaluating a clergy candidate, even if that individual has a spouse of the same gender.

The board “has observed vital, effective ministry from clergy married to a spouse of the same sex,” said a statement by the Rev. William B. Pfohl, the board’s chair and lead pastor of Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church in Ridgefield, Conn.

The statement continues: “Quite simply, discriminating against married persons regardless of the gender of their spouse or against those who hope to be married is not the path we believe God is calling us to walk.” (Full statement at: www.nyac.com/newsdetail/4032571.)

The move puts the conference on a potential collision course with the denomination’s official teachings on human sexuality. It also comes just weeks after the Baltimore-Washington Conference’s board of ordained ministry announced it was recommending a married lesbian, Tara “T.C.” Morrow, as a provisional deacon.

The Baltimore-Washington Conference board’s recommendation of Morrow still needs the approval of the annual conference’s clergy session, which votes on all clergy candidates. But Pfohl said his understanding is that the board does not need his annual conference’s ratification to set standards for clergy effectiveness.

“We’re amenable to the annual conference, but we’ve been elected to carry out that charge (of setting standards),” he told United Methodist News Service. “This is the functional way the board is working, and we’re being transparent.”

Thirty members of the New York board approved the standards on Feb. 20 by a secret-ballot vote of more than 75 percent, Pfohl said. The standards also affirm celibacy in singleness and fidelity in marriage between two people.

Bishop Jane Allen Middleton, who is New York’s interim leader, said she is aware of the board’s decision.

“As president of the New York Annual Conference, I preside over persons who will agree and others who will disagree with this decision,” she said in a statement. “These are difficult times in the life of our denomination, and my intent is to provide fairness and respect for all. I call for all of us to strive to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ wherever we stand on this issue.”

General Conference’s approach

Both the actions in New York and Baltimore-Washington come as the denomination prepares for the 2016 General Conference on May 10-20 in Portland, Ore. Many United Methodist leaders expect the most passionate debates at the denomination’s top legislative assembly to deal with how the denomination ministers with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The Book of Discipline, the church law book, bans “self-avowed practicing” gay individuals from “being certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.” Under church law, “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy could face church trials and be stripped of their credentials.

The church’s teachings on human sexuality are routinely debated at

General Conference, as it considers changes to the Book of Discipline. But that debate has intensified as more jurisdictions, including the United States, have legalized same-sex civil marriage. Some United Methodists are calling for schism.

The Northeastern Jurisdiction’s Committee on Ministry has sent a petition for General Conference consideration “that enables ministry with LGBTQ persons, while allowing each clergyperson, church, and annual conference freedom to abide by decisions of conscience.” The submitted petition can be found at www.nyac.com/files/fileslibrary/mar15-nej-legislation-on-ministry-with-lgbtq-persons-final-form-9-30-2015.pdf

In the meantime, boards of ordained ministry are dealing with the ban in a variety of ways, with some essentially practicing a version of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

For instance, Rev. Dan Hurlbert, chair of the Desert Southwest Conference board of ordained ministry, said that his board has no official position. However, during his tenure, sexual orientation has not been a determining factor in anyone’s candidacy, ordination or ongoing ministry.

Hurlbert said some might describe this as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which he said he personally sees as lacking dignity and far from ideal. And, he added, he wonders “how The United Methodist Church came to be behind the U.S. military on a social justice issue. A closet with an open door is still a closet. I pray for that day when all who are called can serve openly and as who God made them to be.”

Development of New York policy

Pfohl told the United Methodist News Service that the board’s decision is independent of General Conference’s rapid approach.

Instead, he said the board’s move is a response to the New York Annual Conference’s 2014 resolution, “Our Vision of a Beloved and Just Community,” which declared the conference “to be the place where LGBTQIQ persons can find safe space.” The initials stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, intersex and questioning.

“We take seriously our responsibility to try and identify and support and prepare clergy who will be fruitful in our ministry settings. We want the best possible people the Lord has raised up,” Pfohl said. “We undertand that there are parts of the Discipline that give some descriptions of what they expect that to look like.”

But he added that the board determined that the Discipline’s restrictions on gay clergy are not where it should focus its attention.

Not every board member sees the policy as a right for the conference. Rev. Roy Jacobsen, a retired pastor and current New York Conference board of ordained ministry member, was not able to attend the vote. But if he had, he said he would have voted against it.

“Speaking personally, I can say this policy will have huge consequences for churches, for pastors and for laity consequences—negative consequences,” he said.

Jacobsen is a leader in the Wesley Fellowship, an unofficial New York Conference advocacy group that he says is still working on a response.

Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, vice president and general manager of Good News, said that he does not think his group has any recourse against the board itself, but said a newly ordained or licensed gay clergy member could face a complaint.

His denomination-wide advocacy group seeks to keep the current language in the Discipline regarding homosexuality and strengthen penalties against those who defy those teachings.

He sees the Baltimore-Washington board’s action as a “shirking of responsibility,” but sees the New York Conference as in some ways even more extreme.

“The New York action ups the ante in terms of a very blatant and open statement to violate the Discipline,” he said. “The church cannot continue to exist as a denomination with conferences openly or even covertly violating our covenant.”

What this means going forward

Still others praised the board’s move.

The majority of voters in the New York Conference have repeatedly approved petitions to General Conference seeking to change church law on homosexuality.

The Northeastern Jurisdiction, of which the New York and Baltimore-Washington conferences are members, has submitted a petition “that enables ministry with LGBTQ persons, while allowing each clergyperson, church, and annual conference freedom to abide by decisions of conscience.”

“The New York Conference for decades has been visibly, vocally and passionately opposed to the UMC’s discrimination and hate language against LGBTQI people, and this is a continuation of that,” said Dorothee Benz, a General Conference delegate and national representative of MIND (Methodists in New Direction), an unofficial New York Conference group that sponsored the 2014 conference resolution and advocated for the board’s new standards.

The conference already has had openly gay individuals among its clergy. Rev. Sara Thompson Tweedy, who married her wife in 2008, faced a complaint in 2013 accusing her of being a “self-avowed practicing” lesbian. The complaint was subsequently dismissed the following year without a trial or any penalty.

Tweedy said in her autobiographical statement during her clergy candidacy, she noted she told the board she was in a partnership with the woman who is now her wife. “No one chose to ask me any questions about that,” she recalled.

She said the board’s move will help people minister more authentically. “It’s a beautiful day in the New York Conference,” she said.

Benz agreed.

“What’s so important about the public statement is it says we’re moving away from ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’” Benz said, “and we’re moving into open affirmation as whole people, and we’re no longer going to make heterosexuality a criterion for ministry.”

Hahn is a multimedia news reporter for United Methodist News Service. Christina Dillabough of the Desert Southwest Conference and Kathy Gilbert, a UMNS reporter, contributed to this story. Contact them at newsdesk@umcom.org.

Changed by Relationships, Love

Our Youth Ambassadors in Mission have wound up their memorable mission trip to Cochabamba, Bolivia, in mid February, and have great reflections on what the trip meant to them. Here are five stories from our youths transforming the world:

Chad Jacob:

As our trip is starting to come to an end, I think everyone is kind of coming to a sensible reality and now are just trying to soak up all the last days that we have left in the country and with everyone on the trip. On our way to our last day of work, everyone seemed to be just thinking heavily on what the rest of the days will bring and what they have learned since we left.

Today we got to see the big Jesus Christ statue. The journey was pretty interesting especially the little road on steep hills we had to drive. It was actually fun and was a great once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I really enjoyed. The second half of our day we got to shop in one of the malls which had very different things to buy that I just wanted to buy everything. It’s sad to think about how soon we’ll be on a flight back home to New York. I’m going to miss everyone from this trip and all the activities that I’ve just begun getting used to. I wish we could stay longer.

Children delight in the gift of new crayons.

Elise Arndtsen:

When I arrived, I felt out of place. My version of faith does not include reading the Bible or praying—unless there’s a pop quiz. I didn’t know many of the kids around me. I didn’t know their lives or why they were here.

At the airport, when the community met us with hugs, joy, banners and flowers, I was afraid because these people expected us to be something that I didn’t feel like I could be. I didn’t know what their expectations were. I didn’t know how they celebrate Christianity. I didn’t know how to communicate and they were all talking so fast and excited and I had been up for so long and everyone around me looked as though they were capable and calm and welcomed.

Now I’m pretty sure that feeling has completely faded. Honestly, I still don’t know if they pray before they sleep or if they believe in evolution. But they didn’t care if we did. The community expected friends, even family that would try to connect and help out. They weren’t disappointed. Members of our trip were crying at the goodbye ceremony. Half of us, at least, expect to come and visit. We didn’t say goodbye—we said see you later.

I’m not sure how realistic that goal is but I can tell you one thing, this trip strengthened my faith in humans. This community has tirelessly volunteered their time to build a church. They take care of each other’s children without a second thought. They deserve more than we could give them. The only way to move forward from this experience is to try to be like them. Try to be grateful even if the shower’s freezing or the bus is bumpy. That sounds really difficult to me.

Jonathan Kim:

Love is only a word until a moment or experience alters the meaning. I could not have made a better decision to go on this trip. The people, both from the NYAC and the Bolivians, have truly saved my life. The generosity, hospitality, forgiveness, reception, and LOVE is indescribable.

Today was the first time I was able to open up to someone other than God. After another wonderful dinner, (amen) we sat outside and talked for maybe two hours. I felt comfortable talking about my personal experience (and tragedies) for the first time in a while. I felt comfortable talking about things I couldn’t even express to my own father. It was a short period of time, only two hours, but it will stick with me for years to come. She is truly an incredible person with so much compassion and love that I think of the same way my mother was.

There was sadness, laughter, silence, and a banana. There was faith and joy. There was the emotion that had been so present and clear for months. We are awake when we are not sleeping, but sometimes, even with alertness and open eyes, we still fail to wake up. I had realized that all this time, I had been asleep. Yes. I was asleep on the bus but even in work, eating, and playing the charango, I had failed to open my eyes and see the beautiful life that God has and will continue to provide me.

Youth work together to stabilize rebar as part of a construction project in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Youth Ambassadors in Mission stop for a team photo at the construction site.

Jonathan Kim (cont)

This experience has been a life-changing one. It made me realize that richness is not defined by the possessions you have, but by the richness in your heart. The Bolivians were richer than all of us. I will never squander another moment in my life again.

The dictionary defines the term cry as “to shed tears, especially as an expression of distress or pain.” I do not cry often, even if I had experienced distress or pain, both physically and emotionally, but that day I did. Reflecting on it, I realized that I didn’t cry because I was sad, but because I was HAPPY. One of the last times I cried was during my mother’s funeral. I am now calling that moment, that experience, that tragedy, the last time in my life that I cried because I was sad, lonely, or depressed. This experience in Bolivia has me believing that if I can have the same compassion as the locals, I will always see the bright side of things and be with God. As I leave this country and say goodbye, I say hello and welcome a new chapter in my life. Because of this experience I have found God. I have found love. I have found HOPE. And it only cost two and half thousand dollars. :) As I continue on the journey into adulthood, and journey through Christ, I only ask for one thing; for God to lay me down, because I have finally found myself.

Katie Euting:

Today was very emotional for everyone. But before we had our goodbye ceremony with the locals we were able to spend the entire morning with many of them at a picnic in the mountains at Inka Chaka. We went on a gorgeous hike down to a river, passing waterfalls and plateaus with astonishingly beautiful views. It was amazing to experience and share with everyone around us.

Then after opening our eyes to a world we had never seen before, we got to have lunch and share with our hermanos. This then led to going up to a small field and playing soccer together. Whether you were playing or matching, everyone was able to laugh together. Due to the rain earlier in the morning, the field was extremely muddy, slippery, and fun. We all had an amazing time running around and laughing at each other when we fell. I did.

After we finished at Inka Chaka, we went back to Lava Lava one last time to say goodbye to all of our new brothers

Katie Euting (cont)

and sisters. We all said some heartwarming and inspiring words to each other, and prayed together. Then they offered us gifts—handmade hats, a bracelet, and a Bolivia keychain. They all showed their everlasting love, and everyone was very emotional. We all wanted to stay forever.

As we reflect on this experience, we realize that by connecting with these wonderful people this culture, and God, we have all become better people and will continue this growth for the rest of our lives. The world needs more people like our new family, and am so blessed to be able to live this love.


As I sit here in Santa Cruz, with a seven-hour wait ahead of us, I have ample time to reflect on this past week. Before traveling to Bolivia, I had never been to South America and I was very apprehensive. I was so unsettled that I waited until 10 p.m. the night before we left to begin packing.

This trip has honestly been an eye opener for me that sometimes feeling anxious isn’t always bad because it can lead you to amazing memories. One of my favorite moments was when we were able to meet the youth from Cochabamba because they were so much fun to hang out with. Even though we didn’t have a common language, we all had young spirits which brought us together.

Another small moment that I will remember forever was holding one of the cutest puppies I’ve ever seen. The grouped named him “Cliff” and by the end of the week, we were all obsessed.

Through this experience, I have also learned that it is okay to be uncomfortable and try things you may not have previously enjoyed. For example, on the last day, we rode up to a large mountain and went on an hourlong hike. Now, for those of you who don’t know me, I am not the biggest fan of hiking. Although it pushed my comfort zone and I was exhausted, it was worth it. It wasn’t about how fast you could go, or how many breaks you had to take. No. It was about building a community and enjoying an experience with our Bolivian family.

I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and I will cherish these memories, lessons, and relationships for as long as I can remember. P.S.: See you again soon Bolivia!

Lunch brings smiles all around.

For a full lineup of events, go to: www.nyac.com/conferencecalendar.

4/2 Bishop’s Confirmation Rally
Join Bishop Jane Allen Middleton at the rally for all confirmation students and their teachers at Memorial UMC in White Plains, N.Y. This free event will include worship, workshops, lunch and music by the praise band, Pursuing JC. Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. and the day will conclude at 2:30 p.m. To register, go to: www.nyac.com/eventdetail/3628569. Direct your questions to Neal Bowes at nealbws@gmail.com.

4/2 “Healing Our Wounds” Workshop
Jesse Lee Memorial UMC in Ridgefield, Conn., will host “Healing Our Wounds: God’s Power to Heal Brokenness” with Rev. Nigel Mumford. The 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. event will conclude with a healing service and laying-on of hands. Mumford has led a healing ministry for more than 25 years, first as a layperson and then as an Episcopal priest. His experience in the British Royal Marines prompted Mumford to create a special program for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. More info can be found on his web site at www.byhiswoundsministry.org. To register, go to www.prayandsee.org. The fee of $50 in advance, $55 at the door, includes lunch. For additional information, contact Pastor Debbi Mygatt at dhmygatt@sbcglobal.net, or call 203-438-8791.

4/4–8 “Pastors/Spouses Health Clinic
Twice a year, New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn opens its doors to 12 clergy and/or spouses for a four-day clinic in which major diagnostic tests and consultations are made available. This April clinic is currently full, but they are accepting names for the waiting list. Please contact Rev. Elizabeth Braddon at elizabeth.braddon@gmail.com, indicating your interest.

4/8-9 Day of Dance Conference
All ages are welcome to attend the 2nd Annual Day of Dance Conference to be held at Westbury UMC, 265 Asbury Avenue, Westbury, N.Y. No experience is needed. Instruction will be offered by Rev. Sheila M. Beckford, Rev. Dr. Leslie Duroseau, Martha Chapman and Roy Garzon. All minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Contact Rev. Sheila M. Beckford at sheila.beckford@nyac-umc.com for information about accommodations. To register, go to: www.nyac.com/eventdetail/4013347.

4/12-13: Anti-Racism Training
The workshop, “Effective Christian Leadership in a Multicultural World,” is sponsored by the NYAC Commission on Religion and Race. Register by April 5 for this training that is mandatory for all clergy, and members of district committees on ministry and BOOM. Begins at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, and ends at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Wisdom House Retreat Center, 229 East Litchfield Road, Litchfield, Conn. Questions: Roena Littlejohn, bobsroe@optimum.net.


4/14-15 Order of Elders Retreat
Rev. Dr. Douglas Powe Jr., a professor of evangelism and urban ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary, will lead the retreat from 10 a.m. Thursday through 3 p.m. Friday, at the Stony Point Center, 17 Cricketown Road, Stony Point, N.Y. Powe, an elder in the Baltimore/Washington Conference, is committed to helping urban congregations and churches in transitional areas to flourish through community partnering. Register online at www.nyac.com/eventdetail/3909201. Questions to retreat registrar, David Collins, at David.Collins@nyac-umc.com.

5/10–20 2016 General Conference
General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church that meets once every four years. The conference can revise church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. It also approves plans and budgets for church-wide programs. The UMC’s top legislative body will meet at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

5/16 Older Adults Ministries Workshop
Rev. Dr. William Randolph, director of Aging and Older Adult Ministries at Discipleship Ministries, will lead a workshop, “Our Legacy: A Generational Bridge of Remembering and Hope,” for the New York Conference at the Mamaroneck UMC, Mamaroneck, N.Y. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants should bring a lunch; desserts and drinks will be provided. The registration form and instructions can be found at www.nyac.com/eventdetail/3907407. Contact Rev. Jim Stinson at 203-378-4702, or jstinson4242@aol.com, with any questions.

7/22–24 “Mission u” On the Move
“Mission u” will be meeting all under one roof at the Stamford Hilton in Stamford, Conn. The studies will include the Bible and human sexuality, Latin America, and climate justice. Additional details will be available at www.nyac.com/eventdetail/3167094.

8/29–31 Global UM Clergywomen Gathering 2016
Under the theme: “ONE: Birthing a Worldwide Church,” United Methodist clergywomen will gather at the World Methodist Conference at the Hilton-Americas Hotel and Conference Center in Houston. This gathering will serve as the culmination of regional gatherings of United Methodist clergywomen that have taken place throughout the connection. Meeting in conjunction with the World Methodist Conference will strengthen the Methodist identity and understanding of the United Methodist clergywomen, as well as provide them with additional leadership-building education and networking. Use this shortened link, http://bit.ly/1YYvhkh, to go to the registration page. If you have any questions please contact clergylifelonglearning@gbhem.org.

10/1 Prison Ministry Symposium
The Conference Board of Church & Society will present a conference-wide symposium entitled, “I Was In Prison And You . . .” from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Grace UMC, 125 104th St, N.Y., N.Y.

11/7–9 Revitup! For Young Clergy
The “revitup for a Lifetime of Ministry” gathering will help young clergy strengthen personal, financial and leadership skills to improve their lives and sustain their ministries. The event, sponsored by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, is planned for the B Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Continuing education credits are available. Check for more details and registration info at www.gbophb.org/events/revitup/.

Vision Deadlines for 2016
The Vision is a monthly online publication of the New York Conference. Deadlines are always the first Friday of the month, with posting to the web site about 10 days later. The deadlines for 2016 are as follows: April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1, Aug. 5, Sept. 2, Oct. 7, Nov. 4, and Dec. 2. Please send any stories, photos, ideas, or questions directly to vision@nyac.com.

Bringing Life to Dry Bones: Immigrant Welcoming

Chair, Immigration Task Force

The Immigration Task Force, in collaboration with the conference Board of Church and Society, would like to celebrate with all of you a successful first Immigrant Welcoming Communities training.

The training on February 20 exceeded our expectations and filled our hearts with the hope that indeed we are creating space for the beloved community. This training grew out of the “Dry Bones Retreat” that was sponsored by the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) last fall, which was attended by four members of the Immigration Task Force. The four went to the retreat with the hope of learning new and innovative ways to keep making a difference on this pressing issue, which will be here to stay for a long time.

The word “immigration”—and all its implications—is of no surprise to us since our faith roots connect to a people that were on a journey with their God; a journey that took them to many different places and many different forms over the course of history. For us today, it is the incarnational relationship depicted in the relationship with God and God’s people that we have received through our refugee Jesus that moves us from mercy to justice for the immigrant communities in our midst.

Our gathering of representatives from more than 18 churches in the conference was a prophetic moment for the beloved community inviting us to take that leap from works of mercy to works of justice. Becoming an immigrant welcoming community invites us to stride in the transformational task of the Holy Spirit as we walk right next to our immigrant/refugee brothers and sisters. Everyone comes with dignity and it is our call to affirm that reality.

The call is loud and clear, dry bones come alive!

We want to recognize Emma Escobar, GBCS’ grassroots organizer for immigration, and Kristin Kumpf, GBCS’ director of organizing, for their support as we gave this training form; and for their willingness to share their thoughts, skills and passion for this continuing work toward justice.

Presenters Bruce Lamb and Romana Abelova (above) before the packed crowd in the conference learning center; the event leadership team with Bishop Jane Allen Middleton, center, included Abelova, from left, Paul Fleck, Emma Escobar, Karina Feliz, Kristin Kumpf, and Lamb.

Be on the lookout: More immigrant welcoming communities training coming soon!

Knudsen to Lead Frontier Foundation

The Board of Directors of the United Methodist Frontier Foundation has announced the appointment of Ellen Knudsen of New York City as the new president/executive director, effective March 14.

Knudsen was selected after a yearlong, nationwide search with the help of the Novak Consulting Group. A native of Ohio and life-long United Methodist, Knudsen has served the church with the General Board of Global Ministries for 21 years. She is currently the director of advance projects for The Advance, a position in which she provides visionary and strategic leadership for The Advance, the designated giving program of the United Methodist Church with more than 800 projects around the world.

Ellen KnudsenEllen Knudsen

She is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, and holds a professional certificate in fundraising from New York University. Knudsen and her husband live in Manhattan.

Rev. Robert Knebel, UMFF Board chair said, “We are thrilled to have Ellen leading the foundation at this time . . . She brings visionary leadership, a wide range of experience, extensive knowledge and experience in the United Methodist Church, and exceptional skills

in building relationships with ministry partners throughout the world. She is a world-class individual who will move the Foundation to greater excellence in serving the UM Churches and individuals in New York and Connecticut.”

The United Methodist Frontier Foundation encourages, empowers and supports stewardship in churches and individuals throughout New York and neighboring states. Our mission is supported by a vision of asset management, education, tool provision, and competent stewardship leadership to both churches and clergy. The UMFF offers reasonable returns for reasonable rates for local churches in the New York and Upper New York conferences.

AC2016: Let Us Be Empowered to Serve

The call to the 217th gathering of the New York Annual Conference will be arriving in your mailbox soon—that is if you are clergy or a lay delegate from your church or district. And that means that registration is now open at www.nyac.com/2016annualconference.

In the mailing, Bishop Jane Allen Middleton wrote: “I invite and enthusiastically encourage you to come to the 217th session of the New York Annual Conference on June 8 to 11. Our theme is ‘Go . . . in Jesus’ Name: The Spirit Sends Us Forth to Serve!’

We will come together to make important decisions about our future, to witness to our call to social justice, to be inspired in our ministry, and to acknowledge that all we do must be done in the power of the Holy Spirit . . .

It is my prayer that all we do in this annual conference session will prepare us to passionately live out the United Methodist church’s mission: to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

So come to conference and be empowered to go out into the world to serve.”


Each member and guest of the New York Conference is invited to participate in a workshop on Thursday afternoon. These workshops are being led by thought leaders from the UMC general agencies and will focus on practical ministry topics with the goal of giving participants something creative and valuable to take home to their own ministries. You will choose from among the following workshops during your registration:

• Health care ministry as local church missions: Dr. Olusimbo Ige, executive director of Global Health, Global Ministries

• Asset-based community development in the local church: George Howard, deputy general secretary for Mission & Evangelism, Global Ministries

• H.O.P.E. Model: David Abarca, assistant director of annual conference relationships, Discipleship Ministries

• Small membership church effectiveness: Rev. Dr. Jacqui King, director, Leadership for Congregational Vitality, Discipleship Ministries

• Black church development: Rev. Dr. Fred A. Allen, executive director, Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, Discipleship Ministries

• Small group development: Rev. Dr. Steve Manskar, Director, Wesleyan Leadership, Discipleship Ministries

• Stewardship: Donald W. Joiner, Director of Operations and Stewardship, Leadership Ministries, Discipleship Ministries

Endorsement of Episcopal Candidates

The conference may choose to endorse one or more elders in full connection to the episcopacy. An endorsement form is available on the web site; each candidate needs the signatures of 10 lay and 10 clergy members of the annual conference. Contact Conference Secretary Margaret Howe with any questions at: confsecy@nyac.com.

Live Captioning

This year, for the first time, live captioning will be used at conference. All events in the arena will be transcribed live and the words will scroll across the bottom of the large central screen in real time. Live captioning is intended to provide greater accessibility to all members and guests by providing all arena events in both written and spoken word.

250th Anniversary

We are celebrating the 250th anniversary of United Methodists in New York this year. Throughout annual conference, people and events that formed our denomination and conference over the past 250 years will be highlighted. More information and resources about this anniversary can be found at www.nyac.com/250years.

Reports, Petitions, Resolutions

All reports, petitions and corporate resolutions to be considered by the annual conference shall be in the hands of the conference secretary six weeks before the beginning date of the annual conference in order to be included in the pre-conference reports booklet. The 2016 due date is April 27. Email your document to Margaret Howe, conference secretary, at confsecy@nyac.com.

Lay Delegates

Please visit www.nyac.com/laity or a message from our conference lay leader, and more information on the Shirley Parris Award, selecting a new lay leader, the lay members handbook and a guide to annual conference.

Denman Evangelism Award

The Harry Denman Evangelism Award honors United Methodists in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism—expressed in word (what), sign (why) and deed (how)—brings people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Each year the New York Conference joins the Foundation for Evangelism to recognize one youth, one clergy, and one lay person. Nomination forms are available at http://foundationforevangelism.org and should be submitted to the office of Connectional Ministries.

Display Tables

Ministry display tables on the upper level of the arena are available with reservations through Rev. Matt Curry. Please send your email request to mcurry@nyac.com or in writing to: Rev. Matt Curry, New York Annual Conference, 20 Soundview Ave, White Plains, NY 10606-3302. Space is offered to conference and church agencies on a first-come, first-served basis.

Day of Dance Conference

Save the date: April 8–9. You are invited to participate in the 2nd Annual Day of Dance Conference at Westbury UMC from Friday, April 8 to Saturday, April 9. All are welcome. No experience is needed. Some dance pieces will be used to minister throughout annual conference, including the ordination service on June 11. Please contact Rev. Sheila M. Beckford at sheila.beckford@nyac-umc.com for more information. 

Annual Conference Choir

You are invited to share your gifts by ministering with this year’s choir during the ordination service on Saturday, June 11. Saturday’s rehearsal time is 8:45 a.m.; the service begins at 10 a.m. This year’s selection will be posted on the web site in the near future.

For any additional information, contact Raymond Trapp, director of music, or Ian Wharton, coordinator, at music.worshipnyac@gmail.com.

Speakers & Preachers
George Howard Bishop Carcano Gregory Jones

George Howard, above left, deputy secretary general of the Board of Global Ministries will be the guest speaker at the laity session and also a workshop presenter. As a leadership coach since 2005, he provides training to clergy and laity at the agency, conference, district, and local church levels.

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, center, the first Hispanic woman elected to the episcopacy of the UMC in 2004, will preach at the ordination service. She currently serves as bishop of the Los Angeles Area and the California-Pacific Conference, and is an official spokesperson for the Council of Bishops on the issue of immigration.

L. Gregory Jones, right, an ordained elder in the UMC, will present the Rev. Bill Perkins Lecture. He currently serves as the Williams professor of theology and Christian ministry and senior strategist for Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School, as well as senior strategist for the Fuqua-Coach K Center for Leadership and Ethics. Travel difficulties in 2015 prevented Jones from addressing the conference as scheduled.

Add Some Spring to Sandy Recovery Efforts
Sandy recovery staffers Gina Grubbs, Stephania Petit (in green shirts), and Tom Vencuss (back row in blue) joined members of the Farmingdale UMC for a work day in Patchogue in January. The team worked to clear out the home before renovations could begin.

“I know you can say, yes.”

These are the words of Bishop Jane Allen Middleton at the end of the video, “Voices of Sandy—You can say, yes.” The bishop was calling on volunteers to offer their time, resources, and spirit to the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort. This message—this challenge—is even more important now, as we enter the 2016 rebuild season.

Looking Back

In many ways, the response of the New York conference has been remarkable. Since we began our “recovery phase” in September 2013, we have provided direct assistance to more 550 families through an American Red Cross grant.

Through an UMCOR grant, and the support of the conference, UMC churches, and volunteers, we have provided assistance to another 372 families. That includes more than 3,000 volunteers providing almost 64,000 working hours on 121 homes, at an estimated value of $1,415,000. Some of the homes required something as simple as replacing steps; others were nearly complete rebuilds.

For other Sandy survivors, we provided temporary housing, rent support, professional services, building materials and supplies, appliances, in addition to collaborating with other rebuild organizations to meet homeowner needs. Our program also provided disaster case management, volunteer housing, and spiritual and emotional care. More than that, we have been a constant, and hands-on, witness to the presence and power of God in the midst of the recovery.

Looking Forward

In total, the NYAC Sandy Recovery Ministry has assisted more than 900 families in their recovery. However, the need for volunteers and assistance remains. A number of major recovery organizations have either downsized or phased out. At the beginning of the recovery, there were 16 rebuild organizations. At the end of 2015, there were just five. Funding and volunteers have declined as well. This has put additional stress on the remaining groups, including the New York Conference, to address survivor needs.

Our Sandy Recovery Ministry will be making some adjustments this coming year as well. While these changes have not been finalized, we will, in response to our own funding limits and the general decline in volunteer teams, be adjusting our staffing and program in June. However, it is our intent to receive and deploy volunteer teams through mid-September 2016. We will know more about what the future will look like later this spring.

I know you can say yes

We currently have active project sites in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Connecticut, and Long Island. Through our Done-in-a-Day (DIAD) program, vol-
unteer teams are linked with other teams and professional services to address client needs in an efficient and timely manner. There is also a great need for skilled workers to assist the volunteer teams.

We are limiting the size of Done-in-a-Day teams to eight persons, as it has been difficult to open new project sites to accommodate very large groups for just one weekend or one day. This insures that we can have one or two sites open at a time and not have multiple families waiting for the next big group.

The coming rebuild season may be a last-best attempt to collaborate with existing organizations and address homeowner needs. If you have been part of a DIAD team, we encourage you to return. If you have not, then this may be your time.

The New York Conference was on the ground in the immediate aftermath of the storm in 2012 and we will continue to be present for as long as we are able. We ask for your support; and to quote Bishop Middleton, “I know you can say yes.”

For information or to register a team, contact: Barbara Burnside, volunteer coordinator, at sandyrecovery@nyac-umc.com.

Pre-GC2016 Video on Divestment Gets Pushback

UMNS—When does a United Methodist agency go too far in advocating its viewpoint?

That debate flared this week after the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits released a video urging General Conference delegates to vote “no” on divestment petitions. Such legislation would compel the board to sell stock in certain companies.

The Rev. Jenny Phillips, coordinator of Fossil Free UMC, said the video crossed a line in instructing delegates how to vote. Fossil Free UMC advocates for legislation that would add coal, oil and natural gas to the lists of industries screened from church investments.

She especially objected that the video initially included text that said “DO NOT vote for divestment” and “DO NOT vote to limit investment.”

“This is wrong,” Phillips wrote in a blog. “People perceive the pension board to have significant power, not only because it is a general agency, but also because it manages billions of dollars in church assets and pension funds.”

Barbara Boigegrain, the top executive of the pension board, told United Methodist News Service that the goal was to have a consistent message “that was clear and very short for translation purposes.”

However, the pension board altered the text on the video on February 11 to say

“We do not support forced divestment” and “We oppose divestment petitions.” The video’s narration remains entirely the same.

Boigegrain said the agency made the changes to avoid having its text taken out of context. She also said the agency has received both positive and negative feedback to the video, and the video has the support of its board members.

“We felt that the video was a full and fair representation in its full context,” she said, “and delegates have every right to vote their own conscience.”

The pension board released the video on Febbruary 5 to be used as the first of five pre-General Conference orientations for central conference delegates got under way in Manila, Philippines. Central conferences are United Methodist regions in Africa, Asia and Europe.

Multiple petitions seeking divestment from fossil-fuel companies as well as companies at work in the occupied Palestinian territories are going before General Conference, the

denomination’s top lawmaking body. The assembly, which brings together 864 delegates from around the globe, will meet May 10–20 in Portland, Ore. 

NYAC Response

The New York Conference delegation added their displeasure with the video in a statement released February 19:

As Christians committed to holy conferencing and as delegates from the New York Annual Conference to the General Conference of The United Methodist Church, we are deeply disappointed in the video presented to Central Conference delegates by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits.

We believe that boards and agencies of The United Methodist Church should inform delegates about issues before them without directing them how to vote on particular issues. Though we may each differ in how we would approach the issues of divestment and constructive engagement with certain companies, we all agree to be in respectful conversation with one another about these important issues facing our church and contribute to our mutual understanding of these matters so that we can all best make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Free Online Course Explores General Conference

“Exploring General Conference,” a free online course from United Methodist Communications, is designed to help participants learn more about the official decision-making body of the denomination and to explore many of the aspects of General Conference in anticipation of the May 10–20 session. 

The course is comprised of five modules, which are designed to take about 30 minutes to complete. Throughout the course, students have the opportunity to engage in interactive activities to dig deeper into understanding aspects of General Conference.

Depending on the amount of additional exploration chosen, users may spend more time in each module, and return to any page, section or activity at any time during the course for review. 


Although the course is free of cost, learners are awarded .25 continuing education units upon completion.

Through the five modules, learners will develop an understanding of the following:

• The history of General Conference, its role and purpose,

• How delegates are elected to General Conference;

• Delegates’ roles and responsibilities;

• How petitions, general church budget and other important matters are decided through General Conference;

• Various social issues facing the United Methodist Church and the denomination’s stance on these issues;

• Highlights of the 2012 General Conference and what’s ahead for the 2016 General Conference. 

Throughout the course, users will have the opportunity to engage in interactive activities and dig deeper into understanding General Conference. Depending upon the amount of additional exploration chosen, more time may be spent in each module. You can return to any page, section or activity at any time during the course to review information. 

The “Exploring General Conference” course is free and ongoing through June 30, 2016.

For more information, or to sign up for the course, go to www.umcom.org/learn/exploring-general-conference.

“Washed Clean” by Telling Our Stories

By Rev. Jim Stinson
Consultant for Older Adult Ministries

Jim Stinson

“I feel clean again.” Who said that?

He is in his nineties and facing major changes in his life. Most of them he did not expect. As loss piled on loss, he began to think differently about life. He did not like what he was thinking, but even so, the thoughts kept coming. Up until this point, he had always been sure of his faith. Now he was thinking his faith was wavering and he did not like that reality.

He talked one day, unloading his situation and his reason for wondering if

Jim Stinson

his faith would see him through. Many people of faith have found themselves with the same worrisome thought. “Suppose my faith is not sufficient to see me through?”

“Has my supposed faith been a naive hope that made sense out of my life, until it did not?” “What is wrong with me?”

And so, I listened, knowing he had to find his own answer. He had found it when he proclaimed, as I was preparing to leave, “I feel clean again. Telling my story, and having someone listen, made me feel better about myself and my situation.”

Mind you, I had offered no advice. I had simply listened. That was enough. How often in my ministry, both with older adults and, in fact, with people of all ages, this same “miracle” has

happened. People who are allowed to share their fears and doubts, without being judged or told ‘You shouldn’t feel that way,’ often find the certainty they crave. It is not answers they really want and seek. Life has many questions that beg for answers. What is wanted and needed is to know we have company on our journey, company that listens.

It reinforced a basic observation that has largely guided my ministry, which I write and teach about frequently. I do not have answers for many questions that arise in life, in my own or in others. What I do have is a set of ears and an ability to listen, strengthened by my faith that we are all loved by a Love that has ultimate answers, and knowing that is enough to know, especially if reminded of that Love by the presence of someone who listens.

We all have the same faith. We all have the same ability. We have no need to fear ministry to and with others, especially with older adults. A major part of a helping ministry is listening, allowing time and space for others to discover God speaking to them through the presence of a loving ear. All of us can do that.

Dr. West Wins Scholar Activist Award

Dr. Traci West, a professor at the Drew University Theological School and elder in the New York Conference, was recently selected by Auburn Seminary to receive the inaugural Walter Wink Scholar Activist Award. According to a statement from Javier Viera, dean of the Drew Theological School, the award recognizes “God’s troublemakers” and those whose scholarship makes a tangible, real difference to advance justice and peace in our world.

“I can’t imagine a more deserving recipient of this honor than Traci, who embodies the best characteristics of God’s troublemakers,” Viera wrote. “She refuses to accept the artificial divide between scholarship and activism. She’s a fierce advocate for the excluded and the vulnerable. She believes that the church and the academy are at their best when they inspire and propel people to make the world more just and more peaceful. And

Dr. Traci West
Dr. Traci West

she lives these commitments daily with integrity and humility.”

Dr. Walter Wink, for whom the award is named, is widely considered one of the

most important theologians of the 20th century for his research on systematic injustice, decades of biblical scholarship, and his prophetic witness.

West was also recently featured in a Sojourners magazine article, “A Field Guide to Christian Nonviolence,” on the strength of her book, Wounds of the Spirit: Black Women, Violence and Resistance Ethics. One of only eight authors on the list, the article notes that in Wounds of the Spirit, “West begins with the experiences of women of color and the issues of intimate and societal violence” and “offers a challenge to Christian ethicists.” The feature can be found at https://sojo.net/magazine/january-2016/field-guide-christian-nonviolence.

West is the James W. Pearsall professor of Christian Ethics and African American Studies at Drew.

Posters, Bulletin Inserts Celebrate Women

In honor of Women’s History Month, the NYAC Commission on Archives and History (CAH) is highlighting some of the women whose influence has been felt in the New York Conference over the past 250 years.

These biographies have been prepared as part of our 2016 celebration of 250 years of United Methodism in the New York area. In the autumn of 1766, Philip Embury preached to a small group of five in his New York City home. From this first small group would come Wesley Chapel (later John Street Church) in 1768.

The biographies are formatted as posters and bulletin inserts that provide information about each person’s life and accomplishments; discussion questions provided on the posters can be used for: Bible study, discussion groups, confirmation classes or sermon preparation. Download them at www.nyac.com/newsdetail/4031558.

Contact Beth Patkus, conference archivist, at 914-615-2241 or archives@nyac.com with any questions.

Recent New Appointments

Bishop Jane Allen Middleton intends to make the following appointments at the 2016 session of the New York Annual Conference, to be effective July 1:

Sandra Mantz to the UMC of Waterbury; Mantz currently serves Setauket UMC.

David Mantz to the UMC of Watertown and First UMC of Thomaston; Mantz currently serves First United Methodist Church of Port Jefferson.

Joanne Utley to Pawling UMC and Poughquag UMC (LFT); Utley currently serves the United Church of Roscoe and East Branch/Harvard UMC in the Western Catskills Parish.

Gabriel Akinbode to Christ UMC in Brooklyn, NY. Rev. Akinbode currently serves the Red Hook United Methodist Church.

Marva Usher-Kerr to Tremont UMC; Usher-Kerr currently serves Willis Avenue UMC.

Moonsook Kim to Saint James UMC, Lynbrook; Kim currently serves Christ UMC, Staten Island.

Karen Eiler to Rowayton UMC; Eiler currently serves Memorial UMC in White Plains.

Paul Smith to Overlook UMC and Shady UMC; Smith currently serves East Meadow UMC.

Donna LeRoy to the Upper Catskills Larger Parish; LeRoy currently serves Roxbury UMC.

Marion Hubbard to First UMC, Oceanside; Hubbard currently serves Pawling UMC and Poughquag UMC.

Bonnie Snyder to Ebenezer UMC; Snyder currently serves the same church as a district hire.

Mission Fellow Available for Church Visits

Nora CunninghamNora Asedillo Cunningham, a global mission fellow with the General Board of Global Ministries since July 2014, will be returning from her stint in the Philippines in late April and is available to speak to local churches about her experiences and the two-year mission program.

Cunningham is serving as a development assistant for the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation in Manila, working specifically with anti-substance abuse projects in three locations. The foundation is a United Methodist-related institution with an ecumenical vision that seeks to build communities of peace, justice, respect for all creation, and abundant life.

A member of New Day United Methodist Church in the Bronx where her father, Rev. Doug Cunningham, is the pastor, Cunningham is available May 2–17, May 28–June 27, and August 4–15. Those interested should communicate directly with her via email, noraa.cunningham@gmail.com.

Idyllic Kingswood Offers Specialty Camps

Camps Governing Board

“God is not found in the soul by adding anything, but by subtracting.”—Meister Eckhart

Every summer the New York Conference camps provide rich opportunities for adults to get in a little “God and me” time—a time to “disconnect to reconnect” and indulge in a favorite or new activity. This year is no exception, of course. This month we will focus on the many offerings at the Kingswood Campsite in Hancock, N.Y.

While other camps and resorts may boast about speedy Wi-Fi, at Kingswood we enthusiastically eschew electronic connections to the outside world. There is Internet service in the barn for those who really need to stay in touch with home, but long conversations, quiet and low-key games are the rule of the day. What a wonderful way to break away from all kinds of distracting habits and focus on what is truly meaningful in our relationship with God, with loved ones and with every neighbor.

Besides the usual, tent camping that exists throughout the summer, there are several specialty camps as well. These camps range from 24 hours to three days long and offer truly multisensory activities.

An example is our welding camp. Who doesn’t want to create a new thing and learn a new skill from a veteran welder with 50 years experience?

Kingswood Camp
Photo by Joanne S. Utley

A covered kitchen and campfire area at one of several sites at Kingswood Campsite in Hancock N.Y.

For birders the prime time is May 20–22 when bird sightings are likely to be at their peak around the farmhouse.

Spirituality and retreat leader Holly Moore will direct the spirituality camp, “Praying with the Body,” on July 28–31.

Children from kindergarten through grade seven are invited to bring their grandparents to the grandparent camp on July 24–27. This is a great time to share the love of camping with another generation. There will be traditional camp activities and time for the children to spend with a counselor to leave the grandparents to themselves. Two 24-hour Sabbath camps are being run on June 29–30, and August 24 and 25. Costs are minimal.

If you have not yet visited Kingswood and would like an especially fun chance/excuse to visit, a wonderful opportunity takes place each Memorial Day weekend. Our set-up weekend is the time when volunteers put together all of the parts of camp that disappear in the fall like the canvas tents and kitchen supplies. Come enjoy bringing Camp Kingswood out of hibernation and back into full swing. Volunteers are needed for all jobs, large and small.

For more information on all of these camping experiences, please visit www.kingswoodcampsite.org, or www.nyaccamps.org, and follow the links.

Wakeman is a deaconess in the New York Conference.

Bishops to Consider Accountability Covenant

.The Council of Bishops Accountability Task Force has recommended that the body adopt a “covenant of accountability,” according to a press release dated March 8. The task force invited bishops to prayerfully consider how the covenant might guide and shape their ministry now and in the future.

The council will consider action on the proposed covenant, which is based on discussion from the bishops’ 2015 meeting, work of the task force and further input by the executive committee, at their May meeting preceding General Conference.

“The covenant is rooted in our consecration vows and descriptive of how we intend to fulfill those vows and provide spiritual leadership before, during, and after General Conference,” said Bishop Larry Goodpaster, who chairs the task force.

The bishops reaffirmed those vows in November 2014 at the invitation of council president Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. during his presidential address.

The accountability task force was created in May 2013 to provide for an accountability process. In addition to Goodpaster, the other members of the task force are bishops Warner H. Brown, Jr., Janice Huie, Peggy Johnson, Gregory Palmer, Hans Vaxby, and Peter Weaver.

The proposed covenant reads as follows:

A Covenant of Accountability for the Council of Bishops

Bishops of the church are spiritual leaders who are set apart by the church to lead with hope in our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. The vows which each bishop affirmed at her or his consecration continue to guide and shape our ministry. We as a Council have affirmed this commitment to our vows. The heart of those commitments are found in these statements from the service of consecration. We vow and commit ourselves…

“…to guard the faith, to seek the unity, and to exercise the discipline of the whole Church….”

“…to preach and teach the truth of the gospel to all God’s people…”

“…to lead the people…in their mission of witness and service in the world….”

“…to lead and guide all persons entrusted to [our] care….”

As we prepare for the 2016 General Conference, we join together in a covenant that is rooted in our consecration vows and that outlines how we intend to fulfill those vows and provide spiritual leadership prior to, during, and after General Conference.

By God’s grace we, the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church, covenant together to…

• Honor God, follow Jesus, and lead relying upon the Holy Spirit in all we say and do.

• Be in prayer for the General Conference, the delegates and visitors.

• Work for the unity of the church.

• Show respect for all persons.

• Offer pastoral care to and with anyone.

• Carry out our presidential duties in a manner that enables the work of the General Conference to be conducted in an orderly and non-disruptive manner.

• Be guided by the clear intent of The Book of Discipline as we fulfill our vows to “…guard the faith, order, liturgy, doctrine, and discipline of the church.” (¶403.1)

• “…plan for the general oversight and promotion of the temporal and spiritual interests of the entire Church and for carrying into effect the rules, regulations, and responsibilities prescribed and enjoined by the General Conference.” (¶47)

Grow as spiritual leaders who offer passion, clarity, hope and imagination to the church as we are fully engaged in the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Order our lives and leadership in the firm conviction as stated by John Wesley: “the best of all is, God is with us.”

We pledge to hold each other accountable for living out this covenant and to seek the support and prayers of the entire church.


Freda Moon

Freda Moon, the widow of Rev. Alan Deryck Moon, died February 2, at age 87.

The Moons were married for 47 years and had two children.

Rev. Moon served 26 years in the New York Conference at Peekskill UMC; Glendale UMC and Ridgewood UMC, both in Queens; Bayport, Baldwin, and St. James, all on Long Island, N.Y. He retired in 1992 and died in 2002.

Funeral arrangements are to be private. Please keep the family in your prayers.

Julia Wilke, Co-Author of Disciple Bible Study

Not content to simply be a United Methodist pastor’s wife, Julia Wilke was a partner with her husband, Richard, in the acclaimed Disciple Bible Study program as well as the Institute for Discipleship that bears their name at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas.

Julia Kitchens Wilke, 83, died February 25 at a hospital in Houston. She is survived by her husband, as well as four children, all of whom had entered some facet of ministry.

“She had a legacy of great acceptance of everyone she met, and she was also very committed to making Jesus and the Bible as accessible and as understandable as she could,” said her son, Steve, vice president for planning and new programs at Southwestern College and executive director of the Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship at the college.

While Richard Wilke, a former United Methodist pastor and district superintendent, was bishop in the Arkansas Conference, the two began collaboration on the Disciple Bible Study program, which has been completed by millions of United Methodists around the world.

The 30th anniversary of Disciple will be celebrated this year at the Great Plains Annual Conference, as well as the South Central Jurisdictional Conference and General Conference, Steve Wilke said.

“She is truly a co-author of the Disciple Bible Series,” he said. “She was very influential in how it was set up, how it was established, what the basic principles of Disciple were. She did a lot of research and helped Dad with all the manual writing.

The couple’s three other children are Sarah Wilke, the publisher and world editor of The Upper Room; Susan Wilke Fuquay, who edited the 34-week Disciple series down to a “Fast Track” version; and Paul Wilke, pastor at Woodlawn United Methodist Church in Derby, Ks.

Trinity Wins Advertising Grant

Trinity United Methodist Church in Windsor, Conn., was the recipient of a digital advertising grant for the Easter season from United Methodist Communications (UMCom). The online digital ads are provided by UMCom and honor the

United Methodist brand, while advertising the local church. The ads are purchased and placed for the churches by UMCom.

The Vision, Newspaper of the NYAC, of the UMC

Resident Interim Bishop: Jane Allen Middleton

Editor: Joanne Utley

Vision e-mail: vision@nyac.com

Web site: www.nyac.com/vision

New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

20 Soundview Avenue
White Plains, NY 10606

Phone (888) 696-6922

Fax (914) 615-2244