Coronavirus: Need to Know Resources and Information

Reverend David A. Gilmore to Take District Superintendent Appointment with the Missouri Annual Conference’s Heartland District

Our dynamic and charismatic Director of Congregational Development and Revitalization, Reverend David A. Gilmore, will be stepping down from his position effective July 1, 2020.

Send a Christmas Card to the Someone Who is Incarcerated

Join in our simple social justice project that your whole Church, from Sunday School to Quilt Group, can do! Download Christmas cards in various designs. (Here's a tip:  print the cards on cardstock or 28lb. paper if your printer/copier doesn't take get two to a page!) Not sure what to write?  Here are some Suggested greetings for the cards. Plan when you will do this:  coffee hour?  Council meetings?  Sunday School?  Prayer groups, book clubs, committee meetings?  We have ...

The remarkable ministry of Rev. Bill James . . .

The Rev. William James, who died at 97, became a well-known figure in Harlem’s community development and in city politics, but his passion for supporting young people in general and African-Americans in particular was felt throughout United Methodist churches. To read a UMNS Report by Linda Bloom, go to:

The Vision

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html xmlns=""> <head> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" /> <title>The Vision, June 21, 2013</title> <style type="text/css"> <!-- .head1 { font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold; font-style: italic; } .head2{ font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; } .body { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; } .index{ font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 24px } .captions { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px; text-align:center; line-height:100%; } .captions1 { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px; line-height:100%; } .article_title { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 18px; font-style: italic; } .article { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 26px; font-style: italic; line-height:110%; } --> </style> </head> <body> <span class="body"> <table width="706" border="1" align="center" cellpadding="3"><tr><td> <table width="700" border="0" align="center" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tr> <td width="700" align="center" class="head1">&quot;Write the vision clearly on the tablets, that one may read it on the run.&quot; &#8212; Habakkuk</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center"><img src="" alt="The Vision" width="680" height="163" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td><table width="700" border="0" cellspacing="5" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tr> <td width="545" class="head2">The Newspaper of The New York Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.</td> <td width="140" align="right" class="head2">August 16, 2013 </td> </tr> </table></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="700"><hr /></td> </tr> <tr> <td><table width="700" border="0" cellspacing="5" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tr> <td valign="top" class="article_title">In this issue:</td><td valign="top"></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="227" class="index"> <ul> <li><a href="#sound">Sound the Alarm on Zimmerman Verdict</a></li> <li><a href="#olmsted">Olmsted Campers Wow Bishop With Talents</a></li> <li><a href="#ruling">NYAC Ruling On Docket For Council</a></li> <li><a href="#save_the_date">Save the Date</a></li> <li><a href="#children">Working With Kids to Keep Them Safe</a></li> </ul> </td> <td valign="top" width="226" class="index"> <ul> <li><a href="#city">City Society Celebrates 175 Years Of Caring</a></li> <li><a href="#financial">Financial Help for Young Clergy</a></li> <li><a href="#sharing">Sharing Their Missionary Witness</a></li> <li><a href="#stinson">Empathy Can Help Alleviate Aging Fears</a></li> <li><a href="#book">New Book Explores &quot;Acting Out&quot; Early Church Story</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p></td> <td width="227" valign="top" class="index"><ul> <li><a href="#high">High Tea Celebrates Bethel Community</a></li> <li><a href="#funds">Funds for New Church Signs</a></li> <li><a href="#dvds">Annual Conference DVDs Now Available</a></li> <li><a href="#obits">OBITUARIES</a></li> <li><a href="#despite">Despite Declines, Signs of Vitality Found in 2012</a></li> </ul> </td> </tr> </table></td> </tr> <tr> <td><hr /></td> </tr> </table> <table width="700" border="0" align="center" cellspacing="10" cellpadding="0"> <tr> <td valign="top" class="body" width="220"><p align="center"><img src="" width="200" height="42" /></p> <p class="article_title"><a name="sound" id="sound"></a>Sound the Alarm on Zimmerman Verdict</p> <p class="head1">An Open Letter to The United Methodist Church</p> <p><em>Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy. Between the vestibule and the altar, let the pastors lead our congregations in weeping. Let them say: &ldquo;Spare your people, O God, and do not make your heritage a mockery...&rdquo; </em><br /> &mdash;Joel 2:15&ndash;17&nbsp; </p> <p><img src="" alt="Doug Cunningham" width="125" height="169" align="right" />This is not the time for usual pastoral letters indicating support for the aggrieved while being careful not to offend the white majority. The killing of black teenagers is rampant nation-wide, and is now legal in Florida.&nbsp;</p> <p>A lot of white people don&rsquo;t see a problem with this verdict and United Methodists in the United States are 92 percent white. Denominational leaders, who are already concerned about institutional decline, may not want to risk ruffling white feathers on this one. But this moral crisis must be addressed. &nbsp;</p> <p>When an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed in my community by a New York Police Department (NYPD) officer last year&mdash;in the teenagers&rsquo; own home&mdash;it occurred to me that this wouldn&rsquo;t have happened in the white suburb where I grew up. When I joined 12 pastors in a meeting with the NYPD&rsquo;s Bronx commander about the shooting, the black and Latino pastors also shared their personal experiences of being harassed by the NYPD. Neither I nor any of the other white pastors had a similar story to share. </p> <p>To what extent was George Zimmerman&rsquo;s suspicion of Trayvon Martin connected to race? Florida&rsquo;s &ldquo;Stand Your Ground&rdquo; law and its interpretation in the Sanford verdict declare that it was legal for George Zimmerman to follow his suspicion, confront the teen, and then when feeling threatened, to kill him. </p> <p>In the words of one black father, &ldquo;Now, what do I tell my boys? We used to say not to run in public because that might be seen as suspicious, like they&rsquo;d stolen something. But according to Zimmerman, Martin drew his suspicion at least in part because he was walking too slowly. So what do I tell my boys now? At what precise pace should a black man walk to avoid suspicion?&rdquo;<cite>1</cite></p> <p>It is time for United Methodists to declare a fast&mdash;a national day of mourning in all our congregations. And then we should decide not to hold any denomination-wide meetings in Florida until it rescinds its &ldquo;Stand Your Ground&rdquo; law. This will sound the alarm in Florida and across the country, and encourage some much-needed straight talk about race.</p> <p>Doug Cunningham, Pastor<br /> New Day United Methodist Church<br /> Bronx, New York</p> <p><em>Right: The New Day worship team leads freedom songs at the Florida State Capitol during a protest rally seeking justice for Trayvon Martin with the group, Dream Defender.</em></p> <p><cite>1</cite> Charles M. Blow, Op-Ed page, <em>New York Times</em>, July 15, 2013.</p></td> <td valign="top" class="body"><p class="article_title"><a name="olmsted" id="olmsted"></a>Olmsted Campers Wow Bishop With Talents</p> <p class="captions"><img src="" width="450" height="300" /><br /> Bishop Martin McLee, center, leads the campers in a rap song during a visit to Camp Olmsted in late July. The youth and staff welcomed McLee to the camp with a lively show of their singing, dancing and performing talents.</p> <p align="left"><img src="" width="300" height="225" hspace="5" align="left" /><img src="" width="140" height="172" align="right" /></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p class="head1">Olmsted <br /> Campers<br /> Got Talent!</p> <p><img src="" width="300" height="200" hspace="5" align="left" />Campers show off their dancing skills, above left, and violin prowess at right. Bishop McLee and Rev. Bill Shillady, executive director of the UM City Society, pose with some of the youth following the talent show in late July at Camp Olmsted on Cornwall-on-Hudson. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <hr> <p align="left"><a name="ruling" id="ruling"></a><span class="article_title">NYAC Ruling On Docket For Council</span></p> <p>The United Methodist Judicial Council will consider 17 docket items when it meets Oct. 23&ndash;26 in Baltimore. Among the issues is a ruling by San Antonio Bishop James E. Dorff regarding the removal of Mary Ann Kaiser, a lesbian clergy candidate, from the ordination process in the Southwest Texas Annual (regional) Conference.</p> <p>The council will also consider a ruling of law by Bishop Martin D. McLee on whether a resolution approved during the 2013 Annual Conference, &ldquo;Commendation Of Those Who Have Taken A Stand For Justice,&rdquo; violates the <em>Book of Discipline</em>.</p> <p>In his decision, McLee stated that the resolution &ldquo;<a href="">successfully walks a line between celebrating those who have disobeyed without advocating disobedience</a>.&rdquo; His ruling&mdash;like all bishops&rsquo; rulings on questions of law&mdash;automatically goes for review to the Judicial Council, the denomination&rsquo;s top court. Bishop McLee&rsquo;s ruling can be found at this shortened link: <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>Beth Capen, a lawyer and member of the New York Conference, serves on the Judicial Council.</p> <hr /> <p class="article_title"><img src="" /></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="left"><hr /></td> </tr> </table> <table width="700" border="0" cellspacing="10" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tr> <td width="345" valign="top" class="body"><div align="center"> <a name="save_the_date" id="save_the_date"></a><img src="" alt="" width="335" /></div> <p><strong><em>8/24 50th Anniversary of March </em></strong><br /> Join in the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Rev. Hermon Darden of the Board of Church &amp; Society organized four buses to D.C. This is an essential witness at a time when key provisions of the Voting Rights Act have been recently struck down. Cost is $40. Join us for this historic event in the life of our country. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here for more information and to register>></a> (deadline is 8/201) Contact Rev. Paul Fleck at <a href=""></a> for more information.</p> <p><strong><em>9/14 Responding to Missional Needs</em></strong><br /> Black Methodists for Church Renewal invite all clergy and laity to attend, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a New Day: Behold I am doing a new thing.&rdquo; Come together to talk about ways of aligning our structure to the missional needs of the church and the community. Rev. Stephen Handy, pastor of McKendree UMC in Nashville will lead the adults, and Allison Blount and Michelle Stanley, the youth. Cost is $15 per person; or $45 per church for three persons or more. Lunch is included. 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with closing worship at 3:30 p.m., followed by a reception. New Rochelle UMC, 1200 North Avenue, New Rochelle, N.Y. For further information contact: Monique Blount at 347-751-4366, or Rev. Janet Hodge at 203-820-0236.</p> <p><strong><em>9/14 &amp; 21 Basic Lay Servant Ministry Class</em></strong><br /> The New York/Connecticut District is sponsoring a two-session class from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the South Dover UMC of Wingdale, N.Y. To register, go to: <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><strong><em>9/28 Volunteers in Mission Training</em></strong><br /> Learn what you need to know to lead or participate in a Volunteers in Mission team. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Led by&nbsp;Rev. Joseph Ewoodzie,&nbsp;conference mission coordinator. $5 per person;&nbsp;lunch will be served. Limited to 25 participants. Register by contacting Pat Hylton at 914-615-2226, or <a href=""></a>. </p> <p><strong><em>10/19 Laity Convocation</em></strong><br /> Guest speakers will include Sophia Agtarap of Rethink Church, Melanie Gordon of the General Board of Discipleship&rsquo;s Children and Youth Ministries, and Heather Lear, director of the GBOD&rsquo;s Evangelism Ministries. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Renaissance Westchester Hotel, White Plains. $40 per person; light breakfast from 8 a.m., lunch will be provided. To register, go to: <a href=""></a>.</p></td> <td width="345" valign="top" class="body"><table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="10"> <tr> <td bgcolor="#CBE5F6"><p class="article_title">McFee Workshop On Engaging Worship</p> <p>Dr. Marcia McFee, worship designer and artist, will lead a worship arts workshop, Saturday, Sept. 21, at Mercer Theological Seminary, Garden City, N.Y. The 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. event, in conjunction with the Parish Resource Center, will cover sensory-rich worship, the politics of change, paying attention to dynamics and energy, worship leadership as spiritual direction and creating a plan-ahead, plan together model of worship design. </p> <p><span>Although McFee has designed worship for national and international gatherings like the UMC&rsquo;s General Conference, her </span>passion for helping the church to worship God fully is especially directed toward the education of local congregations. She has also been a guest lecturer and adjunct faculty at twelve seminaries.</p> <p>The day includes breakfast and lunch. The special discount rate for United Methodists is $15 per person, or $60 for a team of four or more. For workshop details and to register, go to <span><a href=""></a></span>.</p></td> </tr> </table> <p><strong><em>10/26 UMW Annual Meeting</em></strong><br /> United Methodist Women will meet at Grace UMC, Valley Stream, N.Y.</p> <p><strong><em>10/26 Transforming Rural Churches</em></strong><br /> This Vital Congregations workshop will feature guest speaker Shannon O&rsquo;Dell, author of Transforming Church in Rural America. 9 a.m.- 3p.m; light breakfast/registration begins at 8 a.m. Lunch will be provided. Garden Plaza Hotel in Kingston, N.Y. Registration is $75 per church team. Go to: <a href=""></a>, to register.</p> <p><strong><em>11/3 City Society Anniversary Gala</em></strong><br /> Celebrate the 175th anniversary of the United Methodist City Society at this fundraising event. 4:30&ndash;9 p.m., Terrace on the Park, Flushing-Meadows Park, Queens. Featured speaker is Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State. $125 per person. See the story below for more information.</p> <p><strong><em>11/11&ndash;15 Pastor&rsquo;s Clinic at NYM Hospital</em></strong><br /> Each year 24 pastors and/or their spouses from the NYAC participate in a health clinic at New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn. In four days, participants receive a thorough physical examination and any follow-up tests that may be indicated. There will also be time to tour the Hospital and participate in seminars on recent developments in health care. You will get a penetrating view of your mission hospital at work. For more information and to apply, go to: <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><a href="">More events available on the NYAC calendar&gt;&gt;</a></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" valign="top" class="body"><hr /></td> </tr> </table> <table width="700" border="0" cellspacing="10" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tr> <td colspan="3" align="center" class="article"><a name="children" id="children"></a>Working With Kids to Keep Them Safe<img src="" alt="" width="1" height="25" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="220" valign="top" class="body"><p>As parents, one of our most important responsibilities is keeping our children safe. We can give our children skills to help them stay safe and act wisely with strangers, bullies, and people they know. The skills they practice may be able to stop some abuse, abduction, assault, and bullying.</p> <p>Children can practice: </p> <li>Assessing situations to determine safe choices.</li> <li>Moving their bodies in order to create more space between themselves and people who might cause problems for them.</li> <li>Making safe choices about talking to or taking things from strangers.</li> </td> <td valign="top" class="body" width="220"><p><img src="" width="220" height="70" /></p> <li>Checking in with adults in charge before they change plans about where or with whom they are going, and what they are doing.</li> <li>&ldquo;Emergency only&rdquo; skills of using physical techniques to escape from danger, as a last resort.</li> <li>Making and following a safety plan for how to get help in public, including if they get lost.</li> <li>Being clear in telling trusted adults when they have a safety problem and persisting until they get the help they need.</li> </td> <td valign="top" class="body" width="220"> <li>Using their voices loudly to attract attention if a situation becomes threatening.</li> <li>How to deal with hurtful words and to stop teasing and bullying from peers.</li> <li>Techniques to increase their self-esteem by protecting themselves from the hurtful or damaging things they might say to themselves.</li> <p>At the Children&rsquo;s Home we offer safe environments and opportunities to help children and families learn that they have strengths they can apply to provide safety. We believe &ldquo;every child deserves a safe place.&rdquo; You can help us spread the word. </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="3" valign="top" class="body">For more information, contact the Children&rsquo;s Home, at 607-772-6904 (or toll free 800-772-6904) ext. 131 or visit our website at <span><a href=""></a></span>. Please feel free to send donations directly, or use the New York Conference advance number 60-0588.</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="3" align="left" valign="top" class="body"><hr /></td> </tr> </table> <table width="700" border="0" cellspacing="10" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="center" valign="top" class="article"><a name="city" id="city"></a>City Society Celebrates 175 Years Of Caring<img src="" alt="" width="1" height="25" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="335" valign="top" class="body"><p><img src="" alt="City Society - 175 Years" width="125" height="123" hspace="10" align="left" />This year, the United Methodist City Society is celebrating 175 years of mission work to care for children, the poor, the disenfranchised and the immigrant, as well as their partnership with the New York Annual Conference to help transform and transition congregations to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.</p> <p>In the early 19th century, the Methodist spirit of John Wesley and the evangelic fires of Methodism continued their expansion westward. However, rather than camp meetings and crusades here in New York City, Methodists&mdash;specifically Methodist women&mdash;began to see the enormous social needs in the lower areas of Manhattan. During the early 1800s, a flood of immigrants from Europe worked in unsafe conditions and for unfair wages. Many lived in tenement housing amid squalor, gang activity, addictions, hunger and abuse. Children were victimized and used as child labor. It was these unjust conditions and compassionate concern for the needs of children and their mothers that gave birth to the zeal of the Methodists to organize ways to feed, educate, and uplift people from the chains of poverty that held them down. </p> <p>It was in 1838 that this compassionate effort to help children led to the organization of the New York City Sunday School Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Children were given Bibles and taught to read, and this genesis created the &ldquo;charity schools&rdquo; as they were then called. </p> <p>Similarly, the need to support Methodist congregations whose wealthier members moved uptown and away from these changing neighborhoods led to the formation of the Society in New York and then in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn and Long Island Church Society of the Methodist Church and the New York City Society of the Methodist Church were the missions through which care for the disenfranchised and poor was spearheaded and care for transitioning congregations and neighborhoods was directed. The societies also ministered to many of the diverse immigrant communities from early in our history&mdash;Germans, Irish, Swedish, Hispanics, Asians, those from the Caribbean, from all areas of Africa. To this day, we celebrate this incredible diversity. In 1971, the societies merged to become The United Methodist City Society. </p> <p>Today the UMCS work continues in early childhood education, afterschool programs, with summer day camps, Camp Olmsted, the retreat program at Olmsted Center, Anchor House, the United Methodist Center of Far Rockaway, Urban Ministry Scholarships, grants to church programs, loans for capital projects, administrative mentoring, affordable housing, and entrepreneurial dreams of what the </p></td> <td width="335" valign="top" class="body"><p ><img src="" width="200" height="243" hspace="10" align="right" /><em>Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton</em></p> <p >United Methodist Church can become as it ministers to community needs and becomes better stewards of property and resources.</p> <p >The 175th anniversary celebration is planned for November 3, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Terrace on the Park, 52-11 111th Street, Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, NY. Dinner follows at 6 p.m. This is a significant fundraising opportunity for the work of the City Society going forward.</p> <p>We will share remembrances of the historic work and mission of the society in a variety of ways, including the debut of a specially commissioned hymn, and the event will feature as guest speaker, the former Secretary of State, the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton.</p> <p>Secretary of State Clinton is a lifelong United Methodist. Her commitment to improving life for women and children has been evident through her efforts as First Lady, Senator, and as the Secretary. </p> <p>The society is honored that she has chosen to be a part of the celebration of our work with women and children and the United Methodist churches in the New York area for the last 175 years. Also as part of the evening&rsquo;s celebration, the Rev. Dr. John E. Carrington and the Rev. Richard J. Rice will be honored, and Trudy Grove, former CFO, will be recognized for her longevity at the helm of the society. </p> <p>Tickets are $125 per person (10 people per table) and can be purchased online at <span><a href=""></a></span>. You may buy online using a credit card, PayPal account, or by downloading the ticket form and returning it with a check. If you do so online, your donation of the 2.75% processing fee would be greatly appreciated.</p> <p>The reception will offer passed hors d&rsquo;oeuvres, international cheese board, fruits de mer, non-alcoholic beverages, and a cash bar. Dinner entr&eacute;e choices are a grilled duet of chateaubriand and a stuffed chicken breast, Pacific tilapia, or vegetarian lasagna Napolitano.</p> <p> A special souvenir journal for the evening will also be created for the celebration; please contact the City Society office at 212-870-3084 to purchase an advertisement.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2"><hr /></td> </tr> </table> <table width="700" border="0" cellspacing="10" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tr> <td width="220" valign="top" class="body"><p class="article_title"><a name="financial" id="financial"></a>Financial Help for Young Clergy</p> <p>A gathering for young clergy aged 25 to 39, &ldquo;revitup! For a Lifetime in Ministry,&rdquo; is being offered to strengthen personal, financial and leadership skills. It is a new pilot program sponsored by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits.</p> <p>&bull; Clergy who attend the October 28&ndash;30 event in Atlanta will: <br /> &bull; Learn ways to reduce and manage their seminary and personal debt <br /> &bull; Gather practical tips for establishing healthy boundaries and dealing with stress<br /> &bull; Network with other young clergy from across the denomination <br /> &bull; Earn continuing education units (CEUs)</p> <p><a href="">Click here for details and to register&gt;&gt;</a> Details are also available on the &ldquo;revitup&rdquo; Facebook page.</p> </td> <td valign="top" class="body" width="450"><p><a name="sharing" id="sharing"></a><span class="article_title">Sharing Their Missionary Witness</span></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><span>General Board of Global Ministries missionaries from Cambodia, Rev. Joseph Chan and his wife, Marilyn Chan, spoke at an event at Great Hill UMC in Seymour, Conn., shortly after their arrival in New York. They were scheduled to visit with several other NYAC congregations during their stay.</span></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="left" valign="top" class="body"><hr /></td> </tr> </table> <table width="700" border="0" cellspacing="10" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tr> <td colspan="3" align="center" class="article"><a name="stinson" id="stinson"></a>Empathy Can Help Alleviate Aging Fears<img src="" alt="" width="1" height="25" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="220" valign="top" class="body"><p><b>By Rev. Jim Stinson </b><br /> Consultant for Older Adult Ministries</p> <p><img src="" alt="Jim Stinson" width="195" height="197" /></p> <p>&ldquo;May you live to be 120!&rdquo;</p> <p>This traditional Jewish birthday blessing comes from the book of Genesis (6:3). The Lord said, &ldquo;My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred and twenty years.&rdquo;</p> <p>There was a time when this wish was at best a metaphor and, at worst, trite and meaningless. The likelihood of living that long is still not reality for most of us, but it is increasingly more within the realm of possibility. We now have centenarians as an ever-growing segment of our population. Is this a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Would you want to live that long?</p> <p>The answer to how we look at aging usually begins with, &ldquo;it depends.&rdquo; In fact, it does depend on so many variables and unknowns. Will I be healthy and physically able to take care of myself? Will my cognitive abilities remain intact? Will I outlive my loved ones? Will my money last as long as I do? Will I be a </p></td> <td width="220" valign="top" class="body"><p align="center"><img src="" alt="Jim Stinson" width="196" height="126" /></p> <p>burden to my family or society? The list is endless.</p> <p>Inherent in these questions is an underlying theme of fear. Aging, with its unanswerable questions, with its unknowns, engenders this fear. Behind all these questions is the fear of losing one&rsquo;s sense of self and self-worth. If I do lose all these things, or even some of them, where will my meaning, my sense of self be?</p> <p>For all those who care for or about someone as they move into and through this phase of the life, these questions and their answers determine so much. Do we respond to them with platitudes that dismiss such concerns, diminishing the aging and their fears? &ldquo;You&rsquo;ll be fine, don&rsquo;t worry.&rdquo; &ldquo;You won&rsquo;t get sick, look how healthy you have always been.&rdquo; &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t worry, things always work out for the best.&rdquo;</p> <p>Or do we respond with an acknowledgment that the questions and the fear behind them are legitimate. The one for whom we care will likely lose some abilities; will likely be less able to care for self than in earlier years. Money may become an issue. When these things happen the person, in some sense, will be a burden. Dismissing these concerns denies reality, as well </p></td> <td width="220" valign="top" class="body"><p>as leaving the one needing support feeling unheard and diminished.</p> <p>Empathy is likely the best response. Putting oneself in the other person&rsquo;s shoes, recognizing we will have the same questions and fears as we age, allows us to respond without answering unanswerable questions, without presuming to know the future. Empathy allows us to respond to the underlying fear&mdash;which is based in an understanding of self-worth and meaning&mdash;by offering the one antidote that helps. The antidote is understanding and validation of the person. It is reassuring that someone else sees the fear as acceptable and reasonable. It is helpful to allow the person to feel he or she is normal. In allowing the person to feel accepted and valued, self-worth is enhanced, as well as the discovery that self-worth and meaning have way less to do with what might be lost as aging takes its toll and far more to do with the person&rsquo;s intrinsic value as a human being.</p> <p>Some pundit somewhere said, &ldquo;Aging is not for sissies.&rdquo; That pundit was right, but only stated a half-truth. The rest of the truth is, &ldquo;Caring for the aging is not for sissies.&rdquo; Both require courage and honesty. Both involve a willingness to explore the deeper meanings of life beyond the physicality, seeking meaning and direction in being a person of value regardless of limitations and deficits. It is a courage required on both sides of the divide of aging.</p> <hr /> <p> Vview all of Jim Stinson's past articles by clicking here <a href="">;&gt;</a></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="3" align="left" valign="top" class="body"><hr /></td> </tr> </table> <table width="700" border="0" cellspacing="10" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tr> <td colspan="3" align="center" class="article"><a name="book" id="book"></a>New Book Explores &quot;Acting Out&quot; Early Church Story<img src="" alt="" width="1" height="25" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" class="body" width="220"><p><em>Creating A Scene In Corinth: A Simulatio</em>n. By Reta Halteman Finger &amp; George McClain. Published by Herald Press (<a target="_blank" href=";"></a>). </p> <p>BY THOMAS W. GOODHUE </p> <p>Yours truly should disclose at the outset that I am not necessarily an objective critic. I have long admired Reta Halteman Finger&rsquo;s work as the editor of the evangelical feminist journal Daughters of Sarah and George D. McClain&rsquo;s leadership of the Methodist Federation for Social Action. And George, who is a member of the New York Conference, was one of my prayer partners for many years. Nonetheless, I think that even if I knew nothing about the authors, I would find this a terrific book. </p> <p>Too many Christians have learned little about the Bible since Sunday School or seminary, and Creating a Scene in Corinth offers the fruits of recent scholarship in a highly accessible way. Deeply committed to both spiritual growth and social justice, the authors explore Paul&rsquo;s first letter to the Corinthians with profound insights into the political, social, and economic dynamics of the first century&mdash;and the 21st century. They begin by giving time-traveling readers a guided tour of the city that reveals casual acceptance of injustice &ndash; owners swap slaves for sex, since &ldquo;that&rsquo;s what young slaves are for&rdquo;&nbsp;in Corinth and some disturbing parallels between the Roman Empire and America&rsquo;s dominance of the world today.</p> </td> <td width="220" valign="top" class="body"><p><img src="" width="220" height="46" /></p> <p align="center"><img src="" /></p> <p>Those who became the first followers of Jesus, Finger and McClain point out, did not immediately leave behind the empire&rsquo;s accepted ways of doing things as they began to inhabit the new realm of God that Jesus and Paul proclaimed. In much the same way, they note, until the 1980s or so, most scholars tended to see Greek and Roman slavery as relatively benign, rather than the brutal oppression they now recognize it to have been&mdash;just as many Americans tried to convince themselves for centuries that our own &ldquo;peculiar institution&rdquo; really wasn&rsquo;t so bad for the slaves.</p> <p>Christianity&rsquo;s egalitarianism, Paul&rsquo;s rejection of patronage from the wealthy </p></td> <td width="220" valign="top" class="body"><p>citizens, his voluntary identification with ordinary workers (he became an itinerant tent-maker), the elevation of women to key leadership positions in the Jesus movement, and the Judeo-Christian concern with social ethics were radically new in the ancient world.</p> <p>This book will be helpful to any preacher, teacher, or serious reader of the Bible, but at its core are chapters that provide detailed suggestions for acting out the setting of Paul&rsquo;s letter as a new way of studying the text. This is reminiscent of the way the late Bible scholar Walter Wink showed people how to put themselves into the story to gain new insight into scripture.</p> <p>Finger and McClain suggest that, &ldquo;The ideal time frame is twelve or thirteen sessions of two hours each,&rdquo; but they recognize that &ldquo;this is often unrealistic and can be adjusted.&rdquo; This material could be an excellent basis for a confirmation or youth retreat, for example, or for an older class in Vacation Bible School, or a spiritual retreat for adults.</p> <p>With an evangelical and a progressive United Methodist as authors, and a Mennonite publisher, this is ecumenism at its best.</p> <p>&mdash;Rev. Thomas W. Goodhue, a memberof the New York Annual Conference, serves as the director of the Long Island Council of Churches. You can reach him at <a href=""></a>, or 516-565-0290.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="3" align="left" valign="top" class="body"><hr /></td> </tr> </table> <table width="700" border="0" cellspacing="10" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tr> <td width="220" valign="top" class="body"><p class="article_title"><a name="funds" id="funds"></a>Funds for New Church Signs</p> <p><img src="" width="105" height="228" hspace="5" align="right" /></p> <p>Matching funds are available for churches that are newly installing or updating church signs on the highway. If interested, please contact Rev. Ann Pearson, the director of Connectional Ministries, at <span><a href=""></a></span> for details and an application.</p> <hr /> <p><a name="dvds" id="dvds"></a><span class="article_title">Annual Conference DVDs Now Available</span></p> <p><img src="" width="220"/></p> <p>DVDs of Annual Conference 2013 are now available for purchase from GNTV Media Ministry. &nbsp;<a shape="rect" href=";ts=S0943&amp;r=3&amp;" linktype="1" target="_blank">Click&gt;&gt;</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p></td> <td valign="top" class="body"><p><span class="article"><a name="high" id="high"></a></span><span class="article_title">High Tea Celebrates Bethel Community<img src="" alt="" width="1" height="25" /></span></p> <p class="captions"><img src="" width="450" height="366" /><br /> Roz, from left, Helene and Mary Jane enjoyed the High Tea at The Pines Senior Residence.</p> <p>There were many raised pinkies recently as ladies and gentlemen alike sipped tea from delicate china during &ldquo;High Tea&rdquo; at The Pines Independent Senior Residence in Ossining. Triangles of assorted tea sandwiches, miniature Italian pastries and cookies were served. Harpist Carrianne Dillon, whose grandmother Liz Dillon is a resident of The Pines, provided music fitting for the elegant occasion. </p> <p>In addition to The Pines residents, their family and friends, members of the St. Augustine&rsquo;s Golden Eagles group and seniors from the Springvale Apartments in Croton-on-Hudson also attended. The high tea was also one of a series of events being held throughout the year to celebrate Bethel&rsquo;s 100 years of service to the community.</p> <p>The Pines Independent Senior Residence is part of Bethel Homes and Services, which is the only not-for-profit healthcare organization in Northern Westchester that provides a full continuum of care.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="left" valign="top" class="body"><hr /></td> </tr> </table> <table width="700" border="0" cellspacing="10" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="center" class="article"><a name="obits" id="obits"></a>OBITUARIES<img src="" alt="" width="1" height="25" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="335" valign="top" class="body"><p class="article_title">Sunghee &ldquo;Sam&rdquo; Lee </p> <p>Sunghee &ldquo;Sam&rdquo; Lee, husband of Rev. Koonae Annie Lee, died on July 31, at age 78. Rev. Lee is the pastor of the Stratford UMC in Connecticut. </p> <p>Lee was born in Tokyo in 1935, and immigrated to Korea at age 12. He earned a bachelor&rsquo;s degree in physics from the Seoul National University, South Korea, and worked as a high school teacher.</p> <p>In 1957, he immigrated to the United States to study as part of the Senator J. William Fulbright Scholar Program at CUNY Brooklyn College, where he eventually earned a master of arts degree in mathematics in 1972. Lee then worked at Met Life, CBS Inc., and the IBM Corporation in Poughkeepsie, NY.</p> <p>In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons, Patrick, Mark and David Lee; daughters-in-law, Jane Cha-Lee and Hannah Lee; grandson, Josiah Lee; brother Tae Hee (Okhe) Lee; and several nieces and nephews.</p> <p>The service of death and resurrection was held August 3 at the Stratford UMC. Burial was at the Pinelawn Memorial Park, Farmingdale, N.Y. </p> <p>In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the &ldquo;Sam Lee Memorial Fund&rdquo; at the Stratford UMC, 2600 Main Street, Stratford, CT 06614-5893.</p> <hr /> <p class="article_title">Nazgul William</p> <p><img src="" width="200" hspace="5" align="right" />Deaconess Nazgul William was known for her smile and vivacious love of life. Her laughter was infectious, and when she danced you couldn&rsquo;t help but join her. &ldquo;Naz&rdquo; to her friends, she dedicated her life to ministries of care and compassion and was looking forward to sharing what she had learned about women&rsquo;s issues and gender inequality in Asia having just completed a two-month course in the Philippines.</p> <p>Her life abruptly ended July 17, in Beijing. While out for an afternoon walk near a shopping center, she was one of two people stabbed by a young man in what was reported as a random act of violence due to mental illness. She was visiting Beijing after attending the World Diakonia conference in Berlin, Germany.</p> <p>Born in Lahore, Pakistan, William became the first Pakistani deaconess of The United Methodist Church at her commissioning in 2005. From a young age she felt God&rsquo;s call to dedicate her life to love, justice and service. Her deaconess ministries included working at the Brooks-Howell Home in Asheville, N.C., and translating materials from the United Methodist Women&rsquo;s Bible Women Program into Urdu, the native language of Pakistan.</p> <p>William was a member of Christ Church United Methodist in Manhattan. where she held the office of president of United Methodist Women. She was also social action coordinator for the New York Conference United Methodist Women. Memorial services were being planned in Pakistan, New York, and at the Brooks-Howell Home in Asheville, N.C.</p> <hr /> <p class="article_title">Robert G. Titus</p> <p>Robert G. Titus, 89, died at Hospice House on Long Island on June 28, after a month-long hospitalization. Titus was married in March to Rev. James M. (Mac) Speights, his life partner since 1989.</p> <p>Titus, a native of Brooklyn, enlisted at age 18 and served in World War II as a surgical technician. He served on hospital ships throughout the war in both the European and Pacific theaters caring for wounded soldiers.</p> <p>Upon discharge in 1945, Titus received a degree in landscape design from Farmingdale School of Agriculture. He eventually became the assistant director at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay where many of the magnificent trees one sees there were planted under his guiding hand. After retiring in 1974, he built a magnificent garden on his property.</p> <p>After meeting Speights, Titus became active in pushing for gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender (GLBT) equality. He died just days after the Supreme Court made its landmark decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act in June.</p> <p>Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Rev. Speights at 43 Dewey Street, Huntington, N.Y. 11743. Memorial donations can be made in Titus&rsquo; name to Hospice House, 101 Laurel Road, East Northport, NY 11731, or to a GLBT charity of your choice. </p></td> <td valign="top" class="body" width="335"><p class="article_title"><img src="" alt="" width="93" height="75" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="right" /> Rev. William W. Ross </p> <p>Rev. William W. Ross died on June 16, at age 91. A native of Iowa, he studied for the ministry at the Boston University School of Theology.</p> <p>After receiving elder&rsquo;s orders in the Northwest Iowa Conference, he transferred to the New York East Conference in 1949 where he served the following churches: Lindenhurst, Plainville, Jesse Lee in Easton, St. Paul&rsquo;s in Staten Island, Ellenville, West Granby and Copper Hill, Hancock, Philmont, and Ridges-Roxbury in Stamford. He retired in 1991.</p> <p>During a student pastorate in Townsend, Mass. in 1944, he married Jean MacDonald. After that marriage ended, he married Ella Betsy Case in 1964. Bill and Betsy had three children, </p> <p>Ross is survived by four sons: William Howard Ross, David Allen Ross, James W. Ross, and Varick Thomas Ross; and daughter, Leola Betsy. He was predeceased by wife, Ella Betsy Ross, and son, Robert Ellis Ross. Ella Ross was named during the recent NYAC Memorial Service on June 5.</p> <p>His daughter, Leola wrote, &ldquo;His grief, the physical anguish and the mental distress of his illness with dementia are now gone and he is at peace.&rdquo; A memorial service was held at the Plainville UMC in Connecticut on June 29. </p> <p>Memorial donations may be sent to the Plainville UMC, Enfield Congregational Church, or any Masonic charity.</p> <hr /> <p class="article_title">Timothy G. Manchester</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="250 hspace="5" align="right" />Timothy Grant Manchester, a public health worker who improved access to reproductive health and family planning in Africa and Asia, died in a cycling accident in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on May 1 at age 61. News of Manchester&rsquo;s death was shared in a<span> Let Us Remember</span> notice on <span>May 4</span> and he was named in the memorial service during annual conference in June.</p> <p>Recently, a biography published in <span><a href="">www.the</a></span> written by Stephen Pincock was sent to the NYAC Secretary&rsquo;s office.</p> <p>Manchester was raised by his missionary parents, Rev. Avery and Pamela Armstrong Manchester, in Belgium, New York, Connecticut, and Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo). After earning an arts degree at Goddard College, Vt., he returned to Zaire as a Peace Corps volunteer before joining that organization&rsquo;s staff. Those years marked the beginning of a life-long passion for improving health care and of an equally committed partnership with his wife, Jill.</p> <p>By the early 1980s, they had returned briefly to the United States, where Manchester earned a masters degree in epidemiology at Tulane University, acquiring skills that were soon put to use when he returned to Africa as part of Tulane&rsquo;s rural health improvement project in Niger.</p> <p>Later, he took a post with Save the Children in Cameroon, and it was there he was introduced to the global health organization Population Services International (PSI). Among the projects Manchester initiated were a groundbreaking social marketing program for insecticide-treated bed nets and the development of a new brand of condoms.</p> <p>In 2001, Manchester and his family moved to China at a time when the county had just begun to grapple with its HIV/AIDS epidemic. Five years later, Africa called again and the Manchesters returned to Tanzania, where he served as a liaison between the government and donors to improve the availability of contraceptives.</p> <p>A keen hiker and mountain-climber, Manchester reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro five times. A passionate sailor, he was vice-commodore of Dar es Salaam Yacht Club, where his memorial service was held with more than 600 friends and colleagues in attendance.</p> <p>One speaker noted Manchester&rsquo;s impact with a message from Mitchell Warren, a PSI colleague: &ldquo;Paul Farmer is quoted as saying &lsquo;all of your most important achievements on this planet will come from working with others.&rsquo; Tim has certainly proved this to be true.&rdquo;</p> <p>Manchester is survived by his wife, Jill, and daughters, Katherine and Chloe; father and stepmother, Rev. Avery and Pamela Armstrong Manchester; and mother, Rosemary Manchester.</p> <p>You many reach out to Rev. Manchester with prayers for consolation and expressions of support at 216 Brookdale Road, Stamford, CT 06903.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" valign="top" class="body"><hr> <p class="article_title">Dorothy P. Pollard</p> <p>Dorothy P. Pollard, widow of Rev. Robert A. Pollard, died on July 15, at age 91. Born in Huntsville, Ala., in 1921, she was a schoolteacher in New York for 21 years.</p> <p>Rev. Pollard served four churches beginning in 1947, including Fishkill and Sayville. Rev. Pollard retired in 1981 and died in 2008.</p> <p>Funeral services were held at the Sayville United Methodist Church on July 21; Pastor Richard Allen officiated. Internment was at the Sayville Union Cemetery.</p> <p>Survivors include sons, Robert (Karen) Pollard of Huntsville, Ala., and Raymond Pollard of Long Island; grandchildren, Scott (Wendi) Pollard of Huntsville, David (Hannah) Pollard of Abingdon, Va., and Julie Pollard of Long Island; and great-grandchildren, Ryan, Katie, Rachel, Sara Grace, Lucy and Luke Pollard. </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="left" valign="top" class="body"><hr /></td> </tr> </table> <table width="700" border="0" cellspacing="10" cellpadding="0" align="center"> <tr> <td colspan="3" align="center" class="article"><a name="despite" id="despite"></a>Despite Declines, Signs of Vitality Found in 2012<img src="" alt="" width="1" height="25" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" class="body" width="220"><p><strong><em>A UMNS Report</em></strong></p> <p>The United Methodist Church in the United States lost roughly the equivalent of the Memphis and Alaska conferences combined in the past year. </p> <p>Between 2011 and 2012, the denomination saw a reduction of at least 87,319 U.S. members. The U.S. church also saw, on average, at least 50,895 fewer people in worship each week.&nbsp;</p> <p>This snapshot comes from <a href="">reports from 57 of the 59 U.S. annual (regional) conferences</a>, which followed spring and summer gatherings.&nbsp;These totals are not yet official and could face a few adjustments, but the trend seems clear. </p> <p>Yes, membership and worship attendance for the majority of U.S. conferences are still falling. The numbers <a href=";b=2789393&amp;ct=12077811">continue a decades-long slide in U.S. church affiliation that extends well beyond The United Methodist Church</a>. But these figures do not give the full picture of the denomination&rsquo;s presence in the United States, much less the global United Methodist Church.</p> <p>Some United Methodist leaders across the United States tell a different story&mdash;and they have the numbers to back them up.</p> <p>Seven U.S. conferences increased in worship attendance, and eight gained members in 2012. In fact, at least one</p></td> <td width="220" valign="top" class="body"><p>conference in each of the five U.S. jurisdictions experienced growth in either membership or worship attendance. Two&mdash;<a href=";b=8708271&amp;ct=13224257&amp;notoc=1%23.UgEPDOAkMQI">Central Texas</a> and <a href=";b=8708271&amp;ct=13171235&amp;notoc=1%23.UgEPNuAkMQI">Northwest Texas</a>&mdash;reported both membership and attendance growth.</p> <p>Leaders of growing conferences agree that establishing new Christian communities is critical to vitality in the present and growth in the future.</p> <p>U.S. bishops and other conference leaders tend to prefer worship attendance to membership as a gauge of church vitality.</p> <p>Individual churches count membership differently&mdash;with some having stricter requirements than others. Conferences also vary in how strongly they encourage churches to clean their rolls. </p> <p>Worship attendance &ldquo;depicts a clear picture of who is in the &lsquo;house,&rsquo;&rdquo; said the New York Conference&rsquo;s Bishop Martin D. McLee.</p> <p>Nevertheless, membership remains the only measurement used in allocating delegates to General Conference, distributing seats on the boards of many church agencies and determining the number of bishops in a jurisdiction. It is also one of the few metrics collected throughout the worldwide church, said Scott Brewer, the executive of connectional relations for the denomination&rsquo;s finance agency.</p></td> <td width="220" valign="top" class="body"><p>&ldquo;If we truly believe that every person matters, then we should celebrate every member and every worship attendee as a sign of God&rsquo;s grace,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;and (view) every removal by charge conference action as a reason for mourning.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href=";b=8708275&amp;ct=13187291&amp;notoc=1%23.UgFMveAkMQI">The New York Conference</a>, which encompasses the New York City area and Connecticut, has been taking that approach, said Bishop Martin D. McLee. The conference&rsquo;s weekly church attendance was 34,512 in 2012, up 118 people since 2011. He credits that gain to the conference&rsquo;s efforts to form new faith communities and bolster already-existing churches.</p> <p>The conference is among the 11 conferences participating in Team Vital, the newest phase of the denomination&rsquo;s <a href="">emphasis on vital congregations</a>. The conferences are working collaboratively with each other and the denomination&rsquo;s Council of Bishops to double the number of highly vital congregations during the next four years.</p> <p>&ldquo;The emphasis on vitality statistics and metrics has been informative as we planned approaches to growth,&rdquo; McLee said.&nbsp; &ldquo;We have examined worship with a focus on relevancy, style and changing demographics. Accordingly, many congregations have modified approaches to worship that have resulted in a more &lsquo;friendly&rsquo; approach to the worship experience.&rdquo;</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="3" align="left" valign="top" class="body"><hr /></td> </tr> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <table width="700" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="5" align="center"> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="center"><img src="" alt="The Vision, Newspaper of the NYAC, of the UMC" width="335" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center" valign="top" class="body"><p>Bishop: Martin D. McLee</p> <p>Director of Connectional Ministries: Ann A. Pearson </p> <p>Editor: Joanne Utley </p> <p>Vision e-mail: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Web site: <a href=""></a></p></td> <td align="center" valign="top" class="body"><p><strong>New York Conference of The United Methodist Church </strong></p> <p> 20 Soundview Avenue<br /> White Plains, NY 10606 </p> <p> Phone (914) 997-1570 or <br /> (914) 615-2219</p> <p> Fax (914) 615-2244</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="center" valign="top" class="body"><hr color="#000000" /></td> </tr> </table> </td></tr></table> </body> </html>


 News Article

UMC Bishops pose five questions to Judicial Council on Traditional Plan

The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church (COB) has asked the Judicial Council for a declaratory decision as to the constitutionality, meaning, application and effect of certain petitions adopted as the Traditional Plan by the 2019 General Conference held in St. Louis, Missouri, in February.

What's New in the Media Library?

The New York Conference has many new resources - both print and media - available for loan to UM churches.  Please click here to view some of our more recent media acquisitions. Resources for Lent

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