|Bishop Bickerton's State of the
NY Annual Conference Address
Watch the "State of the New York Annual Conference" Video
Bishop Bickerton issued a “State of the New York Annual Conference” video last week to offer words of hope and encouragement. The message also provided important updates and outlined upcoming changes that will apply in our new post-Covid-19 environment.
We want to ensure that all have access to this essential announcement. The video is now available from a number of platforms:
Go here to read the Bishop's State of the New York Annual Conference message and download a copy for your use.
COVID-19 Emergency Food Response – Your Help is Needed!
One of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic has been a significant increase in families needing food assistance. For many, it is a first-time, and difficult, experience. It also knows no bounds, as inner city, rural, and suburban areas are all, in some way, affected. Food pantries report a doubling and tripling in requests. In addition, a number of pantries have closed down - a combination of increased demand, a decrease in donations, a drop-off in volunteers, and safety concerns.
The NYAC Missions office, working with the Bishop's Cabinet and district food ministry representatives, has been holding meetings to identify existing NYAC food ministries, under-served and vulnerable populations, and gaps in existing services.
Tom Vencuss, NYAC Director of Missions and Disaster Response writes, “Given the diversity and presence of our local churches and food ministries in so many communities, we have the opportunity to make a significant impact on the overall well-being of individuals and communities impacted by the coronavirus.”
A “NYAC COVID-19 Emergency Food Response” account has been set up within the Missions office to support our church-based food ministries. Checks may be made out to the NYAC with “Emergency Food Response” in the memo line. Donors may also go on the NYAC website (www.nyac.com), and click on the “Give to the NY Conference” tab on the right panel. Direct your gift to “Emergency Food Response.”
All questions may be directed to Tom Vencuss at email@example.com.
Your support is so appreciated and critical at this time and all donations will go directly to the purchase and distribution of food supplies.
NOTE: Methodists often find themselves on the front lines when crises arise, as noted in the article about the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793. Anna Bates, of the New Paltz UM Church, is cited.
- Wesleyan Justice Training - Thursday, May 14, 1-4 PM: During this time of social distancing, we are eager to offer the opportunity to explore a new Justice Oriented opportunity for ministry! The Conference Board of Church and Society invites local churches and their leadership to discuss social justice principles, Wesleyan theology, and ways to implement justice ministries in their communities. Those interested in joining us on can register here .
- World Council of Churches calls for a global day of prayer, for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thursday, May 14.
- Abingdon Press Leadership offers the "Now & Next" webinar series, including one on Thursday, May 14 called "Taking Self-Care Seriously: Managing Stress so You Can Care for Others." Presenters include Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli, Rev. Dr. Charles L. Howard, and Rev. Curtis Zackery
- What Will VBS Look Like This Summer? Is VBS a big part of your church’s ministry? Do you look forward to VBS every summer? Are you thinking of cancelling your program because of the Covid 19 virus?
There are ways to hold VBS this summer. Programs may just not look like the way we have done them in the past. Let’s get together on Wednesday, May 20 at 7:00 PM to discuss some alternatives for your church’s VBS ministry. For more information or to register, contact Cassandra Negri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we continue to shelter in place, here are some resources to help you with worship and spiritual enrichment:
- The Lewis Center for Church Leadership offers a COVID-19 Supplement to "The Right Start: Beginning Ministry in a New Setting"
- GNTV, the professional media service that provides our audio-visual component at annual conference, is available to help your church produce online services. Click here for more information.
- The Festival of Homiletics will take place May 18-22, 2020. This year it is online and free. Reserve your spot soon.
- The Upper Room is providing the May/June 2020 issue of The Upper Room magazine, both in English and Spanish, for download at no cost. Four "Pocket Prayers" booklets are also available (use the link above and scroll to the bottom of the page).
- The Office of Connectional Ministries continues to offer a Centering and Prayer Time each Thursday afternoon at 12:30. Click here to view several of those events.
- NYAC's On-line Giving Platform is available to local churches.
- ResourceUMC offers some communication tips for online giving.
|Online Worship from
"Across the Pond"
Kathleen LaCamera Loughlin is a writer, film maker and healthcare chaplain based in Manchester, England. She was ordained both deacon and Elder in our New York Conference, serving as Associate pastor of First United Methodist Church, Stamford, then as a TV producer for UMCOM, where she worked on the Catch the Spirit television series for many years before her move to the UK in 1992.
Kathleen's husband Chris worked with the BBC (Religion and Ethics Department) for 33 years. When the pandemic lock-down started in March, Kathleen and Chris began helping three local Methodist churches create collaborative online worship services, and they have offered to make these services available to churches in the NY Conference to use, along with accompanying worship sheets/bulletins. To view recent services, please visit https://wilmslowmethodists.org.uk/.
If you are interested in using all or part of any of these services, please reach out to Kathleen at Kathleen@loughlin.tv for more information. Kathleen writes, "This is not to get our permission, but more to be a support in using the services. If anyone does want to use these, we can provide a download link that will make it much easier to work with for starters, as well as help out in other ways. Some of these services assume a cultural knowledge of the UK and the British Methodist Church that I can help translate as well."