Advent & Christmas 2020

Advent calendars...  Advent wreaths... Cookie exchanges... Open houses... Caroling... Cantatas... Candlelight services... These are all traditions that bring joy and meaning to Advent and Christmas.  They bring families and communities together.  They help us remember the reason for the season - the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

Yet in our current COVID-19 reality of social distancing, limited in-person gatherings, and virtual worship, we will not be able to "do" our Advent and Christmas traditions the way we have been accustomed to doing them. So we'll have to get creative.  Again.

The Connectional Ministries staff is working on an "Advent & Christmas Reinvented" page for the Conference website.  We'll be posting resources, activity and service ideas for all ages, words of encouragement and hope, maybe even a holiday recipe or two.  And we'd love to hear what you are planning for this very non-traditional holy season. Please send your thoughts and ideas to Carol Merante at so that we can "encourage one another and build each other up." (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

To get your creative juices flowing, here are some ideas about caroling, from the Worship Design Studio (Marcia McFee) and The Center for Congregational Song.  

And here is a Podcast about "Virtual Advent" from the Lewis Center, featuring Anna Petrin.

There will be an opportunity for you to share and discuss ideas next Thursday, November 5 at 12:30PM.  This will be a Zoom format, which will preempt our regular Centering and Reflection time.  Watch your email on Wednesday, Nov. 4th for connection information.

Finally, please note that the Bishop is working on protocols for Advent and Christmas worship, which will be released soon.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3 Please Vote!

 And take these words from John Wesley to heart:

NY JFON Virtual Gala - November 12

NY Justice for Our Neighbors' Virtual Gala for Immigrant Justice

For over 20 years New York Justice for Our Neighbors (NY JFON) has been welcoming immigrants into our communities with compassion, dignity, and love by providing free, high-quality immigration legal services to immigrants in need, educating communities of faith and the public about the immigration system, and advocating for immigrant rights. We're celebrating the immigrant neighbors we have represented and their resiliency in the face of all obstacles, especially through the current pandemic. This 21st Anniversary Gala will feature words from Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton; commentary from our superstar attorneys TJ Mills, Alexis Duecker, and Samantha Blecher; musical offerings from Victoria Clark; and, of course, videos of the people with whom we stand in solidarity in this work: our immigrant clients. General tickets are free and your generous donations are greatly appreciated.
Join us on or our Facebook page (@NYJFON) for an hour of inspiration and fun on November 12 at 7pm!

Laity Celebration - November 14

This year’s Laity Celebration will be held via Zoom on Saturday, November 14, from 10AM - 1PM. 

We will be studying the book Black & White: Disrupting Racism One Friendship at a Time, by Teesha Hadra & John Hambrick.  We have a limited number of copies available at the Conference Center for purchase, on a first-requested, first-mailed basis.
Or, you may order your own copy (Amazon, Cokesbury, Barnes & Noble, etc.).
NOTE: space is limited to 100 on the Zoom call, and we only have 15 spots left as of noon on Thursday, October 29.  We will be closing registration very soon. Register here.
If you have questions, you may contact Roena Littlejohn at 203-331-9653 or
You will receive a link to join the meeting a few days prior to the event.

"There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free;
nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Galatians 3:28 (CEB)

Don’t miss Bishop Thomas Bickerton’s
address to the Laity at this special event!

Mission News & Opportunities
  • Invite a Missionary to your church for a virtual visit !!! 
    They can join your women’s group, study group, worship service or special event. Simply fill out the form and you’re on your way.
Disaster Response Updates

ERT Trainings – We can be anxious or we can be prepared
Early Response Teams are our first-response volunteers following a disaster. It is important that the New York Conference be prepared not only to respond to disasters in other parts of the country, but also for a significant weather event within the bounds of our Conference. We will be offering two virtual ERT workshops in the coming weeks.
ERT-Recertification - November 10 from 7 to 10 PM. This is for persons who already have badges – even if your badge has expired. Register Here

ERT-Basic Training This is for persons for have never taken an ERT Basic class. UMCOR requires an 8-hour training session. It will be held on Friday, November 13 from 5 to 9 PM and Saturday, November 14, from 8 AM to noon. Participants must attend both sessions. This program will be in collaboration with the New England Disaster Response program.  Register Here  

Contact Tom Vencuss ( for information. 

What's Happening in Your District?

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Metropolitan                                                          New York-Connecticut

NYAC Mission Statement

We strive to share God’s love by creating safe places where all are accepted and welcomed, connecting the needs of people to the presence of God, and transforming the world through Christ.

Learn more

The New York Conference
The United Methodist Church
20 Soundview Ave, White Plains, NY 10606