New York Conference Happenings

Inspired to Serve God Inspired to Serve God New York Conference United Church of Christ ‌ ‌ Visit our Website Annual Meeting Registration is Now Open! June 10-12 Silver Bay on Lake George “Family Reunion: Release, Rest, Rejoice!” “For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12 Click here for more information HAPPENINGS March 30th, 2022 In this week issue: My Thoughts New York Conference Updates Lent 5 Harp Video Keeping in Touch and Staying Safe Prayers requested Conference Board Begins Anti-Racism Book Study Spring Meetings of New York Conference Associations Registration is Open for NYSOM’s Church History COMING SOON Retiree Boundary Awareness Training COMING SOON Culturally Responsive Ministry Training Commission on the Global Church PRC’s Webinars for March/July 2022 A Special COVID-19 Happenings will be sent this Friday. My Thoughts Something that Ryan wanted our staff to do for a long-time during staff meetings was a CREDO exercise: finish the sentence “This is what I believe…”. I think we tried a few times, but unfortunately we did not persist. So here it is. This is what I believe. I believe I cannot find any words that can capture my feelings about divinity. I believe I have seen God, heard God, and touched God. I believe I can’t open my eyes or ears or hands without encountering God. I believe I will never “know” God, and I believe God never ceases to reveal God’s self fully. I believe God withholds nothing from us. I believe all people are good. I believe each person can choose not to do good. I believe there is sin, but I believe it is much more powerful than the definition of “missing the mark” that I was given in seminary (several millennia ago). I believe sin is manifested both individually and corporately. I believe sin is a shut door or a window that can be opened (an opportunity). I believe that if it is opened, God is on the other side. I believe that no door nor window will open itself. I believe Jesus was holy and fully human. I believe that not all things work out for the best. I believe the universe bends toward love and justice. I believe I can see eternity and my mortality in my grandchild’s eyes. I believe in blessing. Thanks Ryan, David Reverend David R Gaewski Conference Minister davidgaewski@uccny.org True Grace and Love Rich , Lush, Tender, Smell, Touch, Sight John 12:1-8 A Very Physical Moment with deep spiritual significance NEW YORK CONFERENCE UCC UPDATES Keeping in Touch and Staying Safe Your conference staff is available to you on Wednesdays for Virtual Office Hours from 11am – 12 noon at zoom.us/j/422208515 We are here to listen, to have you bounce ideas off of us, to ask for specific resources, to pray and perhaps even to laugh together. All are invited. The New York Conference learned that one of our Western Association Churches, Pilgrim-St. Luke’s United Church of Christ was broken into over this last weekend. This is the third break-in they have suffered in 3 years. Although the alarm system interrupted the break-in, significant damage was sustained to 4 interior doors as the perpetrator(s) tried to move through the office suite. Please keep Pilgrim-St. Luke’s UCC in your prayers, and if you feel moved to help, please contact Rev. Nancy Rosas at pastor@pslucc.org. Conference Board Begins Anti-Racism Book Study On Wednesday, March 23, the UCCNY Conference Board of Directors began a five week book study of Dear White Peacemakers: Dismantling Racism with Grit and Grace, by Osheta Moore. The discussions are facilitated by Rev. Gary Smith, Director of the Center for Racial Justice, and Courtney E. Williams, MPH, a doctoral candidate and the Huel D. Perkins Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Louisiana State University. During the study, the Board is having an opportunity for honest conversation about the power and manifestations of racism within ourselves, and our Conference. The Board is dedicated to this work as an expression of our commitment to fight racism and educate about white privilege as we live into our 2018 pledge to become an Anti-Racism Conference. Spring Meetings of New York Conference Associations Genesee Valley Association Date: Saturday, April 30 Time: 9 a.m – 12 p.m. (no lunch) Place: First Congregational Church of Canandaigua, UCC 58 North Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424 Please join us in worship and celebration! Oneida Date: April 30 Time: 9 am to noon Place: Faith United, Oswego  Hudson Mohawk Date: April 30 Metropolitan Date: April 30th Time: 9:00am-12:00noon Place: – Broadway UCC & via Zoom Susquehanna Date: April 30th Time: 9:00-1200 noon Place: Via Zoom Western Date: May 1 Time: 1pm Place: To be announce Black River-St. Lawrence Date: May 1st Time: beginning at 3:00p.m. Place: Our current intention is to meet at Emmanuel Congregational UCC in Massena. Depending on the percentage of Covid cases in the area, we may decide to live stream. Reformed Association Date: May 19th Time:6:30 pm. Place: Via Zoom Essex Association Date: Sunday, May 22 Time: 2:00 pm Place: Via ZOOM. Registration is Open for NYSOM’s Church History Registration is now open for the third 20-hour core ministry course of spring 2022, “From Resurrection to Reformation: A History of the Christian Church (1-1650).” Rev. Steven Johnson, Ph.D., will be teaching it on 9 Wednesday evenings from 6:45 – 9 pm, beginning after Easter, on April 20. For more information, click here . If a scholarship would help you participate, reach out to Marjorie Purnine at mpurnine@uccny.org. Learning event and short course information will be coming soon. COMING SOON RETIREE BOUNDARY AWARENESS TRAINING The New York Conference will be instituting a new Boundary Awareness Training (BAT) curriculum designed to meet the specific needs of retired ministers who are still engaged in occasional ministry tasks like pulpit supply, weddings, and funerals. This training will also be open to active ministers who are contemplating retirement within 18-24 months. The training content will assist “soon-to-retire” ministers with skills for a successful personal and professional departure from ministry as well as provide tools for maintaining healthy boundaries with a former congregation. For currently retired ministers, this training will fulfill your association’s boundary awareness requirement. For those “soon-to-retire” ministers, continuing education units will be provided, but it will not substitute for your association’s BAT requirement. This Retiree BAT Training will be conducted online via Zoom and registration will be $25. Registration for upcoming 2022 sessions will begin in April. Watch the weekly Happenings for the registration link. Should you have questions about BAT requirements, please contact your association Committee on Ministry. COMING SOON CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE MINISTRY TRAINING In 2017 the Thirty-First General Synod of the United Church of Christ passed a Resolution that “calls upon all the judicatory and educational settings of the denomination to include the study of cultural diversity/sensitivity and institutional racism in clergy preparation and continuing education, and as a requirement for maintaining standing for all persons engaged in authorized ministry within and on behalf of the United Church of Christ.” (GS-31 Resolution #10) In support and compliance with this General Synod Resolution, the New York Conference has developed a Culturally Responsive Ministry Training (CRMT) program for all authorized ministers. The entire diversity curriculum will consist of 3 distinct cultural training modules, with a different module offered every two years. The first module, “Culture & Race” will be offered beginning in April 2022. Subsequent modules, “Culture & Sexuality/Gender” and “Culture & Disabilities” will be offered in 2024 and 2026 and all will continue a rotating basis thereafter. Each Association Committee on Ministry in the New York Conference has now adopted this training program as a mandatory requirement for all authorized ministers. Each 6-hour CRMT session will be conducted online via Zoom and registration will be $55 per authorized minister. A variety of training dates and times will be available and registration for upcoming 2022 sessions will begin in April. Watch the weekly Happenings and the conference website for upcoming registration links and information. Should you have questions about this new training requirement, please contact your association Committee on Ministry. 2022 NEW YORK CONFERENCE BOUNDARY AWARENESS TRAINING For March and April, and May uccny.info/BAT2022 Click on the link for the calendar then click on each training for more information and to register Commission on the Global Church [Caption] [Caption] [Caption] A Joint Statement on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine published on Mar 3, 2022 As we witness the tragedy of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began late last week we are seeing the destruction of lives, homes, and communities. We mourn that, yet again, the desire for power, control, and expansion has taken precedence over respect for human lives, livelihood, and dignity. We condemn in the Russian initiative to occupy and annex Ukrainian lands and populations, in contradiction to principles of international law that deem the acquisition of territory by force illegal. We lament that diplomacy was so swiftly dismissed as a viable option to resolve differing claims and assertions, and that human rights are so callously violated. Russia and its leaders, including and especially Mr. Putin, must be held accountable in ways that respect international institutions and laws. We oppose any further militarization of the conflict by Russia, as well as by NATO, the United States, and other parties, recognizing the right of Ukrainians to resist the assault on their homeland. Even so, de-escalation is required, not heightened belligerency. We acknowledge the intent of sanctions being imposed on Russia. However, we are concerned though targeted and specifically applied they may be, these sanctions could have a disproportionate impact on the general population, causing hardships the poorer segments will not be able to endure. We are inspired by the outpouring of care, support, and generosity that the more than one million Ukrainian and Russian refugees are experiencing in their time of need. Leading in the headlines is the open borders of European countries, welcoming Ukrainians as they flee their homes looking for safety and shelter. Lesser known and acknowledged are the barriers and obstacles being placed on people at those same borders and the abusive violence and discrimination being experienced by Africans, Middle Easterners and other foreign nationals who are a part of the increasing numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) stranded within Ukraine. We implore the international community to use everything in its power to protect the most vulnerable. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ condemn the racism and discrimination being evidenced during this time of crisis. The denial of access to safety and shelter for Africans, Middle Easterners, and others is deplorable. Preventing ethnic non-Ukrainians from crossing into European countries is racist and it must be named as such. It is a denial of human rights, dignity and respect which should be afforded to all people. We join with partners in the United States and around the world, including the All Africa Council of Churches and the African Union, in calling for open borders to all, including Africans living in Ukraine; students from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean; and others to have the right to leave Ukraine safely. This inhumane and discriminatory treatment must cease. We recognize the widespread impact of this conflict on other regions of the world, including countries that rely on imports of grains and energy sources from Ukraine, and know if the crisis is not resolved, the global poor will be most directly affected. We appeal to world leaders to work diligently and immediately to bring this conflict to an end. We urge them to recognize and apply international law justly to the many situations of conflict around the world. In places that witness similar violations of human rights we ask that world leaders give urgent attention to finding resolutions. O God of justice and of compassion, in this season of Lent, we pray that our warring ways may be forgotten, replaced with the hope of life in all its abundance for all people. Amen. As we pray together for peace and justice, Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer General Minister and President United Church of Christ Rev. Teresa Hord Owens General Minister and President Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson Associate General Minister Wider Church Ministries, UCC Co-Executive, Global Ministries Rev. Marco Cable President Division of Overseas Ministries, Disciples Co-Executive, Global Ministries Read more… FREE WEBINARS Overwhelm for Judicatory Staff Thursday, Mar 31, 2022 3-4:30 PM Eastern Our team of experts: The Rev. Heidi C. Heath The Rev. Callie Swanlund Rev. Laura Stephens-Reed Creative Adventures Through the Bible Thursday, March 31, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern Leader – Harriet Wilkin Eight Game Changers for the Post Pandemic Church Tuesday, April 5, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern Leader – Kay Kotan What’s Next In Christian Education Workshop Thursday, June 9 2 – 3:30 PM Leaders: Elizabeth Christie, Debbie Kolacki, Karen Smith Best Practices for Church Accounting Tuesday, June 14, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT Leader – Elaine Sommerville How to Recognize and Deal with Church Bullies Tuesday, July 26, 2022 7:00 – 8:00 PM Leader – David Woolverton Support the New York Conference Amazon Smile Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the New York Conference of United Church of Christ whenever you shop on AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. 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