Inspired to Serve God Inspired to Serve God New York Conference United Church of Christ HOLY WEEK 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 April 6th, 2022 In this week issue: My Thoughts Lent 5 Harp Video Fight LGBTQ Discrimination: We MUST Pass the Equality Act New York Conference Updates Keeping in Touch and Staying Safe Conference Board Begins Anti-Racism Book Study Spring Meetings of New York Conference Associations Last Chance for Church History and First Chance for NYSOM’s Spring Learning Event COMING SOON Retiree Boundary Awareness Training COMING SOON Culturally Responsive Ministry Training PRC’s Webinars for May/July 2022 A Special COVID-19 Happenings will be sent this Friday. My Thoughts I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this idea of Grace. In our Christian circles, we define Grace as: “God’s unmerited favor.” In the Greek, Grace is the word “charis.” It’s where we get our word charity. We even have a beloved hymn that we sing about it. Grace are those blessings that God bestows upon us that we do not deserve and in no way could possibly earn. I believe that is what is so amazing about this thing called Grace. It is a gift, even when we mess up and/or miss the mark, God still grants it to us freely. But…what about the Grace that we could and should show to one another? What exactly might that look like? Could Grace be going out of our way to give compassion, kindness, and love to someone even if they might not appreciate it, or return it? Maybe it is choosing to act positively towards someone who might even hate the sight of you or have done wrong to you in the past. Perhaps Grace is forgiving someone even when they don’t ask for it? Certainly, in the current climate that we are living in, socially and politically, it seems that this is a gift that is needed now, more than ever. I’ve just been thinking a lot about Grace. I recall as a kid, I would always get super excited helping my mother wrap Christmas or birthday presents for our family and friends. I always wanted to pick out the wrapping paper and the bows and I would wait in tip-toe anticipation of the look on their faces when they opened that specially wrapped gift. I took delight in their expression when they received our gift. While extending Grace is obviously more difficult that wrapping a box with ribbon and bows, it is still a gift that is so worth giving. Compassion, kindness, and gentle words costs us nothing, and yet the benefits for both the giver and the receiver are immeasurable. Friends, as we approach Holy Week and blessed Resurrection Sunday, it might do us all good to pause and consider extending to one another the gift of Grace that has been so graciously extended to us. Grace & Peace Marsha Rev. Dr. Marsha Williams Assoc. Conference Minister for Clergy and Authorized Ministry Concerns firstname.lastname@example.org True Grace and Love Rich , Lush, Tender, Smell, Touch, Sight John 12:1-8 A Very Physical Moment with deep spiritual significance Fight LGBTQ Discrimination: We MUST Pass the Equality Act While there have been important gains over the last several years in securing LGBTQ civil rights protections, there remain significant gaps in the law that leave LGBTQ Americans vulnerable to discrimination. These gaps are especially prominent in light of the many recent discriminatory bills being passed in state legislatures. Absent a federal law providing consistent nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity, states are free to continue this dangerous path of discriminatory legislation that is deeply harmful to the LGBTQ community. Read more… 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. 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 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 Date: May 19th Time:6:30 pm. Place: Interested persons may attend in person at West End Church, 245 W. 77th Street in Manhattan, or via Zoom. Essex Date: Sunday, May 22 Time: 2:00 pm Place: Via Zoom. Last Chance for Church History and First Chance for NYSOM’s Spring Learning Event Registration ends tomorrow for “From Resurrection to Reformation: A History of the Christian Church (1-1650),” on Wednesday evenings, beginning April 20. Registration has just opened for our Spring Learning Event, on April 23, from 9-11:30 am. “Engaging CARE Practices to Reconnect with Purpose,” will be led by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Purnine. This event is grounded in the four practices developed by the Forum for Theological Exploration: we’ll create hospitable space, ask self-awakening questions, reflect theologically together, and enact the next most faithful step. There will be no expert offering wisdom that you can listen to while driving: this is a time for participants to slow down and, as the still waters grow clear, gain insight and glimpse their deep purpose. This event is designed for MIDs, ministers, and all who provide leadership in faith communities. The cost is $10. If a scholarship would help you participate, reach out to Marjorie Purnine at email@example.com. For more information and to register, click here . COMING SOON REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN 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. Should you have questions about BAT requirements, please contact your association Committee on Ministry. uccny.info/BAT2022 Click on the link for the calendar then click on each training for more information and to register 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. uccny.info/BAT2022 Click on the link for the calendar then click on each training for more information and to register FREE WEBINARS Managing the Grief of Others While Dealing With Our Own Tuesday, May 10, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 PM Leader – Pastor Parkinson, LMSW, LP 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. Click to sign up: Amazon Smile Donate Directly Contribute to the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ today with an online contribution. Join us in ministry: Donate Directly Please note that the New York Conference does not publish news related to fundraisers. New York Conference | United Church of Christ P.O. Box 487 Syracuse, New York 13209 315-446-3073 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.uccny.org What’s Happening at Your Local Church? Do you have an item of news that you would like to share throughout the New York Conference? Please email our Communications Coordinator at email@example.com and send the details – preferably with links and pictures! Please note that the New York Conference does not publish news related to fundraisers. PLEASE NOTE: CLICKING UNSUBSCRIBE BELOW WILL REMOVE YOU FROM ALL NY CONFERENCE COMMUNICATION New York Conference UCC | P.O. 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