Several weeks ago, I heard an interview with one of my favorite singer/songwriters. In the interview, they were asked about the meaning behind several of their most popular songs.
As a fan who has listened to their songs for years, and wondered the very same thing, I was fascinated to hear their answer.
In short, the songwriter told the interviewer that while each song has a very personal and specific origin, they resist putting a meaning on any given song, hoping instead that a listener will hear what is most important to them at that time, leaving open the possibility that different listeners will get different meanings from the same song.
This, according to the songwriter, was far more important to them than the world knowing exactly what the song was intended to convey.
And this struck me as a pretty good analogy for one of the ways God’s Word in our Holy Scriptures works: each book of the bible, each chapter, each verse, was written to convey a specific concept to a specific group of listeners or readers.
But thousands of years later, those books, chapters, and verses may provide a very different lesson than the one initially intended by the author.
A perfect example of this is the 13th chapter of Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, where scholars help us understand that Paul was writing to a church in conflict, but where we now use that reading at weddings, and sometimes funerals to underscore different (and wonderful) aspects of love.
Some may be bothered by the possibility of ambiguity in interpreting scripture, but I’m thrilled at the way the Holy Spirit can help us understand God’s Word in important ways, even if those ways weren’t the original intent of the inspired author.
– Rev. Gary E. Ferner
Rev. Gary E. Ferner
Associate Conference Minister for Search and Call UCCNY
Prayers and Reflection During the Annual Meeting, we took time to pause, reflect, and remember all of those who we hold dear to us that have transitioned in the last year or more. It is important for us all to allow for space to mourn, and to know that we are not alone in our moments of sorrow. If you feel you need a helping hand in grieving/mental health wellness, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The New York Conference, UCC send our condolences to the family and friends of Rev. Daniel James Maiden, former minister of Victoria Congregational Church (Queens, NY)- Services and Obituary
NY UCC Conference Connection
Notice: We realized that the links for our NYSOM classes were not working last week due to a system update. We have corrected the problem, and apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Please reach out to us by email or phone if you are ever in need of assistance.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
We are small, but mighty!
Your New York Conference staff continues to work hard to provide you the resources and information you need. Please note our
Please note items received by Tuesday will be posted in that Friday’s mailing. Anything received after may be pushed to the following week. The New York Conference may not publish all submissions received.
CONFERENCE TRANSITIONAL CORNER
WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU!
As our conference moves forward in this time of transition, your Transitional Conference Minister (TCM) and your Board are eager to hear from you as our transitional “plan” would not be complete without the input and insight of you, the members of the New York Conference.
To facilitate meaningful and manageable dialogue, TCM Rev. Dr. Marsha Williams and Conference Moderator, Rev. Judy Van Kennen, are hosting Association-wide Town Hall Zoom meetings. This will be your opportunity to share your ideas, thoughts, hopes and dreams for the future of our conference.
Where are we headed? What are the challenges before us? What ministries should we prioritize in the coming years?
Please see the schedule of upcoming Town Hall gatherings. If you don’t see your association listed, DON’T PANIC! We are scheduling time with every association which will be announced soon.
Mark your calendars and plan to join Marsha and Judy for faithful and fruitful conversation.
Association Town Hall Gathering Dates & Zoom Information:
September 7, 2022 – 6:00 pm Hudson-Mohawk Association
Black River- St. Lawrence Sunday, October 2, 2022 2pm | Hybrid
Genesee Valley Associations (GVA) Sunday, October 30, 2022 Time | In-Person The First Congregational Church, 65 Church Street, Spencerport, New York
Hudson Mohawk Association (HMA) TBA
Oneida Saturday, September 24, 2022 9am-12Noon | In-Person Trinity Church, 215 W Court St, Rome, NY 13440-5707 Reformed TBA
Suffolk Saturday, November 5, 2022 9am | In-Person Location TBA
Susquehanna Sunday, September 25, 2022
***UPDATE*** ANNUAL MEETING 2023
June 16-17, 2023 Niagara Falls Convention Center
Due to pandemic bookings, we’ve had to slightly alter the previously announced Annual Meeting 2023 location.
We are happy to announce the 2023 UCCNY Annual Meeting will take place in scenic, Niagara Falls! The Niagara Convention Center and adjacent Sheraton Hotel will be the location for our gathering beginning on June 15, 2023, with the Continuing Education Institute and Annual Meeting, June 16-17th.