NYUCC Happenings

Today, Tomorrow, Together Today, Tomorrow, Together: New York Conference United Church of Christ ‌ ‌ Visit our Website Annual Meeting! June 10-12, 2022 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 June 1st, 2022 In this week issue: New York Conference Updates UCC News from Buffalo on National Website Update from Buffalo RSVP now for Rev. David Gaewski’s Good Good-bye Prayer from our EKHN partners Important Annual Meeting Updated Information Keeping in Touch and Staying Safe 2022 Craigville Theological Colloquy: July 11-15 Retiree Boundary Awareness Training COMING SOON Culturally Responsive Ministry Training PRC’s Webinars for May/June 2022 A Special COVID-19 Happenings will be sent this Friday. NEW YORK CONFERENCE UCC UPDATES My Thoughts– Kiss the Joy What a season of transition- a mixture of anger, sadness and hurt at this moment: Graduation, end of year concerts, retirement, anniversaries, baptisms, weddings, ordinations and installations- many things that mark major transitions in life and church. We also mark this season with targeted racist violence in buffalo, continued struggle in Ukraine, Gun violence shooting sprees in Texas, chasms of hate making divides deeper, walking with loved ones as they battle and let go of this earthly life, so many emotions and yet nature is bursting with green trees, blooming flowers and the sunlight warming our outsides and calling us to leave our desks of work. We. Are. In. The. Inbetween The liminal The unknown And the birds flying by our heads remind us that God is Near us Spring Birds remind me of two things, The poet William Blake says to “Kiss the joy as it flies.” A reminder to never take anything for granted and always celebrate the moment we are in, savor it, kiss it with your lips so it is close enough that you can perceive every wrinkle and every simple line of perfection in the creation of pure joy. Where have you seen joy recently? I also hear that line from my favorite hymn that says “and God will raise you up on eagles wings” an echo of Isaiah 40:31 that assures us that no matter the struggle or doubt or hurt- that we belong body and soul to a God that pick us up above our earthliness and give a momentary glimpse what our future will look like in God’s all-encompassing loving arms. A prayer for you: May you seek and find the Joy as it flies by But may you sense the peace that passing all understanding As you open yourself-just enough- to the love that wipes away every tear And will wait with us till we have the courage to breathe deep In the greatest of hope Amen Rev Ryan W Henderson Associate Conference Minister In Memoriam Sueli Gaewsky Sueli Alves (da Costa) Gaewsky Sueli was born on January 22, 1961, in the town of Bom Sucesso in the Brazilian state of Paraná. She was the youngest child ofPedro Alves da Costa and SebastianaSimões Pato da Costa. Full Text United Church of Christ News In face of unspeakable death, church joins in grief and ‘speaks life’ by Hans Holznagel | published on May 31, 2022 Not thoughts and prayers, but rather prayers and presence, have marked the United Church of Christ’s response to the racist May 14 killings in Buffalo, N.Y. Locally, UCC churches have been near the center of grief — physically and spiritually — after a white gunman killed 10 Black people at a neighborhood supermarket. The Rev. Traci Blackmon speaks at an ecumenical vigil May 22 across from the site of the May 14 Buffalo massacre. Photo by the Rev. Elizabeth Duffy. The UCC’s national officers offered a public prayer of lament the day after the shooting. Leaders from the conference and national settings have visited, too, meeting with residents of the stricken Buffalo neighborhood and offering support. And the church is urging members to act. Its Office of Public Policy and Advocacy in Washington, D.C., continues to promote its earlier action alert on ending gun violence. Read more… Update from Buffalo, NY Just over one week ago our city was devastated by a mass shooting by a white supremacist. The grocery store in which the shooting occurred remains closed, creating a “food desert” in the community. TOPs grocery store has set up a mobile food bank and the Buffalo Community Fridge continuously accepts donations that go out to residents as quickly as they come in. The community has rallied together in support and prayer, but there is still more work to do, even after the grocery store re-opens. One way that we have been supporting the community is through regular donations to the Buffalo Community Fridge. We donate grocery items such as milk, eggs, baby formula, diapers, toilet paper, produce, and more, depending on the daily need. If you are able to make a monetary donation to help, please do. Every cent will be used to provide food and supplies for the community. The link to donate is below. Zion UCC’s original location was in the “Fruit Belt” of Buffalo, only a few blocks from the shooting. Our older members grew up in that neighborhood. So supporting the community, even with our church now a few miles out of the city, is at the heart of our ministry right now. Many of our members also grew up at Grace UCC in the city of Buffalo, one of the few UCC churches remaining in the city, so we have partnered together with them and Pilgrim St. Luke’s UCC (also in the city) to do greater ministry together. As Pastor Larry Jackson from Grace UCC said to me, “Pastor, the people in this community are HUNGRY.” And they are. So we held our first of hopefully many free BBQs at Grace UCC in Buffalo the other day, with members from at least 4 UCC churches participating to feed over 300 people; and we plan to do a food giveaway next week (which also might become a regular event). The community is hurting, but we are joining together, praying together, creating new ministries and partnerships together, and feeding people. This shooting was a wake up call for us, that our city needs our continuous support, and our sister churches need our fellowship and assistance. If you’re reading this from far away, consider making a donation, large or small, to help us feed the city of Buffalo by clicking this link: zionucc.breezechms.com/give/online and choose “Give to Buffalo”. (The community fridge is no longer accepting donations since they need deliveries, not money.) You may also follow and contribute to the local organization Voice Buffalo here: www.voicebuffalo.org As Rev. Traci Blackmon said when she spoke at one of our vigils on Sunday evening, “The world is suffering from a lack of love.” And she gave us the charge: “We must love the hell out of this place!” And that’s what we plan to do here in the City of Good Neighbors. Even after the cameras turn off, and the news moves on to other tragedies, we need to “love the hell out of this place” and we will do so, hand in hand, with our sister churches. In Christ’s love and mercy, Rev. Elizabeth Duffy, Zion UCC Tonawanda Prayers From Our EKHN Partners Loving God, we pray for the people of the Ukraine who are threatened by missiles and violence, and who have to watch and witness the atrocities committed against their fellow human beings. Be with them and comfort them. Heavenly Father, we pray for all people who have to hold out in the air-raid shelters and do not know whether and where there will be a future for them. Give them strength and confidence! Merciful God, we pray for the people from Ukraine who have fled their homeland and are afraid that they will not see their family members again. Comfort and strengthen them! Let us be sensitive to the plight of refugees and their needs. Give us a compassionate heart and show us where we can help. Lord forgive, where we and those in politics only seek the good of our own country and overlook the needs of others. Give us the willingness to make sacrifices so that we can alleviate their suffering. Lord, we also pray for the people in Russia and Belarus who are courageously protesting against the war despite the danger. Protect them from punishment and imprisonment. God of all nations, we pray for people in other war-torn areas in the world like Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria, Ethiopia, the Tigray region, Yemen and all the other regions of conflict. Give them peace Lord. (hr) International Prayers for Peace, from First edition EKHN and EKKW, Twenty-third edition EKHN | Pentecost 2022 Newsletter RSVP now for Rev. David Gaewski’s Good Good-bye! On Saturday, June 11, 2022, at the Annual Meeting at Silver Bay YMCA Family and Conference Retreat Center, the New York Conference will celebrate Rev. David Gaewski’s ten years of servant leadership with us and over twenty-five years of service in God’s vineyards around the world. Congratulations to David and Sueli as they enter the next chapter of their Book of Life! David’s last day of work for the New York Conference will be June 30. The New York Conference is now collecting fond memories and monetary gifts of gratitude and thanksgiving for David and Sueli’s years of ministry with us. The New York Conference Board of Directors is creating a Book of Memories to be presented to David and Sueli. Please share your memories, photos, poems, serious, fun, whatever! They will be assembled in an 8 ½ X 11 binder so that contributions can be added at Silver Bay! Monetary gifts of love and appreciation may be in the form of checks or online. Checks should be made out to UCCNY and sent to UCCNY, PO Box 487, Syracuse, NY 13209, Attn: David’s Gift. Gifts may be given online at uccny.org/donate. Select “Other” from the drop-down Fund menu and designate it for David’s Gift. Monetary gifts need to be received by June 1 to be included. WE NEED TO RECEIVE YOUR MEMORIES by Monday, June 6, if you will NOT be attending the Celebration at Silver Bay. Pease send them to drroll@yahoo.com. If you are attending Silver Bay, please take your 8 ½ X 11 contribution with you. Handwritten notes, artwork, fancy, plain, typed, photos, all are welcome and will be included. So very UCC! Annual Meeting Important Updates Registration Has Closed Please Contact Rev. Ryan Henderson for assistance rhenderson@uccny.org Don’t forget: You MUST have a Vaccination card (Excelsior pass) OR A negative PCR Covid Test within 72 hours of the annual meeting Covid Protection Protocols: Because we are a beloved community that cares deeply for one another, including the most vulnerable in our midst, we will practice an “abundance of love and caution” by observing strict Covid protocols when we gather at Silver Bay. Here is what to expect. When you arrive, the first “check in” will be at a Covid Vaccination Verification Table. At that table, you will need to present a copy of your Covid Vaccination Card. If (like me) you are worried about forgetting your card, you can text a copy of your Vaccination Card right now to: 585-329-3018. We will verify receipt, and then you are ALL SET! You can also email a copy of your card to: rhenderson@uccny.org. If you do not receive verification of receipt within 24 hours, please call 585-329-3018. Our “abundance of love and caution” protocol will be strict. If you are not vaccinated, you MUST present a negative PCR or Rapid Test result that is no more than 72 hours old. We will not accept negative home test results. All children will also be strictly required to either show proof of vaccination or negative PCR or Rapid Tests. Small children who are too young for vaccination must show negative PCR or Rapid Test results. Without proof of vaccination or proof of negative test, you will not be allowed to check in at Silver Bay or be admitted to the Annual Meeting. All persons attending the Annual Meeting will be required to mask indoors (except during meals). We understand that for some who have respiratory challenges, from time to time, there may be a need to lower your mask over your nose. We ask that in our Plenary sessions, you sit at least six feet from the next persons. The room has a capacity of 600 seats, and we expect less than 250 attendees. Also, the room has a high ceiling, and we will leave doors open (DRESS WARM PLEASE!). Transportation from Albany Unfortunately, we understand that the train to Ticonderoga is not running. The closest train station and airport will be in Albany, 1 ½ hours from Silver Bay. At this time, we cannot promise assistance, but… we are trying. If you would benefit from a ride from Albany to Silver Bay around 11am on Friday morning (only one time slot), and return to Albany after 2pm on Sunday, please email Dona Roll: drroll@yahoo.com. Dietary Restrictions If you have dietary restrictions please fill out this form. Please send all completed forms to foodservice@silverbay.org. Sunday Box Lunches If you would like to “hit the road” right after closing worship and pick up a box lunch for your ride, please fill out this form. Please send all completed forms to foodservice@silverbay.org. 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. 2022 Craigville Theological Colloquy: July 11-15, Cape Cod, Massachusetts There are a few spaces still available at the beautiful Craigville Retreat Center on Cape Cod for the ecumenical Craigville Theological Colloquy, which will run from July 11-15, 2022. The theme is “Sacred Spaces, Sacred Times: Into the Future” and the speakers include the Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, keynoter and author of Remove the Pews: Spiritual Possibilities for Sacred Spaces; Mr. Darius Coombs, education leader for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe; the Rev. Dr. Harry Serio, who will speak on Celtic Spirituality; and the Rev. Andy Lang, who will discuss spirituality in Puritan New England. The week includes lodging and meals, access to Craigville Beach, two field trips on Cape Cod, worship, Bible reflections, meditation, and fellowship. To register and for more information, click here: www.craigvillecolloquy.com/?page_id=25. Free Food Giveaway at Grace UCC Thursday, June 2nd, at 3pm Join us in volunteering for a Free Food Giveaway at Grace UCC on Thursday, June 2nd, at 3pm. We need volunteers to: A. Meet at Zion UCC at 2pm with large vehicles to transport food to Grace UCC B. Meet at Grace UCC at 3pm to begin setting up C. Stay throughout the even to help distribute food and clean up when we’re finished To sign up, go to www.signupgenius.com/go/4090b4ea9ad29a7fa7-free Many hands make light work! Help us put this event together! A New Turn: Hybrid Faith Formation The world of hybrid learning will be the focus of a two-day event for people who teach in local churches of the United Church of Christ. Online Wednesday, June 8, and Thursday, June 9 More information here. Register here. Sponsored by the Association of United Church Educators. 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 June 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 June. 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. **(Metro Assoc clergy: Module 1 will fulfill your Anti-Racism training requirement)** FREE WEBINARS Thriving in a Decade of Accelerating Change Tuesday, Jun 7, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT Leader – Tom Sine 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 Churches Can Help Alleviate Mental Health Stigmas and Support Those in Need Thursday, June 23, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST Leader – Molly W. Blancke, MPA 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 | office@uccny.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 communications@uccny.org 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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