|"Write the vision clearly on the tablets, that one may read it on the run." — Habakkuk
|The Newspaper of The New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
||September 18, 2009
Creation & Spirit
Retreat Oct. 2–3
BY KAREN CIANCI, Camp Epworth Co-Director
Good design is contextual. The
form fits the function. We live our
lives embodied in this set of 206
bones clothed with muscles and
skin. The more closely we examine
details of our form, the more we
can see how we do things and why.
For example, only the thumb can
rotate around and touch the tips of
the other digits, none of the other
fingers can rotate that way. Therefore,
we can pick up a stick with
our fingers but only with the thumb
will we lock it in our grasp. So if
you want to hold on tightly to
something, you will use your
The old windmill at
Epworth was installed in
1942, and the pump house
below was used to
water for Manor House.
|We do not need to understand
form to be using our design well.
We naturally behave in ways consistent
our design. It will emerge
instinctually like a baby first learning
to roll over or extending your
arms when you are about to fall.
Our effective use of our bodily
design is in no small part due to
the fact that we do not have any alternative
experience. We have never
lived any part of our lives not in
our bodies. We have always been
constrained by its design and operated
within its abilities. So if you
need to reach a dish in a top cabinet,
you already know whether or
not you are a good enough jumper
to jump that far and grab the dish
without breaking it. All of us
know—no matter how much we
have dreamed about it—that we
cannot fly like a bird. For the most
part we don’t even think about it
anymore. You either jump or you
As bodily creatures, we are part of a larger design; we are members
of a population, and that population
is part of a community, and
that community is part of an
ecosystem. Some of us, as we read
population and community in that
last statement, were thinking people.
Our population is our species,
the people. But our community is
not the set of people with a common
set of buildings, our community
is the set of living things that share this geographical space. The
people of this community share the space with toads, butterflies, sparrows,
fleas, and gnats. But the community
is larger even than the
animals and includes all the living
species that share our space and
would, therefore, include grasses
and trees—all plants, all fungus, all
bacteria, and other microscopic life.
Our community is the coexistence
in one geographic space of all the
living things in that space.
The ecosystem is more inclusive
and includes all living things in one
shared space but also includes the
nonliving components that are part
of the design and are so essential for the life of those living things.
The ecosystem includes the water,
air, soil, minerals and sunlight.
Living within our bodies we
have always lived within our design.
Living within our ecosystem
we have moved further and further
from the natural design. When is
the last time the flesh of your feet
touched the earth? Or the sun’s setting
signaled the time to rest? Harvest
signaled abundance of eating? Technology removes us from natural
design and we have reaped
many benefits in health and comfort.
However, we are also reaping unintended consequences unawares.
How does of a generation
of urban Americans understand
sustainability of soil? Or water?
And what are the consequences for
a democracy of making decisions
without the basic instincts of one
who has grown up close to the soil?
Brown Sugar, one of the
Barbados Blackbelly sheep
at Epworth, helps keep the
grass in check.
In the year 1900, 95 percent of
Americans grew up rural and were
familiar with collecting eggs,
butchering meat, picking beans,
milking cows, as well as catching
salamanders and fireflies. Today
less than five percent of us are that
close to the food source and nature.
Richard Louv introduced the term
“nature deficit disorder” in his 2005
book Last Child in the Woods to describe our loss. What is the cost
of this separation?
Yet, when asked to describe a significant
spiritual experience, the
vast majority of Americans will
begin talking about a moment in
nature, a stillness, a beauty, a curiosity,
a presence. Nothing can compare
to creation for drawing us near to
transcendent and ultimate reality.
Creation is God’s living room.
The Celtic Christians believed
in “thin places,” places where the
physical and spiritual worlds have
less of a separation. For more than
50 years, visitors to Epworth have
felt these 160
|acres along the Rondout
Creek was one of those special
Epworth is two places. A preservation
of wild beauty in 80 acres of northern hardwood forest with an
incredible array of inhabitants
from bald eagles, foxes and skunks
to turkeys, turtles, and beaver. In
addition, Epworth now is a place
where humanity strives to live sustainably
with nature through natural
building materials, low carbon
footprints, food forest, composting,
worm farm, and others.
For 24 hours on October 2 and
3, Epworth will sponsor a “Creation
and Spirit Retreat” for those who
care about the earth and our relationship
to it. The leaders will be
Pam Harris, Garrie Stevens, Karen
Cianci and Terry Cianci.
Harris and Stevens bring a
deep love for, and commitment to,
the essential connection between
faith and the natural world. They
are United Methodist clergy who work as consultants for camping
and retreat ministries. They also
develop and lead workshops and
retreats in spirituality, spiritual
discernment, and worship.
The Ciancis bring years of collegiate
level teaching in biological
and environmental sciences, and
five years as directors at Epworth.
The retreat begins Friday,Oct. 2 at 6 p.m., and ends Saturday
evening. Cost is $65 for registration
and four gourmet meals.
Lodging is available for $25 for a
shared room, or $60 for a single.
For more information see www.epworthcenter.com, or
contact the center at: email@example.com,
Most of the
materials to build
the straw bale
from the Epworth
live in the house.
||Save The Date
“Rock Solid” Teacher Workshop
September 19: Primary and elementary school-age teacher
training at Hempstead UMC, Hempstead, N.Y., 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Features interactive teaching tools, classroom setup and management
and a special emphasis on children’s spirituality. Presented by Lynda
Gomi, children’s consultant, and Ann Pearson.
NYAC Leadership Training
September 26: The Office of Connectional Ministries and the
conference Commission on Religion and Race will offer leadership
training for those chairing district and conference boards, commissions,
and committees. The workshop will address creating productive
meetings, coming to a consensus and dealing with conflict. It
runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the conference center with lunch.
RSVP to Ann Pearson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 914-615-2230.
Welcome Receptions for Yi, Kieffer
September 27: 4 p.m., Grace UMC, Valley Stream, N.Y., for
Rev. Kenny Yi, Long Island West District Superintendent.
October 25: 4 p.m., Stratford UMC, Stratford, Conn., for Rev.
Ken Kieffer, Connecticut District Superintendent.
Bishop’s Retreats with Clergy
September 28–29: Northern districts at Mount St. Alphonsus,
September 30–October 1: Southern districts at Bishop
Molloy Retreat Center, Jamaica, N.Y.
Come hear best-selling author and pastor, Paul Nixon, who wrote,
“I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church.”
“Filling Your Toolbox” Workshops
October 3 and 4: Catskill Hudson District Council on
Ministries offers two days of training for district clergy and laity,
from 1:30–5 p.m.
October 3 is at Monticello UMC; October 4 at
Greenville Norton Hill UMC. Workshops are the same at both
locations and will include UMCOR Readiness, Rethink Church-
Radical Hospitality, lay-speaking ministries, Safe Sanctuaries
and hands on praying. For more information contact,
email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the district
office, 845 679-6350. Registration deadline is September 25.
Online Safe Sanctuaries
October 5–November 14: Six-week online course on writing
your church’s policy is offered to NYAC congregations through www.BeADisciple.com. Go to the Web site and check the listings in
right-hand column, then click on “Writing Your Safe Sanctuary Policy”
for more information. An internet connection is required to take
the course; fee is $15 per person. The course is taught by our own Rev.
Race for Mission Marathon
October 9–10: Come out to support the Bishop’s Partners in
Mission fund. A pre-race pasta party is on Friday, the race and a
post-race barbeque on Saturday. Please click here to see story for ways to
Clergy Day Apart
October 15: Click here to read the letter from Rev. Constance Pak for details.
Advanced Safe Sanctuaries Workshop
October 17: Youth and children workers’ training for
churches with an existing Safe Sanctuaries Policy, Woodbury UMC,
Woodbury, Conn. To register, contact Lynda Gomi at
email@example.com, or call 800-696-6922.
November 13–14: Stay tuned for more details about the
kickoff at Camp Epworth.
Jan. 19–21, 2010: “Connecting Movement: Connecting with
God, the Church and the World” with retired Bishop Richard Wilke.
Hudson Valley Resort and Spa, Kerhonkson, N.Y.
Boundaries & Sexual Ethics Workshop
February 6: Training for clergy runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3p.m.,
New York Conference Center, White Plains, N.Y.
Clergy Spring Retreat
April 20–23: Four-day spring retreat for all clergy members of
2010 Annual Conference
June 9–12: Holy conferencing begins again!
|Marathon is Race for Mission
Bishop Jeremiah Park will be off and running
again—literally—to raise awareness of and
money for his Partners in Mission fund during the
ING Hartford Marathon on Saturday, Oct. 10. The
bishop, who is competing in the 5K, will be joined
by a number of NYAC runners in the race events
that include a full marathon, half marathon, the
5K, a 26.2 mile relay and a kid’s run.
In 2008, the first year of NYAC participation
as a marathon charity, more than $17,000 was
raised for the bishop’s mission fund. This year’s
goal is $30,000. Bishop Park is especially interested
in raising funds for Personal Energy Transportation
(PET) International Inc. PET carts
provide mobility to people with disabilities in
poor countries with no other means of getting
around (www.petnyej.org). The mission fund
also supports projects in Haiti, Costa Rica, Chile,
Ghana, Thailand, Cambodia, Bolivia, and
Mozambique, as well as in Biloxi, Miss., and Iowa.
Even if you won’t be running, you can
support those who are by making a donation at www.active.com/donate/09UMC,
or by sending a
check made payable to “New York Annual Conference”
to Ernest Swiggett, New York Annual Conference,
20 Soundview Ave., White Plains, NY
10606. Write Hartford Marathon and the runner’s
name in the memo field. Registration for the race
is open until September 26; that information may
be found at www.hartfordmarathon.com. The race begins at 8 a.m. in Bushnell Park in Hartford.
You may also contact Rev. Albert Hahn, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call,
631-265-6945, for more details about competing
in the marathon.
As a sponsoring organization, we are looking
for 25 adult and youth volunteers to serve in various
ways the day of the event. You can volunteer
for the whole day or a half day. Youth groups and
adult chaperones are invited to stay overnight
Friday at Wethersfield UMC for fun and fellowship.
For more information about volunteering
at the marathon, please contact Rev. Heather
Sinclair, at email@example.com,
or call 203-929-3537.
At the 2008 Hartford Marathon events,
Bishop Jeremiah Park completed his
first 5K race in 28:13.
Pre-Race Carbo-Load Pasta Dinner
Friday, Oct. 9, 5:30–7 p.m.
UMC of Hartford , 571 Farmington
Ave., Hartford, CT 06105
RSVP: Rev. Bryan Hooper,
at 860-523-5132, or
Saturday, Oct. 10
West Hartford UMC, 1358 New Britain
Ave., West Hartford, CT 06110,
|Navigating the Teen Years, Gracefully
son now answers
your questions with
a sullen “yes” or “no.”
daughter won’t go to
the store with you at
They must be teenagers.
Don’t despair, it’s natural—and important—
for kids to break away from their parents at this
age, according to Jeanie Lerch-Davis on
WebMD.com. This emotional separation allows
them to become well-adjusted adults. Some advice
from three experts: David Elkind, PhD, author
of All Grown Up and No Place to Go and a
professor of child development at Tufts University
School of Medicine, Boston; Amy Bobrow,
PhD, a clinical psychologist and professor in the
Child Study Center at New York University
School of Medicine, Manhattan; and Nadine
Kaslow, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral
sciences at Emory University:
Give kids some leeway. Giving teens a
chance to establish their own identity and giving
them more independence is essential to helping
them establish their own place in the world.
Choose your battles wisely. Don’t nitpick.
Doing themselves harm or doing something
that could be permanent (like a tattoo), those
things matter. Purple hair, a messy room—
those don’t matter.
Invite their friends for dinner. It helps to meet kids you have questions about. You’re not
flat-out rejecting them, you’re at least making an
overture. When kids see how their friends act
with their parents, they can get a better sense of
Decide rules and discipline in advance. It’s
important for parents to have their own discussion
so they can come to some kind of agreement
and be on the same page. If the kid says it
isn’t fair, then you have to agree on what is fair
punishment. Then follow through with the consequences.
Discuss “checking in.” Give teens age-appropriate
autonomy, especially if they behave appropriately,
but you need to know where they
are. That’s part of responsible parenting. If it
feels necessary, require them to call you during
the evening to check in.
Talk to teens about risks. Whether it’s
drugs, driving, or premarital sex, your kids need
to know the worst that could happen.
Give teens a game plan. Tell them: “If the
only option is getting into a car with a drunk
driver, call me—I don’t care if it’s three in the
morning.” Or make sure they have cab fare. Help
them figure out how to handle a potentially unsafe
situation, yet save face.
Keep the door open. Don’t interrogate, but
act interested. Share a few tidbits about your own
day; ask about theirs.
Another good line: “You
may not feel like talking about what happened
right now. I know what that’s like. But if you feel
like talking about it later, you come to me.”
Let kids feel guilty. Feeling good about
yourself is healthy. But people should feel bad if
they have hurt someone or done something
wrong. Kids need to feel bad sometimes. Guilt is
a healthy emotion. When kids have done something
wrong, we hope they feel bad, we hope they
Be a role model. Your actions—even more
than your words—are critical in helping teens
adopt good moral and ethical standards. If they
have a good role model from early on, they will
be less likely to make bad decisions in their rebellious
|We’ve Got Job Openings!
|Middlefield Director of Music
Middlefield Federated Church has an
immediate opening for a director of music
ministry. The director will oversee an ambitious
music program that enhances worship and
embraces both contemporary and traditional
sacred music. The director should be able to
work creatively with all ages and music abilities.
The position is permanent, part-time for
approximately 11 months per year from
September 1–July 31. Salary is negotiable. To see
the full job posting, please visit the church
Web site: www.gbgm-umc.org/mfc.
To apply, please mail resume and references
to: The Middlefield Federated Church, Attn:
Music Search Committee, 402 Main Street,
Middlefield, CT 06455, or email
UMC of Hartford Director of Music
The United Methodist Church of Hartford is
seeking a director of music to begin work on
January 1, 2010. The director leads and rehearses
the adult chancel choir, plans worship with the
pastor, consults with the worship committee, and
supports other music ministries of the
congregation as they are developed. In addition,
the director will work with children to inspire an
appreciation for music as worship. The director
works 15 hours a week in partnership with the
pastor and other staff members to provide the
most effective worship experience possible. The
director reports to the pastor on all matters
related to their employment.
Applicants should submit a resume to:
Ava Nepaul, Search Committee, at
information may be found on the church Web site
|Catskill Children & Youth
The Catskill UMC is seeking a qualified
applicant for the position of children and youth
coordinator. This is a part-time position, 12 to 15
hours per week. This individual will be
responsible for the aspects of children and youth
ministries including re-establishing a youth
fellowship. A passion for working with young
people and their families is vital. Knowledge of
music is helpful.
Application deadline: October 20. Please send
cover letter, complete resume with references to:
Rev. Joyce Wilkerson, Catskill UMC, 40 Woodland
Avenue, Catskill, NY 12414, or email to:
|Face(book) It: You Need Better Communications
I hereby declare the end of poor
communications within your youth
ministry. I’m here to confirm what
you already suspect: kids don’t
check their email. To them, email is
old technology, only good for formal
communications with teachers,
bosses, and other adults.
For high schoolers, it’s all about
texting and Facebook. Generally,
kids prefer a text message to a
phone call because rather than having
to drop everything to answer it,
they can reply when it’s convenient.
Kids prefer this for their personal
communications, as opposed to the
formal communications I alluded
to earlier. Consider which category
allows for more effective ministry,
and then add a texting package to
you cell phone account.
The real communications goldmine
is Facebook—not just because all your kids are on it, but because
all the other kids in town are
on it, too. Some people have a real
hang up about Facebook, and I
think it’s because they don’t understand
how it differs from chat
rooms. Facebook isn’t about
anonymity. You set up a profile that
includes your name and a picture, and then you seek out your friends
to share in an online experience.
Most kids who get
into trouble online
are interacting with an anonymous
somebody pretending to be
somebody else in a chat room, but
not on Facebook.
That’s not to say there isn’t a
certain amount of drama and other
pitfalls involving Facebook. You get
that in whatever forum teenagers
are communicating. But how do
you shepherd them through all that
without being familiar with the
medium? So, get yourself a Facebook
profile, and then use it to the
benefit of your ministry. If you
need help setting it up, ask one of
the kids in your group.
Now, here is an important tip:
do not send friend requests to your
kids. It backs them into a corner
because they have to either accept
or deny the request.
can send them a message – maybe
just a reminder about the next
meeting. Then, they know you’re on
Facebook and they can send you a
friend request if they want to.
Set up a Facebook group for your ministry. Your kids can attach their
profiles to the group and then you
can take advantage of the “message
all members” button on the group
page. It’s like sending a bulk email,
but on a more effective platform.
And remember how I mentioned all
the other kids in town? Leverage
Facebook to tap into them. The next
time you have an event, create an
event page on Facebook and encourage
your kids to invite their friends
via Facebook. We had a concert last
year that more than 1,200 kids knew
about via Facebook.
Don’t disable your email account,
though. You’ll still need that
to communicate with their parents.
To comment on this column,
pick up some bonus material,
or submit a question, visit
“Youth Alive ’09,” is being sponsored
on Saturday, Sept. 19, by the
Long Island East District Youth
Council. It will be an evening of
music, testimony and fellowship at
the Farmingdale UMC, 407 Main
St., Farmingdale, N.Y.
Come from 6–9 p.m. to sing
along with the Farmingdale UMC
worship band, enjoy the Asbury
Spirit Dancers and listen to the
guest speaker, Erin Lue Hing.
There will be a time of sharing
and a time of prayer. Refreshments
and fellowship will follow
You can help to fill the grocery
cart by bringing non-perishable
food, which will be given to the LI
Council of Churches food
pantries in Riverhead and
Freeport. An offering will be
taken to help support the Youth
For more information,
contact Shanna Wurth, at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call
Soles Bared to Help Those in Need
Youth fellowship leaders Stacy Meszaros (from left) and Michele Lapadula from Mary
Taylor Memorial UMC and some of their youth Miriam D’Andrea, Blythe D’Andrea, Laura
O’Brien, Gwyneth D’Andrea, Jamie Georgelos, Alicia Meszaros and Hayley Lapadula
gathered up more than enough shoes to spell out who they are. The shoes were collected
by the church on “Barefoot Sunday” and were donated to Soles4Souls, a non-profit
organization that seeks to put shoes on the feet of thousands of the needy throughout the
United States and around the world. Mary Taylor collected more than 400 pairs of shoes;
last year Soles4Souls gathered 62,440 pairs of shoes. When a area shoe store, Gail’s
Stride Rite, heard about the project, they got involved in the effort by shipping the
footwear to the distribution center in Alabama. The church and the shoe store plan to
continue the partnership next year. To learn more about Soles4Souls, visit www.giveshoes.org.
|Lakeville UMC Celebrates History as It Rethinks Church
BY NANCY POLLOCK WILLIAMS
Lakeville United Methodist Church
The Lakeville UMC marked the 220th anniversary
of the first gathering of the congregation
by recognizing those who had been
members for 50 years or more. The celebration
took place during worship on Recognition Sunday,
June 14. A birthday cake commemorated the
occasion at the reception following the service in
According to church records, the congregation
first met in June 1789, in the Ore Hill area of
Furnace Village (the former name of Lakeville)
in Salisbury Township. Presiding elder and circuit
rider, Freeborn Garrettson, under the direction
of Bishop Francis Asbury, came to the
northwest corner of Connecticut in 1788. Town
records show that he was given permission by
the town to preach at the regular Sunday gathering
in the Salisbury meetinghouse. The following
June, the first Methodist class and society
was established by circuit rider John Bloodgood,
according to church records.
These records also show the first member,
Mary Everts, joined in 1790.
Everts continue the remarkable family ties to
the church as current members. Cynthia Barnett Smith, was among those receiving a 50-
year pin; her name was first entered in the
church’s cradle rolls.
In October 1975, the Commission on
Archives and History of the New York Conference,
declared the Lakeville United Methodist
church to be the oldest continuously worshipping
congregation in Connecticut, and thereby,
in New England.
The Lakeville congregation erected their
church building in 1816; it was known as Rehoboth
Church. The name Rehoboth, which can
be interpreted in Hebrew as “a place to live”, was
chosen to reflect the difficulty that the early congregation faced in finding someone to sell
|property for a church. The Lakeville
congregation felt that God had finally found a
place for them.
That building is still the home of this historic
congregation, which is led by the Rev. L.
Lawrence Dunlap, who is a second-generation
UMC clergyman to serve early northwestern
Connecticut congregations. He is also appointed
to pastor the Sharon UMC. His father, the Rev. L.
Wayne Dunlap, simultaneously served UMC
congregations in Canaan and Falls Village,
Conn.; Ashley Falls, Mass., along with two local
The Committee on Membership and Evangelism
of LUMC decided to mark the 220th anniversary
in conjunction with the “Rethink
Church” campaign, in an effort to be a more welcoming
congregation and raise the profile of the
church in the community. The campaign’s focus
is to bring the message of God beyond the walls
of the church. The early Methodist circuit riders
risked their lives in terrible weather, and faced
unfriendly mobs in order to spread their message.
The Rethink Church team of Lakeville’s
historic congregation is taking the leadlead in reviving
that tradition in a new century.
|Highland Mills Marks 150th Anniversary
The United Methodist Men
will explore a theme of “Building
Brotherly Friendship” as they
gather for their 29th annual conference
retreat on October 30–31
at Stony Point Center. The UMM
sets as its number one priority the
spiritual growth and well-being of
all the men of the conference.
Guest speakers for the program
of prayer, praise and fellowship
will be Rev. Dr. Allen N.
Pinckney Jr., senior pastor at
Salem UMC, and Rev. Joseph
Ewoodzie, conference mission
A registration fee of $110 covers
overnight lodging and meals;
the fee for attendance on just Saturday
is $45. The Stony Point
Center is at 17 Crickettown Rd.,
Stony Point, N.Y. 10980. For registration
information you may contact
Royston Bailey, at
516-485-3723, or Doug Nicholson,
Preparations are under way for
a service of thanksgiving and celebration
on September 20 to mark
the 150th anniversary of Highland
Mills UMC. Bishop Jeremiah Park
will deliver the message at the 10
a.m. service, which will be led by
Pastor Darlene Resling.
The celebration service will
highlight the church’s sesquicentennial,
both in spirit and in fellowship.
observance, which has been going
on throughout the year, is a joyous
occasion for both the church and
the Highland Mills, N.Y., community.
From 1859 when the present
church was built and faithful
members arrived by horse and
buggy to current times when it has
become known as “the church with
the sign on Route 32,” the Highland
Mills congregation has played a
vital role in the surrounding area.
A reception in the social hall
will follow the service. Members of
UMC, which is
also pastored by Resling UMC, which is
also pastored by Resling, will worship with Highland Mills that
morning in a joint ministry for the
All church members are urged to bring family and friends to
share in the blessings of the
church’s 150 years of history and
|Campolo to Discuss Discipleship, Mission
Dr. Anthony Campolo—
pastor, social activist,
share his under- standing
of being a follower of
Jesus during a daylong
program sponsored by the
Parish Resource Center
and Talithacum Ministry
on Saturday, Oct. 24.
Throughout his Christian service, Campolo has
boldly challenged people all over the world to respond
to God’s boundless love by combining
personal discipleship, evangelism, and social
The program will include presentations on
“Passionate Discipleship: Living Beyond Your
Own Potential,” “Passionate Mission: Embracing
The World Of Hunger,” and Long Island’s
Interfaith Coalition Against Hunger
(MICAH) project. The day will run from 10 a.m.
to 4 p.m. at Bible Korean United Methodist Church, 1201 Carlls Straight Path, Dix Hills, N.Y.;
the doors will open at 9 a.m.
Members of churches who subscribe to the
Parish Resource Center and register by October
1 will pay $65; for two to five persons from the
same church the fee is $55 per person, and
more than six from the same church is $45 per
person. Non-subscribers and those who register
after October 1, will pay an additional $10
per person. All United Methodists who register
will receive a $30 per person discount. Registration
is limited to the first 300 people.
Lunch is included.
To register, mail your check along with your
contact information to one of the following locations:
Parish Resource Center of LI, 89 Hallock
Landing Rd., Rocky Point, NY 11778; or Parish
Resource Center of LI West, 919 Elmont Road,
Valley Stream, NY 11580. You may also register online with a credit card by clicking here>>.
Campolo, professor emeritus at Eastern University,
is the founder of the Evangelical Association
for the Promotion of Education, an organization
that develops schools and social
programs in Third World countries, and in cities
across North America. He is the author of 35
books, including, “Letters to a Young Evangelical”
and “The God of Intimacy and Action;” his
most recent release is “Red Letter Christians, A
Citizen’s Guide to Faith and Politics.”
The Parish Resource Center of Long Island is
a non-profit, non-denominational organization
that provides resources and training for both
clergy and laity. The trained staff consults with
congregations to make any task easier, and the
results more rewarding. They have two locations
on Long Island: Rocky Point and Valley Stream.
Talithacum Ministry, which was started by
Rev. Dr. Albert Hahn, offers churches the
opportunity to engage leading pastors, preachers
and thinkers through seminars in various
venues on Long Island. The ministry’s Web site is:
|Trinity Brings Praise to Park, Again
Trinity United Methodist
Parish, along with their new
pastor, Rev. Charlie Yun,
hosted the second “Praise in
the Park” event at Chadwick
Lake Park on July 12.
seven-hour family festival in
Newburgh, N.Y., featured 10
praise bands and musicians.
The beautiful weather
brought more than 800
people out for the event, that
raised money for the local
Habitat for Humanity
Jumpy houses, face
painting, and games were
available for the kids. A
prayer and evangelism tent
was set up to share the
Good News with those in
There were T-shirts
and food for sale; in
between the acts, door
prizes were given out from
all the donations.
$1,698.14 was collected for
Habitat for Humanity of
Greater Newburgh, and the
Lord was glorified.
Planned for Elders
Dear Elders and the All Clergy Members
of the New York Annual Conference:
Peace and Grace to you all! I pray that you’ve had a great,
restful and meaningful summer. As we feel the cool air in
the morning and evening these days, we know that fall is
coming sooner than we think.
It is already time to remind you that we elders will gather
for a day apart on Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Memorial/Central
Korean United Methodist Church in White Plains, N.Y. We
will begin at 9 a.m., and adjourn by 3 p.m. Even though the
Order of Elders sponsors this event, it is open to all clergy
members of our conference. Please plan to join our sacred
time together for spiritual renewal and growth.
For this special gathering, Dr. Donald Lubowich will
guide us to see what’s in the heavens under the theme, “The
Universe—Its Origin, Its Fate: Hands-On Astronomy for
Clergy.”Dr. Lubowich is a research scientist, the coordinator
of astronomy outreach, and an adjunct associate professor
in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Hofstra
University, Hempstead, N.Y. He has been a senior scientist
for the American Institute of Physics in its scientific
publishing center. Through Hofstra’s Astronomy Outreach
Program, Lubowich began a monthly star-gazing event for
the public at the university’s observatory and a music under
the stars program that pairs telescopes with free outdoor
Although God promises Abraham to make his
descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky (Genesis
15:5), there are only 11,000 stars in the sky visible without a
telescope over the course of one year. How can one count the
stars or estimate the number in the Milky Way and the universe?
What about the phases of the moon and their
relationship to the Jewish calendar? How does astronomy
determine sunset and the end of twilight? Dr. Lubowich will
teach us to understand fundamental questions about the
universe, and ultimately how God is manifest within our
current understanding of the cosmos.
Please send your registration form by October 10. To
cover the cost of the event, we need to collect a $15 fee ($20
after October 10); checks should be made out to the New
York Annual Conference. A beautiful breakfast will be
spread out for you, and in addition we will provide drinks,
fruit, and snacks. However, please bring your own brown
bag lunch. The schedule permits only 40 minutes for lunch.
We look forward to seeing you then. Many blessings on
you, and your ministry! Shalom!
Constance Y. Pak
Chairperson of Order of Elders
For a registration form, please email Constance Pak, at
email@example.com, or Thomas Theilmann, at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration forms and fees should be
sent to: Rev. Thomas Theilmann, Red Hook UMC, 52 West
Market Street, Red Hook, NY 12571. If you have any
questions, please call Theilmann at 845-758-5015.
2010 TRIPS TO CAMBODIA, HAITI
Participants: Two youths, 15 to 17 years old, from each district
Date: February 10–21, 2010
Location: Kratie, Cambodia
Project: Building a church community center.
Purposes: Strengthen the faith journey of our youth, expose youth to
a cross-cultural experience, and learn from different young people.
Cost: $2,200. Participants pay $800 deposit; district provi, des $500;
the remaining $900 is to be covered by the local church and
family, through donations and fundraising.
Deadlines: Application and deposit are due November 1. Full
payment is due December 1.
For more information contact: Donna L Jolly, at
email@example.com, or call 845-853-8662; or Rev. Joseph
Ewoodzie, conference mission coordinator, at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 914-615-2233
Application: Available by clicking here>>
Dates: January 8–22
Leaders: Rev. Gunshik Shim, and Rev. Joseph Ewoodzie
Itinerary: 4 days in Bangkok, 4 days in Cambodia, 3 days in seoul
Purpose: To strengthen our partnership with the Methodist Church in
Cambodia and learn more about the history and culture of the region.
Work: Construction of mushroom factory in Thailand, construction of
Methodist community center Cambodia, Bible school and Bible
storytelling with children and adults, leadership workshop and
whatever else God is calling us to do.
Cost: $2,950, subject to current airfares; add $360 for Seoul
extension. Please click here for more information>>
Registrations are being accepted for four “Mountains of Hope for
Haiti” VIM trips. If you’re interested, contact the specific team
leaders about sending a $150 deposit to reserve a spot.
February 12–20, 2010
Leaders: Pastors Tom & Wendy Vencuss
Contact: email@example.com or
Leaders: Mike Temple & Bridget Melien
Contact: Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Bridget at
End of May–early June (exact dates to be determined)
Trip is for college-age young adults.
Leader: Terrie Steinhagen-Cook
Trip is for high school youth who have completed at least ninth grade.
The adult spaces on this trip have been filled.
Leaders: Pastors Tom & Wendy Vencuss
Contact: email@example.com or
|Disciples Transforming World through Prayer
. . . if my people, who are called by
my name, will humble themselves
and pray, and seek my face and turn
from their wicked ways, them will I
hear from heaven and forgive their
sin and will heal their land. —2 Chronicles 7:14
Laity Sunday is observed annually,
usually on the third Sunday in
October. One of its intended purposes
is having laypersons participate
in, or lead, the service on that
day. In fact, laity participation in
many of our churches is the norm.
Why then celebrate a designated
Laity Sunday? Surely not so the
pastor can take the Sunday off! Or
that some of the congregation
would choose to stay home because
a layperson would be the speaker
for the day. That would defeat the very purpose of Laity Sunday.
I like how Taylor Burton-Edwards
puts it: “Laity Sunday is a
time together in our life as United
Methodists for the congregation to
evaluate and celebrate its discipleship
to Jesus Christ.” (Laity Sunday
2006: Promptings for the Word)
This year’s theme is “Disciples
Transforming the World through
Prayer.” How very apt! One would
dare say that as a denomination, we
have left this reservoir of transforming
power that God has provided
for us virtually untapped. It
is not too late to start its flow in our
individual lives, in our churches, in
our denomination and in our
world. This year, as we evaluate our
prayer lives, let us honestly confess
our shortcomings in this area and
resolve to improve! Of course, we
celebrate those who are experiencing
the blessings of Philippians 4:6:
“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and
petition, with thanksgiving, present
your requests to God.”
Praying and an ongoing relationship
with God go hand in hand.
We are called to both in 2 Chronicles
As you worship and celebrate on
Laity Sunday this year, please also
thank God for the lives and faithful
witness of those lay members who have gone on to the church triumphant.
Name them and spend a
moment in quiet reflection as you
do. We overlooked that at this year’s
conference. We apologize and
promise to correct this next year.
Laity and clergy, we need each
other to survive. Let us look to the
Lord in constant prayer, praying for
each other and supporting each other.
Web site www.gbod.org/laity
You will find this book by
Safiyah Fosua, “Jesus and
Prayer,” a wonderful personal
and/or group study
guide on prayer. She was
our Bible study leader at annual
conference in June.
|Passion Play is “Must-See Experience”
Every 10 years in the small town of Oberammergau,
Germany, the Passion Play is performed.
Why? In the summer of 1633, the
townspeople promised God that once the Black
Plague left their small village they would show
their gratitude by putting on a Passion Play. And
for more than 370 years, they have been putting
on this spectacle once every decade. You can witness
this six-hour musical and dramatic performance
in June 2010 on an Educational
Opportunities Tours with Rev. Phil Schnell or Rev. Stuart Baker.
The residents of Oberammergau produce
and star in the play that reflects centuries-old
traditions in its costumes and staging. Only natives
or those who have lived in the town for 20
years may audition. To add to the play’s authenticity,
cast members grow their hair and beards
to match their biblical roles.
Educational Opportunities Tours has been
providing Oberammergau Passion Play tickets
and travel arrangements since 1980. In addition to the play, your
journey will include guided
sightseeing to Innsbruck, Salzburg, Italy via the
Brenner Pass, the Abbey of Ettal, the Church at
Wies, the Castle of Linderhof and an optional
visit to Neuschwanstein Castle.
Rev. Schnell will depart June 1 with an extension
to Italy. He can be reached at 401-596-9615
or firstname.lastname@example.org. Rev. Baker will depart
June 15, with an extension to Switzerland.
He can be reached at 570-775-6384 or
Workshop Lifts Up
ATLANTA—The African American Methodist Heritage Center, an
initiative of Black Methodists for Church Renewal, is sponsoring its
second regional workshop Oct. 2–4 at Gammon Theological Seminary
“The Journey: History as a Bridge to the Future” is designed to increase
awareness about African-American contributions to the church
and to encourage effective discipleship, evangelism and mission.
Speakers and preachers will include: Bishop Forrest Stith, Bishop Alfred
Norris, Dr. William B. McClain, Angella Current-Felder, and Dr.
Robert J. Williams.
The United Methodist Board of Church and Society and Commission
on Archives and History also are sponsors. Further information is
available at www.aamhc-umc.org. (UMNS)
LI Lunches to Offer
Teaching and preaching about immigration issues will be the focus
of three October lunches hosted by Long Island Wins and the Long
Island Council of Churches. Religious leaders, clergy members and
active lay leaders are invited to attend one of the discussions entitled,
“How to Teach and Preach about Immigration for a More Welcoming
The lunches will be held from noon to 2 p.m.; lunch is free, but seating
is limited. The three locations and dates are:
October 7: St. Hugh of Lincoln Roman Catholic Church, Huntington
October 22: Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation, Old Westbury
October 27: First Baptist Church, Riverhead
To make a reservation or for more information email,
email@example.com. This is an interfaith program.
|NYAC Steps into 2nd Place With Better Health
|BY BILL SHILLADY
The 68 participants of the New York Annual
Conference who elected to join the Virgin Health
Miles “Healthflex Go Zone” special challenge
over the summer have not simply walked their
way to second place among 30 annual conferences,
but have also experienced better health,
loss of weight and a reward of extra miles in
their account. They were assisted at the end by a
“Finish Line Kick” challenge issued John Capen.
For the first time ever in our Healthflex challenges
to wellness, the NYAC won a coveted second
place, coming in behind the Troy
Conference, nosing out the Oregon-Idaho Conference
by 5,000 steps. All who accepted the
challenge will receive a special bonus of Virgin
Health Miles. Last year was the first time the
conference received a rebate of $32,000 for wellness
exams and Health Quotient participation.
This year, your personal rebates will only come
through the Virgin Health Miles program. We
had close to 130 people have blood work done at
Annual Conference and each of them will get a
$25 credit in their accounts.
If you have no idea what all this means, then
you are missing out on money in rebates as you
walk your way to wellness. Register to get your
free pedometer and start walking toward
wellness and get money in return. Go to
GBOPHB.org, or to the Virgin Health Miles
Web site to register as a Healthflex participant.
Mark Del Guidice and John Capen were tied
for first place nationally with 15 others. Mark
was selected by lottery as the third place winner.
Thank you to all the NYAC participants, who averaged
305,616 steps. Many thanks to John
Capen for being such a great cheerleader on this
Go team! Walking makes cents!
The names, or pseudonyms, and the number
of steps walked are:
John Capen: 870,000
Mark Del Giudice: 870,000
Timothy Riss: 868,007
Charles Ferrara: 833,718
Eldon Simpson: 686,788
William Pfohl: 660,514
Lesa Milsom: 635,395
I. Del Giudice: 633,814
Richard Allen: 617,132
Ronald Cox. 496,129
Albert Hahn: 468,495
C. Lamar-Sterling: 462,899
Eugenie Abrams: 450,402
Turtle Express: 435,369
Maybelle Renzi: 426,483
The Ol’ Grey Mare: 421,920
Walk By Faith: 403,751
Mark Chatterton: 387,305
W. Charles Naugle: 353,942
Barbara Naugle: 352,846
Richard Rice: 338,705
Dale Azevedo: 319,220
Robert Milsom: 314,482
Tap Happy: 290,587
Barbara Stinson: 277,210
Robert Thompson-Gee: 265,545
Speed McQueen: 264,689
Rob Booth: 260,152
William Smartt: 243,254
Patricia Barton: 236,390
Jay Kim: 234,685
Arthur Barton: 233,862
Linda Kim: 223,892
Pastor Pisky: 222,428
Tom T: 216,150
Jin Kim: 215,902
Virginia Henderson: 211,490
The Big Kahoona: 209,278
Karen Monk: 197,228
Roy Hassel: 195,783
Jessica A: 192,428
David Jefferson: 190,176
Alicia Fils-Aime Wentler: 182,778
Kim Cartiglia: 180,483
Edward Horne: 175,733
David Jolly: 162,264
Heather Sinclair: 157,335
Jennifer Czeisel: 156,940
Frances Thompson-Gee: 153,622
Sara Goold: 142,623
Kim Theilmann: 138,451
Kristina Hansen: 133,684
Anne Jackson: 133,297
James Stinson: 120,333
Robert Osgood: 115,643
Pastor Vicki: 94,249
Jae Joon Lee: 82,023
YangHee Kim: 62,946
Carolyn Smartt: 32,701
Barbara Mungin: 370
Hispanic Caucus Requests
CHICAGO—The Hispanic caucus of The
United Methodist Church resolved Aug. 23 to
urge President Barack Obama and Congress
to “expedite” immigration reform. Methodists
Associated Representing the Cause of
Hispanic Americans, or MARCHA, also asked
that the Council of Bishops invite all United
Methodist congregations to provide
assistance to minors separated from their
parents due to immigration raids. The group
further called upon the United Methodist
Board of Church and Society to promote
hearings where testimonies of children
separated from their parents due to
immigration raids can be gathered and
shared with thdenomination. (UMNS)
Bishop: Jeremiah J. Park
Director of Connectional Ministries: Ann A. Pearson
Editor: Joanne Utley
New York Conference of The United Methodist Church
20 Soundview Avenue, White Plains, NY 10606
Phone (914) 997-1570 or (914) 615-2219
Fax (914) 615-2244
Web site: www.nyac.com
Vision e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org