On January 8, we held our Annual Chili/Chowder cookoff after worship. Everyone had a delicious time!
Congratulations to the winners:
First place: Warren Robinson
Second place: Laurine Campbell
Third place: Denise and Jerry Sabattis
“I [we] can do all things through Christ who strengthens me [us].”
Philippians 4:13, par
Dear siblings in Christ,
May the grace and peace of God be with you in the New Year!
I thank God for the honor of serving United Methodists of Upper New York as your new episcopal leader. My family and I are grateful for the many expressions of hospitality we have received from clergy, laity, and staff as we transition into a new missional assignment, home, and community. We look forward to getting to know you better and doing life and ministry together in the coming years. You can learn more about our journey thus far here. You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram @BishopHectorABurgos.
During the month of December, I transitioned out of my previous role as District Superintendent. I also had the opportunity to meet with Bishop Mark Webb, the appointive cabinet, and the executive staff team several times to learn the ways you are already living into God’s vision of living the Gospel of Jesus Christ and being God’s love with our neighbors in all places. I have also learned about your focus on growing the leadership capacity for fruitful ministry through Upper New York congregations, launching New Faith Communities, and ending the sin of racism. I am inspired by the progress being made, the new learnings, and the many stories of faithful mission and service in the community.
In the weeks to come, I will continue working with the cabinet, preparing for the 2023 appointment season, and organizing our ministry together in 2023 and beyond.
During February and March, I will visit all UNY regions to meet with clergy and congregational leaders to learn about your ministries and hopes for The Upper New York Conference. I hope to see you there. You can learn about dates, times, and locations here.
We are living in unprecedented times in the Church and the world – a global pandemic, extreme weather, the war in Ukraine, political polarization in the US, decline in congregational engagement, disaffiliations, and uncertainty about the future of our denomination, amongst others. In this challenging context, God is calling us to shine brightly with the light of Christ, sharing faith, love, mercy, and justice with all people and in all places – and that’s exactly what we will do TOGETHER.
As we begin a new year and season of ministry, I pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit over all UNY leaders and congregations that lead us outwardly into our communities to be God’s love with all people.
I am looking forward to the journey,
Bishop Héctor A. Burgos Núñez
Upper New York Area
Starting Jan. 1, 2023, Bishop Héctor Burgos, who prefers to be addressed as Bishop Héctor, will be the new bishop of the Upper New York (UNY) Conference. Bishop Héctor is eager to meet laity and clergy throughout the Conference and has scheduled dates for regional meetings. The meetings will be as follows:
Feb. 9, 2023 – Lakes Region–Leroy UMC
Feb. 16, 2023 -Northeast Region–New Hartford
March 1, 2023 – Lakes Region–Auburn UMC
March 2, 2023 – Northeast Region–Plattsburgh UMC
March 15, 2023 – Southern Tier Region--Olean: Christ
March 16, 2023 – Southern Tier Region--Central Endicott
The clergy meetings will be from 1-3 p.m.
The laity meeting (and clergy unable to attend the earlier time) will be from 7- 8:30 p.m.
On October 16th the Greater Syracuse Hunger Walk took place at Onondaga Lake Park. Unlike last year's monsoon, the weather was perfect for a 3-mile walk and ALL walkers were fortified prior to the walk by a lunch of Barb Blanchard's "world famous" macaroni & cheese.
Immanuel's team of walkers were Jane Monnell (and dog Posie), Shelley Dawson Smith, Erin, Chris & Joey Paoli (and dog Penny) and John & Nori Gartner (and dog Baca). At the end of the walk, we were treated to a snack and bottle of water by Liverpool 1st UMC which was very kind of them.
I'm happy to say that Immanuel raised $1,130.00 because of the fund-raising efforts of the team members and also Barb Merckel. Thanks to everyone who contributed; your donations will help fund six local agencies that feed and minister to the people in our community.
Thank you everyone!
Shelley Dawson Smith
Our first dinner and a movie in October was such a hit, our Fellowship team hosted a second one on December 3, 2022. This was a potluck dinner with a fun Christmas viewing of "Scrooged." Stay tuned for more events like this!
Our Fellowship team hosted two dinner and a movie nights. The first was Saturday, October 15, 2022. They watched the movie "The Case for Christ", a moving story about one man's journey from atheism to faith. The food and conversation were wonderful.
Don’t miss our CHILI/CHOWDER COOK-OFF on Sunday, January 8, after the 10:00 service, in the Fellowship Hall.
Bring a crockpot of your favorite chili or chowder, or just come to enjoy all the offerings and vote for your favorite.
PRIZES will be awarded for first, second, and third place.
Please sign up in the Narthex so we can set a place for you, and feel free to bring a friend to church, lunch and a fun time!
Questions? Contact Barb Merckel
Get excited for Upper New York’s new bishop, Bishop Héctor Burgos who will begin on Jan. 1, 2023. He wants to be on a first-name basis with you, so he asks that you call him Bishop Héctor.
Bishop Héctor is thrilled with the strong missional foundation we have in Upper New York!
He has five priorities when working among the clergy and laity of our Conference.
Watch his video, giving you a warm welcome and outlining his priorities.
On Sunday, December 4, we shared some Christmas cheer with residents at Brookdale Summerfield senior living. Our "elves" led the group in singing and shared the wonderful sound of ringing bells. A great time was had by all.