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New York Conference United Church of Christ Statement Condemning the Racist Actions in Minnesota, New York, Kentucky, and Georgia

And will not God grant justice to God’s chosen ones who cry to God day and night? Will God delay long in helping them?
Luke 18:7
 
In recent weeks our nation has witnessed more egregious acts of racism. These actions have taken the lives of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY, and Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, GA. These murders are nothing less than 21st century lynchings.  In addition, racially spurious 911 calls made by a white woman in New York’s Central Park and a white man at a gym in Minneapolis, MN, against innocent black men, further perpetuates the historical roots of racism woven into the fabric of this nation. These murders and unnecessary 911 calls are hateful actions of white people intended to instill terror in persons of color. There is no place for such acts of hostility and bias within a civilized society. Time has long passed for white individuals and recalcitrant law enforcement officers to be held accountable for their blatant disregard of black and brown bodies.
 
At a time when our world is deeply impacted by a pandemic that has clearly unveiled the gross racial inequities of our country’s health care system, we are once again faced with the dehumanization, discrimination and lynching of African Americans at the hands of white people. The staff and churches of the New York Conference condemn these immoral acts, and as people of faith we cannot… WE MUST NOT remain silent in the face of this loss of human life and dignity. We must boldly condemn all forms of racism, bigotry, and discrimination. Hateful ideology and acts are incompatible with the message and promise of the Christian faith.
 
Therefore, we demand that our lawmakers guarantee that this nation live up to its ideals of liberty and justice for all.  We further call upon our political leaders to utilize the power of their offices to engage in the long deep work of dismantling racism through legislation and judicial accountability.  We demand that civilian courts be established to judge uncalled for violent actions of police officers resulting in bodily harm and death.  We demand that legislation be introduced that criminalizes unnecessary 911 calls aimed at terrorizing persons of color. We must ensure that every person has the right to live without fear, regardless of color or nationality. We must never again hear the words “I Can’t Breathe” from another human being enduring excessive violent behavior from law enforcement officers.
 
 
Rev. David Gaewski,
Conference Minister

Justice for Black Lives

What a heavy few weeks it has been. Although in different ways, current events have impacted all of us by navigating the uncertainty of not one, but two pandemics: COVID-19 and racism. One of these pandemics has plagued our country for much longer. As we considered writing the Getting to the Root we wanted to make sure that the gravity of the current moment is conveyed, engaging in the important work that needs to be done, and also honoring and holding space. So we share this message to you, and to ourselves.

To our Black siblings; we see you, and you matter. We want to hold space for your pain, grief, and anger, and to acknowledge these feelings are not new. The trauma associated with having to not only experience, but also repeatedly witness these continued injustices and acts of violence on the news and social media is more than anyone should have to bear, and is violence in and of itself. Unless you live the Black experience, it is impossible to understand how our Black counterparts are feeling, so we also say this: to our white siblings you cannot be complicit in this moment. You have a responsibility, as a person of faith, to do everything in your power to stand in solidarity with, and to support your Black siblings. You have a responsibility to educate yourselves on the history and impact of racism on our society, to learn about and uproot white supremacy in all its forms, and to use this education to spark dialogue and to mobilize in a way that disrupts unjust policies and practices. 

One of the core values in the United Church of Christ is the commitment to seeking a just world for all. Let us all join together to seek racial justice in our families, our congregations, our communities, and in this country. And remember, one way we all have power to create change is through our vote. We are in the middle of a crucial election season, and it is more important than ever that we are using our vote to magnify our voice. We have compiled a list of important resources for education and for action. Please utilize these for your own growth and action, and share with others. 

  1. The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Abery - Watch on YouTube
  2. Read this letter from UCC Officers: Lynching Justice in America
  3. Addressing Systematic Violence Against African Americans in Contemporary America - Information on watching here
  4. RSVP for June 20, 2020- Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington
  5. Utilize the UCC’s curriculum: Sacred Conversations to End Racism
  6. Find out your registration status, and get registered! On our Civic Action Center
  7. Use Our Faith Our Vote Resourcesto get educated on the issues important in upcoming elections
  8. Know your rightsat demonstrations and protests
  9. Tell your Legislators: We MUST End Police Violence

The path forward demands collective, intentional actions from our entire faith community.

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Applications are now available for the 2020-21 Scholarships from the South Congregational Scholarship Fund for undergraduates in their 2nd, 3rd and 4th year of colleges/universities. Youth must be active members of a Metropolitan Association church with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The deadline for completed applications is August 31, 2020.

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To the Churches of the Metropolitan Association

We have begun to post, on our web site, the monthly Fellowship Dues Statement which shows the 2020 Fellowship dues paid or still outstanding ($12.00 per church member). It also shows the New York Conference Assessment status ($2.00 per church member) for 2020 and 2019. The dues represent a significant part of the Metro Association Budget, and we depend on your church’s support as we continue to provide for the ongoing work of our board of directors, the Association committees, special programs, clergy and church support. As you review the statement, please note, those numbers that appear in red indicate that the church has unpaid dues from 2019 as well. If you have unpaid balances, please make every effort to begin making payments. If your church needs a payment arrangement, please notify Metro right away at uccnymetro@aol.com or uccnymetro@gmail.com or call the Association office: 718-898-0001 ext. 200. The Statement will be updated on the 1st and 15th of the month.

United Church of Christ Announces $2.6M in COVID Relief Funds for Churches

Operational Grants for Churches that Perform Direct Service
These funds are for general operating support, directed to support churches’ ability to carry out their mission rather than specific projects or program
 
Operational Grants for Congregations of Color and Ethnic Minority Congregations in the UCC
These funds are intended for general operating support that has been allocated specifically for Congregations of Color and Ethnic Minorities in the United Church of Christ
 
Community Garden Grants
These funds are direct service funds set aside for churches to support community garden programs.
 
Make a Difference! Caring for Authorized Clergy Fund Grant
These grants are available to persons authorized for ministry in the United Church of Christ (ordained, licensed and commissioned) who are experiencing crisis in their vocational and/or personal lives
 
Full Information on the above grants HERE
 
Pension Board Ministerial Assistance Emergency Grant
Funds provide direct financial support to those who serve the church and are facing financial difficulties. Active and retired clergy, lay employees, and their surviving spouses may be eligible. Information on this grant HERE

UCCNY Grants and Loans Available

The following grants are now available thanks to several generous donations:

  1. Grants to assist with community outreach (food distribution, legal aid, etc) that is normally funded by a local UCC church, now experiencing financial constraints due to COVID-19. Get the application here.
  2. Funds to assist low income families with the burial costs of loved ones. These may be used for community members and may be given to non-UCC entities.
  3. Low interest (2.5%) loans are now available to New York UCC congregations through the Cornerstone Fund. Additional Info: Flyer, FAQs, Application. Application deadline is July 15th.
  4. UCC Clergy facing personal financial challenges may contact the UCC Pension Boards to inquire about assistance. Contact Krista Betz at KBetz@pbucc.org
Contact davidgaewski@uccny.org if you have additional questions or needs.

IMPORTANT REMINDER

 
 
YOUR NY STATE REGION MUST REACH PHASE 4
OF THE STATE GUIDELINES
BEFORE RE-OPENING YOUR CHURCH
 
PLANNING AHEAD IS ESSENTIAL.
PLEASE SEE THE NY CONFERENCE GUIDELINES
(AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS DOCUMENT)
AS YOU PLAN FOR YOUR CHURCH'S
RE-OPENING WHEN YOUR REGION REACHES PHASE 4
 
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ATTENTION
IT IS CRITICAL THAT BEFORE YOU START USING ANY PORTION OF YOUR CHURCH OR CHURCH CAMPUS....
FLUSH ALL WATER LINES,
WATER FOUNTAINS,AND
AIR CONDITIONING UNITS TO REMOVE HARMFUL BACTERIA OR MOLD THAT MAY HAVE ACCUMULATED DUE TO LACK OF USE. WE DO NOT WANT ANYONE CONTRACTING LEGIONNAIRES DISEASE OR ANYTHING SIMILAR. CONTACT YOUR HVAC COMPANY FOR ASSISTANCE IF NECESSARY.
 
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As of 3pm on Thursday May 28th, New York State reported
366,733 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
We have tested 1,876,789 people
 
There have been 23,722 deaths across the state
(this is an increase of 530 since last week).
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WE MUST ALL BE DILIGENT; WITH STAYING HOME, PHYSICAL DISTANCING, WEARING A MASK OF ANY KIND WHEN
WE ARE IN PUBLIC,(NOW MANDITORY HERE)
AND EXERCISING STRICT PERSONAL HYGIENE.
 
 
Please continue to check on the needs and psychological heath of your neighbors, fellow congregants, and your pastor.
A phone call could mean everything to them.
 
-BE SAFE-
-BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER-
 
"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer"
Romans 12:12
 
New York Conference Disaster Coordinator
Sue Frost Email: sfrost@uccny.org
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The American Red Cross across the regions of New York State have developed a program to support individuals and families who have lost family members to death as a result of COVID-19. The program will link crisis counselors with families to provide emotional and spiritual support, as well as targeted short-term case management to assist with navigating through the challenging processes which might include challenges with moving the family member’s body through the hospital, nursing home, medical examiner and funeral home systems in this time when those systems may be overwhelmed and their processes may be different than they normally are. They may also include linkage to legal resources for estate, custody, immigration or other issues related to the death.
 
The following links to an online intake form can be submitted by a family member, a friend who thinks someone needs help, or an agency on behalf of the family. For those without access to the needed online technology, the phone number will link the caller to an intake person who will assist with the initial steps for getting assistance.
 
 
 
Those without online capabilities may call 585-957-8187, and a volunteer will assist them with the initial intake process. The program is expected to operate for as long as families will benefit from the service or through the month of September.

Support the New York Conference

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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:
 
Donate Directly
Contribute to the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ today with an online contribution. Join us in ministry:
 
Please note that the New York Conference does not publish news related to fundraisers.
New York Conference | United Church of Christ
P.O. Box 551
Dewitt, NY 13214
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.

New York Conference UCC Re-Opening Guidelines

Zoom Association conversations scheduled for this week:
Western Association June 5, 12:30pm
Suffolk Association June 5, 3:30pm
Metro and Reformed Associations June 9, 12:30pm
The conversations will run about 1.5 hours. Both will use the same Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3244487715
 
New York State Guidelines For Religious Funeral Services Here

Churches Helping Churches

Our Conference is now engaged in a program through which we hope that churches with strong financial resources may help other New York churches that find themselves in a precarious financial situation due to COVID-19.
 
Here is a Christian Century article that describes a program similar to what we hope to do.
 
If your church is in a position to help another church financially, please contact our Conference Minister, Reverend David Gaewski davidgaewski@uccny.org.
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Endurance Produces Character
Finding the capacity to endure and to build hope during this pandemic.

A Podcast from Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ
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Now is the Time to Begin to Plan for
PPP Loan Forgiveness
 
Here is the Resource for Loan Forgiveness from the Small Business Administration.
 
Here is a Resource provided by Content and Business Development, Church Law & Tax
 
Here is the latest (May 13th) Update from UCC Legal Counsel regard the CARES Act and PPP Loans

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2020 Taxes and Giving
 
The recent 2020 CARES Act includes several provisions concerning charitable giving that you may find helpful.
 
This legislation includes provision for a new “above the line” deduction for charitable gifts for those who do not itemize on their taxes, as well as an increased deduction for those who do itemize.
 
Learn more about these changes here.

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Daily Hospitalization Summary By Region
 
Persons Testing Positive and Fatalities By County
 
New York State Regional Monitoring Dashboard
 
Find Community testing sites operated by NYC Health + Hospitals near you: Here

Loss is Very Painful

Help is available to you now through GriefShare.
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Many are struggling to cope emotionally with the COVID-9 outbreak. The free, national Disaster Distress Helpline is a source for 24/7 crisis counseling and emotional support.
Calls to 1-800-985-5990 and texts (text TalkWithUs to 66746) are answered by trained counselors from a network of independently operated crisis centers located across the United States.

Keeping in Touch and Staying Safe


Conversations with Conference Ministry Team Members
The Ministry Team will hold office hours next week on June 2,3 & 4 from 11am to 12 noon. This is designed to be a “drop in time” to log on for as long or short as you want to say hi and talk about anything that is on your mind. The link to each of these meeting times is: https://zoom.us/j/422208515
Of course, your ACMs and CM are available anytime you need us.
Please feel free to call at 315-446-3073.
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List of NY Conference Churches with
Sunday Live-Streaming Services Click Here
 
If you would like to have your church added to this list, contact
Rev. Ryan Henderson, ACM for Communications and Online Community. rhenderson@uccny.org
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New York State-based helplines for COVID-19 mental health/emotional support
 
NYC and Long Island

 
•      1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) this is a free, confidential 24/7 helpline available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and access to 200 additional translation services. Click Here
 
•      The Long Island Crisis Center (HIV-specific) is operating both the English and the Spanish Hotlines.
o  English is 1-800-541-AIDS (2437)
o  Spanish is 1-800-233-SIDA (7432)
 
•      The Long Island Crisis Center’s crisis line is also in operation (non-HIV specific). They use a language contractor for non-English speakers.
 
Crisis & Suicide Hotline: If you or someone you know is in crisis or feeling suicidal, call our 24/7 hotline: (516) 679-1111.
 
Western and Central New York
 
•      Erie County Department of Health COVID-19 information line o 8:00 am – 8:00 pm weekdays (716) 858-2929
•    Crisis Services of Western New York 24-hour hotlines with instant access to interpreters: Buffalo & Erie County (716) 834-3131 o Kids Helpline (716) 834-1144 or 1-877-KIDS-400
o  Chautauqua County Hotline 1-800-724-0461
 
•      Finger Lakes Region’s 2-1-1/LIFE LINE offers  o a 24-hour hotline and live chat Sundays and Saturdays 8:00 am – 11:00 pm EST
To access these services, dial 211 (mobile) or (585) 275-5151 (rotary) or toll free at 1-877-356-9211 
•      Monroe County Coronavirus Hotline (585) 753-5555
•      University of Rochester Medicine COVID-19 support line 1-888-928-0011
 
Capital Region
•      Crisis Text Line for NYS: New York State has partnered with Crisis Text Line, an anonymous texting service available 24/7. Starting a conversation is easy. Text GOT5 to 741741
•      There is also mobile crisis line: Call (518) 549–6500. This line connects individuals to Capital District Primary Care (CDPC) and mental health services in the surrounding areas if needed.
 
National helplines that have COVID-19
specific services
 
SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
 
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) HelpLine
Monday – Friday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, EST at 1-800-950-6264
 
Free, confidential support for Veterans in crisis and their families and friends. Call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 or text to 838255
 
A national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth. 1-866-488-7386 (Open 24/7). More Information Here
 


UPCOMING AND PROPOSED YOUTH ACTIVITIES FOR 2020

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New York State Youth Event
United Church of Christ



Are you ready for this year’s State Youth Event? We are! The dates are March 6, 7, & 8. As in the past, the event will take place at Watson Homestead in Painted Post, New York. This year's theme is "Good Vibes." This will be a wonderful opportunity for youth and adults from all over the state of New York to get a chance to meet, learn, have fun, and worship together. The weekend is packed with many exciting as well as challenging workshops, and plenty of fun and free time!

We will also have many workshops for you to choose from as well as the ever-popular dance on Saturday night, Bible studies, and creative worship. Bring your musical instruments if you wish. BRING YOUR PILLOW AND SLEEPING BAG or SHEETS FOR YOUR BED- WE DONT WANT ANYONE TO BE COLD... If we have snow there will be plenty of outdoor activities, as well.

Please note these very important points

  • The State Youth Event is for high school students in grades 9 through 12 who are interested in taking part in this exciting weekend. An adult advisor (21 or older) must accompany all youth. Groups attending should plan on one adult for every 7 youth.
  • Do not expect to register at Watson Homestead!All participants (youth and adult) must register online:     (or send in the fully completed & signed registration, covenant, and health history forms with the prepaid fee $160 by March 2, 2020.  When you pay, the conference office will send confirmation of that payment & registration.  Mail forms to SYE, 5575 Thompson Road, Dewitt, NY  13214.
  • Rooms will be pre-assigned by the registrar (each group will be together in the same building). You may request one roommate, if that person also requests you.
  • We will not be responsible for any lost or stolen articles while at Watson! Only personal music devices with ear plugs will be allowed. Bring your phone -- if you think you need it -- but cell connection is not very good at Watson.
  • All advisors are asked to help lead the small groups, and to help chaperone the dance, and late night rooms.
  • No dinner will be served on Friday night! You might want to eat before you arrive.
  • Do not be late!Registration is from 5PM to 6:30PM in the Main Lodge lobby. The kick off starts promptly at 6:30pm, followed by family group activities and workshop sign up at 7:30pm.  Mandatory advisors meeting will be at 7pm in the Elm room. The event ends Sunday at noon.

We know you will enjoy your weekend with us at Watson Homestead. We look forward to seeing you there. Do not forget to send your forms and payment in the mail TODAY! We will respond to you by e-mail once we receive your registration. There is room at the table for you..

Questions: Call the Conference Office 315-446-3073 or email sgaewsky@uccny.org

​See you at Watson Homestead,

The New York State Youth Committee

Important Materials: 

Online registration link: 

State Youth Event Registration Form - download here

State Youth Event Health Form - download here

State Youth Event Youth Covenant - download here

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What Are the Foundations of NYE 2020?

Leading up to NYE 2020, the planning team has built upon the original pillars of faith, leadership, service and social justice. Adding community building so that youth might be sustained in their faith beyond NYE and expanding justice to include encounter and reflection, ensures our work comes from a place of solidarity and does not reinforce systems of power and privilege.

Read more

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Who's Going to Be There?

Find out who's presenting and performing. Check out the list of NYE Speakers & Artists.

Read More

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What Are You Doing July 22-25?

Having a blast at NYE 2020! Registration opens February 1. Mark your calendar, set a reminder, and sign up to receive more information here.

Read more

NYE is made possible by the generous gifts of donors from across the UCC. Click here to give and support our youth.

Text to donate right now!
Text UCCNYE to 41444.
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Attention All Association Churches and Members

We are living at a time of escalating fear that is leading to hate.  The most important thing we can do to stop this trend is to not be part of it.  We must do as we are called to do as Christians. It is important to show this video and have discussions at your churches. Please refer to the information in the poster that is also displayed.

 

Rev. Dr. Anesta Vannoy

Metropolitan Association Disaster Response Chaplain

Join Our Cummunity of Practice

Welcome Home

Metropolitan Association
New York Conference UCC

We've been gathered by God to support one another through the Metropolitan Association and the New York Conference and to serve God's world - each congregation in its own way and together more than we ever could do apart.
Churches in New York City, Nassau, Westchester and Rockland counties covenant to serve one another in the Metropolitan Association of the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ. The Metro Association and the Suffolk Association compose the Southeast Region of the New York Conference
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Our Mission & Vision

Mission

Following Christ, empowering our churches to change the world.

Vision

Communities of justice and extravagant hospitality transformed by God’s love.
We value the Preamble to the Constitution of the United Church of Christ and the Statement of Faith adopted by the General Synod of the United Church of Christ, July 8, 1959, and as subsequently amended, as a summary of the things most surely affirmed among
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Tel:  (718) 898-0001 
Fax: (718) 898-0081
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Monday through Thursday
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Friday
9:30 AM –2:30 PM
Closed Saturdays and Sundays

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