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Proposed Revisions to Metro By-Laws:

The Metropolitan By-Laws Revision committee was chaired by Rev. Bill Nye and Rev. Kris Watson, and included Melva Victorino, Rev. Jim Adelman Rev. Martha Jacobs, Rev. James Campbell, Rev. Eugene Palmore, and Lennox Grant. The Association thanks the committee for their hard work and diligent efforts to present these revisions to the Association membership. Two versions are presented, one with track changes to reflect what was changed, and the other a clean copy to show how the bylaws will read if all changes are accepted.   Also available are the by-laws as they currently exist.

Please review them carefully. Any and all questions will be answered at the Fall Meeting of the Association.

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Our Church Buildings Are Treasures, Not Problems!

Judson Memorial Church is featured in an article posted on the Religious News Service which explains how churches are partnering with artists as landlord.  Their tenants include “The Gym” theater, a Sikh film agency, an experimental dance school, the West Village Chorale, non profits serving undocumented immigrants, a Muslim advocacy network and congregations for Korean immigrants, gay Catholics, the homeless and people in recovery.

Here are links to the full Religious News Service Article and Judson’s Own web page about its relations with the arts.

Perhaps your church will be inspired to partner with the arts – or other local organizations.  As Judson’s senior pastor, Rev. Donna Schaper, notes:  “The whole movement of church and arts is bubbling up out of necessity.  Churches are broke.  We don’t have money.  We don’t have huge congregations.  These buildings are treasures, not problems.”


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Rockaway Beach First Congregational Church Celebrates 125 Years

On February 22, 1886, a group of sturdy entrepreneurs, led by Fannie Holland, came together and voted to form a Congregational Church in the heart of Rockaway Beach.  In February 2011, the successor congregation – The First Congregational Church of Rockaway Beach – gathered to celebrate its continuous worship and to vow to move forward even more passionately with its ministries of love and social justice.

The Rev. Freeman Palmer, Interim Regional Conference Minister, presented a proclamation from the UCC to the congregation’s current pastor, The Rev. Joseph Medlin.  Former Rockaway pastor, The Rev. Jan Powell, returned to help officiate.

Artifacts, historic photos and information about the stained glass windows helped tell the story of the church’s past.  Other events are planned for the anniversary year, including a dramatic presentation about the church’s founders.



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August 7, 2010 Workshops on Stewardship and End of Life

Clearly these subjects are important to those in Metro and Suffolk Association churches, for “more than expected” appeared, and few seemed interested in leaving at the end of the two-hour presentations.

Both presenters encouraged participants (and others) to contact them for further information.  Here is their contact information.

Rev. Dr. Martha Jacobs, author of the new book, A Clergy Guide to End-of-Life Issues, can be reached at MJacobs@HealthCareChaplaincy.org.  Jacobs urged participants in her seminar to create new Health Care Proxies on the New York State form that became effective in June 2010.  Here is the form with instructions and FAQs. You may also wish to review additional information on the NY State Department of Health website,
www.health.state.ny.us/professionals/patients/health_care_proxy/.

Charlaine Apsel led the stewardship workshop
Charlaine Apsel led the stewardship workshop
Workshop participants shared ideas among themselves as well as learning from the presenters.
Workshop participants shared ideas among themselves as well as learning from the presenters.

Charlaine Apsel, Executive Director of the Parish Resource Center East of Rocky Point shared stewardship insights from her thirty years’ work with non-profits.  She can be reached by e-mail at info@prcli.org or by phone at 631-821-2255.  Apsel said the people in our pews want to give – but they need to be taught about the needs, then asked for their contributions of time, talent and treasure, then thanked for these gifts.  She urged church leaders to avoid sterile numbers in their annual fund-raising efforts; instead, present a “narrative budget”.  If you’d like to know more about narrative budgets, try putting “narrative budget” in your web browser.  You’re likely to get 3,800,000 responses – which should get you started.



Apsel also reminds us that our local Parish Resource Center (West) is at 919 Elmont Road, Valley Stream, NY 11580.  Karla McKenzie is the Executive Director there and will also be glad to assist you with your stewardship (and other) parish interests.  She can be reached by phone at 516-285-0919.    



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Glasgow Theology Student Visits Metro Area
Melva Victorino, Chair of the Committee on Mission Priorities & Stewardship,
Tells Of His Visit

Simon preaching at Community Church of the Pelhams

Simon preaching at Community Church of the Pelhams

Simon Peters, a senior undergraduate student in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Glasgow from Erskine, Renfrewshire, Scotland, visited the Metro Association of the United Church of Christ June 29 - July 9, 2010. He is an elder of the United Reformed Church (URC) and the International Youth Representative at the Inaugural Council of the World Communion of Reformed Churches held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The United Reform Church is a partner of the United Church of Christ in the United Kingdom.




Simon met with several Metro churches and spent time with local church members.  His goal is to experience our way of worship, youth and young adult programs, and to gain practical insight into how our various local congregations have implemented the core principles of love, peace, unity, understanding and inclusion in our individual, unique contexts - which is what the URC would eventually hope would happen in their ministry.

Simon and Pelham Youth

Simon and Pelham Youth

Simon and Rev. Maxwell Grant

Simon and Rev. Maxwell Grant

In planning his time with us, we centered on giving him a chance to experience our church life, social programs, different areas to visit and a taste of our home life. While Simon was in New York, the Rev. Dr. Bill Nye, the Rev. Dr. Bob Gunn and Ms. Asayo Thomas and her family opened their homes to host Simon. The Community Church of the Pelhams invited Simon to their pulpit to preach, and in his honor the youth had a  barbecue.  The Rev. Maxwell Grant engaged him in insightful conversation about the youth and the life of his church.



The Rev. Freeman Palmer took him to the Riverside Church for the Service of Grace.  Rev. Freeman commented that Simon is a fine young man and it was a pleasure knowing him.

Simon at Garden City ONA Team

Simon at Garden City ONA Team

Simon at Children’s Village

Simon at Children’s Village

Simon was very touched by the Intercessory Prayer service at Garden City Community Church (GCCC).  He shared that it is moving to verbally say and hear the names of the people we are praying for. Simon had a conversation with the Rev. James Adelmann, Melva Victorino, Alice Brown, Mary Dewar and Peg Mainusch about the Open and Affirming (ONA) process GCCC had before becoming an ONA church.  He also met with the Rev. Dr. Bob Gunn and members of the Rockville Centre Church to explore their process of ONA and other programs.  He is very interested in the "God is Still Speaking" initiative.



Ann Kansfield, Co-pastor at Greenpoint Reformed Church in Brooklyn, took him to their Pantry/Soup kitchen where, in Simon's own word, "I spent a day feeding the homeless and the hungry.  Very interesting and moving experience." 

Melva and Simon at Cradle of Aviation

Melva and Simon at Cradle of Aviation

July 4 at Glen Cove Harbor Club

July 4 at Glen Cove Harbor Club

We did not only focus on church-centered activities, but included other venues to enrich his experiences in New York.  We took him to the Children's Village at Dobbs Ferry (a non-profit organization for troubled children), sites in New York City, the Cradle of Aviation (Simon dreams of being a pilot someday), a Broadway Show, a short trip to Jones Beach, and watched the July 4th fireworks from the Glen Cove Harbor Club.



Simon left and returned to Scotland with a sense of what the UCC is really all about: Whoever you are, wherever you are in life's journey, you are welcome here.

The Metro Association touched the heart of Simon by our hospitality, but in return Simon touched us all to open our homes, hearts and arms to a stranger from across the Ocean.



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EKHN-UCCNY Pastors' Retreat - October 2009

Clergy from throughout the New York Conference gathered with pastors from the EKHN (The Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau ) at Silver Bay in October 2009.

A six-minute video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOPr0g-Atb8 gives you a flavor of their time together. You'll recognize our own Ruby Wilson leading a choir, as well as other participants from the Suffolk and Metro Associations. Enjoy!



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New York Conference Annual Meeting
Silver Bay at Lake George, June 4 – 6, 2010

We gathered to praise God; to plan our life together as local churches, associations and a conference; to learn about the way we minister around the globe; to greet friends and make new friends; to relish God’s creation; and, of course, eat!

We voted unanimously to be a Global Mission Conference and approved an almost-balanced budget. http://uccmetrosuffolk.org/news/images/2010-nycam-panorama.jpg


Below are a few scenes from our time together, captured by photographers Tom Martinez and John Werner.
This is the beautiful panorama we enjoyed at Silver Bay.

This is the beautiful panorama we enjoyed at Silver Bay.


We filled the auditorium with praise and dialogue. This beautiful altar focused our attention at all the meetings in the auditorium. Interim Conference Minister Rita Root is helping us honor our past, examine our present and plan for our future.

We filled the auditorium with praise and dialogue.

This beautiful altar focused our attention at all the meetings in the auditorium.

Interim Conference Minister Rita Root is helping us honor our past, examine our present and plan for our future.


It was DAMP on Saturday morning, but nothing stopped Rita Root and friends from this morning walk. Carol Giordano helped us understand our finances. We installed new officers and Executive Council members.

It was DAMP on Saturday morning, but nothing stopped Rita Root and friends from this morning walk.


Carol Giordano helped us understand our finances.

We installed new officers and Executive Council members.

And we heard from our four Regional Conference Ministers who stay in close touch with our work in our local churches. Oikos musicians inspired our worship and a Friday evening concert. This Casting Your Nets/Greening display was one of many that broadened our knowledge of life on this planet.

And we heard from our four Regional Conference Ministers who stay in close touch with our work in our local churches.


Oikos musicians inspired our worship and a Friday evening concert.

This Casting Your Nets/Greening display was one of many that broadened our knowledge of life on this planet.

Cliff Aerie leads the Oikos Mission Jazz group. The children and youth created banks to gather money for the Heifer Project. In addition to the regular sumptuous meals, we enjoyed an ice cream social prior to getting our “passports” stamped at Saturday evening’s Multicultural Faire.

Cliff Aerie leads the Oikos Mission Jazz group.

The children and youth created banks to gather money for the Heifer Project.

In addition to the regular sumptuous meals, we enjoyed an ice cream social prior to getting our “passports” stamped at Saturday evening’s Multicultural Faire.


Overlooking Lake George, the porch provided space for quiet (and not-so-quiet) conversation. The rockers, combined with the view, made it hard to pull away and get back to the business on the program. Even the steps seemed inviting.

Overlooking Lake George, the porch provided space for quiet (and not-so-quiet) conversation.

The rockers, combined with the view, made it hard to pull away and get back to the business on the program.


Even the steps seemed inviting.

 

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