• Casowasco: SOLID Winter Retreat


    Published: Jan. 4, 2022

    January 28–30, Camp Casowasco

    We are happy to announce that Casowasco will be bringing back it's winter retreat, SOLID, this January 28-30!

    The theme is SUPERHEROES and the theme verse is Jeremiah 29.11: For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
    The cost this year is $180 per participant. Registration is due by Monday, January 10. If you would like to attend, but the cost is a deterrent, please contact Mike Mullin at; we have scholarships available for anyone that might benefit from them. 

    SOLID is a weekend retreat designed for youth groups with youth from 6th–12th grades. The weekend is run like a mini-summer camp with large group sessions, camp-wide activities, and small group discussions. For more information or to register, visit

  • Thank You from the Library


    Published: Jan. 4, 2022

    We want to thank the congregation for making our Library Book Fair such a success. We received a gift card from Barnes and Noble for $894.45!! We are so excited to add to our collection of incredible books with these new funds. Thank you for taking part in the book fair. We are grateful for the profits garnered because of your incredible support.

    Our library collection of 4,000 plus books, DVDs, and videos are available and may be checked out free of charge on an easy, self-serve honor system. Visit to learn about the incredible offerings available.

  • New Assistant Property Caretaker


    Published: Jan. 4, 2022

    We are delighted to announce that we have a new Assistant Property Caretaker. Please join us in welcoming Blake Kowalski to the staff! Blake was able to start before Christmas Eve and has already provided much-needed assistance to James Flack. Blake brings to us a strong work ethic, a positive and professional demeanor, and a wide variety of skills, including those he learned while working in the property management field at the American Association of University Women. He holds a bachelor's degree in finance and economics from SUNY College at Brockport.

  • Christmas Eve Tips from Claus Congregant


    Published: Dec. 23, 2021

    Take a quick look at this Christmas Eve video to watch some tips from Claus Congregant, Joe Congregant's cousin. We are beyond happy to be in-person again for Christmas Eve and can't wait to see you! Merry Christmas!

    Click here to watch the video

  • Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Mention


    Published: Dec. 22, 2021

    The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce mentioned Asbury First as a way to give back to the community during the holidays. Here is the post:

    "Looking for a way to give back over the holidays? #GreaterROC non-profits need your help! Here's a list of local organizations with needs this holiday season, including 490 Farmers, SIS: Sustain, Inspire, Survive, SJNC - St. Joseph's Neighborhood Center Inc., Asbury First United Methodist Church, & more!"

    Wow! We do our best to help the Rochester community and are thrilled to be in such good company with these other incredible organizations!! To learn more about the list, visit

  • Governance Board December Executive Summary


    Published: Dec. 20, 2021

    Click the button below to read the latest Governance Board's executive summary of the content, discussion, and meaningful actions of each of our meeting. Learn about the decision for the Outreach Staffing Proposal, the amount of pledges we've received from non-Rochester residents for 2022, and more!

    Click Here for the Latest Executive Summary

  • Outreach Staffing Update


    Published: Dec. 15, 2021

    We pray this note finds you well this Advent season. In August, we announced that the Rev. Jackie Nelson would be leaving her post as the Minister for Outreach to take on a new full-time position at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. Fortunately for us, she has remained on the ministerial staff in a very part-time capacity.

    At the time of the Rev. Nelson’s departure, we committed to work with the Outreach Ministry area to prayerfully develop a plan for how to staff this vital component of our mission and ministry moving forward. To that end, an ad hoc task force was formed from several of our Outreach ministries, the Outreach Center Committee, and staff. We met together this fall to develop and articulate a plan that we believe will allow us to respond to the changing needs of our community and Do More Good in the process. This plan has been affirmed by the PPRC and approved by the Governing Board.

    As has been the case, we will still have a total of two full-time persons in the Outreach ministry area. We will maintain a Minister for Outreach, who in addition to providing the missional oversight of our on- and off-campus outreach ministries, will serve as our Director of the Outreach Center. However, some of the operational responsibilities of the current Director position will be shifted to a new position called the Outreach Coordinator. Working with the Minister for Outreach, this person will coordinate and provide operational support for the outreach volunteers and programs of Asbury First. Our intention is to fill this position with a social worker (MSW) as it will not only allow us to meet the growing needs of our guests, but will permit us to become a field site for area social work students—further increasing access to important services for our guests.

    Rev. Pat Dupont to become our Minister for Outreach
    Recognizing the gifts and graces God has given him and seeing the fruits of those gifts over the last few months, this ad hoc task force emphatically recommended the Rev. Pat Dupont to move into the Minister for Outreach role. This recommendation was also affirmed by the PPRC and approved by the Governing Board. Pat brings a heart for ministries of compassion and justice with those who find themselves on the margins of society and his previous relationships with so many of our guests from his time living and working at the St. Joseph House of Hospitality have already enriched our ministries. He will begin in this new role on January 1, 2022.

    We anticipate an intentional search for our new Outreach Coordinator in the late spring or early summer. Our hope is to have this person in place when we open our new Outreach Center next fall! 

    Thank you for your continued prayers as we do our best as disciples of Jesus Christ to live out the mission and vision of Asbury First.

    Grace and Peace,

    Members of the Ad Hoc Task Force have included:

    • Bob Castle
    • Jonathan Carroll-Nellenbeck 
    • Diana Carter
    • Robyn Gage
    • Carolyn Hamil
    • Tim Mahan
    • Martha Neubert
    • Bruce Thompson
  • End-of-Year Gift for the New Creation


    Published: Dec. 14, 2021

    As we look to close out our 2021 year and prepare for 2022, there is no question that we are not where we thought we’d be a year ago. While we continue to be thankful that so many have found new connection with Asbury First during this time, we also recognize that not everyone that was here is back.

    Our 2021 budget was built on the idea that we would be back more fully within six months into the year. While our congregational giving has remained relatively strong, without having everyone back or our doors fully open, we have not received as much income from plate offerings, holiday offerings, and space usage as we had hoped. As a result, we are between $60k and $80k behind where we thought we’d be at this time of year. Fortunately, we have managed our expenses well and are under or on target in every area.

    We are asking if you would prayerfully consider making a special end-of-year gift to support the mission and ministry of Asbury First and put us on more solid footing for 2022.

    If you are able, you may do so by:

    • clicking here
    • going to 
    • mailing a check
    • placing your gift in the offering plate
    • transferring stock or making a distribution from a retirement account (please contact the financial office at 585-271-1050 x108 with questions)

    Additionally, if you have not yet had a chance to pledge for 2022, this would be an excellent way to help us plan for the new creation ahead! 

    Thank you for all of the ways that you support the mission and ministry of Asbury First.

    In Christ,

    Patti Crawford
    Chair, Giving Team

    Angela Burch
    Chair, Finance Committee

  • Christmas Altar Poinsettia Donations


    Published: Dec. 10, 2021

    Do you want to donate to the Altar Guild for the Christmas Poinsettias? Please fill out the form online here, or return the form in your bulletin to the church office, attention of Beverly Schuman, no later than December 12. Checks should be payable to Asbury First United Methodist Church Altar Guild. Thank you, and have a Merry Christmas!

  • The Joy of Christmas Giving 2021


    Published: Dec. 10, 2021

    During the Christmas season, our attention is drawn to the abundance in our lives. As Christian disciples, we believe that abundance should be shared. As we exchange gifts with loved ones at Christmas, let us also consider gifts that we can offer to those who need them most.

    The Outreach Ministries of Asbury First assist people in accessing: 

    • Food 
    • Housing 
    • Education 
    • Childcare 
    • Healthcare 
    • Clothing 
    • Essential Items 

    To give, please fill out the form online by clicking here, or send a check with “Joy of Christmas Giving” in the memo line to the church office at 1050 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607. With your help we can continue to support those of need in our community. Thank you for your generosity!

  • Women on Wednesday (WOW) Celebrates Christmas


    Published: Dec. 10, 2021

    Red & Green Zoom Meeting Wednesday, December 15, 12:15 pm, Zoom

    WOW has traditionally celebrated with a Red & Green Luncheon in December—you know—the dish-to-pass of red and/or green food (no Jello please) and good conversation. We will celebrate our togetherness again this year on Zoom with stories or poems or traditions or family tales to celebrate the season. Bring yours and join in!

    If you are a past, present or future possible WOW reader, please join the Zoom link here on Wednesday, December 15  at 12:15 pm. Sharing this special season, hearing your stories and being with you would be very special.

    Women on Wednesday (WOW) meets weekly from September to June to explore books of current and thoughtful interest. All women readers are welcome. There are no Asbury or any other membership requirements. Participants move in and out of the group as schedules and busy lives allow—just bring your curiosity and interest in the world of reading and sharing ideas. For more information please contact  Mary Lynn Vickers at

  • Scivias Ensemble Presents "Hodie!"


    Published: Dec. 10, 2021

    Friday, December 17, 7:30 pm, 1040 Sanctuary

    Scivias Medieval Ensemble invites you to experience stunning works of music written to celebrate the virgin Mary’s role as the mother of God, the birth of Jesus, and the effects of this miracle on humanity for many centuries after this holy day at Asbury First United Methodist Church.

    These celebratory works come from all over the European continent, ranging from Italian hymns of joy to complicated polyphony from St. Martial in northern France, as well as works sourced from Germany and Spain. Most of these works are written in the 12th and 13th centuries and are based on chant, including two rhapsodic chants by Hildegard von Bingen. Some works are built upon common chants, such as two-voice discant organum, “Verbum bonum et suave” or florid organum, “Alleluya, dies sanctificatus.” Still others are composed without reference to pre-existing chant in particular rhythmic patterns, such as the conductus “Ortu regis evanescit.” The jewel of the concert is one of the rare examples of organum quadruplum, “Viderunt omnes,” written by Magister Pérotin.

    For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

  • The Discipleship Project: Integrate Faith and Action


    Published: Dec. 3, 2021

    The Discipleship Project integrates Faith and Action! We call our small groups ‘Classes’ after the original Methodist discipleship groups. Join us as we work together to walk with Jesus between Sunday mornings, to learn by doing, and to form a spiritual community. Reclaim the Method, Renew the Mission, Reignite the Movement! Sign up online at the-discipleship-project.

  • Thank You Decoration Elves and O'Connell Electric!


    Published: Dec. 2, 2021

    The campus looks fully festive thanks to the amazing work of Amy Allen, James and Ali Parent, and the volunteer elves who put up the trees, wreaths, and lights on Wednesday at the Hanging of the Greens. We are so excited that we were able to gather together and make our space festive!

    Also, a special thank you goes out to O'Connell Electric—Michael Parkes and his crew—for their work on getting the the front lawn Christmas tree up. They were here at dawn to set up the tree, and worked from early morning to mid-afternoon to get the angel on top and string the lights. All the lights were working when they left, but later in the day, we noticed that the upper lights were no longer lit. Property Caretaker James Flack spent time working on it—and later, Michael and Rob, one of the crew, who had come to participate in the Caroling Around the Tree event with their families, took it upon themselves to work on and, subsequently, get the upper lights functioning.

    We are truly blessed for all these gifts of time and service! Thank you all!

  • Advent Devotional 2021


    Published: Nov. 24, 2021

    Don't forget to pick up your 2021 Advent Devotional from the Welcome Hall, or read it online by clicking here. This year's collection was complied by by Bonnie Matthaidess, Spiritual Director; and the Rev. Susan S. Shafer, Senior Minister, Emerita. These daily devotions of reflection, poetry, and story come out of the fabric of our living with the Light of Christ appearing and guiding us. This Advent Season we hope that your eyes may be open to see, your heart may be expanded, and your soul nourished through a daily devotion.

    For more information about our Advent offerings, visit