• Prayer Partners


    Published: June 3, 2022

    This summer, we will have more than 40 youth and adults participating in Youth Mission Trips. Our 8th–12th graders will be traveling to Breathitt County, Kentucky the week of July 3; and our 5th–8th graders will be volunteering locally in Rochester the week of August 8. As we prepare to embark on these trips, we would love to partner every participant with a congregant from Asbury First who will commit to hold them in prayer throughout their mission week. 

    In addition to prayers, we would also like each prayer partner to write a letter to their missioner. These will be collected by Mike Mullin in June, and will be dispersed to your missioner as a bit of encouragement during their week of service. This is a wonderful way to highlight the connectionism of our United Methodist community, and to invite people of all ages to vicariously participate in our youth mission trips. Any one is welcome to be a prayer partner—just fill out the interest form by clicking here, or contact Mike Mullin ( and we will send you information about one of our missioners!

  • Worship Survey Results


    Published: June 3, 2022

    Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out our worship survey. We had 314 responses and learned some really valuable information. Here are a few highlights: 

    1. MOST WORSHIP VIRTUALLY: More than half of respondents (53%) shared that they worship virtually or mostly virtually. Comparatively, 27% said that they worship in-person or mostly in-person. The remaining 20% were “some of both” or “via the archive or podcast.”
    2. WORSHIP ATTENDANCE: 15% reported that they anticipated their worship habits might change in the fall, while 47% said “no” and 38% said “maybe.”
    3. ADDITIONAL SERVICE: 10% of respondents reported that an additional service in the fall would impact their worship habits. Some were primarily interested in an earlier time; and some were interested in a simplified service with communion. 
    4. COVID IS STILL A CONCERN: The most common response people gave for remaining virtual was concerns over COVID.
    5. WE ARE REACHING NEW PEOPLE: More than 10% of the respondents shared that they began worshiping with us since COVID.

    Where do we go from here?

    Over the summer, we will be evaluating ways that we can connect and engage with a congregation in which most worship virtually. We will also try to find ways to implement some of the wonderful ideas that people shared in the survey responses.

    While we consider the implications of adding an additional worship service, we recognize that critical mass makes a difference. Additionally, there is something faithful and unifying about maintaining one moment where we all gather together for worship. That being said, we had several recommendations to re-evaluate the worship time, and we will spend some time considering that over the summer. As has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, we will re-evaluate as we go—and make the best decisions we can—to make sure that as many people as possible can worship in the way that is most meaningful to them.

    Your prayers and support are welcome.

    Your Pastoral Team

  • Pathstone Presents: Provok!ng Thought


    Published: June 2, 2022

    Thursday, June 16, 2:45–5 pm, Grace Road Church, Rochester, NY
    Register online at

    The PathStone Foundation is partnering with the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS to host Justin Murphy’s presentation about his book Your Children are Very Greatly in Danger. Join us on Thursday, June 16 at Grace Road Church for this critical presentation and panel discussion. To register for the event and for more information visit Questions? Please email

  • Book Drive: Thank You!


    Published: June 2, 2022

    Thank you for your donations of used books for the Used Book Drive. These books will be given out to students in June at School 17 for summer reading fun! Thank you all for your support to this ministry. To learn more about the Help Me Read ministry, click here, or email John Smalt at

  • Meals On Wheels Needs Volunteers


    Published: June 2, 2022

    Meals On Wheels needs your help delivering meals to homebound residents in the City of Rochester!

    • Partner with your friend, spouse, family member 
or neighbor & volunteer to deliver meals together!
    • Delivery takes about 60- 90 minutes
    • Meals are picked up in the city
    • Easy to follow route directions

    For more information or to begin the application process please call 585-274-4385 or visit the website at

  • Interfaith Prayer Vigil


    Published: May 25, 2022

    Wednesday, May 25, 7 pm, In-Person and Livestreamed

    Click here for the bulletin

    I began this Aldersgate Day—the unofficial birthday of the Methodist movement—praying that hearts would be strangely warmed. I end it with my own heart utterly broken. 

    Eighteen elementary-aged children—mostly Hispanic, mostly poor—and three adults are confirmed dead as of this writing, murdered by an eighteen-year-old whose motivations are yet to be revealed.

    This, just days after the murder of ten Black people by an eighteen-year-old white supremacist. While one happened in Buffalo and the other in Texas, both hit close to home. Although, we are still awaiting details of this latest shooting, one thing we know for sure: enough is enough.

    Our obsession with guns, our paucity of mental health resources, our tolerance of violence, and our unwillingness to address the systemic injustices and racism of our world have created a terrifying new reality that cannot be allowed to stand.

    As a people of faith, we will not stand for it. 

    But whatever we do, it must begin in prayer—for the victims, for the survivors, for the perpetrators of violence, for true justice, for wisdom, for guidance. 

    Let us join with our siblings of faith to offer our laments to God and our support to one another. To that end, Asbury First will host an Interfaith Prayer Vigil tomorrow evening (Wednesday, May 25) at 7 pm.  

    While coming together will not mend our broken hearts, it will help us step outside that cycle of outrage and apathy to listen to who God is calling us to be.

    Grace and Peace,

  • News 10 Interview


    Published: May 23, 2022

    Check out our Senior Minister, Rev. Dr. Stephen Cady, in an interview with WHEC TV about the recent shooting in Buffalo. Learn about what we can do to process this tragedy in the segment: "Rochester in Focus: Understanding domestic terrorism."

  • Prom Gowns Over the Top!


    Published: May 20, 2022

    Thank you to the members of Asbury First, to Robyn Gage’s homeowner association, and to the Storehouse for the prom gown donations. Thank you all so very much for your thoughtful, generous, and caring support in the donation of over 100 prom gowns — there were even new ones — supporting Enrico Fermi School 17. The dresses will be graciously worn at the formal gala on Saturday, May 28 at the Charles Settlement House. It will be a great blessing for all of the students!

  • Help Plant in the Asbury Community Garden!


    Published: May 20, 2022

    It’s planting season! The Asbury Community Garden is taking shape for 2022, with seeds starting to germinate (lettuce, radishes, collard greens, carrots and Swiss chard) and seedlings (broccoli and tomatoes) taking up their new residences.

    Lots is happening and lots more needs to happen. Several groups have already lent a hand. The Youth Ministry topped off our raised beds with soil and mulched the paths around the beds. The Children’s ministry has started flowers and basil plants. And the Asbury Day Care Center is going to paint some large planters to hold our nasturtium flowers that will help attract pollinators.

    Could you join us? Our biggest need is for people to join the rotating teams of gardeners watering and, eventually, harvesting the vegetables. Watering is particularly crucial as seeds and seedlings are planted, but continues through the growing season until October. Team work is shared among many people. You might need to water and pick vegetables one or two times over a week in coordination with your team, and then return a few weeks later to do the same. If you want to do more, we have more jobs to share. Experience is not necessary. 

    To join the community garden team, call Diana at (585) 732-7224 or send an email to

  • NOTA Farmers Market — Opening Night!


    Published: May 20, 2022

    Monday, June 13, 4-7 pm, Granger Lawn

    The warmer weather is getting us excited for the new NOTA Farmers Market season! We can't wait for Opening Night. Stop by Granger Lawn on Monday, June 13 for our 2nd season! We have even more vendors this year and can't wait for everyone to see all the amazing things they have ready for this year.

  • Joint Service of Lament


    Published: May 18, 2022

    Sunday, May 22, 3 pm, Baber AME Church (550 Meigs Street, Rochester, NY 14607)
    Join in on the livestream

    “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever?
    How long will you hide your face from me? 

    How long must I bear pain in my soul,

    and have sorrow in my heart all day long?

    How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?”
    — Psalm 13:1-2

    The shooting deaths over the weekend of ten Black people in Buffalo by a young white supremacist should shock us. We should be shocked that it happened at all, that it happened so close to home, that it was so easy to carry out.

    It should shock us, but it doesn’t. 

    We have grown so accustomed to the news of mass shootings that all we need is the location, the body count, and the targeted group and we can fill in the rest—ready to begin again that inevitable cycle of outrage and apathy. After four hundred years of rape, torture, and oppression of Black people by white people, we are not even surprised that it was motivated by sinful and erroneous notions of Black inferiority and white “replacement”—a theory espoused and dignified by online trolls and depraved media personalities. 

    We mourn the loss of life, the scourge of white supremacy, and the feeling of apathy and helplessness that too quickly sets in following these atrocities. While it might be tempting jump to conversations about healing, to do so risks ignoring the very real pain and anger that is still growing in so many, particularly in our siblings of color.

    Fortunately, within our faith tradition we have a shield against apathy—an act of grief and anger that is designed to help us feel the moment faithfully. We call it lament. 

    Make no mistake, this is a moment for lament.

    To that end, we are joining with our Pan-Methodist siblings for a special Joint Service of Lament on Sunday, May 22 at 3 pm to be hosted by Baber AME. We invite you to join us. 

    If you can’t be there, we ask that you pray for peace, for justifiable outrage, and for earnest and honest lament in the wake of undeniable evil. May it someday be unimaginable. May we, by God’s grace, find our way to a world in which this kind of act would be shocking again.

    In Christ,

  • Roger Wilhelm Memorial Service Archive Video


    Published: May 16, 2022

    The life of Asbury First's former Director of Music Roger Wilhelm, who passed away in 2021, was celebrated at a memorial service on Saturday, May 14. The service included a massed choir of current and former singers from Asbury First, the Rochester Oratorio Society, and Madrigalia. To view the full service, please click the link below.

    Roger Wilhelm Memorial Service

  • Welcome Paula Dugan to Hospitality at Asbury First!


    Published: May 13, 2022

    In addition to her role as the Director of Children’s Ministries, we are pleased to announce that Paula Dugan will now oversee hospitality ministries at Asbury First. Paula’s gifts and graces naturally lend themselves to this new aspect of her ministry among us. For more than a year, of her own volition, Paula has been coming to nearly every memorial service and special event to make sure that people feel welcome at Asbury First. As the Director of Children’s Ministry and Hospitality, Paula will not only continue to work with our children, but will work with our greeters, ushers, and other areas of hospitality to make sure that everyone feels welcome at Asbury First. Join us in celebrating this new aspect of her ministry.

  • Rev. Dr. Andy Stoker to be our Guest Preacher on Confirmation Sunday


    Published: May 13, 2022

    Sunday, May 22

    We are pleased to welcome the Rev. Dr. Andy Stoker as our guest preacher for Confirmation Sunday on May 22. Dr. Stoker is currently the Senior Minister of the First United Methodist Church of Dallas and soon-to-be Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer for the Thanks-Giving Foundation ( His formidable leadership skills and passion for equality combined with his research in practical theology and systems theory give Dr. Stoker a unique and clarion voice in the areas of social justice, advocacy, community outreach, and racial reconciliation. In addition to preaching on Sunday, he will be leading a family systems workshop for our staff on Monday, May 23.

  • Church-wide Carnival and Talent Show


    Published: May 13, 2022

    Sunday, June 12

    Join us for our churchwide carnival and talent show immediately following the 11 am service on Youth Sunday, June 12! It's the perfect way to start the Summer with hot dogs, inflatable bounce house, talent show and more. The carnival is free to all. Contact Paula Dugan at to participate in the talent show.