Published: Jan. 21, 2022
Have you ever wondered what the Bible really says—and if it truly has any meaning for us in modern times? If so, then you’re not alone. Most Christians have never really read the Bible, and many wonder if its antiquated teachings truly transcend time. If you would like to grapple with these questions, then you are encouraged to sign up for a Disciple Bible Study. We will offer both Disciple I Bible Studies and Disciple II (for those who have previously completed Disciple I). Groups will be formed at the end of January, and will begin meeting in February for weekly, one-hour sessions. All of our groups will meet via Zoom this year, meaning that anyone can participate from anywhere in the world. Perhaps, this is the time to invite a friend or family member to come alongside you as you commit to a year of weekly Bible study (NB: we will take a break during the summer). Please contact Mike Mullin, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions, and use this link to sign-up for a Disciple Bible Study!
Published: Jan. 21, 2022
In December 2021, the Mission & Service Team welcomed Keeping Our Promise as an outreach ministry of Asbury First. A Rochester based non-profit, the organization’s mission is “To provide comprehensive resettlement assistance to endangered wartime allies who served U.S. interests in conflict and war zones.” Volunteers assist refugees through the complicated steps of finding and furnishing a home, registering children for school, finding employment and medical care, learning English and more. 232 individuals were assisted in 2021 and many, many more are anticipated in 2022. The Asbury First Grocery Bag Ministry and Storehouse are actively involved in helping our new Americans. Many in our congregation already support Keeping Our Promise by volunteering and/or financial support. Stay tuned for ways that you can become involved to Do More Good by caring for our wartime allies. Visit www.keepingourpromise.org to learn more, or feel free to contact Asbury First member and KOP volunteer Cindy Malone, who can be reached at (call or text) 585-645-4060 or by email at email@example.com.
Published: Jan. 20, 2022
This year, the Asbury First Annual Church Conference will be held on Sunday, January 30 following the 11 am service and will be a Virtual Conference with an in-person component.
The Upper New York Conference informed us that if we do an “in-person” conference, the votes of the people watching on the livestream will not count. However, if we do a “virtual” conference and have the people who are in-person vote in the same way as those watching on the livestream, then everyone’s vote will count. To that end, we ask that those who plan to attend the virtual conference in-person bring a device (i.e. smartphone or tablet) to connect with our voting system. Look for more instructions on that, along with all of the Church Conference materials, next week.
We recognize that this will create a challenge for those who might want to be in-person, but do not have access to a device. Rest assured that we will do everything in our power to make sure that everyone who wants to vote (and is eligible) may do so. Some will also recognize that, just like last year, the virtual nature of this church conference, will mean that the work of this year’s conference will have to be ratified at some point in the future when we are able to safely gather with a fuller representation of our community.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we, once again, try to balance the business of the church with the safety of the community.
— The Asbury First Staff
Published: Jan. 7, 2022
Wednesdays, 12:15 pm, Click here for Zoom link
The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything is WOW’s next reading selection. In The Secret Message you’ll find what’s at the center of Brian’s critique of conventional Christianity, and what’s at the heart of his expanding vision. WOW meets via Zoom at 12:15 pm on Wednesdays.
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 questions or more information contact Mary Lynn Vickers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published: Jan. 6, 2022
Like most of you, we are watching the COVID numbers increase in our region and are paying special attention to how we as a church might need to adjust to keep everyone safe. To be clear, everyone will need to make their own decision based on their level of comfort and health. Please know that there is no shame in staying home to watch the livestream (or listening via radio, phone, or archive) and absolutely no pressure to attend in person. That said, we also recognize that for some people, in-person worship is their only means of weekly connection and are reticent to take that away.
As of this moment, the COVID-19 Task Force believes that we can continue in-person worship with these additional safety precautions:
Thank you in advance for your understanding and compliance with these new precautions. We will continue monitor the situation and alert you should any change to these plans become necessary.
In the meantime, please continue to keep everyone affected and infected by COVID-19 in your prayers.
Grace and Peace,
Published: Jan. 5, 2022
The Division of Diversity and Inclusion at Rochester Institute of Technology invites the members of Asbury First to join them as they welcome Harvard professor and Emmy Award winning filmmaker, cultural critic and journalist Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. to the Henrietta campus Thursday January 27, 2022.
Dr. Gates is the executive producer, host and writer of the documentary “The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song “on PBS which looks at the rich history and the important role of the Black church in America. In addition, his popular genealogy series, Finding Your Roots is now in its seventh season on PBS.
Dr. Gates will deliver the keynote address during RIT's 40th anniversary celebration of “Expressions of King’s Legacy” which honors the life and work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It begins at noon and will be held in RIT’s Gordon Field House. Ample parking is available.
Please note RIT’s Policy that all attendees 12 years of age and older must provide proof of vaccination. For more information or to register, visit www.rit.edu/diversity/2022expressions.
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 email@example.com; 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 casowasco.org/event/solid-retreat-2022/.
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 asburyfirst.org/library to learn about the incredible offerings available.
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.
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!
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 www.greaterrochesterchamber.com/2021/12/14/holiday-non-profit-spotlight/
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!
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:
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:
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.
Chair, Giving Team
Chair, Finance Committee
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!