News

  • Keeping Our Promise is Looking for Volunteers

    keepingourpromise_logo.jpg

    Published: July 21, 2021

    URGENT NEED!

    Keeping Our Promise (KOP) is looking for Caring Circle volunteers for an influx of family arrivals from Afghanistan here in Rochester. We have an urgent need for volunteers to help! As the US withdraws from Afghanistan, these families are escaping as quickly as they can. The KOP expect to have.

    Caring Circle volunteers work as a team (usually 3–4 people) to help newly arrived families navigate the early months of living in Rochester. They provide or coordinate transportation as needed, and generally help out with a lot of the early issues that arise. There is plenty of guidance, and we have an intake team of specialized volunteers for issues such as school registration. 

    If you are interested in becoming a Caring Circle volunteer, please contact Cindy Malone at louwho2@hotmail.com for more information.

  • Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth Research Study

    tgnc_teenstudy_urmc.jpg

    Published: July 21, 2021

    The Youth Risk and Resilience Lab at the University of Rochester is currently running a paid study on gender identity and suicide risk. They are looking for teens 12–17 living in New York State who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming, or any other gender minority, who experienced suicidal thoughts or behaviors within the past year, and who have a willing parent to participate with them. There is no deadline for sign-up. Please call 585-210-9885, or email Emily Han at TGNC_Teen_Study@URMC.Rochester.edu if you are interested! You can learn more about the TGNC Teen study by clicking here.

  • An Update on the New Outreach Center

    bettertogether_bringithome_sq.jpg

    Published: July 19, 2021

    Grace and peace to you in the name of God our Creator and Christ our Redeemer! I pray that this summer is giving you time to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation. I want to update you on a few items related to the new Outreach Center. 

    Thanks to your generosity and the generosity of more than fourteen foundations, we have met the fundraising goal we articulated last January! We are now closer than ever to breaking ground on our new Outreach Center! Before we declare victory, however, we have one very important hurdle to clear—we have to make sure that the construction bids we receive are in line with the plan to date. 

    Like many of you, we have been watching the rising cost of building materials with some trepidation. Working with our architects and a team of very thoughtful volunteers and staff, we have done our due diligence to plan for the new Outreach Center. But, as with so much in life right now, things are changing so quickly that it is impossible to predict how the construction bids will come back. 

    As a result of this uncertainty, the bidding process for the project is much slower than we originally anticipated. It has taken longer to prepare the materials for bid and we have been advised to leave more time for bids to return. To be clear, our hope is to break ground as soon as possible, but we will need to review the bids before we can make that final call.

    Our commitment throughout this project has been to not proceed until we have all the funds (pledged or in hand) necessary to complete the project. That is still our commitment. If the bids were to come back higher than the amount we have raised, we will review our options and communicate with you our updated plan for moving forward.

    As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions that you might have. We anticipate receiving the construction bids back in late September and will plan to communicate again with you shortly thereafter.

    In the meantime, we’d ask that you keep the mission and ministry of Asbury First and the future Outreach Center in your prayers. 

    Grace and Peace,

    Stephen

  • 9 am worship on July 18 Cancelled Due to Weather

    worship_update_-_071821.png

    Published: July 17, 2021

    Due to the weather forecast for tomorrow, July 18th, we are cancelling the 9am worship service and will hold our livestream only service at 11am.

    In light of tomorrow being Michele Cooley’s last day, we are still planning to hold a light reception in the Gathering Center from 9:30-10:30am, and invite you to stop by and join us in celebrating Michele for her time at Asbury First. We look forward to seeing you there.

  • Summer Choir for Tent Sunday

    summerchoir_tentsunday.jpg

    Published: July 15, 2021

    Summer Choir for Tent Sunday, August 1, 9:45 am

    We know that there are many singers at Asbury First who have been itching to get back to group singing. As a "warm up" for a further opening up in September, we want to invite all singers (including but not limited to Sanctuary Choir and Asbury Singers members) to take part in a one-time Summer Choir for the Tent Sunday service on August 1. Brian Bohrer will lead a rehearsal starting at 9:45 am in Fellowship Hall, followed by participating in the 11 am service under the tent. All you need to do is show up ready to sing! Questions? Contact Brian at bbohrer@asburyfirst.org.

  • Tent Sunday!

    tentsunday_sq.jpg

    Published: July 15, 2021

    Sunday, August 1, 11 am, Front Lawn Tent (No 9 am service this Sunday)

    Tent Sunday at Asbury First aims to give people a great experience of the church, as well as welcome those living nearby who may be curious about our community. We'd love to see you at 11 am, August 1, outside under the tent! We will have a special Summer Choir for this service and following will be our annual Talent Show at 12 pm (click here for details). We will have one service only this day (no 9:00 am service) which will be live-streamed as always. We hope to see you there!

  • Asbury First Talent Show

    talentshow_2021.jpg

    Published: July 14, 2021

    Sunday, August 1, 12 pm, Front Lawn Tent

    Show us your talent! Can you juggle, dance, play an instrument, sing and hula hoop at the same time? If yes, join our Asbury First Talent Show on the first Sunday of August. All ages and all levels of talent are welcome to participate.

    For more information or to sign up, contact Deb Bullock-Smith at dbullocksmith@asburyfirst.org.

  • Outreach Center and Staffing News

    outreach_sq.jpg

    Published: July 8, 2021

    This is an exciting time within the life of the congregation, and while the COVID-19 pandemic required us to adjust in significant ways, we are grateful that our outreach ministries continue to do more good in this community and beyond. As we prepare to break ground on our new Outreach Center this Fall (keep September 19 tentatively on your calendars), there are a few outreach related updates we want to share with you.

    Dining and Caring Center Temporarily Moving

    The new Outreach Center will include a fully renovated and expanded Dining and Caring Center. While this will necessitate our vacating the current premises during construction, we are pleased to share that this vital ministry will continue in a temporary new location! Beginning after Labor Day, the Dining and Caring Center will operate out of Covenant United Methodist just down the street on Culver Road. We are deeply grateful to the Rev. Dr. Ann Kemper and that congregation for their hospitality. To facilitate this move, the Dining and Caring Center will be closed for the month of August. Please watch for ways that you can help us keep this vital ministry thriving during this anticipated year of construction!

    Staffing Changes

    It is with mixed emotions that we report that Michele Cooley, our current Director of the Dining and Caring Center, has accepted a new position with another local agency. We are so grateful for the work that she has done with us over the last twelve years and invite you to join us for a reception in her honor following the 9am service on Sunday, July 18. We wish her well in all her future endeavors.

    As the new Outreach Center will bring together several of our vital outreach ministries under one roof, the Outreach Center Committee has spent the last couple of months creating a new Director of the Outreach Center position. Originally articulated by the 2016 Outreach Task Force and voted upon by the congregation as a part of the 2017 Dreamscape (our strategic plan), this full-time position will replace and incorporate aspects of the Director of Dining and Caring Center position while providing the primary, hands-on supervision and management of on-campus poverty-relief efforts, which include the Dining and Caring Center, Grocery Bag Ministry, Storehouse, UR Well Clinic, and Community Garden. 

    We are pleased to announce that beginning July 19, the Rev. Patrick Dupont, a provisional deacon in the United Methodist Church, will be joining the Asbury First staff as our new Director of the Outreach Center. Pat is excited to be joining the community at such an important moment in the life of the Outreach Center and looks forward to helping the Center and congregation reach their fullest potential in service to Christ and the broader community. Prior to coming to Asbury First, Pat served several United Methodist congregations and spent three years living and working at St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality, a Catholic Worker community that operates a soup kitchen, clothing closet, and emergency shelter, and engages in activism and advocacy alongside Rochester’s poor and homeless. As someone particularly called to lead the church in ministries of compassion and justice with those who find themselves on the margins of society, Pat believes it is through authentic relationships with our neighbors that we move from being Jesus worshippers to Jesus followers. 

    We look forward to this upcoming season of transition, and remain excited about the continued opportunity to live out our mission, and Do More Good.

    With love,
    The Rev. Jacqueline Nelson

  • Pride Picnic

    pridepicnic_2021.jpg

    Published: July 7, 2021

    Sunday, July 11, 11 am-7 pm, Genesee Valley Park

    Asbury First is among the sponsors of the Pride Picnic for mature adults on Sunday, July 11 from 11 am-7 pm at the Roundhouse Shelter area in Genesee Valley Park. There's a minimum suggested donation of $5, and you can reserve your ticket here, or visit their Facebook Page here for more information.

  • New Location for GBM Donation Bin

    outreach_gbm_lblue.png

    Published: July 1, 2021

    Want to help out the Grocery Bag Ministry? Drop off donations at the Gathering Center! Due to the outside services, we've relocated the GBM donation bin to make drop offs easy after or before the early service. We are grateful for your continued support to help feed families in need in the Rochester area. List of needs:

    • Paper grocery bags (for use in delivering the food)
    • Jams
    • Peanut butter
    • Macaroni ’n’ cheese
    • Pasta sauce
    • Pasta
    • Canned fruits and vegetables
    • Soups
    • Tuna fish
    • Any donations