Worship, Learn, Pray: An Advent Revival
10:00 AM10:00

Worship, Learn, Pray: An Advent Revival

As we await the coming of our Lord, Bishop John Macholz of Upstate New York and Bishop Donald McCoid of the Metro New York synods invite you to be a part of a Lutheran revival. The ELCA Revival Team, including UNYS’ own Rev, Becca Ehrlich, will lead participants in workshops around spiritual discernment, prayer and change in the morning. After lunch, will be provided, the afternoon we will worship together including an Invitation to Discipleship. Before leaving at 3 pm, DEMs Rev. Norma Malfatti and Rev. Lamont Anthony Wells will help participants identify next steps.

Workshop Descriptions:

Prayer and Discernment - How do we really use prayer to understand God's will and make decisions for the future? How can we use prayer in our churches, lives and experiences? How will it influence or empower leadership?

How to Approach Change - Change is inevitable. Every person faces change in varying degrees throughout the entirety of their lives. We live in a much different world today than when Paul was spreading the love of Jesus, and the church is different too. Whether talking about work, homes or the church change often causes stress, frustration and moments of doubt. Fortunately, there are ways of approaching change to cope with all the hiccups along the way. This workshop will offer strategies to deal effectively with change so that the ministry can operate in a healthy environment.

Spiritual Gifts - Have you ever wondered what God has gifted you with? Ever wondered if you could really teach that Sunday School class or been told you have a gift for hospitality? This workshop will help participants begin to understand what gifts God has given them and how they can use it in their lives.

Faith Practices - The Faith Practices Initiative offers practical ways that we can deepen our relationship with Jesus, grow in our discipleship, using our grounding as children of God through our baptism as the foundation of our daily lives. In this workshop there will be a presentation of the five faith practices we promise to follow in baptism and reflect on how participants can enhance their spiritual lives and commitment to their call as followers of Jesus Christ.

ALL are encouraged to come be a part of the day. Call or e-mail your synod office to RSVP:
Upstate NY - 315.299.4955 / kneugent@upstatenysynod.org
Metro NY - 212.870.2384 / bdupree@mnys.org

Tentative Agenda

9:30 AM Registration opens
10:00—12:00 Workshops
12:15—Lunch provided by UNYS and MNYS
1:00 PM—Revival Worship
2:45 PM—Farewell

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Advent Watch: #PrayerHopeActionUNYS2018
to Dec 23

Advent Watch: #PrayerHopeActionUNYS2018

We live in a time where prayer continues to be the primary way we hold our cares to God. We also live in time where action and advocacy are essential spiritual practice. During Advent I hope we, the members of the Upstate New York Synod, will participate in flooding our social media feeds with images and words and calls for prayer, hope and action.

In preparation:

- Sign up for social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. If you need help with this don't be afraid to ask someone. Maybe it is a way to connect with the technology say family member on Thanksgiving. Maybe it is something to do during coffee hour at church. Or google how to videos on the computer if you don't want to ask any one person. Be sure to follow the Upstate New York Synod on all of the social media sights.

- Begin to notice was to use photos as prayers. Look for signs of hope. Pay attention to ways you can act from where you are.

During Advent:

- Make it a practice to notice hope. To pair hope with action, no matter how small the action may seem. Find ways to capture prayer and hope and action in images you see in every day life.

- Post pictures and words and what you notice on one or all of the social media avenues (Facebook or Instagram or Twitter)

- As a spiritual practice, challenge yourself to post at least three times a week.

- Include #PrayHopeActUNYS2018 in your posts

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Bowen Family Systems Theory Event
to Nov 15

Bowen Family Systems Theory Event

An Invitation to Two Events in Buffalo, NY

Sponsored by The Voyagers

For Leaders and Coaches: Clergy, Educators, Business and Helping Professionals

The Voyagers are a group of faith community leaders exploring Bowen family systems theory and its application to congregations by Rabbi Edwin Friedman.  Leaders in many areas—from ministry to education, business, and the helping professions—use the lens of Bowen family systems theory to better understand themselves as well as the people with whom they work.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 – Introduction to Family Systems Thinking

A one-day seminar led by the Voyagers with a focus on Bowen theory and its application to working with families, congregations, and other institutions.  The importance of family of origin work for maturity, functioning, and leadership will be emphasized.

Location: Westin Hotel Buffalo         Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM      Cost: $60/Students-$35

 Thursday, November 15, 2018 – Conference with Dr. Michael Kerr

Theme – Bowen Theory’s Secrets: The Hidden Life of Families

Dr. Michael Kerr, director of the Bowen Theory Academy and former director of the Bowen Center in Washington, DC, will present a one-day conference focusing on the insights of his new book entitled, “Bowen Theory’s Secrets: The Hidden Life of Families.”  Dr. Kerr will describe family functioning from the perspective of Bowen theory and distinguish it from traditional psychological approaches that focus on problems within the individual person.

Location: Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, NY

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM      Cost: $95/Students-$65 (Both days: $125/Students-$80 with ID)

  Lunch inluded in the cost for both days

To register, visit www.voyagers.life/buffalo-events.  For more information, contact Bob Spilman (rcspilman@roadrunner.com) or Carol Jeunnette (cjeunnette@voyagers.life).

Register Early!  Fees increase by $10 after October 31.

Voyagers website: voyagers.life

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ELCA Youth Leadership Summit
to Nov 4

ELCA Youth Leadership Summit

The ELCA Youth Leadership Summit is an annual gathering for high school youth identified as leaders and adult representatives from each synod from across The ELCA. This summit focuses on leadership development through engaging speakers and thought leaders in key areas at the intersection of leadership and faith in daily life AND faith formation and building connections for high school youth in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Youth will be challenged to take home what they have learned to inspire action in their own synods and youth groups. The Youth Leadership Summit is a shared ministry between ELCA Youth Ministry and The SYMBOL Network.

Location: Camp Carol Joy Holling in Ashland, Nebraska

Who Attends?

Two youth in grades 9-12 and one adult per synod are invited to attend. Synods are asked to pay attention to gender, ethnic and ability diversity when selecting participants.

Click here to register. The form must be filled out for each participant. If you do not have your flight information at the time of registration, you may go back and edit your submission later. Registration opens May 22 and closes September 30.

Theme: Through Christ We Can

The theme for the 2018 Summit is “Through Christ We Can” and will use Philippians 2:1-5 as it’s scriptural base. The event will focus on young people’s call to ministry for the sake of others and advocacy because of their faith. For our learning and networking times we will be joined by various ELCA ministries and staff including Advocacy, Young Adult Ministries, Justice for Women and Global Mission.

Event Chaplain:

Three synodical bishops have been invited to join us as our chaplaincy team. More information coming soon!

Guest Speakers:

Alaide Vilchis Ibarra, ELCA Advocacy

More speakers will be announced soon!

Musical Leadership: To Be Announced

Preliminary Schedule: Available Here


Event Registration is covered by the ELCA via a special grant for youth leadership development

Synods are responsible for transportation to and from the Omaha Eppley Field Airport. (OMA). Transportation between OMA and the camp will be provided.

Liability Release & Medical Authorization

In addition to the online registration (linked above) each participant also needs to turn in a signed medical authorization form and a liability release form on or before October 15, 2018. Forms can be scanned and emailed to Zara Tunstill at zara.tunstill@elca.org

Medical Form
Participant Housing Release Form

Excused Absence Request Letter

Form coming soon

Event Timing

We start with dinner on Thursday, November 1st at 6:00 pm Central and conclude on Sunday at 10:30am Central. A full schedule is available here.


OMA Omaha Eppley Airfield


Contact us via e-mail.

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Faith Alive! Playshop
10:00 AM10:00

Faith Alive! Playshop

flyer for playshops 10.2018.jpg

At “The Storytelling Event: Learning Bible Stories by Heart Playshop” you will be invited to dive deep into the stories of scripture that ground our faith. Through play and guided learning participants will leave the event with new skills and an ability to tell one of the Advent, Christmas or Epiphany stories by heart. And maybe some new friends. The event is appropriate for adults and older youth (think confirmation age). It will be at three locations in the Synod on the same day - Lord of Life, Depew; St Mark's, Baldwinsville; and Holy Spirit, Albany. This playshop is part of the “Faith Alive!” Strategic Plan.

To register contact the church location where you will attend.

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Campus Ministry Sunday Celebration
10:00 AM10:00

Campus Ministry Sunday Celebration

Dear Sisters and Brothers, 

On behalf of our synod’s five Campus Ministries I invite all congregations across the Upstate New York Synod to join in the first ever synod-wide Campus Ministry Sunday on October 1, 2017.  As chaplains from these ministries met over the past year some of the questions we pondered were:

  • How can Campus Ministries connect with youth in congregations as they plan for college?
  • How do congregations stay connected with their students that head off to college?
  • Campus Ministries experience the generations and encounter the ways that young adults experience faith and are impacting the world. How can this experience be shared with the larger church especially our congregations? 
  • What are the best ways to reach out to the young adults on our campuses who do not know Jesus Christ and his church?
  • How can we effectively help students bring God into the decisions they are making?
  • How can congregations more readily engage with Campus Ministry?

Campus Ministry Sunday is an opportunity for your congregation to learn more and consider ways you can address the questions above.  Resources are available to help congregations learn about Campus Ministry and promote and engage in activities for October.  Resources posted on the synod website include prayers, bulletin inserts from each of our five (5) campus ministries, and a sample newsletter article that you can personalize for your celebration.  Our campus ministry pastors stand ready to talk with you and to help you schedule a student or other representative to come to your congregation’s event.  Their contact information is listed below.  If you can’t do October 7th, pick any Sunday in October – the goal is a sharing of this amazing ministry in our midst. 

The mission of campus ministry in the ELCA is to invite people in academic settings to engage more deeply with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the community that bears his name, so that they can discover and fulfill their vocation as disciples. It is not just a ministry for Lutherans. Our Campus Ministries are supported in part by your congregation’s mission support to the synod, by ELCA dollars and through their own fundraising.  Start planning now for a special time to explore how your congregation can interact with your nearest campus ministry.

In Christ,

John S. Macholz, Bishop

Available Resources: 

Sunday Prayers of Petition



Albany Cornerstone Campus Ministry, http://www.ualbanycornerstone.org/, Rev. Sandy Damhof, sdamhof@albany.edu.

LuMin of WNY, Buffalo, www.lcm-buffalo.org, LuMin of WNY on Facebook, Rev. Steve Biegner, stevebiegner@gmail.com.

St. Luke Lutheran Church Campus Ministry, Ithaca, http://www.stlukeithaca.org/campus-ministry, Rev. Rick Bair, rlb8@cornell.edu.

RIT Lutheran Episcopal Campus Ministry, https://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/religion/lutherancampusministry.php, Rev. Craig Swanson, pastorcraigs@aol.com.

Lutheran Campus Ministries (LCM) at Syracuse University and SUNY-Environmental Science and Forestry, http://lcmsyracuse.org/, Rev. Gail Riina, griina@syr.edu.



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