An inclusive, Christ-centered community making a difference.



Prom dresses and mother-of-the-bride/groom dresses, shoes, and more will be sold on Sunday, April 15, from 2-6 pm in Fellowship Hall!

Items are available at rock-bottom prices--please join us or spread the word to friends and family who may be planning a wedding or headed to prom in May!

All proceeds benefit the Storehouse for the purchase of blankets and children's underwear. The Storehouse provides clothing and household goods to more than 6,000 persons annually--and your purchases at this event help make this ministry even more effective in providing assistance to our community. We hope to see you there!

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6:30 pm* Sanctuary open for silent meditation 
7 pm* Living tableaus of scenes from the life of Christ 
7:30 pm* Worship, Holy Communion, and a reenactment of the passion of Christ
See the worship bulletin here


6 am Informal service of Holy Communion 
12 pm* Worship and reflection on art and music (music provided by Voices Chamber Choir) 
6-7:30 pm A come-when-you-wish child-friendly service with Holy Communion, a labyrinth walk, and prayer stations
See the worship bulletin here


6:30 am Sunrise Service Held at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, 1100 Goodman Street 
8:30 am* Traditional Worship | See the worship bulletin here
10 am* Brief service of Holy Communion (no sermon) | See the worship bulletin here
11 am* Traditional Worship | See the worship bulletin here

*Childcare is available

29541628 10155478615576527 7746818921471731723 nLet no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. - 1 Timothy 4:12

This past weekend, we were reminded of this verse from Paul’s first letter to Timothy as 12 of our youth set an example for us through their speech and conduct by leading an Asbury First delegation to March For Our Lives-DC Official. We are so thankful to them for their faithful leadership and powerful witness. We also have to give a huge shout-out to our new friends at National United Methodist Church for putting their commitment to radical hospitality on display by opening their doors to us and other churches from around the country and offering us a really powerful program and a place to spend the night. To read more about this and other United Methodist responses to the march throughout DC, check out this write up that’s featured on the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference website (which includes a statement from and picture of our very own Hannah Beamish!).
-Ian C. Urriola

Join Robert Lupton, Author of Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How To Reverse It)
3 pm workshop, 7 pm presentation | Asbury First United Methodist Church


Toxic Charity

Robert Lupton, author of Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help and How to Reverse It, will give a talk on his book at Asbury First on Sunday, on Sunday, April 29, at 7 pm in the sanctuary and will lead a 3 pm workshop on campus, as well.


Lupton’s visit is part of an effort to share principles of justice—as recommended in our Outreach Task Force report, “A Way Forward. This report urged the AFUMC community to combat poverty by striving for justice instead of simple charity. Some liken that to teaching a person to fish instead of giving them a fish. It's really more complicated than that. One must also consider whether the person has a fishing pole, has a place to safely store it, and if they are likely to face discrimination when trying to access the local fishing hole. Does the person even want to learn how to fish, or do his or her dreams and talents lie in raising chickens instead? How can we help unknot those tangled issues instead of continuing to throw fish at a problem we might be worsening?


Lupton says churches often fail to take stock of how effective their programs are and rob those we try to serve of their pride and dignity, despite our best intentions.


Robert Lupton has walked the walk: he’s a Christian community developer in Atlanta, GA., having created two mixed-income subdivisions, organized a multiracial congregation, and started several businesses that provide dignity and jobs for people in poor urban areas. He is the creator of the Lupton Center, which specializes in teaching about helpful, effective community development. Some at AFUMC have taken the “Seeking Shalom” training offered by the Lupton Center, which is helping to reshape our outreach ministries.


For those who want to learn more, Lupton will also lead a 3 pm workshop on April 29. A limited number of seats, available on a first-come, first-serve basis, will be open to people who have either completed the “Seeking Shalom” training or read one of Lupton’s books. You can get started reading now or, during the month of April, take The Rev. Jacqueline Nelson's weekly class, “Balancing Justice and Mercy,” which will use Toxic Charity as a referenced text. (Find out more about this class here.)


To sign up for the class or the afternoon workshop, please contact Melody Guadagnino in the AFUMC office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Reservations for the talk are not necessary, but admission by donation of $10 is encouraged. Donations will benefit outreach programs at AFUMC. If you would like to purchase Toxic Charity, please contact Melody Guadagnino in the church office.

Kindness, Inclusion, and FUN for Kids at VBS This Summer!

slide 12Just’s coming! This Summer at Asbury First is a Vacation Bible School unlike none other! We focus on kindness, inclusion, and—most importantly—FUN. VBS takes place at Asbury First United Methodist Church on August 6-9 from 9 am-12:30 pm. Our development team is hard at work to plan four incredible mornings, PLUS a family night filled with activities, games, drama, music, science, and lots of wacky fun. We keep the cost for families low so that all can attend. The cost is $15 per child (with $40 maximum for families, no matter how many kids join us). All children ages 4 through 5th grade are invited to take part this wonderful experience! 

Please click here to subscribe to VBS and Children’s Ministry updates to find out more as we draw closer to the event!

Join a matching donor and give to upgrade our HD streaming technology! 

We are faithfully expanding our Sunday streaming technology

As we look for new ways to engage our online community, we have an exciting opportunity to upgrade to HD technology for our streaming ministry. This project costs $20,000. Thankfully, we have a matching donor who has committed $10,000 if we can raise the other half of the funds. An additional $6,000 has already been committed, which means we are $4,000 away from funding this project. Now, we need your help! Please join us and give to the HD upgrade by clicking here and designating your gift to “HD upgrade.” Together, we will continue to faithfully grow and expand this important ministry tool.

Wednesdays 6-7 pm in Building 1040, Room 202
Each month, a minister will offer a new study. See topics & descriptions below!

Childcare is provided for class time, and please feel free to join us at our Community Dinner at 5:30 pm in the Gathering Center! You do not need to be a member of Asbury First to join in—all are welcome!

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Bridging the Gap: Exploring Injustice in Rochester and Beyond...
Come join us as we learn about the history of oppression in the United States. We will unpack white privilege, systemic racism, and environmental injustice to better understand what we are called to do as Christ-followers in this deeply divided nation.
Facilitators: The Rev. Jacqueline Nelson, Pamela Dayton, & Brennon Thompson
*Dates have changed and are now February 21, 28, March 7 

People of Faith & The Gift of Prayer
During the Wednesday evenings in the Season of Lent, please join us for an exploration of the ancient biblical and theological understandings of prayer and to explore these understandings and implications for our own prayer life. This will be an opportunity to discover new practices of prayer and deepen our own prayer life.
Facilitator: The Rev. Susan Shafer
*Dates have changed and are now March 14, 21, and 28.

Balancing Justice & Mercy
During this class, we will tackle what it means to be faithful to our mission while addressing the realities of poverty in this community. We will also look carefully at the long-term viability and effectiveness of our ministries. Following this series, Robert Lupton (author of "Toxic Charity") will be visiting Asbury First during the month of April to offer a presentation on his book.
Facilitator: The Rev. Jacqueline Nelson

Christ on the Psych Ward: Meds as a Means of Grace
We invite you to come and learn how we, as people of faith, can be advocates for people living with mental illness and bring about systemic societal change in regards to mental health. We will start our study with a visit from David Finnegan-Hosey, author of "Christ on the Psych Ward."
Facilitator: Ian Urriola

Have questions about this series? Contact The Rev. Mike Mullin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Are you sick and tired of stressing about finances? Do you find yourself trying to scrape by each month until the next paycheck comes? If so, then you are like 72% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. It’s time to break the cycle and take ownership of your finances. Join us for nine Sundays starting February 18 (through April 22) from 9-11 am here at Asbury First on the second floor of Building 1010.

Financial Peace University is a 9-week course that focuses on how to manage your money in a way that honors God and principles we find in the Bible. Enrollment in the class costs $109/household, which pays for your workbooks, textbook, and online resources. The course is taught through video by Dave Ramsey, and class discussions give it, and you, accountability. You will be challenged in the waysyou have always done things, learn to communicate with others better and create a plan to put you on a path toward financial freedom...The fall class paid off over $16,500!

If this sounds like something you are interested in but are still unsure, come check out the first class for free! If you have any questions please contact Patti Crawford at (607) 760-5086 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ready to sign up? Click here!

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This Genesee Valley District Leadership Training Event will be held at Asbury First on Saturday, February 3, 2018 from 9 am-4 pm. This is the District's annual Leadership Training Day, which offers a variety of workshops for which you can register. Lunch will be provided! Registration is $20. To find out more, read below. Please contact Pat VanVleck at (585) 355-1035 with any questions that you may have.

What is Informed to Transform?

Informed to Transform is for everyone—clergy and laypersons, leaders and those looking to lead, those who are spiritually enriched and those seeking more.

Where did the name Informed to Transform come from?

The name came from the desire to fulfill the Mission: "Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world". In order to Transform, we must be Informed about the teachings of Jesus Christ—as well as the workings of our church.

The goal of this event is to help all in attendance be more informed and educated in a way that prepares them to transform our world.

This year's workshops include:

  • Learning more about our United Methodist Faith and Practices
  • The role of the Laity in leadership of the church
  • Preaching through violence and political unrest while speaking to issues with grace
  • A Vacation Bible School workshop
  • Creating an environment that gets your church out of the 'Oh, no, it's another church meeting' mode
  • Conflict - how to change the cycle by how we respond
  • Youth ministry - how to make it sustainable
  • Volunteer in Missions Coordinators helping you discover God's call on your life through disaster response, mission and service.
  • How to take steps to safeguard your congregation
  • How to develop leadership in the church for greater vitality
  • A special opportunity in the morning session to participate in Hands on Outreach at Asbury First in our Dining and Caring Center and Storehouse.

For complete information, click here.

Event Details

Date: Saturday, February 3, 2018
Location: Asbury First United Methodist Church, 1050 East Ave Rochester, NY 14607
9 am Registration
9:30-11:30 am Workshop # 1
11:45 am-12:45 pm Lunch (Included with your registration)
1-3 pm Workshop # 2
3:15-4 pm Worship together

Click here for the registration link
View the event program here