An inclusive, Christ-centered community making a difference.


Join Us August 7, 8, and 9 at 6 pm Daily for Block Party on East!

Love Tent Week? You won't want to miss Block Party on East!

Tent Week Postcards for News Page


Tuesday, August 7

Celebrate the 1960s and 1970s and dress up to show your knowledge of these decades. There will be costumes, record-breaking, and much more! One of the awesome events happening on Tuesday is Goat Yoga on the lawn at 6 pm and 7 pm with HikYoga of Rochester! It's a free event and open to everyone. Bring your water and yoga mats. The event will feature Ernest and Gertrude, two very friendly Nigeran Dwarf Goat kids. Click here to sign up for the 6 pm session and click here to sign up for the 7 pm session. They're filling up fast

Wednesday, August 8

Challenge yourself with a prison escape! We will have an escape room with 15 minutes to find your out! We will kick it up another few notches with more prizes,“big hair” of the 1980s and “grunge” of the 1990s, and more! Want to sign up to participate in the hair contest? Click here!

Thursday, August 9

After warming up with breaking smaller World Records, we will capstone this summer’s Vacation Bible School and Block Party on East with an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people in one hopscotch game! And we’ll need 650 hoppers to break the record! If you plan on joining us for #hoptheroc, please sign up on Eventbrite at Food trucks and live music will also join us each night!

Interested in volunteering with us to help make #hoptheroc a success? Click here to sign up!


DSC 0079 copyOn Saturday, June 9 at 7:30 pm in the Asbury First sanctuary, flutist Annette Farrington and pianist Tony Caramia will present a recital entitled Impressions for a Summer Night. This program, their first collaboration, includes music ranging from the romantic Nocturne by Lili Boulanger to the jazzy and jaunty Bubble-Up Rag by Judith Lang Zaimont. More women composers are represented including Grace Williams and Ann Ronnell. Jazz influences abound in works by Richard Rodney Bennett, Billy Strayhorn, Mike Mower, and Eric Ewazen.

Annette's flute artistry is familiar to the AFUMC congregation. As a member for almost 20 years, she has played often in worship services, is a charter member of Asbury Singers and is director of the Asbury First Flute Choir. She is on the faculty of Nazareth College teaching applied flute and flute methods and runs a vibrant flute studio in her home.

Tony is Professor of Piano, Piano Pedagogy, and Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at Eastman School of Music. He was a guest on Marian McPartland's acclaimed NPR radio program, Piano Jazz, in 2013 and her 1927 Steinway is now housed in his Eastman studio. Tony has lectured and performed at numerous conferences on jazz piano and piano pedagogy and performed at the prestigious Rochester International Jazz Festival. His multi-media themed recitals play to sold-out audiences.

This recital is presented to benefit the outreach ministries at Asbury First. A freewill offering with a suggested donation of $10 is appreciated.


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!

Student Group Study Bible DiscipleshipSmall

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.