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

slide 12Just wait...it’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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February*
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 

March*
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.

April
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

May
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
Schedule:
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


 

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Each year, United Methodist churches are required to gather their leadership together to accept bequests, affirm candidates for ministry, set the compensation package for the staff, elect the leadership slate for the next year, and review the proposed budget. This is called a charge conference and includes only selected members of the leadership of the church along with retired clergy. At Asbury First, our tradition has been to hold an annual church conference which preserves the same functions, but is open to all member of the church. This is a time for us to celebrate our successes together and to address any potential challenges. Thanks for joining us this year!

Watch the Conference Video Here!

View the Agenda here

View the Statement of Operating Revenue & Expenses

View the Proposed Annual Operating Plan for 2018

View the Annual Report here

View the Nominations here

See the Full Presentation Here


Christmas 2017 Large A Frame Sign OutdoorThe Christmas season can be a whirlwind of events-but remember to pause and spend time with God, as you are able. Our Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve worship schedule offers a number of ways to do just that (both in person and live streaming). Mark your calendars for these dates and times. We hope to see you there!* 
Christmas Eve
Sunday, December 24
10 am
A Service of Poetry, Word, and Carols.
 
12 noon
A Service of Word, Carols, and Holy Communion.
 
4 pm
A Service for Families and Children featuring the Children's Pageant.
 
7 pm 
A Service of Word, Lessons, and Carols.
 
9 pm
A Service of Word, Carols and Holy Communion. 
 
11 pm
A Service of Word, Lessons, and Carols.
 
Christmas Day 
Monday, December 25
10 am
Joint Service at St. Paul's Episcopal Church25 Westminster Rd. Rochester 
 
New Year's Eve
Sunday, December 31
10 am
Traditional Worship
 
5-6 pm
Communion and Meditation.
Come and go as you wish.
Labyrinth will be available.
 
*Please note that our Christmas Day and New Year's Eve schedule is new this year

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Dear Friends,
 
Like most of the world, I watched the news from Sutherland Springs this week with sadness and horror. My heart breaks for the people of that small community and for children (mine and others) growing up in a world where this kind of violence is a reality. I am ashamed of the communal cycle of outrage and paralysis that has too often accompanied these sinful acts and mourn our society's inability to have honest conversations about guns, mental illness, public discourse, or even truth itself.
 
Those of us who proclaim the Prince of Peace have an obligation, both Christian and moral, to seek out the root of this evil. We must not allow ourselves to be numb to this new reality. This means confronting gun violence. This means dealing with mental illness. This means looking in the mirror and facing the violence and derision in our own lives. We can do this, but we will have to do it together. Over the next few months, we will be working as a congregation to provide forums to practice peace together--forums to have honest conversation about these communal challenges.
 
We also recognize another need. This act would have been abominable anywhere, but was particularly poignant for us because it occurred in a church--a place of sanctuary. As a result, many of us are looking ahead to this Sunday with some understandable trepidation. Fortunately, we have policies and procedures in place for many situations, including the unlikely event of an active threat during worship. These procedures are a part of a broader crisis management plan we have developed over the last two years and continue to update and refine. It was developed in consultation with other congregations and after special training by law enforcement on how to deal with an active shooter in a church. This week has provided us an opportunity to meet with and refresh the appropriate constituencies about these policies. We feel confident that we have taken necessary steps to plan and prepare for the worst, but we will continue to be diligent in our preparation and welcome any ideas to enhance the safety of our congregation (please direct your ideas to our Church Administrator, David Strong, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 
 
In the end, there is no way to plan for every eventuality. All of us will have to do our best to safeguard our congregation while maintaining the spirit of Christian hospitality endemic to Asbury First. This is a sad week for all of us, but our call to Christian love and hospitality has not changed. We are a people who proclaim hope in despair, light in darkness, and life in death. No act or threat of violence can change our proclamation or our commitment to God's truth. This Sunday, as we do every Sunday, we will gather to love God and neighbor, to live fully, and to serve all. By God's grace, we will never stop. See you Sunday.
 
In Christ's Peace,
 
Stephen Cady
Senior Minister

Local Performers Unite to Offer Benefit Recitals for Church Music Programs

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Pipes and Pistons: Baroque Music for Trumpet, Voice, and Organ will feature multiple concerti, sonatas, and arias by superb Baroque composers. Selections will include Vivaldi’s famous “Concerto for Two Trumpets,” arias by Handel and Scarlatti, and Franceschini’s “Sonata for Two Trumpets.” The events are free and open to the public, and free will offerings will be accepted, with all proceeds benefiting the vibrant music programs at local churches. The first performance will be held at Asbury First United Methodist Church on Friday, October 27 at 7:30 pm, and the second is featured at First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford on Sunday, October 29 at 3 pm. 

The events are a collaborative presentation by local musicians. Trumpeter Brett Long will be joined by fellow Nazareth College faculty, Kimberly Upcraft and Susan Cotroneo, on several soprano arias. They will be accompanied by Bruce Frank, organist for First Presbyterian Church. Max Matzen, trumpet professor at Utah State University, will also be featured on multiple selections.